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Episode 7
"What the... ?"
(Two-part episode)

Filmed July 11-13, 2003
Airs October 30, 2003 (Part 1),
November 6, 2003 (Part 2)

Click below for:
RC speculation
Merge speculation
IC speculation
Boot speculation
Video resources
Ep7B promo vidcaps
Ep7A promo vidcaps
CBS Ep7 web promo
CBS Ep7A video: Shawn's final words,
2, 3, 4.
CBS Ep6 video: Trish's final words, 2, 3, 4.
Episode descriptions
CBS: (Part 2) Castaways react to the Curse of the Pearl Islands.
- One tribe hosts a Survivor first....a wedding!
- Tensions and nerves plague both tribes as they wait for an outcast to rejoin their camps.
- At the first-ever Outcasts Tribal Council, Nicole, Skinny Ryan, Lillian, Burton, Michelle and Trish all have a chance to plead to be voted back into the game. Will Sandra face her worst fear of having Burton return? Or, will Skinny Ryan have the opportunity to face his former Morgan tribe once again?
- Two castaways make amends, while another shows resentment at the turn of events.
- Johnny Fairplay believes he has a great master plan. But will it play out in his favor?
REWARD CHALLENGE/ Prison break, return of the dead - Bootee tribe wins

The title, the web bullets and the web promo leaves very little doubt: this episode features the allegedly jaw-dropping return of the dead. SNN's spoilers indicate the bootees win. (Not surprisingly, the bootees are shown furthest along in the challenge). The other interesting feature of this episode is that it's a two-parter, with part two airing 11/6. This suggests that the challenge in which the previous bootees return is probably the RC, since Pokey the idol is nowhere to be seen in the arrival pics, and it appears to occur in the first hour.

As for the challenge, as Griffe correctly posted on EZ two weeks ahead of time, it appears to be "an escape-type challenge." Featuring the Morgan tribe (orange cage), the Drake tribe (blue cage), and the bootee tribe (purple cage). The challenge appears to start with Andrew, Burton and Shawn racing to their respective tribe's cages, freeing their bound tribemates, and presumably performing some collective task to finally escape the cage (perhaps retrieving a key?). Probst announces at the start, "You may be going home." This will apply to one person each from Drake and Morgan, since, as we describe below (in Boot speculation), two bootees appear to return to the game after this win

MERGE/ Delayed merge?
As SNN reported a month before the show even started airing, the merged tribe would be named Balboa (awww) and compete under black buffs. But Survivor Phoenix and the True Dork Times have learned that there is a delayed merge, but that it happens in the following episode, with nine players left. Perhaps this explains the gasps in the web promo (Probst: "Once again, the game changes when you least expect it"), as the two tribes arrive at the IC, expecting to merge.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE/ Swimming? Again? - Drake wins
Apparently, the huge change at the IC is that the challenge will involve swimming and/or diving. Possibly boats, as well. Yes, we know, they ought to break these twists in gradually. Anyway, as mentioned above, this should still be a tribal challenge (yeah, we know, the buffs look black). Not immediately clear what the challenge involves, but we imagine someone wins. Most likely, it's the tribe that Burton ends up on, which we would expect to be Drake. We note that one of Lill's Boy Scout patches is standing right next to gasping Tijuana's shoulder, and that someone from the Drake tribe appears to be halfway to the docks before the rest of the cast has barely left the beach (we'll presume that's the same guy who nearly lapped Andrew and Shawn in the running leg last week).
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE pictures/ Click on thumbnails above for larger version

Shocking, isn't it Lill? Oh wait, that's next week...

Say goodbye to your colored mats!

Looks like Fairplay and crucifixes don't mix.
BOOT/ Andrew - RETURNING/ Burton, Lillian
Part 2...
Andrew. Hmmm, Mr411 is right again.
Returnees: We've learned that Lillian and Burton are the returnees. (As has Survivor Phoenix).

Part 1: SurvivorPhoenix and the True Dork Times have learned that the six current bootees will have one chance to compete for a return slot in the game. If they win (and SNN says they do), Morgan and Drake will each be forced to boot one of their players. After that, the tribe of bootees will vote among themselves to return one of their own to each tribe.

Bootees: On Morgan, RyanO and Osten seem the most vulnerable. Osten is only really a candidate if he follows through on his desire to quit, which is certainly possible. Although since it presented so obviously in the promos, you might conclude that it's just more time-killing spinning of wheels until the "jaw dropping" return of the bootees. That leaves RyanO as the most likely candidate. Lillian did not seem to have a high impression of Ryno (at least compared to RyanS) in her post-boot interviews. He was also extremely friendly with Rupert, which might raise doubts about his loyalty among his tribemates, with a merge looming. Andrew also spoke disparagingly about Ryno's fishing prowess. Besides, there's always a good reason not to boot Osten, apparently.

For Drake, it's more of a toss-up. Jon openly betrayed Rupert in the previous episode, and the show starts with Rupert bellowing about this. On the other hand, the rest of the Drakes have to be aware of the intense level of dislike the Morgans have for Jon, so Jon will be a huge target at the merge. That leaves Shawn. He did cut a deal with Rupert in the previous episode, but as Rupert is fond of saying, "Pirates lie." Notably, Rupert's image is reversed in the promo, suggesting he might play a double-crossing role in the episode.

Have some info we missed?
We'll take it at: truedorktimes@truedorktimes.com