Survivor: Panama - Exile Island Recap
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
May 5, 2006
Previously on Survivor, Terry won both challenges. Again. He came out a bit ahead this time, though, as he picked up a new truck in the process. Even better, he picked up his first ally since La Mina received the Ten Little Indians treatment. Everything was not rainbows, sunny days and unicorns for the fighter pilot, though. His new comrade-in-arms, Courtney, was immediately voted off the island. What is the moral of this story? Being on Terry's team is the same as picking lottery numbers the day after the contest. There is no hope for victory and you will inevitably appear foolish. And Courtney was doing fine in that area even without Terry.
Gitanos night 30 is a recounting of the recent Tribal Council's events. Unbeknownst to the other competitors, Cirie stacked the vote in a most impressive fashion. While swearing allegiance to, well, everyone else, she triggered a series of events. The result was three votes against her most dangerous opponent, Courtney, two votes against presumed ally Aras, and one against Danielle. The domino-like toppling of Courtney was the Survivor equivalent of calling checkmate 17 moves out. As impressive as the feat was, though, her next challenge is even larger. She must now keep her profile low enough that no one recognizes her fingerprints on Courtney's neck. Luckily for Cirie, CSI isn't on for another hour.
Shane and Aras immediately start to put the pieces together. Aras has a bit of an unfair advantage in that he knew exactly what had happened. Not wanting to fight over the details, Aras quickly sends Shane along to Cirie. Their discussion involves the how and why of Cirie's surprise vote. Well prepared for this line of interrogation, Cirie immediately states that nothing has changed. If Terry wins immunity, Danielle will be the next one eliminated. At this point, we would wryly note that we know two things about Survivor. The first is that Cirie's real alliance is with Danielle and Aras, meaning that there is every reason not to believe her. The second is that nothing predicted in Survivor's opening segment ever occurs. So, what we have learned is that Danielle is absolutely safe for the evening.
Now is the time on Survivor when Shane acts like an idiot. In a nice moment, he assures the cameraman that Danielle will absolutely, positively be the next person eliminated. Shane is so dialed in to the inner workings of this game, isn't he? After that, he starts badmouthing Courtney. He points out to anyone who will listen how annoying she was. Shane, Self-Awareness just called and left a message. "Find a mirror and take a good, hard look." Then, Courtney called and said, "Well, at least I am safe from death threats now." We left you a message, too. "Shaaaaaaaaane, want a cigarette?"
Not to be outdone, the official spokesman for Team Terry looks into the camera and rambles. And he has a shocking announcement! Apparently, there was duplicity involved in the prior night's vote. That's right. Someone lied to Terry! We strongly suggest that he call time-out right then and there and notify Jeff Probst of this situation. Why, a summary judgment and elimination of the players in question is not at all out of line. Dishonesty and deceit are not considered acceptable behavior on Survivor, are they? Hey, Terry, we have a suggestion for you. Buy a television and watch the show sometime. You might be surprised by what you find.
Probst sighting! Nice hat, Jeff! You look like Colby's less buff, much older brother. We kid because we care. Also, there is not much going on this week. This week's challenge is an obstacle course. It's similar to the one from a prior episode wherein people must dig a little, traverse an obstacle course and reach a finish line. Along the way, they also have to pick up a buried bag, a wooden snake and a large fish. Welcome to the Sexual Metaphor Challenge! What is the prize? We will let our host describe it: "The winner of today's challenge is responsible for allocating who gets love and how much love they get." Apparently, the winner of this challenge becomes Survivor Pimp Daddy!
"Danielle has her hands on her bag." –Jeff, describing an action we are fairly certain the FCC will not appreciate.
