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‘Survivor: Blood vs Water’ Episode 10 – Friendly fire

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Written by : published Thursday 21st November 2013

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There are few guarantees in life…and even fewer in the game of Survivor.  But you would think that the bond of a mother and a daughter would weather even the toughest of storms.  But this season, it’s just not that simple.  In fact, if tonight’s episode was any indication, there are so many layers of strategy that need to be considered when competing alongside a loved one.  Who would have thought that the deadliest of blows could be dealt by friendly fire, from those closest to you?  When a million dollars are on the line, all bets are off.  Sorry mom.

In case you missed the episode, be sure to get caught up by watching Survivor: Blood vs. Water Episode 10 , and then be sure to read my weekly Episode Recap before continuing on to this “Bonus Analysis” coverage.

Yes, tonight we saw the first of its kind:  A loved one voting off another loved one.  It was undeniably emotional watching the dynamic play out between Laura and Ciera, mother and daughter.  Early on, Laura cried when she played a direct hand in defeating Ciera in tribal challenges.  It was just a game.  Tonight, Ciera returned the favor, sending a similar message.  It was just a game.

The underlying problem though, was that this decision – whether or not Ciera should vote for her mother – wasn’t all that crucial.  Tyson is still running the game at this point and whether Ciera voted for her mom or not made little difference.  Tyson was going to send home whomever he wanted to.

Laura’s exiting message was positive, but you could tell that she seemed a bit hurt that Ciera would write her name down, given that she didn’t need to do so.  Surely, the others would have understood if Ciera didn’t vote out her own mother and threw a vote Katie’s way.  Ciera had no real strategic reason to vote for Laura, other than to try to show her loyalty to Tyson and the others of her alliance.

But to me, this move seems sure to backfire.  A person so determined that they would vote out their own mother in order to get further in the game?  That person cannot be trusted.  They’d do anything, clearly.  Her actions this episode did gain some attention from Tyson, who finally realized that Ciera is playing this game too.

Yes, either way, Ciera may have already made her greatest mistake, making her decision to vote out Laura nearly meaningless.  Her best opportunity would have to act last week, to keep Tina and to form a four-person loved ones alliance between Tina, Katie, herself and Laura.  They may have easily been able to convince the paranoid Monica to switch over and they would have put together an all-female alliance that would have been a force to be reckoned with.  Ciera is correct though – not having the ability to travel back in time to last week – that moving forward, she is probably better off in the game without her mom around.  But had she acted a few days earlier, she may have had a path to the Final Three that would have included her mom.

Things change so quickly though, that only time will tell if this was a decision with consequences.  Laura has been at Redemption Island before and won her way back into the game.  Could she possibly do it again?  An unexpected outcome for Ciera – as well as a worst-case scenario – would be for Laura to win at Redemption Island.  With each win, the chances of Laura returning and reuniting with Ciera would grow stronger.  Ciera would become an increasingly big target.  Yes, at this point, Laura best serves her daughter by actually being on jury, working them to the best of her ability and having confidence that Ciera can find her way to the end.

We are now down to seven though, so next week something will have to give.  As the preview indicated, we may be in for what would be an epic blindside, that of Tyson.  If they can pull it off, it would be amazing, especially considering that Tyson would leave the game with an Idol in his pocket.  Tyson’s track record indicates that he is prone to make a few bad moves from time to time.  But if the plan doesn’t work, Tyson could be well on his way to a million bucks.

The power next week will not be with Tyson, but rather in the hands of Caleb and Hayden.  Is it in their best interest to stick it out to the end with Tyson and Gervase?  Or would they be better served going to the end with someone like Katie or Ciera?  And where does Monica fit into all of this.

There is some good stuff still coming this season, so don’t count any of the remaining contestants out just yet.

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


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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