CBS

Season 26: Episode 12 - The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End: FINAL 8 RETURN TO CAMP

On night 30, the Enil Edam tribe returns to camp from Tribal Council after having just voted out Malcolm. They are relieved to have made it to the final eight. Reynold admits, “It’s not the three amigos anymore. Malcolm’s gone, but the game’s not over.” Reynold hopes to make it to the end by winning immunity challenges. Eddie is used to being the underdog. He comments, “We know we’re on the chopping block at every Tribal Council. However, we’re still here.” Andrea talks with Cochran and points out that they have to plan beyond eliminating Reynold and Eddie. Cochran feels the two Fans left have no power, and it lies with his alliance of Favorites instead. He reveals, “I want to take away as much power and suck it up for myself as possible because I want to take control of the game.” Cochran is proud of his bolder playing style this time around.

TREE MAIL The next morning, Cochran and Andrea bring tree mail into camp. The Enil Edam tribe is shocked when they discover that the next challenge is for immunity – not reward. Erik comments, “So now we have to beat Reynold and then go to Tribal and vote him off.”

IMMUNITY/REWARD CHALLENGE: BERMUDA TRIANGLE The tribe arrives on their mat. Jeff Probst, the host, explains the rules of this individual immunity challenge. Each person will balance themselves on a triangular platform in the water with their bare feet perched atop narrow footholds. At regular intervals, they will move up the platform, making it more difficult to balance. The last person left standing wins immunity and is guaranteed a one in seven chance of winning SURVIVOR. In addition, they are playing for reward in the form of information that could help them in the game. Jeff reveals a rolled up piece of paper. Reynold admits, “I am number one on the hit list. No doubt about it. I have to win.” Just moments after the challenge begins, Jeff brings out a plate of donuts and a glass of ice-cold milk for anyone willing to forfeit. Eddie and Erik both decide to jump from their platforms and share the donuts and milk. Now, only six remain. After fifteen minutes, the remaining castaways move to a higher perch on the floating triangular platform. Jeff tempts them with three hot dogs and soda. Cochran is already struggling to stay on the platform, so he jumps off. After thirty minutes, the five remaining players move to the top of the triangular platform, making it even more difficult to stay balanced, especially since it’s a windy day. Dawn and Sherri quickly fall, leaving only Reynold, Andrea, and Brenda to compete for individual immunity. Reynold has many close calls, but he does a good job staying on the platform. Andrea and Brenda struggle also, but they are determined to outlast Reynold. Finally, Reynold falls from his perch, much to Brenda’s delight. She looks over at Andrea and asks if she is going to stay in the challenge or jump off. Andrea insists that she wants to stay to try and win her first individual immunity, but she promises Brenda that she will share the clue with her if Brenda jumps off. Brenda doesn’t want to quit, so the challenge continues. Three hours pass. Now, Andrea and Brenda decide to make the challenge even more difficult by lifting up their left leg while still trying to stay on the platform. Shortly after doing so, Brenda loses her balance and falls in the water. Andrea wins individual immunity and the information reward.

REYNOLD OR BRENDA?
The Enil Edam tribe returns to camp from the challenge. Reynold wishes that he had won to ensure his safety tonight. He reveals, “Now is the time to strike and blindside someone who could really win this game.” Reynold hopes that the Favorites’ alliance will use him to blindside someone else, instead of voting him out tonight. Meanwhile, Andrea keeps her word to Brenda and allows her to see the scroll that she won. The scroll tells them the exact location of the hidden immunity idol. After seeing what a tough competitor Brenda was in the challenge, Andrea worries about her knowing where the idol lies. As a result, Andrea decides to share the information with her entire alliance and enlists their help to find it. The Favorites’ alliance follows the directions on the scroll, and Erik starts digging for the idol by a tree. He quickly finds it and hands it to Andrea. Cochran vents, “Does he learn nothing?” Cochran was hoping that Erik would keep the idol for himself instead of handing it over like he did on his previous season. Andrea wants to eliminate Reynold, but she also realizes that this is a perfect time to blindside another threat in her own alliance. She admits, “Some blindsides need to happen before it happens to me.” Later, Andrea meets with Cochran and suggests that they blindside Brenda tonight, since she proved to be a big threat in today’s challenge. Cochran agrees that Brenda is a threat. He also sees that Andrea is very strategic in this consideration. Cochran comments, “This game is all about timing.” Andrea checks in with Dawn next to get her opinion of voting out Brenda instead of Reynold. Dawn sees the merit in each option and has a hard time making up her mind. She admits, “The biggest obstacle for me is not having an opponent out here. The biggest obstacle for me has been my mind.”

