Swoop In for the Kill is the seventh episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
Kat Edorsson arrived at Redemption Island, still in shock from the events at Tribal Council. Although she kept her eyes dry, she still worried if it would have any negative impact on her relationship with her boyfriend, Hayden Moss. John Cody, and Laura Morett welcomed her to Redemption, and she told them about the dynamics of the new Galang tribe
|“||So at Tribal I got eliminated. Apparently, we had an issue with trust. Monica was feeling a little bit on the outs, so was Laura B. and that was the perfect place for Vytas to kinda swoop in for the kill, and here I am. There are things that I wish I could take back, but I'm not out yet. I still have a lot left in me, and I'm gonna do everything I can to make sure that I win however many Duels that I have to to stay here.||”|
The next morning, however, Kat broke down in tears. Embarrassed by her own game, she also feared that Hayden would be disappointed in her. As the three competitors departed for the Duel, she hoped that she would be able to win her way back.
|“||I don't think I played the right way. I wouldn't be here if I did. I know I'm not of the game yet, but I feel like Hayden will be embarrassed that I am here and I didn't play better or try harder. He's going to be so upset. I don't want him to be ashamed of me, 'cause I really care about him. And it's just been really hard without him, 'cause we're like a team. He's my best friend. And I just hope that I can go into this Duel and I hope that I can win and Hayden will be by my side still.||”|
At the Redemption Island Arena, Tadhana got their first look at the new Galang tribe, minus Kat. As John, Laura M., and Kat entered the Arena, Kat tearfully begged Hayden to console her. He climbed down into the Arena and they hugged as she apologized to him. Jeff Probst asked her what she was apologising for, and she said she was sorry that she'd been voted out as they'd planned to play together and she felt as though she was letting him down. Hayden answered that she didn't need to worry, "My relationship with Kat is more important than even this game."
Jeff then challenged Hayden on his claim, pointing out that he could take Kat's place at Redemption is he so desired. In talking it through, Hayden said that he believed he was in a good spot in the game, but Kat said that she wanted to switch as she didn't think she'd be able to perform well in the puzzle-based Duel. However, Hayden asked her what she thought was better for them "long-term," and Kat admitted that he had a better chance to win the game. She added that he was genuine, honorable person who would who would do very well in the game. Ultimately, Kat decided to compete in the Duel, but was grateful that Hayden had been willing to take her place if she'd insisted.
The Duel was then unveiled: Build a Fire. Each competitor would untie a machete and use it to cut through a rope and release a bag of puzzle pieces which they would then use to assemble a flame-shaped puzzle. The first two to finish would remain in the game, and the last place finisher would be permanently eliminated from the game. Furthermore, the person to finish first would be able to give a clue to any of the contestants still in the game.
Kat was quick off the mark untying the machete, although John took the lead and was the first to retrieve his puzzle pieces. Kat and Laura M were neck-and-neck as they cut through their rope to retrieve their puzzle pieces. However, Laura managed to edge into second place as Kat struggled to get her bag of puzzle pieces open. John maintained his lead, and Laura began looking at his puzzle for guidance. Kat called her a "cheater" as she began to figure out the tricks of the puzzle herself. As John neared the completion of his puzzle, Kat made up a lot of ground to even up with Laura. John was the first to finish his puzzle and stayed alive in the game.
Laura continued to copy John's puzzle, and even though she was urged to do the same by Monica Culpepper, Kat insisted that it was cheating. Laura's tactics paid off as she pulled into a lead. Despite advice from Hayden, Monica and Gervase Peterson, Kat was unable to solve the puzzle, and Laura M. placed second in the challenge to remain in the game, and permanently eliminate Kat.
As Ciera Eastin smiled in approval of her mother's performance, Kat tearfully said goodbye to her fellow competitors and Hayden. As they kissed farewell, she asked if he was going to break up with her, but he laughed and told her that he loved her. She burnt her Buff and departed the Arena to become the seventh person eliminated from Survivor: Blood vs. Water, asking her former tribesmates to "take care of [Hayden]."
John was then given the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol and he chose to give it, for the third time, to Monica. As before, she walked down into the Arena and burned the clue, saying that she was honoured that he had given it to her, but felt it was too much of a target. John and Laura M. then returned to Redemption Island as the tribes headed back to camp.
