Survivor Blood Vs. Water Episode 7 Discussion and Recap (UPDATED)

Previously on Survivor

There was a tribe switch. Vytas washed up on the Island of Women and attempted to assimilate by showing his softer side. Ciera became the only woman in a tribe of men and did nothing interesting. While Tyson and Gervase schemed to take Aras down, Kat expressed annoyance at Monica for talking strategy. This was enough to get her thrown out of the new Galang tribe.

Kat puts on a brave face when she arrives at Redemption Island. She complains that everyone in the tribe had bigger targets on their backs, but she was the one blindsided. How stupid was that?

By the next morning, she’s crying by herself on the beach. Her biggest worry isn’t that she’s almost out of the game. What’s upsetting her is her fear that Hayden will break up with her, since she’s too much of a loser to make the merge.

Hayden looks inscrutable when Jeff delivers the news that Kat has been voted out. Kat troops into the arena, carrying her torch and immediately bursts into tears. “I’m so sorry!” she sobs, hugging Hayden. He shakes his head at the idea that she’s disappointed him. “Our relationship is going to be fine,” he tells Jeff. “My relationship with Kat is more important, even, than this game.”

There is a big discussion over whether Hayden will sacrifice his place to Kat. It’s clear she wants him to, but it’s just as clear how stupid that plan would be. He’s sitting pretty with his tribe, and while Kat obviously isn’t. Still, she’s scared of the challenge, because it’s a puzzle and she can’t even spell. Nevertheless, she finally sees the wisdom of keeping Hayden (the far superior player) in the game.

So, the challenge is to untie a lot of knots, releasing a machete. The redemptees then must cut a rope with the machete, releasing a bag of puzzle pieces. Then they must build the very same flame-shaped 3D puzzle that John Cochran did to win final immunity in the previous season.

They start! Hayden cheers on Kat, while Ciera encourages her mother, Laura M. But it’s John who flies through the puzzle, finishing first. Laura soon leaves Kat (who, in addition to the spelling thing, doesn’t seem to know how jigsaw puzzles actually work), in the dust. Kat cries, hugs Hayden some more, and begs him not to break up with her. And then, thankfully, she leaves the game forever. Goodbye, Crying Miley!

John awards the immunity idol clue to Monica. After some polite and sarcastic thanks, she tosses the clue into the fire again. And so the Redemption Island challenge concludes.

Back at Tadhana, his team mates comfort Hayden for the pain he felt in having to let Kat fend for herself. He interviews about how guilty he feels.

We watch Aras meditate on a mountaintop like those cartoon gurus from the New Yorker. He talks about how happy he is to still be on a tribe with Tyson and Gervase. Meanwhile, Tyson is auditioning for the role of Iago by badmouthing Aras to the original Tadhana tribe members. He tells them that Aras is just waiting to get back together with Vytas so that they can control the tribe. Tyson’s not wrong about that, but he’s so insidious that he ought to have a moustache he can twirl as he speaks.

On Galang, Tina is giving Vytas dating tips so he can marry Katie. Okay, then. I don’t think anyone’s ever tried that strategy before. Laura B. finds Vytas quite the most admirable of men. Although she’s naturally shy, he’s taught her to open up and trust people. Vytas stresses (at every opportunity) how uncomfortable he is with lying and the general dishonesty of the game. In an interview, he monologues that “Women love a bad boy, but they love even more is a newly reformed bad boy.’

I find his ability to wrap these women around his finger amusing, in a Richard III kind of way. But my brother nails it on the head when he calls Vytas “Wickham” (from Pride and Prejudice). This is why it would behoove future Survivors to read the classics.

The Treemail arrives with promises of bondage fun. The Immunity Challenge requires four tribe members to be chained together. Two of those four are shackled to a metal coil. Once freed from the coil. all four must navigate to and collect bags of metal balls. The fifth member must attach the balls to the chains, creating bolos, which are then hurled onto wooden slats. The first team to get three bolos wrapped around the slats wins.

Tadhana takes the early lead, and moves well, with someone (Caleb, I think), shouting “Outside, Inside” to give them a marching beat. But the other team catches up, and Vytas gains them some time by blocking Aras from reaching one of the bags. Tina has a slight lead in untying the bags, but Tyson is slightly better at tossing the bolos and Tadhana wins, 3 to 2. For the second time in as many weeks, Galang will be going to Tribal Council.

Tadhana’s reward is a fried chicken dinner. Tyson’s happy, but he gloats that he hasn’t gone to bed hungry yet. He tells his tribe mates to eat rice every day, and because he’s a veteran, they listen to him.

Galang is very depressed. Laura feels so terribly about the girl’s plan to vote out Vytas that she up and tells him as soon as they get back. He hangs his head, but the music turns sinister and we see that Monica’s getting her hackles up. She’s not happy that Laura took the initiative to spill the news. Tina knows that Vytas is a threat, but worries that Laura is unpredictable. When Vytas asks her, Tina suggests he write down Laura’s name. Vytas is happy to go along with that plan.

At Tribal Council, Laura tells the story of how she told Vytas — fair and square — that he was going home. Monica remarks that Laura’s action took her aback. Vytas begins making sentences, all of which contain the word “trustworthy.”

“It doesn’t matter how many girls we have, it matters how many trustworthy people we have,” he says, blinking his eyes like a harmless sheep. Jeff asks Vytas about his relationship with Aras, and Laura is smart enough to point that bond out as a danger. She tells Jeff that, coming from a farm, she’s shy and it’s only now that she’s coming out of her shell.

And the votes are cast. The first is for Vytas, the second for Laura, and… then it’s Laura, Laura, Laura, and she picks up her torch. Vytas ducks his head to hide his smile. Somehow, I don’t think Laura will be coming out that shell again in a hurry.

In her final words of the night, she vows never to vote with those girls again. Oh, Laura. Don’t blame it on the other women. Blame it on your heart.

Next Week: The final Redemption Challenge! It’s an endurance challenge, and the tribes will merge! See you then. You bring the rice, I’ll bring the fish.