Since the contest promises interaction with loved ones, we are certain Shane will perform well. After all, his son is all Shane has discussed since his arrival. There are a series of elimination rounds leading up to the final, and we know he will have the drive to succeed. No, wait. Scratch that. Shane finishes dead last. One of the cameramen immediately has a close-up of Shane's "Boston" tattoo, the crew's way of saying, "Yes, America. We hate this motard every bit as much as you. And we have it worse because we have to live with him." To the surprise of no one in North America, the final winds up being a showdown between Aras and Terry. Also to the surprise of no one in North America, Terry wins.
After Terry's victory, a loved one of each Survivor is brought out. They stand 20 feet apart from their family member. Aras and Danielle see their mothers. Terry's wife and Cirie's husband are there. Then, Shane's son, Boston, arrives. Father and son shout their love for one another across the distance, and each tears up immediately. We reiterate that as annoying as Shane is, his love for his son is a beautiful thing.
Terry's decision is brutal. He is allowed to choose two families to join him at a cabin. A third family member will be allowed to go back to camp and experience the Survivor way of life for the day. The fourth Survivor and loved one get to share a hug. Terry's least favorite competitor not only gets banished to Exile Island but (s)he does not get to contact their loved one in any capacity. Terry obviously picks his wife for the cruise and then does the right thing by picking Boston and Shane to join them. Cirie's husband, the charming H.B., gets to join them at camp. Terry then throws us a curve when he banishes Danielle to Exile Island rather than Aras. This sign of respect for his opponent could come back to bite Terry if Aras is stronger than normal during the immunity challenge.
"When I get home, will you PLEASE have like five dinners?" – Aras to his mom, during their hug
Cut to Exile Island. Danielle is sitting on a rock. Danielle chops a coconut. Danielle talks to a bird. For the 50th straight time, nothing happens at Exile Island. We hate Exile Island.
The next segment examines H.B.'s interaction with his wife and the others. We had just presumed he would be much more easily acclimated to nature than his wife, considering her awkward first days with the tribe. In a shocker, he proves to be even more of a wuss than his wife. She shows him slug guts she uses for fishing and rubs some on him. His reaction is the same as when a person licks an electrical outlet. We suspect Cirie and H.B. don't take the kids on many camping trips.
The Survivors at the cabin are having a grand ol' time. There is bacon, wine, beer, pancake mix and ice cream. It is a feast fit for king, and Terry's wife is emphatic on the point that he needs it. "I was really surprised at the condition that Terry was in. I almost gasped. I have never him so emaciated and so worn out. I can't wait to get that beard off him." Okay, that last thing is one weird fetish. Meanwhile, Shane and his son have a private discussion during which he recounts the first days on the island. As if somehow knowing he was being outdone, Terry shows his immunity idol to Trish, if you know what we mean. Humorously enough, Trish later demonstrates more game savvy in a three minute conversation than her husband has shown in his time on the island. When Shane mentions to her that Terry has the idol in his room, she instantly denies it, claiming she has seen no such thing. Burnett, sign this chick up for next season!
A disturbing segment unfolds. The horror begins with the realization that Terry and Trish are getting in bed yet the cameraman is still there. How much longer with they continue to film this? Will there be a Survivor Sex Video released after the season? Our instinct is to say surely not, but then Trish says, "Be gentle with me." After further discussion, she adds, "I'll be good to you". When Terry returns to camp the next day, jocular megalomaniac that he is, cannot wait to brag to Aras that he got lucky the night before.
The Survivors might be on an island in the middle of nowhere, but basic human behavioral patterns still exist. Exhibit A is the fact that the moment they wake up, Cirie has H.B.'s honey-do list already filled with chores. "As soon as I got up, it was, like, okay we need to do the fire. Okay, we need to get food. Okay, we need to get water. And I'm like, Oh my God! We just woke up already!" H.B., this is exactly why you should have sent one of your sons. Also, the news that your wife calls you "Honey Bunny" is something we do not find charming.
