‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Recap: Most Depressing Episode Ever?

Last Week: Rob rejected Ralph’s rations, Phillip found a feather, and Mike the Marine met his match as he and David the defense attorney were dismissed.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Murlonio Tribe (wearing black)
Andrea – 21, Student
Ashley – 25, Nurse
Grant – 29, Yoga Instructor
Julie – 50, Firefighter
Natalie – 19, Dancer
Phillip – 52, Former Federal Agent?
Ralph – 45, Farmer
Rob – 35, “Survivor” Hall of Famer
Steve – 51, Former NFL Player

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing uncertainty)

David – 31, Defense Attorney
Matt – 22, Pre-Med Student
Mike – 31, Former Marine

Jeff Probst tweeted that tonight’s Tribal Council is going to be a doozy. And there’s a filter on Twitter that prevents people from lying, so consider me excited.

This week’s episode kicks off with Matt telling God that he doesn’t want to be in the game anymore. However, if God wants him to stay in the game he’ll keep fighting.

I’m thinking God has bigger things to deal with than who wins “Survivor: Redemption Island.”

The next morning Steve lets us know that he wasn’t ready to leave the game. He also seems to be annoyed with Phillip. Phillip gives us a prime example of how annoying he can be as he mutters to himself while he fashions a new feather headband.

Seriously, if that thing isn’t a full feather headdress by the end of the season, I’m going to be super disappointed.

Phillip follows up his arts and crafts project by telling us about his morning meditation. Apparently his ancestors have told him to trust Boston Rob. So, it’s probably fair to say that Lex Van Den Berghe isn’t one of Phillip’s ancestors.

There’s a bit of a food disparity around camp as the Zapaterans have more food left than the Ometepians. Yeah, but how much of that is crispy rice?

Phillip doesn’t approve of the tribes keeping their own rations, so he intends to liberate some of the Zapateran rice. This will end well, I’m sure.

Redemption Island invites go out and this time everybody is welcome. That’s awfully neighborly.

Redemption Island Challenge Time: Each player will have 150 wooden tiles. They’ll use them to build a house of cards. The first two players to reach eight feet will continue on. The loser will become the first member of the jury.

“Survivor: Gabon’s” Susie Smith, represent.
Not much to describe here except for some stackin’. Mike has about an inch to go and almost loses it. He eventually figures it out and wins. Matt then gets the best of David to advance. David is the first member of the jury.

Upon returning from Redemption Island the Ometepans learn that their rice has mold and maggots in it. They separate the good from the bad and ask Steve if they can combine the two tribes’ rice supplies. He doesn’t think that’s a great idea. As you would imagine, Phillip and his feather do not approve of this.

Phillip believes that only rewards are separate after the merge. Of course, that’s easy to say when the other dude has more rice than you. Steve wants to discuss the matter with Ralph. However, Phillip threatens that he’ll hide the Zapateran rice the second Steve leaves.


Steve calls Phillip a “lunatic.” Phillip agrees that he is a lunatic, but that whenever a man of his “color” gets in someone else’s face, they’re considered a lunatic.


Grant and Rob rightfully get a little freaked out that Phillip dropped a “race card.” That can’t be good for tribal harmony.

Steve tries to play it off, but Phillip informs him that he’s dealing with the “Chief of Counter Intelligence” and a “Wing Chun Kung Fu” expert. Phillip does have a point, a lot of what he does seems to be the counter of intelligence.

Things heat up again when Ralph returns. An enraged Phillip even drops a few “n words.” I can’t imagine how uncomfortable that must’ve been.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will spin around a disc in an attempt to release it from a post. Once it’s free, they’ll use it to complete a puzzle. The first six to finish will move on to a second ring to their puzzle wheel. First person to complete the second ring wins immunity.

Rob, Julie, Ralph, Andrea, Steve, and Grant were the first six to complete the initial puzzle. Phillip thought he had it, and even mimicked J-Pro’s announcing style, but nobody fell for it.

In the second round, Rob returned to his previous “Survivor” form and completed the puzzle first. Rob wins immunity.

Politicking around camp, not shockingly, involves the Zapaterans trying to get rid of Phillip.

Julie isn’t content just to vote him out as she reaches into the Russell Hantz playbook, swipes Phillip shorts and buries them. OK Julie, that’ll annoy Phillip, but think of what you’re doing to the viewers. The return of Phillip’s pink panties can’t be good for ratings.

That night at Tribal Council, Phillip lets Jeff know that it isn’t cute that somebody stole his shorts.

Steve brings up the race/rice war. Phillip thinks the term “crazy” is a substitute for the “n word.” Probst can’t see where Phillip is making that leap. Phillip says he can’t put it into words, but he knows it when he sees it.

Steve lets us know that there is no line of black or white in his heart.

Jeff does a masterful job of explaining that they are both welcome to their take on the events, and that in their hearts they are both right. Wow, well done, Mr. Probst.

Afterward, Jeff gets Julie to fess up to stealing Phillip’s shorts. Man, he’s two for two tonight.

Voting Time: Steve votes for Phillip (shocker), Julie votes for Phillip, Ralph votes for Phillip (technically it was “Phile”), Phillip voted for Julie, and the rest of the votes are secret.

J-Pro tallies and returns…three votes for Phillip, four votes for Julie, and the eleventh person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Julie.

Verdict: Probst was right, Tribal Council was crazy. However, it wasn’t entertaining-crazy.

I like my “Survivor” with everyone at each other’s throats, but that was just depressing. I felt bad for Phillip because he’s obviously been made to feel that way in the past. And I feel bad for Steve because I don’t think that was his intention at all.

Here’s hoping Steve and Phillip eventually find some common ground and are able to figure things out.

Who’s Going to Win? Natalie’s got the perfect path, right?

Power Rankings Update:
Sash had Matt as his Redemption Island pick, I had David. So, Sash earns a point. Sash had Julie in spot seven, I had her in spot five. The current score is now Team Sash 112 to Team Gordon 99.

Ooof…that may have put this game out of reach. Also, readers @truedorktimes, @SherriErwin, and Kyle got the best of me. Congrats!

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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