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Episode 9: "Two Peas in a Pod" (Air date: April 25th, 2002; filmed December 6-8, 2001)

Our Picks:
X Boot: Leaning towards Paschal, possibly Zoe or Robert. Hey! Of these three, we picked the two wrong ones! Sweet!
X RC: Neleh and Zoe. Shoulda seen Sean crying. Dammit.

IC: Tammy again... she needs it.

Immunity:No way Tammy gives it up if she wins. A mild reprieve from an otherwise dismal week.

Here's this week's misdirection from CBS:
Episode 9: "Two Peas in a Pod" 
View the web preview here.
What CBS says What we think it means What actually happened
(1) It's a whole new day at Soliantu. How will Sean and his allies deal with their newfound power, and what will happen with John's former allies -- Zoe, Tammy and the General? (1) Well, Zoe is not part of that group - there are essentially four duos now.  But Sean will probably wield his power poorly, and there may be shuffling of those duos in their alliances with each other. (1) Looks like we got a Pagonging goin' on.
(2) Two Survivors win the meal and show of a lifetime that is so powerful, it brings both of them to tears. (2) Tears traditionally signify Kathy, but she's with Robert.  Zoe and Neleh? (2) Again, if not Kathy, we should have guessed Sean. What were we thinking?
(3) One castaway forms a crafty new strategy and another can't believe that the tribe is falling for it. (3) Crafty sounds like Kathy.  But the best explanation we've seen is Zoe trying to infiltrate the new alliance, leading Tammy to unleash her "Zoe is a bitch" confessional tirade. (3) Right players, wrong time. Close enough.

RC - Time for the annual paired-off honeymoon episode
From TV Guide's listing for this episode (yes, CBS actually allowed other publications to plug their show again... wow!): "As the countdown---or body count---continues, the series' sprint to the finish looks to be more competitive and unpredictable than its lopsided beginning, in which the Maraamu tribe lost five of the first six immunity challenges. Tonight, the eight remaining merged-tribe members divide into four teams of two to compete for a Marquesan feast. The winning duo are taken by helicopter and then horseback to a beautiful locale for a lavish banquet and dancing."

From the episode title, Neleh seems like a good bet to be one of these people, and the promos show her teamed up with Zoe.  Other teams: Kathy-Robert; Vee-Tammy; and Sean-Paschal.  The challenge appears to involve running to the water, swimming out, retrieving something (a key?) by diving, swimming back, then cracking open coconuts and assembling something on a metal pole.  Neleh and Zoe are shown at the last part.  Also, the stray laughing-around-camp picture might be from after the winners return, presumably telling a rousing tale about the experience.  Kathy, Paschal and Zoe all appear to be carrying things.  So who's telling the story?  We'll stick by the original guess of Neleh and Zoe.  For now.  Sean and Pappy.

The pairs start off the RC.  Note the rock divisions occur every two people. 

Sean: Dear God, not another water challenge!  There's a conspiracy going on!

Zoe and Ms. Pea herself, crackin' coconuts.

What's so damn funny?

IC time: Ms. Zanidakis, meet your stilts.

Walking to or from the IC?  Not post-ep8 IC, at least.

IC - Stilts!
As shown above, Zoe is on stilts here.  This fits with a pre-show Agence France Presse (AFP) article stating "AFP has learned that some of the tests which the two tribes have to undergo are traditional island games such as stilt racing...."  Presumably it's either a last-person-standing challenge, or they have to walk a certain distance without falling.  Tammy is a logical candidate for the win here, and she's shown in the necklace again.  Zoe's in the same shot, wearing fewer clothes than when she's on stilts.  Since clothes are generally shed during or after a challenge (as the day warms up), could Tammy have won again?  Also, the groupings in the necklace shot are fairly individual and haphazard, not the usual single-file marches you see on the way to a challenge.  Tammy winWhat would be really unpredictable here is Tammy handing off the necklace, then getting the boot.  But she seems enough of a competitor that this seems pretty unlikely.

