'Castaways' finale recap: Five castaways are rescued after soul searching and learning valuable life lessons
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/19/2018
Castaways' finale featured Terry Allen quitting the show before the remaining five castaways gathered together and were rescued during Tuesday night's episode on ABC.
The castaways who made it all the way to the end of the show and were saved by a rescue team were Robbie Gibbons, a 42-year-old from Birmingham, AL; Matt Jaskol, a 32-year-old from Las Vegas, NV; Sawyer Brown, a 30-year-old from Willseyville, NY; Richard Rogers, a 35-year-old from Sequim, WA; and Kenzi Whittington, a 24-year-old from Nashville, TN.
Castawayswas designed to test the human need for companionship, according to ABC, as 12 diverse strangers were shipwrecked on a string of deserted islands in the South Pacific without knowledge of when they would be rescued.
Among washed-up luggage, scattered resources, and abandoned structures, the castaways were lost and alone, and they had to fend for themselves or attempt to find other cast members.
Throughout each person's journey on the show, documentary-style footage flashed back in order to share with viewers his or her story and the struggles left behind at home.
"I survived six weeks on that island. I could have left at any point, but I got a will to live," Robbie explained.
"I was rescued. We got this. I can't tell you how many times we said that or wrote it down -- 'We got this'... It started out as, 'I got this,' and it was funny. I got to read everyone's journal and somewhere in the beginning it said, 'I got this.' And then it became, 'We got this.' That's such a better phrase."
Kenzi noted, "No matter how independent you think you are, no matter how independent you are, people need people. They really do."
"I just feel like a superhero now, and I get to be that guy for my wife. That will stick with my for the rest of my life," Sawyer said.
"It's amazing how blinded you can be sometimes by just your perspective, just your view of life through your eyes," Richard reasoned. "But at a ground level, we're all human and we all need one another."
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"Everybody has a struggle. Everybody is dealing with something inside," Matt explained. "But there's one thing I realized about humanity, is that we survive better together than we do alone. It took Robbie and Kenzi and Rich and Sawyer for me to figure that out."
The Castawaysfinale began on Day 38 at 9:41AM, with Robbie saying he didn't know what a rescue is because he's "always going to need to be saved."
Robbie said it was up to him to make sense of this journey and take something away from it. He couldn't believe a military man like Tim Burke had left the show, but it also surprised him to hear Tim call him a leader.
Robbie said Tim's kind words "validated" his work over the last 20 years as a physical education teacher and coach. Robbie realized he had to step up to the plate and help the people he was with. If he could help save them, he'd be more proud of himself than he could "ever imagine."
"This is a test. Every day is a test, for every body... No matter where you are -- stranded on an island, living in the city, out in the country, whatever your job is. Every day is not rainbows... What better way to do all this than just trying to make it?" Robbie said, adding that it's important to smile and find a chance to laugh each day.
Meanwhile, Sawyer and Richard were wondering when they'd be rescued, but Sawyer wasn't about to sit around and waste away. The guys therefore went exploring and searching for more food and resources. Sawyer hoped no one was going through this alone, but Terry had been.
Sawyer and Richard then got onto their raft and paddled to a nearby island, where they stumbled across Matt's container of chia seeds and three journals which had been collected by Terry.
Terry wrote in a journal that she gave thanks to the land and the sea, but her experience on the show was complete given it was a test of "will and strength and so much more." She wrote to Matt that she loved him and his bag, which included food and clothes, saved her life on the island.
The guys wish they hadn't procrastinated in looking for other castaways because they could have convinced Terry to stay and taken care of her until the end. Sawyer flat out said he regretted not trying to help others sooner.
On Day 39 at 8:21AM, Richard and Sawyer read Matt's only journal entry, which discussed his guilt over his mother's mental state and his parents' financial burdens due to their commitment to his racing career. Matt hoped to make enough money to support his family, but he felt like a failure.
