Monday, October 21, 2013

Survivor: Blood vs Water Episode 5 Insights

Image: CBS
The latest episode of Blood vs Water is rather predictable no matter how much CBS tried to hype up a blindside. Really, the network has to learn not to give anything away in their previews because them promoting a blindside in their social media channels only meant that we knew which Laura was going home. If that's not enough, the beginning of the episode was also rather suspicious. Four episodes in, we haven't seen much from Laura except for some exchange of looks and winks between her and her daughter, and yet she is seen desperately trying to flirt with Aras and her confiding to the camera that she "explicitly trusts" him. I am not sure about the conversations she's had with Aras but to proclaim that in Survivor is like a kiss of death. And that is exactly what went down this previous episode.

The big story for this episode, though, isn't the blindside. It's the battle between the Cody's and Brad at Redemption Island. Candice, to be specific, has been highly outspoken about her dislike towards Brad and it was one of the anticipated moments of the episode for me to see them finally confront each other face to face.

Image: CBS

I was pretty impressed with how Brad handled himself gracefully from his exit at tribal council and into the Redemption Island. However, we see that Candice is not buying it and has not changed her opinion of Brad. She seems ready to kick Brad off the game for good and called Redemption "her island". I am rooting for Candice to defeat the Culpeppers but her proclamation of the Redemption Island being "theirs" is not a good thing at all. It seems that her angst and frustration has taken Candice's focus away from the bigger picture of the game and is fixated on exacting revenge on Brad.

Monica showed sympathy for Brad having to go to Redemption Island and fight for his life in the game. She offers Brad the opportunity to swap spots but the latter wanted to fight for his life back in the game. Ironically, he ended up beating Candice to stay alive and was one of the most exciting finish the duel has ever had. I was seriously gritting my teeth because I wanted Candice to win so bad. The look on John's face was indescribable when he saw that Brad finished the puzzle first. Must be really heartbreaking to see your spouse leave the game and you've got nothing to do to try and save them. But now, John is left to fend for himself. I think he has a better chance of competing again without Candice there because everybody else seemed to be threatened by the power couple should both of them make it back into the game post-merge. However, we've seen how John easily trusts people who pretend to be friends with him and use him for their own advantage. Without Candice there to be his voice of reason, he will have to be extra cautious and strategic every step of the way from here on out.

Image: CBS

Going back to the actual game, Tadhana has finally broken their losing streak. This was another predictable edit. We saw the remaining five members of the Tadhana tribes go off on top of the mountain cliff and enjoying this majestic view while exchanging words of encouragement to each other. At the same time, I feel empathy for them. They are finally looking like a unified tribe without Brad's tyranny hovering at them. But I seriously questioned their decision to opt for the steaks, though, instead of the fishing gear. Amateur mistake, I guess. There are still a few days left to play before merge arrives and opting for one good meal versus sustainability isn't such a good choice, to say the least.

Image: CBS
There are three major things to look into with the coming episode following the Laura M vote:

1) If Laura can beat Brad at the duel - This was one of the primary reasons cited by the returning players at Galang for voting off Laura M. It is, therefore, an important factor to look into next episode if they succeed in doing so. And if Brad does exit from the game, will this further cement the five-person alliance in that tribe? With a looming tribal shuffle next episode, it is also significant to look into whether that alliance can remain tight and survive until the merge.

2) Speaking of the five-person alliance, it seems like Tyson and Gervase are taking a page off of Brad's strategy by planning to take out Aras as they're afraid he might be too threatening post-merge especially when he joins Vytas there. If this plan pans out, is it too early a move to make? Or is this alliance as strong as it initially appeared?

3) Will Laura B finally fit in? We saw Jeff ask Laura B a rather awkward question about fitting in in her tribe of former Survivor castaways, plus she was also pointed out as the "easy vote" in the previous episode. But since she escapes getting her torch snuffed, where will her loyalties lie? Will the veterans regret their decision to cut her before the shuffle?

I know. The drama never ends in Survivor: Blood vs Water. In fact, it's only getting started. Here are some press images for next episode to whet your appetite (courtesy of TVGN).

Who will be booted off next episode from Redemption Island? Share your predictions below.

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