'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' recap: 'Opening Pandora's Box'

For The Baltimore Sun

We start out tonight at Galang, where everybody is happy but Colton, who can’t be happy because there isn’t enough scheming going on. Aras correctly points out that Colton thinks  playing "Survivor" right means creating chaos, but that isn’t necessarily true.

At the Redemption Island Arena, Tyson learns that his girlfriend, Rachel, has been voted out. He leaves the choice of switching places to her, and she chooses for him to stay in the game, since he has a better chance of winning than she does. Tyson warns Brad that if Tyson ever does end up on Redemption Island, everybody is in trouble.

Marissa and Rachel point out that Tadhana hasn’t been voting out the weak players, but is  instead playing strategically, which is why they keep losing challenges. Brad takes great affront that Galang had the audacity to cheer when they won -- whatever, Mr. Sour Grapes -- and uses that as an excuse for voting out the two strongest women.  I can’t stand him.

Marissa starts yelling at Brad, and then Colton starts crying? You would think that he would be happy that everybody is mad at each other. Instead, he says that he wants to leave. Jeff tries to talk him out of it, then gets annoyed at him and calls him selfish. Then, Jeff brings up the fact that he did not, in fact, have appendicitis on "Survivor One World." Colton basically has the hissy fit of all hissies, and then takes himself out of the game.

I’m a bit flabbergasted at all of this, but then, when Colton goes over to say goodbye to Caleb, he whispers that he knows he can’t win. I think Caleb realized that a solid alliance had formed (which it has) and that he’s not part of it (which he’s not). However, as Aras told him, anything can happen and everything could change in an instant. Colton is just too impatient to wait or work for it to happen.

After all that ridiculousness, it’s now time for the Redemption Island challenge. It’s basically a big ‘ol domino set. Candace wins again, and then it’s between Marissa and Rachel. Both have quite a few false starts, but, in the end, Marissa wins and Rachel goes home.

Back at Galang, everybody is giving Tyson sympathy that Rachel is out of the game. It should be a touchy-feely love fest all the time, now that Colton is gone. It is a little weird, though, having Monica on the tribe when everyone knows that Brad is the reason Rachel and Marissa got voted out. But Tyson doesn’t blame Monica for Brad’s actions.

Speaking of Brad, we also hear his version of events at the arena, which involve Tyson jumping down his throat for no reason. Not exactly what happened, Brad, but your seeing things that way doesn’t surprise me.

Sigh. John decides to confide in Brad about what the clue to the Immunity Idol says. Don’t give him any more power, real or imaginary. Brad doubts that John told him the truth, and wonders if he’s being played.

Both tribes get Treemail, and it sounds like it’s time for a wrestling-type challenge. With all the animosity between tribes, this should end well. 

It turns out that Aras and Vytas remember their childhoods very differently. Aras sees Vytas as the older brother who was a bit of a bully; Vytas remembers Aras as the golden child who always won.

Challenge time! Reward tonight is comfort, which includes a tarp, pillows, blanket and mosquito nets. The challenge is jousting on a platform over the water. Whoever knocks their opponent in the water wins. Gervase and Brad are up first (coincidence? I think not) and Brad wins. Despite the producers' best efforts, the game never gets nasty. Heyden knocks Tyson so hard that his shoulder pops out, although it seems to be a clean hit. Tyson is not out of the game, but he is done for this challenge.

Tina and Katie (her daughter) have the longest match, with Tina managing to push Katie off the platform. Aras and Vytas are up next, and Aras admits that he feels a little bit like a seven-year-old. Vytas totally tries to play dirty, but Aras manages to get the win. Laura gets choked up at the thought of hurting her baby, and Ciera, who realizes that it’s a freaking game, mom, reassures her that she won’t hurt her.

Ciera should have played on Laura’s guilt, because Laura totally beats her and wins the game for Galang, sending Tadhana to Tribal Council for the third time in a row.

At first, it seems like all the guys know that a girl is going to go home. Both Katie and Ciera lost to their mothers, which doesn’t make them look that good. It’s just a matter of seeing which one they choose.

Brad decides that he can’t trust John to side with them over Candace, and thinks Brad should go now before a merge happens. Heyden doesn’t want to vote out a guy before they have to, but I see Brad’s point, that John’s loyalty lies with Candace. But couldn’t the same be said for any of them? Where would Brad’s loyalties lie if it came down to Monica or his alliance?

Tribal Council time! Jeff brings up both Ciera's and Katie's losses against their mothers, then brings up the men vs. women thing for good measure. And then he brings up Candace giving John the Idol clues. Always the meddler, that Jeff. Not that it’s influencing the decision. Blah, blah, blah, let’s get on with the vote.

We don’t see any of the votes, which could mean that John will be going home…and oh my goodness, they actually did it. John goes to Redemption Island, where he will now have to compete against Candace.

Next week: Brad thinks he’s running the tribe (which, well, he is) but comes under some fire. Again. Some more.

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