TRIBAL COUNCIL
Eddie explains that he knew he could not last long today at the immunity challenge, which is why he jumped to get the donuts. Jeff wonders why Andrea and Brenda stayed in the challenge so long after Reynold jumped off. Brenda points out that she would rather be beaten than quit an immunity challenge. Reynold reminds the Favorites that they can use him if they want to make a big move tonight. Cochran agrees that big moves are important to make at the appropriate time in the game. Dawn says that it is getting harder and harder to trust people, especially since she knows that even she has not been totally honest with everyone. Andrea also feels paranoid since she knows that she is surrounded by capable players. Eddie hopes that all of this paranoia amongst the Favorites will help him stay in the game longer. The Enil Edam tribe then votes. Before revealing the votes, Jeff asks if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. Nobody does. Jeff reveals all the votes – one for Erik, one for Sherri, two for Eddie, and four for Reynold. Reynold Toepfer, the 30 year-old real estate salesman from San Francisco, CA, becomes the thirteenth person to be voted out of SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN FANS VS FAVORITES 2 and the fourth member of the jury.

TIME TO MAKE A BIG MOVE
The Favorites’ alliance is relieved that Reynold is finally gone. Andrea admits, “Now I’m thinking about what’s next, and the obvious is why don’t we blindside somebody when they don’t see it coming?” Andrea suggests to Cochran that they vote Brenda or Dawn out next. She feels that Brenda is a threat at challenges, and she is worried that Dawn may not stay loyal to them. Cochran listens to Andrea. He comments, “Andrea, to her credit, is willing to make a big move, but it’s a big move that I don’t agree with.” Cochran considers Dawn his ally and does not want Andrea to target her for the next vote. Later, Cochran talks to Dawn and Brenda. They suggest Eddie until Cochran tells them that Andrea is targeting the two of them. Brenda admits, “Now I want Andrea out of the game because she wants me out of the game.” Cochran worries about targeting Andrea because she has a hidden immunity idol. Brenda feels they can all get together and successfully blindside Andrea. Cochran comments, “Andrea, I think, is one of the few remaining independent thinkers, and that’s a dangerous thing. The time to make a big move is rapidly approaching.”

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: FUN CLIMB
The next morning, the Enil Edam tribe arrives on their mat. Jeff explains the rules of this individual immunity challenge. Each person will push a buoy through a series of obstacles to a post holding a key. Once they have the key, they will unlock a chest, which contains ladder rungs. They will use the rungs to complete a ladder puzzle. The first person to complete their ladder, climb to the top, and raise their flag will win immunity and guarantee themselves a one-in-six shot at winning SURVIVOR. One of the losers will be voted out tonight at Tribal Council after thirty-three days in the game. The players start the challenge by jumping from a platform into the water and trying to move their buoy through a rope obstacle. Erik and Brenda take the early lead. Erik gets to his key first and works on untying the knots to release it while Brenda’s buoy is caught in the rope. Cochran, Dawn, and Andrea make it to their keys next. Brenda frees her buoy and is the fifth one to start working on the knots to release her key. Eddie comes in behind Brenda, and Sherri is in last place. Erik unties his key first, but Andrea is right behind him. They both unlock the chest and pull out the rungs to start working on their ladders. Eddie and Brenda get their keys untied next and join Erik and Andrea at the ladder puzzle. Cochran, Dawn, and Sherri still work on untying their keys. Each piece in the ladder puzzle is unique and will only fit in one spot. The ladder must be built from the bottom to the top one piece at the time. Andrea and Brenda are the first ones to match up pieces and start building their ladders. Eddie, Erik, and Cochran are the next ones to start building their ladders. Brenda and Cochran are the first to find their second matching pieces. Erik quickly gets the hang of the puzzle and matches his third and fourth pieces. Brenda struggles to keep up with him. The others struggle too; in fact Andrea is still looking for her second rung. Erik now has seven rungs, while Brenda has only four. Erik continues to fly through the ladder puzzle and easily wins immunity.

