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'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' Recap: Episode 7

Reid Nakamura |
October 30, 2013 | 11:15 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Laura M in the Redemption Island duel (CBS)
Laura M in the Redemption Island duel (CBS)

Last week, when Kat lamented that “no one wants to date someone who doesn’t make the merge,” it was pretty funny. This week, when she spent more and more time worrying what being voted out would do to her relationship with Hayden, it was less funny and more annoying.

She’s still bitter when she gets to Redemption Island, so she takes a bunch of personal swipes at her old tribemates. Her tune changes the next morning, though. She sits on the beach crying because she’s worried that Hayden will think less of her for having been voted out. Not because her alliance turned on her. Not because winning “Survivor” just became a lot less likely. Not even because now she has to spend time with Laura M. Because her boyfriend might get mad at her.

When the Survivors gather for the duel, she apologizes to Hayden for letting him down. She apologizes. Hayden tells her their relationship is more important than the game, so Jeff challenges him to switch places with her. Jeff eventually gets around to asking Kat what she wants—you know, as the person who will actually have to compete—and she admits that she’d like to switch. Suddenly, the pressure is on Hayden, who has every intention to stay right where he is. He hems and haws until Kat is forced to admit that they’d be best off “long term” if they don’t trade places.

I'm not sure this is a relationship worth crying over, Kat. (CBS)
I'm not sure this is a relationship worth crying over, Kat. (CBS)
He’s right not to want to switch, of course. It wouldn’t put either of them in a better position to win the game, but the roundabout way we got to that foregone conclusion was a little much. Kat, for all her misplaced priorities, at least respected Hayden enough to tell him directly what she wanted. Hayden, on the other hand, chose to condescend to her by asking her to consider “what would be best for us.” If you don’t want to switch, just say so. Don’t lead her with a trail of pedantic questions that end in her having to admit that you know better.

Kat’s trepidations are proven right when she struggles to figure out the puzzle portion of the duel (The same puzzle Cochran won in the final immunity challenge last season. Apparently, the challenge department can’t be bothered to come up with new challenges anymore. Not even lame ones). John runs away with it, easily completing his puzzle first. Meanwhile, Laura M ignores Kat’s accusations of cheating and stretches her rubberneck to copy off of John. Members of both tribes try to talk Kat through the puzzle, but even that’s not enough to save her from elimination. Laura finishes her puzzle first and Kat has to leave.

(Also: John once again gives Monica the clue to burn and neither they nor I can be bothered to figure out why we keep reliving this idiocy)

The sad music comes out for Hayden when the Survivors return to camp. He feels oh-so guilty because Kat can be a little “naïve” sometimes and he’s the one who’s supposed to take responsibility for her. He says that he “immediately regretted” his decision not to switch places with her. It’s funny because, as I remember it, Kat took responsibility for herself and chose to compete. Hayden didn’t actually make a decision, he forced her to do it.

Unfortunately for Aras, Kat’s elimination makes him the last Tadhana member with a loved one on the other tribe. Tyson immediately takes advantage of one of Aras’s meditation sessions to gather the rest of the tribe to plot against him. Foreseeing a merge, they’re worried that Aras has a stronger connection to his brother Vytas than to anyone in their tribe. Rather than letting one of the strongest pairs in the game reunite, they’d rather get rid of him now.

Speaking of Vytas, he’s in a similarly difficult position with his tribe. Kat’s elimination was a special consideration, the women of Galang still intend to send Vytas home next. Because he’s such a strong competitor, they know they have to send him home, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling sad about it. Tina is willing to send him home, but she still wants him to marry her daughter. Even Laura B. gushes over him in a way that would surely make Rupert uncomfortable.

"Women love a bad boy. But what they love even more is a newly-reformed bad boy." (CBS)
"Women love a bad boy. But what they love even more is a newly-reformed bad boy." (CBS)
What’s Vytas’s secret to winning over women? Yoga. In a continuation of last week’s explanation of his manipulative attempts to win over the women on his tribe, Vytas tells us that doing yoga has helped him understand “the feminine energy.” Gross. Apparently “the feminine energy” appreciates honesty because he tells them a story about lending a stranger $100. He just wants to live in a world where people are trustworthy, you guys.

One of two things is happening here: He’s either lying to his tribe when he tells them how much he hates the scheming aspect of “Survivor,” or he’s lying to us when he explains his attempts to ingratiate himself with his tribe are conscious and intentioned. Survivors lie all the time—both to other Survivors and to us—but the fact that it’s so difficult to tell exactly which one Vytas is doing makes him seem particularly smarmy. I’ve reached a point where I just assume he’s always lying.

Evidently, I was mistaken and the “Survivor” challenge department can still be bothered to come up with lame challenges. This week’s immunity challenge is a five-legged race, followed by a game simple enough for even drunk tailgaters to play. Four Survivors from each tribe are tied together and have to cross paths with the other tribe as they gather a set of bags. The final Survivor has to assemble bolas from the parts in the bags and land all three on a fence. The first leg of the challenge has the two tribes in a dead heat and Tyson and Tina are evenly matched on the last stage. It comes down to one bola each, but Tyson pulls out the win. A challenge this close should've been exciting.

Oh hey, Katie. Forgot you were here. How are your toes? (CBS)
Oh hey, Katie. Forgot you were here. How are your toes? (CBS)

With Galang going back to Tribal Council, it looks like Vytas is headed to Redemption Island. The women have already agreed that he’s the one to go, so Laura B breaks the news to him when they get back to camp. There’s no way Vytas didn’t already know he was the one to go, but the other women see this as a huge betrayal by Laura B. She didn’t ask them before telling him something he already knew! How dare she!

It was definitely dumb of her to make this decision unilaterally, but Laura B is harmless. The only reason she spilled the beans was because she felt so loyal to the whole tribe, she couldn’t bear the idea of a blindside. There’s no way she’d betray her alliance after the merge, but it’s highly likely that Vytas will. The fact that the other women use such a flimsy reason to consider voting her out suggests that they’re prioritizing personality over strategy. I have a hard time believing Tina would’ve been the target of a vote had she made the same mistake.

At tribal council, it’s pretty clear that Laura is going home. Monica quickly brings up Laura’s mistake and Tina even outright admits that she’s really only interested in making friends and having a good time (let’s not forget she’s already won this show once). Jeff reads the votes and to no one’s surprise they’re 4-1 for Laura. But what the heck, let’s throw “#BLINDSIDE” up on the screen, anyway.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Are you bothered by the way Hayden treats Kat like a child? Should Vytas have gone home? Excited for next week’s merge? Who do you think will come back from Redemption Island?

Reach Staff Reporter Reid Nakamura here.



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