Exile Island Episode 10: Medical Emergency

Previously, Sally was booted, which wasn't much of a surprising development. Shane had a penile rash, which was always fun, and Terry's hubris continued to escalate as he kept winning Immunity Challenges after Immunity Challenges. All in Terry's need to get the world to acknowledge that he's the All-Man He-Man Superstud, of course. Come back, Tom the Mighty! All is forgiven. Now Tom is the man, I tell you. He never brags about the things he can do or acts like the world is beholden to him because he's the biggest studmuffin around. Terry is unfit to even touch Tom the Mighty's toes.

Day twenty-five, morning. Terry lingers around the fire like the annoying relative that wouldn't leave the party that he has become and tells the camera that Sally was booted last night so once more it's all about him. See, he wants everyone to know that he has a target on his back now. No, wait, maybe a bigger target. No, no, see, Terry's target is the biggest. Ever. He then says that the Cadavers asked him whether Terry wanted to talk or something, but Terry of course will defend Sally by saying that of course something is wrong but he won't talk to them. After all, it suits his ego very well to play the wounded superhero of the tribe that is being antagonized by those evil Cadavers. That way, he can pretend that his own crap doesn't smell.

Shane and Danielle are good buddies now. The Cadavers by now have a pattern of on/off relationships like the codependent dysfunctional tribe that they are - with Terry as a common enemy, the dysfunctional bickering children will always have a common goal to unite them. For now, that is. Those two congratulate each other for being part of the supreme plan to get rid of all the LaDidas. Terry is still around, but he's not going away anytime soon and I have a hunch that most Cadavers will love to pretend that he doesn't exist. Shane congratulates himself and the rest of the Cadavers for being the only tribe to stay together, barring the boots of Melinda and Bobby. Yeah, Melinda and Bobby. I have a hunch that you won't remember who they are either, heh. If Shane continues to persist in the belief that the Cadavers are the first tribe to "stay together", I won't puncture his delusions, although he's clearly wrong.

Terry tells the camera a most horrifying news to me: he now only has to win three out of four Immunity Challenges because Wally can be used until the Final Four Tribal Council. If he keeps up his winning streak, that means Terry is a shoo-in for the Final Three. And silly me, here I am thinking that Probby said that Wally was good up to the Final Four stage (which is to say, in the Final Four Terry couldn't use Wally anymore) but no, here comes Terry to let me know that Burnetto must be insane to make Wally this powerful. Why not just make the holder of Wally an automatic winner then?

And why must the biggest of crap in the history of this show get to own the most ridiculously overpowered gimmick in the history of this show? What the hell? Does Burnetto want this show to die or something? Although to be fair, poor Burnetto no doubt didn't count on Terry's massive stupidity to make the twist a big flop in this season when Burnetto first came up with the twist.

Back to Terry, he is convinced that he's got it made once he's in the Final Three. I have flashbacks to watching the Friendship freaks of Big Brother 6 on the way to a clear win and I feel like having dry heaves.

No, wait, the panicked cries aren't coming from me like I was worried about for a second, it's actually Courtney who's getting dramatic over the fact that a pot fell into the fire under her watch and the fire dancer now wants someone to help her retrieve the pot. Danielle tells Courtney to "chill out", which leads Terry to tell the camera that clearly the Cadavers are falling apart day by day and he's just a fly on the wall or something as he waits for the Cadavers to vote each other out. Meanwhile, Bruce is complaining that his stomach is bloated and it hurts like crazy. He tells the others that he is "constipated" and sick in the stomach. Shane is a little confused as he wants Bruce to clarify what he means by asking Bruce, "You can't poop?" It is disconcerting for me to hear a man of Shane's temperament using the word "poop" instead of the more common and vulgar synonym. Courtney reminisces that she was constipated once too but she can't find the word to describe how bloated up her stomach feels. Danielle suggests that maybe Courtney felt like there's a child growing in Courtney. Danielle says the oddest and most silly things sometimes, no wonder she gets so callously mistreated by her fellow Cadavers. Bruce tells the camera, hoping that I'm a more sympathetic audience than his tribemates, that he hasn't answered the call of nature since the Cadavers won the jaunt to that Panama village before the merge. A quick estimate will reveal that Bruce hadn't used the toilet for at least ten days! And he doesn't say anything to anyone about this all this while? Oh dear.

