Previously: Tyson was safe and happy with his alliance and his Hidden Immunity Idol, until Ciera realized she was number four in his group. She flipped the for the SECOND TIME IN SURVIVOR HISTORY, rocks were drawn!
Afterwards, Katie crept sheepishly into the Redemption Island camp. Tina was glad to be reunited with her daughter, but unhappy to see her daughter exiled. She spent a sleepless night, wonder whether or not to sacrifice herself so that Katie might possibly return to the tribe.
At Kasama, Hayden is excited by the big move Ciera made. Tyson scolds Gervase for letting Hayden know he was in danger. “Never tell an insane person that he’s the next to go home,” Tyson says. (Is that in the Boston Rob rulebook?)
Monica is happy and grateful that her boys didn’t flip on her. She hugs them, then tries to pull Ciera back into the group, taunting Hayden that he’s alone again. Ciera is not having that. She’s excited and proud of herself.
Monica asks Tyson, softly, if he has the Hidden Immunity Idol. He nods yes. So, Monica is thrilled. The moment she goes for a walk, Tyson turns to Gervase and says, “She’s not great at Survivor, but she’s come in handy.”
In the morning, Ciera interviews that, she ends up going home, she’ll have gone home fighting. She and Hayden try to put together a plan. Their best option is to find the Hidden Immunity Idol and win the Immunity Necklace. Barring that, they have to find a crack in Tyson’s alliance. “The great thing about my position right now: I have nothing to lose,” Ciera confesses.
At the Redemption Challenge, Jeff asks Tina about her emotions fighting against Katie for her life. Tina’s conflicted. She doesn’t know whether to let Katie win or not, but plans to decide “in the moment.”
The challenge is to bind bits of wood together to make a long stick. The stick is used to snag three different keys and bring them back to a quasi-cage (it’s really just a door — budget cuts?) and unlock it. The first two through their doors survive, the first one wins another HII clue.
Tina immediately starts yelling out advice to Katie on how to make her stick. Laura should mind, but she doesn’t because she’s got her stick done in about two seconds, and five seconds after that, she’s got her three keys and has opened her door.
“Laura wins!” Jeff yells for the benefit of the blind.
Laura then spends the rest of the challenge giving Katie even more tips and encouragement. Tina is the last person to snag the first key, but when Katie drops a key in the sand, it’s pretty much over. Still, Tina hesitates to step through her open cage door until Katie gives her the okay.
“I’m sorry,” Tina weeps as she goes through. After hugs, she tells Jeff that, as an adopted child, she never that family connection with anyone until Katie was born. Katie calls it a gift to have shared this experience with her mother. Everyone applauds as Katie manages to put her buff into the flame without dropping it on her head or setting the camp on fire.
Laura hands the HII clue to Ciera. I’m hoping that the clue reads Don’t even bother looking. Tyson’s got it stuffed into his undies.
But, after commercial we see the added information that the Idol is hidden “on a limb.” Hayden checks out a big banyan tree and doesn’t find it. He concludes that Tyson has most likely found it.
Gervase checks in with Monica to keep the alliance tight. She assures him that her trust in him is at level 10. But she later interviews that she’s in the game for Monica, not Tyson or Gervase.
Ciera and Hayden lie down in the shelter to rest, but their brains are working overtime. Gervase is not going to budge, so Hayden advises Ciera to try and persuade Monica. “Tell her that Tyson’s talking smack about her,” he instructs Ciera. She nods, agreeing to the plan.
This kind of strategy strikes me as very Big Brother. I haven’t watched a lot of that show, but when I do, it always seems very important to people whether or not others are trashing them behind their backs. It’s interesting to see this value system applied to the Survivor game.
And now is the time for the Immunity Challenge. The task is to push a small buoy along a rope, through various obstacles, and to the beach. Once there, the players can untie a bag of letter tiles. The tiles will spell out a phrase familiar to Survivor players and audience.
The players jump into the water and start moving as quickly as they can. Except Ciera, who seems to be taking her time. Jeff notes how far behind she is at several intervals in the race. She’s the last person to get her letters — the others have been working for a couple minutes at least. They have the word “vote” sitting on their tables, certain that it’s part of the phrase. Ciera puts that word together, too, but then changes it to “have” and soon gets the phrase You are going to have to dig deep. And, from the worst to the best, she’s suddenly won immunity! She does a happy dance and accepts the necklace with an adorably goofy grin.
Ciera also wins a special meal from the Survivor menu. Unlike previous rewards, she only gets to choose one person, and it’s Hayden. Tyson, Gervase, and Monica looks on sourly while Ciera and Hayden sit at their nice little table and enjoy a leisurely meal of pizza and burgers.
Gervase assures his alliance mates that they’re better off all sitting out the reward, then having one of them over with the cooty-ridded two. “That’s a nice way of looking at it,” Monica says dryly.
Later, Ciera takes Monica off to the beach, and spins a tale about Tyson being a total villain on the show. He talks trash behind your back, she warns Monica. Then why didn’t he flip? Monica asks. Why would he go to the extreme of picking rocks? Ciera explains that Tyson would have flipped, except he still needed the numbers. Monica starts to cry a little, and Ciera hugs her.
At Tribal Council, Katie enters with her hair washed and wearing a pretty blue dress. Hayden notes that she’s hot. I’ll bet, on the couch at home, Kat just gave him a dirty look. I’m sure she’s jealous. After all, Katie lasted longer in the game, so Hayden’s probably more attracted to her now….
But, I digress. Back to the game. Jeff asks Hayden if he’s looking for a crack in the Tyson/Gervase/Monica trio. Hayden rephrases it. It’s not looking for a crack, it’s speaking some truths. Monica tells about Ciera letting her know the “unbecoming things” that had been said about her. She admits to being hurt by it.
Tyson accuses Ciera of lying in order to sway Monica. He looks scared, as he should, since he has said plenty of demeaning things about Monica — if not perhaps the precise things Ciera claims he did. Ciera, looking righteous and sincere, says she told Monica, woman to woman so that Monica would know what kind of people she was playing with.
Gervase starts out making the sensible point that Ciera never said anything before she was outnumbered, but it turns into a rather desperate-sounding rant. “Who is in charge? Who is it?” he yells. “Nobody! That’s why they’re losing!”
Jeff asks Monica how she’s feeling, and she reminds him of the phrase “dig deep.” “I’m doing it,” she says. “I’m resilient. Morality and ethical issues are going to bite you in the ass in the end.”
Hayden points out that the perception is that Monica is Tyson’s lapdog. Then Ciera jumps in with an interesting argument about Monica’s family. She says that Monica’s children will be watching this, after seeing Tyson trashing her throughout the season. She urges Monica not to play Tyson’s game, but to play her own. “Your family will be cheering,” she concludes.
Monica puts her head in her hands as Jeff announces the vote. It’s all very suspenseful, but it doesn’t matter how slowly Jeff counts them, the deciding vote send Hayden to Redemption Island. He congratulates Tyson on his game, and assures everyone that there’s no hard feelings as his torch is snuffed out. He smiles at Ciera and tells her stay strong.
The finale is this Sunday. Some Redemptee will return to the game, and someone will win. See you there!