'Castaways' recap: Tension erupts between Matt Jaskol, Sawyer Brown and Richard Rogers, as Robbie Gibbons considers quitting
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/18/2018
Castaways featured a breakdown in communication and relationships while Robbie Gibbons contemplated quitting the show during Monday night's double episode on ABC.
Castaways is designed to test the human need for companionship, according to ABC, as 12 diverse strangers are shipwrecked on a string of deserted islands in the South Pacific without knowledge of when they will be rescued.
Among washed-up luggage, scattered resources, and abandoned structures, the castaways are lost and alone, and they must fend for themselves -- or attempt to find other participants.
Throughout each cast member's journey on the show, documentary-style footage flashes back in order to share with viewers his or her story and the struggles left behind at home.
The only way the castaways can leave the remote islands is by persevering long enough for the rescue team to arrive or by simply quitting the show.
At the beginning of the broadcast, the castaways remaining were Robbie, a 42-year-old from Birmingham, AL; Matt Jaskol, a 32-year-old from Las Vegas, NV; Terry Allen, a 62-year-old from Agoura, CA; 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.
The first of two Castaways episodes began on Day 24 at 8:13AM, with Robbie asking Matt to stay, which made for a difficult decision for Matt because he had already been surviving with Sawyer and Richard and he said he loved them.
Matt had already been with them for two nights and noted he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he didn't go back to Sawyer and Richard when he had promised he would.
Robbie wasn't ready to be alone, so he thanked God for Kenzi. He was proud of her for sticking with it even though she was feeling sick and wanted to give up at times.
Meanwhile, once Matt returned to Richard and Sawyer's camp, the pair of guys respected how Matt was a man of his word, but they needed him to pull his own weight.
Footage then flashed back to Sawyer calling his younger brother Zack "a taker," saying he never gives back and terrorizes his mother at home.
Matt was then shown telling Richard and Sawyer that Kenzi was struggling at her camp and Robbie wanted him to stay but he decided to stick with his new brothers.
On Day 25 at 8:23AM, Robbie and Kenzi wondered if Terry was out there alone, and she was actually enjoying the peace and quiet of being by herself.
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Terry has five children and a daughter going off to college at home, and in flashback footage, she was shown venting to girlfriends about how she rarely puts herself first.
Sawyer then said he wouldn't wish being stuck on an island on anyone.
Once Matt returned to their camp, Sawyer and Richard thought he'd want to do more to help out and find resources, but at the same time, they reasoned that if someone is entitled and handed things all of his or her life, why put any effort in?
The situation reminded Sawyer of his brother at home, who took money from his family but then wouldn't even show up to family gatherings. Zack was envious of Sawyer's life but not willing to put the work in to achieve similar goals.
Meanwhile, Kenzi and Robbie enjoyed a meal of noodles together only to realize maggots had gotten into their supply. Kenzi was disgusted and said the insects ruined about 10 days of their food supply, but she was so hungry that she decided to eat the food anyways.
"Hunger is the worst pain I've ever felt. Days and days and days, and now weeks and weeks of hunger is a beast like nothing else," Kenzi admitted. "It is the toughest battle I have ever fought. I pray to God I don't get sick."
But since Terry had found Matt and Tracee Wnetrzak's bags, she had plenty of food. While Kenzi and Robbie were munching on "snail, noodle and maggot soup," Terry was chomping on what appeared to be some spicy beef jerky.
Things were falling apart between Sawyer, Richard and Matt. Matt knew he was the third wheel and said he "couldn't avoid the tension." The three guys bickered over whether or not to save a coconut when they were hungry, and Matt was onboard with eating more food the guys had found.
Footage then flashed back to Matt sharing how he suffers a series of injuries from his professional racing career.
"Lack of food, lack of resources, lack of sleep have everything to do with the breakdown in relationships," Matt noted.
On Day 30 at 3:17PM, Matt, Sawyer and Richard discovered most of their coconuts had gone bad and they ran out of rations.
The trio was very malnourished and their way of life was not sustainable. Kenzi and Robbie hoped Matt would return to them, but their hopes were dwindling considering 10 days had passed.
"We're not going to make it out here," Sawyer said. "Something has got to happen."
On Day 34 at 10:22AM, things were becoming increasingly more difficult for the castaways. Sawyer missed his wife and son, and he hoped his brother was "getting straightened out."
It turns out Zack is an addict, and Sawyer was ashamed of it. Sawyer tried to help his brother multiple times, but he believed his brother needed to hit rock bottom in order to change for the better.
The dynamic between Matt, Sawyer and Richard then hit a boiling point, and the two pals confronted Matt about taking advantage of a free ride with them.
Richard insisted he and Sawyer had carried Matt through the journey, and Sawyer argued Matt deserved none of their food because he entered their pre-established camp.
