Exile Island Episode 5: For Cod's Sake!

Previously, a major development - or at least, one that I hope will lead to some interesting events later on - occurred when Terry was banished to Janu Island where he found Wally. Meanwhile, the cracks in the alliance of Aras, Courtney, Danielle, and Shane widened but they kept winning nonetheless. The Cadavers trashed the supposedly more united LaDidas in both the Reward and Immunity Challenges, until the men in LaDidas found themselves at the verge of booting Sally. Austin decided then that Sally was more useful than Ruth Marie when it came to winning Challenges so Ruth Marie, despite being promised by Dan that she was one of the guys, was sent home. We are five episodes down the pipe and we are down to Sally, Cirie, Courtney, and Danielle as the only women left on this show.

Morning, day twelve, Camp LaDida. It's a sleepy morning, although it's sleepy only because the LaDidas look like they're down to their last stand against starvation and exhaustion. Eating snails all the time kinda do that to people. Sally, however, has a reason to smile as she tells the men in her tribe that she's so happy to be the last woman standing in the tribe. Maybe she doesn't know how hard Dan took Ruth Marie's boot because if she knows, she'd have kept her joy to herself a little more since Dan casts her a look of intense dislike that could have killed her on the spot if looks could kill. Dan expresses his unhappiness about Ruth Marie's boot to the camera, saying that the other three men didn't think that Ruth Marie was of much use in Challenges. His tone suggests that he doesn't disagree with them but he dislikes the decision nonetheless, as if there's some feud going on between him and Sally that is not shown on TV. Anyway, Dan is creepy. He's too pale, he stares at people in an intense and unblinking manner, and he makes all these alliances based only on whether that person he wants to ally with is of his gender or his age bracket.

Sally and Nick take a stroll by the beach where the two of them discuss what a nice person Ruth Marie (or "Ruthie" to Sally). Nick is genuine about having to boot Ruth Marie out but Sally is as much telling Nick what he wants to hear as she is being sincere, since she tells the camera that she is feeling never happier. She then goes on to say that she's pleased that the men of her tribe feel that she's valuable enough to keep around. Uh, say what? She should keep that to herself until after the men have voted out of their own to keep her. Between her and Ruth Marie, it's not much of a thing to be pleased about if she was chosen to stay while Ruth Marie was booted.

Since Camp LaDida is far from happening, let's see what the twits at Camp Cadaver are up to. Aras is having a pow-wow with the other tribe members, saying that they need to boil water today in order to prevent themselves from being dehydrated. Does he need to call them around so that he can announce the obvious to them? Meanwhile, Bruce is off arranging rocks and shoots on the beach, setting up what he calls a "Zen garden". As funny flute music that these shows love to use to tell the audience that the weird guy is Asian plays, Bruce tells the camera that the Zen garden is needed to introduce some "Zen beauty" that he feels is lacking in the "souls" of "some of the people". Let me guess who some of these people are that he's talking about... Shane? Heh.

Meanwhile, back at the useful seminar that is being conducted by Aras, Shane is whining that they can't have a day pass without the fire dying out and Courtney whines that she doesn't understand why the fire keeps dying when they apparently follow everything in some Building Fire 101 manual that these Cadavers are familiar with. The camera that moves to Bruce on the beach working on his Zen garden. Aras tells the camera that he isn't sure that building a rock garden is an appropriate thing to do at the moment. I know what he's saying, in a way, but at the same time, I can also see why there is nothing wrong with Bruce making a garden. I mean, if Aras wants water to be boiled, is there any reason why Bruce gets the brunt of his disdain when his best buddies Shane and Courtney are right then standing before him and doing nothing but complaining?

It seems more and more like Aras is just finding petty things to peg on Bruce because as he now works on blowing on the fire to make it burn brighter and harder, Bruce returns to camp. With Aras and Courtney just standing there doing nothing, Aras tells Bruce that the fire is in "dire straits". Bruce tells Aras simply, "Go get firewood!" Aras is clearly expecting Bruce to go get him firewood because when Bruce gives him that response that he is not hoping to hear, he tells Bruce that he's trying to work as a "team" (I guess Aras and his ego count as a team here) and no one complains when Bruce is working on his garden. Aras tells the camera that oh, he shouldn't have shouted at Bruce but he then defends himself by saying that Bruce should have put priority on the fire over the garden. Huh? Let me get this straight: Aras says that Bruce doesn't have the priorities of the tribe in his heart because he refuses to go get firewood for Aras? Does this mean that Shane and Courtney have the right priorities when they stand there and do nothing? This situation is becoming too much like some creepy Cinderella's stepsisters scenario, where Bruce is expected to do all the work or he will be deemed a Traitor to the Tribe by Aras.

