Survivor: Panama - Exile Island Recap
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
April 21, 2006
Previously on Survivor, the last former non-Terry former La Mina was voted off the island, and that suits Terry just fine because Terry is all about Terry. Terry. We haven't seen megalomania like this since Tom Cruise jumped up and down on Oprah's couch. With Sally gone, we now face the prospect of the former members of Casaya turning upon one another, unless they can somehow manage to beat Terry in a challenge...and even then, he has a mulligan. Terry might be the world's worst strategist, but his lucky rabbit's foot has him positioned to make a deep run in this game. He's never going to win that popularity contest at the end, though.
Welcome to Day 25 at Gitanos. We are still calling it Gitanos despite the fact that it's basically the Casaya tribe plus Team Terry. Do you think Terry tattooed his own name on his ass? The camera offers Terry an opportunity to talk about his favorite subject, but we've already beaten that dead horse into the ground. So, we'll move along to a passionate embrace between Danielle and Shane. The unkempt and presumably smelly duo is hugging each other ever so tightly as a celebration of the fact that, in their words, they're going to be the first tribe to ever stick together. While soccer boy Ethan might have something to say about that, it is a rare feat worthy of celebration. Of course, they're not the only alliance to stick together. Team Terry is still going strong. Terry.
"I think I've got it over everybody here as far as mental power and strength." - Terry, demonstrating a level of shameless self-promotion that would make Donald Trump blush.
Up next is a brief discussion about constipation and the onus of bodily fluid maintenance in extreme survival conditions. Several of the remaining contestants chime in about their difficulties, but Bruce obviously has it the worst. He claims to have not had a bowel movement in over a week. This segment isn't particularly funny, though, as it's pretty clear that something is seriously wrong with Bruce - he even mentions that he fears appendicitis or something similar.
The next part of the show is sponsored by realdoll.com. The contestants are given creepy scarecrow things and asked to decorate them. Ostensibly, they're to bring them to the reward challenge, but we suspect that the manikins will have come to life and slain their human counterparts by then.
Somehow, everyone makes it to the contest intact, though. Probst announces that the reward challenge will be an eMode style quiz about the various contestants. They'll be asked questions like, "Who is most likely to succeed?", "Who has the best hair?", "Who is the cutest couple?" and "Who is most likely to choose fire dancing sticks as their luxury item?" The majority answer wins. Each time a contestant gets one right, they get to chop a rope that protects the voodoo doll of its corresponding Survivor from bursting into flame. Apparently, the Joker set up this reward challenge but couldn't get vats of acid on short notice. We shall call this challenge The One That Terry Does Not Win. The only regret for the Casaya members is that they can't set the real Terry on fire.
Lo and behold, four people get to attack other players in the first round, which means that Terry gets to take a symbolic shot at Aras, while everyone else eliminates Terry. That's the quickest shut down ever.
Question one: Who does the least for the tribe?
Question two: Who never shuts up?
Question three: Who mistakenly believes they are running this game?
Question four: Who would you trust with your life?
Answer: Cirie (the nurse - and Shane would trust her with his manhood)
Question five: Who would you not trust to watch your back?
Question six: Who is the biggest poseur?
Question seven: Who is the moodiest?
Question seven: Who most easily succumbs to intimidation?
Answer: Courtney (who even intimidates herself out of answering correctly)
Question eight: Who is the most annoying person out here?
Question nine: Who would never survive on their own?
Answer: Cirie (answering her own name wins her the reward)
This challenge is particularly effective at planting the seeds of discord. The first question to draw blood is "Who believes they are running the game?" Shane goes on tilt from that moment on, which coincides with Courtney's meltdown. She is humiliated to discover that she's a chatty, annoying, easily cowed poseur. She takes out her frustration by chopping Shane's rope twice. This merges his tantrum with hers, as he does what he always does when frustrated - he lashes out at Courtney. As we've already learned, Courtney is easily intimidated, and has recently had her self-esteem ripped away. This is not the last drama for Shane, either. Cirie winds up in a situation where she decides who survives the challenge between Aras and Shane. At this point, a previously unaired alliance is revealed as Cirie states that she has been with Aras since Day One. At this moment, Shane realizes that Cirie might be his biggest competition in the game. Just to kick him when he's down, Cirie passes over Shane and chooses Aras and Danielle to join her at the reward. We can't help but wonder if we're getting a sneak preview of the final three.