X Boot: Paschal?
Could there be a tie?  This is a valid concern here, because MB was fairly excited about the rules change that removed prior votes acting as a tiebreaker in deadlocked TC votes.  With eight players left, and still no ties, one may be coming soon.  An interesting theory posited by Orangeena of votedoff.tv suggests that jury members may cast the deciding ballots in such a tie.  This system seems sufficiently nefarious for MB to have considered it, and it will always work, because with an even number of players left, there will always be an odd number of jury members.  Orangeena points to multiple John post-boot quotes encouraging viewers to see him on the jury "next week" as evidence for this.  We agree it would be pretty funny, and if it does occur, those who voted against him (Zoe or Paschal, maybe?) will be in big trouble.

Paschal and Neleh have thus far been "Two Peas in a Pod."  Paschal also had something of a coming-out party in Ep8, as he finally seemed to figure out he was playing a game, and emerged as the linchpin in voting out John.  If he starts taking the lead in his new alliance, that could well rub Sean the wrong way, and might open him up for targeting.  Also, if Zoe ingratiates herself with Neleh, Paschal and Kathy, then Sean and Vee may see themselves as dispensible, and swing back over to Tammy and Robert in self-defense.  In a tie, Pappy could well go, leading to the "most unpredictable episode ever."  Especially if John is the one who gets to cast the deciding vote against the man who broke his word to boot him in the previous episode.

Robert's still the most obvious choice though, if Tammy wins immunity.  She seems unlikely to hand it off, since she would then be booted, leaving Robert holding the bag, if none of the dynamics from Ep8 change in this episode.  Also fits a John interview that referred to his own boot as "The beginning of our demise."  John and Robert are still friends, so it's not unlikely John and Robert spend a lot of time on the jury.  Barring some late-breaking info, we'll go with Robert (see table below, weighing bootability).

Zoe is a possibility as well.  After enlisting in the witness protection program for the first six episodes, she suddenly burst onto the scene to be cast as a liar by Rob, and a cocky Pappy-killer in Ep8.  Now, the Malaysian preview for Ep9 shows Tammy saying "Zoe is a bitch."  Couple that with the shot of Zoe in the IC from the American preview, and you just can't escape her!  Gina characterized the post-Rob boot episodes as continuing the turmoil Rob created in Ep7, so a logical conclusion would be that his two targets (John, Zoe) are taken down in his absence.  But she did cast a vote against John in Ep8, one for which we weren't shown the reasoning.  With only five John votes shown at TC, can Kathy believe her if she claims to have voted against him?  The episode title, "Two Peas in a Pod," seems to focus attention on Neleh (Sweetpea) and her RC partner (Zoe).  Could one of these two be the "Unpredictable" bootee?
"Two Peas in a Pod" John's tattoo buddy? John: "Beginning of our demise"?
Robert Very weak, but could be Robert and Tammy Possibly, suggesting bonds stay tight on jury Would fit well
Zoe Zoe and Neleh: RC pair; walking together circa IC time Maybe, Tammy and Neleh are better fits, though Maybe, but she voted against him (although he seemed unaware of this)
Paschal Pappy and Neleh: strongest pair out there No way in hell Nope
Loser - Pappy, only because he's in the title Pappy (turned out to be Pappy and Sean) Robert Robert or Zoe

Neleh seems unlikely this week, but John made a big show of his tattoo on the Early Show, one he got with two other people.  Word on the street is that Gabe and Neleh are those two.  Given the terms over which John departed, why would sweet, innocent Neleh befoul her body in this fashion, and with John to boot?  Could they have spent a lot of time on the jury together, renewing their hair-arranging bond?  Multiple editing-based theories (the waterfall, backwards Neleh pictures, and so on) seem to point to Neleh as the overall winner, but this seems to argue against that.  Then again, we're not entirely convinced these stories are true, and suspect it may actually be Tammy (and probably Robert) that got inked.  If so, Sweetpea is safe, and yes, she could well win.


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