At Tadhana, Hayden was devastated and held himself responsible for Kat's loss. Tyson Apostol comforted him in that he'd experienced the same thing, and everybody agreed that it had been much harder than they'd imagined. Tyson continued to address the group, noting that all they had to do was stay strong. Aras Baskauskas interjected that he was certain that Vytas Baskauskas would join them at the merge to solidify their numbers. However, Hayden was looking at the bright side of Kat's elimination, noting that as an unattached player, he now had more in common with most of Tadhana, as Tyson, Gervase, Caleb Bankston and Ciera Eastin had also lost their loved ones – the only exception being Aras.
|“||I feel responsible. In Redemption, I could trade places with Kat and I didn't. At the time, you think, yeah it's the best decision. But then as soon as I made it, I regretted it. Y'know, you feel guilty or responsible, 'cause, like, Kat is a little naïve sometimes and doesn't always know which way is up and I'm the one that, like, helps her. I was in a position to help her. I didn't do it when I could have. It's, like, not something I'm proud of, y'know. With Kat being gone, you do feel a little relief 'cause I can play my game. I don't have to worry about someone else. I'm only looking out for me now. So I can play a little bit more cutthroat if I have to. In fact, I think it could strengthen my relationship with this tribe, 'cause the majority of the tribe over here, they don't have loved ones. And it's kind've one more thing that we all have in common. Except Aras.||”|
Aras asked if anybody wanted to join him for a peaceful meditation, but nobody took the offer and Aras departed on his own. He climbed to the top of the ridge and meditated overlooking the ocean. In a confessional, he discussed his confidence in his position in the game, and the guidance that he gained from his time spent meditating.
|“||I couldn't have asked for a better situation when I came here to have two of the people that I was really, really tight with – Gervase and Tyson – come on over to this side. And obviously, Vytas is my core partner at the end of the day. So when we get back together, I feel like we have a really dominant position in the game. I just need to let go, listen, be intuitive and I'll be guided to the right places. So every day when I meditate, I visualise Jeff's voice saying, "And the winner of Survivor: Blood vs. Water is Aras." And I do my best to just trust that I'm taken care of.||”|
However, back at camp, the tide was turning against him. Tyson sat down with the rest of the tribe and proposed that the five of them (Caleb, Ciera, Gervase, Hayden, and himself) stick together after the impending merge in a Final Five deal, and threw a target onto Aras by bringing up his tie to Vytas. Gervase agreed, pointing out that Aras' Final Four included his brother, which only left two open spots. Although Ciera expressed surprise that Tyson had spearheaded the plan, she, Caleb and Hayden all felt that it was a smart move and agreed to the new alliance.
|“||I was really shocked it was Tyson that proposed the plan. He seemed very close with Aras. On the same hand, Tyson is smart. Something, right now, we all have in common is we know we can trust each other because we don't have anyone over there that we trust more.||”|
|“||I thought Aras was playing a good game at first, but everyone else is recognising his main motivation right now, which is get to Vytas and then take control of the game. Meditate all day long if that's what you need. I think he's getting really comfortable and that wighs right into my gameplan.||”|
The next day, at Galang, Katie Collins and Vytas awoke after sleeping on the beach. Tina and Laura B. greeted the "happy couple," as Tina noted Vytas' virtues in a confessional. Later, Vytas told the women that the most difficult part of the game was "the dishonesty," and shared a story in which a woman in his yoga class had asked him for a hundred dollars and, wanting to trust in people at first call, he'd given her the money. In his confessional, he revealed that his behavior was a calculated ploy to gain the women's trust in order to escape the women's alliance.
|“||Even though he's not part of our alliance, I've really come to like Vytas. He's been through the school of hard knocks and lots of times when people get knocked down and they pick themself back up, they've a whole new person. I would be honoured if he took an interest in Katie just because he seems like such a straight-up guy. However, the guy who gets Katie is gonna have to hit her over the head with a club and drag her into his cave because Katie is not a very flirtatious girl. But one can dream. I'm ready for grandbabies! (laughs)||”|
|“||The tribe swap was tough, y'know? Like being one guy with a bunch of girls. But yoga has taught me a lot about dealing with the feminine energy and with girls and women, y'know, so I kinda feel like I have an idea of what' going to help ingratiate me in the tribe more. In my experience, women love a bad boy. But what they even like more than a bad boy is a newly reformed bad boy. So I'm putting forward the parts of me that I want these women to see. I am a likable person, I am a trustworthy guy. It's all very calculated, but it's working.||”|
Laura B. was also impressed with Vytas, and revealed that she, too, was feeling more secure in the small Galang tribe and was more willing to open up and be herself. In conversations with Tina and with Vytas, she discussed her blooming self-confidence, but in a confessional, noted the need to keep her head in the game.
