This episode begins with the outcome of last week’s partner choices. There is some fallout from guys’ tongues loosened by a beer or two too many with talk about wishing they had different partners. Later that night, Steele and Erica dilly dally in bed as she piles the pillows on him and then… uh oh! (Infrared spy camera recording…) Smoochy coo and cuddles! Whether more happened than that is left to our imagination. The next morning Ben brings breakfast in bed to Brandee, who seems to appreciate his simple kindness, although she makes fun of him.
The first challenge is to race for some roped ladders hung up on tree branches, one for each team. After getting the ladders, they look for a map to the next challenge. Miles and Heather are literally hung up with trying to untie their ladder off the tree as some of the other teams race ahead of them. We’re introduced to the teams, starting from the leaders and in order down the pack. The map leads to another location with a map into a cave, where the ladder is needed. The cave looks like fairly easy trekking at first, but then the passageways get narrow and lower with a stream running along the underground path. Derek & Jessica D. are the first to make their way into the cave and find an idol-like object before climbing out on the ladder near a waterfall that goes into the cave. Steele and Erika are the last to complete the task.
Exiting the cave, teams mount horses to their next destination, but only one horse per team, one leading with a halter and one riding. The ride is not too difficult, although it crosses some streams. Nonetheless, Jason and Jessica S. lose their horse as she dismounts and he loses grip of the halter while they have trouble guiding the horse to the edge of the stream over a rough spot with a lot of boulders. It looks like the horse has more sense than they do! They finally round up the horse further down the path and neither are too happy. Jason says it’s not working out and Jessica looks exasperated, not a good sign for this couple. Count on these two to decide to split up. Meanwhile, Derek and Jessica D are the first to check in and there’s a car waiting for them outside. Woot!
That evening, Mike & Samantha ask themselves why didn’t they get first place. Hmmm… funny how people ask themselves rhetorical questions like that. Uh oh, again, Jason and Jessica S. don’t eat dinner together. He joins another couple while allowing Jessica S. to eat alone at a table. Shame on you, dude! You may not get along, but that’s no way to treat a lady! Meanwhile Derek and Jess enjoy a bath together — ummm, with swimsuits on, so don’t get any ideas! But then… they towel up and off goes her towel! He gives her a nice naked back massage, some clothing goes flying to the door and we’re in for another infrared shot, this time of a little lovey-dovey under the covers. Woot, woot!
The next morning, one Jessica (without Jason) is moping, while the other Jessica (with Derek) is having a great time with a drive to a fishing hole on a kayak. Looks like these two are here to stay. The other ladies see the abandoned Jessica S. and sense that she’s due to go home, particularly if they can keep their own partners. But the guys of these same gossiping ladies are pondering whether they want to stay with them, so these ladies are still vulnerable. There’s a bit of strategy in this game… keep a partner and you’re almost sure to stay in the game while any partnership breakup leaves the pair vulnerable to be the last one standing and thus sent home. Will there be a white knight to save Jessica S.?
Now comes crunch time at the selection ceremony. It’s ladies first night. After a suspenseful moment, the first couple decide to stick together. The second couple also stay together, but it seems they’re in it to “stick it out” and stay in the game rather than pursue a romance. The third and fourth couples also stick together. By now, it seems like there’s as much strategy as romance in play, as they’ve figured it out. Now, as the fifth couple, it’s up to Jessica S.! She wants to break up, “enough is enough”. She picks a guy and he rejects her! Off to the corner she goes! Now that leaves Jason to pick one of the two remaining gals. His pick also rejects him! Two couples remain and unless they swing, we’ll have all of the couples sticking together. The sixth couple stay together, leaving the last couple. They’d rather have each other than pick one of the leftovers who where the only ones to split themselves. As such, Jessica S. pretty much spelt her own doom, taking Jason with her.
Thus ends this week’s episode with a poignant moral in mind: The pair that stays together plays together!