Recap and results of Survivor: Blood vs. Water – Episode 4 – One Armed Dude and Three Moms:
Welcome to the recap and results for Episode 4 of Survivor: Blood vs. Water, “One Armed Dude and Three Moms”!
After Tribal Council
We see the footage from the end of last week, in which John arrives on Redemption Island following his blindside, to the horror of Candice. She immediately chides her husband for being too trusting, and then nearly sends me into a fit of hysterics by saying she wishes she would have given him more strategic pointers before the game started, as though she has any pointers to give. (This is the same Candice who randomly defected in Survivor: Cook Islands the moment she was presented the opportunity by Probst, and even though she was in an untenable situation in her own camp, it really didn’t end up working out for her any better once she stepped off the mat and switched tribes. Although, to be fair, Jonathan Penner joined her, and he doesn’t get nearly the same amount of flack for that decision, when really he probably should)
Back at Tadhana, Caleb worries about his position in the game following Colton’s decision to quit, as he’s now the only person in the tribe without a loved one in the game. I don’t really see how that hurts him. If anything, it makes him valuable, as he’s one of the few genuine free agents in the game, with no emotional ties. He could really change up the game if he strikes at the right moment. It’s all about little moves at the right time, as opposed to big moves all the time. Brad Culpepper could stand to learn a bit of subtlety.
So the competitors and the tribes arrive for the duel, and Probst cuts right to the heart of the matter, asking Candice what it was like when her husband arrived on Redemption Island. She states that she was pretty upset, saying that she wishes the person voted off would have been someone she could hate, like Brad Culpepper. She goes on to flip out on Brad, saying that all he does is shush the women in his camp and send them to Redemption Island because he’s afraid of the other men, who could beat his ass. For her part, Monica sticks up for her husband, but Candice doesn’t really want to hear it. John affirms that every vote on Tadhana so far has been Brad’s idea, and Brad astutely observes that John made a mistake in trusting him in the first place. Seriously, guys, Brad can’t run the show if you don’t let him! How is this hard to understand?
The duel has the contestants guiding a key through a rope maze, and using the key to unlock a bag of puzzle pieces to solve at the end of the course. It’s a fairly straightforward event, but it features some amusing moments, including Culpepper, of all people, giving challenge advice to John. Ultimately, John wins the challenge while Candice narrowly beats Marissa, sending her home.
JOHN wins the Redemption Island Duel! CANDICE comes in second!
MARISSA is eliminated from Survivor: Blood vs. Water!
Things get interesting when John must decide who gets the hidden immunity idol clue. Candice tells him to give it to Monica, in order to put a target on her back, leading Probst to ask if John always does what Candice says, with Candice amusingly remarking that this is how marriages work. Of course, Candice has that principle thrown back in her face, as Brad orders Monica to toss the clue into the fire, and Monica takes the advice. Aras observes that Monica made the right decision in destroying the clue, as the hidden immunity idol makes a person a huge target in this game. However, Monica expresses concern that every Redemption Island duel features the evicted contestants raging against Brad.
Of course, what’s funny about all this Brad-hating is that John actually expresses appreciation at having the opportunity to spend so much time alone with his wife, as we see the husband and wife pretty much treat Redemption Island as a second honeymoon.
Back at Tadhana, Brad is annoyed at continually being accused of being the ringleader. However, he does cop to being a natural leader, saying that it’s instinctual for him to lead his “family.” He comes up with a fairly clever plan to take the heat off himself for the next Redemption Island duel, assuming that they have to vote someone off again. Brad floats the possibility of eliminating Caleb next, since he has no loved ones left in the game to get angry.
Monica expresses disbelief back at camp that Brad could truly be as bad as everyone says he is. She believes he’s a helpful person who honestly would do whatever he could to help his camp. Gervase, however, says that Monica needs to stop looking at Brad as the man she knew back at home, and start looking at him as a Survivor player. He states that no one wants to admit that their loved one could be the bad guy, but sometimes that ends up being the case, since the game has such a transformative effect on people. Monica muses that she would be shocked if Brad made it to the merge, at this point.
Meanwhile, Tyson is taking it easy around camp, at the behest of Gervase, since his shoulder is still on the mend from his injury in the last immunity challenge. Tyson and Gervase have a sort of easygoing alliance, secretly opening coconuts for their own consumption and sharing them with one another. However, Tyson has misgivings about Gervase’s reliability. Yet there are bigger fish to fry, as Tyson worries about the possibility of Aras and Vytas both making it to the merge, as the brothers are insanely competitive individually, and could turn the entire game around if they united.
