Karla & Owen Make History in Classic Challenge, [Spoiler] Voted Out (RECAP)

Hiding in Plain Sight

Season 43 • Episode 11

rating: 4.0 stars

There’s only six days of gameplay left in Survivor Season 43, and the pressure to make pivotal offensive moves is on. The final seven spent Survivor Season 43 Episode 11 scheming their big moves, with some choosing to sow chaos wherever they could. But no one sends Survivor players into a tizzy more than the show itself. Within the first minutes of Episode 10, “Hiding in Plain Sight,” a boat arrived with a key message: there was an idol hidden in the jungle that was up for grabs. The last phrase of the message was a simple but evocative, “Go.”

And they’re off! Sami, Karla, Owen, Gabler, Jesse, Cody, and Cassidy sprinted into the jungle in search of the coveted advantage. unclear of what it contained. Gabler gathered the group and suggested they use a search technique used in the Vietnam War, because of course he did. And just like the episode title, the advantage was hidden in plain sight with just about every single player missing what was right in front of their noses. As Gabler and Cody leaned against the exact tree it was hung on, Cody finally spotted it and tucked it away for safe keeping.

The advantage was an intriguing one. It read: “For your next Immunity Challenge, you can bet on one player who you think has the best chance to win the challenge. This gives you two chances at immunity. You can win it yourself, or correctly predict who does end up winning. If they win, you win.” He also got the added bonus of learning what the challenge would be before anyone else: Last Gasp.

Players would be in the ocean attempting to breathe through a metal grate as the tide rose. Letting go of the grate was allowed as long as they stayed under water and the grate. Cody had to write down his pick for the “scary” but classic challenge on the advantage paper in advance. While he felt he was the shoo-in winner for this challenge, he still had to pick a player. That player was Owen, who he believed worked well under in high-stakes games. Owen, on the other hand, expressed after Tribal Council that he’s convinced he’s going to lose the season given his poor voting record. But if Cody, one of the season’s strongest players, thinks he’s good at the challenges, can his odds at winning really be caput?

Surfer Cody’s bet was paying off for a long while. Gabler, Sami, and Jesse quit first. Cody, Owen, Cassidy, and Karla stayed in the water for over an hour as the water swelled, leaving them frequently completely submerged. But Cody lost his bet against himself after being forced to come up for air. The remaining three stayed in for a staggering two hours before Cassidy tapped out. Karla and Owen lasted two hours and 45 minutes.

“We have been out here for so long, that the tide that was once rising is now dropping,” Jeff Probst said in wonderment. But even as the tide went back out, Owen and Karla held on with no signs of stopping. In a series first, Jeff let them both win individual immunity. What else can you do when the players outlast the challenge itself? Cody did end up choosing correctly, and Jeff revealed his choice would be announced after the votes, but before they’re read. So no one knew if a vote for Cody would be moot.

This episode felt like a turning point for Karla and Owen, but in opposite directions. For Karla, Sami’s lie that Cassidy wanted her out prompted her to campaign for her ally’s elimination after the challenge. Her motivating factor was that Cassidy was the only person she told about her idol.

When she agreed to vote for Cassidy with Jesse, he thought it was a suspicious move. But of course, Karla can’t very well tell Jesse about her advantage, so it was a catch 22. If she told Jesse about her idol, it would put a target on her back. But turning on Cassidy made her look bad too. Now, Jesse wants to vote Sami out (and finally, Owen is seen as someone to bring into the vote), but have Karla vote for Cassidy to drive a wedge between them. And when Karla’s up for elimination again, they hope the women will be at odds.

As for Owen, people are looking to bring him into the fold now. If he plays his cards right, this episode could be his ticket out of the bottom. He was smartly wary about Jesse’s motives, while still knowing that voting correctly was crucial. He learned from last week’s Noelle blindside, caused by both of their lack of backup planning: “If I think [the vote for Sami] is gonna be that simple, I could be played for a fool once again,” he told the cameras.

Other than being an easy vote, Sami being the best fire-starter was most of Gaia’s biggest concern. None of them wanted to be in a fire challenge against the 19-year-old (whom they think is 22) in the finale. But these deliberations marked the first time the season’s longest and strongest alliance, Cody and Jesse, weren’t on the same page about a vote.

To the immune Cody, Sami was a “challenge loser” as opposed to Cassidy, who has won individual immunity and stayed in the water for nearly three hours in Last Gasp. Jesse wants Sami out, but wants to break up Cassidy and Karla at the same time. Heading into Tribal, no one was considering voting for Cody at all.

Knowing he was at the bottom, Sami announced he would play his Shot in the Dark, prompting Jesse, Gabler, and Karla to partake in some gaslighting. Telling him “trust is currency,” they all encouraged him not to play Shot in the Dark and trust that he’s safe instead. “If I sit back idly and get lied to like I lied to other people, that’s not the way I want to go out,” Sami replied.

Cody’s lucky bet was revealed, but he didn’t get votes anyway. Sami did shoot his shot, prompting jury praise, but it didn’t protect him from the votes. Four consecutive votes came for him, sending the teen home on a note he could be proud of. Now, it seems the playing field has been leveled. What did you think of the record-setting episode?

Survivor, Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS

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