The Traitors 209 Recap: Phaedra Parks Is NOT On The Bachelor

The Traitors 209 picks up with Kate Chastain in the dungeon (yes, apparently this mansion also has a dungeon), awaiting her fate. A hooded figure enters the dungeon — we know it’s Phaedra — and reveals herself. Phaedra offers Kate an ultimatum; Kate can either become a traitor, with Phaedra, or be murdered, ending her time on the show.

Of course, Kate chooses to become a traitor. It’s not much of a choice, is it?

Up in the turret, Phaedra and Kate discuss who to murder. Phaedra asks Kate what their plan is and Kate is taking taken that she is being asked this question — shouldn’t Phaedra have the plan, Kate wonders? I, too, have noticed this about Phaedra’s strategy, at least in the turret; she seems to defer to the others in the room. Sometimes this can come off as passive, but I wonder if it’s actually very intentional. First of all, it allows the other traitors to feel like they’re in control, and second of all, it’s hard to trace a choice back to a person that truly didn’t make that choice. Phaedra has flown under the radar for a lot of this show (until recently), perhaps due to her much lighter touch as a traitor, compared to both Dan and Parvati.

Anyway, at breakfast the next morning, we’re still wondering who Phaedra and Kate decided to murder. Kate is acting a little off at breakfast, which MJ notices. I begin to wonder if Kate is going to be a terrible traitor, acting-wise. Kate is known for saying exactly what’s on her mind. Will she be able to lie with the ease and naturalness necessary to hide her traitor-ness? We’ll see.

The only person who hasn’t walked into breakfast is Kevin. So Phaedra and Kate murdered Kevin! I suppose the strategy here was to continue breaking down Peter’s Pals (now down to just Peter, Trishelle, and John), with the hope of continuing to frame Peter as the traitor. (Though it does cast some serious suspicion on Phaedra, since Kevin led the crusade against her last week.) It seems like it’ll be hard to convince people that Peter, if he were a traitor, would murder one of his own, but maybe they can pull it off!

But to that end, over the course of breakfast, it becomes clear that many folks have completely turned against Peter and are convinced he’s a traitor. CT, in particular, thinks Peter’s flip-flopping and domineering attitude mean he must be a traitor.

I have to be honest, some part of me reveled in watching everyone turn against Peter. All those times Peter literally shut the door in people’s faces have caught up to him. It’s a stark reminder how you execute your strategy is just as important — if not more so — as the strategy itself. In competition shows like The Traitors, Survivor, The Challenge, Big Brother, etc., you have to earn your right to stay — which often requires maintaining some degree of likability (or a freakish amount of control, a la Tony Vlachos). Peter’s used to doling out roses, not earning them. And it shows.

This episode’s challenge takes place in the church (yes, this estate includes a church too, who says you can’t have it all). People are immediately freaked out, which I love, because no one likes a creepy church. And it’s The Traitors, so you know it’s not just gonna be a challenge in a church. It’s going to be deranged, scary, disturbing, etc.

And sure enough, it is! Upon entering the church, the contestants are greeted by like, 20 people in robes wearing full-face gold masks, all facing in the same direction, silent and still. It’s at this point that I begin to wonder, am I watching Peacock or am I in a dingy basement on the Lower East Side, watching experimental theater because some friend of mine dragged me here?

When I accept that I am in fact still in my living room, watching TV, the challenge has begun. It involves shooting wooden arrows from a crossbow (sure), at stained glass panes, each of which say one contestant’s name. Whoever’s pane of glass is the last one standing (i.e. not shot at and destroyed by the crossbow), will earn the shield.

Now, I’ve never shot a crossbow, and I imagine it’s hard, but the contestants are exceptionally bad at this challenge. At first, they try to strategically target certain panes, based on who each person wants to not have a shield, but then, after so many misses, they try to just hit a pane, any pane. Even Alan Cumming finds it funny! Anyway, after losing a lot of money (you lose prize money for every shot that doesn’t crack a pane), there’s just one pane left: CT’s. So he earns the shield.

It’s worth noting that towards the end of the challenge, Phaedra made a risky move. The group was targeting panes in one area, and Phaedra decided to change course entirely to go for Trishelle’s pane. This suggested that Phaedra wasn’t trying to simply end the game; she was targeting Trishelle specifically. (This is, of course, true.) Trishelle clocked this and is sure this means Phaedra is a traitor, which she was already leaning toward in the previous episode. Unfortunately for Phaedra, CT clocked this too, and just that morning, he was ready to banish Peter. Now, he seems set on Phaedra.

After the usual scrambling in the house, we’re at the roundtable. John makes an impassioned, verbose speech about how sure he is that Phaedra is a traitor, which only prompts an even more iconic response from Phaedra. Not one to mince words, Phaedra reminds John that he’s not in parliament anymore, so he can go ahead and get to the point next time he gives a speech (lol!!!). She then goes on to paint Peter as a traitor, and delivers, yes, the line OF the season:

This is not the Bachelor. And I don’t have to kiss your ass for a rose.

Phaedra Parks, a contestant on Season Two of The Traitors, rebukes Peter Weber at the roundtable.

How does she just come up with these lines like, off the cuff??

I have really grown to love Phaedra over the course of this season! She wields language like Thor wields his hammer — in both cases, my advice to you would be to get out of the freaking way!!! Phaedra simply can’t be out-talked or pushed into a corner; she doesn’t allow it.

Has she done enough to pull it off? When the votes come in, they’re split down the middle: four for Peter, four for Phaedra. Somehow, the final, deciding vote falls on MJ, one of Phaedra’s allies, who also said earlier in the episode that if she had to turn on her fellow Bravo castmates, she would. But will she? Can she? The episode ends before we find out.

If I had to guess…no. MJ will vote Peter, and Phaedra will live to see another day. What do you think?!

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Anya Richkind

Anya is a writer, a Pisces, and a huge fan of Survivor. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner Jess and their kittens, Buckett and Tubbs. She writes a substack called Questions I Have in which she explores questions big, small, medium, and more. Check it out here:

Anya has written 37 articles for us.


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