Matt also revealed how one of the best moments of his life was when he took his mother skydiving, which is an activity he loves. It was the closest they had ever been as mother and son in his entire life. Richard had no idea Matt carried such burdens, and he felt so lucky to have his wonderful family.
Richard and Sawyer then took Terry's belongings and hit the water again on their raft. The guys hoped to patch things up with Matt and bring him his friend's ashes. Richard and Sawyer also looked forward to bringing Kenzi and Robbie more food.
"We're going to take a step at a time, a paddle at a time, and from that point forward, continue to do everything we can to help provide for and reunite with the three remaining survivors," Richard explained.
A few hours later, Kenzi vented her stomach was killing her. She said the hardest part of this experience was being starving all the time, and she was exhausted. Kenzi thought she was eating 200 calories a day if she's lucky, but she thought she was burning that -- and possibly more -- by "just existing."
"I feel I am running on empty and I am just tired of it. I'll hold on as long as I can, but I don't think I have another 10 days in me," Kenzi said. "Being so deprived of food and nutrients, it messes with your mind."
Footage then flashed back to Kenzi's beloved father attending one of her music gigs. Kenzi thanked her dad, who had to travel often for work during her childhood, for being there, and she just wanted to give back to him.
"I feel like I'm starving to death, but I came here more so to make my dad proud, and that's way more of a driving force than hunger," Kenzi noted.
Meanwhile, Sawyer was used to pushing himself physically, but being on this show made him stronger and changed him in so many ways. He expected to go back to the real world and become a better husband, father and overall person. He was surviving for his boy.
Sawyer and Richard then arrived to Robbie, Kenzi and Matt's camp. They planned to help each other until the rescue. Matt had a little bit of bitterness because of the way Sawyer and Richard had treated him in the beginning. Matt actually admitted he'd be happy to not see them again until they're all in the rescue boat.
"Hopefully they've grown and they've changed a little bit. That's the whole point of this, right?" Matt said, before Robbie joked he was going to serve as "Dr. Phil."
On Day 39 at 3:24PM, all of the remaining castaways united and joined forces. Sawyer and Richard felt bringing Matt his belongings "buried the hatchet." Robbie suggested everyone should pool their food and work together to survive.
"They realized when they met us we were not there to take; we were only there to give," Richard said.
Richard then caught a stingray and was looking forward to "adding to the ease of life." Matt then opened up to Sawyer about how everyone was his caretaker throughout this adventure, but Sawyer said Matt made an impact on his ability to make it through 39 days. For the first time in over a month, Matt felt at peace.
On Day 40 at 2:02PM, the group started to piece together how many castaways started this challenge, and Matt read a beautiful letter Terry had written him. Each person enjoyed learning about their fellow cast members' life stories.
Kenzi was so ready to go back home to sing and her music, and Robbie said he was looking forward to making better choices with food, his workplace and more.
Robbie said he had been in "a rut" and wants to live long enough to witness his children getting married and starting a family of their own. Richard also said he wanted to do more for his two kids.
On Day 41 at 10:12AM, the castaways were playing a card game when a helicopter flew overhead. The castaways thought they were being rescued, but then the helicopter flew out of sight. Robbie admitted his heart "skipped five beats."
But then the helicopter returned and the castaways cheered with pride and excitement. Not only was there a helicopter, but a large boat also arrived to pick up the cast members. Matt had "chills," and Sawyer noted "a whole new journey" was about to begin.
"We did it!" Robbie said, before turning to Kenzi and saying, "I am so proud of you."
According to a post-show update, Robbie lost 82 pounds while stranded on the islands, and as of today, he's lost 185 pounds and participated in his first triathlon.
Kenzi released a music video and continues to pursue her dream in Nashville. Richard legally adopted his wife's two children and now they call him "Dad."
Sawyer has not seen his brother, an addict, in six months, but his three-year-old son just completed his first obstacle-course race.
And Matt decided to give professional racing one last shot. He plans to race in the Indianapolis 500 next year.