Survivor: Cagayan - Episode 7
Mad Treasure Hunt
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
April 10, 2014

What a lovely smile. Trust us, she's smiling.

"When two tribes go to war, a point is all that you can score." Hello, good people, and welcome back to the BOP Survivor: Cagayan recap. When last we hung out, Aparri and Solana are no more as the two tribes merged! The merge brought with it the head-on collision of two power alliances - Tony, Trish, Woo, LJ and Jefra from the Solana Tribe and Spencer, Tasha, Kass, Morgan and Jeremiah from the Aparri Tribe. Oh yeah, and Sarah was there too, but now all of a sudden thrust into the dreaded "swing vote" role.

Most of the episode was spent with both sides trying to woo Sarah to their respective side. In the end, Sarah chose to stick with her new family at Aparri. With immunity idols in play, Aparri hatched a plan to dump Tony, since Sarah guaranteed he didn't have an idol. They were wrong and Tony popped off about his idol right in front of them at Tribal. Switching to "the other one," Aparri was unfazed. Tony played his idol for LJ, LJ played his idol for Tony and Aparri voted off Jefra. Whoa, wait just a second...someone flipped! Because her tribe didn't tell her she was pretty too, Kass took her ball and went over to Solana and former "president of the swing vote" Sarah was sent packing. Tonight's episode promises a mad dash for a new idol with mysterious powers and it would seem the claws come out as Morgan becomes an issue. So, kick back, relax and settle in as I talk you through what happens this week on Survivor!

We begin the episode with a couple instabilities. The first, Aparri will be pissed and Kass will feel the heat. Second, Kass will tell us all how brilliant she is and that she made one of the greatest moves ever and it will surely win her the game. Just my predictions here, let's see how it plays out!

As the tribe gets back to camp, Spencer is geeking out about how amazing Tribal Council was. He tells us that they voted Jefra and dodged two idols, but all for naught. Around the fire, Kass tells Spencer that it's okay to be mad; she expects it. He says that he's not mad at her, but that she made a bad move. He tells us that she plays with emotion instead of her head. Back to the conversation, Kass is telling him that she's playing with her gut and that's how she's going to play. Spencer comes back with, "I'm well aware that all you're playing with is your gut." Heh...I love this kid. Kass then asks her new friends to cover her as she tells us that Aparri let her fall to number six and you can't do that. And naturally, if Kass is going to be number six, dammit SHE'S gonna decide who she's number six with. You can't tell her she's number six. She is charge of her own six destiny. Kass continues to try to explain her horrible play to Spencer by telling him she out-strategized him. Um...well, if you mean you trashed his game and your own because you didn't feel loved enough anymore...then yeah, you sure showed him. All you did, Kass, was ensure you won't get a sniff of that money.

Oooh, it comes. She made the triple play. She got rid of the girl she wanted to get rid of while she got the guys to play their idols. She's brilliant! Five people may be pissed off, but that's because she messed up their game by playing hers. Um, sweets, Cochran would like to have a word with you about how successful turning on your alliance is. So, yeah, you played your, congrats? Anyway, she has five NEW friends who will take care of her. Yeah, right. She is completely oblivious to the fact that they have NO loyalty to her at all. "Thanks for the vote, now get outta here."

The very next morning, tensions are running high as the tribe discusses who will get water. Kass suggests Morgan should get the water and that she's in her usual spot. Tony approaches Morgan to see about her getting the water. She's pretty irritated at hearing Kass' comments - which, by the way, she said plenty loud enough for Morgan to hear, but not actually TO Morgan herself. Passive aggression seems to be a trademark of Kass' communication. They snipe back and forth at each other and Kass compares Morgan to an old dog that pees on the floor. Morgan compares Kass to an ugly person who's always been ugly and is jealous about Morgan's non-ugliness. So, it's nice to see that the class shown by Spencer the previous night...of not making it personal and keeping all his comments about the game and about the move...has gone completely out the window. What we're left with is a verbal battle between a bullying undefeated attorney who feels mentally superior to everyone she knows and a real-life mean girl. There's no way this will work out well for either of them. There is also no way this will play out on TV and make either of them look like anything more than a cheap stereotype. Also, if this continues, I don't think either "lady" will be in the running for "fan favorite" anymore. The ugliness within both of them is on full display.