The challenge is a canoe race in which the tribes must paddle to various stations to release crates from underwater. Once released, the crates must be brought onboard one-by-one and taken back to shore, at which point the crates will be assembled to form the words Blood vs. Water. After the crates are assembled, the remaining tribe members must solve a puzzle to release a key, allowing the tribemates to open a lock that will release the tribe flag for the win. In addition to immunity, the tribes are competing for a breakfast reward (croissants, tea, the whole nine years), or fishing equipment, if they choose they would rather have a more long-term solution to the whole hunger problem.
It’s one of the more exciting immunity challenges, as Tadhana takes an early lead. Brad proves his worth to the tribe by tearing through the challenge whenever he has to go under water to retrieve a crate. Galang, meanwhile, is suffering a bit as Tyson’s arm remains in a sling, although he tells Probst before the challenge that his arm is getting stronger everyday. The race is neck-and-neck, as Galang makes up serious ground when Tadhana’s crates fall out of their canoe. It remains close as the tribes get to the puzzle section, but once again, it’s Galang that pulls ahead and secures the victory.
GALANG wins immunity/reward!
Laura M. breaks down in a confessional after the challenge, saying that she wants her daughter, Ciera, to succeed. However, she has a tribe that is counting on her. She tearfully worries that her daughter could be going home, sadly stating that she knows her daughter can’t beat her. Oh, Laura. You’re just wonderful.
Back at camp, the tribe discusses the plan, and it’s mostly down to Caleb and Ciera. Caleb worries about his position in the game, saying that the tribe could easily go from four guys to three. However, Brad rationalizes that voting off Ciera will make the tribe stronger, even if it means yet another angry family member at the next Redemption Island duel. Once again, the choice is framed as ultimately coming down to whatever Brad feels like doing.
Brad immediately throws Ciera under the bus, basically blaming her for Tadhana losing the challenge in the final leg of the race. Brad then throws a suggestion out there that perhaps it would be better to vote out someone without a family member, in order to keep from catching heat at Redemption Island. This results in Caleb calling Brad out for making him feel like a lamb being led to the slaughter, accusing Culpepper of mounting a “campaign” against him. Caleb then announces to the tribe that he’s going to write Brad’s name down, offering others a chance to go in with him on the plan. Katie’s reaction face is priceless. If Colton were half as real as his fiance, he never would have been anywhere near as maligned. In brief, CALEB IS AWESOME.
Brad tries to play the bigger man by saying he isn’t voting for Caleb, and says “You can write my name down if you want.” With that, we get to the vote, kicking it off with Caleb writing Brad’s name down and saying “You mess with the bull, you get the horns.”
And so we get to the vote, and…
IT’S A TIE!
Brad and Ciera get three votes apiece, so we must revote. Neither Brad nor Ciera will participate in the vote, and the remaining tribe members can only vote for Brad or Ciera. We get some amazing drama from this moment, as Hayden considers his vote, begins to write Ciera’s name down, and then crosses it out! We get to the vote, and it’s a majority…
BRAD CULPEPPER is voted off of Survivor: Blood vs. Water!
What’s amazing about this is that we learn Hayden didn’t even change his vote! It was Vytas who flipped and aligned with Caleb and the girls to vote out Brad!
Caleb appears to have completely upended the power dynamic of the game by organizing the vote against Brad, and even Probst is impressed with the move. For his part, Brad insists he isn’t mad and says he made a mistake, adding that he’ll try to get back into the game. Of course, before he can, he’ll have to endure the most awkward couple of days in the history of Redemption Island.
Naturally, the question is now whether Caleb actually changed the game, or if he simply moved up a plan that had always secretly been in the works. I can’t imagine that the Locker Room alliance didn’t plan on voting out Brad at some point, but I imagine someone like Vytas saw more of a longterm use in Brad than in Ciera. However, with Brad gone, Vytas seems to inherit the leader role, unless someone else steps up. So has Caleb actually changed the dynamic of Tadhana, or has he simply shifted the power from one tyrant to another? We’ve been given no reason to suspect Vytas would be a tyrant. Hell, we have no reason to suspect he’s anything other than a shrewd player. When paired with Caleb, they could make a really interesting power duo. But that requires level heads to prevail, as I could easily see Caleb becoming intoxicated by the high of a big move succeeding. And that kind of attitude inspires other big moves — moves that are loud and unnecessary, and potentially fatal to one’s game. It should be a crazy couple of weeks.
And we already get a peek at how awkward things have already become on Redemption Island, as Brad arrives and offers a truce. Candice is beyond amused, saying she had been minding her own business, sleeping in the safety of their shelter, when she was awoken by “the sweetest voice” she could ever have heard, that of Brad Culpepper. She says that now is her chance to take him out of the game for good. I can’t wait to see how this plays out!
Thanks for joining me for the recap and results of Survivor: Blood vs. Water Episode 4, “One Armed Dude and Three Moms”! Check back later for videos, including secret scenes, confessionals, and an interview with the eliminated contestant, as well as a preview video for next week’s episode!