Survivor: Island of the Idols is finally here! This season features 20 castaways split into two tribes. Unbeknownst to them, though, there are two Survivor legends, ‘Boston Rob’ Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine, on a nearby beach, ready and willing to offer up advice and serve as mentors. The two tribes are Lairo and Vokai, and they’re surprised to arrive right at their camps, rather than at a challenge or on a boat where they’re scrambling to grab as much food as possible.
At Vokai, Janet is worried that she’ll be an automatic target because of her older age. However, she quickly proves herself by starting a fire with nothing but bamboo, and earns the nickname ‘Super Mom.’ Then, Jason puts a target on his own back by going off and searching for hidden immunity idols on his own. Dan makes sure to point this out to the rest of the group, and is certain that Jason has sealed his fate, but Noura gives Jason a heads up that people are onto him.
Meanwhile, an alliance quickly forms between Molly, Tommy, Jack, Dan, Jamal, Kelle and Lauren, but Dan soon finds himself a bit on the outs when some of the women feel uncomfortable about how ‘touchy’ he is. Kelle confronts him about it and they have a “good conversation,” but she’s clearly weary of him at this point.
Over at Lairo, Vince, Elaine and Tom form a tight-knit group. It doesn’t take long for the rest of the tribe to notice and form a plan to go up against them, though. However, Missy also spearheads the formation of an all-girl alliance, made up of herself, Elaine, Elizabeth, Karishma and Chelsea. Then, there’s some tension between Ronnie and Elaine, as they’re both weary of how well the other could do in the game — he’s concerned about her upbeat, bubbly personality, and she’s concerned that he’s a ‘weasel.’
Finally, it’s time for an immunity challenge, which requires the players to climb up and over a wall, across a bridge, and up a tower, where they have to solve a puzzle. Lokai absolutely dominates the puzzle and wins the challenge. Then, it’s time to find out who’s heading to the Island of the Idols — the losing tribe blindly picks one person out of a bag, and this time, it’s Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is absolutely shocked to be greeted by Sandra and Boston Rob. Rob explains that his and Sandra’s role is simply to mentor the players at Island of the Idols, then give them a chance to put what they’ve learned to the test. Rob and Sandra give Elizabeth an extensive lesson in fire-making, and she excitedly masters it.
Now, she gets a chance to put it to the test with the option of competing in a fire-making contest against Rob. If she wins, she gets an immunity idol, but if she loses, she’ll lose her vote at tribal council. Elizabeth knows it’s going to be a tough match, but the competitor in her can’t resist taking on the challenge. Sandra coaches Elizabeth through it, but Rob is victorious. Afterward, he explains that Elizabeth definitely made the wrong move by going up against him — after all, he’s made hundreds of fires — and urges her not to ‘trust [her] gut’ and not jump at opportunities so quickly in the future. Before she leaves, Elizabeth chooses the next person (from the other tribe) who will head to the Island of the Idols.
Back at the Lairo camp, Tom, Chelsea, Elaine and Vince come up with a plan to vote out Ronnie. However, Ronnie fills Vince in on his plan to vote out Elaine, and he runs to Elaine to fill her in. Elaine freaks out, but Tom tries to assure her that there aren’t enough numbers against her. Elaine confronts the other members of her tribe about what’s going down, and Aaron explains that the decision to vote for her simply came down to the fact that she’s “so likable.” She tries to convince them to vote for Vince instead of her, but it’s still up in the air.
When Elizabeth arrives back at camp, she decides to lie about what Island of the Idols is because “knowledge is power.” She fabricates a story about the Island, and then is immediately thrown into gameplay, with various members of the tribe trying to get her to vote with them. Of course, they have no idea that she doesn’t even have a vote at tribal.
At tribal council, Rob and Sandra get to watch everything going on from afar. Of course, Elaine tries to defend herself against being “too likable” — she wants the tribe to worry about that later, not on day one. She even gets emotional while discussing the possibility that she could go home. Elaine’s waterworks seem to work, as the vote comes down to Ronnie and Vince, and Ronnie is sent home.