It's all come down to this: the final episode of the debut season of Survivor. Richard, Rudy, Sue, and Kelly reflect on the experiences they've had--and the weight they've lost--during this unique experience. Richard feels he was one of the few people who had a plan at the beginning of the game.
In treemail, the group receives photos of the 12 castaways who were voted off before them. They speculate that the challenge will require them to answer questions about their "fallen comrades."
The group reports straight to tribal council, where they will have their challenge and then immediately vote someone off. Sure enough, the challenge is a quiz about the other castaways. Sue and Kelly each do well, but Kelly wins the tiebreaker when she remembers Sonja's last name. Kelly wins her third straight immunity.
The vote begins, and it ends up as a 2-2 tie: Kelly and Sue vote for Richard, while Rudy and Rich vote for Sue. Jeff announces that tribal council will go on as long as it takes until the tie is broken. Rich and Sue each make a statement, and Rudy and Kelly go to vote again.
This time, the vote is decisive: both votes are for Sue. Sue shoots Kelly a glare as she exits. We're down to the final three.
Jeff wakes up the castaways early on Day 38 to lead them to their final challenge. During the walk, the final three pass the torches of all the players voted out of the game: Sonja, B.B., Stacey, Ramona, Dirk, Joel, Gretchen, Greg, Jenna, Gervase, Colleen, Sean, and Sue.
The immunity challenge is simple: all the castaways need to do is keep their hands on the immunity idol for as long as they can. The last one left standing wins.
After two and a half hours, nobody has budged. Suddenly, Rich makes a decision to voluntarily let go of the idol, leaving Rudy and Kelly to fight it out.
At the four-hour point, Jeff asks Rudy and Kelly to switch positions. While doing so, Rudy absent-mindedly takes one hand off the idol, disqualifying himself. Kelly wins immunity for the fourth time.
Back at camp, Kelly basks in her victory, while Rudy curses himself for making a dumb mistake that may have cost him a million dollars.
At tribal council, Jeff lays out the situation: Rudy and Rich's votes cancel each other out, so the only person voting will be Kelly. She writes down the name: it's Rudy. After 38 days, the popular, crusty Navy SEAL has been eliminated. The final showdown is set: Richard vs. Kelly. Jeff reminds them that the game is in the jury's hands now.
On Day 39, the final two burn most of their camp supplies, then head off to their last tribal council. Jeff explains that Kelly and Rich will each make an opening statement, then face a question from each jury member. Kelly tells the jury that she cared about everyone in the game. Richard, meanwhile, argues that he played the game the best.
Gervase is the first jury member to speak, and asks Rich and Kelly what they wish they could change. Richard says he put too much trust in others, while Kelly says she wishes she'd never joined an alliance.
Next up is Jenna, who asks Rich and Kelly to pick two castaways they'd like to see in the final two. Rich names Greg and Rudy; Kelly picks Sonja and Gretchen.
Sean doesn't ask a question, but comments that he had a great time and loved everyone.
Colleen asks what character traits got Rich and Kelly to the final two. Kelly credits her faith; Richard praises his observation. Colleen is confused by the "observation" remark, since Richard didn't seem to know anyone very well, but Richard says he's referring to game observation.
Rudy gets up to say that he feels dumb for taking his hand off the idol in the last challenge.
Greg asks Rich and Kelly to pick a number between 1 and 10. Rich: "7." Kelly: "3."
Sue is the last to speak, and she delivers an astounding rant against both of the finalists, particularly Kelly. First, she calls Richard "a bit of a loser in life." Then, she tears into Kelly. She points out that Kelly, a rafting guide, "got stomped" in an early rafting challenge by Gervase, who had never rowed in his life. She says she once considered Kelly a friend but now sees her as "two-faced and manipulative" and a total failure. She then adds, "If you were laying there, dying of thirst, I would not give you a drink of water. I would let the vultures take you."
Sue concludes her speech by calling Richard a "snake" and Kelly a "rat," and says that it's only fitting "for the snake to eat the rat."
After the jury recovers from that tirade, it's time to vote. Gervase votes for Kelly, then lands a dig at Sue: "That's what we call a sore loser." Jenna and Colleen also vote for Jenna. Meanwhile, Richard snags votes from Sean, Sue, and Rudy. Greg sniffs his marker before casting the deciding vote.
Jeff reveals the votes one by one, and finally reaches the seventh and decisive vote. "The winner of the first Survivor competition"--Jeff flips over the vote--"is Rich."
Rich celebrates and hugs everyone. One million dollars and a new car go to Richard Hatch, the sole Survivor.