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 keeps her eyes dry, she is still worried that it would have a negative impact on her relationship with her boyfriend, Hayden Moss. John Cody and Laura Morett welcomed her to Redemption Island, and she tells 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 breaks down in tears. Embarrassed by her own game, she also fears that Hayden will be disappointed in her. As the three competitors depart for the Duel, she hopes that she will 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 Redemption Island Arena, Tadhana gets their first look at the new Galang tribe, minus Kat. As John, Laura M., and Kat enter the Arena, Kat tearfully begs Hayden to console her. Hayden climbs down into the Arena and they hug as she apologizes to him. Host Jeff Probst asks her what she is apologizing for, and she says that she is sorry that she had been voted out as they had planned to play together and she felt as though she was letting him down. Hayden answers that she does not need to worry, "My relationship with Kat is more important than even this game."
Jeff then challenges Hayden on his claim, pointing out that he can take Kat's place at Redemption Island if he so desires. In talking it through, Hayden says that he believes he is in a good spot in the game, but Kat says that she wants to switch as she does not think that she will be able to perform well in the puzzle-based Duel. However, Hayden asks her what she thinks is better for them "long-term," and Kat admits that he has a better chance to win the game. She adds that he is a genuine, honorable person who would who would do very well in the game. Ultimately, Kat decides to compete in the Duel, but is grateful that Hayden had been willing to take her place if she had insisted.
The Duel was then unveiled: Build a Fire. Each competitor must 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 will be able to give a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol to any of the contestants still in the game.
Kat is quick off the mark untying the machete, although John takes the lead and is the first to retrieve his puzzle pieces. Kat and Laura M. are neck-and-neck as they cut through their rope to retrieve their puzzle pieces. However, Laura M. manages to edge into second place as Kat struggles to get her bag of puzzle pieces open. John maintains his lead, and Laura M. begins looking at his puzzle for guidance. Kat calls her a "cheater" as she begins to figure out the tricks of the puzzle herself. As John nears the completion of his puzzle, Kat makes up a lot of ground to even up with Laura M. John is the first to finish his puzzle and stays alive in the game.
Laura M. continues to copy John's puzzle, and even though she is urged to do the same by Monica Culpepper, Kat insists that it is cheating. Laura M.'s tactics pay off as she pulls into a lead. Despite advice from Hayden, Monica, and Gervase Peterson, Kat is unable to solve the puzzle, and Laura M. places 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 says goodbye to her fellow competitors and Hayden. As they kiss farewell, she asks if he is going to break up with her, but he laughs and tells her that he loves her. She burns her Buff and departs the Arena to become the seventh person eliminated from Survivor: Blood vs. Water, asking her former tribemates to "take care of [Hayden]".
John is then given the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol and he chooses to give it, for the third time, to Monica. As before, she walks down into the Arena and burns the clue, saying that she is honoured that he had given it to her, but felt that it is too much of a target. John and Laura M. then return to Redemption Island as the tribes head back to camp.
At Tadhana, Hayden is devastated and holds himself responsible for Kat's loss. Tyson Apostol comforts him in that he had experienced the same thing, and everybody agrees that it has been much harder than they had imagined. Tyson continued to address the group, noting that all they had to do was stay strong. Aras Baskauskas interjects that he is certain that Vytas Baskauskas will join them at the merge to solidify their numbers. However, Hayden is looking at the bright side of Kat's elimination, noting that as an unattached player, he now has more in common with most of Tadhana, as Gervase, Tyson, 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 asks if anybody wants to join him for a peaceful meditation, but nobody takes the offer and Aras departs on his own. He climbs to the top of the ridge and meditates overlooking the ocean. In a confessional, he discusses 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 visualize 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 is turning against him. Tyson sits down with the rest of the tribe and proposes that the five of them (Caleb, Ciera, Gervase, Hayden, and himself) stick together after the impending merge in a final five deal, and throws a target onto Aras by bringing up his tie to Vytas. Gervase agrees, pointing out that Aras' final four includes his brother, which only leaves two open spots. Although Ciera expresses surprise that Tyson is spearheading the plan, she, Caleb, and Hayden all feel that it is a smart move and agreed to the new Singles 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 recognizing 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 weighs right into my gameplan.||”|
The next day at Galang, Vytas and Katie Collins wake up after sleeping on the beach. Laura Boneham and Tina Wesson greet the "happy couple," as Tina notes Vytas' virtues in a confessional. Later, Vytas tells 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 had given her the money. In his confessional, he reveales that his behavior is 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 honored 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's 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. is also impressed with Vytas, and reveals that she, too, is feeling more secure in the small Galang tribe and is more willing to open up and be herself. In conversations with Tina and with Vytas, she discusses her blooming self-confidence, but in a confessional, notes 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, Katie and Tina retrieve Tree Mail, which reveals that the challenge will involve the tribe being chained together. Vytas is worried that the physical disparity between the tribes will not bode well for Galang, nor for him given his position in the tribe. Katie, Laura B., Monica, and Tina later discuss the plan should they lose the challenge, and they agree that they should take out Vytas. Laura B. says that she is not happy about it and breaks down in tears, but assures her tribe that she will stick with the plan as it is 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 takes back the Immunity Idol and then reveals 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 the last member of the tribe who would untie them and assemble the balls and chains into five bolas. The first person to land three bolas on a target 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 volunteers to sit out for Tadhana.