|“||Vytas, he's a wonderful man that can share his emotions and his feelings. And I've learned a lot from Vytas. Just being more open to people. Coming into this game, one of my insecurities has been my social game. I was raised on a farm, and I'm kind of a quiet girl that's slowly coming out of my shell and I'm becoming more at peace with where I am in the game. So that's why I love Vytas. But I've got to keep my heart out of it, because he is a threat and I'm willing to stick with the girls if that is what the consensus is. Y'know, I will do what needs to be done to further my game.||”|
Later that day, Katie and Tina retrieved Tree Mail, which revealed that the challenge would involve the tribe being chained together. Vytas was worried that the physical disparity between the tribes would not bode well for Galang, nor for him given his position in the tribe. Katie, Laura B, Monica, and Tina later discussed the plan should they lose the challenge, and they agreed that they should take out Vytas. Laura said she wasn't happy about it and broke down in tears, but assured her tribe that she would stick with the plan as it was the smart move.
|“||Going into a physical challenge with two women in the forties, one woman in her fifties against a tribe of five strong dudes and a girl is tough. We're definitely gonna be underdogs no matter how the cookie crumbles in this case, so I'm not getting my hopes too high.||”|
|“||I got emotional this morning 'cause, y'know, if we do lose, Vytas is the one going home. Our girl alliance, we've had the loyalty, we've looked each other in the eye. Our alliance is still strong and we're sticking with that.||”|
At the Immunity Challenge, Jeff first took back the Immunity Idol and then revealed the challenge: Chain Reaction. Four members of each tribe would be chained together at the ankles. The two tribe members on the ends would have their wrists chained to a coil, and they would first uncoil themselves to free their team. Together, the chained tribemates would traverse a criss-crossing wooden obstacle course, where they would collect bags of ball-and-chains. At the end of the course, they were to give these bags to another member of the tribe who would untie them and assemble the balls and chains into bolos. The first person to land three bolos on a framework would win Immunity for their tribe. In addition, the winning tribe would win a "Southern picnic" comprising deep-fried chicken, corn-on-the-cob, macaroni and cheese, iced tea, and lemonade. To even the tribe numbers, Ciera sat out for Tadhana.
Katie, Laura B, Monica, and Vytas were chained together for Galang, competing against Aras, Caleb, Gervase, and Hayden for Tadhana. Gervase and Hayden uncoiled themselves first, giving Tadhana a slight lead heading into the obstacle course. However, Monica and Vytas were close behind, to keep Galang in the race. The two tribes collided at the first crossing in the path, where both tribes' ball-bags were tied. Galang were the first to collect their bags, giving them a slight lead heading towards the second path crossing. However, Tadhana quickly passed them, but the tribes once again became entangled at the second crossing. Although Tadhana were the first to retrieve their bags, Monica and Vytas worked to block the escape of Aras and Caleb, preventing Tadhana from moving on until Galang had also retrieved all of their bags. The effective strategy put the tribes neck-and-neck, with Tina and Tyson both receiving their tribes' bags at exactly the same time.
Tina was the first to untie her bags, but Tyson caught up and was the first to assemble all of his bolos. He scored on his first throw, as did Tina, once again evening up the tribes. Tyson scored a second, as did Tina, putting both tribes one bolo away from victory. Despite the fierce competition, it was Tyson who scored first to win Immunity and Reward for Tadhana, and send Galang once again to Tribal Council.
