Exile Island Episode 6: Starvation and Desertion

Previously, the LaDidas finally managed to win the Skull Stick, sending the Cadavers into a tizzy of sorts because Shane wanted Bobby out while Aras wanted Bruce out. Bruce and Bobby in the meantime bonded over wine in Casa de Charmin (don't ask) and decide to be allies forever, which was a meaningless bond since Cirie, Danielle, and Courtney managed to band together with enough votes to send Bobby out of the tribe. This week, there are still too many morons on this show. In fact, I am seriously thinking that this season must have the most number of morons ever. These people make the twits in Vanuatu come off like Machiavellis in the making, although Chris the Slug still retains the honor of being the most braindead winner ever. Perhaps the winner of this season will wrest that title from him. I suppose I'll find out eventually.

Night, day fourteen. The wounds of Bobby's departure may not be deep but certainly Shane is insane enough to be worked up over those. He stares angrily-insanely at Danielle's back while she is lying in the shelter and I wonder whether these people will sleep easy if they know that Shane is prone to staring at their slumbering forms like he wants to chop them to pieces with a machete and use their ribs to fashion some faux-cigarettes for him to smoke on. Shane says to the camera that it is a mistake to vote out Bobby. Back at camp, he becomes really furious and tells Danielle that it is her fault that Bobby is gone now because she took her personal feelings into account when she voted. He tells Danielle that Bruce is now falling apart thanks to her. Has it ever occured to her that Bruce is fifty-eight? Hmm, I wonder whether it has occured to Shane that he pushed for a Bobby boot in the first place. This man is obviously nuts. Danielle tells Shane to shut up. Shane hilariously misunderstands, thinking that Danielle is trying to get Shane to keep his voice down, so Shane announces that he doesn't care if Bruce is listening. In fact, he knows that Bruce is listening! Danielle tells Shane clearly that she is tired of him getting angry at her when she has no idea why he gets angry most of the time. She'd like to sleep, so if he wants to yell at her, he can wait until the next day to do that.

Shane isn't done though. He announces that he wants to leave the alliance but he can't do that because he has sworn on his kid's name to uphold the alliance. He therefore wants the others to give him permission to take back his vow. Does it work that way, the whole taking back my promise so that my son won't die thing? Then again, what do I know about the workings of Shane's demented mind, eh? Danielle wants to know why Shane wants to leave instead of just letting him go like any sane person would. Shane says that he has no confidence in the alliance and he'd rather proceed as a "lone wolf". I think he must have imagined that this show is like a John Wayne cowboy movie where the others will happily allow him to play the lone wolf instead of booting his butt out at the earliest possibility. Danielle repeats that she'd rather go to sleep. He's just having another "manic crazy spasm", she says, and she'd prefer to deal with Shane in the morning. Shane sarcastically says that Danielle likes to play the victim. She replies by agreeing with him because really, there's nothing else one can say to Shane. He's not worth arguing with, after all.

Morning, day fifteen. Cirie and Courtney sit around the fire and Cirie fills Courtney in on what Courtney missed out on the night before. Apparently Courtney slept on the beach and therefore missed out on Shane wanting everyone to release him from his vow so that his son won't die and he can be free to roam the islands and howl at the moon. Courtney snorts at what Cirie tells her and says that she'd rather release Shane from the game rather than the vow. In fact, she tells Cirie with a snap of her fingers that they can easily get rid of Shane anytime. That's true - they have the numbers on their side, something that Mr Lone Wolf doesn't take into account when he talks about wanting to be free and all. Cirie laughs to the camera about how deliciously amusing it is to see the whole dumbass alliance fall to pieces and voices her regret at actually helping the others to keep Shane from quitting. Apparently Shane wants to quit on a regular basis when he's not chaffing at the suffocating bonds of civilization. Danielle joins them now. She and Courtney giggle and guffaw about how exciting it will be to surprise Shane with his boot. They are confident that Bruce will go along with them. Cirie smartly keeps quiet throughout the conversation while Danielle tells the camera that Shane will be gone, not that she'll feel torn up about that since she hates his guts. Ladies and gentlemen, the dumbass alliance.

Over at Camp LaDida, Dan demonstrates how creepy astronauts aren't found only in atrociously bad horror movies like Species II. He enjoys the view of the sea, which is admittedly picturesque indeed, and tells the camera that he has been "within two hundred miles" of that very spot on the beach he is sitting on right now, "vertically!" He grins like he has made a witty conversation opener. Maybe I'm slow but when I first hear him say this, I scratch my head and wonder what he is talking about, being vertical or something. And then it hits me the next day as I am brushing my teeth: "Duh! Dan is trying to remind people that he's an astronaut who has been in orbit around Earth many times!"

