Exile Island Episode 9: Fight for Your Life or Eat

Previously, the inevitable happened and it was boring: after Nick, Austin was the one to go. Terry bumbled along while Danielle and Bruce seemed to be on the verge of bucking the program, but in the end the inevitable happened: Austin was booted. This week, Sally's boot seems inevitable. Will something happen to turn the table on the haughty Cadavers? That would require some thinking and at this point I'm sure we've all established that thinking isn't the strongest point for most of the nitwits in this season. Just sit back and be patient, this episode will be over soon and the more interesting things - like the internal cannibalization of the Cadavers - would happen soon enough.

Day twenty-two, morning. The merged tribe is called Gitanos but frankly, I don't know why they bother to think of a new name since we pretty much have two tribes living in the same camp area and never the two shall meet. The LaDidas are now down to Terry and Sally. Terry apparently now decides to use his trump card by regaling the Cadavers with his glorious stories of his pilot training. I'm sure that trick works very well among his circle of friends back home, perhaps, but here, he's only boring the Cadavers out of their minds, especially when his stories are transparently self-congratulatory in nature. No wonder he and Dan got along so well: these two men defined their entire existence around their career to the point that they expect their careers to hide whatever insecurities they may be feeling about themselves. Or maybe they're just proud loudmouth men, I don't know. Either way, Terry has Courtney muttering that surely no one can beat a retired pilot in the Final Two and Cirie suggests that perhaps Terry can break an arm or something. This earns her a giggle from Courtney as Courtney calls Cirie a really bad woman indeed for thinking like that. The sad thing is, Courtney is right: there will be two die-hard LaDida-forever nimrods on the Jury with the remainder of the Jury being bitter Cadavers, so there is a very good chance that Terry will win the money against Aras, Shane, Danielle, and Courtney. The wild card here is Cirie, who is the only person I can see winning should she end up in the Final Two against Terry.

I'm running out of words to describe Terry's stupidity and I have to resort of made-up phrases like "rhubarb-brain" because Terry is right now asking Aras and Shane like they are already in an alliance what those two men have in mind for Terry when they are down to six. Aras and Shane tell him pretty much that he never factors in their plan at all. They can admire him for winning Immunity Challenge after Immunity Challenge but they aren't planning to deal with him anytime soon. He's like the unwanted slow-witted embarrassing family member that won't go away: the Cadavers like Aras and Shane are trying to pretend that he doesn't exist. Sure, he can win Immunities all the way to the end, but how likely is it that he will win everything from now on? All Aras and Shane need are a strong three-person alliance to take them into the Final Four and hopefully Terry will flunk one of the two Immunity Challenges remaining and can be booted out of the island. Of course, then I would have to deal with Terry's sanctimonious "integrity, wah-wah-wah" Jury speech that is bound to come, ugh. Meanwhile, Terry tells the camera that he's blue over Austin's departure - which he could have prevented if he has a halfway functional brain - and gee, he thinks that his offers of alliances aren't going to wash with Bruce and Danielle. Yes, Terry, I can tell. How nice - Terry is the last person to know as well.

Cirie, Courtney, and Danielle are the best of buddies, it seems for now, as they haunt the shelter while their men are out... somewhere... doing whatever. Danielle says that she'd like nothing more than to see Terry, Sally, and then Aras gone. I know! I'll raise that to Terry, Sally, Aras, Shane, Courtney, Danielle, and Bruce. Cirie can win and we can all then leave her behind in Janu Island while we look forward to the next season of this show. This bunch of losers are all annoying in so many ways, right now the only happy ending for me is Janu Island sinking into the sea with all these losers still on it.

Back to Terry, because this show imagines that I love to listen to every word that comes out of this witless moron's slow-motion way of speaking, he tells the camera that it's clear that he and Sally are alone against the world. No, Terry, Sally is alone. There is no "Terry and Sally" because he's looking out for himself. There's nothing wrong in looking out for oneself, let me make this clear, it's just that Terry is such a monstrously imbecilic dumbass in doing so, and that is what annoys me the most about him.

