Palau Episode 12: We'll Make You Pay

Previously, Stephenie, Katie, and J Lyo briefly consider an all-female alliance to counter the power of Tom and... yeah, especially Tom. However, Caryn balked at the idea of joining a four-person alliance because she liked the idea of joining a six-person alliance better. Don't ask me. I'm not the genius of Palau. Caryn ratted to Tom, who then ratted to Ian, who approached Katie, who must have then approached J Lyo to tell her that the all-female alliance thingie was off. Therefore, the one without a solid alliance, Stephenie, was finally sent packing. Ulong was officially decimated and now, we're down to five core original power-player Horrors with Caryn hoping to find a way to wedge herself into an alliance that would solidify her position in Horror.

Credits. Watching those names flash across my screen, like Ashlee and Kim and Jolanda, I'm like, "Who? Who? Who?" This shows that quantity is not the same as quality, and getting more Survivors to bloat up a season will only make the season longer, not better. This is a matter that Mark Burnetto really should take note of. Perhaps a back-to-basics season with no gimmicks will be a nice change next time?

Morning, day thirty-one, Camp Horror. I don't know why these people are talking about Stephenie as her eviction took place on night twenty-nine but that's what they are doing this morning. If I'm paranoid, I'd suspect that they are following some sort of script and they took day thirty off from filming as per some Union law or something. The Horrors are so sad, so dismayed, so disheartened to vote Stephenie out, boo-hoo-hoo, but I'm sure a million dollars will mend the wounded heart pretty well. Tom tells the camera that he was sure that he would be voted off but he didn't, and he would have voted himself off if he had the chance. I don't know what to say about this confessional. Is it just me or is he coming off as tad wee arrogant in saying that he is so powerful that he would have voted himself off if he were they? The smart guy then says that his five-person alliance is still an alliance - um, okay - but he has to cover his bases so he goes off to rendezvous with Caryn.

Caryn greets him with this pathetic fake "What's up, Tom?" in a voice that can curdle milk. Tom tells Caryn that he is "trying to think" of "different things" (ding, ding, no intelligent life on this planet) and adds that he is in a five-person alliance and if things proceed as planned, Caryn will be the next to go. Oh no, poor Caryn! She ratted on the ladies for nothing! The alliance with Katie and J Lyo are still solid! Tom tells the camera that Caryn is "more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs". Tom's brain is definitely thinking of different things, alright. Caryn says that she can't see any reason why she should be voted off. Color me surprised. She suggests that Gregg should go because it makes more sense. Caryn tells the camera that her master plan is, apparently, breaking up Gregg and J Lyo. I don't understand these people. Why aren't anyone breaking up Tom, Katie, and Ian? Those two men are the one dominating the Immunity Challenges! I have a feeling that these idiots will find a way to talk themselves out of a million dollars even if I hand them the check.

Caryn tells the camera that from her talk with Tom, she knows now that Tom is aware that Gregg and J Lyo need to be broken up but he isn't willing to turn on his alliance. Caryn may have the intelligence level of a slime ooze hanging from a sewer grate sometimes, but even she can put two and two together and realize that everyone's in a big happy alliance except for her. Gee, I wonder whether she regrets not joining an alliance that would have included her in the last episode? Anyway, she seems to be thinking of some ways to stir things up.

It turns out that she and Tom are on their way to collect the tree-mail of the day. This mail poetically tells the Horrors to get ready to win a getaway trip to some wonderful place, preferably somewhere off-camera. The nature of this challenge involves a trivia quiz, which probably rules out J Lyo, judging from the face she makes when they are listening to Tom masterfully emulating Shakespeare in his poetry recital. The clue is extra helpful this time because it lets the Horrors know that the competition will also involve another variation of the now classic "Chopping Coconuts in Marquesas" stunt, where idiots always end up giving away the pecking order in the process. Except when it comes to the All-Stars season, which, for all its faults, can't be considered a flop in the strategy department because the Robfather, Ambore, and the rest of the gang in his alliance conspired to drop the challenge and let Hagrid win in order to keep their strategy intact. It's amazing that after five seasons, so many people still can't grasp how to play the Marquesan Coconut Game properly. Oh, and before the Horrors leave to work their long dormant brains, Ian announces to all that he would be taking Katie with him if he wins this Challenge, and mind you, he is going to do his best to win it. And then he will cry when Katie eats all the food and leaves him with the plates to lick.