At the Reward, Tadhana ran full-speed towards their picnic table. Rushing through a prayer, the tribe dug into the meal. As Hayden rejoiced in his good fortune after the tribe swap, and Caleb helped himself to the iced tea, Tyson urged his tribe to take whatever they wanted, and revealed in a confessional that he had also been encouraging the tribe to eat as much as possible on a daily basis. The tribe also pondered on the goings-on of Galang, with Tyson and Hayden noting how baffled they'd been by the Kat vote, and noting that they thought Vytas was probably safe.
|“||I started off the game with a four-game losing streak in challenges and that sucked. And now, we're on a roll. I mean, Tadhana can't be stopped right now. I feel great and looking forward, I mean, the future is bright.||”|
|“||I didn't need this reward at all. I don't think I've gone to bed hungry one night since I've been here. We've been eating rice like crazy. I've convinced everyone that eating maximum amounts of rice is the proper strategy and everyone seems to just agree. Y'know, I'm a three-time veteran of this game, so of course what I say is gonna be right.||”|
At Galang, the tribe debriefed after returning to camp. Suddenly, Laura B. turned to Vytas and told him that he was going to be sent home at Tribal. She told him that she respected him and didn't want him to blindsided, but he was too big of a threat to keep. As Katie, Monica, and Tina listened in silence, an unhappy Vytas asked if telling him in advance was supposed to give them all a good afternoon. She said that she had merely hoped to give him some peace, and that the women had reluctantly made the decision that morning.
|“||Unfortunately, somebody has to go home. Vytas is the odd man out. I don't think backstabbing and sending someone to Tribal Council not knowing what's happeining is a nice thing. It's just eating me alive, so I just came out. And it was really hard for me, but I feel like I did take the bull by the horns by taking more of a leadership position in the tribe. It may put a target on my back, but hopefully I'll get some respect out of it and the women will look up to me a little.||”|
As Katie and Monica went to the well, they discussed their shock at Laura B's decision to tell Vytas about the vote without consulting the rest of the women. The two women then talked with Tina, pointing out that they'd eliminated Kat for the same reason of unpredictability and uncertain loyalty, which Laura B. had shown in her unexpected decision to tell Vytas about the vote.
|“||I'm flabbergasted! I mean, Survivor 101? Don't you meet with your alliance before you make an executive decision to just tell someone they're going home? This morning, I felt like I could trust Laura B. But now, I just don't know. Blindsides are terrible and I've been a victim of one too, but this game has been built on trust.||”|
|“||The plan was to vote out Vytas. Y'know, we're getting down to the nut-cracking, so to speak – what we say in the hills. He's the threat just because everybody seems to like him. However, Laura B. is unpredictable and that makes me nervous.||”|
Tina then talked to Vytas in the water, suggesting that it might not be his time after all. She told him that voting out Laura B. was the likely alternative. He thanked her, and later met with Monica and Katie to confirm how he was voting and suggest that they avoid meeting one-on-one with him to prevent Laura B. from growing suspicious.
|“||When Laura B. told me that it was my time to go tonight, for a moment I was like: I'm screwed. But Tina, she was telling me that Laura's going home. It'd be super-easy for them to all write my name down on the parchment tonight, but I feel like I've done my due diligence when it comes to building trust with these women. So it's not going to be me tonight. Here's the deal: it's like a pride alliance. Y'know, females are in control, but they always need one alpha male to keep around, otherwise there's no future for the pride.||”|
In discussion with Katie, Tina debated the repercussions of the two options. In a confessional, Katie elaborated further, noting Vytas' threat as a long-term player, but countering with the detriment of Laura's unpredictability. Before heading to Tribal, Tina led the women in a group prayer in which she gave thanks for Laura B. and her strength and for Vytas and his spirit.
|“||Tonight we have to make a tough decision. In my head, I think it's very smart if we get rid of Vytas because at some point, you've got to think long-term. And if he makes it to the Final Tribal Council, it would be difficult to beat him. At the same time, Laura B, she's kind of the wildcard. She makes these decisions without consulting anyone and to keep someone like that... That could hit the fan and explode right back in my face. So I don't know what's gonna happen, but whatever goes down, it's not going to be pretty.||”|
At Tribal Council, Jeff began by asking Laura B. about what happened back at camp after the challenge loss. She said that she'd taken the initiative to tell Vytas about the vote, as it was obvious that the women were going to stick together. Vytas responded that he'd been discouraged by the news, as he had worked hard to establish trust with the people on his tribe. Monica added that telling people in advance was an "extremely risky" move that should be discussed with the alliance first. Katie agreed with Monica, saying that they'd all been taken aback by Laura's impulsive decision.