Back at the camp, Nick is telling Sally about his indigestion problems because that is what people talk about in the morning on fine days. Terry announces that he's making beans for breakfast. If I suspect that he's capable of having wit, I may think that he's being funny there. But Terry doesn't have any wit so there you go. As the LaDidas feast on the Terry-cooked beans, with Austin saying aloud that the beans taste so much better today, Sally tells the camera that she finds the four men's No Girls Please alliance silly because it's not like they will get to stick together all the way to the end. I'm sure Terry will insist that it can happen as long as the men think positive. She and Terry catch some minnows and Austin announces that "he" (the fish he has just eaten) tastes awful. I am always suspicious of men that refer to the things they put down their throats as "he".

Dan and Nick have some quiet time on the raft when Dan announces to Nick that he has a secret. He's an astronaut! Ooh! Nick is impressed when Dan tells him that Dan has been in three space shuttle flights. Nick tells the camera that he has never met a real life astronaut before and he's impressed with how humble Dan is being with his secret. If you can call Dan's telling everybody he's an astronaut an act of humility, that is. People who are humble don't go around telling people what they want these people to know about them. Very humble Dan now lets the three men know that he's an astronaut and how many flights he has been on. Yup, so humble, that one. His desperate craving for acknowledgement, masked under fake humility, is most amusing indeed to watch. Nick and Austin jokingly say that they need to do something grand to match Dan's achievements but Dan of course doesn't get the joke. Austin tells the camera that Dan has dined with Neil Armstrong before - how humble of Dan to drop that in his conversations, surely, especially when I'm sure he doesn't want to brag about everything he has done in his life, surely - and announces that Dan is "a stud". "I told you from the get go, he's a pimp!" Yes, Austin, and a very modest one at that. Dan tells the others not to tell everyone that he's an astronaut because he doesn't want to be known as, you know, the astronaut. With his creepy intensity, Dan tells the camera that he is so happy that there are now no secrets between those men who he thinks have become "good friends". He goes on to say that his telling them all his accomplishments have bonded the men closer. Ah yes, nothing brings people together like the Brilliance of the Very Modest Dan. Remind me never to invite him to any of my parties. Austin tells the camera that he has a secret too: he's actually John Grisham. Haw, haw, very funny. Where do Burnetto cast these jokers from?

Over at Camp Cadaver, Courtney and Danielle are doing their thing when Shane comes up to them. He must have a speech all rehearsed and waiting to go because he starts to talk about how he wants to make some special plea to them to allow him to get out of their alliance without having to bear the cost of his son's funeral in the process. "I want to ask you guys if I can take my son's name..." Shane starts to say, his chest puffed up with the gravity of the situation, and as soon as he says the word "name", Danielle interrupts him with an unhesitant, "Done!" Bwahaha! Courtney however just has to tell Shane that he is making a big mistake. Shane says that he doesn't want to be a part of an alliance that puts personal feelings into things. Maybe he'll be happy then if the tribe boots him and says, "Hey, Shane, no hard feelings, okay? This ain't personal!" Besides, he was the one who first suggested to the others to boot Bobby, but he's now acting like Courtney is the one who brought up the notion in the first place. Shane isn't a villain as much as he's just plain whacked in the head. Danielle and Courtney now scold him for being an ass to people. Shane says that he hasn't gone off on those two in days. Courtney points out that Shane attacked Danielle yesterday. Shane now tries to switch gears by saying that Courney and Danielle are the only ones having problems with Shane. You know, I get very tired easily whenever I have to recap his nonsensical arguments and revisions of history. Anyway, Bruce and Cirie wisely stay out of the line of fire while Aras tells the camera that he too is tired of the alliance and yes, he thinks Shane is crazy as well.

Later, he tells Shane privately that he understands why Shane wanted to leave the alliance but he feels that Shane could have made a more gracious exit without antagonizing everyone. Shane doesn't care, obviously. He tells Aras that he thinks Danielle a "meatball" and he can't stand Courtney. How amusing that he condemns an alliance for acting on personal feelings when he obviously has quit the alliance in order to act on his own personal feelings. How like Shane, really! Aras tells the camera that he feels that Shane has burned his bridges with the women and nothing short of an apology to mend the rift between them. My, Aras is so onto everyone's feelings in the tribe. He's such a sensitive dude, I tell you.

