'Survivor 2013: Blood Vs. Water' - A Tale Of Two Lauras
October 17th, 2013 2:15pm EDT
Previously on … Survivor. The returning players had the game in control, despite the decimation of their loved ones on the competing team. Brad Culpepper thought he had the Tadhana tribe in his pocket, but overplayed his hand, and found himself blindsided at the last Tribal Council. A shocking move by Caleb, Colton’s fiancé, found Brad exiled to Redemption Island, to compete in a ‘thruel’ (duel for three) against John and Candice.
Brad told John and Candice that it’s just business, and that his actions were not personal. His only alliance is to Monica, his wife.
This week, Tadhana’s Hayden and Vytas are still a little confused and worried by Caleb’s sudden decision to oust Brad. While it was a good move, they would have preferred to have known in advance.
On Galang, Laura Morett is giving a deep body massage to Aras. He’s on the defensive the next day, saying that he’s not taking Laura’s actions as personal or sexual, but the rest of his tribe are a little skeptical. Rupert’s wife, Laura Boneham, feels like an outsider, and is finding the game more difficult that she imagined.
The next morning at Redemption Island, Galang discovers that Brad has been exiled. Monica, who had previously said that she would be amazed if Brad made it to the merge, is teary. She offers to trade places with Brad, but he insists that he’s good, he’ll get back into the game.
Jeff Probst points out that Candice has been Brad’s biggest detractor, yet she’s never actually spent any time with his tribe. She says she’s going on what she’s heard from his tribe members, when they’ve been voted off of Tadhana, and become fellow exiles on Redemption Island. Monica tells Candice that her feelings have been hurt by Candice’s words, but Candice reminds Monica that she was the instigator of Candice’s being sent to Redemption Island before the game began.
And so ... on to the duel/thruel. The players must disassemble a wood crate, and then build a bridge ladder. Once they have crossed the bridge, they will take it apart, and use the same pieces to solve a puzzle. Two will continue on Redemption Island, while the loser will leave the game.
All three are evenly matched. But at the end, Candice finishes just behind Brad. We now have a potential sitcom in the making, as Brad and John will spend the next several days together until another person arrives on Redemption Island.
John and Candice can barely let go of each other, as they kiss goodbye. Monica and her team mates are exultant. Probst probes into how John and Candice feel about this turn of events. Candice is devastated. John is sad that Candice never really got to play this season of Survivor, and now has to leave. They embrace. Candice tosses her buff into the urn, and tells everyone to “have fun.”
Once again, winner John offers the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol to Monica. And once again, Monica opts to throw the clue into the fire, unread.
Day 11 on Galang. The day is sunny, the water beautiful, and her tribe mates console Monica; Brad may be down, but he’s not out. She’s sure that he can get back into the game, by hook or by crook. But Tina immediately sees a crack in Monica’s veneer; Tina feels that Monica, with or without husband Brad, could either be a huge threat, or a big asset. Which that will be has yet to be determined.
On Tadhana, the newbies are feeling the pain. Not much food, less water, poor shelter, and the lack of basic grooming amenities has the younger players feeling a little off kilter. Everyone’s covered in bug bites and road rashes, and it’s taking a toll.
Vytas interviews that no one is sure how to take Caleb’s about-face at Tribal. They’re a little in awe at his bold move, but aren’t sure if he’s trustworthy. Caleb himself is aware that the tide has turned; it’s up to him whether he sticks with the male alliance, or jumps to being on side with the girls. Having no particular allegiance, he’s a self-titled “Big Kahuna.”
Overall, Tadhana is happy, and less stressed with Brad out of the tribe. They are a little worried about the upcoming challenge, but feel generally relaxed and capable.
And so to the Immunity Challenge, where one member of each tribe will race down a giant Survivor slide, grabbing a ring along the way. They will then toss the ring, attempting to land it on a post. Each ring landed earns a point, and first tribe to five points wins Immunity, and a reward of juicy steaks, vegetables, spices, and a cooking wok. Or the winning tribe can trade in the food for fishing gear. Survivors ready?
Monica, Laura B. and Laura M. sit out for Galang. Gervase and Caleb are the first two to compete, and Caleb lands his ring, while Gervase does not. Tyson and Hayden are next, with Tyson getting a point. Kat and Katie spar, with Katie landing a point for Tadhana. The brothers Vytas and Aras compete; Vytas takes a big lead for Tadhana, now at 3 to 1. Tina is up against Ciera, and wins her point.