Probst sighting! And it's time for the "best reward of the season so far." The winning team will be taken to a Survivor themed *insert product placement here* where they will feast on *insert product placement here* steaks, baked potatoes, deserts and pineapple margaritas. The challenge is a simple obstacle course, really. It does start in the water, so that's kind of cool. They'll race through a series of obstacles until they find a chest. They'll carry this chest to a tower that they will have to climb and then drag the chest up the tower behind them. Once at the top, they'll have a 10-piece disc puzzle tower to build. First team to complete their puzzle wins reward and an amazing trip to the Survivor *insert product placement here*.

The randomly divided teams see LJ, Spencer, Jefra, Morgan and Jeremiah against Tony, Trish, Kass, Tasha and Woo. The two teams are very even over the first obstacle. The next obstacle is a huge balance beam that only Woo seems to have trouble with. That's right, you heard me. The black belt, who already won one balancing challenge, fell off the balance beam...go figure. He makes up time though, and he actually helps pull his team into the lead climbing up the tower. With a puzzle at the end, as we've see time and again, the rest of the challenge is almost moot as the teams always end up neck and neck while working on the puzzle. Today is no different. Woo's team is comfortably ahead, but LJ's team finally gets their box to the top of the tower and LJ goes to work on the puzzle.

As he's shown from the beginning of this game, LJ is the puzzle master and he easily catches up, passes up and wins the challenge for the orange team. Okay, seriously now. "Boston" Rob Mariano, Laura Morett, any player who's ever been good at puzzles on Survivor - they all must take a knee and bow before their king. LJ is, without a doubt, the best we've ever seen at these puzzles. Enjoy your steaks, kids, but you might want to start thinking of getting rid of this guy. As the challenges become more important, one of the last ones is always a huge puzzle. You can't beat LJ, so don't let him get there. You'll be sorry if you do. Anyway, LJ and his team will get to go to *insert product placement here* for steaks and yummy goodness while poor Tasha will find herself in the third layer of hell: being stuck listening to Trish, Tony AND Kass for the entire time the others are at their feast.

We come back from break to join the losing team as they get back to camp. While he tells the other people that they'll just double up the rice and have an awesome meal of their own, Tony tells us how pissed he is to have lost the chance to eat a big fat steak. As they cook, Spencer is the topic of conversation. Kass is wondering if they are targeting him over Jeremiah now. Trish, keeping with her demeanor from last week, asks Kass who she wants to get rid of. Kass doesn't really want to be in that position, but you can tell Spencer worries her more than he should. Kass tells us that no one has actually told her that she's "in" with them, so she still considers herself a free agent. Tony tells her that since she knows all the other people, she's in the best position to say who is more dangerous. He asks her how she feels about the move and she says she feels good about it. Tony then tells us that he hopes Kass is with him, but she's so stone faced; he really can't read her for sure. We next see Tony and Woo talking about finding the new idol. Between them, they determine that it could be anywhere on the island. With that in mind, Tony sets out to find it. We get a montage of Tony searching in a bunch of logical places, but coming up empty.

Ahhh, time to check in with the reward winners. They arrive at *insert product placement here* and are inundated with food. First off is the pineapple margaritas, with *gasp* bacon on the rim of the glass. So, right off the bat, they're happy campers. They move into the salad, steak, potatoes and desert. Spencer tells us that he was so hungry; he didn't even worry about manners, so it wasn't until after dessert that he realized how much crap was on his hands. He reaches down to grab his napkin and whaddaya know, out pops a piece of paper. Not knowing what it is, he quickly sticks it in his pocket for later. His hope is that it's an idol clue as he's in a tough spot right now and could use a break to fall his way.

A storm rages and rain falls as the challenge winners return to base camp. Spencer tells us that as he gets to camp, his chief concern is keeping his paper dry so it's readable. As the tribe huddles in the shelter, he very quietly slips out the back, seemingly unnoticed. But wait, with his ninja skills in full effect, Woo seems to take notice of Spencer's departure. Spencer gets away on his own and reads the clue. It's pretty specific in its wording. This shouldn't be a tough find. As the rain finally stops, people notice Spencer is gone and Tasha suggests that he's probably just out taking a walk. Woo tells us that as a fan of Survivor, he knows that when you have a major reward challenge like that, there is usually an idol clue to be found. He thinks that Spencer must have left to go look for naturally, he heads out in the woods to find him.

