It was another biblical episode of Survivor: Redemption Island, a game that like Jesus' trials in the wilderness is played for 40 days and nights. OK, 39, but who's counting? (Certainly not Jeff Probst.)
But these players were not singing "Kumbaya" at Camp Harmony, few received charity, and faith was not rewarded...
Honor Thy Rob: Matt was sorely tested during his exile at Redemption Island, but his six consecutive victories earned him the right to return to the game...where once again he failed miserably. By having the "audacity" to consider flipping on Ometepe (who originally betrayed him), and then the "stupidity" to confess all to Rob (sacrificing poor Andrea in the process), Rob indeed earned his "one-way ticket" back to the Swiss Family Robinson House. For the love of all things holy, please say Matt's pretty pink Bible accompanied him to Tribal Council.
Best Foot Forward: Despite Matt's accurate description of Sarita as "not too incredibly tough," his win for once didn't appear to be a foregone conclusion. Sarita seemed to be calm and poised while Matt was hampered by his injured foot and being a guy in a balancing challenge typically dominated by women. But once the going got tough, Sarita got going, virtually dropping out of the contest. No one will miss her or even remember her now that she's gone. (Feel free to skip the reunion, Sarita; hopefully Jeff won't waste Phillip's precious minutes by letting you speak.)
Christian Coalition: After Sarita's ignominious exit, the 12 (not 11, as Jeff proclaimed) apostles Castaways bearing witness to her defeat merged into a single tribe. Alas, although they supped and gathered around the Holy Book, they were divided—not united—in spirit.
"From the Sea United": Like Erik in Micronesia (who is sadly more famous for sacrificing himself to Parvati's Black Widow Alliance than fibbing to his tribe that Dabu meant good), Rob toyed with his fellow Castaways by convincing them to unwittingly name their tribe after the ringleader of his and Amber's stuffed animals, Murlonio. His side-splittingly funny revelation was more than comic relief (and fodder for more of Phillip's speaking in tongues at Tribal Council): It offers more proof of just how much master Rob is pulling the strings of his little puppets. Rob is Murlonio!
Letter Bomb: The game could have exploded if Matt (and with him, Andrea) had followed
J.T. Mike's plea to vote for Grant. Instead, Matt honored his God but not his game and stuck with what he believed to be Ometepe's plan. He was blindsided (leaving with a pitiful "What the hell, guys?"), Ralph wasted his group's Hidden Immunity Idol on voteless Mike, and David could only marvel at Rob's brilliant move: "Genius is what that was," he said admiringly.
Chicken of the Sea: Samurai Sheppard, who continues his identify theft of Coach next week with a feather headpiece, was inspired by Rob's tribal appellation to share his "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" parable of the sea: "[It] can be beautiful and glorious," declares the former federal agent, "but when it recedes outward, it sometimes leave a stench so great you know it's probably carrying something parasitic, and therefore you don't want to approach it." We know Phillip's considered a parasite by his tribe, but we hope to enjoy his beautiful and glorious speeches for several more weeks to come.