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There were a few incredibly entertaining parts of tonight’s episode, the fourth so far in the new season, but nothing spectacular overall. This episode seemed to be a calm-before-the-storm type of episode, and judging from next week’s preview, that assessment seems likely. Still though, there was some good stuff tonight, including a castaway evacuated from the game, a pair of cool challenges, and a pretty shocking result at tribal council.
Survivor: Caramoan is really shaping up to be a quality season, and I’m quite surprised to say that it’s been almost entirely due to the Fans tribe. The Gota tribe has been enormously entertaining and filled with drama since day one. They’ve also been almost totally hapless in challenges with the exception of the very first immunity challenge. Tonight’s reward challenge, which features a human pyramid at the end, is no different. The Fans lose out once more, and drama ensues. Much of this drama continues to revolve around Shamar, the abrasive and gruff ex-Marine. Shamar has been a constant thorn in the side of everyone, but no one more so than Reynold and Eddie, who have reached a boiling point with the loudmouth.
The situation with Shamar takes a turn, however, when he accidentally scratches his cornea in two places, necessitating his removal from the game. This was a bit of a surprise, as I was expecting a Bikal, or Favorites, tribe member to be removed from injury (why I gleaned this from the CBS promos, I don’t know – I guess I just expected this episode to finally feature more of the Favorites). Shamar leaves, which immediately turns the heat up on Eddie and Reynold. The two have been on the outs with the rest of the tribe during the past ten days, and with Shamar gone, they have no more scapegoat to potentially save them from elimination.
On the Bikal side, Phillip annoys Andrea by giving Erik, Brandon, and Brenda nicknames. Andrea doesn’t like the idea of Phillip bonding with these three, as they are not part of the original alliance. This is the second week in a row where Andrea is annoyed by a fellow alliance mate. This editing doesn’t bode well for her. As a reward for winning the first challenge, the Bikal tribe is given access to Ta-Ta the Filipino bush man, who teaches them to cook in bamboo tubes and immediately fixes up their shelter. This is a part of Survivor I haven’t seen in quite some time, maybe five or six years (which equals to between ten and twelve seasons). The local bushman coming down to the tribe and helping out is something the show used to do a lot, and I have to be honest that I am glad it came back. Ta-Ta seems like a fantastic, humor-filled guy and his time on the show is a definite highlight.
The immunity challenge is a bit interesting as well, with the two tribes sending out individual swimmers to collect keys. The keys are then used to open locks on a chest. The chest contains balls to throw at targets on a platform. The Favorites tribe win yet again, though Reynold does a lot to bring the Fans back from the brink. The Gotas have a serious discussion amongst themselves who to vote out. Eddie, Reynold, and Laura are all brought up as targets, with Matt and Michael seeming to decide that Laura should go in order to spare the strength that Eddie and Reynold bring to the tribe. During tribal council, Reynold still feels the heat, and plays his idol thinking the girls will split the vote and target him. Things turn out a bit differently however, as the majority alliance votes out Laura, who had been seen as the weakest link in the tribe. Laura had, until tonight, been a part of this alliance, making her exit from the game somewhat shocking.
Next time on Survivor: Brandon Hantz of the Bikal tribe goes absolutely nuts…