The merge has arrived, and so has the end of the Edge of Extinction. Or so we thought.
As soon as Survivor merged its three tribes into one, Jeff Probst announced the return of the first six castaways voted out. They had to compete in an obstacle course to get back in the game, and while Aubry had an early head start, news anchor Rick Devens ended up winning and being welcomed into the new tribe.
We thought that was the end of Extinction, but Jeff revealed that Extinction was about to begin again for anyone else who was voted out.
Then, after having a sad conversation with the Extinctioners who didn't get back in the game, he revealed another twist: they could all go right back to the Edge of Extinction and try again. They all went for it, but then Keith and Wendy decided they were done and they raised the flag to leave, which was probably the right decision if we're being honest. We later learned that all inhabitants of Edge of Extinction would also be on the jury, which is very fun.
Devens then discovered that he had been gifted an idol, but not a regular idol. It was an idol in two halves, and one half had to be given to someone else. After the next tribal council, it could be put back together and used. That was inconvenient because unbeknownst to Devens, the former women of Lesu were all planning on voting him right back out immediately.
Julie, a person we'd barely ever seen before because she'd never had to do anything as a member of Kama, won the first individual immunity, which she didn't really need in terms of keeping herself safe, but it did empower her to make her plans. She told Devens about the plan to send him home and that it was never going to happen as long as he voted with Kama, and Devens went to David to tell him the plan and give him the other half of the idol.
The plan seemed to be either Kelley or Joe would go home, and then the votes were sort of a mess. Two for Devens, three for David, two for Kelley, and then sadly, five votes for fan fave Joe. This exact scenario feels like the reason Edge of Extinction is even a thing, because we can't imagine Joe not making it back into this game at his first opportunity.
Mostly though, all we can focus on is the merge, because now we actually get to see everybody play Survivor, instead of just poor, sad Lesu.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.