'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Ciera plays Katie hard

survivor-katie-blood-vs-water.jpgThe "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" castaways have merged and now it's our first post-merge Redemption Island duel. Will the Baskauskas brothers survive?

Redemption Island

The challenge is using a grappling hook to retrieve bags, then getting a ball through a table maze. So, Tina has a shot. It's not like something that is ridiculously favoring a fit young man -- and then look at that, Tina gets her first bag with her first toss.

And then Tina has all three bags in four tosses, incredible. But they all get to the table maze before someone has won, so it really is anybody's game. One wrong move and you're back at the beginning -- like Aras does right at the start.

Tina ALMOST has it and then it drops through the last hole. I actually shrieked out loud, that was super tense, haha. Then Vytas wins and is still in the game. Tina catches back up pretty quickly, though -- and then she finishes.

Well, you can't really cry that hard about someone leaving who has already won the million dollars. Fun to watch you and Vytas, Aras, but -- hit the road, Jack.

Of course, before Aras can leave, we have to have the Jeff Probst therapy session talking about their brotherly relationship. It's good that they've made strides as siblings and all, but it's also just kinda funny. Like, I expected Probst to shrug his Mr. Rogers sweater on over his blue shirt.

Vytas gives Katie the Hidden Idol clue and she decides to keep it. Um, yeah. She needs that sucker badly.

Kasama

Katie's bummed out and says she's defeated, which doesn't seem like a great attitude. You could easily try to find the crack in the seven-person alliance and get them to turn on the only pair left, Laura and Ciera. Or actually go after Laura and Ciera as a girls alliance to turn against Tyson. Monica might flip if you get rah-rah girl power enough.

After the duel, she sets off with her clue and while she's gone, the others decide they need to take all the sharp objects and dig where she digs. Tyson is sure he's going to have the sole Idol -- it's a shame there's no threat of another one to spice things up.

But he has a plan that doesn't involve Katie anyway -- get the four guys to vote Laura M. as a blindside, so that Ciera doesn't "have" to vote for her mom. Or so that she doesn't spill the beans.

Why can the girls not do the math? It's four-four if you team up, roll the dice with that. Laura and Ciera have to know they're vulnerable in their alliance. Weirdly, Ciera decides it's time to have the "Old Yeller" talk with her mom, basically telling her that she has to cut her loose. Or why don't you ditch the guys, with whom you are probably low man on the totem pole, Ciera?

Ciera thinks she's automatic final three if her mom leaves. What makes her think that? I mean, maybe. But she's a big threat to win if the jury is bitter. She's super sweet, likable, her mom's (presumably) been at Ponderosa talking her up. They're going to cut her so fast!

Wake up, Ciera. Get with Katie and Monica and see what you can do!

The show cues up the plinky-plunky strains of heartfelt mother-daughter bonding, as Laura is so proud of Ciera for standing up to her and being strong and independent, but -- this seems like a big mistake. Wouldn't Ciera rather have a partner in an alliance of four than be the fifth wheel in an alliance with four guys? Also, what if Tina comes back in the game and you're aligned with her daughter? Then you've got great numbers.

Can you tell it's really irritating me that they aren't even considering this?

In the morning, Katie takes off to find the Hidden Idol and Laura is hot on her heels to keep an eye on her. While they're gone, Tyson decides he has to tell Ciera they're voting her mom out -- he has no idea how easy that will actually be, since strong, independent Ciera is casting off the apron strings and standing on her own two feet, or some such nonsense.

Tyson is owning these people. It is not even funny.

Immunity Challenge

It's the one where they hang on to a rope and move down knot-by-knot until they fall into the water. Monica's pretty buff as far as upper body strength goes, she might do really well at this. Laura M. too, actually.

The dudes are all out first, Hayden and Caleb, then Gervase. Monica, as I predicted, looks pretty cool. Laura also looks pretty comfortable. Tyson might be in this for the long haul, though, he's so wiry. They're the final three. Then Laura falls, darn. That would've been interesting.

And Monica wins! Look at me, I'm like Miss Cleo over here. She is so thrilled to have Immunity, she gives up her hotdogs and pop to the tribe. As Caleb says, it's definitely somewhat political, but it mostly comes from a good place.

Sssssnake

The giant snake we've been seeing all episode, which I was wondering -- is the footage from "now" in the game, or is it just edited that way? -- but no, it turns out it's just hanging out around camp. And it's kinda big. I would not be cool with that at all.

Ciera the Poker Face

Whoa. All of a sudden in a rather awesome little scene, Ciera gets Katie to admit she doesn't have the Idol by saying that she (Katie) can't have it because she (Ciera) actually has it instead. For half a second, I thought Ciera had accidentally found Tyson's Idol and taken it (which would be amazeballs) but no, she's just playing Katie to find out if she has the Idol or not. And Katie just spills, just like that. Wow.

Ciera goes to her mom and says maybe they can convince Tyson and the guys vote Katie out. Oh, sweetie. No. The guys aren't going to go for that, Laura is a way bigger threat than Katie.

When she brings it up, the guys pretend to go along with it, but they're still ready to vote out Laura. I'm sorry, there's obviously so much we don't see, but I am convinced Ciera could've made a run at this if she had worked hard on Katie and Monica. Worst case is it's a tie, then a tie again, then a fire-making contest. At least you have a shot then.

I don't think for one second these guys keep Ciera around long enough to get to the finals. No way.

Tribal Council


The guys talk about how the Laura/Ciera pair is more dangerous than the Katie/Tina pair. Caleb cites because Laura is more of a competitor than Tina (Tina has won, she has nothing to prove). He's not wrong. Everyone is also pretty focused on breaking up the last loved one pairing.

Laura pipes up that they should not want to send her to the jury because she'll be there campaigning for her loved one. They should keep her because at the end, she and Ciera will have to compete against each other, but that is a terrible tactic -- she just told them why they should get rid of CIERA after she's gone. Dumb dumb dumb.

The votes go Laura, Katie, Laura, Laura, Laura and Laura. No big surprise there. Also, I'm so disappointed in these women.

Next week: Will Hayden and Caleb make a move with Ciera?

Photo/Video credit: CBS