BRENDA OR ANDREA?
The Enil Edam tribe returns to camp and congratulates Erik on winning the immunity challenge. As he takes off the immunity necklace, he admits, “This is a safety blanket that can get me further in this game.” He has no plans to give it to someone else as he did in his last season on SURVIVOR. Andrea meets with Cochran and Dawn and recommends that they vote out Brenda next. She reveals, “Brenda made my job pretty easy tonight by being a challenge threat.” Andrea feels confident that Dawn, Cochran, Erik, Eddie, and Sherri will vote for Brenda. She’s a little upset for blindsiding Brenda since she knows how that feels after being blindsided the last time she was on SURVIVOR. Andrea plans to bring her hidden immunity idol to Tribal Council, but she doesn’t think that she will need it tonight. She talks to Eddie next and assures him that he is not being voted out tonight. Eddie has been lied to so many times in this game, and he hopes that Andrea is telling him the truth. He reveals, “For the first time in 33 days, I think I’m going to Tribal Council with an idea of actually who we are voting for and who’s going home.” Andrea checks back in with Cochran. She suggests that Eddie would be better to take to the final three rather than Dawn or Brenda. Cochran now realizes why Andrea has been protecting Eddie from the vote. Andrea wants to take Eddie to the final three. Cochran does not like this plan, so he goes to talk to Sherri, Dawn, and Brenda. They all agree that Andrea should be next to go. Cochran worries that Andrea will take Eddie to the final three instead of him. He vents, “If I’m not a part of your plan Andrea, you’re not going to be a part of mine.” Cochran recommends to Dawn, Brenda, and Sherri that they split the vote between Andrea and Eddie since Andrea holds the hidden immunity idol. Brenda feels vulnerable. She says, “It’s like a leap of faith. I’m writing down Andrea, and I hope I don’t go home.” Cochran tells Erik to vote for Andrea tonight. Later, Andrea tells Erik to vote for Brenda and that she would like to take him to the end with her. Erik likes being in the middle of the two plans. He admits, “I’m actually in control of the game, it feels like, and I’m going to do whatever is best for me.”

TRIBAL COUNCIL
Eddie admits that he is the last person in the game not a part of the Favorites’ alliance. Like last Tribal, he hopes that the others will use him to blindside someone else tonight, instead of voting him out. Brenda points out that if they don’t make a big move now, then they will be forced to do so at the next Tribal Council since only members of their alliance will remain at that point. Sherri feels she has already been lied to. Cochran admits that he is guilty of lying to people in his alliance as much as they have lied to him. Andrea points out that many of them have several final three alliances. She then reminds everyone that she has the hidden immunity idol, and she will play it if she feels vulnerable. The Enil Edam tribe then votes. Before revealing the votes, Jeff asks if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. Nobody does. Jeff reveals all seven votes. Eddie gets two votes. Brenda gets two votes. Andrea gets three votes. Andrea Boehlke, the 23 year-old Favorite who played on SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND becomes the fourteenth person to be voted out of SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN FANS VS FAVORITES 2 and the fifth member of the jury.