Recap: 'Survivor: Cagayan' - 'Straw That Broke The Camel's Back'
Pre-credit sequence. It's Night 33. Tasha's gone. And it's raining again. Spencer is annoyed at Woo and Kass for ditching their Final 3 pact and he doesn't particularly care if Tony hears it. "So it turns out the deal that we had is a lie," Spencer grumbles. "Why bother with the whole charade?" Spencer asks. "Why does anyone lie in this game? It's part of the game," Kass tells him, explaining to us that she thinks she could beat Tony, who she thinks everybody hates. "As long as they don't stab me in the back, I won't stab them in the back," Tony says of his alliance. Spencer calls his rivals foolish and says his only chance is that the others don't understand the game.
I Woo-Woo-Woo-Woo-Wonder Why. Tony takes Woo out onto the water to talk Final 3. Tony wants Kass coming with them because he figures she wouldn't get any votes. Woo tells us that he decided to stick with Tony because going to the end with him would be "a lovely thing" since they started the game together. It's not that he thinks he can beat Tony. He just enjoys symmetry. Woo decides to tells Tony everything that transpired at Reward and last week's brief alternative Final 3 alliance. "That just shows your integrity, your loyalty," Tony tells Woo, but he tells us that he's already thinking of blindsiding Woo before Final 3. Tony's wife told him to try to win the game and not do anything stupid and that taking Woo to the end would be stupid. There you go, Woo: It's Tony's wife's fault if you get blindsided this episode. And foreshadowing sure suggests that's what's coming.
Your name is Mud. We begin the episode with a Reward Challenge centered around a big pit of mud. They have to dive into the mud, cover themselves and scrape the mud into a bucket. The person with the most mud after 10 minutes wins. Wanna know what they're playing for? Pizza delivery. Wait. No Loved Ones? Just pizza? Come on. I like Kass' Face-First Into The Mud strategy. I can admire that. Tony's got the most surface area. Kass probably has the best combination of surface area and hair, since Trish has no surface area at all. But who will win? Tony dominated. It isn't close. His bucket is overflowing. Probst doesn't even bother weighing the buckets. Tony can choose one person to join him. He picks "Anorexia," which means Trish. "Yeah! Malnutrisha's been dying for pizza," she crows. "You're picking Trish based strictly on need?" Probst inquires and Tony points at Trish's skeletal form.
Pizza the Hutt. Everybody is still covered in mud, with people especially impressed by Kass' Ed Grimley hair. Kass isn't worried about not getting pizza, because for her this puts more of a target on Trish, who is the Alpha Female to Tony's Alpha Male. "They're like a couple of baboons," Kass observes. After some cleaning, pizza arrives. Spencer thinks pizza is a metaphor for the game and everybody is handling Tony everything on a silver platter. Tony eating pizza is utterly disgusting and even Trish is a bit grossed out. Covered in sauce and cheese and other detritus, Tony tells Trish about his Idols, which have to be used by the next Tribal, and tells us about his planned lie, which is to claim that the Tyler Perry Idol can be used at Top 4, bluffing his way straight into the Final 3. Tony and Trish agree that they have a better chance against Kass than Woo.
In llama land there's a one-man band/ And he'll toot his flute for you. The next day, Tony goes to Kass and tells her what Woo told him, reassures her that it's OK and says he wants to go to the end with her. "It was stupid of Woo to tell him, but it was stupid of him to tell me," Kass says. Tony swears on his wife and baby, but Chaos Kass has a clear goal and that's to make Tony seem untrustable. First step? Tell Woo that Tony told her what Woo told him. That make sense? I guess so. "I didn't say anything," claims Woo, the world's worst liar. So Kass tells Tony what Woo told her when confronted about Tony telling her what Woo told him. Does that still make sense? Tony's incredulous. "I'm allowed to confront people too," Kass says, before telling Woo that Tony made a Final 3 deal with her. Tony throws his hands up in the air at Kass' Chaos. "At this point in the game, you want as much paranoia as you can stir up," Kass says, before taunting Tony about him being allowed to talk and nobody else. "I'm sorry I don't talk llama. I'm supposed to talk llama to you?" Tony asks before doing an impression of a llama that does not line up with my perception of what llamas sound like. "That was the last straw that broke the camel's back," Tony tells the camera, adding that he and Kass are done.
They Don't Know That We Know They Know We Know. Damnit! I thought that was a tarsier, but it was just a knot in a tree. And a snake. Back to Tony and Kass fighting. Kass tells Tony that what she did was strategic. Tony doesn't know what to do with that and Woo doesn't know what to do with anything. Kass has a plan: She's going to pull in Woo and Spencer and mess with Tony's game, even if she can't get rid of him. I'll remind you that this is the exact same alliance she made and betrayed last week. It's either brilliant or idiotic and I really don't know. Woo's sad that Tony didn't swear on his wife and baby. Woo is very, very deep in thought. "My trust in Tony has gone down tremendously," Woo says. This should be a massive understatement, but it probably isn't. Kass and Spencer suggest targeting Trish and getting rid of one of Tony's goats. They do this when Trish is nearby. Now Trish is pissed off. Spencer is, once again, seeing cracks. He needs Immunity.