Now it's time for tree-mail, which comes in the form of small boxes labelled with the names of each remaining nimrods on the island. Inside each box is a doll that each nimrod will paint and decorate, along with some bad poetry suggesting that the upcoming Reward Challenge will test the nimrods' powers of observation. Trust Cirie to augment the chest of her doll, heh, as everyone starts painting and adding stuff to his or her doll. Maybe there will be a voodoo ritual and everyone gets to stick pins into each other's doll later on.

Jeff Proboscis makes his first appearance and earns his pay by waiting for the nimrods at a clearing for the now predictable obligatory "Show your hand - reveal the tribe hierarchy!" Q&A session that never fails to kill off a sucker or two every season. As an added bonus, this time around the questions will be of a personal nature. He will get the nimrods to each fill in a questionnaire and then get them to guess the answer given by the majority to each question on the stupid thing. Everyone who gets an answer right will get to chop off a rope that is holding someone else's doll. Three chops and the doll will fall to the ground, thus disqualifying the doll's owner from the Challenge. The winner will get to enjoy some nice quiet time overnight in a spa and decide who will be banished to Janu Island.

Probby asks the first question: who does the least work in the tribe? The majority say Danielle. Bruce thinks Courtney is the slacker while Courtney and Danielle believe that Bruce is the slacker, so everyone else but these three get to chop some ropes. Cirie cuts Terry's first rope and Aras cuts Terry's second rope. Terry cuts off Aras' first rope, and Shane takes Terry out of the game. No surprises there.

Probby now asks the name of the person who never shuts up. Aras thinks Bruce is that person while Danielle, Courtney, and Bruce think Terry is the blabbermouth. Enough people believe that Courtney is the blabbermouth, however, to make Courtney the majority answer. Cirie and Shane get this right. Cirie and Shane cut off two of Bruce's ropes. Yup, these suckers always fall for this trick.

Probby wonders who is under the mistaken assumption that he or she is running the tribe. The answer is... heh, Shane. Shane claims that he has never felt that he was running the show, heh. Courtney and Aras get this one right. Aras cuts Bruce's last rope, sending Bruce to the sidelines, and Courtney moves in on Shane.

Next, Probby wants the name of the person that the majority of the tribe believes that they can trust with their lives. Aras is the only person who gets this right when he deduces that Cirie is the person. I am finding it most amusing that many people in that tribe apparently trust Cirie and think Shane a fool for thinking that he's boss but they don't believe that many of their tribemates share their sentiment. Then again, I am looking very hard to be amused by things in this show nowadays. Cirie thanks everyone as Aras takes out Courtney's first rope.

Now Probby asks for the reverse: the person least trusted to watch one's back. Terry is the answer given by the majority, which feels fair given Terry's creepy ability to happily let his footsoldiers fall for the sword meant for him with a big smile on his face, and Courtney and Aras get this one right. Courtney cuts Danielle's first rope and Aras cuts Cirie's first rope.

Probby wants to know who the biggest "poser" is. Courtney claims not to know what "poser" means but she should be pleased to know that she is the biggest poser according to her tribemates. Only Aras gets this one right and he cuts off Danielle's second rope. Poor Danielle, always being mistreated, and a golly gee to Aras, who seems to be very in tune with his tribemates indeed.

And now, the moodiest person. Shane is and should be the obvious answer, but for some reason only Courtney and Aras get this one right. Courtney takes out Shane's second string, which earns her Shane's eternal affection when he tells her, "You're the only one that's hit me twice. Your life is changing!" Courtney tells him that they're just playing a game but Mr Moody is not listening to her. Aras now affects his favorite self-righteous position as he tells his buddies to "rise above" this Challenge that is clearly trying to "splinter" them all. Terry cackles from the sidelines, "Yeah, it's meant to splinter you guys!" So, on top of winning everything, Terry wants to win the dislike of his tribemates as well. That will be nice indeed. Aras takes Danielle out of the game for good, although Aras being Aras, he tries to make himself come off as the better person in doing this.

Probby now wants to know who succumbs to intimidation the most. Courtney is this person and Shane is the only one who gets the answer right since he's the one that has been doing all the intimidating in the tribe and he therefore knows who is his easiest victim. He predictably chops off Courtney's second rope.

