So, I keep reading that people's reaction after seeing this episode was, "There's an Aurora?"
Not me. I started reading the thread and, after enough references, thought, "There's an Aurora?" I STILL don't recall one being on this cast.
I recently discovered there was a Disney princess named Aurora and had that reaction; I still haven't figured out who she is or what she's from.
Shit, next you're gonna tell me there's a Roman goddess named Aurora. Or the geomagnetic disturbance of something in the polar something making pretty lights in nature something called Aurora [Something].
Either I'm not paying enough attention or I'm being totally punked.
Speaking of (maybe not paying enough attn, maybe getting played):
I apologize if someone brought this up and I missed it, but I keep seeing people commenting on how the EoI peeps are on the jury. I'm probably wrong because trying to apply logic, rhyme, or reason to how any of this will play out is as useful as trying to apply strategy to a game that you think is 3-D Chess while Jeff keeps adding elements if Candyland, BUT:
I never thought the current EoI members were there to serve as traditional/permanent jury members. Given that any of them still can re-enter the game, I thought they were there more of observers: pre-merge, the tribe(s) that don't go to council aren't privy to what occurs at it, so it was equitable that the EoI members weren't, either. (Plus, their existence was a secret, natch, but, especially given Jeff's highlighting to those still actively playing that the EoI members had had it just as tough--which is true on some levels, wrt "surviving," though arguable wrt mental toll, although I'm not sure at least the initial stage of EoI was necessarily easier, it was definitely different--I'm sure he'd argue their missing the ongoings at Tribal was simply an equalizer to not being on the losing tribe).
Now that they've merged, everyone actively playing is present for the discourse--true or bullshit-- that occurs. As one of the EoI residents may still return to the game, they've missed all of the actions and dynamics between tribals, but this gives them an equal awareness of tribals, at least.
And, probably more importantly, as whoever returns is still likely to ultimately get [re]voted out and end up on the "real" jury (which I'm forgetting when, post-merge, usually starts, but anyone who gets back in now and then out again would be on it) are on similar footing, information-wise, as any jury member who (in a less dumb season) spends their days at Ponderosa and just gets boated in to watch the tribals from after the merge until the FTC.
I'm actually now considering that *I'm* the one who read this wrong, and those three really will stay on the jury (assuming, and I am, they don't get back in the game) ... and, I'm not sure I mind it. If the other two hadn't dropped, maybe I'd feel differently, but it's only an extra three* at this point, and they certainly are more actively in the game than if they were spending the rest of their time chilling at Ponderosa: perhaps someone else voted out after this will elect not to to EoI it, and they WON'T be on the jury. It's not that I'm suddenly digging EoI, but, as it's there, it doesn't seem wrong to me that getting to be on the jury could serve as the basic reward for a Reem who, despite being voted out first, IS (presumably, if she doesn't raise the sail) engaging for all 39 days, in some ways, a greater challenge than actively playing and getting voted out as the first juror in seasons past.
And, yes, I realize I just essentially argued one side and then flipped and went with the other, but that was my literal thought process: I hadn't even considered that they were really the jury and was surprised everyone else seemed to, but as I wrote out why, I considered that maybe they WERE, AND, to my surprise, within the context if the EoI rules, I wasn't opposed.
*OT, but the editing/storytelling of the other two's leaving EoI was SO terrible: I eventually remembered that hoisting the sail meant surrender, but I hadn't initially, and, aesthetically and symbolically, it was much closer to a new/merge tribe creating and raising their flag that, coupled with the initial visuals of the two joyfully raising it while the three staying stood, crying ambiguously in the background, suggested a celebratory moment of "We're still in this game, and we're here together," and it was only when I caught the actual emotion in Aubrey's tearful face that I remembered the whole flag deal and realized the two were out. Bad editing, bad story-telling, but bad choice of symbols to begin with. Maybe I'm just dumb, but a raised tattered, dirty white, nameless sail makes far more sense to me as the EoI parallel of the raised Tribal flag--solid, colored, named--than the signal to leave.