Back to Danielle, she's now searching Terry's bag to see whether it's really Wally that he showed her in the previous episode. She won't find it because Terry is the kind of guy that loves to stuff his pants that way. Danielle now believes that for all she knows, that thing Terry showed her could have been any random "furry thing" that he found in the woods. I don't think she means to sound as dirty as the last sentence seems to be, heh. Aras interrupts the three ladies. It turns out that the three ladies have fled into the shelter to avoid listening to Terry while Aras generously stayed with Terry to humor that man. He now tells the ladies that Terry is from the Navy but while that man flew planes in the past, Terry can't obviously win every Immunity Challenge. "He's not an American Gladiator," says Aras. He now wants to be sent to Janu Island should any of the Cadavers win the upcoming Reward Challenge so that he can check for himself whether Wally has really been found by Terry. How nice that he is worried about Wally only now instead of, oh, before they started sending Terry to Janu Island week after week a lifetime ago.

Speaking of the Reward Challenge, it's now time for Jeff Proboscis to show up and remind everyone that he's still alive. He reveals that the nitwits will be playing for a chance to enjoy the obligatory video-from-home reward. First, he offers the nitwits a teaser from each video. Here's Terry's wife and daughter! And a dog! They look exactly as dull as Terry in a very typical suburban and unremarkable conservative family way. Danielle's family say hi, as do Bruce's family, while Courtney's mother seems to be mad at Courtney or something in that clip. Courtney, however, assures everyone that her mother is giving her "love signals" in that clip. Maybe the signal is in some kind of coded body language. Meanwhile, Aras' father has recently bought a teepee and he seems to be humoring the people taping him before he runs inside his teepee to do whatever it is that men with midlife crisis buy teepees for. Shane gets to see Boston, the brat of his whose life he callously sells to people he can't stand on this show, and Boston has a dog. Everyone seems to have a dog. Perhaps Burnetto has a kennel of doggies ready to be used as props on loan to the families during the taping of these clips. I miss crazy Porno's wife CC banging on the piano like a demented wacko back in those Thailand days, I tell you. Upon seeing Boston, Shane starts howling and weeping like he's being subjected to emergency castration on the spot, blubbering to Probby that he and Boston grew up together and they are best friends and all. It is too easy to see Boston as the grown-up in this relationship. ("Or, they could be like the character played by Adam Sandler and that kid that played his son on Big Daddy," suggests hubby.) Sally's father and mother show up in Sally's clip. Sally mentioned in the clip episode (which I didn't recap) that her parents are separated, so apparently Mom and Pop put aside their differences to make this clip. They tell Sally simply that they love her in a rather cold way. Meanwhile, Sally's sister tells her that she has found her own apartment. Oh, Sally, this could very much be a goodbye for good clip. Sally cries, although from happiness or anything else, I'll never know. And finally, just when Probby pretends to have forgotten about Cirie, he plays the clip of Cirie's husband and children. They are so alike to Cirie in terms of looks and temperament - at least from what I can see in that clip - that "you become what you marry" seems all too true indeed, heh. Cirie also weeps and wails like she's been separated from her family for years instead of only a month.

Before Probby explains the instructions for this Challenge, he points out that the winners will get to watch the entire video of their loved ones while enjoying a nice meal of milk along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The budget for this Challenge comes up to below $10, which would be an accomplishment to be proud of if the ratings of this season aren't so embarrassing. This Challenge will be played in teams of four. Now, to explain the Challenge, this is the hard part. One person will be lying stomach down on a stretcher and this stretcher is attached to ropes via a system of pulleys that can be moved when the other three people pull on the rope. The three people must pull the ropes to lift the stretcher and then move the stretcher so that the person on it can reach out and grab fifteen flags and place them in the designated slot in the correct order. This means the team must get the flags in order. It's another physical Challenge, a development that once more favors braindead lugheads like Terry, but it's an interesting one to watch. Oh, and the winning team gets to send someone on the losing team to Janu Island. Remember Janu Island? Remember how it was made to be a big twist when it eventually dwindled down to... nothing of significance? Thanks a lot, Terry.

Team one sees Courtney on the stretcher while Terry, Sally, and Bruce will man the ropes. Danielle takes it face-down for her team of Aras, Shane, and Cirie. Lots of maneuvring ensue. It is hard to recap what goes down in that Challenge but this is an interesting and entertaining Challenge to watch. Danielle encounters difficulty later on when her team manages to cause her knock over a few flags that she has already placed in the correct slots. Her team loses precious time when they have to waste time reorienting her so that she can retrieve and reslot those fallen flags. Aras gets his wish, therefore: his team loses. Terry, Sally, and Bruce let go of the ropes and cause Courtney to... oops, which is hilarious, as they run off to grab their videos and those Happy Home Video Happy Meals that come along with them. Terry suggests that Aras should go to Janu Island because apparently Aras will eat anything. Yes, like Terry's brain, which would explain Terry's spectacular crap-assed level of intelligence.

