'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' recap, 'Rustle Feathers'

For The Baltimore Sun

Back from last week’s tribal council, where Caleb was blindsided, Hayden plays it exactly right. He doesn't get upset, but congratulatesg Tyson on his maneuver, even says that he’s going to vote for Tyson at the end. Which may accomplish exactly what Hayden wants to accomplish, which is to get people thinking about who they really want to go to the end with.

We then go straight to the Redemption Island Arena, where Caleb has a little bit of sour grapes about Tyson not keeping his word. Umm, weren’t you going to try to blindside him? If the positions were reversed, I’m sure Caleb would be playing the “it’s just a game” card instead of the “a man’s word means something” card. Which is exactly what Gervase points out.

For the Redemption Island Challenge, the players are essentially building a giant house of cards. Hope no one is wearing a dangly bracelet (name that reference!). Jeff tries to make the challenge sound interesting, but it’s as enthralling as you would expect it to be. Laura, who is the bomb at challenges, finishes first.

There’s a 30-minute time limit, which they totally reach, as neither Tina nor Caleb are getting this done. With less than a minute to go, Caleb’s entire structure collapses, which means that he’s going home.

Laura gives her immunity clue to Ciera again, and this time she takes it. Tyson played his Idol at the last Tribal Council, so there might be another one out there. Ciera then makes the questionable choice of sharing the clue with her alliance members, Gervase, Tyson and Monica. They are the least-subtle people in the world about it, and soon Laura and Hayden are looking as well.

Tyson goes off in a completely separate direction, because he doesn’t want to share the Idol. Good for you. And the camera guy obviously knows where it is, because we get a pan to the hidden spot while Tyson’s back is turned. Tyson is the Idol Whisperer, though, and he manages to find it.

Hayden takes Gervase aside to talk to him about the game; Gervase plays like he’s listening and willing to vote Tyson out if the opportunity arises, but admits that he trusts Tyson. Still, he’s not going to completely rule out using Hayden if the need arises.

Immunity Challenge time! This week’s challenge is a balance beam/obstacle course, while also balancing a ball on a stick, and then you have to knock over bamboo targets. There is no puzzle element to this game, which is usually the great equalizer, but being athletic isn’t going to necessarily help you with balancing. I can see Monica doing well at this. 

Reward is all sorts of ice cream treats, which sounds nice, but I have to wonder how your body would react to all that milk, fat, and sugar after not having it for 20-some days. I bet it’s not pretty.

As I predicted, Monica takes an early lead, with Gervase close behind. Katie really sucks at this and Ciera is not much better. Monica and Gervase are pretty even when they get to the bamboo targets, but Gervase is much faster at throwing and he wins immunity.  We’ll see if this makes him takes a risk, since he’s safe this week. 

Jeff lets him share the reward, and he chooses Monica to join him, since she gave away her reward last time. Jeff lets him take someone else, since that choice didn’t cause enough drama, and he chooses Tyson. Really, it would have been awkward if he didn’t bring Tyson, but you always have to worry about who's left at camp while you’re gone.

Back at camp, Gervase describes his alliance as himself, Tyson and Monica. Huh? I thought that Ciera was their third. I think Tyson thinks it is. Hayden, of course, takes this opportunity to talk up Ciera, but really, if she was going to flip on Tyson, she would have done it last week, when the numbers would have worked better for her.

Hayden is pretty darn persuasive, pointing out that if Ciera wants to win, she’s got to have a "big moment," where she can point out that she took control of the game instead of just riding the coattails of her alliance. Both Gervase and Ciera think that they can win against Tyson, which, ha, no they won’t. At this point, it’s Tyson’s game to lose.

Tribal Council time! Bye Hayden! Wait, am I jumping the gun? I guess it could be Laura, but Hayden’s been going for broke, and unless they blindside Tyson, he’s going home. And my theory somewhat proves itself, as Hayden totally tries to cause trouble, telling people that Tyson is controlling them. I think that’s something that they’re going to worry about once they get to the final four. 

Gervase is going off about how Hayden is going to the jury whether he likes it or not. While he does this, Hayden is whispering "Monica" to Laura and Ciera, which is awesome. Ciera definitely has loyalty to Gervase and Tyson, which she may be conflicted about, but I don’t think she has any toward Monica. 

That was a really good tribal council! I actually have no idea what’s going to happen, and I’m rooting for Hayden’s "Hail Mary" play to work. We see Gervase and Tyson vote for Hayden, but that’s it. And it worked! The votes are split 3-3 for Monica and Hayden. They vote again, without Hayden or Monica, and it’s a tie again!

I apologize for the excessive exclamation points, but this is actually exciting!

Because the remaining people can’t come to an agreement over who to vote out, Tyson, Ciera and Laura draw rocks. Whoever gets the white rock is headed to Redemption Island…and it’s Katie. Well, that was anti-climactic. 

Tyson is pissed at Ciera, so we’ll have to see how that falls out next week. I don’t think she’ll be sitting out any more Immunity Challenges, though.

Next week: Tina thinks about throwing the game for Laura, and Ciera works to divide Monica from Tyson and Gervase. Which would be awesome.

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