Because Aras is too pretentious to avoid the whole argument by asking Bruce nicely to please help him gather some firewood, Bruce now becomes overly defensive, saying that Aras has attacked his character. This leads to a really ridiculous merry-go-round of an argument where Aras says that he respects Bruce but he thinks that Bruce is childish for calling Aras childish while Bruce says that Aras is slandering him and he doesn't think that Aras is childish as much as Aras' remarks to him are childish. Both men are being ridiculous here, Aras for acting like a pompous twit that can't lower himself to ask Bruce nicely and directly to please get the tribe some firewood and Bruce for being too defensive when really, there is nothing for him to lose by just walking away from Aras. "I'm the youngest person on this tribe, and sometimes I feel like I'm the oldest one!" Aras says to the camera. Well, he may feel like the oldest member but I can safely say that I can believe him when he says that he is the youngest. He's acting like a brat, after all. Aras says that he can't wait to have a break from these people. With what he hopes to be a dramatic announcement, he says that he'd love to be sent to Janu Island. Of course, when that happens, I think I can expect him to whine about being betrayed by his tribe after all the hard work he has put into lecturing them about the obvious while making himself out to be some martyr of the tribe. Aras comes on to this show with an obvious storyarc that he has plotted and one that he intends to act out - a storyarc where he is this intelligent and noble leader of his tribe - but the way he goes about doing this only betrays his inner self-important pretentious dickweed self.

Speaking of Janu Island, it's now time for the Reward Challenge. Jeff "Look, It's Aras In Twenty Years Time!" Proboscis waits by the beach until the two tribes have filed in before letting them know that Ruth Marie was booted from LaDida. The women all look worried when they realized how outnumbered they are compared to the men. Of course, you won't hear any outraged cries of sexism from the same dim-witted people who squealed about how sexist the women in Vanuatu were for booting out the men one by one, hmmph.

Back to Probby, he explains this Challenge: out there are two boats, one for each tribe, loaded with sacks of beans, rice, and cods. A tribe will nominate someoe to retrieve these items from the boat. The remaining tribe members stand in a line, a distance away from each other, along the beach to a table. The tribe has to fetch first the rice, then the beans, and then the cods. There are many cods, so the tribe has to collect the cods one by one. The person at the end of the line will use a machete to cut off the head and the tail of the cod before tossing the cod into a crate. If someone drops an item along the chain gang, the person that tosses the item to this careless dweeb has to fetch the item and throw it again to that dweeb. Other than that, there's no hard rules in this Challenge. The first tribe to collect the sacks of beans and rice as well as all the cod can take these food items back to camp along with spices and oil to cook them. Oh, and alcohol too, let's not forget that. Meanwhile, the losing tribe can take back either the beans or the rice, their choice, and that's it, really. We don't want the losing tribe to starve or, worse, die. Dying is good for ratings but it also forces the season to be cut short. We can't have that now, can we?

Because the Cadavers have two extra tribemembers, Shane announces that they are sitting out the "two young girls". Never mind that Courtney is seven years older than Aras, these ladies are all "young girls" to Shane, sigh. When Probby gives the word, Austin and Aras run out to sea and to their respective boats to collect the sack of rice for their tribe. The tossing goes without a hitch for both tribes and it's the same for the sack of beans. When it comes to the first cod, however, while Terry manages to hack away the head and the tail of the cod in a few chops of the machete, Bruce takes a long time to do so. When Terry receives the second cod, Bruce finally finishes hacking the first cod to pieces and he wisely switches place with Bobby. But things still aren't going well for the Cadavers when Bruce keeps letting the second cod slip from his fingers. To be fair, the cod is big and it's no doubt slippery as well. After a few attempts, Bruce manages to catch the cod and tosses it to Bobby. Bobby however makes up for Bruce's slowness by hacking off the head of the cod in a single chop and the tail in another single chop. Next, Sally bungles up big time for LaDida when it comes to the third cod when she keeps failing to catch the cod, allowing the Cadavers to catch up with LaDida. Because Bobby is very fast with the machete, eventually the two tribes are very close. At the end, the Cadavers once again triumph very narrowly over the LaDidas. Shane screams that they are all going to be eating that night as he pounces on Bobby. Meanwhile, the poor LaDidas decide to pick the beans to take home with them. As for someone to be exiled to Janu Island, the Cadavers pick Terry to go there again, although Aras the pretentious twit makes sure to say that this decision is due to the Cadavers respecting Terry. They will still respect him when he shows up at a post-merge Tribal Council with the Wally and forces him or Shane to be booted in his place some time in the near future, I suppose?

