Friday, October 25, 2013

Survivor Blood vs Water Episode 6: One Man Wrecking Ball

Tonight's episode is probably the turning point of the season, thus far. We've already seen the preview of a tribal shuffle from last episode and with the first Galang member competing at Redemption Island (since Candice, of course), I suspect this was going to be a big episode!

The Beginning of the End for Aras?

As suspected, Aras is feeling vulnerable and responsible for the Laura M blindside. He acknowledges the fact that Laura M feels most connected to him and so having him propose her name for the vote is going to put a huge target on his back. However, Laura M isn't the only one who felt the sting of the last vote as his allies Gervase and Tyson also talk about possibly voting for Aras at the next opportunity.

The idea of Aras joining forces with Vytas post-merge is highly likely and when they do, that is a power duo right there. The strategic side to Tyson's game is finally coming out, along with his goofy side too (more on that later). He addresses the issue to Gervase in such a manner that Gervase would feel like it was a mutual understanding amongst them that Aras is a threat and that they would potentially write his name before merge time, if the opportunity presents itself. Tyson even manages to inject some questions to get Gervase to speak up about the plan, rather than outright blurting his idea. This means that Tyson is going to play big. In a way, it also cements the relationship between the two of them. It is also important to note that these two no longer have their loved ones in the game.

Bye, Brad!

The tyrant is out of the game for good. No wonder he was getting way too much airtime during the first three episodes or so because his numbers were up! The Galang tribe's strategy to send Laura M to Redemption Island has paid off as she ended up in first place with John narrowly beating Brad in the puzzle.

This type of challenge, however, is well suited for women because it requires balance and dexterity. It was clear by the way the two men (bulky and heavy men, at that) were struggling to untie the bags of puzzle pieces while trying to balance in a narrow beam. I thought that the puzzle was pretty lame, though. Did not know that counting to a hundred can be classified as a "puzzle"? But the odds aren't in Brad's favor here - remember episode one when he can't even correctly count how 4 is the minority in a tribe of 9? (insert evil laugh here)

As the first person to finish the puzzle, Laura M is also tasked to hand out the immunity idol clue. Vytas followed the Culpeppers' lead by throwing the clue to the fire. Clearly, that is a strong message towards Aras about her blindside. Then again, all these 'throwing the clue to the fire' charades has got to stop soon. Obviously, there are lots of con's to keeping the clue but there are also ways that you can use that tool to your advantage and even help out your alliance further down the road. It'll be interesting to see if anyone decides to take the idol clue in the future and what they do with it.

Tribal Shuffle

the new Galang tribe
The two tribes were in for a shock as Jeff Probst announces a tribal shakeup after the duel. It was interesting how Aras, Gervase and Tyson ended up on the same tribe (the new Tadhana) because that means that Gervase and Tyson could still push through with their plan. However, some of the former Tadhana tribe members committed a fatal (?) mistake of sharing too much information. The veteran players were clearly trying to get information and they fell for the bait and even gave some points about the possible location of the hidden immunity idol. (Note: It is also important to point out how they were not even making an attempt to look for the idol if they knew a bit of information about the location of the idol.)

The veteran players might have had a warm welcome upfront but Hayden is reeling from the idea of the veteran intruders, so to speak, rummaging through their food supplies non-stop. Tyson also lets out his goofy side (this is probably the most confessional he's had since the season started) playing up the coconut bandit tricks he's been doing in the other tribe. But what Tyson is doing by being goofy isn't purely for his tribe's entertainment, however. By playing up the "funny guy" role, no one would take him seriously or deem him a threat. It was already pointed out earlier that the Tadhana tribe was threatened by his athleticism in challenges that prompted them to vote out Rachel to lure him to swap. Thus, putting on this front will make him perceived as not as big a threat as Aras is.

On the flip side, Vytas feels like he is on the bottom of the totem pole in his new tribe. Not only is he the sole male on the tribe but the other tribe member from the former Tadhana tribe he's switched with, Katie, is Tina's daughter. The odds are stacked against him, no doubt. Uh-oh. It looks like the Baskauskas brothers are in a tight spot in their respective tribes.

Buoy Oh Buoy

Always love swimming challenges in Survivor and this week's was full of them. After an early blunder for the Galang tribe (courtesy of Tina and Laura), Tadhana is looking poised to take this win. I was initially scared for Gervase, though, given his dismal performance at the first immunity challenge. But it looks like he's improved immensely, even managing to keep up with Aras in retrieving the fish trap.

But the highlight of this challenge was how the Galang tribe prematurely celebrated even after Jeff called them out twice for being wrong at the puzzle. Aras and Tyson remained composed after losing all of the lead they had at the first portion of the challenge. All I can say is glad that Ciera has finally stepped off the role of puzzle solver. The boys + Ciera get to take a break from tribal council, at least for this week. Although Aras is safe, I am now worrying for Vytas until...

Shut Up, Kat!

When you've been watching Survivor since the second season, you probably should be able to read through the edit. The moment Kat spoke up about Monica over-strategizing with her alliance, I knew she was in trouble (or set up for a downfall soon). It's cute how Kat was lecturing Monica (via a confessional) about how to play Survivor. Geez. But a confessional rant is passable, though. The moment she opened up her mouth to Tina about her decision to possibly vote off Monica instead of Vytas, she basically dug her own grave. Again, Survivor 101 here - do not be the first one to aggressively pitch someone from your own alliance's name for a vote. If you pick the target, you become THE target! It does not help that Monica and Tina were in on an alliance of five prior to the switch, so of course Tina's loyalty towards Monica is stronger than towards Kat.

Kat also did not do a great job of saving herself afterwards when Monica tried to confront her about it. She was caught up in her own lie. And I felt at that point there was no saving Kat. The gloves come off for Vytas at tribal as Kat wanted to raise the point of staying true to the alliance of the girls, but Vytas is not hearing any of it. Kat's cry of desperation at tribal has fallen on deaf ear as she is sent to Redemption Island. I guess Monica stayed true to her initial conviction to "do unto others before they do it to you".

Next week is going to be interesting as Vytas is finally putting his flirtatious card to good use. Seems like he's got Tina's approval. Meanwhile, will Hayden swap places with Kat at Redemption Island? Chime in your thoughts at the comments below.

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