Let's get one thing straight: When we refer to Special Agent Samurai Sheppard Feather Hawk of the Cherokee Buddhist Nation as a crazy person, it has nothing to do with the color of his skin—and everything to do with the fact that he is crazy.
Maybe Phillip sincerely equated Steve's "crazy" label with a racial slur—as Jeff Probst astutely observed, no one else on the island shares his experience of discrimination.
But people from both his own team and the opposing tribe had called him "crazy" and "a lunatic" before without Phillip whipping out his race card, so what led to one of the most awkward Tribal Councils ever? At least our first jury member was there to witness the spectacle...
You Can Check Out of Redemption Island, but You Can Never Leave: No one was more displeased than Rob when Jeff announced that the third-place finisher of tonight's three-man duel would be headed for the jury, because Matt's presence in the game—whether as a fellow competitor or jury member—seriously threatens his chances of winning if he makes it to the finale. That said, juror No. 1 David will likely cast his vote in Mr. Mariano's favor—he admires Awesome Rob too much to write anyone else's name down.
God 7, Rob 0: Matt attributes his victories to God's "glory" and proclaims, "If it's His will, I'll continue to win and try to take Rob out." And Rob knows he's in trouble; after David "fails" him in the duel, he acknowledges, "If [Matt] comes back and beats me, it's over."
Are You There, God? It's Me, Matt: Despite his winning streak, Matt says he is a "broken man" and admits to the spectators at the duel, "I never knew strangers could hurt me so deeply." Based on the previews he feels even more psychologically defeated next week—this man's suffering is almost harder to look at than Phillip's pink underwear, so here's hoping his God grants him some happiness, even if he finds comfort in the jury.
Here It Is, Your Moment of Zen: While Matt is praying to his Lord and Savior, Phillip is summoning the spirit of the Buddhist tathagata via his feather headdress (now with not one but two feathers); chanting in what sounds suspiciously like pig latin. Something went terribly wrong in this meditation, because instead of achieving peace, Phillip took the warpath route back to his "Murlino" tribe, carrying, as Steve said, "not a chip [but] a log on his shoulder."
The Crazy Word: Meanwhile, at the
Murlino Murlonio camp, a lighthearted ditty about rice unleashed the grain enforcer in Phillip. When the former "Zaps" rightfully refused to share their rice pot with the "Stealth R Us" gang—who, remember, left them to shiver in the rain and refused to share meals with them—Phillip became enraged, and it was his ranting behavior, not his race, that provoked Steve to call him crazy. And Phillip just continued to prove him right, threatening to go "y mano y mano" on him with his "wang chung kung fu" expertise. Suddenly, the man who repeatedly (and confusingly) referred to himself as a "redheaded stepchild" was letting the N-word fly and terrifying everyone in camp, unsettling even Rob. Leave it to the Immunity Challenge winner to find a silver lining in Phillip's self-destruction: "At the end of the day, Phillip will be public enemy No. 1," Rob said. "I just have to figure out who to make public enemy No. 2."
"This Ain't the NFL": No kidding, Phillip. Although Jeff did an admirable job acting as referee in one of the most uncomfortable Tribal Councils in history, he made two critical errors, not pointing out that (1) other people have called Phillip a crazy lunatic before—at Tribal Council, and (2) Phillip's "former training" as a federal agent failed him when he misidentified Steve as "absolutely...the one who removed [his] clothes."
Junking the Trunks: Unlike when Sandra brilliantly tossed Russell's douche hat in the fire, Julie hurt all of us by hiding Phillip's shorts. Still, you have to admire her spunk, and I wish we had a chance to get to know tonight's castoff better—she'd be so much more interesting than watching the remaining women groom each other. And her sabotage made for a great parting shot: "Guess you're not gonna find your shorts." Thank god "Phile" (can Ralph spell anyone's name correctly?) is putting his buff to good use as a loincloth.
Next Week on Survivor: Who will Rob ID as Public Enemy No. 2? Will Matt summon more strength or break down completely? And most important, will someone give Phillip some pants?
Want to hear more about tonight's Tribal Council from the guy who had a front-row seat? Then come back here tomorrow for our exit interview with David (tweet me if you have any questions you want me to ask him).