Katie, Laura B., Monica, and Vytas are chained together for Galang, competing against Aras, Caleb, Gervase, and Hayden for Tadhana. Gervase and Hayden uncoil themselves first, giving Tadhana a slight lead heading into the obstacle course. However, Monica and Vytas are close behind, to keep Galang in the race. The two tribes collide at the first crossing in the path. Galang are the first to collect their bags, giving them a slight lead heading towards the second path crossing. However, Tadhana quickly passes them, but the tribes once again became entangled at the second crossing. Although Tadhana are the first to retrieve their bags, Monica and Vytas work to block the escape of Aras and Caleb, preventing Tadhana from moving on until Galang has also retrieved all of their bags. The effective strategy puts the tribes neck-and-neck, with Tina and Tyson both receiving their tribes' bags at exactly the same time.
Tina is the first to untie her bags, but Tyson catches up and is the first to assemble all of his bolas. He scores on his first throw, as does Tina, once again evening up the tribes. Tyson scores a second, followed by Tina, putting both tribes one bola away from victory. Despite the fierce competition, it is Tyson who scores first to win reward and immunity for Tadhana, and send Galang once again to Tribal Council.
At the reward, Tadhana runs full-speed towards their picnic table. Rushing through a prayer, the tribe digs into the meal. As Hayden rejoices in his good fortune after the Tribe Switch, and Caleb helps himself to the iced tea, Tyson urges his tribe to take whatever they want, and reveals in a confessional that he had also been encouraging the tribe to eat as much as possible on a daily basis. The tribe also ponders on the goings-on of Galang, with Hayden and Tyson noting how baffled they had 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 debriefs after returning to camp. Suddenly, Laura B. turns to Vytas and tells him that he is going to be sent home at Tribal Council. She tells him that she respects him and does not want him to blindsided, but that he is too big of a threat to keep. As Katie, Monica, and Tina listen in silence, an unhappy Vytas asks if telling him in advance is supposed to give them all a good afternoon. She says 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 go to the well, they discuss their shock at Laura B.'s decision to tell Vytas about the vote without consulting the rest of the women. The two women then talk 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 talks to Vytas in the water, suggesting that it might not be his time after all. She tells him that voting out Laura B. was the likely alternative. He thanks her, and later meets with Katie and Monica to confirm how he is voting and suggests 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 debates the repercussions of the two options. In a confessional, Katie elaborates further, noting Vytas' threat as a long-term player, but countering with the detriment of Laura B.'s unpredictability. Before heading to Tribal Council, Tina leads the women in a group prayer in which she gives 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 begins by asking Laura B. about what happened back at camp after the challenge loss. She says that she had 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 had been discouraged by the news, as he had worked hard to establish trust with the people on his tribe. Monica adds that telling people in advance was an "extremely risky" move that should be discussed with the alliance first. Katie agrees with Monica, saying that they had all been taken aback by Laura B.'s impulsive decision.
Vytas is then asked about his options, and he points 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 notes that it is a good argument, and adds that Vytas is very similar to Aras in their sincere approach to their relationships, but notes that they could be playing them.
Asked about his "story," Vytas said that he had been in a good position, but had been done in by a tribe switch that had left him the only man on a tribe of women. He adds that he thinks 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. acknowledges that Vytas' connection with his brother was strong and made them a threat, and highlights it as a reason to vote him out.
Laura B. is then asked about her story, and she says that she had tried to be herself and let her guard down with people. She added that she had struggled to open up to her tribemates, but believed that her husband, Rupert Boneham, would be proud of her "no matter what". She says that she feels that she has been able to come into her own and escape Rupert's shadow.
Tina is asked about having to choose between two people with compelling stories, which she says is "horrible" as she likes to come into the game to make friends and get to know the people she plays with "in a hard, hard game." Vytas interjected that everybody had an incredible story, but turns the attention back to the vote at hand: "We should be judged on our merits of the present, not of our past."
Jeff then calles Laura B. to vote and she casts her vote for Vytas. Monica votes next, followed by Vytas, who returns a vote for Laura B. Katie and Tina round out the proceedings and Jeff goes to tally the votes.
The first vote is for Vytas, but the remaining four are all for Laura B., making her the ninth person voted out of Blood vs. Water. After her torch is snuffed, she bids farewell to her tribemates and departs for Redemption Island. As Jeff sends Galang back to camp, he notes the importance of watching one's tongue.
Laura B. arrives at Redemption and greets John and Laura M. She tells them that things had not gone to plan, with John saying that he had also expected to see Vytas on Redemption Island. In her confessional, Laura B. notes that she has no intention of working with the women who had betrayed her should she make it back from Redemption Island.
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 members from each tribe will be chained and shackled into a build. The two members on the ends must then get their hand through a spiral maze. Once they have released their hand, all four members must 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 bags of balls and chains. The last member must then attach the balls to the end of a chain to make five bolas, then attempt to land the bolas onto a ladder target. The first tribe to land three of their 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.
- With Kat Edorsson's elimination, Monica Culpepper has improved on her previous finish. She placed 14th in her original season.
- The title of the episode was said by Kat Edorsson, regarding Vytas Baskauskas's infiltration of the women's alliance at Galang.
|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"