We join Spencer on the hunt near a stream. He takes a minute to take off the long pants he was wearing to keep warm during the storm. He folds them up, with the clue tucked in the fold, and leaves them on the bank of this stream. As he does this, the camera zooms into the woods where you can just barely see Woo looking on. Okay, this is bumming me out now. Spencer and Woo are my two favorites of the season. I can't have them working against each other. This just IS NOT working for me! Spencer starts to dig in a few spots on the stream bank but to no avail. As he continues his search, he stumbles upon Woo, who has decided to be "taking a walk." As Spencer walks away, Woo hollers that he left his pants. As Woo picks them up to give them to him, the clue falls out. Woo picks it up and takes off, with Spencer chasing after him. As we head to break, Spencer can't believe it. He knows as soon as Woo gets back to camp, pandemonium is about to ensue.

We come back from break and I'm not exactly sure what Woo's plan is here. For me, an idol clue is like guard it with your life. If you're lucky enough to get one from someone, you don't go blabbing about it. But Woo comes back into camp like a winning fighter, hands up in the air and can't wait to tell everyone what he has. Everyone is kind of in shock as Woo goes over to LJ to get his help looking for the idol. Spencer comes back into camp saying that Woo threw his pants in the water and took the clue...who's gonna help him look? So Tasha and Morgan jump up to help him track this idol down. Jeremiah also joins Spencer and they head back to the stream. While this is going on, LJ shows Tony the clue and they also head out. Hence the episode title, Mad Treasure Hunt. I'm sure that's hash tagged somewhere.

What we get next is a montage of every single person searching for this idol. They're all running up and down this little stream bank, digging. Everyone. I'm not sure we've seen anything like this. The question now becomes two-fold. Who will find it? And is there ANY chance they can find it without anyone else noticing. Spencer is thoroughly pissed at how this has turned out. As he throws rocks down, Woo leaves the area to go find LJ and puts Kass in charge of watching Spencer. As they both dig, they talk about how crazy it is that the game has come to this. Kass says that she's not fond of what Woo did, but she feels it's payback for how Spencer acted towards her the night before. And, oddly enough, Spencer agrees with her and apologizes. Um, huh, what??? She turned on him, he calls her out and now he's apologizing? But wait, apparently, as they were talking, Spencer got eyes on the idol. Kass does not know that he sees it, so while she is talking/watching him, he keeps digging around in the dirt as if looking. Finally she turns her back to search; he grabs it, stuffs it in his pants and slowly walks away as if looking for the next place to dig. Off to the side, Spencer revels in the fact that he found the idol without anyone seeing. He reads the parchment that comes with it and it tells him this is a normal idol, to be played after votes are cast, but before they're read. The fact that the paper says “normal” tells me that the super duper idol must still be out there somewhere. I wonder if, in his euphoria, Spencer even notices this. I guess we'll find out later, because, as day 22 dawns, it's time for a...

Probst sighting!! Oooh, it's a test of wills challenge for immunity today. These are always fun. Today each person will stand on a small platform on their toes. There will be a block tucked between their head and a crossbar. As the legs get tired, eventually they'll falter and the block will drop. Last person with the block on their head wins immunity. I could be wrong, but this seems like a real good Woo challenge. If he's as good a martial artist as advertised, he should be able to outlast everyone by a large margin.

In the time it took me to type that sentence, Kass drops out of the challenge. Nice job! Jeremiah and Trish are the next to fall out, leaving seven still in the challenge. Tony reaches up to scratch his head, just enough to lose control and we're down to six. Twenty-five minutes in and they're still hanging tough. Jeff is doing everything he can to remind them how miserable this is as Spencer starts wobbling. But he saves it. A couple seconds later, Morgan loses her balance and falls out of the challenge. And in a complete shocker, Woo is the next to fall. This leaves Jefra, LJ, Tasha and Spencer in this challenge.