The Cadavers return, jubilant, only to realize that their camp has been completely flooded while they were playing with slippery cods. Sure, the weather wasn't that bad during the Reward Challenge, but you should remember that they probably required a few hours to finish filming the Challenge. It is entirely possible that a thunderstorm hit their camp during the Reward Challenge. Anyway, the camp is flooded with water that reach the level of the shins of the Cadavers. There goes their hope of holding a barbecue, oh dear, because, as Cirie explains to the camera, everything is soaked and therefore it's near impossible to start any fire. Bruce however decides to start filleting the cods. The Cadavers settle for eating "sushi" (as Shane calls their meal) at the end of the day. Cirie, however, has never eaten raw fish before and expresses worry about the safety of eating their "sushi" just like that. The other Cadavers laugh at Cirie for having never eaten raw fish before because they are so secure in how worldly they are. Aras tells the camera that despite the depressing situation they are in, they manage to bond in what he calls a "strange fish way". The show then cuts to Shane gnawing at raw cod in a scene straight out of those horrible cannibal movies that were fashionable some twenty years ago. Strange fish way, indeed.

At Camp LaDida, nature - or the water-carrying planes that Burnetto rented - has left the LaDidas alone. While Austin moans to the camera that the LaDidas were beaten again, the LaDidas roast the beans and have fun eating more than they should. Austin says that they are all "absolutely jubilant" to eat something that isn't snail stew so they cook more than they could have eaten and, in their delirious joy of having food to eat after a week of hunger, eat more than they should. This leads to Austin and Nick lolling around, moaning about how nauseous they are, interspersed by scenes of them running off to the bushes. It's funny how these two men time their time in the bushes so that only one of them goes at one time. Meanwhile, the other LaDidas watch in concern. Dan gets the quote of the day award when he asks the two men, "You got both ends going?" Nick and Austin get a good gastrointestinal workout long into the night. Sleep tight, boys!

If the whole scatological descend of Camp LaDida isn't enjoyable enough, over at Camp Cadaver, Bruce and Bobby are holed up in Casa de Charmin with two bottles of wine. It seems that their spots in the shelter have been taken by the others. If that is true, well, that makes Aras' "We are a team" babble even more reprehensible. As the two men drink and predictably get drunk, Bobby says that he can't get along with "everyone" in the tribe and he intends to jump ship the moment he makes it to the merge. Bruce is full of understanding and they end up promising never to vote for each other. It's a pointless alliance since it's two outsiders versus the dominant four in the tribe but it's a touching scene nonetheless of how booze can bring men together.

Day thirteen, morning, Camp Cadaver. As Courtney and Cirie survey the condition of their camp, they realize that Bruce and Bobby have holed up in Casa de Charmin throughout the night. That doesn't surprise Courtney, mind you, she's more taken aback by the fact that the two men finished all the booze. "If they did that, then that is so wrong!" she declares.

Cirie laughs when she opens the door of Casa de Charmin and sees Bruce still folded up adorably as he sleeps the booze haze off. Cirie tells the camera that she will never even think of drinking if she's sleeping inside Casa de Charmin, no way, she'll have to be dead and have someone pour the wine down her throat in order for that to happen. Courtney however just can't overlook the enormity of the wine being completely finished by Bobby and Bruce. Bobby however spares Bruce from her righteous indignance by telling her that he is the one who finished all the booze. He then has Courtney flabbergasted when he punctures her self-righteous anger by telling her that he feels "swell" anyway about drinking all the wine. Courtney insists that there were room in the shelter and adds that it is bad judgment on Bobby's part to drink all the wine because nobody will trust Bobby now. Everyone worked hard for the wine, after all! Bobby has had enough and tells her that he may feel bad about drinking other people's wine, but now he doesn't feel bad at all over drinking her wine. Cirie, who is listening to every word, is delighted. Bobby tells the camera pretty much that while he probably shouldn't have drunk all the wine, Courtney can go hang for all he cares. "She's probably one of the two or three most annoying people, probably in the history of the world," he says to the camera. Amen.

