This week's Survivor begins on a downer note. Jeff Probst arrives in the wee hours of the night at Ta Keo beach to tell Terry that his son has a medical emergency back home. No question Terry grabs his belongings, says goodbye, and gets on the boat so he can travel home to be with family. We find out in the closing credits bumper that Terry's son is OK now, having received a heart transplant in the fall. With a much improved game this time around, it wouldn't surprise me to see Terry Dietz get a third chance. Now back to the snark.
The loss of Terry stuns all and gives everyone a moment to reflect on emotions. But they're in for another shock. With fourteen survivors left, it's time for yet another shuffle back into three tribes. The slums of Angkor beach is no more! Most hilarious is how excited Savage is to switch tribes again when last time he basically threw a tantrum. The new Ta Keo is a shuffle of everyone, while new Bayon is all original Bayons plus Kelley Wentworth. The tribes quickly bond in a reward challenge which is an oiled up Slip N' Slide ending in ring toss. It's like watching March of the Penguins but everyone is really lubed up. Ta Keo wins the final round and earns their tribe a picnic lunch delivered to camp with fried chicken, mac and cheese, and brownies AKA Melissa's daily dream meal.
Ta Keo chows down on their lunch as a drool in both my original watch and re-watch, wishing I had fried chicken. The awkwardness of the tribe is the reunion of Kass and Spencer, mortal enemies from their prior season. Savage is already scheming to use this past to his advantage, hoping to upgrade his alliance of three to five and boot Spencer. But Savage's plan to vote off Spencer includes using Ciera as the decoy vote-off plan and she's not too fond of being even a fake target. Ciera thought the original Bayon bond was still strong, but she quickly reads in Savage's actions that he values Woo over her.
The ol' Bayon gang is back together and Kelley is definitely the easiest target being the lone original Ta Keo. But Ta Keo 2.0 made an alliance that protected Kelley and Joe still would like to remain aligned with Kelley. Kelley does have a secret ace up her sleeve in form of her immunity idol but still, she'd rather not have to play it, Joe begins to subtly throw Kimmi under the bus to Tasha and Stephen, and Stephen's taken aback by the Bayon betrayal (umm you guys made the first Bayon betrayal of the season, just saying). Suddenly Stephen is having flashbacks to his original season and letting the "golden boy" get to the end. Overcome with emotion, like literally as he cries in his interview, Stephen doesn't want to lose this second chance and would like to vote out Joe at the next Tribal Council.
Despite the occasional reward feast here and there, the survivors are starving. So it's the perfect time for a gross food challenge. In the case of heavy-handed history, this is Kimmi's second chance in life to not screw up eating nasty animal delicacies. Such fine treats include scorpion, pig's brain, pig's snout, frog, tarantulas, and the dreaded balut. It's always comical to watch people struggle to each gross stuff, wiggling and dancing to force the food down. Kass chokes in the final round, or rather dry heaves and gags, which allows Bayon to win immunity. Basking in victory, Jeremy sneaks up to snag a Kass' leftover balut for the road. Gotta get protein any way you can, even if it's duck embryo.
Kass is getting excited that she'll get her second chance to write Spencer's name down and boot him from the game. Thing is, Ciera is still not happy she's the decoy and doesn't trust Savage fully. However Ciera doesn't want to target Savage, but instead his right-hand man: Woo. This mean's Ciera won't spill Bayon blood but still takes away a key asset of Savage, who is bossing everyone around. I mean, you know Abi will be thrilled to write down Woo's name because, say it together, he voted for her twice. Spencer wants to work with Savage until Kass of all people tells Spencer of the plans to blindside him, all organized by Andrew Savage. Despite her past personal vendetta, Kass puts it aside to use Spencer to her advantage for now. Even Spencer is like, "Holy crap I'm actually playing with Kass again."
Tribal Council time! Ciera and Kass light their torches for the first time all season, since this is their very first trip to Tribal Council (impressive!) Probst kicks off right away to talk about second chances and changing from their last time playing. Spencer and Savage talk about building relationships with people, while Woo acknowledges that his second chance means becoming a little more cutthroat. Probst wonders if Chaos Kass or new Kass (who she called Calm Kass, which I misheard a Comcast) is at Tribal and she's not totally sure. Savage vouches for new Kass and I'm sure it's taking a lot to hold back smirks. But Savage is a little overconfident and has "no doubts" about the vote which, of course, the most foreshadowy phrase you can utter in this game. "My fate tonight lies in the hands of Chaos Kass... God help me," Spencer says as he casts his vote. Probst returns with the urn of votes and it seems the return of Chaos Kass is here: Woo is voted out of the game with one last blindside face.
[All images credited to CBS]
[All images credited to CBS]