The "blood vs. water" twist this season on "Survivor" has already produced quite a few memorable moments — Aras and Vytas tussling, Rupert taking his wife's place on Redemption Island, and John not taking Candice's place.
But we're sure the producers' dreams really came true when Ciera voted out her own mother.
Watch the moment:
This has been building ever since Laura came back from Redemption Island. At the time, Laura's return seemed more like a hindrance than a helpful turn of events for Ciera, who'd clawed her way into an alliance with Tyson and the guys. This week, with Tina's exit, Ciera and Laura are the only couple left in the game — which puts a huge target on both their backs.
And Ciera does the best thing for Ciera: eliminating her mom.
It's sad and distressing; she cries and apologizes to Laura for writing her name down. Laura just smiles and says it's OK, that she loves her, that she'll be back. Now, Ciera can play her own game without worrying about her other half. Now, she can focus solely on winning.
A rundown of this week's episode:
Redemption Island: Aras, Vytas, and Tina troop in, and at first, it seems like Tina is going to get her butt kicked. But the duel seems designed for fairness: They have to guide a ball through a tilted maze. Tina gets to an early lead, but hits a major bump when the ball falls through a hole right near the end. Vytas is able to catch up and win. Aras, usually a very good challenge player, struggles. Tina gets a hold of herself and manages to finish in second. Goodbye, King Aras! Have fun in the jury! In a touching moment, the brothers acknowledge all their past difficulties and express hope that they'll continue to repair their relationship in the future.
Digging for the Idol: Vytas gives Katie the clue to the hidden Immunity Idol, which she is not going to burn in the fire. No way. But finding the Idol is going to be tough when the other tribe members are dogging her. Katie tries waking up at the crack of dawn to go digging, but Laura's hot on her heels.
Immunity Challenge: The players line up on a dock, where they have to balance on a small platform and lean back holding onto a rope. Hayden is the first to go, followed by Caleb. At the end, it comes down to Tyson and Monica, and she kills it. Girl's got guns, what can we say? Jeff unveils her reward: a big feast of burgers, dogs, and fries, which she can share with one other person. But Monica magnanimously decides to forego her prize to give the food to the rest of the tribe. As Jeff wonders, is this a gesture of good faith or a political move? Who cares ... cheeseburgers nom nom nom.
The Plot Thickens: Now that Monica's safe, Tyson can start making his strategic moves. And though it seemed that Katie was on the chopping block, he's now thinking it would be wiser to vote out Laura. The question is, will Ciera vote with them? And should they split the vote to flush out the Idol, if Katie's found it? Ciera, not really wanting to see her mom go just yet, lies to Katie to discover that she doesn't have the Idol. So, armed with that info, Ciera makes a proposal to the guys: Vote out Katie this week, then either Monica or Laura the next. At least a couple of the guys, notably Caleb, seem to be mulling this over.
Tribal Council: Jeff brings up the fact that Ciera and Laura are the only couple left, which puts them in danger — and makes them dangerous. Katie, wanting to stay alive, points out that they'll naturally want to get to the final together. Laura starts piping up about how they should keep her around, otherwise she'll lobby the jury on her daughter's behalf. Ciera rolls her eyes and looks like she's about to explode. Laura is talking a lot, which is never a good sign at Tribal.
Everyone votes, and it's near unanimous. Laura is voted out once again, including by her daughter. Ciera weeps in her mother's arms, but Laura soothes her by assuring her that everything will be OK.
After all that your mom has done for you, Ciera, this is how you repay her? "Survivor" is cold, very cold.
Check out Twitter reactions to the episode, and then sound off in the comments below!
Ciera is really there to play the game. Takes a lot of guts to vote your own mom out. #Survivor— Jamarr T. Brown (@JamarrBrown) November 21, 2013
This is one of the best #Survivor seasons ever. If Tyson or Ciera don't win, it is a shame.— Aaron Brown (@aar0ntb) November 21, 2013
The Aras/Vytas storyline might be the best thing #survivor has ever done.— Jake Scheidel (@JakeScheidel) November 21, 2013
"Survivor" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Watch a preview of the next episode: