"Survivor" is back and the twists start early. As the show starts, the 10 pairs of players are introduced and it is quickly revealed to the viewers that the survivors won't be playing together, but against each other. They don't know it yet and they spend time in front of the camera talking about how great it is to play the game together. It's so cruel it's delicious.

At each beach spot they read notes telling them they will spend their first night together in the jungle, all alone. Marissa asks Uncle Gervase what to do and he doesn't know. Colton asks his boyfriend, Caleb, if he needs him to do something and Caleb says no. Rupert bellows. Yep, pretty much like always.

The next morning the pairs come together and Jeff Probst breaks the news that they'll be competing against each other. There are gasps and sad faces, yet when Probst asks if anyone is looking forward to duking it out with their loved ones, more than half raise their hands. There are some shocked faces.

They are separated into the two tribes -- returning players, Galang, and newbies, Tadhana. Then Probst drops a big bomb, telling them they each have to vote one person off, immediately.

Newbies vote, and the first three votes are for Laura B., Rupert's wife. It doesn't get any better. She's voted off as a perceived attack against Rupert.


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Returning players are more divided, but Candice ends up getting the boot. Except they aren't, exactly. They are going to Redemption Island. Probst explains how it will work -- the loved one can take the other's place and the formerly voted off player will replace them on the tribe. Rupert can't stand his wife being in danger like that, so he takes her place and Laura goes to Galang. Galang is not happy because they were counting on Rupert to build the shelter and feed them.

Candice's husband, John, says he's confidant his wife can beat Rupert and make it back into the game. He later fights back tears and says how much it killed him to do that. Yeah, right.

With Rupert and Candice off to exile, the tribes get busy building shelters, starting fires and setting up alliances. Monica played with Colton in a previous season and she doesn't like him, but she approaches him and makes a deal.

At Camp Newbie, they're all busy but none of them really know what they're doing. Brad, the former NFL player, is worried because earlier he had confessed that he might not play as hard as he could if it meant that winning would deprive his wife of something she could use. The others were stunned and he quickly realized he had made a huge blunder. When his tribe is together building the shelter he takes the opportunity to say hey, that silly talk about throwing a challenge? He didn't really mean it. Heh heh.

Brad approaches the other men on the tribe. He wants to have an all-male locker room and he's making deals left and right, except none of the guys are serious about keeping their word to him. They're just trying to shut him up. Then Brad demonstrates why he played tackle and not quarterback as he tries to demonstrate for the camera his plan of action using hand signals. He gets so confused he has to think really hard and do it twice.

Meanwhile, Camp Newbie is struggling to make fire. Ciera spills her life story about being a teen mom and butting heads with her mom. Vytas then confesses that he was a teenage heroin addict because his brother was the golden boy and it was difficult for him. He ended up spending a year in jail, and he and his brother still aren't on the best of terms.

Lots of chatting but no fire. As the sun sets on Camp Newbie, Vytas talks about how he thinks his tribe won't think bad of him because he's an ex-convict.

Over at Camp Super Ego, Colton has his tribe in stitches. Then he starts dissing the South, where he's from, saying that no one in his state understands or accepts gay people. He feels like some people in his family don't love him and he starts crying. He misses Caleb. Everyone comforts him.

Colton tells the camera he has changed from the mean person he was. Monica hopes he has.

We pay a visit to Redemption Island where we find Candice chopping up the people who voted against her, symbolically anyway. She recites their names as she hacks at a coconut with a machete. She's also upset with Rupert, who either sleeps or hunkers down in the water like a giant snow monkey, without the snow. Candice is gathering wood, watching the fire, collecting water, doing everything.

Turns out that Rupert has changed how he plays. No more is he going to kill himself around camp and then be too exhausted to win challenges. If Candice wants to do that, fine, but after losing three previous times, he's in it to win it.

Immunity challenge

As the tribes gather, everyone is looking lovingly at their loved ones, which is only appropriate. Probst asks Galang how it's going. They say great, they've got fire. Tadhana lies that they've got fire. They've got plenty of fire. Fire to spare. So much fire they don't know what to do with it. Honest.

The challenge involves players from each team swimming an obstacle course concerning nets, a rolling log and three crates on a raft. Then they have to untie knots, release a boat and row a crate of puzzle pieces back to shore, where three members must solve a puzzle. Newbies take an early lead, in part because Gervase can't swim well.

Once the knots are untied, everyone gets on the boat and paddles back. Somehow, Galang catches up but can't seem to paddle the boat.

Tadhana gets the puzzle pieces back and are working on the puzzle before Galang comes ashore. It's a tough puzzle, but Galang makes quick work of it and wins immunity.

Galang seems to forget the tribe it just beat is made up of people they supposedly love. Colton doesn't forget, though. He starts sobbing and Laura M. voices his concern that they all feel bad that they've just sent their loved ones to tribal council, where they could be voted off.

Brad complains to the camera that Gervase was acting like a jerk. It could be his niece they vote off, and something tells us that Brad would be up for getting rid of Marissa to teach Gervase a lesson.

Back at Camp Newbie, Brad gave a little pep talk to the team, uh, the tribe. Yeah, they lost but at least they know their loved ones have fire. That bit of news goes over like a lead balloon. The daughters and niece on the tribe are steaming about how their mothers showed them up and an uncle celebrated their loss. Brad suggests that if they ever win a challenge, they shouldn't gloat.

The Locker Room Alliance gets together to discuss who goes. Brad wants Marissa, but others talk about Katie. So Vytas, saying he wants to stay in good with the women, does the honorable thing and tells Katie they are voting off Marissa, and tells Marissa they are voting off Katie. It doesn't really matter he says. One of them is going.

Tribal council

Snakes and mood lighting greet the sad tribe. Probst asks Hayden what the toughest thing is and he says not having fire. You lied to Probst? Yeah, they did. They complain about being hungry and thirsty.

Probst asks John if he's feeling guilty for letting his wife go to Redemption Island and John fights tears, saying yes, he's worried that Candice is sitting there feeling like he's deserted her.

Brad brings up how Gervase celebrated, and Marissa says she was expecting them to handle a win with grace. Does it make it more dangerous for the loved one? Vytas says yes. Marissa says she shouldn't be judged by her uncle's actions.

Katie says she might be voted off because she was part of the puzzle solving team that fell behind.

Votes are cast and Marissa gets the ax. Thanks, Uncle Gervase. Something tells us Thanksgiving dinner is going to be very awkward this year.

She turns and glares at them as her torch is snuffed and everyone quickly finds something else to look at. Probst sends her to Redemption Island and gives the tribe his usual parting insult, this one about how their family members had taught them nothing. But hey, good news, here's some flint. Go make fire.

Next time: Colton reverts to his old ways and the first battle of Redemption Island is waged.