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‘Survivor: Blood vs Water’ Episode 8 – One is the loneliest number

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Written by : published Thursday 7th November 2013

‘Survivor:  Blood vs Water’ Episode 8 – One is the loneliest number main image

Two:  The number of people eliminated from the game this week.  Three:  the number of couples still intact heading into the merge.  Eleven:  The number of players who remain alive in the competition.  One:  The number of hidden Immunity Idols found by Tyson and…the number of people who can be crowned winner.

In case you missed the episode, be sure to get caught up by watching Survivor: Blood vs. Water Episode 8 , and then be sure to read my weekly Episode Recap before continuing on to this “Bonus Analysis” coverage.

Yes, Survivor is a game about the numbers.  A constant struggle to get numbers, be a part of the numbers and control the numbers.  Tonight was a monumental episode, where players made huge moves.  The course for the rest of the season has now been set and here is how it shook out, and what it means for the remaining players.

First, we learned what we should have already known:  That a former winner and a guy who has been referred to as a “King” all season long, was not going to go all the way.  Sure, Aras is still alive on Redemption Island, but if the framework of previous seasons is used, there will only be one more point in the game where a player will be returned to the game, most likely in the Finale episode when we are done to five or six.  So Aras would have to win several challenges in a row even to have a chance…and as we saw with John Cody, it isn’t enough to win a bunch of challenges and not win them all.  One:  The chance, in a million, that Aras will ever see the inside of the game this season.

A sub-story this week was Tina’s “oopsie,” telling Monica that she was only fifth in their alliance.  Monica is in this to win this, evident now more than ever.  It is no coincidence that both Aras and Tina – winners of their “old school” seasons – were both outplayed in Episode 8 by newer players.  Monica may have never won, but she – along with Tyson – represent a new breed of Survivor player, a player that will do whatever is necessary to go the distance.

Katie on the other hand, may be Tina’s daughter, but she represents this “new breed” as well.  What ramifications will it have that she wrote down Ciera’s name?  Talk about another big “oopsie.”  Katie and Ciera were incredibly tight before…will Ciera hold this against her or overlook it moving forward?

Where we stand now though is that Tyson is clearly in control of this game, calling all of the shots and having an unknown Idol in his possession.  As we know, the “King” usually falls on Survivor, plus Tyson has a track record of not-so-smart game moves.  His efforts this season though, have been nothing short of Boston Rob-level mastery, up to this point.  It’s hard to argue against that fact.

Now that the tides have openly turned, you have Tyson, Gervase, Hayden, Caleb and Ciera in firm control, adding Laura and Monica on the outside of that alliance.  Poor Monica may realize that the offer of fifth that Tina gave her may have ultimately been the better offer, when compared to when Tyson will ultimately send her home.  In reality, she is probably seventh on her seven-person alliance.  We know she’s willing to make big moves, but the numbers – there’s that word again! – will eventually be against her, if they aren’t already.

Outside of the power alliance then, is Katie, Tina and Vytas, with Vytas probably being enemy number one.  I do not follow spoilers, nor do I have any inside information, but the way this season is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if Aras’s prediction comes true and we see Vytas join him at Redemption Island next week.  That just seems like the way their story has to end, Vytas versus Aras, fighting to stay alive in the game with elimination on the brink.

From Tina’s reaction (in the next episode preview), she isn’t going to lay low.  After such a great season thus far, we could be getting ready for a stretch of predictable episodes in a row, if they do decide to methodically pick off Vytas, Tina and then Katie.  Because Katie is the least of the targets – and because she may have a repairable relationship with Ciera and therefore Laura – Katie’s game is far from over, especially with Vytas and her mom acting as two enormous lightning rods.

Ciera and Laura held the key in tonight’s episode and it is my prediction that they hold the key to the rest of the season too.  Yes, they are now in the majority, but upon further examination, they will soon notice – once and if Tina/Katie are split up – that they are the sole remaining “loved ones” duo.  Something major would have to occur to break her away from her core five-person alliance though and if it doesn’t, Ciera and Laura will be in deep doo-doo.

Tyson is too “out in front” to make it all the way, but if he did, he would have played a brilliant game.  In great positions right now:  Gervase and Caleb.  Hayden will eventually be looked at as a physical threat down the stretch and the rest have been discussed.  Could either of these two “under-the-radar” guys be in line for the million bucks?

Five:  The likely number of episodes remaining before the Season Finale (although nothing has been officially announced).  Let’s hope that things don’t get too predictable in the coming weeks and that this season stays strong throughout its entirety.  It definitely hasn’t disappointed thus far.

Follow me on Twitter!  @tomsantilli, and check out my website at tomsantilli.com for more Survivor coverage and my full database of current and archived movie reviews.


About the author SurvivorTom

SurvivorTom

Tom Santilli is a respected journalist and member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  He writes several on-line columns, most notably as the Detroit Movie Examiner and the Survivor Examiner for Examiner.com.  He also is a contributor as a Survivor-Insider to TVGeekArmy.com and writes exclusive Survivor in-depth episode analysis for TheTVKing.com. He has been featured on Rob Cesternino's "Rob Has a Podcast" and most recently landed the only exclusive Richard Hatch interview given since his latest legal trouble has surfaced. All of Tom's Survivor coverage as well as movie reviews can be found on his blog the "FilmSurvivor", at FilmSurvivor.com

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