Jeff "How Did I Get Here?" Proboscis awaits the Horrors in the clearing where the quiz session will be held. There is a pool of water in the clearing and six lanterns - one for each Horror - hang over the pool. Whenever a Horror gets the answer right, he or she can pull the lever to the lantern of the darling Horror of choice to lower the torch closer to the water. Three pulls of the lever and the lantern will fall into the pool, thus eliminating the Horror from the rest of the Challenge. Probby reveals that the winner will get to sail away in some luxury yacht - one that was recycled from the previous seasons, I suspect - for food, shower, and bed. Are the Horrors ready?

Probby asks about the Rock Islands of Palau. Everyone knows this. Tom pulls Gregg (heh). J Lyo whacks at Caryn. Ian pretends to swipe Katie but stabs Caryn instead. If you listen carefully, that's Stephenie cackling with glee from the Loser Lodge. Caryn hits Katie because she doesn't want Katie to steal all the food. Gregg pulls Tom. Katie, cackling "Surprise, surprise!" under her breath, sends Caryn out to the sidelines. Oh, Caryn. Next, Probby wants to know what Palau used as currency in the old days. Only Tom gets the answer right (stones) and he hits out at Ian, much to Ian's dismay. All he wants to do is to give that fat cow Katie some food and Tom the selfish brat doesn't even allow that. Pig! Probby tests the Horrors' geography but those Horrors know that Palau is located in the Philippine Sea. Tom now whacks J Lyo. Ian will take only Tom to a private yacht for a twosome. No one else! No one else! J Lyo retaliates by lashing out at Tom. Ian comes to J Lyo's defense and sends Tom out to the sidelines where he spends the rest of this Challenge making out with Caryn just to make Ian jealous (kidding). Gregg tells Katie that he won't touch her if she will do the same and apparently the feeling is mutual. Gregg then gives it hard to Ian instead. Katie now steps up and complains that trying to make a decision is tough - remember, she's trying to be a cute five-year old girl in a fat cow's body - before taking out Ian. Ian is shocked at the fat cow's betrayal - Katie put out Ian on Gregg's suggestion - but now he has to side by the sidelines and nurse his broken heart. Katie giggles and apologizes just like an irritating simpering fat belle would. Ian laughs but the laugh doesn't really reach his eyes, I think.

Probby now asks about whether Palau is above or below the equator. Gregg and Katie get it right. Gregg has to choose between J Lyo and Katie. Oh no, the fat cow or the woman whom he has been making nookies with every night - how is a man to choose? Tom calls out to Gregg over Gregg's "deal" with Katie so poor Gregg asks J Lyo whether she will forgive him if he gives it to her instead. "You'll never live it down ever," she answers him with a pout. Oh, Gregg. One woman giggles and the other one pouts. Can a man be any more fortunate in his choice of women? Probby heckles Gregg for asking J Lyo for permission before taking her down because at home, Colby just roars and throws Probby over the table while Julie happily captures everything in their webcam for their amateur sex website. Tom and Ian pause in their hot and heavy make-out session to tell Gregg to be a man or something. So Gregg be just like a man and chooses to save the skinny chick who gives out over the fat cow who eats everything. Katie is out and she pouts unhappily because Gregg promised her he won't do that to her. She retaliates by whacking Gregg.

