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Survivor: Blood vs. Water – Ep 4 – “What just happened?”

The title this week was spoken by Ciera after the votes were tallied and the Family Tribe just took part in one of the wackiest and incredible blindsides/power plays in the history of this show. I have said it before, I’ll say it again, it is amazing that so many seasons into this show that they can still have new and unique things happen. It is why the show still works and thrives when so many other reality shows have faltered over time.

Also incredible…somehow the Survivor Gods have tapped into doing what I want them to do. I had enough of Candice – she is voted out immediately (although I am beginning to regret that). Rupert was back…again. He makes a moronic choice and gets to be the first one eliminated for good. Tired of Colton’s antics? He quits. Now, if only something could happen to Culpy…

BOOM! All of a sudden, Colton’s inclusion this season makes all the sense in the world. He wasn’t included to feature himself…we needed Colton so we could meet Caleb. Surely, Caleb sees something in Colton that none of us do – but now we can all see what Colton sees in Caleb. What a bold move – and what a perfect move. The question remains…is this a one-shot deal, or can he make a lasting impression. The promos for next week bode badly, but for this week – he is awesome.

Let’s start with the ever-changing strategy of Culpy. If you recall, the main excuse he gave for shanking – or Johnning – his key alliance mate last week was his fears that John and Candice would link up in the event that Candice made it all the way through the truels and re-entered the game at the merge. The logic to that is, of course, strained – first she would have to win many truels, then she’d have to not be the same target most RI winners have been, then she’d have to prove to be a poor alliance mate. Because where would Candice have to go – to the tribe that voted her out immediately? Or would she provide another number to the Five Guys alliance?
Doesn’t matter, because Culpy was viewing this through jealous eyes – he couldn’t lose his waterfall buddy. Plus, John’s mangling of the idol clues led to the breaking of Five Guys. NOW, however, Culpy is claiming that maybe it’s a good thing to keep those with loved ones and oust those without…because he can’t keep taking crap at the RI arena for the vote outs. The only one this applies to is Caleb. And he knows it.

After losing the challenge – again – Culpy does not follow the Four Guys Alliance into the woods to “gather firewood,” but instead lingers behind with Ciera and Katie and tells them that he is going after Caleb, not them. They are skeptical, but hopeful. The boys? They notice Culpy is lagging behind. The fallout from the John vote is starting to take hold – they no longer trust Culpy because once you turn on one alliance member, anyone could be next.

Tribal started off slowly, but after Culpy implied that he would be open to a plan to vote out singles, Caleb speaks up. (Keep in mind, much of this seemed rather chopped together, just like most Tribal Councils. I am dubious that Caleb’s move happened exactly as we witnessed) He knows Culpy is working against him and he tells Ciera that he doesn’t want her to go home. He is now going to vote for Culpy and invites them to join him. They do.

Before we discuss what happened next, a word on the voting rules. In the event of a tie, at this stage in the game, we have a re-vote. Those tied don’t vote again, but the rest do. If it remains tied, there is no fire-making challenge. We have Purple Rock Madness. And this nugget, which could explain away Cochran’s South Pacific flipping, is the key element. Those receiving votes are immune in the Rock Pull – the rest of them are at risk. That means for our purposes this week – Culpy and Ciera would be immune, and Caleb, Vytas, Hayden and Katie would have a 25% chance of elimination. That is a huge risk for them to take.

Hayden considered it for a while before deciding that he could live with the rocks. However, Vytas was not so keen on that, so he turned on Culpy and sent him to Cody Island. Now, the Family Tribe has become interesting. Five Guys is now Three Guys. The women are now players potentially. In fact, a Caleb and the Women alliance is not all that out of the question. Hayden seems the most likely to be in trouble at the next vote – even if he was essentially correct in thinking having Culpy around is a good move to keep the heat off the others. Up is down, and down is up.