genevieve, ITA with your entire post.
re Abi's "honesty" - I thought it was really telling about her character when she said that if she lied long enough about her fake idol, people would believe it, and that she was even starting to believe it herself. I've known a few people like that - they so want to convince you of something that they do actually start to believe their own lies. It would certainly explain how she was completely oblivious to the fact that she betrayed RC, not the other way around.
re the idea that Malcolm would give Denise his HII - first, I'm thinking not. He's very loyal to her, but not enough to give up his idol when he knows he's a target whose name has been written down before. Plus, the bonus would be that he eliminates her as competition, and keeps his hands clean. BUT - for the others, I also can't believe they didn't discuss not just this possibility, but that Malcolm would play it himself.
I wondered if they would approach Carter, who I think might've told Abi, and then she would have likely leveraged the info to fully split the alliance of 4, with her coming up roses. Based on the previews, maybe that's exactly what she's about to do.
Which brings me to the previews from last week . Do the network people or production people who cut those even watch the show? Malcolm's brother was a goof, but zero threat to his game. Don't get me started on last week's previews of Nashville, which comprised entirely of cuts from the last five minutes of this week's show.
re Carter - you are exactly right. They could have brought him along, and still beat him on the basis of gameplay, keeping their high ground intact. Slight danger that his old pals Jeff and Penner would vote for him, but I do think Penner will vote for the best player, and if the others are bitter against you they're going to be bitter either way.
Also agree re Lisa's spirituality. So, so different than the prayer circles of previous years. She just, such a darn nice person!
Interesting to think that Denise knows who Lisa is. It would be truly nasty to out her at final TC, but what if she was crafty about it when asked why she (Denise) deserves the money and the title of Survivor. She could say something relatively innocent like "she's had her moment in the spotlight, and I really need this money." For those who know who she is, it gets the point through (especially if they assume she's still got money); for those who don't, it plants a seed that maybe she's got money or something else is going on. We didn't know Denise told Penner (until Prancer told us), so I wouldn't be surprised if she told Malcolm too.