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Survivor: Cagayan has been all about Tony, but minor character arcs have appeared here and there throughout the rest of the season as well. Tonight we get a heaping helping not only of Kass, but also of Woo. More Woo is always welcomed – the guy seems to be having a great time on the island and his freewheelin’ style of gameplay is fun to watch when he’s on. The problem is that Woo is often not on, and the quieter aspects of his game don’t make the edit obviously. Kass started strong, then flipped on her alliance, then became a solid non-flipper, and tonight she seems to want to flip again. Kass has displayed moments of self-awareness and intelligence, but she has also given us moments of misguided gameplay where she has demonstrated she has no idea how to play Survivor.
The beginning of the episode is all about Tony vs. Kass. Kass believes she overhears Tony speaking ill of her. Tony protests, and Woo backs him up. Kass refuses to believe either of them. Spencer sits out on the debate, indicating he is willing to let Tony and Kass devour each other. Tasha agrees and stays neutral as well. Tony is unwilling to let the situation go, and he trades barbs with an increasingly petty Kass. To his credit, Tony apologizes for the misunderstanding, but Kass’ bad attitude and pettiness is something she can’t escape apparently, and she continues to disrespect Tony, spouting off insulting phrases in his direction. Tony doesn’t exactly not deserve her ire, but her pettiness and childishness are not easy to watch.
The Reward Challenge is yet another classic physical strength in part one followed by puzzle in part two. The six remaining players are divided into groups of two. Tony, Tasha, and Trish take on Woo, Spencer, and Kass. Though Tony’s team jumps out to an early lead, it is Woo, Spencer, and Kass who prevail. Their reward allows them the opportunity to visit a local school and deliver school supplies to the children. I loved this scene, because it gave Woo the opportunity to entertain a hundred school kids with his basketball skills and kung fu prowess. Woo manages to impress Kass, who then approaches him with the idea to blindside Tony/Trish. If Tony plays his idol, then they flush an idol. If he does not, he could be voted out.
Back at the beach, Tony grows ever more paranoid. He feels a blindside coming his way, but he knows he has the super-powered Hidden Immunity Idol, so he knows he can survive whatever they throw his way. It is interesting to see how Tony acts when he knows his power in the game is slipping away. He’s so close to the end, and has the tools to get to the final two or three (whichever they’re doing this year, I’m not sure), but he also knows that the game is nearing the individual portion, and he will soon be without his alliance of Woo and Trish and be on his own.
The Immunity Challenge is interesting but ultimately boring. Contestants much count a series of objects and then use the numbers to unlock a combination lock. This will free up a metal bar from the lock, which they will use to smash a tile. First to smash their tile wins the challenge. The interesting part of this challenge is just how long it goes on. An elapsed 25 minutes goes by before Spencer finally pulls off the victory. His win ends Tasha’s Immunity Idol run at three in a row, which could spell her doom.
Back at the beach, Kass is reconsidering her possible blindside vote. She approaches Woo and tells him that Tony has the potential to be seen as completely unlikable by the jury. This would mean that Tony, even if he reaches the finals, might not win because of his treacherous gameplay and scorched earth tactics. At Tribal Council, Woo basically reveals a blindside plan, but the question is whether he is targeting Tony or Tasha. In the end, Woo and Kass stick to their majority alliance and vote out the challenge dominator Tasha. She goes home but her head is held high – she knows she was voted out because she was a true threat to win the game.