At the end what was the most emotional episode so far of "Survivor: Philippines," the four members of the castaway coalition voted with their heads and not their hearts. (Spoiler Alert)
Carter, the 24-year-old Kansas track coach whom Skupin claimed to regard "almost as a son," was sent out to become a member of the jury, while the universally reviled Abi was kept on for another week, even though no one believed her claims to have a fourth immunity idol.
In his closing comments, Carter said he knew it was a strategic move -- they were voting out the strongest competition -- but it still hurt.
Maybe it will hurt a little less when he learns how much everyone wanted to keep him. Malcolm even chided himself on camera for merely considering such a wish. Voting out Abi wouldn't help him win the game, he acknowledged, but it sure would improve morale around camp.
Emotions were running high all through the episode; it's the one where loved ones come to visit. This time, a few lucky(?) relatives got to stay at camp with the six castaways, thanks to Malcolm and his brother Miles, who won the reward challenge.
Malcolm was allowed to choose two other castaways whose relatives could stay on. I don't think I am the only viewer to be surprised by his decision. Instead of rewarding his ally Denise and her husband, he gave the reward to Lisa and her younger brother and Skupin and his son.
Lisa, I could understand. She has had a hard time adjusting to life on the island and her reunion with her brother -- she was not just crying but releasing heaving sobs -- was pronounced by host Jeff Probst as one of the most emotional moments ever in "Survivor" history. He also "owed" her for honoring her promise to the alliance last week, even though it meant voting out a close friend.
But Skupin? That may be an exceptionally risky move if Denise is not understanding. She clearly was not happy parting with her husband, but it was hard to tell whether she held it against Malcolm, who also broke up the reunions of Carter and Abi and their mothers.
Is the strategically sharp Malcolm trying to cozy up to Skupin because he knows the "Survivor" veteran will be on the jury and not in the final three? What do you think? Take our poll, discuss your answers in the comments and return here next week for more commentary.