As the new episode starts, Kat is headed to Redemption Island and says at least she didn't cry, so those tears leaking from her eyes must have been something else. However, when dawn breaks, Kat is weeping openly. She's worried that her boyfriend, Hayden, will be ashamed that she got voted out. He might not want to date her anymore. Yeah, that's the measuring stick we use to judge our mates.
Laura M., John and newly castoff castaway Kat arrive to battle for their souls. Well, for the right to stay in the game a few more days. Hayden realizes that Kat is missing. Does he look ashamed? Maybe. Kat arrives, breaks down and asks for a hug and reassurances that he's not disappointed in her.
Jeff Probst grills Hayden, who assures him and Kat that the relationship is fine. His relationship with Kat is more important than the game, Hayden says. Really? Probst asks if he wants to trade places with Kat, taking himself out of the game and putting Kat back in.
Hayden looks uncomfortable; Kat looks hopeful. She wants to switch because the challenge is a puzzle and, she says, she can't even spell. Hayden asks what's best for them long term, who has a better shot at winning the game? Kat says he does, so she will stay in the duel, which involves untying knots to get a machete, chopping a rope, releasing puzzle pieces and completing a fire puzzle.
John gets an early lead; Kat can't even get the pieces out of the bag. Unexpectedly, Kat starts figuring out the puzzle with Hayden's encouragement from the stands. John finishes first and Laura M., using John's puzzle as a guide, finishes next, sending Kat off to Loser Lodge. Kat leaves still trying to get assurances that her inability to solve a wooden puzzle won't cause Hayden to dump her.
As winner of the duel, John gets to give someone a clue to a secret hidden immunity idol, and he once again gives it to Monica, who once again burns it without reading it, saying it's poison. It's a gift, John says. She can do what she wants with it.
Back on Tadhana, Hayden is sad. Kat often doesn't know which way is up and he has to help her. But he didn't, and now he feels bad. However, he's kind of happy that she's gone because now he can play his game and maybe be a little cutthroat.
Aras goes off to meditate and visualize winning the game. He's lucky to have made the switch with Tyson and Gervase, who have his back, and at the merge, he'll have his brother, Vytas. Life is looking good.
Back at camp, Tyson is busy stabbing Aras in the same back he's supposed to have. He warns them that Aras and Vytas will be a dangerous duo, and that they probably will go into a merge very soon. Everyone is on board on getting rid of Aras, if they lose.
Over at Galang, Tina is hoping that her daughter, Katie, and Vytas become a couple. She likes him. He's picked himself up and has reformed his former self. Tina is ready for some grandbabies.
Vytas, meanwhile, admits he's just showing the women on his tribe what they want to see, and they all are falling for it. The women, however, are in alliance and all agree if that if they lose, Vytas goes. For his part, Vytas isn't hopeful of winning with two women in the 40s, one woman in her 50s against a bunch of strong men and a young woman.
The contest this week involves shackling four people from each tribe together. They have to work their way though a low obstacle course to collect bags of bolo balls and chains. Once they've collected all eight bags, one member from each tribe assembles them, then throws them at a fence, where they need to wrap them around the rails.
It's Tina for Galang and Tyson for Tadhana, and it's a competitive match. Tyson eventually pulls it off and his tribe wins immunity and a fried chicken dinner with all the fixings. They head off to feast while poor Galang heads back to camp to plot another ouster.
Because they already have decided on sending Vytas to Redemption Island, there's really nothing to discuss, right? Oh, but there is one surprise. When they gather back at camp and Laura B. announces that they have such respect for Vytas that they don't want him to be surprised at tribal council. Sorry, bud, but they are voting him off. The other three women, however, weren't in on the decision to tell Vytas, and Monica is not happy. She feels blindsided. This game is built on trust, she says, and Laura B. just violated it.
Tina thinks that Vytas is a real threat, but Laura B. is unpredictable. When Vytas asks her, Tina says it could be Laura B.
Vytas says the woman are in charge, but they always need to keep an Alpha male around to ensure the future of the pride.
Probst immediately asks what happened when they got back at camp, and Laura B. tells him they had all decided to get rid of Vytas and so "they" told him. Monica says that is a dangerous thing to do, and that before you blow the cover off, you might want to discuss it with the alliance. Katie and Tina agree. Laura B. might have just broken their trust and she could be going.
Vytas says he thinks his brother will be proud of him and will be bummed to see him go. Laura B. says she's tried to be herself and let people know who she really is. She thinks Rupert will be proud of her, and that it feels good to be out from under his shadow for a bit.
Vytas hammers the need to vote for who is the most trustworthy, not who has the most ovaries (paraphrasing here) and it's time to vote.
And when the votes are announced, it's Laura B., sent to Redemption Island for a second time. Did the women of Galang just make a terrible mistake by not voting off a strong player when they had the chance? Time will tell.
Next time: The winner of the last Redemption Island duel re-enters the game, and the tribes merge.