I think my heart was actually beating faster as I watched this episode. Especially tribal council.
As expected, there was a merge and the villains happily joined the heroes at hero’s camp. Not like they had a good enough shelter to want to stay in their camp. The downside though is that the heroes behave very territorial.
The Heroes still believe that Parvati is in charge and maneuver to get her out, but then, just in case Russel is playing them (thanks to Sandra’s advice) they decide to test him. They tell him to vote Parvati while they vote for someone else on the villains’ tribe. They debate between Jerri and Sandra who they believe are the least likely to receive an idol.
As predicted, Russel gives the idol to Parvati and she finally agrees that she may in fact be the dangerous player everyone else seems to think she is (she does have two immunity idols anymore and the question remains, will she voted out with both of them in her pocket just like James?). A part of me thinks she may be so dangerous because everyone thinks she is. It’s almost like they give her power. But, she does prove herself.
First, Parvati goes to Amanda to see what she can learn. This is what everyone had feared originally, that once a merge happened, people would align with their old friends rather than their current tribe. Of course, that’s not really what’s going on. Amanda plays it that she’s with Parvati ?(torn but secretly with her) but she isn’t fooling Parvati. I think Amanda’s wording was the problem. Parvati asks her if her name is going to be written down and Amanda tells her to use her idol. (Notice the difference there. She does not say they are voting for her, simply recommends she use her model, which is what the Hero alliance wants.) Amanda also tries to convince Parvati that they are targeting Sandra, still misdirecting Parvati. Or so she thinks.
During the immunity challenge, Parvati looks like she can easily win the challenge but she and Danielle have a quick discussion and they agree that Danielle should win. This way, they will both have idols. This also strengthens the Heroes theory that Parvati has an idol and will play it for herself, otherwise why wouldn’t she win?
Tribal council goes and the heroes are convinced they’ve got it. Especially when Parvati pulls out her idol and…gives it to Sandra. No worries, they’ve selected Jerri as their victim. Except that Parvati is equal to that. She wants to “increase their chances” so she pulls out her second, secret immunity idol and gives it to Jerri who is shocked, especially when she realizes she was going to go home.
Russel is part pleased and part worried about the fact that Parvati kept an idol secret from him. (She can probably say something like “I just wanted to surprise you!”) But he does think the villains have it now. He forgets that Sandra was never with them which means it is still technically 5-4. Though Colby could potentially flip too. I doubt it but it is possible since he was on the outs before. (He just doesn’t seem as vengeful as Sandra.)
Parvati may have just earned herself Sandra and Jerri’s loyalty since her move was undiscussed and all her own. Jerri probably. Sandra, probably not. She never liked Parvati much. In a way, they may have done a favor for the Heroes, since JT was the least reliable of them all and probably would have been willing to flip his vote.
I will say that JT was smart enough coming into this season. He realized that everyone would assume that he would play just the way he did before–the sweet honorable kid–so he changed it up and acted more Villain than Hero and caught everyone off-guard. (It’s almost like he came in with a clean slate, like Russel did. To be fair, though no one had seen Russel play before, they were warned that he was one of the most villainous players in the history of the show.)