Probby asks about Elvis stamps. Don't ask. Really. J Lyo and Gregg get this one right so J Lyo takes out Katie for good (take that, bitch) and Gregg has no choice but to whack J Lyo. Now both lovebirds are down to one and Probby then asks them what they know about crabs. Gregg knows about crabs, oo-er, so he sends J Lyo out of the game and wins the Reward. Gregg announces that J Lyo will be coming along with him. Probby then spoils Gregg's hope of hot sex amidst white linens on a yacht by saying that Gregg can take another person with him in addition to J Lyo. Gregg says that Katie can come along too. He tells the others that he is sorry and he will pay them back later. Tom tells him ominously to Gregg that they (the ones left behind) would pay him back later. Gregg loses his smug grin there and then. Tough, really, because he can drown his sorrows on the yacht with J Lyo and Katie.

Later at camp, Tom is trying to tell Ian that it is okay that Ian didn't get to go on that yacht because winning that would be "icing on the cake" and Tom declares that they aren't here for the "icing". They aren't? Tom really should consider not speaking so much if he wants to retain his working class hero appeal. Ian is not so easily placated. Then again, he is more concerned about Katie's loyalty to him. "If Katie's willing to sell me out for a night on a yacht, there's no way she's going to hold onto me for a million dollars," he tells the camera. Ian thinks that he and Tom have lost control of the tribe and Gregg and J Lyo have taken Katie to their side to stage a hostile takeover. Ian reminds Tom and Caryn that last week Katie plotted with Stephenie and J Lyo to take out Tom and Tom tells the camera that he now takes Caryn's warning to him about Katie seriously. Ian tells the two that Gregg is a "dark horse" to win because he has no enemies among the tribe and no one can therefore beat him in the Final Two. Yes, and Ian and Tom have made a thousand enemies among the tribe. Tom finally announces that they would go after Gregg in the next Tribal Council. Caryn points out that the votes would most likely end up in a tie but Ian says that he can't think of what they can do to prevent a tie from happening. Caryn crows to the camera that the alliance of five is breaking down and therefore she has a "huge reversal of fortune" now. Her plan is to stick with Tom and Ian and hope for things to work out in her favor.

Away from the scheming rats, at the yacht of blissful ignorance, Gregg and his harem discover onboard their swim suits. Of course, they being Americans, Gregg wears a pair of trunks that reveal nothing while J Lyo and Katie - oh gosh, please not Katie - wear little bikini thingies that reveal more than I want to see. They shower (not together, of course) and then lay down for a massage session. As Gregg is getting his back done, the masseur suddenly leaves and another guy comes up to take over. Gregg tells the camera that he feels that the hands on his back have changed to somewhat colder and "different". And then the stranger gives Gregg's buttocks a whack. Naturally, none of the whacking is shown on TV. This is, after all, a family show. Gregg and this guy - also named Greg - turn out to be friends. After this show, both men will have a hard time looking at each other in the eyes because Greg has massaged Gregg's naked buttocks on TV and dude, that is so hysterically funny. ("I don't think so. Remember, Gregg was also on TV massaging Ian's back in a malnourished Greco-Roman version of that scene in Spartacus. Either Gregg and Greg will laugh it off or they will be getting married soon in Canada," says hubby.)

Greg and Gregg (man, that sounds so weird) settle down to dine with Katie and J Lyo, both ladies who must have some interesting thoughts about the situation, surely, when more folks show up. Katie and J Lyo shriek and cry happily when these folks turn out to be J Lyo's sister Kim and Katie's brother-in-law Stan (Katie's sister - Stan's wife - is recuperating from the vigorous aftermath of the breeding season). Poor Gregg and J Lyo can't be too happy as their hopes of blissful romance in a yacht is now dashed completely.