Aras takes off to Janu Island and the other three members of the losing team go back to camp, while the winners take off to their lovefest meal. Instead of showing me what happens when Terry, Sally, Bruce, and Courtney watch their videos, the show then fades out to the next day. Maybe the show has finally wisened up on the fact that after so many seasons of seeing stupid people in tears and moaning over their loved ones ad nauseum, it is time to assume that the audience will prefer to see something else.

Like Shane's painful penis. No, I'm not kidding. As the three members of the losing team return to camp, Shane is telling the others that those videos aren't that great and the food isn't much better. Cirie explains to the camera rather unnecessarily that Shane is just trying to make all of them feel better about losing. Given how Shane, for all his wacko tendencies, seems to dote on his boy, I'm sure Shane is bummed about losing like Cirie and Danielle. In what must be the best non-sequitur interjection ever, Shane shifts topic to announce, "I have an issue with my penis." I'm surprised the other two don't tell him to cut that thing off then if he has issues with it, because that would be just the most obvious thing to say in such a situation. Right?

Shane wants Cirie to take a look at his penis because Cirie is a nurse. Cirie looks like she wishes she could turn back time and go to modeling school instead of nursing school. She really doesn't want to look at it - who can blame her? - but Shane insists that she has to because it is hurting him to the point that he can't even touch it. Oh dear, that is really terrible. How is a man to survive the long and lonely nights on Janu Island in such a condition? Cirie tells the camera that there is some "funky thing" going on in Shane's testicles and she is of course the lucky lady who has to look at it. To Shane, Cirie pauses in perfect timing before clapping her hands and going "Yay!" in such a disarmingly adorable expression of sarcasm that she can't be faulted in any way. Just brilliant.

Shane makes Cirie promise not to laugh as he bares himself. Call it a hunch but I think he has made quite a number of women promise that way before in the past. Cirie takes a look at Shane's penis as close as possible without being too close. She tells Shane that the "redness" on his penis is due to rash as a result of wearing damp pants all the time. Phew, disaster averted. And here I am worried that Shane may have contracted some STDs from sexually assaulting the poor animals around the place. Cirie manages to control herself until she walks away from Shane, upon which she starts laughing so hard that she doubles over. Apparently Shane now has to dry his private parts in order to get the rash to go away, so he's going to be naked from the waist down for the foreseeable future. How exciting! Or maybe not, as Shane fashions a skirt of some sort out of his T-shirt (slipping his legs through the neckline opening) and tells Danielle and Cirie that he's wearing what he calls his "chafing skirt". Cirie is amused and tells the camera gratefully that Shane's reddened penis has helped her not to dwell too much on missing out on a chance to watch her video from home. After all, she has something better now, a story to tell her family and friends at those adorable Christmas parties for years to come!

On Janu Island, after some manly display of lighting fire and chopping coconuts for the camera, Aras frowns at the map he has been given to Wally's location until a lightbulb flashes in his head and he realizes that he's been holding the map upside down. He's a pretty good-looking guy in a blond-himbo kind of way, but it's a pity that he, like all the good-looking himbos on this show (Burtman, Colby), exhibits an egomaniacal streak that far outshines their actual intelligence. Still, he is pretty canny when he deduces after some futile Wally-hunting that Terry most likely has Wally since he wasn't worried about sending Aras here. Yes, unlike Aras who sent Terry to Janu Island twice a long time ago.

Back at camp, the four people on the winning tribe return at last. Danielle says that she's in no mood to greet those people. Well, she'll take it even harder when she learns that those four are also allowed to keep their luxury items - eh, didn't they scrap the whole "luxury item" thing sometime between Africa and Marquesas? - for the rest of their stay. Terry's luxury item is predictably an American flag, which would make some entertaining TV when they decide to burn it during the "burn everything down" grand moment in the finale. Terry talks about how the flag was used to drape the coffin of his father-in-law (Korean war veteran) - the usual, really. Terry puts the flag over the shelter, which would surely confuse any terrorist plane that happens to be flying nearby. Bruce gets his sketch book and Sally gets her journal. Courtney however gets what she calls her "fire toys" and she uses those long thin straps to demonstrate some of her moves. Of course, she doesn't set alight those knobs at the end of those straps, or she'll be even more impressive and Bruce would beg to be allowed to do his kung-fu hee-ha routines by her side every morning from then on. Cirie tells the camera that she thinks Courtney's luxury item is the coolest - and who doesn't - but she really doesn't want to see or hear about how fun it was to watch the videos from home or to play with the luxury items. I can't say I blame her there.

