It's Blood vs. Water again! The pairs get one night together in the wild to try and hone their survival skills before being split apart. Nothing better than 24 hours to learn to make a fire with flint. Wes and Keith become the distinguished pair who actually break the flint, which apparently is a difficult feat. But at least we get to see Probst totally ballin' in a helicopter like it's the best Bachelor date of his life.
The eighteen castaways meet up with Jeff Probst and after a quick grilling are split into two tribes: Coyopa (orange) and Hunahpu (a beautiful aqua blue). A Reward challenge begins right away where one tribe member will unravel themselves from a rope mess and toss rings. Jeremy volunteers to compete and learns his challenger will be his wife - spouse brawl! Jeremy wins the challenge, which brings his tribe fire and beans. His wife Val is sentenced to Exile Island because it's baaaaack! No shelter, no food, and no alliances for some crucial early bonding. And Jeremy is crushed he's sent her to this fate so early because it could ultimately kill her game to not be around the early. But TWIST again! Jeremy has to choose one person from his tribe to join her and picks Keith, who could make fire despite breaking the flint.
Val and Keith explore their desolate temporary home at Exile Island, finding urns for each to choose from. Each urn contains a note: Keith's note is blank, but Val's is a clue to an idol hidden back at her camp. She doesn't share this information and blows off Keith's questions. But they do have some conversations and Keith is happy to find out Jeremy is a fellow firefighter. Plus Jeremy owes Keith for kinda screwing him on day one too.
Jeremy feels bad for screwing over his wife and Keith, but also is quickly plays the game on Hunahpu beach, aligning with the women on his tribe. Jeremy seems to be the most-liked male on the tribe since Drew, who decides to build the shelter, comes off like the wannabe douchey leader to others. Over at Coyopa, Dale immediately notices the age gap between himself and his younger tribemates. But he proves himself useful by breaking his glasses to make fire (because vision's not that important), and snagging a fake idol to barter later (which is actually probably a real idol based on Val's Exile Island clue). John Rocker's desire to remain unknown is quickly foiled when Wes figures out his identity, but for now it's their little secret.
The first Immunity Challenge is to crawl under an obstacle before retrieving pieces that will help the tribes scale a big wall, finishing up with a puzzle (of course). It's a real effort in teamwork as they assist in getting each other up the wall with ropes, pegs, and then just each other. Hunahpu wins immunity and gets to hold the soulless, eyeless immunity idol (which is apparently based on an Aztec artifact, but it doesn't take away it's creepiness). This sends Coyopa back to camp to decide who needs to go first. The guys would like to get rid of Nadiya since they know her gameplay thanks to her Amazing Race experience. Val suggest an all girls alliance that targets Dale first, since he's weak at challenges (AKA the old man). Josh and his poisoned pain eyes wanted to be someone people came to, but it comes fast for him to be the swing vote to either side with the guys or girls. Though Nadiya's insistence that Josh being gay is one of the girls is beyond awful. Maybe I'd rather the guys prevail to get rid of her.
Tribal Council time! Coyopa has been getting along well so it's not about dumping someone everyone hates immediately. Nadiya encourages a positive attitude, suggesting turning lemons into margaritas, and is proud of her tribe and the total difference between The Amazing Race. Val mentions time to "find things" on Exile which doesn't go unnoticed. Dale reminds everyone that his fire helped feed and keep them going. Nadiya makes another comment that Josh being gay kind of makes him one of the girls, which visibly irritates him. The survivors cast their first votes and twinnie Nadiya and her torch are the first to be snuffed this season.