"Let's get back to some normalcy" - Lex van den Berghe

What a strange, weird trip this season is turning into! In the Amazon, you had Shawna Mitchell seriously contemplating throwing in the towel. Pearl Islands had the first genuine quitter in Osten. Now, two people out of 18 have walked off the show. Will we get whole tribes of quitters next season? Sheesh!

This whole Sue thing really is a shame. First off, I don't buy for a second that she was playing it up to fish for some big financial settlement. Not only do I think Sue isn't that good an actress, but that just wouldn't be her...the woman is honest to a fault, and would never feign weakness just for the sake of advancing herself. I'm sure she was thinking about not only the incident itself, but how it would play out on TV...how she would be portrayed. And that just turned into a spiral of despair, humiliation, and just dark thoughts all around.

Did she overreact? I've run this over and over in my head, and all I can say is that she simply reacted...whether it was over or under blown is a subjective call by any one person who saw the incident. I had thought initially that Burnett might have edited the whole rubbing incident to make it seem much shorter than it actually was, but then Mogo Mogo didn't even notice what happened. So it must have lasted pretty much just as long as we saw.

I will say this - Sue is tough as nails. This is a woman who said in her initial screening interview to get on the first season that she loved playing football with the guys, and always insisted on playing tackle. She drank the water unboiled the whole time out there. So for her to be SO traumatized by a couple seconds of naked contact with a man she's known for almost four years? You really have to think there may be something in Sue's past that that incident reminded her of, and factored heavily into her reaction. What's more, if that's true, she couldn't even really talk it through out there, because next thing she knew that could be broadcast for 25 million people...so she had to bottle it up. Just to emphasize though that's major, major speculation...and frankly, none of our damn business!

But anyway...onto the actual game now...

One advantage to a quit like this is that they have much more time to show scenes of camp life and various scheming taking place. Since as far as I'm concerned, with very few exceptions the challenges are nothing but a distraction and often quite a bore. The timeline of this episode was all over the map so that they could fill up a full hour. Events were shown totally out of sequence. For starters, they seemed to insert a whole fictitious Day 16 at the start of episode that didn't exist, where the Rich thing hadn't yet sunk in for Sue. Then the challenge was portrayed as being on Day 17, yet Jeff said "It's been an odd 16 days" after Sue left. Then there was the conversation with Rupert, Jenna, Amber, and Rob, portrayed as also being on Day 17. Yet Jenna said "When we got here yesterday..." so at the very latest that powwow had to be from Day 15, possibly even Day 14 if the Saboga dissolution happened on Day 13. So the editing was fast and loose this week!

Lex blew me away this episode! A couple of people (notably Colby and Ethan) don't seem to have too much of their hearts in this game, but Lex is out for the KILL! First of all, holding back on the fishing was a smart idea...why try to compete with Rich when that's only going to cause him problems? It's not too surprising that Lex was able to catch something - he has done a lot of surfing in his time, so I knew he was a good swimmer - but I still would have never guessed he'd be quite THAT good at it. And then the conversation with Jerri...she clearly really adores Lex, both from her confessional this week and from an Insider interview in week five. And while Lex no doubt appreciates it, he's going to use that if need be to snooker her down the road.

The other one to watch is Amber. It's growing increasingly clear that Burnett's editors are pulling out as many interesting Amber quotes as they can and putting them into the show. Either that, or she really IS much more actively scheming this time around, as she promised she would do. But she is getting very, very good editing...she plotted with Tom to oust Rob C. in week four, and co-authored the strategy of aligning with Rupert and Jenna this week. That alone trumps any sort of strategizing she was shown embarking on during 11 episodes in the Outback season. And while both Rob C. and Sue weren't impressed with her work ethic or attitude out there, we certainly aren't seeing any of that on the show. In any case, she's way, way down the list of people who are targets...she will go far!

Funniest Quote: Not too much to laugh at here, especially at Chapera, but Shii Ann rolling her eyes back when describing her conversation with Colby...was really weird, and funny. Someone needs to Photoshop that picture and do something Shii Devil-related with it!

So next week...a lot of things could happen here. The game only lasts 39 days, and whereas normally there would be 10 people left at the halfway point (Day 19) this time there are twelve. So the process of voting out people has to accelerate at some point down the line...could it be this episode? There is only one challenge shown in the previews...could it be both reward AND Immunity, making that the promised twist? Could there be an early merge? Could more than one person leave? There are many different possibilities.

Let's just hope no one else quits...please???