Survivor: Toil and Trouble (S31 E9 RECAP)

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Fishbach makes a surprising show of prowess, Jeremy sees double, and Ciera’s big move finally happens – all on this week’s Survivor.

The episode opening finds us in the wake of last week’s blindsiding of Andrew, in which Kelley Wentworth pulled out her hidden immunity idol and cancelled out all the votes against her. Now, the others are seeing that Kelley and her allies Ciera and Abi are potentially dangerous.

As Kimmi and Fishbach are talking this over, they start calling the trio “the witches’ coven.” The conventional wisdom is that the group should vote one of the three ladies out at the next tribal council, but Fishbach has something different in mind. Maybe he can get the witches to brew the potion that’s right for him, he says.

Heh. Heh.

Heh. Heh.

Also, with Kelley’s idol back in play, people figure they should beat the bushes. Everyone looks for it. Joe even spends a whole 30 minutes searching, and one gets the impression that this is what passes for a lot of effort in Joe’s world.

What can I say? Things just usually come easily for me.

What can I say? Things just usually come easily for me.

Next, it’s time for the reward challenge. The reward is a trip to a “spa” with showers, massages, and food.

The group is again split into two teams via the schoolyard pick method. Team 1 is Joe, Spencer, Ciera, Fishbach, and Tasha. Team 2 is Jeremy, Kimmi, Keith, and both Kell(e)ys. Abi doesn’t get picked, which is strange, because she is arguably better at challenges than both Fishbach and Ciera.

Maybe it’s just that no one wants to go to the spa with her

Maybe it’s just that no one wants to go to the spa with her

The challenge is to use a series of poles to build a staircase, which leads to a crate of puzzle pieces, which have to be assembled to reveal a combination to a lock that must be opened to raise the team’s flag. The first team to raise the flag wins reward.

As it turns out, it’s no contest at all. Team 2 can’t figure out how to build the staircase.

What were we supposed to be doing, again?

What were we supposed to be doing, again?

Team 1 breezes through the staircase, the puzzle, and the flag raising and heads off to the spa, while Team 2 is sent back to camp.

Not much really happens at the spa. Ciera pushes the idea of the “big move” again, trying to goad the others into switching sides and voting with the witches’ coven.

Plus, Survivor treats us to this scene:

They really know their audience

They really know their audience

Back at camp, the losers are feeling bummed. Rather than pout about it, Jeremy decides to look for the hidden immunity idol again. His experience with clue-finding pays off, because he soon finds another clue in a place similar to where he found the last one. It says he should wait until the others are asleep and look for a lighted path to the idol.

Finally, the spa winners come back to camp. The hour is getting late, but everyone is sitting up and hanging out by the campfire. This is going to make it hard for Jeremy to get his idol.

How Jeremy feels, in book form

How Jeremy feels, in book form

Finally, Jeremy claims that he is experiencing some, um, gastrointestinal distress. You see, he claims to have to do a #2 so he can go and get #2 (his second idol, that is). Clever, right?

Anyway, he heads off into the woods and no one follows. He soon finds the lighted path and nabs the idol.

The next day brings the immunity challenge. It’s a simple game, really. All you have to do is balance on this triangle-shaped thingie in the water. The last man or woman standing wins immunity.

At first, everybody is hanging in there. Then, host Jeff Probst introduces a twist. Some buoys pop out of the water. Anyone who wants to can elect to forfeit the challenge now, abandon their triangle, and swim out to a buoy. The first person to touch their buoy wins a secret advantage in the game.

Spencer and Fishbach leave their posts immediately. Shockingly, Fishbach reaches the buoys first.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. He does swim like a… Fishbach

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. He does swim like a… Fishbach

Fishbach wins the advantage, and Spencer just gets wet for no reason.

Back in the main challenge, people start losing their balance and dropping out. Eventually, it’s down to just Abi and you guessed it: Joe. To make things harder, they have to stand on one foot. Finally, Abi falls and Joe wins individual immunity once again.

After the challenge, Fishbach goes off by himself to read the paper that explains what his advantage is. It’s a really good one that gives him the right to “steal a vote” from another player. This means that at a future tribal council, he can just cancel out another player’s vote and vote for them. Cool.

With all the challenge business done, people need to get to deciding who to vote out. The majority of eight, it seems, are still focused on getting rid of the witches, but now they’re paranoid about idols. They decide that five of them should vote against Kelley Wentworth again and three should vote against Ciera.

This, of course, opens them up to a flip. Who wants to work with the witches?

I do! I do!

I do! I do!

Fishbach says he’ll vote with the ladies, plus he’ll try to get Jeremy and Spencer to come along to. It looks like Ciera is finally going to get someone to make a big move and vote out… K-Wigles.

Wait, what? Who even remembered I was still on this show?

Wait, what? Who even remembered I was still on this show?

Yep. Kelly Wiglesworth is the biggest threat they can find. Why K-Wigles? It’s because, uh, she’s nice to everybody and nobody really hates her that bad.

Let’s play <blank> is the new <blank>:

  • Teams are the new tribes!
  • Voting blocs are the new alliances!
  • New Bayon/New Ta Keo is the new Bayon/Ta Keo!
  • Knee surgery is the new heart surgery!
  • Nice is the new mean!
  • Barely noticeable is the new major threat!

On to tribal council, then. It’s cold and raining, so people shiver and say the usual kinds of things they say at tribal council. Then, they cast their votes.

It looks like Fishbach, Jeremy, and Spencer did flip and vote with the witches, because K-Wigles gets voted out. I guess she should have tried being meaner.

TV Show: Survivor

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