As the third episode of "Survivor" begins, the four lonely Matsing tribemates discuss the tribal council that most recently sent Roxy on her bitter way to Loser Lodge. Russell says the bad news is there are only four of them left; the good news is that there are only four of them left.
Well, that's deep.
Later, he tells the camera that as insane as Roxy's rantings were, she actually way right. The Snuggle Alliance -- cuddling buddies Angie and Malcolm -- are a threat, and as the camera shows a sleeping Denise inching her way closer to the snugglers, we hear Russell's voice saying that all it takes is one more to join Angie and Malcolm, and he's gone.
Meanwhile, over at Tandang, Abi and RC are soaking up rays and doing what they do best -- bicker. RC wants to search for the hidden immunity idol, and Abi wants to lay on the beach like a big lump, After RC stomps off to the water, Abi trots over to Pete and spills the beans about the clue they found in the rice about where the idol is.
Pete uses the information to pull Lisa into an alliance. The former teen star, who was the perennial favorite for getting axed, now has a chance to stay in the game if she sides with Pete and votes out Michael.
At Kalabaw, the tribe finally notices that the decoration on top of the rice box is missing, and former baseball star Jeff realizes it was the hidden immunity idol and that Jonathan has it, having finally figured out the clue in the
Things just keep getting tougher for Matsing. Their raft has gone adrift in the night. Malcolm says that might come back to haunt them. Enough foreshadowing, though. Malcolm and Denise sit around the campfire discussing their secret non-Snuggle Alliance. They are just hoping they'll win the next challenge so they won't have to vote off Russell or Snuggle Bunny.
Speaking of immunity challenges, it's time for one. This one is on the water and involves diving for wheels and using them to solve a word puzzle. In addition to immunity, the team that wins gets a fishing kit and a canoe; second place gets a smaller fishing kit. Third place, historically Matsing, gets nothing but a trip to tribal council.
As usual, Matsing falls behind early. Michael, the injury prone "Survivor," recovers his puzzle piece for Kabalaw and returns to the platform bleeding from the head. So far he's whacked himself in the head with the machete, cut his hands and fingers, and got a gash on the bottom of his foot. He's been hurt so often no one even seems to notice except Jeff Probst, who obligingly points out the blood.
Russell proves the weakest link for Matsing, having trouble getting pieces and getting back on the platform. Angie is no better. She struggles with the first and easiest piece, then sits out the rest challenge. Denise on the other hand, rocks.
The other tribes are working on their puzzles before Matsing retrieves all of its pieces. Tandang is the first to solve it, followed by Kalabaw, and once again Matsing is the big loser, making all the earlier plotting by the other tribes rather pointless.
Will Russell, blamed for the tribe losing the first challenge and largely responsible for the tribe losing this challenge, survive another tribal council? There is still 30 minutes left in the show so something exciting must happen.
Not at camp Kabalaw, though, where Jonathan decides to make nice with Jeff in an attempt to get him in an alliance, or at least convince him not to vote him out if they ever go to tribal, which isn't likely to happen until Matsing exhausts its roster. Jeff says he's on board, but then he explains to the camera that he gave Jonathan a four-fingered handshake, not a manly handshake. A weak handshake means nothing. A manly handshake is where you put your money.
Even though Tandang won, they don't seem particularly happy. While Michael goes off to injure himself in some new and exciting way, Pete and Abi search for the hidden idol and, shockingly, Abi finds it.
Meanwhile, back at the camp where plotting actually has a purpose, Denise and Malcolm consider the shortcomings of Russell and Angie.
Denise wants to get rid of Angie, but she doesn't think Malcolm will go for it. Neither Angie nor Russell made much of a contribution, but Russell is, at least, stronger in general.
While Denise and Malcolm talk, Angie trots over to make her case that she never said she couldn't do the challenge, she just didn't do it, or something like that. Whenever she talks a loud buzzing fills our head.
Russell says he almost died the last time he played the game and he thought this time would be different, but his tribe just keeps losing. He's not giving up, though, and we shout at the TV screen: "Then get up and look for the idol." Instead, we just go to commercial, and when we come back, Russell is gathering firewood and Angie is expanding on her "I would have, but I didn't" defense. She asks Malcolm if he understands and he says yeah, and at least she didn't give up, which she totally did. And Angie says yeah, Russell did give up.
Russell talks to the camera about civil rights and how that if he doesn't fight to stay in, it would be like spitting in the faces of all those who fought and overcame much more than he did. We again scream about the idol, but instead, Matsing tribemates pick up their torches and head to tribal.
Probst asks what Denise gave up to be on "Survivor." She says six weeks with her daughter and husband, and income from a private practice. Malcolm says he has dreamed of playing the game since he was 12 and now he's humiliated that everyone will know him as part of the tribe that has to come see Probst every time.
Malcolm says he's heartbroken. He says Angie and Russell didn't come through, but that he and Denise should have done more instead of taking turns like 5th grade dodgeball. Denise nods in agreement.
Angie says she gave it her all; Russell says her all isn't enough. He accuses her of revisionist history. She did give up, he says. He made a strategic decision to let the stronger ones do it, which actually is defense Angie has been claiming. Angie starts to cry, a little, and Malcolm defends her saying she shouldn't be pushed into a strength position. She has other talents -- snuggling, apparently.
It comes down, Denise and Malcolm say, to strength or loyalty. And it's time to vote.
Strength wins. The Snuggle Alliance is dead. By a vote of 3-to-1, Angie's torch is snuffed. She gives them a cheery goodbye and goes looking for cookies.
Next time: Jeff gives Jonathan a manly handshake, and Matsing perhaps has a chance of winning, or at least not losing. We'll keep a good thought.