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 Episode 12: "Truth Be Told" (Air date: January 3, 2002; filmed August 13-15, 2001)
Our picks:  X RC - Could be anyone, possibly Tom.  Our first guess was Lex.  Our gut is good.
IC - Lex.
Boot - Teresa
Episode 12: "Truth Be Told" 
All we have to go on is what the CBS site gives us, once again.  View the web preview here. (Maybe, if CBS deigns to activate it).
What CBS says What we think it means What actually happened
(1) The tribe members find a special surprise in their water pool.  (1) This would be the heaping pile of elephant turds shown in the preview.  Symbolic of the entire episode, or the series?  We vote series. (1) A teaser actually reflected something in the episode!
(2) One Survivor becomes the ambassador of a momentous delivery.  (2) Could be anyone, but Lex has traditionally been the most ambassador-like. But we'll go with Tom here, just 'cause. (2) D'oh!
(3) An old alliance is cast into doubt, as the tribe must eliminate another member, thereby determining the final four.  (3) As pointed out by Snow Whiite of votedoff.tv, the only way this is even an issue is if Teresa wins immunity.  On the other hand, this is the spot where CBS swore up and down a female alliance might form. We think it's the latter.  Teresa goes, and no alliance is tested. (3) Yup. Nice try, CBS.

Reward Challenge
We're guessing that Tom is not the ideal ambassador, although, as noted by "Survivor Fan," this is a good spot for a visit from a family member, and Tom was rumored to have contacted his family at some point in the filming.  So, perhaps Tom is a candidate.  The new commercials show MamaKim and Teresa hugging. Both are clutching opened manila envelopes and what appear to be personal letters - probably the final delivery by the RC winner (in addition to the medical supplies they deliver to local townspeople).  This suggests that both MamaKim and Teresa have just read their letters, and are hugging to celebrate their mutual joy (*sniff*).  While it's possible one delivered the letter to the other, there's nothing in the shot to suggest it.  That'll learn us to trust other people

Immunity Challenge
New commercials (Fig. 1) show this to be a "super challenge," made up of bits and pieces of previous challenges (continuing the recycling theme, and yes, this idea was itself recycled from S2).  The course involves running across nets (so long, MamaKim), hauling carts, crawling, and finally, shooting another flaming arrow.  Ethan and well-fed Lex are natural candidates to win this one, as well as marathon mama Teresa.  Early shots show Lex and Ethan leading, naturally, with Teresa behind them (Figs. 2-3).  A later shot (not shown) shows Teresa falling, with no sign of Tom or MamaKim in the distance.  By the pulling of the carts (Figs. 4-5), Lex and Ethan are clearly out in front of the others, and Lex is slightly ahead of Ethan.  Lex appears to be nearing the end with a smile on his face (Fig. 6), and there's no sign of Ethan behind him.  Lex shot two targets to Ethan's three the first time through the archery challenge, despite an unorthodox stance, and will not have to take turns this time. He should feasibly get a couple of shots off before Ethan arrives, and either should conceivably light their targets before Teresa gets there.

Additionally, we're still waiting for the torch-with-necklace pic from the recap episode (Fig. 7: pic from the recap episode; Fig. 8: the one that popped up in ep11 after Tom won immunity - and yes, those are Tom's "lucky charms" hanging on the torch next to Lex's).  Our call: Lex wins.

7. The original torch pic, from the recap episode.

8. The out-of-place torch pic from episode 11.

We were fooled last week, but Teresa is the obvious choice here, barring immunity.  If not, Lex and MamaKim are the only other people vulnerable.  At this point, there are only two negligible "spoilers" left: (1) The spoiler from the EZ board, whereupon one of Tom's neighbors claimed he made the final four, and got to contact home - the posts were later deleted, making this seem marginally credible. Then again, were pretty sure Tom makes it through this episode, regardless. (2) Owen93's report that Lex was still sick from an intestinal infection in late September, coupled, as Snewser of votedoff.tv notes, with reports that Lex still seemed pretty happy.  From the start, we've thought Lex makes the final two, and we're going to stick to that until proven otherwise.

That leaves Teresa and MamaKim.  MamaKim is only a target if T-Bird wins immunity.  This seems unlikely, so we'll go with Teresa getting the boot. As far as Lex is concerned, everybody there is a threat to him facing the jury, so why create jury problems by double-crossing a Boran?  Business, nothing personal.  Teresa goes (finally)



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