We rejoin our wacky castaways at Tadhana, which is reeling on its decision to vote off its leader, Brad. A couple of guys think they are royally in trouble, but Caleb thinks he's in good.
Over at Redemption Island, Brad tiptoes in, quickly apologizing to Candice for voting off her sleeping buddy, husband John, and for Brad's wife, Monica, helping to vote off Candice. Yes, it's a multilayered hate. Candice isn't buying the apology, but she doesn't need to. Brad is on "their island" now and she plans to put him out of the game permanently.
Just to recap, Candice was sent to the island on the first day when the two tribes had to immediately vote one person off. She has since survived every challenge to remain in the game. John arrived recently, voted off in a blindside orchestrated by Brad, and he has made it through one challenge. Eventually, one voted out castaway will be returning to the game.
Rejoining the present, Laura M. is giving Aras a massage that's sort of creepy. Aras thinks Laura is flirting with him to keep her in the alliance, expect she isn't in the alliance.
Laura B., who was voted out the first day by Tadhana and joined Galang when her husband, Rupert, offered to take her place on Redemption Island, feels very much the outsider. Everyone on her tribe has played the game before and they aren't very friendly to her.
Time for our challenge, but first Galang learns who Tadhana voted off. Monica, Brad's wife, is in tears and asks if she can take his place. No way, says macho man.
Jeff Probst asks how things are going with the Redempetion Islanders, two of whom have been pretty vocal of their hatred of the third one. It's awkward, of course.
Monica says Candice hurt her feelings by saying terrible things about Brad. Well, Candice says, her feelings were hurt when Monica voted her off. Ooh, snap.
But onto the contest. They have to disassemble a crate and use the planks to build a bridge. Once they've crossed their bridge, they have to use some of the boards to assemble a puzzle. It's neck-and-neck-and neck, but John finishes his first. Galang cheers Brad on, in support of Monica, but Candice is right there with him on the puzzle. At the last second, Brad wins.
Probst asks how Candice feels not only leaving the game, but leaving her husband alone. She says it's the hardest thing ever. John is upset, too. He could have saved her from the first if he had taken her place off Redemption, and now he's defeated her and sent her packing.
Once again John, as the winner, gets to give someone a clue to a hidden immunity idol, once again he gives it to Monica and once again, on Brad's advice, she burns it instead of reading it.
Afterward, Monica talks about how sad she was to see Brad on the island, but she's confident he will pull himself up by his bootstraps and get back in the game. Tina is concerned that Monica and Brad would turn into a super couple, but Monica assures her she's staying with the alliance of five -- her, Tina, Gervase, Tyson and Aras.
Over at Tadhana, the players are assessing their damages. Bug bites, athlete's foot, cuts, scraps and missing toe nails. Ugh. They also can't figure out how they'll get much further in the game if they keep losing.
Vytas is keeping an eye on Caleb. He can't quite get a read on him. He needs him, but he doesn't trust. Caleb, fearing that Brad was gunning for him, managed to swing the last tribal council vote against Brad. Caleb is liking his position as the swing vote.
Tadhana prepares for the challenge with a chat on a mountain top. They wonder how their chemistry will be without Brad. But they know they have to win the next time.
Today's challenge involves a huge slide. Whoo hoo. Each member slides down and grabs a ring. They then have to toss the ring on a post. First tribe to score five rings wins immunity and a choice of steaks and a wok, or fishing gear.
Probst helpfully reminds us that Tadhana hasn't won a challenge, and they're off. It looks fun. Tadhana takes a lead, and shockingly, they hold onto it to win their first challenge. They claim immunity and the steaks. Galang is headed to tribal council.
For the first time, the returning players (and Laura B.) have to strategize on who they will send to Redemption Island. Laura B. is nervous. She's never been to a tribal council and is worried. Her original tribe voted her off, this tribe might also.
She tries to sow some discontent by telling Kat that Laura M. and Monica were complaining that Kat did the challenge and they didn't. It's weak. Nobody cares.
The prevailing theory is that Laura B. should go first, but Aras tells Tyson maybe they should vote Laura M. off in hopes that she'll knock Brad off Redemption Island, cementing Monica's loyalty to the alliance. Monica, who is smarter than we've given her credit for, is concerned Laura B. might beat her husband so she's more in favor of voting out Laura M.
Galang arrives, grabs torches and settles in. Probst immediately focuses on Gervase and how long it's been since he had been at tribal council. Tina has been away nearly as long. She talks about the twist of having family members and loved ones in the game. The question is, will players be able to vote out their loved ones?
Laura M. says there's no doubt. You have to cut the apron strings sometimes, she says of her daughter, Ciera. Her blood is now the people she's sitting with.
Laura B. makes a case for sticking around. She's part of the tribe, she works hard. Monica says that's true. She's a great player and worker. Probst tells Laura B. that's what they say right before they vote someone out.
And now it's time to vote. Probst heads off to the tally votes and in the end, the vote is surprising, at least to Laura M., who gets sent to Redemption Island.
Next time: Gervase and Tyson plot against Aras, but the tribes get mingled.