Slide Ruler. Immunity is back up for grabs. The challenge involves unwrapping a rope, freeing a key, building a ladder, building steps and solving a sliding puzzle. Tony gets through the first part with a big lead, followed by Trish and then Kass. Tony's still in the lead after the ladder, but Spencer moves up to second. Tony still has the lead after the steps and he has a big advantage on the puzzle. "Does he know how to do slide puzzles?" Probst wonders. He does not. Spencer arrives way behind, but he does, in fact, know how to do slide puzzles. From way behind, Spencer wins Immunity! Probst is very impressed. Tony knows he has to devour a piece of his alliance.
Friggin' Skeletor. Spencer has a little strut. "I've never done a puzzle in my life," Tony admits. "It was nirvana," Spencer says of his latest escape from death. "I'm just gonna sit back and enjoy the show," Spencer tells us. The fighting begins. Trish starts fighting with Kass. "It'd rip you apart in 30 seconds," Trish spits out. "She looked like friggin' Skeletor," Kass says. Trish calls Kass vicious and cruel and Tony has to take her off to the side. "Is it going to cost me my game? It could," Kass admits. Everything hinges on Woo, who is demanding answers from Tony, who tells him that while he *promised* Woo Final 3, he didn't *swear* to Woo Final 3. But now? He's swearing. Oh. Naturally. Woo gets the full-court press from Tony and Trish. "Kass might be a beautiful person on the outside world, but as far as 'Survivor' is concerned, she's absolutely horrible," Tony says. Tony whips out his dead dad as part of his latest swearing to Woo. "At this point, I just don't feel as though I can trust him," Woo says, suggesting it may be Big Move time and he goes to Kass and says he's ready to vote out Trish. Kass is happy, but not convinced. Again, Kass, Woo and Spencer make a Final 3 pact. Good gracious, it's deja vu. This time, Tony is lurking in the weeds. Hands are shaken, but Woo says he hasn't made up his mind. "You know it's an injustice to bring that girl to the top," Tony tells Woo. This is going to be a very, very strange Tribal, isn't it?
Tribal Council. Kass begins by calling Trish a "wild skeleton blue-eyed banshee" and accusing her of "showing her capacity for hatred." "Kass, unfortunately, is always the victim," Trish says, accusing Kass of being a troublemaker who doesn't like conflict. I don't think that's true at all, but the Jury sure likes how this sounds. Trish talks about how she hasn't had conflict with anyone, but I guess she means "anyone on the Jury," since Lindsey might say otherwise if anybody remembered that Lindsey existed. "Things were pretty crazy today," Spencer smiles. "Now I look at it like 3 Brawn vs 2 Brain," Woo says. "This young lady here is delusional," Tony says of Kass, before going into a not-particularly llama-esque Kass impression. Kass trades her own impression of Tony. This lead's Tony's llama to come back out. "I feel like I'm in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,'" Spencer says. Woo says he feels like a foreign exchange student living with a crazy family. [Is *he* comparing himself to Long Duk Dong? And I being racist for *assuming* he's comparing himself to Long Duk Dong? Does Long Duk Dong have nothing to do with anything and Spencer's movie reference has me reaching?] Tony says the vote won't be emotional and he isn't going home. He pulls out both Idols and hints about the power of the Tyler Perry Idol.
The Vote. Spencer writes Trish's name. Trish writes Kass' name and suggests a book on self-awareness. Tony plays his regular Immunity Idol. Probst tallies: Trish. Kass. Trish. TRISH. Kass clap's her hands, smiles and swears in some way that has to be pixelated. Kass flips Trish off as she goes. "You know, I might be too nice to play this game," Trish says. "Peanut M&Ms anyone? I am so frickin' hungry," she concludes.
Bottom Line, I. Tony voted for Trish. Does anybody understand the logic to that? I get that he might have understood the way the votes were going and decided to stick to the majority, but to what end? Did he somehow come to decide that he'd be better off having Trish on the Jury and presumably guaranteeing himself her vote with the assurance that he can beat Kass?
Bottom Line, II. I just don't get what Kass is doing at all. Did she decide at a certain point that she was just going to play for third and that that would be victory enough after Luzon? She aggressively alienated a big chunk of the Jury with that initial flip, but you can always hope that the Jury will forgive that as strong gameplay if they don't also hate you. But once you're causing pointless chaos and swearing, smirking and flipping people off as they go? Is there any advantage that I'm not seeing to her strategy? Who would vote for her? Yes, she made the season's biggest move. That's worth whatever the third place check is. And she was responsible for making Woo feel alienated enough to flip. That's a nice boondoggle as well. Given this group of four, she can't beat any of them or take votes away from any of them. Can she?
Bottom Line, III. Sorry. Kass made the game's biggest post-Merge move, but Trish was the one who lured Kass to make the move. And Trish was responsible for getting Lindsey to quit and for taking Cliff out with the help of LJ and Jefra. When you stop and think about it, Tony has played the dynamic, TV-friendly game but his biggest move was blindsiding LJ, really. That came after bigger and more important moves from other people. I'm just thinking out loud here. Going forward with one episode to go, Spencer beats anybody. That's the only thing I know for sure. Well, Spencer beats anybody, Kass beats nobody. Right? With this Jury, though, does Tony beat Woo and Kass? He beats Kass. But does Woo beat Tony and claim one of the most singularly odd "Survivor" wins ever?
Bottom Line, IV. And it was yet another episode where its awesomeness hinges on how much you like Chaos Kass and Tony's shadiness. If you like those things, it was an awesome episode. Tony's llama impression! Kass' betrayal of Tony's child-swearing, which led to Woo's uncertainty and flipping! Spencer's Immunity comeback! Lots of terrific elements.