updated 10/17/2013 AT 5:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/17/2013 AT 10:00 AM ET
Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can
“I’m out here playing for one million dollars. Never trust me.
– Russell Hantz, Survivor: Samoa
You knew the second that Laura Morett started talking about how much she trusted Aras, she was in trouble. “Aras is someone that I completely, explicitly trust in this game,” she said. I don’t think I felt that way about anybody, ever, in my 39 days of Survivor – and I honestly doubted Laura M. felt so certain about Aras, either. More likely, she was trying to convince herself that everything was hunky dory. Deep down, she knew she was in danger.
The episode started at Tadhana, where Vytas was confronting trust issues of his own. Caleb shocked everyone with his vote flip: Vytas didn’t trust the guy anymore, but he did need to woo him back to the dwindling 5 Guys alliance – which was down to just three guys. It was almost embarrassing, the way the once-Machiavellian Vytas extolled the virtues of Caleb’s perfectly exfoliated skin. Caleb basked in the praise – but did he believe it?
Lucky for Vytas, Tadhana actually managed to win a challenge. They couldn’t beat the Returnees in jousting or puzzle-solving, but they could win a slip-and-slide/ring toss. You got the sense that the producers were starting to feel sorry for the hapless newbies, and that apple-bobbing and Pin the Tail on the Donkey were next on the docket.
For the first time, the Returnees had to prepare for Tribal. But it was a drama-free afternoon. The majority alliance had locked up the votes, and everyone assumed they were secure. Tribe outsider/nuisance Laura Boneham was the presumed target.