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Episode 12
"The Tides Are Turning"
Filmed July 13-15, 2002.
Airs December 12, 2002.
Click below for:
- RC speculation/spoilers
- IC speculation/spoilers
- Boot predictions 
Video resources:
- Ep12 promo vidcaps
- CBS video: Ep12 Promo
- Ep11 videos: Jake's Final words, 2, 3, RC, 5, 6, 7, IC, 9, 10, 11, 12
Episode description:
- CBS: "Feeling rebuffed by a former ally, one Survivor hatches a plan and enlists the support of unlikely new allies. Having won a Reward Challenge, a tribe member becomes overly excited, shouting and rolling on the ground, while others stew bitterly in their loss. One Survivor overindulges in wine and shows a new side of their personality."
Reward challenge: SuCha for a Trailblazer - Ted wins, brings Helen.

    The new web and TV promos show that this is (in a shocking, all-new development, unseen since... well, last season) the traditional Super Challenge (SuCha), combining elements of the season's previous challenges. So both the concept and the challenges are recycled. Similarly, the reward (a Chevy Trailblazer) fulfills the traditional SUV reward in the penultimate show. Three lines of evidence point to a Ted win here:
(1) Helen is shown rushing over to Ted and hugging him, suggesting he's just won something. A spent-looking Ted is also shown jumping up and down in his RC clothes, presumably at the sight of his new Trailblazer. 
(2) "Having won a Reward Challenge, a tribe member becomes overly excited, shouting and rolling on the ground, while others stew bitterly in their loss." Since Ted did this in the last challenge aired, there's a pretty good chance he's the one who wins here.
(3) Also, the other four contestants appear to be sitting in the back of the SUV while it is careening wildly on the beach, suggesting Ted has already won the keys.     Presumably, after the test drive, the winner gets to go have some wine, a massage, and perhaps a shower. Also, no individual RC winner has to go it alone anymore, so someone will likely accompany Ted. As Griffe points out at Survivor Phoenix, Helen is also shown in a confessional with her hair looking freshly-scrubbed. Given that this twosome is also shown plotting final three schemes in the sand of the cave, it seems likely that Ted wins, and brings Helen along with him. Perhaps she is the wine drinker in the episode description. This also explains Helen's rushing over to hug Ted at the challenge site.

For some reason, this SuCha requires the Survivors to carry their own luggage.

Likely near the start, a traditional game of Fracture the Flag. Still, no sign of Jan or her shadow.

The combination of old people and nets never ceases to amuse Survivor challenge planners.

A smiling Helen rushes over to hug a stationary Ted. Did Ted just win something? Yeah, probably.

Testing the rolling propensity of the Chevy Trailblazer. Good thing nobody's wearing seatbelts.

The Chevy Trailblazer: rear seating for three adults and one booster seat. 

Immunity challenge: Fallen Comrades - Jan wins.

    While the web promo heavily features shots taken during and after the (SuCha) RC, there are no shots obviously from the IC. In the previous episode, the same was true, to hide the participation of the family members. Here, it may be because the challenge doesn't lend itself to previews, such as the good old Fallen Comrades, "how much do you know about your fellow castaways?" challenge. Why? Well, the contestants are given pictures of themselves (from pre-ep1, same shots as on the CBS site bios), along with a mirror, for no apparent reason. This suggests it's time for the Survivors to reflect back upon their time on the island, and how much they've been changed by the experience. What better way to way to set up Fallen Comrades? If it is, Mario Lanza at Survivor Central has an excellent forecast of how that might go down.
    As for who wins, the guy with the journal (Jake) is gone, and Brian couldn't even remember Shii Ann's name a few hours after she left. All the rest appear strong contenders. We are shown an extremely happy Clay saying "The circus has come to town!" and an uncomfortable (for him) Brian saying "She owes me." Could both these statements come after the IC, as jockeying for dominance starts in earnest? If so, one development that could trigger this is schoolteacher Jan (included on the line below the BHT final three plot, unlike the absent Clay) winning immunity. This would make Clay giddy with delight, since he can logically tell the bootee that Jan ruined his F4 pact by winning immunity. Brian, faced with having to vote off one of his three F2 promisees, will not be so lucky. If this is the case, Clay will be a target, but will escape when Jan, Brian and Clay vote together against either Helen or Ted.

Clay: Some days, ah could just kiss mahself. Okay, that's every day, but still....

Ah'm gonna go out and have a good show today, because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

Ted tells Helen his favorite food additive and style of cigarette. (Yes, we are aware these are also the players' initials).

Boot - Ted

It's cannibalism time, and luckily, the tribe has committed a number of recipes to memory by now, so they won't need Helen. She appears to be maneuvering to get rid of Clay, which would be a great idea, if Brian wasn't keeping him around as his surefire beatable final two opponent. Brian and Clay's good cop-bad cop routine has worked well in ferreting out dissent, since everyone goes running to Brian with their strategy ideas. Or at least Helen does, anyway. One of Brian's final two promisees has to go, and Helen is looking like the strongest competitor, both in memory challenges and in strategizing.

Still, Ted has won at least two of the last three challenges. And he could probably weather an endurance challenge pretty well. That would probably interfere with Brian's final two plans for Clay, since Ted is a much more formidable jury opponent than Clay. Either Ted or Helen could conceivably depart this week, and it looks like it's Ted.

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