The most annoying person, please. The answer is once more Courtney and the lady is understandably feeling not too happy at the moment. To rub salt on the wound, everyone but her gets the answer correct. Aras takes out Courtney's last rope, sending her to the sidelines. Shane takes out Aras' second rope and Cirie, saying that she promised Aras earlier not to cut his rope, takes out Shane's third and last rope. Shane goes crazy about this, predictably, and poor Danielle finds herself in the tribe Cinderella role again as she is stuck with nannying Shane by the sidelines.

It's now down to two person, Aras and Cirie. Aras has only one rope left while Cirie has two, so if she gets the next question correct, she is the winner of this Challenge. The question is about the person who cannot survive on his or her own in this place. Cirie answers herself while Aras must be deliberately trying to throw the challenge when he answers Terry. Cirie is the answer so Cirie is the winner of this Challenge. Cirie now has to tell Probby who to send to Janu Island. Cirie says that she cannot send a Cadaver so Terry has to go. With that out of the way, Probby tells Cirie that she can now choose two people to join her in her overnight stay at the spa. She takes Aras, who she says to have promised to share the reward with since "the first day" (I'll just take her word for it), and Danielle, also because she and Danielle have made a similar promise to each other. Shane is hopping crazy because all this while he is trying to tell Cirie that he and Cirie have some kind of similar promise as well. Cirie apologizes to him but Shane insists that she will be sorry because she has made the wrong "call". To drive home what a scary guy he is, he kicks the ground hard. He must have forgotten that the majority of the tribe clearly don't feel that he's in a charge in any way.

Of course those three enjoy their helicopter ride (it's Cirie's first time on a helicopter, by the way) and they also enjoy the food and the pampering offered at the spa. Aras is openly amused at Courtney's reaction upon learning that she is considered the most annoying person in their tribe (in addition to also being the biggest poser, the one who cannot shut up, and the one most easily intimidated, that is) and Cirie on her part tries to be sympathetic only to succumb into giggles when she reflect with Danielle and Aras about Courtney's possible reactions in the aftermath of the Challenge. She doesn't like Courtney that much either, it seems.

Back at camp, Shane and Courtney try to have a conversation but they being themselves, end up talking about two different things altogether. Shane is apparently stunned to learn that he, Aras, and Cirie aren't that close after all when Cirie chose to take Danielle instead of him along to that spa. Courtney on the other hand is whining about how she now feels that she can't be happy living with these people since she now knows that they all find her annoying. Shane has the temerity to tell her to stop taking things so personally. He really has so self-awareness, that poor deluded man. To the camera, Shane explains that Courtney hasn't taken "the common voice of the tribe" (Shane's bizarro-speak for the responses to what he deems are "stupid questions" in the Q&A) very well and he will be "interested" in seeing how she will behave in the next few days.

Poor Bruce, he's now in serious pain after a failed sojourn into the woods to, as he puts it in his own words, "pass a deuce". Shane tells the camera that Bruce is really hurting bad. Bruce tells the camera that sure, he's experienced plenty of injuries in his lifetime - maybe he derives inspiration for his art from these experiences - but this particular experience is excruciating. Shane tells the camera that Bruce can be a melodramatic fellow - kinda like Bruce is a melodramatic pot to Shane's volatile kettle - but he is convinced that Bruce is genuinely in pain. Perhaps there is a possibility that Bruce is deliberately pretending to be in pain, but I'm no Shane and therefore I can't imagine why Bruce would want to pretend to be sick. As Bruce lies miserably in the shelter, Shane approaches him with his pants so low that pixels are showing in obscene tufts from the front and tells Bruce that Bruce has to get well soon so that Bruce can continue taking care of the tribe. I'm sure Bruce will feel compelled to get well soon after Shane's comforting words to him.