Back at the Camp of Horror, Tom and Ian discuss Katie and her possible decampment to Gregg and J Lyo's side. They also bring up the purple rock rule, where in the event of a tie, the two people nominated as well as the person wearing the Poo Poo Necklace will be exempted from the rock. Everyone else will have to draw rocks and the one with the purple rock goes home. Assuming that they vote for Gregg and the other side vote for Ian since Tom won Immunity again and there is a tie, that means Caryn, J Lyo, and Katie will have to draw rocks. Katie will therefore has one in three chances of being eliminated. Should Ian or Tom not win Immunity, both men reassure each other that they are ready to take their chances on the purple rock. They are hoping that Katie will not be so sanguine about putting her chances in the hands of fate. Ian tells Tom that they must keep this plan to boot Gregg a secret from the three people on the yacht. They approach Caryn and ask her to keep acting "down and dour" (thank you, Tom, and yes, they rhyme, how smart of you) instead of "chipper" (Tom, you are embarrassing everyone now). Caryn agrees. She tells the camera that she is a very good actress. I agree. She is a natural when it comes to acting down and dour.

The yacht of blissful ignorance stops at some lake where everyone goes to swim with dolphins. Yay, dolphins! J Lyo squeals to the camera that swimming with her sister and terrorizing the dolphins have given them some sort of bond. Maybe it's a telepathic bond, hmm. Katie squeals that this particular moment is the most magical in her life. Until she gets to sink her teeth into a large piece of oil-dripping friend chicken drumstick, that is. J Lyo wants the moment to never end. I'm not so sure about the wisdom of that sentiment. Her skin will get all wrinkly in the water and what happens when she gets a cramp? Still, the idea of leaving her and her sister in this lake forever and ever do hold some appeal. Toss in Caryn and Katie and I'll be even willing to sign the online petition to make that happen.

Later that night, Gregg, J Lyo, and Katie reaffirm that they will be tight until the Final Three. Gregg, thinking happily in his mind that the Robfather will now finally consider him an equal, tells the camera that the three are going all the way to the Final Three. Katie tells the camera that she feels that she has to break away from Ian and Tom sooner or later so hey, she may as well seize this opportunity. Also, she will be willing to side with whichever person that is giving orders to the tribe. Ah, so that makes her a classic under-the-radar player, not that there is anything wrong with that. In fact, I must commend her for being the only one so far who has a workable strategy in her head. And then, all my goodwill for the scheming trio dies a quick death when they discuss about voting out Caryn. And then they consider who to vote should the unlikely happens and Caryn wins the Poo Poo Necklace, and only then do they settle on targetting Tom. Shouldn't things be the other way around? Why are they targetting the insignificant member of the tribe instead of the most powerful player? Idiots, idiots, all of them. Gregg tells the camera that he feels good about the coming day and with that, we're done for today.

Day thirty-two. Tom, Ian, and Caryn wait on the beach as the boat carrying Gregg, Katie, and J Lyo approach. They squint and see... what, there are other people on the boat. Oh no, those three on the boat get to see their loved ones and the ones on the camp don't! Boo! Still, the three swallow their bitterness and welcome the loved ones of Gregg, Katie, and J Lyo when the boat unloads its passengers on the beach. There are plenty of chatter and hugs, with Ian even promising Stan that he will take care of Katie. This is a premonition of things to come concerning Ian's sanity, so anyway, take note, people. Greg and Gregg take off for a private moment where Gregg sheds camera-friendly tears as he tells Greg to send his love to Gregg's mother. (If you have to reread that sentence twice to understand it, I can understand.) Gregg happily tells the story of how his father died, leaving him and his mother to become close together, although not as close as Colby and his mother, I'd hope. And then the two men go back to camp, Gregg confident that there will be many people in the media dying to praise him for loving his mother like nobody's business. J Lyo and her sister hug when it is time for the loved ones to leave. As they all stand and wave goodbye to Greg, Stan, and Kim, Tom says to the camera that it is time for him and Ian to take control of the game again. He adds that Gregg's little victory would end up costing the man dearly. Aw, come on, let Gregg have some fun with the ladies!

On to the next day, day thirty-three. Tree-mail time. Gregg reads aloud the bad poetry that promises the obligatory recycled prop Challenge and J Lyo goes "Ooooooh!" when the poetry tells them to win or they are through, as if she is genuinely worried that they will be catapaulted from the island into the sea if they lose. Ian says that he will do his best to make sure that Gregg does not win the Poo Poo Necklace.