The downside of winning the reward challenge is readily apparent when Terry returns. After having bragged about a sexual encounter, he is caught off guard by the fact that Aras and Danielle might resent him for that. Do they not realize that Team Terry got some? That should be all that matters, right? Dueling camera monologues demonstrate the outrage of Aras over his opponent's unsympathetic comments about Danielle not needing to see her mother. Simultaneously, Terry resents the fact that a "24-year-old kid is lecturing him". Neither gentleman comes across well in this conversation. Aras is demonstrating sour grapes while Terry continues to show he is completely unable to think outside of his own needs and wants. If there is any luck, both of them will collide at the immunity challenge, leading to multiple breaking bones. Hey, we can dream.
As if on cue, our man Probst shows up with news of the night's immunity challenge. The contestants are forced to stand on a balance beam 20 feet above the water in the middle of the sea. They must pull a small bucket out of the water, lift it up to themselves, and attempt to pour the water into a small tube. Once enough water is in the tube, a flag will rise. The goal is to raise the flag enough for the contestant to grab it. The realistic goal for everyone but Terry is to keep the contest close. Terry's goal is to continue to kick Aras' ass. Five minutes later, Terry wins with Aras finishing second. In the process, Terry guarantees himself a spot in the final three since he has yet to utilize the hidden immunity idol that had his wife seeing stars the night before.
It's time to play It's Anyone But Shane. Yes, we know that the show wants us to believe Danielle is vulnerable, but anyone paying attention knows better. Danielle is an alliance with Cirie and Aras. As long as she does not alienate the power player, Cirie, she is safe tonight. Since the same logic applies to Aras and Cirie and Terry has immunity, there is only one choice for tonight's vote unless Shane gets a clue in a hurry.
"The plan is for me, Aras and Cirie to take out Danielle tonight. And I'm in a great space. I have set myself up so that I am safe and I feel like things are going to be solid." – Shane, demonstrating that his favorite movie must be Clueless.
Terry continues to demonstrate a similar lack of knowledge about the game's strategy. He is convinced Danielle is the next to go and again maintains that Aras is the power player from the opposition. This gives us an epiphany. If we could take Terry's physical skills and his wife's mental prowess, we could create a player capable of winning. Terry's skill set, on the other hand, only creates a player capable of getting his butt kicked at the final vote.
One last segment occurs before the vote. Courtney gloats about the fact that Shane has no clue he is on the outs with his alliance. Aras states that he turned on Shane the instant he found out Shane was going to take Courtney to the final vote. Meanwhile, Shane quizzes Cirie for the second time about their alliance. He again asks if she plans to betray him and for the second time in this episode, she lies to his face. Once more, Shane accepts it without question.
"You, Danielle and Aras aren't bleeping me, are you?" – Shane, showing a brief moment of insight
"I think I've set myself up so that I'm safe. And I feel like at this point I could beat anybody. I feel like I could. I mean, I feel comfortable...as comfortable as you can feel out here." -- Shane, back to reality
Tribal Council is a bore. The only amusing aspect is watching Courtney try to shoot everyone the stink-eye. Drama queen that she is, Little Miss Neurosis makes certain everyone recognizes how unhappy she is with her elimination. Gee, Courtney, we hate to break it to you, but your unhappiness is their pleasure. It's a basic dominatrix/submissive model and you are the gimp. And the worst part is that we know you will have freaky sex with Shane the instant you get back to California.
Five votes later, Terry votes for Aras for the 17th straight time (ever notice how you are the only one, Einstein?), Shane votes for Danielle and everyone else votes for Shane. As priceless as Shane's reaction is, Courtney's is even better. The jury member is so obviously smitten with him that it's almost stopped being funny. Almost. At the news of his elimination, she disgustedly throws her head in her hands. Her thoughts are transparent. In Courtneyland, Shane wins the million dollars, they elope and the spend the money together on their honeymoon. Of course, in Shaneland, he just wants to go back to California and kill her to death a thousand times over. They're a perfect anti-couple. And now they get to hang out together at the hotel since neither one will be winning a million bucks.