Later that day, Sally and Nick retrieve tree-mail for the LaDidas. The bad poetry suggests that this Challenge will be both Reward and Immunity with plenty of food potentially awaits the winners. The LaDidas of course want to win, to eat and to enter the merge 5-5. If not, hey, as Terry says, Sally can always leave. No women allowed in Terry's world! Keep them in the kitchen! "This is Game Seven of the World Series," Terry tells the camera in his usual witless way. No doubt he wants to follow that up with, "Hey, woman, get me a beer!"

Later, our host Jeff "I'm Really Quitting After The Next Two Seasons - Trust Me!" Proboscis awaits the tribes in a clearing. Once everyone has filed in, Probby points out that Bobby was voted out from Cadaver (Dan looks surprised by this because everyone knows that you're supposed to vote out all the women and keep the men because men are special) and then explains the rules of this Challenge. Three tribe members from each tribe will run one at a time along a track to retrieve heavy puzzle pieces. There are four puzzle pieces to collect. Once all four are collected, the remaining two tribe members will try to fit the pieces in a four-sided grid. It's hard to explain this puzzle without visualization. The grid can be rotated in a horizantal manner and the tribe has to rotate until they find a correct configuration to fit all four pieces into the empty slots. This puzzle is like a Rubic cube crossed with those puzzle boxes where you fit in pieces to the slots of the same pattern as the pieces, if I'm making sense here.

Probby reveals that the reward will involve the winning tribe bringing toys to the natives in a nearby village in a vaguely patronizing Reality TV Has Meaning Too, People manner. There will be food and alcohol, don't worry, so it's not like these people have to pretend to be good Samaritans for nothing. Also, the winning tribe will send someone from the losing tribe to Janu Island, and this exiled person will skip the Tribal Council and therefore cannot be voted out. In other words, the winning tribe can save someone from the losing tribe. The Cadavers sit out Courtney because Shane will throw a fit if she takes part in something that he's taking part in, no doubt, and Probby gives the word to go.

Terry, Nick, and Austin manage to collect the pieces faster than Shane, Danielle, and Aras, but the puzzle-solvers for LaDida, Sally and Dan, don't seem to know what to do so they actually try to watch Cirie and Bruce work on it first. By the time Sally and Dan decide that they know what to do, Cirie and Bruce have made too much progress. The Cadavers win Immunity and Reward! It's a double middle finger combo for LaDida! And for the first time, the Cadavers send someone to Janu Island for the right reason: they banish Sally to Janu Island, thus sparing her for a little while longer and forcing the We Are He-Men alliance of LaDida to cannibalize itself at Tribal Council tonight. Perfect.

The Cadavers take what seems like many hula-hoops along with them as they visit the lucky village, where the kids will roll up their eyes and say that they'd prefer an Xbox, only to be hushed by their parents because Burnetto are paying them to dress up like primitive eighteenth-century stereotypes out of a Henry Rider Haggard wet dream. Meanwhile, Sally is actually pleased to be on Janu Island since she's spared from Tribal Council and she gets to have some "girl time" on her own. She doesn't seem to try very hard to look for Wally. Maybe Terry isn't being so effective in hiding the fact that he has Wally. Anyway, the Cadavers reach the village in some nearby island where most of them talk about how happy they are to be around kids and all. Oh look, there's a barbecue. But for Shane, he's more happy when a local offers him a cigarette. Aras spots him and expresses his disapproval, which earns him a whatever from Shane. Shane says that he knows he shouldn't smoke, but... Here the show editors try to be funny because Shane was clearly seen drinking soda water earlier but the editors now try to suggest that Shane is drinking alcohol. Maybe Burnetto just wants Shane to be a PSA to all the kiddies who are watching. Don't drink, smoke, and get ugly tattoos, kiddies! Shane slurs to the camera about how nicotine is bad for his body. Yes, Burnetto must have given him a cigarette in return for that PSA. Shane proceeds to act like an incoherent babboon around people and they look at him like they are just tolerating his company because the cameras are on them. Poor Shane. His son is going to pretend that he doesn't know who Shane is when Shane goes home.

Cirie tells the camera that while she enjoys her time in Backward Pleasantville, she is worried about Shane mending the rift between him and the two ladies of the on/off Dumbass Alliance. Indeed, Shane is now drunkenly telling Danielle that he shouldn't have treated her the way he did while putting an arm around Danielle. Still, Danielle doesn't look too impressed, she looks more like someone who is merely tolerating a drunken oaf who has an arm around her, so maybe Cirie doesn't have to worry too much. Yet. Cirie says that the two Dumbass Alliance ladies are "easily persuaded" so a part of her won't be so sad if they lost and have to get rid of Shane at the end of the day. Cirie says a lot of wise and correct things, I notice, but I also notice that unfortunately she never carries out what she says in her confessionals - see the whole "I shouldn't have encouraged Shane to stay!" thing.

