"We had them. They had to have been scared, they had to have been afraid." - Jeff Varner, right after Mike got burned and Kucha and Ogakor were even.

...and Kucha (perhaps Drake?) let it slip away. Ugh, what an ugly state of affairs!

Rupert seemed to blame Shawn's poor showing in the Immunity challenge for Drake's loss (and way to go Christa in the same challenge!) but really the main culprit of that loss in my mind was Jon.

This guy is truly an idiot. He goes to Morgan, pisses them off by taking their only pot, and THEN brags about throwing the episode four Immunity challenge. And the pillaging took place mere hours before they were due to compete for Immunity! It seems to me there's nothing like some anger to boost one's will and conviction in terms of, say, holding up a lot of weight for a long time. Andrew seemed particularly angry, and don't tell me he wasn't using Jon's idiotic revelation as fuel to stoke his competitive fire. Though I have to wonder - didn't Morgan question why Drake sat out their two strongest guys in that very physical challenge? Especially after Jeff called them out on it during the competition? Still, if Jon hadn't let that slip...the challenge may well have went the other way.

And just to update: Supporting 220 pounds on his shoulders, mourning dead snake pets, making solemn, sage-like comments at Tribal Council - yep, all in an episode's work for fan fave Rupert. But already we see the fruits of his hard work and dedication to The Drake...a near ouster, and the movement to get rid of him will only grow exponentially in the coming Tribal Councils. He better be on his toes - I still think his days are numbered in this game.

Funniest Moment: It's gotta be Sandra's refreshing candor at Tribal Council. So many people fake a certain humility when faced with an imminent ouster of somebody, but in this case she had the HONESTY to say "Oh I know it ain't me!" when asked if she was going. I actually find it more annoying when someone in a clear position of power (Tina used to do this) feigns being scared of leaving. It just seems very...demeaning in a way. So good on Sandra!

NOW!!!...next week...

At long last, the cat's out of the bag as far as the twist goes. I read about this last month, but didn't want to mention it here or to Survivor watching friends. But now...the deus ex machina I've been waiting for to liven up this rather mediocre Survivor season is here.

Given six previous seasons on TV, the ten remaining players have to be thinking something is coming. There hasn't been a Survivor with just a straight merge since Survivor II: Electric Digeradoo, so to just let one tribe get dominance and commence with a Pagonging would be...poor TV. And I think a few of them know that. Burnett has placed a moratorium on showing Survivors referring to themselves on television since the first season, but discussions of previous Survivors has GOTTA be happening out there - *LOL* really, who's he kidding??? Still I don't think ANY contestant is anticipating what's coming next!

The previews suggest the process will start with some sort of cage-escaping competition, pitting Drake, Morgan, and the bootee tribe against each other. The complete 16 there in the previews, so presumably they all have an equal chance to get back into the game...if in fact this competition in the first part of this three-day period actually has something to do with how they get into the game...we don't know that!

In any case, two things strongly suggest to this writer that Lil will be brought back...

1. Probst said before the beginning of this series that there were two people to watch - Rupert (for obvious reasons) and Lil. Why would he say she was one of the more memorable castaways if she only appeared in three episodes?

2. As many have noticed, Lil's torch didn't go out right away when Jeff snuffed it. In a show that's edited as tightly as a drum, that's GOTTA be there for a reason! The first episode also featured Ryan Shoulders telling her "Don't give up until your torch is out." Oh, and Jeff said pretty much the same thing at the end of the first Tribal Council. Burnett loves his foreshadowing...I could write a 5000 word essay on that topic.

But will anyone else come back? And how do players still in the game then leave to even out the numbers? Or do they? As Burnett has never done this before, we have no roadmap to follow here...and that's a good thing! It makes for an exciting show, especially to a jaded, been-there done-that fan of Survivor such as myself. I can't remember the last time I've had no idea what's going to happen in a Survivor episode. So bring it on!!!

As Bilbo would say...is it Thursday yet?!??!!