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'Survivor: Cagayan', Episode 9 recap: The Opportunist

"Survivor: Cagayan" Episode 9.
"Survivor: Cagayan" Episode 9.
Photo courtesy of Michael Yarish/CBS ©2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

If there's one thing you can count on each week on "Survivor: Cagayan," it's to expect the unexpected. Wednesday night's episode continued this season's theme of being thoroughly entertaining, unpredictable and chaotic. The preview had promised some paranoia, but the drama on the island tonight involved nearly every single player remaining, fueled by everybody's favorite fake construction worker, Tony Vlachos.

In case you missed the episode, you can watch it at Here is the full episode recap:

Poopy Pants. Morgan was voted out at last week's Tribal Council, but the losing tribe members had cast their votes for Tony and it wasn't sitting too well with him. "I probably pooped myself," Tony said, about how he felt when he saw his name on the voting parchment. Upon returning to camp that night, Tony was definitely taking offense that he was their target. He tells Spencer that Morgan was voted out because "she was not worthy to be playing this game" and that he "appreciates the compliment" they gave him in trying to vote him out. Tony plans on trying to shift focus away from himself as soon as possible.

Patience. The next morning, Tony's paranoia is still palpable and Trish and LJ take notice. "This is a game of patience," LJ says. "I hope he doesn't do anything stupid." Tony's current plan is to turn others on LJ, so that it appears that it wasn't his idea. "I'm not only going to lead the horse to water," Tony says. "I'm going to make the horse drink the water. I have to pin everything on LJ." Tony chats with LJ and gets him to casually consider that Woo may have a hidden Idol.

Reward Challenge. In a challenge involving sand bags, the remaining nine players were split into three groups of three to compete for a spa day reward, complete with a shower, soap and lunch. Tony dominated the last portion of the challenge, requiring him to bounce sand bags into different nets, winning the reward for himself, Spencer and Jeremiah.

Opportunity Knocks. Tony plans on making the most of his time away with these "minority" tribe mates, to possibly get them on his side and more importantly, pitted against LJ. "You might as well call me the opportunist," Tony tells the camera. On reward, Tony talks strategy bluntly with Spencer and Jeremiah. Spencer doesn't trust Tony for a minute, but knows he has no other choice but to feed Tony what he wants to hear. "We're pawns on the board and you can use us if you want," Spencer tells Tony. Spencer knows that Tony isn't all that trustworthy, but any additional time he can buy himself could lead to more opportunities down the road for Spencer.

A Matter of Trust. With Tony gone, back at camp the remaining alliance of five feel quite solid with their alliance that includes Tony. LJ does note that Tony needs some calming down though and Trish volunteers to be the one to get him reigned in. LJ knows that he is in a great spot if he can just keep his team of six strong. "I made a plan for the future, and it relies on patience." It's the second time this episode we hear LJ talk about the importance of patience.

Cold Shoulder. Meanwhile, Tasha is not done playing just because she is on the outside of the main alliance. She sees that Tony is calling the shots so she tries to have LJ meet her discretely to discuss a possible move against Tony. Not wanting Tony to see him sneaking off with Tasha, LJ decides to just stay put, leaving Tasha hanging.

Immunity Challenge. It was basically a game of "Simon," a memory challenge where Probst read off a sequence of colors and the players had to match the correct order. Sounds easy, but not after three weeks of deprivation. Trish and Woo were the first eliminated, and it eventually came down to LJ, Tony and Tasha. For the last color, all three chose a different one. But it was Tasha who chose correctly, winning herself a much needed Immunity Necklace. This left LJ open for the kill, should Tony's paranoia lead him to actually go through with blindsiding his ally.

The Plan. LJ instructs that his alliance split their votes, three and three, on Spencer and Jeremiah in case one of them plays an Idol. Trish adds in a bit of hopeful optimism when she says, "No one's going to flip at this stage in the game." Tony though, secretly begins to put his plan in action, to blindside LJ, whom he sees as a major threat to his endgame. He also wants to be the first one to strike, knowing (or feeling strongly) that LJ will eventually move against him. So Tony lies to Woo and tells him that LJ wants to blindside him. Woo buys it hook, line and sinker. Tony then tells Spencer to vote for LJ and to get his allies to do the same. Spencer tells Jeremiah, "Right now we can just let them kill each other, and we'll be good."

Kick Ass or Kiss Ass. Trish and Tony, who have been loyal allies from very early on in the game, have a deep discussion where Tony subtly brings up the idea that they should vote out LJ because he is tricky and not to be trusted. Trish though, doesn't quite buy Tony's story. She is hearing two different things from LJ and Tony, and doesn't know what to believe. "I am gullible, but I'm not stupid," Trish tells us. Is Tony throwing LJ under the bus, or is LJ actually shifty? Trish decides that in any case, they should stick together as a six for this upcoming vote. Tony worries that if he flips on LJ now, he may lose Trish's trust. "In Survivor, sometimes you have to kick ass and sometimes you have to kiss ass," he tells us. Tony may end up deciding to just pucker up those lips.

Pot, Meet Kettle. Elsewhere, good ole' Chaos Kass - of all people! - talks about how now is not the right time for a "big move." Coming from her, that is just frickin' hilarious.

Tribal Council. "You can't play this game and not get a little dirty," Kass tells Jeff Probst, kicking off another tense and totally unpredictable Tribal Council. There was much talk about where people stand in the game, loyalty, and how at some point, somebody has to win the game alone. Tony talks about how you can never be to sure what will happen, then says he has his "bag of tricks" with him, as he pulls out his satchel. "What's in the bag of tricks?" Probst asks. "We'll probably find out tonight Jeff," Tony replies. Even though LJ goes on to describe his alliance as "water-tight," Trish provides some foreshadow: "I think this Brady Bunch is going to become very dysfunctional, very quickly." With that, it was time to vote. So would Tony strike first in blindsiding LJ? If not, would Spencer play his hidden Idol? If he chooses not to play the Idol and Tony does go along with LJ and his alliance, Spencer could actually be vulnerable. If he plays the Idol, then Jeremiah would be gone. It was hard to get a real read on what was about to happen.

The Vote. No Idol was played, so Spencer left himself open. The votes were read: LJ - LJ - LJ - Jeremiah - Jeremiah - Jeremiah - Spencer - LJ. What? A fourth vote for LJ could only mean.....yes, the last vote revealed another vote for LJ, and the blindside was executed to perfection with a 5-3-1 vote. So what did happen? Tony and Woo flipped on LJ. LJ took it with good sportsmanship, immediately telling Tony, "well played." Probst left them by reminding them once again that Survivor is indeed an individual game.

Analysis. Wow! For thoughts on tonight's episode, please check out this analysis of Episode 9. You can also watch LJ's arrival at Ponderosa here.

Next Time On...Tony's impressive - albeit overly intense - gameplay continues, as he is seen spying once again on others' conversations. And oh no. Woo is shown climbing a tall tree to get some coconuts and as Probst describes it, it "goes horribly wrong." We see Woo fall from the tree in what seemed like a very high up location. Oh man. Something tells me that isn't good.

Be sure to subscribe to this column (above by my name) to receive email alerts of new postings, as you will not want to miss my exclusive one-on-one interview with LJ tomorrow!

Also, make sure you check out one of my favorite Survivor sites, Survivor Fever.

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