Day fourteen, morning, Janu Island. Terry is alive and well and he's leaving for camp, secure in the knowledge that his tribe cannot function without him. Or so it seems anyway, since he tells the camera that he's ready to return to camp and make sure that his tribemates are drinking enough water and eating enough for the next Immunity Challenge.

Over at Camp LaDida, Dan and Sally receive tree-mail which comes this time around in a little coffin. First there are skulls, then there are zombie heads, and now a coffin. I think I'll be seeing Probby in a Lady Elvira costume soon into the season. Anyway, it becomes clear that the Challenge will involve holding one's breath underwater, which is exactly what Austin and Nick are not up to doing given that they have spent the most of the night squatting or bending over the bushes.

At the beach, Probby welcomes the two tribes when they have filed in and allow Terry to rejoin LaDida. It's hilarious how well-rested and well-fed Terry looks compared to his tribemates, I tell you. Perhaps there is some truth after all about how important Terry is to the LaDidas. Anyway, in this Challenge, four people from each tribe will paddle out to sea until they locate a small coffin at the floor of the sea. Someone will dive down and untie the coffin so that it can be opened. Inside is a puzzle piece made of skulls. Each tribe must collect four puzzle pieces which they then take back to the beach and have the remaining two tribe members assemble into a pyramid of skulls with a gold skull at the peak. The Cadavers sit out Cirie and Bruce while Bobby and Shane remain in the beach as puzzle assemblers. The puzzle assemblers for LaDida are Sally and Austin. With everything and everybody good to go, Probby gives the word.

Terry takes only one dive to collect the first puzzle piece for the LaDidas. Shocking, that. Danielle however needs two dives to get the first piece for the Cadavers. Dan however gives the Cadaver a fighting chance when he not only fails to get the second puzzle piece for the LaDidas in his first dive, he hits his head against the underside of the boat on his way up and sort of floats around the sea looking dazed until Terry has to come to his rescue. Of course, that will make Dan fall in love with Terry even more. Don't go there, Dan! Yonder lies only heartbreak! Terry proceeds to get the third and fourth pieces after he has collected the second piece, allowing the LaDidas to have a huge lead over the Cadavers. However, it looks like Austin and Sally will stumble in the puzzle-assembling part. However, when it looks like Shane and Bobby can pull a win, Sally and Austin manage to correctly put together the four puzzle pieces. Terry has delivered the Skull Stick to LaDidas so it looks like Sally gets to stay a little longer in the game. As for the Cadavers, someone's going home.

Back at Camp Cadaver, more rampant hilarity takes place when both Aras and Shane start disagreeing over who to boot. Shane wants Bobby gone, no if's or but's. Aras wants Bruce gone because he feels that Bruce is "uncontrollable". I know. Bruce runs all over the place giving everyone wedgies, he just can not be stopped. To the camera, Aras says that Bobby is more valuable to challenges while Shane says that he fears that Bobby will reunite with Aras, Nick, and Austin after the merge and Vancheros Reunited will boot Shane off the tribe subsequently. Shane voices his doubts about Bobby to Aras who tells him that Bobby will not betray him after the merge. And, as we know by now, Aras is always right about everything. Finally Shane just says that he'll do whatever the others want. Courtney tries to join in the conversation only to be told rudely by Shane that she is babbling. Aras then lays down the law: Bruce will be going. Interesting enough, Bruce and Bobby have managed to alienate the gruesome foursome that Cirie manages to sneak inside their ranks for now because she's in this meeting as well. Cirie tells the camera that she's just laying low for now and just be glad that she's not on the chopping block. It's hard to argue about the wisdom of a plan like that, really.

Shane now pulls Bobby aside sometime later that day and tells him that Bobby was initially on the chopping block but now Bruce is the one going. Shane of course tries to make it sound like he's the one who pulled Bobby off the chopping block. I wonder whether Aras and Shane will end up in a power struggle one day, two emperors with no clothes trying to outdo each other in pointless grandstandings. Bobby tells Shane that he will not betray his tribe like the other tribemembers fear, and Shane wants Bobby to swear that he will be loyal on the life of Shane's kid. Er, shouldn't that be on the life of Bobby's kid or mother or something? I mean, what does Bobby have to fear for when he breaks his word then, since it's Shane's kid that will croak when that happens? I don't think Shane's kid will appreciate knowing how little his father apparently values the kid's life!

