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Survivor: Blood vs. Water – Ep 10 – Water Wins

Blood was spilled this night on Survivor. The twist of the season was having returning players playing with and against their loved ones. The question was always going to be, in the end, would the previous relationships trump the ones made in the necessity of the game. Two weeks ago, with the ouster of Aras and the destruction of his six-person couple alliance, the defeat of blood began. This week – it is all but assured.

The only chance of a loved one reunion is if either Tina or Laura returns to the game at the Final Five AND Ciera or Katie remains in the game at the time. If so, then a pair of two out of five becomes very interesting. Will the other three band together? Or will one of them see an opportunity to be an alternative to two rather than three individuals in the Final Tribal? But the chances of that are small – as there are several truels still to come.

The other way blood got its platelets beaten down this week…for the first time a loved one voted against the other. And I have to give props – Ciera is proving to be a really good player. I mentioned how Vytas needs to come back some other time to play again, well, I think the same goes for Ciera. She is showing rather unexpected game – at least strategically. She is still horrible at challenges. However, two-time winner Sandra was simply awful at challenges and that never got in her way.

And I don’t know just how many past Survivors would have had the cojones to vote their own mother out of the game.

But she did. And she owned it. She very easily could have told her alliance that she wouldn’t fight the vote, but come on, it’s her mom. No vote from the daughter. Laura would have easily been voted out regardless of Ciera’s vote and the younger Morett’s loyalty would not have been questioned. But she went all in and wrote her mom’s name down.

The best part of it – it was the right strategic move, and Ciera knew it. And amazingly, it didn’t seem as if Laura knew it. Mom was in bad shape going into the merge – she was the returning RI truel winner. There is not a good history there for the winners. And now as the last remaining couple – they were both going to be targets. There is no real scenario building that would have seen Laura win this game. However, Ciera is in a good spot to get to the end. Presumably, she’d have one jury vote in mom. The question is can she sway the others – Ciera on the stand, and mom in Ponderosa – that she’s earned this. You can certainly make the argument that she has – she has played HARD. And had to survive a lot of early votes to get where she is right now. I can see the dudes all looking at her as the Unloved Dude tiebreaker vote at the Final Five. That could easily be a F3 alliance for her right there.

She saw this – and went full on House of Cards with her strategizing. Mom had to go. She even suggested to mom that if she didn’t go and lingered to the F6, that she’s clearly done at that point. And if she won the F6 immunity, it would seal Ciera’s ousting. Well played, indeed.

The funny thing is – this was not even my favorite Ciera move of the night. That would be her world class bluff to Katie’s face. I loved this move, even if it really meant nothing in the grand scheme of things in the game. We all know that Tyson has the idol. So, yes, this discussion doesn’t matter at all, but it was still a great piece of Survivor playing by Ciera. Katie had just searched for the idol and was chilling on the hammock. Ciera joined her former partner-in-crime and hung out. They pinky swore. It was nice.

However, Katie decided to let it drop that she had the idol. Nice try. Ciera said she could not have had it because she had it already. And Katie fell for it instantly. She folded more quickly than teenage boy’s vow of celibacy when surrounded by cheerleaders. Ciera had successfully figured out that Katie had no protection at Tribal Council and tried to use that info to save her mom at the vote. Really, really good job, Ciera. It didn’t make a difference…but I was impressed.

It’s funny – Tyson’s first time around, his nemesis was a woman named Sierra. Is it possible that could be the case again? Note that moment early in the episode where Ciera tells Laura to let Tyson do everything – puts the target on his back.

The only other substantial development was the truel. So, the first member of the jury would be decided , and two others would survive for another day on RI. Going into this, I was certain that the brothers would cruise for another three days. Especially after seeing that this was not a balance challenge. I will admit, I didn’t give Tina a chance at all. That’s not remotely sexist – there have been tons of women on this show that can ace challenges. This was Tina-ist. I just didn’t think she could do it.

The challenge was the same one from the South Pacific duel where Cochran almost beat Ozzy. Toss a grappling hook to secure three bags of balls. Then place a ball on a table maze, and using a system of pulleys, get the ball to the end of the maze. Tina aced the grappling hook part. That was unexpected. She earned a huge lead over the boys, and despite losing it at the end of the maze, had learned all of the twists and turns. Vytas caught up to her and passed her to win the challenge, but she was able to use her early advantage to defeat Aras. He never really seemed to get a grasp of the maze – he was going way too fast through it.

So, Aras is done. He got overconfident and lost it this season. I wonder how much of that comes from his huge success in winning Exile Island – he wasn’t on the lookout for mistakes. He should have been. Cirie was watching his back all throughout that season, doing the dirty work. All Aras had to worry about was making the jury happy and finding a way to beat Terry eventually. And if we all remember, it was Danielle who finally did that.

I still rank Aras low on the list of winners, and this season does not make me rethink that opinion at all. I will give him this – he left the game in a classy way, and I assume he will not be a bitter jury member. Probst tries to get a touching moment from the brothers as Aras leaves, but clearly they aren’t on board. It is a bit forced – clearly these guys are cool with each other. They fight. They have history. They’re friggin’ brothers – of course they fight and have some strained history. Bah.

So, we move along. The Unloved is in clear control. But what happens once they excise Katie? Or will they? Katie could be a very important vote right now if someone makes a move against Tyson or Gervase. And to be honest, whom do you trust to make that move? I only trust Ciera. And man, what an unexpected place to be in this season.

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