Day twenty-four now. Looks like we've skipped a day. That or Courtney actually spent two nights dancing non-stop at the beach because right now, she's still dancing. Bruce doodles on his sketchbook. Sally and Terry are meanwhile talking about how Sally doesn't want to leave. Terry tells her that she has to get someone to join them if she wants to stay - note how he has pretty much thrown her to the wolves, heh - while Courtney thinks that the only way they can beat the 6-2 odds is by winning the Dunce Necklace and then telling Cirie or Danielle that Terry would use Wally to force them to join the LaDidas. Of course, Terry would never use Wally so Sally is like some poor stupid follower still thinking that her grand leader will swoop in and save her in her moment of darkness. Poor Sally. This season is turning into a cautionary tale about trusting a war-mongering Republican too blindly, with Terry cast in the role of the patriotism-mongering asshat who is the first to abandon his blindly loyal followers even when he has the means to save them. Because he's either too stupid or too much of a coward, depending on how you look at Terry. If you are a leftie, the parallels of this season to real life can be astounding and sickening indeed, eh? Back to Sally, she hopes that the plan will work. It will, perhaps, if Terry will even try to make it work. Which he won't, even if he's all ears and sympathy for Sally at that moment. Terry is a stupid dumbass jerk.

Later, Shane and Terry spar wits. That is, if I can call it that, since we have a man wearing a skirt and a short, stumpy wizened prune-faced loser that speaks like he has weasel genes doing the machismo competition. Shane wants to know from Terry how the Cadavers can get rid of him other than beating him at Immunity Challenges. Terry cockily says that they have better not let him win because that's what he will do. Shane warns that Terry is gone the moment he doesn't win an Immunity Challenge and Terry doesn't have Wally as well. "Yeah, well, you never know!" barks Terry in response. It's like watching Moe and Curly pretending to be two action hero beefcakes pounding fists into each other's face. How pitiful, really.

Immunity Challenge time. Aras returns to rejoin the gang and they now listen to Probby as he explains the rules and instructions. In this Challenge, they will have to swim underwater and study a pattern of seven symbols on a plank under the water. Then they have to return to the beach and rearrange the patterns on their respective tables. The first one to do so correctly wins the Dunce Necklace. Probby also offers a distraction of sorts: anyone who doesn't want to compete can feast on a buffet of hamburgers, fries, and soft drinks for the duration of the Challenge. Bruce, Shane, Cirie, Courtney, and Danielle quickly jump ship for the yummies, leaving Aras to compete with Terry and Sally for the Dunce Necklace. Poor Aras, he looks like he can't believe that the other Cadavers are not taking the whole thing seriously. Personally, I'd eat too if I'm one of the Cadavers because at this point, only Sally or Terry can win the Dunce Necklace. Whoever wins, well, the other will go then, and I'm sure the feasting Cadavers are banking on Terry winning that Dunce Necklace. Aras doesn't gain anything other than bragging rights about how much of a competitor he is by taking part in the Challenge.

Probby says go, and once more it's a dull Challenge to recap because it's just swimming and arranging symbols. Aras is back first at his table but he gets his pattern wrong. Terry gets his right so he wins the Dunce Necklace. He's never going away, ugh. At this point, though, he has pretty much destroyed his own alliance so it doesn't matter if he hogs Immunities to himself like the Gollum hoards his precious rings. He's still braindead.

And Sally is still pathetic when she celebrates with Terry back at camp, as if she hasn't learned by now that Terry will never save her if he let Austin and Nick get booted in the previous two Tribal Councils. Elsewhere, Aras tells the Cadavers that either Wally is hard to find or someone has found it already since he couldn't find it. Yes, and Aras couldn't win a single Immunity Challenge either. I wonder whether that has registered in his head yet. He's not as fabulous as he thinks he is. The Cadavers agree to just slamdunk Sally and count on Terry not using Wally. It's a safe thing to count on since that dumbass hadn't used it in the previous two Tribal Councils and hindered Nick from winning the Dunce Necklace when Nick having it could have turned the tide on the Cadavers. Well, lookee here, it's now time once again to remind everyone that Terry is a two-faced snake-skinned wheedle-mouthed braindead. He is, he is!