Meanwhile, Bruce decides to calm himself before the Tribal Council - which will be his first as an actual participant in the hot seat, unlike the one when he just sat by the sidelines and listened in the second episode - by enjoying his Zen garden. However, he discovers Courtney doing her yoga in Zen garden and starts going on and on to the camera about how disrespectful Courtney is to intrude on his Zen garden. It is possible that Bruce thinks that the Zen garden should be off-limits to the others who obviously don't show his enthusiasm when he was building it, but he's definitely overreacting when he says to the camera that he'd rather be in Janu Island than be around Courtney.

The Cirie and Bobby bond is more fragile than I expected because later that day Cirie and Danielle have a discussion about how they trust Bruce more than Bobby. Courtney joins them in the discussion later on. Danielle asks her whether she'd like to take part in a move "that will change the game". It says a lot about Danielle's mental capacity when her idea of "changing the game" is getting rid of Bobby instead of Bruce. How does that change the game? Get rid of Aras and Shane, perhaps, and then we're talking. Danielle tries to rope in Shane, who hilariously now insists that Bobby won't betray them because Bobby has sworn on the life of Shane's kid. If you believe in this kind of thing, it looks like Shane's kid will not survive the end of the season, the poor kid. Shane now goes off on Courtney, wondering why she didn't suggest booting Bobby an hour ago when Shane was requiring some support against Aras' idea of booting Bruce. Courtney doesn't tell him that all this is Danielle's idea like she should. Instead, she remains patient as Shane goes on and on like a silly idiot. Cirie comes in and that smart woman tells Shane that the women only now realize how right he is to want Bobby to leave. That's the way to go, Cirie! Shane is stupid enough to actually believe that line of reasoning as he complains to the camera about how those women are behaving "just like women". Well, at least now they know that he is right, so he's a little bit placated.

Night, Tribal Council. Probby predictably brings up Casa de Charmin, with Bobby saying that he's not sorry for hogging the wine, although he's sorry about getting the other tribe members to feel awful about him. Cirie throws her card with the gruesome foursome, saying that Bobby made a mistake in hogging the wine when they all worked so hard to win them. Aras however refuses to let go of his vandetta on Bruce by pointing out that Bruce also drank with Bobby. Bruce apologizes but says that the others should have come up to him and talked about things if they are upset with him. Aras says that they shouldn't have because people are supposed to read Aras' mind and know when he is upset with them for not falling in line with Aras' wants and wishes. Aras and Bruce then have a ridiculous argument about whether or not Bruce is a teacher or the others are his students. Actually, if you ask me, these two are the same people - Aras will be Bruce in a few decades from now, with the same stubbornness, overdefensiveness, and all. Danielle ends the argument when she interrupts to say that Bruce, being an elder, deserves their respect. Aras and Bruce pretend to make up and let bygones be bygones in an insincere knuckle-rub gesture that is done solely for show. Probby then points out that Bruce, who's on the chopping block, could easily have Wally, a fact that clearly hasn't been considered by the other tribe members judging from their expressions. Probby now sends them to vote.

What happens next is the Cadavers voting for all kinds of people. What are not shown on TV but can be found in the Insider videos on the official website are:

(a) Bruce voting for Courtney solely as what he calls an attempt to "keep in check and make a playing even field for all the other ladies" and not as a middle finger gesture to her because - you'll love this - he's starting to like her,

(b) Bobby voting for Bruce, saying that Bruce will know why Bobby votes this way and adding that his real reason for drinking all the wine is because he doesn't respect any of his tribe mates other than Bruce. He's glad to have shared a drink with Bruce and would love to continue being friends with him after the show,

(c) Shane votes for Aras. Yes, Aras. His reason is that he doesn't think that his vote will count for anything in this Tribal Council so he's just putting down Aras' name on a whim. What a pity. Here I am thinking that he's deliberately trying to get Aras to get paranoid about someone else targetting Aras for the chopping block, and

(d) Aras votes for Bruce. I don't think he's in the loop about voting out Bobby. That or he just doesn't care either way.

Cirie, Courtney, and Danielle vote for Bobby. With four votes flying in different directions, three solid votes against Bobby are enough to send Bobby out of the tribe and out of the game. His final words see him feeling surprised that he's booted so early but he comforts himself by saying that his tribe members are all losers and jokers. If you listen to his full final words, you'll hear our darling bitter Bob Dawg saying that he would "break these fools in half in the real world" and calling "the three girls" Courtney, Danielle, and Shane - yes, Shane too - "spineless little twerps". Hilarious, really! It makes me feeling quite disappointed that Bobby here is not on the Jury seat.