Bruce moans of pain morphs into the moans of the three people who are now enjoying a massage in the spa. It's a good thing that I am not eating while watching this episode. Cirie is in heaven as she uses terms like "Robin Leach" to describe her first massage experience under the hands of what she calls a "pretty rough" masseur. Danielle is also moaning because the masseur working on her is really strong. Ouch! Later it is dinner time as the day goes dark. Aras starts the ball rolling by saying that this game can make people behave immaturely. Not Aras, though - he wants everyone to understand that he's been a mature and sensible player with integrity all along! Danielle speculates that Courtney must have a crush on Shane. I don't know about the crush thing, but I can say that the guy I seriously disliked when I was in college turned out to be one of my best friends today. Strange, huh? Aras now takes the conversation deeper into armchair psychobabble territory by speculating that Courtney must enjoy arguing with Shane so that they can later make up. But... but... why would anyone harbor a crush on Shane? Eeeuw. Cirie points out that poor Bruce is stuck with Shane and Courtney back in their camp (Terry, if you can't tell by now, doesn't exist in the Cadavers' eyes) and thinks that these people won't be liking her so much the next day. The three then gush about how much they love each other, awww, and I would be tempted to write their stilted declarations of affection off as insincere baloney if I am not convinced that these three need each other more than they need others. Who can, after all, rely on Shane? Terry... no. Courtney is annoying. Bruce is impotent. It is very likely that the three most competitive Cadavers with the potential to go all the way are seated right there at the table, and I have a hunch that they realize this too.

As night falls, Bruce's condition worsens and despite his pained protests, Courtney decides to sing to him in order to soothe his pain. The jokes write themselves, don't they? Anyway, Courtney explains to the camera that medical help is on the way for Bruce. Bruce understandably doesn't want to leave and he tells Courtney this. He still wants to play, although I'm not sure how much he has been playing all this while. The doctor shows up, prods at Bruce to get him to squeal in pain, and the camera gives me some close-ups on Bruce's agonized face and convulsing hands, all in the name of quality primetime entertainment. Bruce is hooked to an IV drip as the doctor tells a naked Shane that Bruce may be suffering from appendicitis and has to leave for an emergency trip to the hospital right away. Shane asks whether he actually has to help get Bruce on the stretcher right at that moment because he has to go put on some pants first. He explains about his rash and how he has to walk around and sleep naked (like he is at the moment) in order to make the rash go away.

Melodramatic music swells to an obscene crescendo as poor Bruce is carried away to a waiting boat. Shane, for possibly the first time in the entire season, comes off as nearly human when he kisses Bruce's forehead while Bruce is being taken away and tells the man softly, "See you in a minute, Brucie." He tells the camera that Bruce won't want to quit because Bruce has lived a "big beautiful ginormous life". Which is his roundabout waof saying that Bruce will never live down the fact that he, a sensitive artist and kung-fu master, has to leave this show because... well, let's just say that he won't appreciate an "I went on Survivor and all I got was this load of poop" T-shirt as much as other people will.

Day twenty-six, morning. Terry talks about that target on his back, how he wants to plan his strategy (bwahahahahaha, what freaking strategy are we talking about here, Einstein?), and other pointless Terry-centric self-masturbatory drivel. He also announces that he thinks it's a waste of time to compete in Immunity Challenges but he loves watching the Cadavers vote each other out. That will be, I agree, a nice change from Terry watching them vote out his "allies" one by one.

Back at camp, Shane and Courtney are bonding in their typically bizarre manner after Bruce's departure. Courtney announces to the camera that Bruce's departure is, in her own words, "the icing and the cherry and the hot fudge on top of my pretty poo-poo day." Yes, because Bruce deliberately got sick just to annoy Courtney further. The poor dear indeed. Now Shane asks Courtney whether he can count on her to be by his side, courting her with charming flattery like "I can't have the obsessive-compulsive overthinking part." Courtney tells him, "I'd like to be on your backside." If that's not hilarious enough, she adds, "And I would like you to be on mine." She also says that she'd like them to be on the "same page". From hot fudge to poo-poo to backsides to pages - how did we all end up from one point to another? Shane now threatens Courtney that should she double-cross him, he'd, in his own words, "I'll drive up and I'll kill you in your shitty little apartment. And I'll drive over to my club and that will be it." Courtney is offended as she tells him, "That was really nice. I don't have a shitty apartment!" He then screeches at her not to take the things he said to her personally. The next time someone threatens to kill me, I'd just smile, think of Shane, and hug that person threatening me in joy. Courtney shrieks back at Shane and soon those two are arguing and call each other names. I'm starting to see where Danielle gets the impression that those two are having some sort of crush on each other. Shane tells the camera that "bunny boiler" Courtney will be a perfect Final Two opponent since everyone can't stand her. I suspect that many people can't stand him either so for all he knows, Courtney is thinking the same thing when she agrees to be on his backside. A Shane-Courtney Final Two would make many people retch violently - which may just be what this season needs to redeem itself!

