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Having knocked Aras, Vytas, and Tina out of the game consecutively, Tyson is feeling at the top of his game in Survivor: Blood vs. Water. He’s got Monica, Gervase, Hayden, and Caleb firmly on his side. Katie is on the outskirts, but not much of a threat now that her mom is on Redemption Island. The only potential threat to Tyson’s game at this point is the potential for a Laura/Ciera mom-daughter power couple. The mother/daughter bond is the framework for the entire episode, and as such, this week’s is much better than the double elimination stuff we got last week.
The episode begins with a Redemption Island duel between Aras, his brother Vytas, and Tina, who had been voted out of the game in the previous two episodes. It’s a challenge from Survivor: South Pacific (the one which Cochran lost to Ozzy – Blood vs. Water is not shy about repeating challenges), wherein contestants must toss a grappling hook at three bags, collect them one by one, and then solve a puzzle. Vytas starts off incredibly slowly, but pulls off a first-place finish. Aras and Tina battle for second place, but Tina finishes just ahead of him, thus ensuring her place in the game for another week. Aras is then eliminated from the game, thanks the cast for a good time, telling them he has no hard feelings and whatnot. Vytas shares the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol with Katie, who does not burn it.
The next part of the episode, featuring Ciera thinking about the idea of voting her mom out of the game, is the most compelling. Ciera reasons, rightly so, that she has a much better shot at winning than her mom, who is not well-liked by the returning players and has already been voted out of the game once. Laura, however, counters with the thought that Ciera would have an enormously tough time beating Tyson and Gervase in a final three, but what she doesn’t plan for is the potential for Ciera to make a possible big move, perhaps going to final three with some combination of herself, Caleb, Hayden, or Katie.
The Immunity Challenge is another balance/endurance test that mostly caters to female participants. Though she desperately needs immunity, Katie is either third or fourth out of the game. The final two left in the challenge are a struggling Tyson and a calm, assured Monica. Tyson doesn’t stand a chance whatsoever, as Monica doesn’t even look like she breaks a sweat the entire time. Monica wins her second immunity challenge in the game, becoming an incredibly unlikely immunity hog. The twist is that, as winner, Monica gets access to a picnic with burgers, hot dogs, and sodas. Monica, however, offers to have none of the food herself in exchange for her tribemates getting it all. Host Probst allows this to happen for some reason, and Monica gets off without having to choose just one person to enjoy the meal with her.
Back at camp, Katie desperately needs to find the Hidden Immunity Idol (not realizing Tyson already has it). Laura M. runs interference on her, and Katie doesn’t really get much of a chance to even look for an idol that isn’t there. What happens next is all kinds of great, however, as Ciera tricks Katie into admitting she doesn’t have the idol. She lets Tyson know this, and now the vote comes down to easily booting Katie, or blindsiding Laura M. Caleb and Hayden don’t care where the vote falls as long as it isn’t them. Ciera has difficulty with the decision to vote out her mom, but she’s already come to the conclusion that she’s going to have to do it eventually.
At Tribal Council, Monica sits comfortably with immunity around her neck. Her comfort seems to have eased her paranoia, as she raises nary a stink about who to vote out. Host Jeff Probst seems to know the vote will come down to either Katie or Laura M., and as such asks a series of questions that weigh the pros and cons of keeping either one. When he reads the votes, however, it is Laura M. in an absolute landslide who gets voted out, receiving every vote she can (and becoming the most voted against person in Survivor history in the process). She has a teary exit, hugs her daughter, and is off to Redemption Island to face Aras and Tina in a Redemption Island duel next week.