After several more minutes, Jefra loses control and we're down to three. It should be noted here that when she gets down, Jefra can hardly move her legs. The strain these people are enduring right now is huge. It’s truly a test of wills. Who's willing to go just a little farther than the next guy? Next out of the challenge is LJ. Spencer and Tasha will now fight it out for the win. At the 90 minute mark (yes, I said 90 minute mark), Tasha is completely stone faced and looks like she could stand there for weeks. Spencer is struggling. He's twisting his head a bit; he's moving his feet a little. After struggling for what must have seemed like hours, Spencer almost gets it under control. As he continues to wobble, something happens to Tasha and like that, Tasha is out of this challenge and Spencer wins immunity. Let's keep score: necklace and an idol. Uh oh, this tribal could be wacky!

Normally, I would say that it's time to play "it's anyone but ____________," but right now, I have absolutely no idea who's on the chopping block. I have to wonder if Kass and Morgan will continue sniping at each other, making one of them (or both of them) the target. We come back from break with Spencer getting all the fake kudos from the opposing alliance and then they all gather to do the "oh shit, our target just won immunity, now what do we do" dance. The concern falls to whether or not they have an idol. LJ and Tony suggest Morgan as the vote, while Kass and Trish seem to lean toward Tasha. Tony makes the point - the exact SAME point that was made last week when determining that Jefra was a better vote than LJ - that they have to target the person least likely to have the idol. By his reasoning, no one will give an idol to Morgan, so she should be the target. Trish gets on board talking about how annoying Morgan is. The group finally agrees on Morgan as Plan A. If any craziness ensues, Tasha is Plan B. Tony tells us that even though they have the 6-4 advantage, things aren't as easy as they seem. He's worried about Spencer having an idol and using it for anyone. He's worried about Kass possibly flipping back and forcing a rock draw. A lot of things can go wrong before the vote.

The minority alliance is holding a little pow-wow of their own to decide who to vote for. Morgan wants Kass, but everyone vetoes that. Spencer lays it out pretty well, saying that Kass is the only one who would even consider flipping. He suggests Tony, because Tony is more likely to say something dumb at Tribal that would make Kass change her mind again. Essentially, it sounds like Spencer plans on using Kass's insecurity and wishy-washy voting nature to his advantage. Seriously, kid's got game! He tells us that it's crazy that the person who screwed him over is the only person that could potentially help him now. He has no problem using the idol for someone else, but he has to have a flipper to tell him who the vote is, so he doesn't waste it.

Naturally, he approaches Kass. (Please don't tell her you found it. Please don't tell her you found it.) So he begins the conversation with Kass saying that he's not trying to sell her anything, but if she were to flip back, it could help her from losing five jury votes at the end. Kass, Monday Morning Quarterback that she is, tells us that this is exactly what she expected to happen when she made the move to dump Sarah in the first place. She just knew that they would come back to her to get her in the fold. Really? You really knew that? I ain't buying it. Anyway, Spencer asks her if she would consider it. Like, really consider it. Kass says that she's a free agent and she'll seriously consider any option that gets her to the final three. Spencer goes for broke and tries to sell the Tony vote. In confessional, Kass tells us that Spencer makes good points. As charming as Tony is, you don't want to be sitting next to him at the final tribal. Morgan is annoying and a bitch, but she's not changing and she's not a threat. As everyone heads to Tribal, Kass is telling us how she loves the ambush and the blindside, both in court and on Survivor. She admits that it might not be the best technique in either situation, but she likes it and seems to thrive on it. So, as we head to Tribal, Kass seems to have herself in the pivotal position once again.

They get to Tribal and Jeff starts out with Tony. He suggests there was a huge power shift. As Tony answers, Kass breaks in to tell Jeff that she was the wind that changed direction. She says that she was kinda blasted at first and then ignored. Jeff asks Spencer about the betrayal. Spencer says that he likes big moves in Survivor but that he did feel betrayed and angry. He cops to getting out of hand. Jeff asks him how it feels to have the necklace on. He says it feels good, but his goal isn't to make it three more days. His goal is to win and to that end, the necklace doesn't do a lot for him. He feels good, but could feel better. Jeff goes back to Tony, asking him if hearing Spencer's answer alters his plans on who to vote out. Tony says that they have talked about it and they take into consideration strength, strategy and have come to a consensus in hopes that tonight's vote will be smooth sailing.

Jeff asks Morgan about whether she's a threat. She says that she's not going to win any of these tough challenges and that people apparently don't really like her, so she's not getting any jury votes either. He asks Trish if this is true. Trish says that it is and that you can add in that she does nothing around camp and she could make a list of reasons Morgan would be a good person to take to the end.

Jeff asks Morgan what it's like to hear that. She says that when they first started, Jeremiah and LJ took good care of the girls, so she kinda got used to not doing anything. Jeff's next statement starts off with, "Let's talk candidly...” and he suggests that maybe she's kinda used to being taken care of in regular life also. "Absolutely," she replies. She says that she doesn't really have to work too hard for anything she wants in real life. Jeff asks if it's because of her looks. She admits that it is and then suggests that if every person had the choice to be ugly or cute, everyone would choose cute. She finishes by saying that she's sorry she doesn't work as hard around camp and that she will start working harder.

Whoa...Jefra sighting!!! Probst asks her about Kass. He suggests that her coming over automatically makes her the sixth person, so they don't lose any ground in the game while gaining all the power. Jefra says they don't look at it that way, but rather that they're a chain and everyone is an equal link in that chain. He pushes her by asking how many alliances she's ever seen that where no one was on the bottom. She suggests that it seemed like no one was on the bottom last time. Spencer says, "Yeah and you called us...Tony said we were full of it." Tony chimes in that they're saying it "for different reasons." when they say it, it's bullshit, when you say it, you mean it. Gotcha! Tony says that the other alliance was put together by the drawing of buffs. Spencer points out that both alliances were put together that way and no matter what, someone's always on the bottom.

Jefra tries to smooth it over by saying maybe later someone will be on the bottom. Tony butts in again to say that Kass is in a good spot and she isn't leaving. Jeff suggests to Tony that maybe Kass is playing THEM this week and isn't it hard to trust someone that's unpredictable? Tony admits that is true. Trish is also a bit scared of that possibility. Jeff then asks Kass about the thought that no one is on the bottom and he wonders if it isn't a little disingenuous. To her credit, Kass comes back with, "But we're all on the equal chain, remember?" She says that she understands the game and when she made the decision last week, there was no alliance made. She equates it to sitting down at a table in Vegas with a friend. She'll sit with them, but doesn't mind beating them. With that, it is...time to vote.

Ahhh...we don't get to see any votes, so it's all a mystery to us. The concern here is that it doesn't seem too much like Spencer was able to flush out who they were voting for. If that's the case, he can't know who to protect with the idol. Which means his best case scenario is Kass flipping again and forcing a tie. Things aren't looking good for Morgan.

Jeff's finished tallying the votes. Spencer holds his idol and Jeff starts reading. The first four votes are Tony. Now, that doesn't mean Kass didn't flip, but it doesn't look good. Here come the Morgan votes. The next four are for Morgan. So we're tied 4-4 with two more votes left. Ninth vote is for Morgan. And it's the moment of truth. If Kass flipped back, we'll see a Tony. I'm thinking we'll likely see a Morgan, though. Last vote is...Morgan. Wah wah wah! Ultimately, I don't blame Kass for this one. Flipping on an even number when you could end up being the one to go home is a ballsy move only for someone with no other options. The problem for Kass now is that she is without a doubt, 100% expendable now. I would think she would be the target of the whole tribe next week as everyone tries to take the wild card out of the game.

Yeah, so for a lot of buildup for this episode to turn out with the obvious person going home, that's kind of a bummer. However, for you Spencer fans out there, he had a fantastic episode and is still holding an immunity idol. Maybe next week, he'll be able to rally some troops. I mean, it's 6-3 right now...which means he can easily offer someone fourth place over sixth. Let's see how much he really has studied the game. Next time on Survivor: Tony's over playing seems to reach ludicrous speed and he may have one of our favorites in his sights, Woo. Trish says that Tony is getting out of control. Seriously, you're just now seeing this? He's been 90 to nothing from day one. I guess the difference now is that his agenda might not be the same as yours. So, remember, whatever happens, you all built this. Bed made - lie in it. Stay tuned for next week's Power Rankings and I'll see you back here in a week for the Week 8 Recap! Take care!