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Last night’s episode of Survivor was the penultimate episode of season 27. Sunday night will be the two-hour finale followed by the hour-long reunion special. Out on a Limb, the title of last night’s ep, was also one of the most frustrating and uncomfortable hours of television I’ve ever seen. With Katie getting “rocked out” of the game last week, Tina must now face her daughter and Laura M. in a Redemption Island “classic,” the jail break. The three must fasten sticks together to retrieve a series of keys needed to break out of their bamboo jails. In the least shocking moment of the night, Laura M. wins big. Probst tries to make drama out of Tina vs. Katie for second place, but Tina wins and it’s not really as big of a deal as the producers want. Katie is eliminated from the game and joins the jury.
The reason why the episode is so uncomfortable is that Hayden and Ciera, who are on life support in this game, make it their ultimate mission to essentially badmouth Monica and put the blame on Tyson and Gervase, Monica’s alliance. Their moves seem to work on Monica, who takes the news incredibly hard, breaking down and crying. Monica is not a very good Survivor player but she does not deserve this personal barrage from Ciera and Hayden. I imagine that Tyson and Gervase have said some borderline unseemly things about Monica, but nothing to the extent that Ciera claims. It makes a large portion of the episode incredibly uncomfortable to watch.
The combined Immunity/Reward Challenge is another classic endurance and then solve a puzzle game. Tyson and Hayden head out into an early lead, but Gervase and Monica aren’t too far behind them. Ciera lags in last place and is thusly berated by host Jeff Probst. When the five reach the puzzle portion, however, Ciera shocks everyone by completing it first and winning immunity. Safe from the vote, she selects Hayden to join her in a Survivor dinner that the two gleefully eat in front of Monica, Gervase, and Tyson. Earlier in the episode, we saw Gervase and Monica talk about trust, committing to each other at a level of 10 out of 10. What happens next bends that trust, but doesn’t entirely break it…
At Tribal Council, Hayden and Ciera are swinging wildly. They know that Hayden is on the chopping block. I haven’t liked Ciera’s wild game play the last few weeks, but when she commits to an alliance she really commits to it – even when it is to her detriment. She rides Monica, throwing Gervase and Tyson under the bus continually. Tyson takes it stoically, barely responding and making logical points when he does speak. Gervase is a touch more emotional, and calls out Hayden rather loudly in front of the jury, never really a great idea. At the end of the vote, however, Monica ha stuck with her alliance, and she sends Hayden to Redemption Island, where he will face off against Tina and Laura M. for a shot back into the game. Sunday night will hopefully bring us an exciting finale. This episode was uncomfortable and nigh unwatchable, so I’m hoping for fireworks at the finale.