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WARNING: SURVIVOR SPOILERS AHEAD>> Every week lately, I find myself puzzling through the latest episode of Survivor: Philippines, wondering what just happened. The ten remaining castaways are clearly divided into approximately ten different alliances of various sizes and configurations.

First we have Penner, who after getting the most votes in the previous Tribal Council, declared that he had "no allegiances, no alliances." Before that vote, he had thought he was in control of an alliance that included Jeff, Carter, Denise and Malcolm. I don't know, but he might have thought the other five were with him, too, but he learned differently.

Jeff started tonight thinking that because he had flipped from his former Kalabaw tribe mates, he was now in control of the core of the old Tandang, especially Lisa and Skupin. After they got rid of Penner and then turned on Skupin, he was going to blow up the tribe and get rid of the other three remaining members, Artis, Abi and Pete. It would be easy, he thought, because nobody likes them.

Meanwhile, Lisa was very happy to go along with this plan, but only so far. She is loyal to Skupin, but she also wants players people don't like with them at the end, so that she can win over the jury more easily. That would mean sticking with Artis, Abi and Pete, and turning on Jeff. This eventually became known as Plan B.

The only thing everybody agreed on was that their target tonight would be Penner, unless he won immunity. After Penner won immunity, the real fun began. Suddenly Jeff was willing to vote out the other returnee, Skupin. He even went up to him and told him he was probably going to be voted out. That was probably a mistake, since Skupin later voted for him to go home.

Earlier, Lisa had told Skupin that Malcolm had Tandang's hidden Idol. After breaking her word to Malcolm that she would keep her discovery a secret, she apparently didn't see any reason to stop with Skupin, so she told Pete. She did this with the idea of blindsiding Malcolm, but Pete went to Malcolm and asked him about it. After discussing it, they both were confused.

Malcolm convinced Pete that he didn't have a hidden Idol, but asked him who told him he did. Pete said that Lisa had told him, and he couldn't imagine what kind of game Lisa was playing, telling lies like that. Maybe he should have spent more time thinking about why she would do that.

Pete then suggested to Malcolm that they blindside Jeff, who is a strong and powerful player and wouldn't be expecting it. He thought they could get six votes against him, and he started working on it by going to Lisa. She asked him if he had told Malcolm she revealed he had the Idol, and he denied it. She asked if she were the new target, and he told her that she wasn't, but Jeff was. Plan B was now in play.

When Jeff heard his name mentioned, he knew he had to act, so he went to Malcolm and Denise and worked out a plan to go after Pete. By this time Malcolm was so confused he not only didn't know who he was supposed to vote for, but he also figured that he should dig up his hidden Idol and take it with him to Tribal Council, just in case. And I'm so glad he did. It made Tribal that much more interesting.

Without much prompting, Tribal Council exploded with revelations and accusations. Malcolm said that Lisa had thrown him under the bus. Lisa admitted that she did it, as a way to save Skupin. Abi said that Skupin was a target because even though he was part of her alliance, he was an outsider, along with RC (voted out last time). Abi named the other original members of Tandang as the real alliance, and then remembered to add Malcolm's name. Probst let her know that she had blown it with Malcolm, and she couldn't really talk her way out of it.

In fact, Malcolm chose that opportunity to pull out his Idol, so that there would be no mistake. He dared anyone to vote for him, because their votes would bounce off him and maybe right back in their own faces. Taken aback, Probst asked if anyone else had an Idol, so Abi showed hers off, for no reason other than that she plays the game on sheer emotional reaction, without thinking ahead. This will be her downfall. It should have been already. It probably should have been tonight.

Penner, still scrambling, proposed that the majority band together to send Pete home, but Lisa wanted to stick with Plan B, which as you'll recall was the plan to get Jeff out. In the end, Skupin voted with his friend Lisa (along with the evil three of Artis, Pete and Abi) to send Jeff home. That's five. The other four (Jeff, Denise, Carter and Malcolm) voted for Pete. And Penner voted for Abi. Nobody played an Idol, much to the amusement of Jeff Probst, and Jeff Kent was sent home, feeling like a bigger loser than he was in the 2002 World Series. (I can think of quite a few people in the Bay Area who would dispute that, Jeff.)

That leaves Penner and Skupin, the returning players, still in the game, despite the general consensus that they shouldn't be given a chance to win. It leaves Lisa in the alliance of five that she said she wanted to go to the end with (herself, Skupin, Abi, Artis and Pete). It leaves Denise, Malcolm and Carter hanging out, twisting in the wind, although Malcolm still has his Idol. I think at this stage it's more of a curse than a benefit, and I also think Abi will quickly regret revealing her own Idol. Pete can't be very happy with her, at least. He was supposed to be the only one who knew about it.

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