“Loose cannons will always shoot off”: Survivor Blood vs. Water November 13 2013 recap

13 Nov

When the merged tribe returns to its camp after last episode’s tribal council, Tina rips Tyson and Monica and says they’ve cost themselves a lot of jury votes with their big move. It’s a betrayal of the original alliance with Aras, according to her. One problem: others quickly speak up to point out that they were in alliances with Aras too, unbeknownst to Tina, and among the ones who thought they were allies were Laura and Ciera, the two people Aras was targeting. This takes the wind out of Tina’s sails pretty quickly.

Aaaaand we’re off to the immunity challenge… just 7 minutes into the show? It’s the more or less annual “eat disgusting local foods” challenge. The first round involves eating mealworms… live, wriggling mealworms. And each player has to eat 40 of them! Among the players who advance is Vytas, who has to pick some off the ground to pop them back in his mouth, yuck! The second round involves pig intestines (no word on whether they have been cooked), and the third, contested by the final two of Gervase and Monica, involves eating two live grubs, i.e. the very food Gervase wasn’t able to eat in the first season. By the way, many other reality shows would be turning the screen black and white at this point to show flashback footage of the moment in question from Season 1. I kind of like the fact that “Survivor” doesn’t do this and thus interrupt the flow of the story at hand. (Of course, it could be that they don’t do it because they’re afraid showing something in standard definition will cause people to adjust their sets and frighten young children). Anyway, Monica wins.

Back at camp, the plan is to split votes between Vytas (guys’ votes) and Katie (girls’ votes), just in case either has an idol (why is Katie the target and not Tina? This isn’t explained). This pains Tyson, because splitting a vote carries with it a bit of uncertainty, but the alternative is to reveal that he has the idol, which he just doesn’t want to do. Hayden more or less blabs the split plan to Vytas, and meanwhile Monica is being generally paranoid.

We are off to tribal council just 22 minutes into the show…. no tribal council could possibly be worth 40 minutes of airtime, so we can now assume a double-elimination episode is at hand. Once everyone is settled in, Jeff Probst asks how Vytas felt when Aras was voted out. He gets surprisingly vocal and said his feeling was “f— you, you voted out my brother” and that he was determined to exact revenge. This is in stark contrast with the I’m-OK-you’re-OK act he had been putting on earlier in the season! He really makes himself unlikable, and then on top of that he decides to go off on Monica.

When it’s time to vote, Monica writes down Vytas’ name and then says what could be either “What a brat” or “Whaddup Brad” (she later clarifies that it’s the latter). Vytas is voted out over Katie, with one vote mysteriously going to Tyson.

As the episode continues, the tribe returns to camp and Monica reveals that though she was supposed to vote Katie as part of the plan, she switched it to Vytas after hearing his insults. Gervase tells the camera that this makes him nervous… when someone deviates from the plan you wonder if they can be trusted (Gervase, have you met Caleb?).

The next immunity challenge seems vaguely familiar: players have to hold a sword with one hand and stack coins on the pommel with the other. Katie is the surprise winner.

With Katie wearing the immunity necklace, Tina is the obvious next one to go, so her one chance is to find the immunity idol. She goes looking for it and actually looks in the precise spot where it had once been. However, Tyson wisely moved it after he found it. Now once again, Tyson needs to use a lot of willpower not to tell everyone about the idol, especially since Monica is fretting about being on the chopping block if Tina plays an idol. But Tyson stays cool and tells his mates that they should all shadow Tina so she can’t search alone. (Tyson is a great character, I can see now why he was brought back twice).

Gervase still has an eye on Monica. He notes “loose cannons will always shoot off… and sink something you’re ridin’ on.”

Monica notes at tribal council that Tyson and Gervase seem tight, and Caleb and Hayden also seem tight… meaning she’s the only one without a close buddy or loved one in the game. Tina makes a stab at convincing people that she might have found the idol in the few minutes she shook off her pursuers, but nobody’s buying it, and she’s voted out, with one vote going to Tyson yet again.

Favorites to win: 1) Gervase, 2) Tyson, 3) Laura, 4) Hayden, 5) Caleb, 6) Monica, 7) Aras, 8) Vytas, 9) Tina

No-chance list: Katie, Ciera.

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