“You do not fuck with ALPHA.”
That’s Jill’s cuckoo response when she discovers that Javier burned his own camp down to the ground rather than let the “Demon Squad,” as he’s dubbed her and her gang, have any extra supplies after he’s gone.
Now that he’s the lone wolf on BRAVO, Javier’s got a snowball’s chance in hell of staying in the game, but he heads over to CHARLIE anyway to beg for their mercy. To win the $1 million prize pool on Outlast, Netflix’s action-packed reality competition show about survivalists in the Alaskan wilderness, players can’t be solo, they must be on a team.
CHARLIE is Javier’s last and only chance. Their shelter is totally luxe, it has indoor heating and a door that swings open and closed. It’s better than a lot of New York City studio apartments. Bottom line: they’re not stupid and have zero empathy. One less player means they’re one step closer to winning the cash and eating a cheeseburger. They turn Javier down and he’s forced to quit.
“That’s the prettiest flare I’ve seen so far,” Jill cackles.
So far, nice guys do finish last in this game. It’s Day 22 and there are two teams and seven players left in the game — morally challenged Jill, Amber and Justin on ALPHA and Paul, Nick, Angie and Seth on CHARLIE.
CHARLIE has been pretty quiet so far but now that it’s coming down to it, they’re ready to go cutthroat. They tossed Javier like a half-eaten sandwich, now they’re set on stealing Jill from Alpha. She’s an incredibly strong player, and they know Justin and Amber won’t last two minutes without her.
Paul heads back to his secret meeting spot with Jill and greet each other with a hug. “You’re welcome,” Jill says, bragging about getting rid of Delta for them.
“There’s room for you on ours now,” Paul says.
Is this the Alaskan Frontier or the Bada Bing?
“Amber and I have a strong union,” Jill says.
“It’s a means to shorten the game,” Paul says.
Jill is torn and cries again. She can’t decide if winning is more important than her bond with Amber. She decides to take her feelings out of the equation. “As unfortunate as it is, I won’t go home without a win.” She decides she will sneak over to CHARLIE the next day.
She should have gone right then. The next morning there is a helicopter supply drop of fishing lures, and the teams are directed to find a particular fishing hole where there is plentiful trout and salmon. It’s the last chance for protein before winter sets in.
Jill’s plan to defect to CHARLIE is postponed.
It’s a grueling trudge to the fishing hole, which burns calories nobody can afford. They’re passing Sasquatch-sized bear prints and there’s also no guarantee they’ll catch anything. “It’s a constant battle to survive and play this game,” says Nick, who is in starvation mode and losing a pound a day. Their bodies are eating themselves. “We are starving, now we are wearing ourselves out on a hike.”
It’s up to the fishing gods to provide or not. Seth catches the first fish and kisses it. Angie snags another and Nick hugs her tight after tasting it. Then Paul gets one.
ALPHA is jealous. “I can’t stand watching someone do better than me,” Jill says, 1000 percent embracing her villain status. “I’m gonna get this job done.”
Sure enough, Jill catches a giant Coho salmon because she’s actually good at this stuff. ALPHA ends up catching three 18-pound fish and CHARLIE gets 12 Brook trout in the 5-8 pound range. It’s enough food for a week, if rationed properly.
“What an accomplishment!” Amber beams.
The fish haul boosts morale and it’s a high time at the old camps tonight. They wolf down their fish and give thanks to Alaska for providing. They build smokers and drying racks to cure the fish, so the shelf life of their bounty is indefinite. Amber and Jill eat a handful of giant orange fish roe eggs that would probably cost $500 in the best sushi restaurant.
Unfortunately, Angie eats so much fish, she gets violently ill. Turns out she hasn’t had a bowel movement since she arrived in Alaska 24 days ago and has a life-threatening blockage. She writhes around in pain until she’s helicoptered away to a hospital.
“If Angie doesn’t come back, I would be crushed,” Nick says. The two started out as bitter enemies but grew to love and respect each other. She’s like a little sister to him.
The next morning CHARLIE gets an airdropped, handwritten letter from Angie saying goodbye. “Love you guys…couldn’t have had a better team…give ALPHA hell. Never give up. Shoot my flare with pride.”
They have a tearful moment of silence for Angie then shoot her flare. Over on the other side of the river, ALPHA is shocked at the unexpected turn of events. Now it’s three-on-three, and they have a real shot at taking the whole damn thing. Jill is even more confused about whether or not to ditch her team.
“The voice in my head says leave ALPHA, they can’t make it without me,” she explains. “But I feel guilty.”
She realizes that if she abandons Amber and Justin, a team of four is way stronger than a team of two, and she’s pretty much guaranteed a win. But she also wants to win with her tribe. They’ve bonded through a hellish experience.
CHARLIE knows it’s “game, set, match, we go home,” if they can lure Jill over to their side. But they need to get her attention without her teammates finding out. They write her a note and shoot it across the river on a flaming arrow, Robin Hood style.
Jill reads the note and stands across the river talking it through with the remaining guys in CHARLIE — Nick, Seth, and Paul. “Amber’s my spirit sister, we’re thick as thieves,” she explains. “Let me think about it.”
“Today’s the day,” Paul says firmly. They want her to wade over right that minute while the tide is low.
Unbeknownst to Jill, Amber is standing 300 meters away watching the secret pow wow go down. She can’t hear what they’re saying but she knows what’s what.
Amber is the first to admit that she would be nothing without Jill. Amber’s a felon and an addict, not a survivalist. “Could I do this on my own? No,” she says at one point. “My heart is very happy because of my teammate. Her friendship and this connection are an unexpected blessing.”
The episode ends with Amber saying confidently that Jill will be loyal. The rest of us aren’t so sure.