Blood Vs. Water Episode 10: Big Bad Wolf

Airdate: November 20, 2013
Aras Baskauskas (eliminated from Redemption Island); Laura Morett
“We’re always going to be mother/daughter…it’s now morphed into the role where I’m trusting her decisions.” – Laura Morett, on Ciera
Rating: 8 + Tier C (3) = 11

The random number generator has hooked me up with two iconic episodes in a row–first, Kel’s beef jerky saga in season 2, and now the immortal “She voted out her mom!” episode of Blood vs. Water.

For better or worse, this episode is the ultimate culmination of the Blood vs. Water concept, and it’s not just because of Laura and Ciera. While I’m loath to give any credit to Redemption Island, the brotherly duel between Aras and Vytas is compelling, especially with the nail-biting finish between Aras and Tina. The first female winner actually had pulled ahead at the start of the challenge, but a devastating setback allowed Vytas to overtake her, and Aras nearly did the same. Here’s the real treat though: getting to see Tina (and her daughter) curse. Heavens to Betsy!

It’s the rawest mother/daughter video this side of Pornhub.

Back at camp, Tyson tests the waters for a Laura blindside, adamant that Ciera not be informed so she’s not put in the precarious position of having to vote out her mom. Oh, you’re so naive, Tyson! Ciera is Continue reading “Blood Vs. Water Episode 10: Big Bad Wolf”

Cagayan Episode 4: Odd One Out

Airdate: March 19, 2014
Cliff Robinson
“We’re not the brain tribe. We’re the crap for brain tribe.” – Kass McQuillen
Rating: 6 + Tier A (5) = 11

Somewhere around the 20-season mark of Survivor, season rankings went from a fun debate to an arduous exercise. When I joined the online fan community around All-Stars, I had no reason to expect that we hadn’t even come close to hitting the show’s halfway point, and somewhere along the line, juggling the nuances that make China better than Panama lost its appeal. And yes, I realize the irony of writing that on a blog dedicated to rating and reviewing every Survivor episode.

I’m not a brain writer. I’m a crap for brain writer.

While it’s been quite some time since I’ve compared and contrasted every season, I’m pretty sure that Continue reading “Cagayan Episode 4: Odd One Out”

Africa Episode 11: We Are Family


Airdate: December 20, 2001
Frank Garrison
“I can bid better with a little drink in me.” – Tom Buchanan
Rating: 6 + Tier A (5) = 11

Watching an episode of Survivor from 2001 is a pretty jarring experience 19 years later. You’ll see disturbing things you would never see on TV these days, such as:

  • Good ol’ boy Big Tom taking pleasure in bathing the ladies, and everyone laughing it off
  • A giddy Big Tom celebrating that he gets an extra share of ham because he pooled money with a “Jew boy”
  • Frank lamenting the liberal stranglehold on American media…on CBS
  • An extended, poignant solo scene of Frank staring in awe at a beautiful Kenyan sunset

Holy crap, that last one is shocking enough to Continue reading “Africa Episode 11: We Are Family”

Africa Episode 13: Truth Be Told


Airdate: January 2, 2002
Teresa “T-Bird” Cooper
“It’s completely gone to cutthroat mode. And if I think that Tom, I think that he’s in a situation where he’s about to screw me over and stab me in the back, I’ll cut his throat.” – Lex van den Berghe
Rating: 6 + Tier A (5) = 11

One of the most heart-breaking moments in Survivor history didn’t occur during the 39-day stretch of a season. It was Continue reading “Africa Episode 13: Truth Be Told”