'Survivor' recap, 'Method to This Madness'

I swear this episode was brought to us by Bad Idea Jeans. On to the show ...

Back at Coyopa’s camp after last week’s Tribal Council, Josh explains to Baylor that he voted for her because he really wants to be in an alliance with her, but didn’t want the rest of the guys to know. That makes no sense. Didn’t you just, in fact, draw Baylor to their attention and prove that you have no problem with going against the rest of the group. Bad idea!

At Hunahpu (which is the most unnatural thing to spell. ever.) Jon and Drew are apparently both young, happy, and a little dumb. And apparently the dumb is contagious, because they’ve managed to lose their flint by not keeping track of it after they started their fire. Another bad idea. Drew thinks it was his fault? It’s not really clear.

Reward Challenge time! Let me guess - it’s going to be an obstacle course with a puzzle at the end of it. Natalie is a tad upset that her sister got voted out, and is crying for, according to her, the first time in 10 years. And I was wrong about the challenge - it is an obstacle course, but they also have to balance a ball on a paddle, and then finish off with what is essentially skeeball. What’s next, Whack-a-mole? Winning tribe gets a lovely fishing kit. 

And once again, the whole tribe is not competing, and instead, they are pitting couples against each other. This time it’s John and Julie.

Watching this challenge is like watching paint dry. It takes forever to get through the obstacle portion. Julie does much better than John, and gets to the skeeball portion first while he drops his ball several times. Julie totally kicks John’s butt, and he takes great offense to losing to a girl. Wow. 

So now John and his chauvinistic self, along with Jeremy, are off to Exile Island.

And now Hunahpu has to ask if they can trade part of their reward for a new flint. Jeff, much like me, can’t believe that they managed to lose something so important. He’ll make a deal, but they have to trade the whole fishing kit. After some dissention amongst the ranks, they agree. Bad idea! There are other ways to keep the fire going, but not another way to fish.

Back at Hunahpu after the challenge, Natalie is still crying about Nadiya. I understand that she’s your sister, and you’re close. But holy cheesits, woman, you guys are separate people; you do not need each other to survive. Some time apart is probably the best thing for each of you and your chances at healthy adult relationships in the future.

Everybody else at Coyopa takes the opportunity with John being gone to talk about him. They are all pretty sure that he’s that John Rocker, the one that got pretty much kicked out of baseball for saying racist things about New Yorkers. Misogynistic and racist? He’s such a prize.

And now Jeremy has to try and work with him, and offers a deal where they each take care of their respective partners. On Exile Island, they also get to choose a jar, and Jeremy, unlike his wife, decides to share his clue with John. How many bad ideas are we at now? 

Immunity Challenge time! John and Jeremy return from Exile Island, although because of some weird editing it doesn’t really seem like they were gone for that long. The challenge this week is wrestling on a platform over the water, because the producers have figured out that these one-on-one challenges are great for stirring up drama. 

Jaclyn knocks Kelley into the water, and Drew bests his little brother, Alec, and the tribes are tied. Wes and Jeremy are up next, and I didn’t think Wes had a chance, but he manages to beat Jeremy. Val and Natalie face off, and Natalie, despite falling to the ground almost immediately, somehow manages to push Val into the water. We’re now 2-2. Jon and John are up next, wow, the violence just went up exponentially. Jon wins. (Thank goodness they spell it differently, or it would have been confusing.)

Missy and Baylor are up next, because of course they pit the completely dysfunctional duo against each other. Missy jokes that she’ll just picture of one her exes, and Baylor chimes in that she’ll imagine one of the exes too. Ha. Because Missy has horrible taste in men, and it ended up emotionally scarring her young daughter. That’s great TV right there, CBS. And right off the bat Missy hits Baylor so hard in the face with her pillow thingy that she splits Baylor’s lip open. A visibly sobbing Baylor sucks it up and manages to get her mom off the platform (not that Missy put up much of a fight). 

Josh and Reed are put up against each other, and Alec needs to be reminded that it’s Reed on his team, not Josh. (Although that actually might have been Drew, so I’m one to talk.) Reed wins. Dale and Keith go head to head, and Dale wins. We’re tied again. So it’s all down to Kelley and Jaclyn again, and Kelley is much tougher this time, and wins the challenge for Hunahpu.

Coyopa is going back to Tribal Council for the second time in a row. It’s time for some alliances to solidify. Dale can’t help but be proud of his daughter, even though it puts him in a tight spot.

Val totally bluffs that she has two idols (really Val? you think that’s believable, and not the worst idea in an episode full of very bad ideas?) This motivates John to look for the Idol with the clue Val’s husband gave him (that he doesn’t tell Val about) and darn it, he manages to find an Idol.  

Josh and John decide to try and flush out Val’s Idol, and tell her that they’re splitting votes between her and Baylor. She’s internally panicking because she doesn’t have an Idol, but figures that both her and Jaclyn can also vote for Baylor, and things should be fine. I somehow doubt that. And I would be a little upset that someone that I’m supposedly in an alliance with wants me to waste my Immunity Idol when it’s not necessary. 

Tribal Council time! Jeff points out right away that Coyopa has, thus far, failed to win anything. Although they’ve managed to hold on to their flint, so there’s that. Val calls out Baylor for trying to play both sides. Val blames Baylor for telling her to vote for Dale last week. And everybody has heard that Val has two Idols. There’s no way any of them believe that. Do they? 

Jeff tallies the votes, and calls for any Immunity Idols to be played. Val, of course, doesn’t play hers because she doesn’t have one. And they did what they said they would...it’s tied 4-4 and they all, save Baylor and Val, to vote again. We immediately see John switch his vote because he knows that Val lied to him. And that’s enough for Val to be voted out.

Next week: John’s past is exposed, and he shows off more of his wonderful personality.

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