In Round Two, Caleb scores against Tyson, with the score now 4 to 2. With only one point to go, Tadhana is as close as they’ve ever been to a win, as Hayden goes up against Gervase. Hayden scores the point and Tadhana wins their first challenge of the season, and reward!
Tadhana decides to take the steak dinner over the fishing gear, giving up the chance to feed themselves for the rest of the game over a chance to feed themselves immediately, and leave quickly to devour the protein.
So, for the first time, Galang will have to visit Tribal Council, where someone will be voted off and sent to Redemption Island. The tribe shakes its collective head in disbelief.
Laura B. thinks she will be the first voted off Galang, as Rupert’s wife, and the least experienced amongst the tribe. After all, Tadhana booted her off their tribe before they’d even met her.
Gervase, in his tight blue underwear, does little to reassure her. Laura B. tries to stir up dissent by telling Kat that Monica and Laura M. were critical of Kat’s decision to be in the challenge, as they felt they’d have had more chance of winning. Kat dismisses Laura B’s words as the words of someone who knows she’s low on the tribe’s priorities.
Tyson feels secure in his core alliance of himself, Gervase, Monica, Tina and Aras. He’d also include Kat on the outskirts of that alliance, but both of the Laura’s are definitely outside of the group. Their plan is to vote out someone who annoys the others, and right now, that’s Laura B.
Laura M. asks Aras who’s going home, and they agree that Laura B. is their choice. But Aras also wonders if Laura B. might not be too easy a vote; “Easy votes are often the dumbest votes in this game.” Aras and Tyson confer, and Aras wonders if Laura M. might be a better player to send to Redemption Island. Since most of the RI challenges are puzzles, Laura M. might beat Brad, making Monica more reliant on her tribal alliance. Laura M. is a monster at solving puzzles, so she’d have a fair chance at beating both John and Brad at Redemption Island. Everyone seems to have forgotten that Laura M. has twice pulled Galang to challenge victory by her ability to solve puzzles.
As the Galang tribe arrives at Tribal Council, Aras is still unsure of his decision. Probst immediately asks Gervase, who played in Season One, how he feels about being back at TC, 13 years later. Gervase says that he’s aware of how crazy it all is, and that he came into the game expecting to play one way, but that it’s a very different game now.
Tina, from the second season, is also asked how it feels to be back. She can’t believe how game play has changed, and says that the Blood vs. Water angle has also had a huge impact on her gameplay. Monica agrees that making decisions based on worrying about a loved one doubles the stress of the game.
Aras and Laura M. say that they’re not worrying about their loved ones on the other team; they’re just playing the game full out against competitors.
Jeff asks Laura B. if she belongs on her tribe, a group of people who’ve played before. She says that she may be a newbie, but she feels a part of the tribe, the decision making, and the play. She feels she’s shown herself to be a hard worker who belongs in the tribe.
Monica agrees, saying that Laura B. has been with them since Day One; she fishes, she makes fire ... she definitely has a place on the tribe. Jeff says that that’s what everyone says just before they vote someone out of the tribe.
Jeff rubs it in by telling Laura that, no matter how hard she tries, she’ll never take the place of tie dyed Rupert, beloved man of the woods. But Laura insists that she’s bonded with her tribe, and feels confident that they’ll keep her on.
Laura M. interjects that Laura B. has never before been to a Tribal Council, nor has she ever felt the sting of having Jeff extinguish her torch. (Nor has Aras, for that matter, the very person behind the imminent blindside.) And on that note, they begin the vote.
Laura M. and Laura B. vote for each other, both saying that there’s only room for one Laura on the tribe. But when the votes are counted, it’s Laura M. who has to do the walk of shame. She’s grim faced as Jeff snuffs her torch.
Jeff says he expected nothing less than a blindside at the returning team’s first vote, and says that it shows that you can never predict what will happen next.
As Laura M. approaches Brad and John at Redemption Island, she admits that she’s shocked at being exiled. She determines that she must win the upcoming duel, and get back into the game, despite no longer trusting her tribe mates.
Next time on, Survivor: Gervase and Tyson worry that Aras has taken control of their tribe. Is it time to dethrone King Aras? But things go sideways when Jeff announces it’s time to switch things up, right before the duel begins on Redemption Island.
Photo Credits: CBS