“One of his options for a goat”: Survivor Cagayan May 14 2014 recap

14 May

You’ll recall that last episode, Woo came back from the reward trip to tell Tony that Spencer and Kass had pressed him to help them vote Tasha out. Of course what really happened is that they wanted Woo to join them against Tony. At the start of this episode, Woo tells Tony what really happened. As soon as Tony’s alone, we hear that his plan is to blindside Woo. Why would he want to take Woo to the finals over Trish, who would have a much better chance of getting votes?

The reward challenge involves rolling in mud and transporting the mud on one’s body over to a bucket. Two things that are supposed to be dramatic did not happen. There is supposed to be a climactic weighing of the buckets to see who wins, but Tony’s bucket is not just full, but overflowing (!) while nobody else’s seems much more than half full. So even Probst just declares it a Tony victory. Then, the winner of the reward (having pizza delivered to camp) gets to choose one person to join him, which is supposed to drive a wedge between that person and his friends. But Tony chooses Trish, who is emaciated, and it’s just not that controversial.

Probst puts such a weird emphasis on the pizza as something extra-special that I expected a loved one from home to be the one delivering it, as a “surprise” twist. But thankfully that did not happen.

As Tony and Trish eat pizza, he tells her that he has two idols. And he also says that the special idol he has can be used a round later, in the cutdown from four to three (which isn’t true). Saying this is a genius idea — Tony’s the only one who knows what the rules are regarding the special idol, so why not take advantage of that?

Tony is a busy guy this episode. He takes Kass aside and tells her that he wants to go to the end with her and Trish. He swears on his wife and his child. He also says that Woo spilled the beans about the conversation at the prior reward trip. Kass heads back to camp and immediately asks Woo if he spilled the beans to Tony. Woo says no way. Then as soon as Tony arrives, Kass says in a loud voice that Woo says he didn’t tell Tony about their reward discussion. Annoying, and Tony certainly is annoyed. “You just sealed your fate, congratulations,” he tells her. This seems awfully soon after swearing on his family to go to the end with Kass, something Kass is quick to point out. She harps on the point because she wants Woo to have as many doubts as possible about Tony.

Kass then proposes to Spencer that they vote Trish out, to “take out one of his options for a goat” (and by goat they means someone who is easy to beat at the finals). Trish overhears this and is clearly seething.

The immunity challenge involves building a ladder, then building a staircase, then solving one of those sliding puzzles where there’s only a single open space in a grid and you have to do a lot of maneuvering to get the pieces into place. Tony gets a big lead in the early part of the challenge, but when it comes to the puzzle he just frenetically pushes pieces around hoping for something good to happen. Spencer catches up to him and solves the puzzle pretty quickly. (If there’s an established trick to solving such puzzles, I don’t know it either).

Back at camp, Trish congratulates Spencer, then says “I just have a quick question for Kass, do you think I’m stupid? Or do you think I’m deaf?” She then proceeds to absolutely unload on Kass, and she makes some good points along the way. For one, she points out that Kass is quick to portray herself as the victim in most any situation. Trish does look a bit scary while delivering this rant, particularly in her thin state. Kass comments, “She looked like friggin’ Skeletor.”

Tony, Woo, and Trish go off to talk. Tony admits that he swore to Kass on his life and child (turns out he never made any final three promise to Woo). Tony swears on the same family members to Woo, and also swears on his dead father. Woo is mistrustful now and he tells Kass he wants to get rid of Trish. Tony eavesdrops on this, or tries to. Woo asks Spencer: will he promise Woo the final three if he votes out Trish? Spencer immediately says yes. Well of course! There are only five people left, so the only promise Spencer is making is that he’ll vote off Tony if he can. Duh!

At tribal council, the jury files in. We see Jeremiah clean-shaven for the first time, and now he does have that male-model look about him. This also quintuples his camera time. There is more talk about Kass and Trish, and Tony notes that Kass always has the same little smile on her face, no matter what her mood: “happy, sad, cryin’, whatever.” Also, Tony announces he has the special idol and hangs it around his neck. Jeff collects the urn of votes and says now is the time to play an idol. I thought for sure Tony would give his regular idol to Trish, then use the special idol on himself if need be, since this is the last time he can use either. That way he and Trish are both safe, right? But no! He hands the regular idol to Probst… to use on himself! And Trish is voted out by the other four players, including Tony!

This was a big surprise when it happened, but when I think it through it makes sense. Trish had a chance to win the game, much more so than Kass whom nobody likes. Plus, Trish as a juror would probably vote for Tony, while Kass definitely wouldn’t. So this was really a good move.

One episode left. The last two years at this time I broke down every possible combination of final three to plot out every permutation on who should take whom to the finals. But this season it’s far simpler. Tony, Kass, and Woo all should want to take each other to the final three, and eliminate Spencer. And Spencer obviously would want to eliminate Tony and go to the end with Kass and Woo.

Favorites to win, in order: Spencer, Tony

No chance: Kass, Woo

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Sarah (Tony), Morgan (Spencer), L.J. (Tony), Jeremiah (Spencer), Jefra (Spencer), Tasha (Spencer), Trish (Tony)

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