Terry now shows Bruce Wally and Bruce is like, oh wow. But Bruce being Bruce, he sort of lets this development just flow around and over his head like he just doesn't care as long as he has his Zen garden and his morning kung-fu hee-ha's on the beach. Since Terry isn't going to use Wally, I think it's safe to say that he shows Bruce Wally hoping that Bruce will compliment Terry for being the genius that Terry believes he is. It's like Terry bragging about his military days and all - Terry is the new and improved Hagrid when it comes to winning individual Challenges but he's still as dumb as the old Hagrid when it comes to having a pathetic need for public invalidation. Meanwhile, Sally tries to convince Cirie, Courtney, and Danielle to turn but she doesn't know whether Terry will use Wally so she pretty much has nothing to offer and they all know it.

And once more, it's Terry Is A Stupid Asshole time. COurtney now asks Terry whether he intends to let Sally have Wally. Now, if Terry says yes, he'd most likely get Courtney and her buddies to run helter-skelter in panic. But what does Terry do instead? Give vague answers and refuse to confirm that he has Wally, when he had shown Danielle that he had Wally. I suppose a stupid man like Terry won't reasonably assume Danielle would have told Courtney about Terry having Wally after learning that Danielle refused his offer. Terry instead once more high-handedly orders an alliance to Courtney, saying that he, Sally, Courtney, and Bruce will vote for Aras and then, with a tie being forced, he will use Wally. This is what Sally planned, of course, but Terry wants to make it sound to Courtney like he is the one with the plan, the deluded and pathetic man in need of people to constantly affirm his masculinity that he is, and even then, he will not confirm that he has Wally. So, seriously, what the hell is he doing here? What is he trying to do? He doesn't give a straight answer. Courtney therefore isn't sure what she should do. She tells the camera that she'd love to either ally with Terry or have Terry against her in the Final Two (no doubt believing that she can win against him) but at the same time she believes that she can beat Aras easier in the final Immunity Challenge. She's understandably unwilling to jump ship with she can barely figure out what Terry is trying to do. So, once more, ladies and gentlemen, Terry has killed off his own alliance. For good. Hurrah!

Bruce has apparently told Cirie that Terry has Wally because Cirie is telling Bruce that Terry handing over Wally to Sally will be the worst move in the history of the game. Actually, Terry handing over Wally to Sally now will indeed be a bad move since he has screwed up his negotiations with Courtney and there is really no point in saving Sally. But when it comes to the worst moves in the history of the game, I'm sure Colby taking Tuna Wesson to the Final Two back in Australia or Lex Loser booting Jerri over Ambore back in All-Stars will be hard to beat.

As Courtney provides a dramatic backdrop by fire-dancing on the beach while negotiations are taking place around her, Terry tells Sally that Courtney is not committing herself to him and Sally. To the camera, he says that he's not sure whether to give Sally Wally then as a result. He shouldn't, because at this point, it's too late and there is no purpose in saving Sally. And I'm sure we all know who is to blame for that mess. Terry says that having Wally in his pocket means he won't have to keep winning Immunity Challenges until the Final Three if he has the numbers on his side. If, if, if, that is.

Night, Tribal Council. Oh, is there even a point? Austin shows up looking nicely-fed and clean, which gets the others all wolf-whistly at him. They genuinely like Austin, it's obvious. On the other hand, Terry trash talks about what a great person he is - wait, maybe that's just an ordinary conversation for Terry - and gets called on it by Courtney, who then gets called on being cocky by Probby. Terry says he will win everything and the Cadavers say he won't. Terry abandons Sally to the wolves, not that he is wrong to do that, but it's just sad to see Sally looking like she's been left for dead by someone she has come to respect for who knows why, and it is a predictable boot for Sally. In her final words she's still all for Terry, which makes her even more pitiful. When she votes for Aras, her words are, "I'm kind of sick of the six of you!" Therefore, she's a shoo-in vote for Terry just like Austin is, and that depresses me very much indeed.