The evening dwindles down to the kiddies pretending to be happy at Bruce's silly kung-fu show and Shane manhandling them as he talks about what a wonderful day it has been. Dude, he's drunk, he's smoking again, and he's intoxicated. Am I suppose to buy this "Shane is redeemed" act, Burnetto? Do I look like some gullible twit related to Shane?

Over at Camp LaDida, Dan is conducting a postmortem session. "You know what the sad part is?" he complains to his three fellow He-Men. "We knew where the first piece went! We had it figured out and we knew right where it went, and we went in, and we laid it down there... and it wouldn't fit!" That would suggest that Dan and Sally didn't know where the first piece go then, hmm. Anyway, witless buffoon Terry once more talks about how this is the Game Seven for them and how sad that Sally isn't around to get them beer, what with her in Janu Island and now the men having to vote one of their own out.

Austin and Terry now share some private in the water where Austin lays the foundation for a Dan boot. He wonders aloud, "How can we lose a challenge with a puzzle when we have a NASA engineer on our team?" Gee, I don't know. Why doesn't he ask Dan? Austin tells Terry that this game is for the young guys and therefore Terry is better off with him and Nick. Austin tells the camera that Dan is the weakest of them left and while it will hurt Terry to boot Dan, Austin would rather have Dan go instead of himself. Elsewhere, Dan is sending Nick into what seems like a downward spiral to pure stupefaction when he keeps complaining about how he can't imagine why they lost out in that puzzle solving thingie. He then asks Nick whether Austin would like to go home. I can imagine Austin's response to that. Nick is a far better person than me because he tells Dan nicely that he has no idea whether Austin wants to go but he doubts that Austin will want to leave. Dan then says that it's down to a tie then since Dan won't vote for Terry and Nick won't vote for Austin. Dan will be pleased to know that Terry later meets Nick and tells Nick that he's putting on his "Joe Torre hat" and voting for Dan for the sake of the tribe.

Terry approaches Dan after his meeting with Nick. Dan is still complaining about not being able to solve the puzzle. "You know, if I did that in space, you'd die!" he tells Terry. I have to giggle at that ridiculous line because Dan is saying that Terry will die if Dan screws up. Even when he's frustrated, Dan still can't help reminding people how he is a Very Important Astronaut. Oh, Dan, there is more to life than clinging on to being an astronaut as the only way to invalidate oneself. Terry breaks the news to Dan that he's with Austin and Nick in booting Dan off. He consoles Dan by saying that this is for the sake of the tribe. Dan is understandably unhappy but he says that he understands the decision since he's willing to accept the blame for screwing up the puzzle-solving part of the recent Challenge. Dramatic maudlin music soars as Terry tells the camera about how he and Dan have a bond over flying - Terry's a pilot, doncha know - and how sad he is that Dan has to go because Dan has "all the right stuff". Is this where I poke a finger against the back of my throat and throw up? Terry is obviously saying all this for the camera, dreaming of how the adoring public will worship him for his kindness when the show is over, because when he was with Nick, he was all about putting on his Joe Torre hat. Besides, if Dan has the right stuff, Terry won't be voting him off, so Terry is just plain full of crap.

Night, Tribal Council. The four men make such a big fuss about their vote will be a "business decision" and how the stupid blowhard Terry wants everyone to know that he is making this decision for the sake of the tribe, the whole nonsensical attempt at backpatting themselves about how Brave and Honorable Men they are will only be complete with they drop their pants and pull themselves off before Probby. The dramatic music swells like an obscene tumescence as the whole orgy of self-importance and self-love continues, with the men congratulating themselves all the way to the final credits. The three men who vote for Dan would love everyone to know that they are doing this for the good of the brotherhood, amen, and Dan accepts responsibility and therefore his boot because he wants everyone to know that he's an honorable astronaut with integrity shooting out of every pore of his skeletal frame. At the end of the day, Dan is booted because the other three men want to save themselves, but I don't think Dan minds because he gets to pretend that he's actually the most honorable guy around with a twelve-inch hot-loaded piece of integrity that he'd love to show you. Whatever, Dan. The brotherhood is done for, no matter how much they want to pretend that they are the new Band of Brothers in some dramatic Spielberg production, and besides, they're all morons.