The winners enjoy a helicopter ride, quesadillas and Schadenfreude. Cirie monologues that she chose Aras and Danielle because she thought they'd be the most fun, and that does seem to be the case. They perform the Mean Girls routine as they chortle over the beating Courtney took during the challenge.
Back at camp, Courtney and Shane play good little enabling co-dependents. They commiserate over the fact that they're the ant-Prom King and Queen. They've just come in the bottom two places in a popularity contest of seven. This is particularly surprise when you consider the fact that Terry is still there.
There's another quick segment to remind us that Bruce is really ailing. We have serious concerns about his health and hope that the producers are wise enough to tend to him soon.
After a relaxing mud massage - during which Danielle takes a physical beating on par with the emotional beating Courtney has received - the winners enjoy another meal and rip on Courtney a little more. The latest revelation is that the fire dancer's love/hate relationship with Shane has Moonlighting overtones to it. As Cirie continues to giggle heartily at even the most innocuous comment, it suddenly dawns on us who she reminds us of. She's Dr. Hibbert from The Simpsons, the person who is inexplicably compelled to laugh at anything and everything.
Back at camp, Courtney shows her softer side as Bruce's pain seems to be doubling and tripling. She asks, "If I sing a song, will that help?" He can't answer no quickly enough. She sings anyway, which seems to be even more painful that his abdomen. At long last, the medical team arrives to offer Bruce some assistance. What unfolds is the most terrifying sequence of events since Michael fell in the fire several seasons ago. Bruce is administered a painkiller, and it is determined that he must be stretchered off to a medical facility for treatment. Shane, still experiencing physical discomfort from his "manly" issues, is called upon to help carry Bruce to the waiting boat since they don't have enough staff for the task. The mood is somber, as might be expected. This life and death situation is the first legitimate one in the show's history.
"I wanna be on your backside, and I'd like you to be on mine." - Freudian Courtney, confirming the earlier speculation about her intentions toward Shane
Shane's response is to tell Courtney that if she's turns on him, he plans for revenge. He states that when they get back home, he'll drive up to her apartment, kill her and return to his club as if nothing had happened. How would we describe Courtney's look in response to this statement? Well, we see the deer, but we don't see the headlights.
Aras, Cirie and Danielle arrive back at camp to find things in a shambles. Courtney informs them that Bruce has been medivacked off the island for his own safety, but notes, "You guys had a great time, so..." Then, Shane walks up, and Aras' description of him is quite apt. "Shane honestly was an animal. He looked like he hadn't eaten food, had water, or seen people in days." He has "a talk" with Aras where he informs his ally that he doesn't trust Cirie or Danielle and that if he feels like their alliance (it appears that Shane, Cirie and Aras have an agreement) is falling apart, Shane will change the game up. He hasn't exactly threatened to come to their apartments and kill them, but still.
The final segment sees a boat arrive, and the contestants try to suss out who is on it. They recognize Terry's shirt, and in a priceless moment, one of them says it's Jeff. One of the other teammates says, "Jeff? Jeff Probst?" as if Jeff Bridges might be coming to visit. Probst updates everyone as to Bruce's status. His colon and gallbladder are blocked and his condition was indeed very serious. He will not be able to return to the game, but they're hoping to get medical clearance to allow Bruce to participate on the jury. There won't be an elimination or tribal council that night, which is a huge benefit to Terry. He's now guaranteed to make it to the final five at least. We'll miss Bruce's positive attitude and upbeat nature, and have officially realized that there is not a single likeable person that remains on the show.