Last week on Survivor Caramoan the Cool Table got tricked again and Hope got a one-way ticket out of the game. Now the Cool Table is officially a bench. Though tribal council may have ended with the alliance of six looking strong, Gota is in desperate need of ending their challenge-losing streak. “Kill or Be Killed” is a pivotal episode in deciding the fate of the Gota members.

Crying Over Lost Hope

Reynold and Eddie do their best Shamar impression by throwing a temper tantrum after tribal council. Excuse me guys, it is called a game and you got played. They still seem unable to grasp the concept of a majority alliance staying strong and picking off the outsiders. They actually made themselves outsiders by alienating the group at the start of the game, and the spewing of outrage isn’t going to endear them to the tribe. Then again, this is the tribe that has kept around Shamar, and hissy fits are his second favorite hobby next to threatening to quit.

The Name Game

The amazing special agent Phillip has decided that nicknames are the key to his success this season. He has now decided to allow everyone into his elite “Stealth R Us” by bestowing nicknames on them. The funny thing is that Andrea is actually upset that players outside of the alliance get to have their own Phillip-created names. So, are we just discarding strategy now and going to run things like a 10-year-old’s clubhouse?

In a shocker that may shake the very foundation of Earth, Brandon actually plays the game by pretending he is aligned with Phillip. He then brags about tricking a secret agent, which would be impressive if that agent wasn’t running around in pink underwear.

Walk the Planks

It is a two-challenge episode of Survivor, and we’ve got a straight-up reward challenge. The tribes are playing for a bushman to come to their camp and teach special skills of survival. They return to the water once again as they need to run out to a post where they untie planks that they then use for two players to walk along until they get to a platform. It is the classic everyone needs to pile on the platform without touching any part of the ladder finish.

Gota starts off strong when Shamar and Matt get the first two planks. That lead ends right away when Bikal unties all their planks right after. The two tribes are almost dead even, until Laura once again ends up being the weak link and struggles getting across her planks. Bikal is the first to the final platform, but Gota actually ends up close behind. It gets down to Corinne for Bikal and Matt for Gota needing to get up on the platform. The streak continues as Bikal wins it again and gets to have their own personal bushman come to their camp. Shamar apparently thinks he is a favorite as he starts celebrating, until he is gently reminded what tribe he is actually on.

A Special Lord of the Rings Cameo

Tata the Bushman ends up being the prize for Bikal. Malcolm describes him as a “Filipino Gollum.” He seems to be trying to teach Bikal ways to improve the tribe, but everyone just responds with laughter or a dazed look. Dawn does learn that there is “No bitching in the jungle.” The real winner in all this seems to be Tata the Bushman who gets kisses from all the females while Cochran whines about not getting any love from girls. Though to be fair, Cochran would be the closest on the tribe to Gollum, if that is what the girls are looking for.

The Attack of the Sand

Gota is crushed they don’t get their own funny small man to chop up bamboo. Shamar responds by revealing his new game plan of making everyone his slave and demanding they serve him rice every day. Shamar may not have totally grasped the social aspect of this game yet. This declaration gets Reynold and Eddie back into the “I Hate Shamar” mode, and trying to convince people to vote him out next.

They don’t need to strategize for long, because an unexpected ally called sand does their dirty work. Shamar gets it in his eye and spends the next day stumbling about in pain. Reynold thinks Shamar is just being a baby, but Probst and medical seem to disagree when they come on the camp. It is decided Shamar actually has legit eye damage, and nature, or more specifically sand, votes Shamar out of the game.

Smashing Good Time

Gota is in a really tough position for immunity challenge as they come in down two players. Reynold and Eddie are at least aware enough that they need to rock the challenge since they’re next up on the chopping block. In this challenge a player runs across a wobbly bridge, swims out to a platform, and then must jump out to smash a tile to free a key.  A new player goes out until they have collected five keys, and the keys are then used to unlock sandbags. These sandbags are used to knock down all the blocks.

Bikal pulls ahead really quickly when Erik gets the key on the first try and Sherri needs two chances at the tile. For the first portion of challenge, Bikal always remains one key ahead. Bikal zooms to the locks and Phillip is throwing sandbags before Gota even has all the keys. Reynold may not be the most loved on his tribe or a master strategist, but the man knows how to throw a sandbag. He quickly starts knocking down all the blocks, while secret agents apparently weren’t taught the skill of sandbag tossing. The lead ends up being too much and Gota’s losing streak continues. The poor fans are getting decimated now.

Maybe Hope is Still Alive

Eddie and Reynold actually start to strategize, but for some reason decide to do it right in front of Laura. This doesn’t seems to matter, because Matt is now worried about losing more challenges. He starts pitching that they need Eddie and Reynold, and it is time to knock out the weaker player, Laura. Michael and Sherri are wary of hurting their alliance when they still have two outsiders to pick off. Julia does what she does best, silently stare off into the distance. Reynold and Eddie are their strongest challenge players, but it isn’t like they’re wining with those two around. Laura proves to be a smart player by being quite aware she is the target. She tries a hard sell before tribal, and for the first time, things aren’t predictable.

Someone Else’s Turn for a Blindside

Laura tries to save herself by pushing the need for loyalty. Reynold talks about the need to win challenges. Again, that argument isn’t that strong when they aren’t winning anything with their current group. Eddie then talks like this tribal council will prove if he can trust this tribe, since they got blindsided twice. If he is being blindsided, it won’t matter since he’ll be off hanging out with Hope.

Reynold ends up getting antsy and plays the Idol when the votes are tallied. I would have thought if anyone from the Cool Bench was getting voted off, it would have been Eddie. In the end, the tribe goes for strength in challenges over their alliance, and Laura is sent home.

This actually is a pretty smart move. They’ve now flushed out the Idol, and so Reynold isn’t a threat anymore. They still have the two most athletic players, who likely will do anything to get into the tribe’s good graces. Plus they got rid of a weak challenge player who is actually really strategic and would be a threat when it comes merge time. But Gota really needs a win, because right now they’re just getting picked off at will.

The preview for next week makes it look like Gota may have some hope. Bikal gets a little bit of bad luck when Brandon appears to have a complete meltdown and decides to rearrange the entire camp. We may have one less crazy by the end of next week. 

Compete in Fantasy TV: Make your picks on who you think will be going home. Hurry, you have until March 13 at 12pm PST to cast your vote!

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(Image courtesy of CBS)

Chris Spicer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV