Previously on … Survivor.  The tribes merged to form Kasama. Three were reunited with their loved ones, but not for long, as Tyson systematically eliminated couples. After Aras, Vytas and Tina were voted out, Laura and Ciera were the only loved ones left in the game.

Returning from Tribal Council, Katie felt defeated. The other seven players had a strong alliance, and she knew she could be next to go.

Laura M was delighted that they were the last surviving couple, but Ciera is very aware that their partnership makes them a target. She warns her mother to avoid any strategizing with anyone on the tribe, especially Tyson. Ciera feels that she has an advantage over Laura, in that she understands the way the alliance thinks.

Laura said that she trusted her daughter’s judgment, and would take Ciera’s advice on the social aspect of the game. Ciera hoped her mother stayed in the game, but would get rid of her if she had to, believing that she had a better shot of winning it all if Laura were out of the game.

Jeff Probst welcomes everyone to the arena at Redemption Island. Today’s competitors are Aras, Vytas and Tina. For the day’s duel/truel, they will each use a grappling hook to retrieve three bags with a ball inside. Once they’ve collected all three bags, they will use one of the balls to solve a table maze. Two will stay in the game, but the loser will become the first member of the Jury.  The winner will also decide who gets the clue to the location of the Hidden Immunity Idol.

Tina takes an early lead, snagging all three bags within four tosses. The brothers vie for their second bags while Tina begins working on the maze. Tina is inches away from winning when her ball falls through a hole, and she must start over. Vytas, after lagging behind from the beginning, successfully drops his ball into the center point and wins!

Aras and Tina are both very close to finishing their maze, but it’s Tina who drops it in, and stays alive. Aras is out of the game after 25 days.

Probst tells the brothers that he can’t help thinking about the first challenge they faced, when Vytas pulled a cheap shot against Aras to win the match. He wonders if they’ve left any of their sibling rivalry behind during the game. Vytas says he believes they have, and that he’d never behave that way again towards his brother.

Aras says he’s glad to have had the experience with Vytas. He hopes they can grow old together, and tell their grandchildren about their adventures. Aras tosses his buff into the fire, and leaves the arena.

Vytas, as winner of the duel, gives the clue to Katie, whom he believes needs it the most. Katie is grateful, determined she won’t go down without fighting to find the idol.

Post duel, Katie is proud of her mother for staying in the game, but her priority is the idol. After reading the clue, she thinks she knows where it might be. Back at camp, Laura wonders if they should hide all the sharp tools, so that Katie has trouble digging. Ciera suggests that they follow Katie, and if they see her digging, dig right beside her, in hopes of finding the idol first. Tyson’s still not worried. He’s got his own idol, and is only thinking about his next move.

Tyson gathers Caleb and Hayden, and says that the four guys should vote Laura, so that Ciera doesn’t have to vote against her own mother. By taking Laura out before she gets any further in the game, they stop Laura and Ciera from creating another alliance within the group. With Laura out, Katie and Monica will be next. They need to get rid of Laura before she begins to suspect their plans.

Ciera thinks that she’s still tight with the four males, and that trying to keep her mother in the game will just get them both voted out quicker. She takes Laura aside to explain her reasoning, saying that Monica is next, but she knows that Laura will be soon after. Ciera says that she feels she has a better shot at winning than Laura does. For Laura to make it to Final Three, she’d have to win every challenge from here on. And if Laura even makes it to six, Ciera will be voted out.

Ciera says it’s not realistic to believe that she and Laura will be in the Final Three. They could try it, but it’s risking everything. Laura agrees, wanting the best for her daughter. She sees Ciera’s logic as being courageous and adult. But despite the sappy music behind Laura’s understanding and justification of Ciera’s decision, I still saw a child coldly asking her mother to get out of the way and let her win.