This family twist is turning out even better than promised in last week's premiere! The relationships and twists are further complicating strategies.
Now, they have to think about what happens if the eliminated person's loved one takes his or her place on Redemption Island. It's knotty, it's thorny, it's affecting alliances — and we love it.
Check out the play-by-play of this week's "Survivor":
8:02: Marissa shows up at Redemption Island, where she's greeted by Rupert and Candice. "Another blindside," she mumbles. Um, exactly how was that a blindside? Just because it's a surprise doesn't make it a blindside.
8:05: At Galang, everyone's lined up to give each other back massages — except for Colton, of course. And here comes the first Coltonism of the evening: "I thought that this whole Zen, calm, yoga mentality would be appealing to me. Well, it was for like three days. Now I'm over it."
8:06: We watched "Survivor: Panama" and yet, Aras is a total blank to us. Like, not a single memory of him on that season.
8:07: Henceforth, we will call Aras, Tina, and Gervase the Reasonable Gang. Of course, their aversion to strategizing could bite them in the rear later.
8:09: At Tadhana, Brad is still being a tool.
8:11: Even though this tribe is clearly a guys' club (we should rename it Bro-hana), some people are suspicious that John and Rachel have an alliance.
8:12: Treemail brings an invite to Redemption Island to watch the three-way battle. Once they gather, everyone starts crying again, happy to see their loved one wasn't voted out. Sigh … so many feelings.
8:14: Jeff explains the challenge — the three players will use poles to maneuver cylinders through a spool to create a tower. First two move on; last-place finisher is out. And what's more, the winner gets to give someone a clue to the hidden immunity idol!
8:15: Candice and Rupert are neck and neck. They're nearly done with their towers…
8:16: …until Rupert's whole tower falls. Candice wins.
8:18: Marissa patiently places her final block. She comes in second, which means Rupert is out. He hugs Laura goodbye. "I love 'Survivor' but I love my wife more," he says before throwing his buff into the fire. Meanwhile, Candice bequeaths the clue to John (duh).
What did Rupert have to say after his elimination?
8:23: At Tadhana, Vytas proves he is the polar opposite of his brother by strategizing like crazy. He's decided that they need to target the stronger veteran players, like Tyson. And to do that, they should vote out Rachel — because maybe Tyson would take her place on Redemption Island. It's kind of logical … only if Tyson actually swaps with her.
8:24: John, though, is not a big fan of this plan. If Tyson does follow their plan, then that pits him against his wife, Candice! Maybe it's not bros before … uh, wives in the game of "Survivor." John reads his clue and debates whether he should keep it a secret.
8:25: At Galang, everyone is comforting Laura over Rupert's exit. Everyone except Colton, of course. Coltonism #2: "Do you think this is like a YMCA camping trip? Where we want to improve ourselves? Well, you know, what I want is to improve myself by winning a million dollars."
8:27: Not content to just be chill, Colton starts a whispering campaign, telling one person this, another person that. Coltonism #3: "If I can get all of this Zen and zan out of here, I can run this show." Kat is scared. She's played with Colton before and knows how easily she can be burned.
8:28: Her fears come true when Kat tells him Tina is freaked out by his overstrategizing. Pissed off, Colton drags her over to the rest of the group and starts freaking out.
8:29: Coltonism #4: "This is a game. This isn't 'National Lampoon's Horrible Vacation.'"
8:33: His tribemates are sick of the drama and bullying. "He is a gay Russell Hantz," Aras says. And with that, the Reasonable Gang becomes the Reasonable Alliance of Aras, Tyson, Gervase, Tina, and Monica.
8:35: Immunity challenge time! And with a win comes a reward: a bunch of fishing gear.
Kat sits out for Galang. The challenge involves three people rolling a fourth inside a barrel to collect bags of balls. At the end of the course, the remaining people use the balls to play a game of giant Skee-Ball.
8:36: Katie hops in the barrel for Tadhana, while Laura is in for Galang. Just watching this challenge makes us dizzy.
8:37: Rollin' rollin' rollin', keep them barrels rollin'.
8:38: Despite Galang building a lead, Tadhana finishes the barrel section first. Hayden takes the balls and starts rolling them up the platform. A few moments later, Gervase for Galang is right there with him.
8:40: It's neck and neck. But while Gervase might not be able to swim or run well, he can play Skee-Ball. He beats Hayden, and Galang wins.
8:45: Back at Tadhana, Brad starts puffing his chest out back at camp. If only they'd gotten a physical challenge, blah blah blah … shut up, Brad.
The Bro-lliance decides to vote out Rachel, to try to take out Tyson. John feebly argues against the move, not wanting to endanger Candice. But the other guys don't understand what he's doing, and it makes them veeeeery suspicious.
8:46: Yet another creepy insect shot. We miss the tarsiers.
8:49: The guys are still wary about John's true motives, especially since Katie is trying to throw fuel on that fire. The fact that John isn't sharing his idol clue just makes things worse.
8:50: Tribal council starts, and immediately, Jeff digs into the men vs. women thing. Hayden says they can't help if they've bonded. Just for once, can't an alliance in power just say what it is?
8:51: Jeff loves to poke a sensitive spot — he asks about the immunity clue. Brad acknowledges that it does make John a target. John brings up the tactic of voting out people so their loved ones would swap.
8:52: "There are probably more layers to votes to this season than we ever have before," Probst observes. He opens up voting. We don't see any of the guys' votes, except for John's (he writes down "Rachel").
8:53: Jeff starts tallying the votes. John doesn't play his idol. The votes are: two for John, one for Ciera, and four for Rachel.
8:54: Jeff extinguishes Rachel's torch and sends her to Redemption Island. The big question is: Will Tyson take her place, as the guys hope? And if he does, will John have to sleep in the guest bedroom for the rest of his life?
Watch a preview of next week's episode:
Check out Twitter reactions to the episode, and then sound off in the comments below.
I'm sick of sexist tribes! They can Pretend it's strategy, but it's so tiresome! #Survivor— Karen Sonnet (@renpuppy) September 26, 2013
"Survivor" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.