Vytas was then asked about his options, and he pointed out that Kat had been sent home for being untrustworthy, drawing the comparison to Laura B, saying, "It doesn't matter how many 'girls' you have. It matters how many trustworthy people you have." Tina noted that it was a good argument, and added that Vytas was very similar to Aras in their sincere approach to their relationships, but noted that they could be playing them.
Asked about his "story," Vytas said that he'd been in a good position, but had been done in by a tribe swap that had left him the only man on a tribe of women. He added that he thought his brother would be proud of his game, but would be disappointed to lose him, as they had hoped to see their strained relationship recover during their time on the Island. Laura B. acknowledged that Vytas' connection with his brother was strong and made them a threat, and highlighted it as a reason to vote him out.
Laura was asked about her story, and she said that she'd tried to be herself and let her guard down with people. She added that she'd struggled to open up to her tribemates, but believed that her husband, Rupert Boneham, would be proud of her "no matter what." She said that she felt that she'd been able to come into her own and escape Rupert's shadow.
Tina was asked about having to choose between two people with compelling stories, which she said was "horrible" as she liked to come into the game to make friends and get to know the people she played with "in a hard, hard game." Vytas interjected that everybody had an incredible story, but turned attention back to the vote at hand: "We should be judged on our merits of the present, not of our past."
Jeff then called Laura B. to vote and she cast her vote for Vytas. Monica voted next, followed by Vytas, who returned a vote for Laura B. Katie and Tina rounded out the proceedings and Jeff tallied the votes.
The first vote was for Vytas, but the remaining four were all for Laura B, making her the ninth person voted out of Survivor: Blood vs. Water. After her torch was snuffed, she bid farewell to her tribemates and departed for Redemption Island. As Jeff sent Galang back to camp, he noted the importance of watching one's tongue.
Laura B. arrived at Redemption and greeted John and Laura M. She told them that things had not gone to plan, with John saying that he'd also expected to see Vytas on Redemption Island. In her confessional, Laura B. noted that she had no intention of working with the women who'd betrayed her should she make it back from Redemption.
|“||I just can't believe that they're keeping Vytas. And they voted me out. If I go back in the game, I'm certainly not siding with the girls! That is for damn sure!||”|
Challenge: Build a Fire
The castaways must cut a rope with a machete to release a bag of puzzle pieces. First to complete the puzzle wins. The second is saved.
Winners (in order of finish): John Cody and Laura Morett (John gave Hidden Immunity Idol clue to Monica Culpepper)
Challenge: Chain Reaction
Four players from each tribe will be chained and shackled into a build. The first player will try to get their hand through this spiral maze. Once they have released their hand, all four players will race through an obstacle course with their ankles still chained together, crossing over with the other tribe at two points, and make it to the other side collecting balls. They attach the balls to the end of a chain making a bola, then one at a time they swing the chain, releasing the bolo onto a ladder target. First tribe to land three of their Survivor bolas wins.
Reward: Fried chicken and a Southern picnic
| Redemption Island|
(according to finish)
| Tribal Council 7:|
Laura B. (4 votes)
Katie, Monica, Tina, Vytas
Vytas (1 vote)
| VOTED OUT:|
(sent to Redemption Island)
Laura B. is shown writing Vytas' name down on the parchment.
|“||(voting for Laura B.) That was a really sweet speech you gave to me at camp today. Should have been switched around the other way though.||”|
Still in the Running
- This is the first time in the game where a member of Tadhana had to sit out of the challenge to equal out the numbers.
- This episode's Redemption Island duel is the only duel to not be a recurring challenge.
- This is the first time that a castaway is voted out more than once pre-merge.
|Survivor: Blood vs. Water Episodes|
"Blood Is Thicker than Anything" · "Rule in Chaos" · "Opening Pandora's Box" · "One Armed Dude and Three Moms" · "The Dead Can Still Talk" · "One-Man Wrecking Ball" · "Swoop In for the Kill" · "Skin of My Teeth" · "My Brother's Keeper" · "Big Bad Wolf" · "Gloves Come Off" · "Rustle Feathers" · "Out on a Limb" · "It's My Night" · "Reunion"