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Survivor: Blood vs. Water – Ep 5 – So Much For My Happy Ending

Things we learned on this week’s Survivor episode:

• Some massages that look amazing have no happy endings. (sorry about that – but how can that joke be resisted?)
• Survivor may cause leprosy.
• The Blood vs. Water twist has opened up an insane amount of nuance to the show.
• Sometimes the editors need to tone it down to make things less obvious.

So, we finally have the Family tribe winning a challenge. Interestingly, their first win comes immediately after Culpy’s departure. In fact, in the RI teaser at the end of the episode, Culpy (I think) was incredulous that the Faves lost a challenge. Sometimes you need the brawn to win Survivor challenges, but sometimes you need a positive energy in the tribe. I know that sounds very New Agey, but it’s true. Take out the contributing factor to the unrest and things become easier to do. With Culpy out, the remaining five bonded somewhat and went on to finally earning a victory.

I was positive they were going to win that challenge. In fact, I wrote it in my notes in the first 10 minutes of the show. This was during Sexy Massage Time. We have gotten very little coverage of the Faves this season – as they keep winning, the drama levels have been low. But all of a sudden we see Samoa Laura giving Aras possibly the sexiest massage ever shown on television. I mean, I was getting uncomfortable watching it. I heard funk music playing in the back of my brain. And that came with some talk about strategy from Aras, and Mrs. Rupert. I started to question the editing here.

It became super obvious when we went over to the Family and got the scars from the show. Ciera is riddled with bug bites. Others have scrapes and bruises. But worst of all, Katie has some form of trench foot (I got that at Woodstock 94 – so I know it sucks. Of course, my friend got crabs at the festival, so it could have been a lot worse) or something on her feet. Her toes are swollen and burning. And then we get a comment from her which sends chills down my spine, “I lost a toenail.” Ewwwwwwww. Good heavens. Katie is turning into a leper or perhaps a zombie. With all of these injuries, I felt the editing was setting up the Family for a heroic victory.
This was even more clear when Vytas was doing yoga on the Cliffside. Afterwards the team sat up on that majestic overlook and talked about winning. I was certain of their victory at this point. And that’s exactly what happened.

The other thing that didn’t surprise me was the Laura Decision. While logic was dictating that Mrs. Rupert was the choice – as she was an outsider that was struggling fitting in, and as Aras said, she was the easy vote – the editing was showing me that Samoa Laura was the target. First, we got the amazing erotic massage at the beginning of the episode. Then, more telling, was the shot of the Lauras and Monica sitting out the challenge. Why show us the three of them on the bench with SL and Monica bitching about Kitten participating and them sitting? Unless it mattered later.

Aras chose to employ a similar strategy to the Rachel Vote Off. The Family sent her to RI to entice Tyson to take her place – unique Blood vs. Water strategy. Aras looked over at RI and saw his alliance-mate’s husband – burly Culpy. His logic – put the bigger threat to beating him and eliminating him on RI so that Monica is forced to stay strong in Aras’ alliance. Interesting. Sending Samoa Laura there puts a strong puzzle solver on RI and gives the Culpy ousting more of a chance. Assuming it’s a puzzle challenge, of course. And as we saw this week – Dr. Cody and Culpy are not that bad at puzzles. As Monica pointed out, Culpy ain’t just a dumb jock – he’s a lawyer.

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