On to the beach, where it's time for the six to race through an obstacle course comprising stunts and events that they have done before. The last person in each round will be eliminated from competing in the next round. I don't really know how I can recap this event in its glory so I'll just be short and simple. After the first round of navigating through the net maze, Caryn is out. Then it's time to assemble giant puzzle pieces where Katie has take her big behind out of the Challenge. Gregg chokes in the balut-eating competition. J Lyo tanks in the race to untie the knots to open a box. Ian finishes shooting three colored tiles first so Ian gets to wear the Poo Poo Necklace. Gregg, J Lyo, and Katie, tell me again about that hilarious plot to get rid of Caryn?

Back at camp, Tom is upbeat, as he should be because he is in no danger of being voted out. No, Ian isn't that sneaky, unfortunately. Tom chuckles to the camera that it is a good thing that he is not a cop because his weakness is obviously guns. He and Ian have a private chit-chat where they wrap things up in their plot. Tom says that he is more at risk than Ian so Tom should be the one to risk the purple rock. So I guess he is saying that he is happy for Ian to win the Poo Poo Necklace. How generous of him to find such good reason to be cheerful at times like this! Am I the only one to notice just how transparent Tom is when he is trying to be all insincere and suck-uppy? If he believes sincerely that Ian should win the Poo Poo Necklace, how come I saw him trying so hard to win the Necklace for himself?

Anyway, our genius here tells the camera that he, Ian, and Caryn are going after Gregg and he fully expects the purple rock to show up. Still, he consoles himself by saying that he'd rather go out fighting rather than to wait and get bumped off by his tribemates. Back at camp, Gregg approaches the two men who reassure him that everything is fine and the plan to boot Caryn is still going on as planned. Gregg tells the camera that he was getting worried about the tribe on his yacht trip but he is so relieved and pleased to know that they are all sticking together, no matter what. Or should I say, he is so relieved that Ian and Tom believe that they are all sticking together no matter what? He gloats that there are no need of "mysterious looks and no people trying to connive" in the tribe because it so obvious to him from Caryn's face that Caryn would be leaving tonight. Tom jokes that Caryn is in "Janu's place" while Gregg chews on his heel when he says, "Well, that's what happens when you know you're done!" Ian tells the camera that Caryn deserves an Oscar for her "acting". These people have an exaggerated opinion of their own abilities, I tell you.

And then Ian short-circuits when he lets slip to Gregg that things will get "interesting" at Tribal Council. See? Ian is going senile. It's just a matter of time. Gregg's suspicions are immediately raised but Tom tries to cover up Ian's stupid slip-up by saying that Tribal Councils are "always interesting". Gregg seems to be placated by this and walks off to make out with J Lyo. Gregg says that they are sitting on a solid place. J Lyo says that sitting on Gregg's solid place makes her feel so "rejuvenated". Eeuw. She gets even more excited at the thought of getting rid of Tom and Ian next. "Oh my God, we have... Majority rules!" she says in delight. I feel like I'm watching a low-rent version of the Robfather and Ambore.

