With no family reward challenge this season, but Probst insisting that family members visit the contestants, we get a special family reward Redemption Island quadruel. The loser leaves the game. The winner gets to spend time with his family member. The other two get to stand around awkwardly. Of course, Steve loses the challenge (possibly intentionally — he wasn’t even trying and he looks really hungry) while Mike wins the prize, only for Probst to cruelly force him to choose between hanging out with his mother or letting Ralph and Matt see their farm friend and brother, respectively, or letting the Onomatopoeia audience members spend time with their family members.
Mike has been spending too much time with Matt, so he goes both stupid and Biblical and chooses to let the smug cocky a******* who voted him and his tribe out hang out with their family members. Rob’s sister comes out instead of his wife (I’m guessing because she was too pregnant at the time?) and he bores her with strategy talk while all the other contestants actually enjoy seeing their family members. After a brutal immunity challenge that Rob nearly kills himself to win, it seems pretty clear to everyone except Andrea that she will be the next person sent to Redemption Island, as her tribe has been talking about it for weeks now.
Then Phillip, in his effort to irritate his tribemates into taking him to the Final Three, goes a little too far and possibly turns everyone against him. Except for the part where he doesn’t, just like every other episode where the editors have tried to trick us into thinking Phillip was going home, and the only vote he ultimately receives is from Andrea. The rest of the votes go to Andrea, who belatedly remembers that this is a game and blindsides happen.