Abram and Cara Maria have been on and off for a while. In this episode, Abram is hot and Cara Maria is cold.
SEASON 27 EP 7
Title: Blood Brothers
With his alliance down to just Aneesa/Rianna (and maybe Jenna/Brianna?), Bananas thinks it is time to break up the odd alliance of Thomas/Stephen, Cara Mara/Jamie and Abram/Michael. After a chat with his cousin, Vince decides he’ll talk to Abram about the fact that Cara Maria and Thomas are close because they flirted a lot and most likely hooked up.
Abram sniffs out the situation perfectly. He reads that Vince and Bananas are at a disadvantage and are trying to play the game. Besides, if Cara Maria and Thomas had been doing stuff, wouldn’t someone have mentioned this to him already? But Abram knows his girlfriend well after all these years, so he does not dismiss Vince’s claims entirely. Abram asks for more details. Vince, like us, the cameras and everyone else in the house, didn’t really see anything. Vince summarizes is as behavior that he’d want to know about if it was his girlfriend.
Abram goes outside to where Aneesa, Thomas, Stephen and Cara Maria are sitting and plainly states, “Vince says you hooked up with Tom.” Aneesa can’t even make eye contract with Abram. Cara Maria and Thomas deny it. Abram walks away, dropping an easy, “I would kill you,” as he exits. Thomas is uneasy.
Later Abram and Cara Maria talk privately. The long overdue conversation is very calm. Cara Maria downplays her behavior, saying it was massages and egg sandwiches. Riiiiight. Is she forgetting that this will air on television? For fantasy reasons, a confession that could yield to points would have been nice, but also in reality, this was a great chance to come clean and she didn’t. She is uncomfortable with Abram and unable to be honest with him. We always figured this was a dysfunctional relationship, but now we really see it.
Abram doesn’t seem to buy her story and decides to play a little psychological game with her. He tells her to vote in Stephen/Thomas after the next challenge. This is his way of measuring where her loyalty really lies. She says she doesn’t want to vote them in. It seems like Abram can tell that something is going on there. Abram wants a hug/cuddle to remind her that he’s on her side, but how you win is also important.
EW and TV.com blogs question if Abram is showing signs of being an abuser… he’s crazy, he’s hot-headed and some feel that him telling her how to vote is a sign of being controlling. It’s a long jump from eccentric, opinionated and/or strategic to abuser. Vaguely accusing someone of abuse without an evidence isn’t cool. In the scenes with Cara Maria and Abram, I found myself touched in how real and how vulnerable they appear. Cara Maria wants to focus on maybe finally winning a challenge and isn’t ready to handle the consequences of her relationship with Thomas, whatever it was. Abram seems genuinely uncomfortable with this part of his life being on camera, and doesn’t know how to get the truth out of his partner. While this relationship definitely appears dysfunctional and unconventional, it is a stretch and completely unfair to deem it abusive based on what is shown in this episode.
On the bus to the challenge site, Abram asks Thomas and Stephen about their allegiances. Thomas doesn’t like being in the middle of Abram and Cara Maria’s issues. Too late, Thomas! You’re in this! Careful who you go to the bathroom with! The twins say they have made no promises. Abram tells Cara Maria and Jamie that, see, they don’t owe anyone anything. It’s like he’s telling her, “don’t put your fling before what you have at home.” Abram is still hungry for the truth. He wants confirmation on the rumors Vince brought to his attention. Cara Maria wouldn’t do that when they were alone and she’s not doing it on the bus. She responds by going on the offensive, calling out Abram for wanting to go into an elimination and take out Bananas.
Abram confirms that he still wants that. Bananas perks up from the back of the bus. Cara Maria reiterates that Abram thinks Bananas is the biggest piece of s*** on the show. Bananas calmly and hilariously says that the feeling is mutual.
Jamie wants to know where all of this is coming from. Abram said it’s because Cara Maria has made promises with people she barely knows. Bananas chimes in and yells about how everyone saw Cara Maria and Thomas’ fling thing and someone needed to say something. In a strange turn of events, Bananas actually wants what Abram wants here: the truth to be told. It’s a quick spat, but Jamie and Bananas fight about the drama (10 points).
Abram laughs like a maniac because he’s super uncomfortable with all of this and seems to have no idea who to trust.
NOTE: The After Show is very much worth watching. Cara Maria seemingly never told Abram anything, up to the time of the After Show filming. Abram maturely declines seeing footage MTV has of Thomas and Cara Maria because he doesn’t want to flip out. Abram knows himself well and knows he will lose his mind, so he knows when to walk away. While Abram may be wild, he’s a person who was betrayed by someone he trusted. The show is very raw and a bit sad, as the relationship falls apart.
The challenge has the competitors suspended in mid-air, asked to jump from rope to rope between hanging platforms off a tall and very cool-looking building.
Aneesa is super afraid of heights. She has a hilarious exchange with T.J. where he doesn’t say anything as she tells him to not say anything. T.J. is encouraging and then disappointed as she quits (-5 points for Aneesa).
So that’s one down for the blue team. Thomas falls for red. Abram enjoys that. KellyAnne makes it across for blue. Abram makes it across for red. Stephen makes it across for blue. Bananas makes it across. Mitch falls because blue is doomed to maybe never win. Anthony gets across for red. Vince falls for blue. Cory gets across for red. Jamie falls for blue.
Cara Maria is next.
If she makes it across, red wins and her cousin can get put in the pit. If she doesn’t make it across, blue team still has to get everyone else, including Rianna and Jenna, across. Cara Maria cross. Red team wins again (15 points for all red team players).
NOTE: Rianna and Brianna are collecting a lot of points for people who are barely shown and not really doing a ton to contribute to these wins. Oh, the curve balls The Challenge throws!
At blue team deliberation, Michael again volunteers to prove his rookie-self in the pit. This time, the team lets him do it.
Over at red deliberation, Thomas makes it clear that it’s over between him and Cara Maria. He wants Jamie in the pit. Cory is with Thomas, but everyone else is down to put Stephen in.
The elimination pit is appropriately (not ironically) called Home Wrecker. There are two identical three-sided rooms with furniture, an old-ass television, a lamp, and some paintings in them. On the ground next to each is a sledgehammer, pliers and a crowbar. There’s a small hole in one of the sides of the room. The objective is to smash everything in the room into small enough pieces to fit it through the wall. Whoever completes the task first, wins.
This is the most original elimination of the season. It’s a mix of muscle and strategy that is very fun to watch.
Abram is so psyched up for his brother that he gets pumped and makes his own nose bleed. He’s cheering and screaming instructions. Michael is in the zone and into it. The calm Thomas and Stephen just don’t have that kind of rage. Stephen doesn’t have the muscle or the sledgehammer experience. Michael wins easily (25 points for him and Abram).
Back at the house, Abram is enjoying that the twins (and, hopefully, the drama) are gone. Meanwhile, on a top bunk, Cara Maria talks to her cousin Jamie about her hot and cold relationship with Abram and how she wants out. Cara Maria cries (5 points).
Total points for the episode are shown below:
A link to the excel file is here: Bloodlines – Ep7 Scores
Best player performance of the episode: Abram (40 points)
Worst player performances of the episode: Aneesa (-5 points)