"You guys are very narrow-minded and very tunnel vision. I made a commitment to you guys, and I came back even though it would have been better for me to stay over there. It would have been a better environment with food and everything," Matt said.
Richard then decided it was time for the men to go their separate ways. In other words, they were kicking Matt out of their camp.
On Day 34 at 4:08PM, Matt insisted he wanted to bring food back to them more than anything.
Matt admitted he felt like an outcast in their group, and Richard felt guilty about isolating Matt the way he did. It was clear the men had a breakdown in communication and could have talked things out more.
Footage then flashed back to Sawyer having a little intervention with his brother. He wanted a happy and healthy life for Zack, and Sawyer tried to be a motivational force in his life.
Matt thanked the pair of guys for taking care of him, and Sawyer and Richard apologized again for leaving him out. Richard even broke down into tears.
Matt then tried to signal Kenzi and Robbie with a flashlight, but the duo refused to signal back since he had neglected them for so long.
On Day 35 at 8:27AM, Matt wondered if he could have done things better, but he admitted, "You can only do so much."
He said, "I did everything I could. I know I gave it my all, but they were still not happy." Matt then departed Richard and Sawyer's camp, and the guys felt relieved to have expressed themselves.
This was a running theme in Matt's life, as family and friends did so much for him and his racing career -- and he wasn't sure he could ever repay them.
Matt swam over to Robbie and Kenzi and was so excited to see them, but at this point, the pair viewed him as an unwelcome intruder.
The second Castaways broadcast began on Day 35 at 9:44AM, with Matt swimming up to Kenzi and Robbie's camp. He brought 10 clams with him as well as fishing line, fishing hooks, a book, a working lighter, and clothes for Kenzi -- including her favorite sports bra.
Robbie was under the assumption Matt had been in a rough situation with Richard and Sawyer, so he wondered what had taken Matt so long to return.
Matt explained they hadn't caught a fish in weeks and were all starting to wither away. Matt also figured Terry had his backpack.
Meanwhile, Terry felt "nothingness" on her beach, which was being swallowed up by the tide. She missed the people that she loved at home, including her parents, who were well aware their time on this earth is limiting. Terry's mother suffers from dementia and Terry is her caregiver.
Terry was ready for a change but she didn't want to put herself in a dangerous situation or harm's way.
On Day 36 at 7:04AM, Richard and Sawyer decided to go exploring in the hope of finding other survivors or more food. Terry also took off from her camp, saying she needed to free herself up and "find the possibilities that work."
"My fears about leaving are just fears of the unknown. Am I going to make it?... But I'm not going to let that stop me. We have to risk it; We have to make a move... to find a better solution and move forward," Sawyer said.
The two guys them stumbled upon a bamboo raft and an oar. Sawyer admitted they should have taken off a long time ago, and they began moving along the water. They wondered if there was a person who had existed on an island totally alone, and that person was Terry.
"If you made it this far alone, then you've made it through hell already and you can accomplish anything," Sawyer said, before finding the structure on which Matt lived alone for eight days.
Richard and Sawyer, who finally caught a fish, hoped Matt didn't hold any hard feelings or ill will towards them. But he was doing well with Kenzi and Robbie, making the best of their situation with a smile on his face.
Kenzi, Robbie and Matt even set up a game together and had some fun.
Kenzi felt bad about jumping to conclusions in regards to Matt's two-week absence and being mean to him upon his arrival, because she realized he was a great guy who desperately needed their friendship and companionship.
On Day 37 at 7:04AM, Robbie was "down in the dumps," which was unusual because Kenzi said he was always happy and optimistic.
Footage then flashed back to Robbie talking to his family about how he wanted to lose weight. Kenzi advised Robbie to lose weight for himself, not just to please other people. Robbie expected he'd fall off the wagon again after putting in a lot of work, but Kenzi pointed out, "That's what quitters do."
Terry then returned to her original camp, and Sawyer and Richard questioned whether they should travel over to her area.
While Richard was feeling like he wanted to help and provide for new people who would benefit from their skills, Sawyer was envisioning a similar predicament to what they had just been through with Matt.
Later that day, Terry vented about how time slowed down on her island because she had so much time to simply think and be present. She thought about going to the beach with her mother, who slipped away slowly day by day.
"It's kind of like a roller coaster in a certain way," Terry said of her mother's disease.
Kenzi was then shown saying how Robbie was her "guardian angel" on that island and she never would have stayed this long without him. However, Robbie became distraught and lost his positive attitude. Kenzi prayed they'd be rescued soon, because Robbie was ready to leave.
"It's taken getting stranded on an island for a little bit of clarity or for a catalyst to realize, 'What are you doing, Robbie?'" Robbie explained. "I told myself no regrets for getting stranded and no regrets for leaving."
On Day 37 at 5:10PM, the episode concluded with Terry breaking down into tears over the thought her parents were going to pass away. The pain of watching Terry's mother forget about her past finally caught up with her.