Everyone gets ready to head over to Tribal Council. As Gregg watches over in concern but can't hear a thing, Ian approaches Katie and tells her that he takes his promise to Stan (where Ian promised to take care of Katie) seriously so he will let her know that Ian, Tom, and Caryn intend to go after Gregg. Ian's voiceover unfortunately suggests that he does take his promise seriously instead of trying to schmooze Katie. Ian is turning into a fruitcake, fa la la. Ian reminds Katie of the purple rock scenario that she will face if she throws her weight with Gregg and J Lyo. Katie throws a sulky expression and complains to the camera that Ian left her with so little time to think things over! "It's really unfair!" she whines, once more acting like the shrill fat five-year old brat that I find unbearable to watch. She tells Ian that she doesn't like it that the guys are plotting behind her back. I understand that it must be annoying to see her plans of being a floater dismantle before her eyes but really, who is she to talk about the unfairness of Tom and Ian plotting behind her back? She was plotting with Gregg and J Lyo on the yacht, wasn't she? To Ian, she throws a bizarre sulk fest where she tries to guilt-trip Ian by saying that Ian was selfish for trying to save himself and deny Katie of her "good place" in the game, as she puts it. She also tells Ian that she now feels justified in not taking him to the Final Two if the opportunity arises. Ian says that she won't win against him as easily as she seems to believe she will. Katie calls his statement "crap". Boy, if she believes that the Jury on this show actually give the money to players who played strategically, I don't know what to say. Haven't she seen, oh, the last nine seasons of this show?

In another place, a happier place, J Lyo tells Tom that she has assured Gregg that everything will be fine and that Gregg is just being paranoid at times. Tom of course agrees with her.

Ian is now telling Katie that he'd rather take her to the Final Two with him than to see her being eliminated by the tribe. While he's at it, maybe he should marry her too? Ian tells Katie that she shouldn't be jumping ships now. I agree. She should have jumped ship last week, when there is nothing to stop Tom from being voted off. In fact, it is quite ironic that Tom and Ian are willing to face the very thing that Katie and J Lyo aren't, because Gregg's situation is exactly the same one as Stephenie's. And when I recall that Gregg is one of those idiots who went after Stephenie blindly, the whole situation becomes even more hilarious. However, Katie isn't laughing. "The reason Ian wants me with him in the end is so he'll win!" she rants at the camera. Um, isn't that the purpose of this game? Does this stupid cow believe that her tribemates are obligated to let her plot away to the million dollars without putting up a fight?

Night, Tribal Council. Probby waits until the Horrors are seated before inviting the Jury members to join the party. Eh, Cobb. Janu looks increasingly more regal and icy, if that is ever possible. Stephenie looks fabulous cleaned up too, except for that hair she has going for her. Probby then launches a dull chatter session all that, once more, can be summed up by a simple statement: "Everyone is lying through their teeth." Except for that one time when Tom offers a half-truth by saying that they are all friends here but they will also slit each other's throats if they have the chance. I find it disconcerting that Tom makes sense very well only when he's talking about making people pay or cutting their throats. Ian refuses to give the Poo Poo Necklace to Tom, er, "anyone else".

Now it's time to vote. Tom casts his vote. J Lyo follows. Ian votes for Gregg because he believes that Gregg is the "dark horse" of the game. Then Gregg, Katie, and Caryn vote. Probby takes the urn to "tally the votes", which he does by taking a peek inside while scratching his crotch with his other hand. When he comes back, he reads out the vote. Caryn! Caryn! Gregg! Gregg shrugs - whatever, dude. Gregg! Oh shucks, Gregg and J Lyo look like they have taken a dump in their pants. And finally, the last vote goes to... Gregg! It looks like Katie is too chicken poop to take a risk and call the men's bluff. I don't expect her not to, but so far, she has made as many mistakes as strategic brilliant moments in this game. She may not have this game in the bag like she seems to believe.

While J Lyo reels from shock, Gregg says that "you guys" are good as he goes over to Probby to get his torch put out. Cobb in the audience throws on an exaggerated "Camera, look at me! Look at me!" face while Janu and Stephenie seem to be contemplating on the ways they can make Gregg really welcome at Loser Lodge, maybe by slipping louse into his bed while he is sleeping. Probby tells the remaining Horrors, after Gregg has left to consider his tattered gameplans on the long road to Loser Lodge, that no one in the tribe is really safe from elimination and sends them back to camp.

In his parting words, Gregg pretty much points out that he holds no grudges over what Tom and Ian did to him and... well, I'll see, won't I, when the finale rolls in and he has to make a speech? Adios, Romeo. The Robfather won't be calling him up any time soon for drinks, I suspect.