Cirie, Aras, and Danielle finally return to camp where an angry-sounding Courtney tells them that Bruce has left, her tone implying that it's those three that are to blame for the calamities that befell Bruce and, by extension, Courtney and her poo-poo cakes. Aras sums up the situation nicely to the camera: he leaves the camp for one day and comes back to find Bruce gone, Courtney all pissed and angry, and Shane acting crazy and looking like he hasn't bathed in a long, long time. Welcome to Camp Cadaver, people, arguably one of the most dysfunctional tribes ever in the history of this show despite their winning streak in tribe Immunity Challenges. Aras now has the thankless task of placating Shane as Shane raves about being betrayed and all. Aras tells him that the alliance of Aras, Shane, and Cirie are still good. As Cirie and Danielle watch the two men from a distance away and Cirie muttering that she should have never won that Challenge, Shane tells Aras that he has better not go before Danielle. Aras is trying to tell Shane that Cirie will talk to Shane herself later to reaffirm their threesome bond, a bond that I don't even know exists until this episode. See what happens when Burnetto decides to stop showing strategy on this show unless said strategy conforms to what grand (or most likely, stupid) storylines he has planned for his characters? There is no suspense, just unexpected developments thrown at my face out of the blue. Back to Shane, he tells Aras about Cirie, "I have put Cirie on my back, all three hundred pounds of her, I put her on my fucking back, you and I both have! It was wrong yesterday!"

Danielle thinks that Shane is behaving like a selfish baby. She's right, no doubt about it. Back to Shane, he issues an ultimatum to Aras: he will "turn the whole game" if Aras and Cirie fail to convince him that they are still golden. Aras tells the camera that he now has to somehow placate Shane with Cirie in order to stop his own chance at winning the money from sinking into some black bog that is already claiming the last of Shane's sanity. Cirie now approaches Shane and plies Shane with some BS about how hard it is to choose Danielle over Shane but Danielle and Cirie have a bond that isn't about the game like her bond with Shane is. Or something like that, since Cirie is speaking in circles and the editing is cutting her already confusing conversation with Shane into even more confusing smaller bits and pieces. Shane can be assured that Cirie is still in the final three alliance with Aras and Shane. Now, really, when did that pact come about? I'd have love to see how that pact was formed instead of the boring non-game fillers that bogged down the last few episodes. Shane gets Cirie to swear on her children's life that they are all heading to the Final Four together and Cirie has no way of getting out of this other than to play along. Shane then swears on his son's life again that he will honor their pact as well. Um, so where does Courtney fit in then? Shane is so glib with his son's life for a man that seems very superstitious about making vows on his son's life. The nutcase then grabs Cirie and kisses her hard when she says what he wants to hear. Oh, Shane. This season would have been so dull without his brand of crazy!

To the camera, Shane says that his alliance with Aras and Cirie is "absolutely calculated" in order to "get ahead of Cirie and Aras mentally", whatever that means. The only kind of lead Shane has on those two is how he is much more mentally unsound than they are. Shane once more brags that he has orchestrated everything and therefore he's in control. His tribemates are right about Mr Megalomaniac here thinking that he is in control of everyone when he's actually just a raving lunatic.

Day twenty-seven. The remaining Cadavers now pretend that they love Bruce all along by polluting his Zen garden and rearranging the stones to spell "LUV U BRUCE". Maybe they believe that Bruce is dead and he's now among the angels watching down from the skies at them. Danielle gets to prove what a brainiac she is by saying that Bruce is a "father figure" to her due to his "Go, go, go!" philosophy. Go, go, go, huh? That's really funny, although poor Danielle is being very serious in her confessional.

A boat is approaching. Is it Bruce? No, it's Terry. Ugh. And Probby, of course, who tells them that Bruce won't be coming back as a competitor - he'll be a member of the Jury instead. Immunity Challenge is cancelled and everyone has the day off. The show then ends with Terry voicing over that Bruce is "a warrior" because apparently no one else could have "tolerated" as much pain as Bruce did. And Terry, being a freaking Navy pilot, would of course want everyone to know that he knows all about warriors since he fancies himself as one. Why couldn't Terry be the one with the health problems instead of Bruce? Why couldn't poop clog up Terry's insides instead of spewing forth whenever that moron opens his mouth?

Anyway, that's it for Bruce. And that's it for me this time. I'm pooped.

Sorry, I've always wanted to say that!