“Mad crap”: Survivor Blood vs. Water December 11 2013 recap

11 Dec

Five players are left (not counting the ones on Redemption Island) as we begin the episode.

Katie goes to Redemption Island and fills in Tina and Laura on the events of tribal council. Tina suggests letting Katie finish ahead of her in the upcoming duel, though this would be a very silly move as Tina has a much better chance to win the game than Katie does.

Meanwhile, the players in the “real” game are still recovering from drawing rocks at tribal council. Monica is very pleased that Gervase and Tyson stuck with her, when they could easily have switched the vote to be against her in the third round to avoid the risk of drawing rocks. However, Monica immediately starts presenting paranoid scenarios to Tyson and Gervase. What if Ciera or Hayden has the hidden immunity idol? Seeing a total freak-out coming on, Tyson tells her that he has the idol. And now the easily-offended Monica is offended that he didn’t tell her earlier!

The challenge at Redemption Island involves tying sticks together in a makeshift pole to try and snag some keys hanging on rings. This has become a standby of almost every, if not every, recent season. As the start of the challenge Tina yells out advice to Katie, though of course Laura can hear it too. Laura wins, Tina is second, and Katie is out of the game.

Monica and Gervase talk and reaffirm their trust in each other. They hug, and Monica says “I have loved you from Day One”(!). Meanwhile, Hayden and Ciera have their backs against the wall. They have determined that the possible crack in the other alliance is Monica, and they resolve to tell her every lie in the book about bad things Tyson and Gervase have supposedly said. Hmm, as paranoid as Monica is, that seems like a good strategy…

This season has had a few challenges that involved water, but sadly no memorable ones. This one starts in the water, but like so many, ends in a puzzle. The contestants are told they need to arrange the letters to form a classic Survivor phrase, which turns out to be “You are going to have to dig deep.” Classic Survivor phrase? More like tired Jeff Probst shtick.

The challenge is won by Ciera, and she also gets the reward of a feast that one person can join her on. Maybe it would have been smart to pick Monica here? But she picks Hayden.

Later, Ciera gets some alone time with Monica and says of Tyson and Gervase, “They are talking mad crap about you.” Ciera reels off anything she can come up with that she thinks will make Monica feel insulted, all of which is made up.

At tribal council, Hayden and Ciera both continue hammering away in this vein, and Hayden continues with his theme of “Tyson is running the show.” Gervase has a good rejoinder: “So who’s running your alliance? You?”

Hayden tries logic, telling Monica flat-out “Gervase and Tyson have played a superior game to you,” meaning she would have no chance against them in the finals. Then he and Ciera really start laying it on thick about how proud of Monica Brad and her children would be. I think I saw Monica’s B.S. detector finally kick in near the end of that.

It would be foolish of Monica to believe any of the fiction Ciera is throwing at her. But I asked myself, those lies aside, what’s Monica’s best move in the game? I do think it’s to stick with Tyson and Gervase. Simply because Monica is nobody’s favorite person, so her best bet is to find someone people dislike even more. Gervase has talked his share of trash and Tyson can be a jerk too, so they qualify much more than Hayden and Ciera.

As it turns out, Monica stays true to the guys, and Hayden is voted out. This is doubly bad for Ciera: not only does she lose her only ally, but Hayden is a strong challenge competitor who could very well beat her mother Laura at the next Redemption Island duel.

Favorites to win: 1) Gervase, 2) Tyson, 3) Monica, 4) Laura, 5) Hayden, 6) Tina

No-chance list: Ciera.

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Aras (Tina), Vytas (Tina), Caleb (Hayden), Katie (Tina)

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