It’s Day Nine, leaving only five days for the eight remaining contestants to make it to the summit to win the cash kitty, now sitting at $700, 000.
Our episode starts as the group prepare their evening meal. Strategy and deliberations around the evening’s elimination have already begun. While Sam is still around, the group’s distrust in Jans is on the back burner. Sam acknowledges that, despite his claims of physical capability, the target could be on his back tonight and he’s come up with a plan to move the target on to someone else. While in a private chat with Brooke, Sam reveals to her, that Josh had put Brooke’s name up earlier that day. While this information reinforces Brooke’s distrust in Josh, it’s not enough to save Sam, who is eliminated by the majority later that evening. During Sam’s sour exit from the group, he places his share of the money in the black duffle bag, which has been left outside, beside the campfire. Sam leaves camp, thinking this the end of his story, but the Mountain’s Keeper has other plans from him.
If a final twist of Sam’s fate, the Mountain’s Keeper drops a note for him: ‘You are leaving the mountain, but you don’t have to go empty handed. You can take 10 k from the prize pot, but the Mountain’s Keeper needs a favour, steal the cash bag, leave it on the shore, and disappear.’ Sam reply’s “you’re on.”
Back at the campsite, the group get ready for bed, preparing for their treacherous journey ahead, over lake and snow-capped mountains. The cash bag is still laying forgotten by the fire. As the group cosy down into their sleeping bags, Sam gets his “stealth on”, sneaking back into their campsite, and stealing the duffle bag. He take’s 10k for himself and then drops the bag holding the rest of the group’s stolen money, in the lake.
The next morning, when the group realise that the bag is missing, they spend valuable time looking around the area, however, the bag does not show up, and much to Brooke’s dismay, “that’s a lot of money to be lost, it’s a huge amount of money”, they decide it’s time to cross the lake without it.
The eerily whir of the Mountain’s Keeper can be heard. She arrives, with the duffle bag hanging from a rope. She’s got the cash, and she plans to return it, but first, she’s going to make the group work for their carelessness. She taunts them with the bag, hovering it over the lake. The group jump in their kayaks to retrieve it, but the Mountain’s Keeper heads further out, forcing the group into a cat and mouse chase across the lake. She releases the bag in the water on the other side of the lake and blows them off course before disappearing. Alex finds and retrieves the duffle bag from the water.
The group open the bag, and find it 10k lighter, with a note from Sam: “All’s fair in love and war.” The group is furious with Sam’s betrayal and the escapade of the missing money has cost them valuable time. They must move on, but as they prepare to hike to the next campsite, the fault lines of paranoia begin to fracture the group. If Sam could do this, who else might? Jans, rightfully worried he’s next for the chop, quickly leaps to distance himself from Sam. However, the group can see through Jans’ attempts to gain trust with the group.
The group arrives at the next campsite. With lost time, and bad weather ahead, the group decide to set up camp for the night. Jai arrives at the campsite to scold them for their carelessness with the cash bag. Furthermore, Jans, adamant on keeping himself in the game, decides to change tactics, it’s time to draw the vulnerability card. Once camp has been set up, he sits down with the group and admits his mistake in coupling with Sam. He then draws on Brooke’s heart strings, comparing her to his mother. His crocodile tears over his relationship with his mum, seem to draw Brooke in, but they’re still not fooling anyone else in the group.
Jans and Brooke take a walk, where Jans is successful in winning over Brooke’s trust. Back at the campsite, the rest of the group worry about the pair. Before now, Brooke was part of a majority that was united in eliminating Jans, but now that they suspect she has flipped, what does this mean for the group dynamic? Who might be next on the chopping block?