Last week’s episode of Survivor: Fiji featured more reverses and double-crosses than a David Mamet con-man script. It’ll be pretty tough to top, but let’s see how Thursday (April 26) night’s episode did…

Pre-credit sequence.
Mookie and Alex are still smarting from Dreamz’s double-cross, with Alex going so far as to speculate that Dreamz may have been playing them from the very beginning. Earl and Stacy are feeling pretty cocky, particularly Mistress of Coffee Press Etiquette Stacy, who looks at the ego-damaged Two Horsemen and whispers, "They’ll be lucky if they get fed." This is why we don’t like you, Stacy.

Dreamz-Weaver. It’s Day 28 in Bula-Bula and Alex and Mookie are still stewing about Dreamz’s treachery. Dreamz, a little bit clueless, goes to the guys and asks "How come we aren’t hanging out anymore?" They demand an explanation for why he turned on them. Dreamz spins a complicated story that doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. He’s savvy enough to know that if he manages to Zelig his way into the Final Two, he’ll need their votes.

It’s about the placement of the balls.
For the Reward Challenge, they’re split into orange and green teams. One player for each team launches balls out to a mud flat where catchers do whatever’s necessary to snag the soaring orbs. What are they playing for? Some high quality Olay cleaning products that they’ll get to use at a luxury spa resort. Jeff Probst tells them that things can be as physical as they want. That includes Cassandra hanging from her alliance-mate Earl’s neck. It also leads to Boo’s latest catastrophic injury of the season. Grunting in pain, immediately diagnoses a damaged ACL in his right knee. There’s an impressive sound effect as he stands up, something pops and he drives back into the fray. "It’s about the placement of the balls," Earl says of the correct way to play the game. In the end, Stacy connects with Dreamz, leading to a victory for the Green team, which also includes Earl and Alex. Claiming he’s been living in the lap of luxury all season, they send the partially crippled Boo off to Exile Island.

Orgasmic showers and unconvincing schemes.
Alex views this spa trip as his chance to get back into good position with the power players. The muddy survivors take long warm showers. Odd how the only person showed lathering her thighs and moaning is Stacy. All cleansed, they enjoy a marvelous looking dinner, despite the awkward presence of Alex. They want to talk about baseball or movies or politics, but he wants to talk about what a great sport he is and how well he’s handled his myriad defeats. His first order of business is to ask Earl what the voting order is, casually hinting that Mookie may be ready to go.

Say hello to my little plan.
Mookie swears he isn’t quitting, though he experiences a moment of resentment when the spa people get back, whining, "When the people came back from the spa reward, they smelled like apples and strawberries." With Yau-Man off fishing, Mookie decides to go through Yau-Man’s stuff, realizing that he must have the Idol. Eureka! He and Alex skulk off to a corner to discuss how they want to use the information. Unaware that Stacy and Cassandra are hiding in the woods behind them, Mookie and Alex figure they can expose Yau-Man’s Idol-having to everybody else. They think that they can catch Yau-Man in a lie at Tribal Council. Worst case scenario, they go out like Scarface, Alex reckons. In the midst of their cackles of victory, Stacy moves, a stick cracks and for the second time in two weeks, their smiles vanish.

Curses, foiled again.
Mookie and Alex go rushing to the beach ahead of Cassandra and Stacy to attempt to blackmail Yau-Man. The thing they don’t know is that the girls in the bush didn’t hear a thing. They ask Yau-Man if he wants to tell everybody about the Idol or if he wants them to do it. He tells them to do what they have to do, that the launch sequence has already been initiated. He goes to Stacy and explains that Alex went through his bag and was blackmailing him. Stacy is outraged at this breach. The way he tells the story, pity immediately goes to his side. Only Dreamz says that this will change things. Yau-Man worries that Dreamz and Boo might swap if Alex or Mookie wins Immunity.

Rats! You sunk my… um… row of three connected squares! The Immunity Challenge requires strategy and memory, the Survivor equivalent of Battleship. They have to secretly select three adjoining squares in a large grid. Interestingly, Alex is the only one who doesn’t take a diagonal arrangement. Will it matter? No, because this is pretty random. Earl, Boo and Dreamz go out first, followed by Cassandra. Mookie goes out next and with one blow, Stacy eliminates Alex and Yau-Man and wins immunity for herself.

Let’s do the splits. Alex vows not to go down without a fight. He and Mookie vow complete honesty. He vows to use his secret legal skills to stir thing up. But Alex might not be the target at all, since Dreamz still wants Mookie out. Boo throws out the possibility that Mookie or Alex might have the other missing Idol. His new strategy is to split the votes for the power alliance half to Alex and half to Mookie, not really caring who goes out. Earl isn’t convinced, but he doesn’t want to play dictator.

Tribal council. Edgardo arrives at Tribal Council without flipping everybody off. Good of him. Without prompting, Jeff gets Mookie to admit the Yau-Man bag search. Jeff is incredulous, calling it as "snaky, ratty as it gets." Alex’s play seems to be warning the six-person alliance that they’re eventually going to split up and that karma will nibble at some of their rears. He quotes from several fortune cookies. Mookie votes for Boo, suggesting that’s the way the two stragglers are going to vote. But no! In a surprise Alex writes down Mookie’s name. Alex’s vote ends up being the deciding vote and Mookie heads home. It may have only bought him one week, but that was a pretty savvy move on Alex’s part.

Clear as mud. Mookie tells the camera that he’s relieved to be out of that game, but that he wishes he was still in the game. He says he wishes that the remaining castaways could be as bad off as he was, but that he had a great time. Makes total sense.

What’d you think of this week’s show? Is there anything Alex can do to save himself? And how relieved were you that this wasn’t a non-elimination episode?

Posted by:Daniel Fienberg