For The Baltimore Sun
8:39 AM EST, December 12, 2013
We start tonight with Katie’s arrival at Redemption Island, where Tina is considering throwing the challenge so that Katie can get back in the game. Have they forgotten about Laura? Because with her track record at challenges, chances are that it’s Laura who will get back in the game.
Back at camp, Tyson is happy that his "Hail Mary" play worked, but sad that it didn’t work well enough to get rid of Tyson. He hopes that Ciera will stick with him, because he’s definitely sticking with her.
Tyson, Gervase and Monica talk about their next step; according to Tyson, Monica can’t stop talking about it. She’s annoying him to the point where he tells her that he has the hidden Immunity Idol, just to shut her up.
Ciera is feeling good about making her move, even if it doesn’t end up working out for her. She knows that her only other option would be coming in fourth. Ciera and Hayden plan to find the Immunity Idol (not so much, since Tyson has it) and also drive a wedge between Gervase, Tyson and Monica. Gee, who is the weak link in that trio?
Redemption Island challenge! It’s still not the final challenge – when are they planning on sending the winner back into the game? The challenge this week is the old build-a-long-stick-to-retrieve-keys (really, they’ve been doing this one forever) and then unlock three locks.
Laura, of course, takes an early lead. I don’t think Tina will have to throw this challenge, I think she’s going to just lose it the old-fashioned way.
Laura is, of course, the first to finish; it’s between Katie and Tina. Tina’s stick breaks, but then Katie drops her key in the sand, which really screws her up. And it turns out that Tina’s talk of sacrificing herself was just that, all talk, because she just can’t let go of the competition. She beats Katie, totally knocking her own daughter out of the game. Laura gives the Immunity Idol clue to her daughter, for all the good that it’s going to do her.
Back at camp, Ciera shares the Idol clue with Hayden. It flat-out states that the Immunity Idol is up in a tree -- which it was, until Tyson found it. Monica sees them, which panics Hayden, but Monica knows that it doesn’t matter.
Gervase knows that anything can go wrong in this game at any given time, and he’s determined that nothing is going to screw it up. He drills Monica on who she trusts and who she doesn’t, I guess making sure that she’s sticking with him and Tyson.
I think he’s also doing it because Monica likes to talk, and feels better when she gets to incessantly talk about what is going to happen next. Monica does make an interesting statement though, saying that she’s playing the game for herself, not for Tyson or Gervase.
Ciera and Hayden are ready to capitalize on that, planning to tell Monica that Tyson and Gervase don’t respect her and are just using her as their pawn. This angle may work, because I think that’s the thing that Monica fears the most – not being respected as a competitor.
Immunity Challenge time! This week it’s a diving, swimming, following-a-buoy-on-a-rope-to-get-to-puzzle-pieces kind of challenge. Gervase sucks at swimming, so we’ll see how that goes. The winner also gets the choice of feast, plus a clue that is supposed to give a real advantage for the rest of the game.
Hayden and Tyson are in the lead, with Monica close behind. Wow, Ciera is actually worse at swimming than Gervase, which Jeff points out. The puzzle pieces are letters which spell out an eight-word phrase. Ciera is the last to start on the puzzle, but everyone seems to be stuck.
And they certainly are because, despite being last through the entire challenge, Ciera is the first one to complete the phrase “You are going to have to dig deep.” Jeff said that it was a common phrase on "Survivor," but it’s not common like “The tribe has spoken” or “grab your torches and go.” Ciera chooses to share her reward with Hayden.
Ciera is a little too giddy post-win back at the camp. Yes, it solves your problem for today, but Hayden is probably going to be voted out and then, even if Laura does come back in the game, you still don’t have the numbers you need to make it to the end. Which is pretty much what Gervase, Monica and Tyson talk about while Hayden and Ciera eat their reward.
After she chows down, Ciera chats up Monica about all the bad stuff Tyson ‘said’ about her. Tyson certainly doesn’t really respect Monica, but I don’t think he said those things. Monica seems to believe it, though, but we’ll see. If she wants to place better than third, though, Monica needs to make this move now.
Tribal Council time! Ciera and Hayden admit that they’re on the bottom. Jeff tries to get Hayden to admit that he's trying to get someone to "crack." But Hayden doesn’t fall for it, instead claiming that he’s trying to get the "truth" out there.
Monica admits that Ciera has talked to her, and then the scramble for damage control begins. Both Ciera and Tyson try to convince Monica that they are the one telling the truth. It all dissolves into yelling and accusations, but none of that matters. All that matters is what Monica does.
And what does Monica do? She sticks with the status quo and votes for Hayden. As does Tyson and Gervase, so he’s out. We’ll see how he does against Laura and Tina at Redemption Island.
This Sunday: the season finale! Who will get back in the game? And is there any chance that Tyson’s not going to win the whole thing?
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