Exile Island Episode 12: Bamboozled

Previously, Terry had everything planned: he would take Courtney to the Final Two. Shane also had everything planned: he too would take Courtney to the Final Two. Meanwhile, Courtney thought she'd let Terry take her to the Final Two because she thought she could beat him. Cirie realized that she was never a part of any of these people's plans so she got Aras and Danielle together and gave Courtney the heave-ho. It was just beautiful. This week, I'll get to see the fallout of the surprise Courtney boot. What will happen to Shane now? Can he somehow get back into his buddies' good graces?

Day thirty, night. The nitwits are back from the recent Tribal Council. Shane confronts Aras about the boot of Courtney, and Aras reasonably explains that Courtney and Terry planned with Danielle to boot Aras out in the previous Tribal Council. It's the truth, which is made even better by the fact that Aras can avoid being cast in the role of betrayer in Shane's mind by telling Shane that he did what he did out of self-preservation. Shane wants to know how Aras knew of this plan of Terry and Courtney. Aras says that Cirie was the one who told him. Shane recaps to the camera that he thought Danielle would go in the recent Tribal Council but well, he knows better now. He now approaches Cirie to find out what really is going down in camp, and Cirie tells him that everything happened so quickly just before Tribal Council so there was no way she could tell him since she claims that he was nowhere to be found then. Cirie tells the camera that this story is something she and Aras came up with to placate Shane.

Shane seems to buy Cirie's explanation because he merely reprimands Cirie pretty lightly and not in an unfriendly manner that she should have tried to inform him of last-minute changes in plans. Still, he is pleased that he, Cirie, and Aras still have the numbers in this tribe and he will be even more pleased if Danielle will go in the next Tribal Council. Having said that, he asks Cirie whether she is bluffing. Cirie of course says no. Shane tells the camera that after all is said and done, while he'd like to have Courtney with him in the Final Two, he's still okay with the way things went down as long as Danielle goes next. He really doesn't like Danielle, heh. So Shane lets his tribemates know that all is good with him by telling them that he doesn't miss listening to "that moron here running her mouth". "It couldn't have happened to a loopier broad!" he announces and I have to chuckle at that remark. Shane has no idea that he and Courtney are two of a kind more than each of them would like to acknowledge.

Morning, day thirty-one now. Shane and Aras contemplate before the fire about how calm the camp is this morning. Yes, it's always calm before the storm.

Speaking of storms, Terry is not a happy man as he rants to the camera about how Danielle betrayed him after shaking his hands and looking into his eyes and all. It is his fifth failure to work out some sort of advantageous alliance for himself, which should tell everyone something about Terry's social skills. I mean, sheesh, Danni in the previous season came into the merge with the same disadvantage in numbers as Terry as Danni did well in becoming buddies with Stephenie and Rafe to go far in the game! Back to Terry, because of Danielle's treachery, he declares that Danielle is the next one to go. Yes, and I'm sure we all know that Terry has enough power in this tribe to make that happen. Sixth time is the charm, after all! He also says that Danielle is not his problem anymore, as if he has in any way been protecting Danielle from her tribemates all this while.

With the obligatory Terry is a freaking moron scene out of the way, it's now time to reward the moron by having yet another physical Reward Challenge. This time, Jeff Proboscis awaits the nitwits in a clearing with obstacle course telethon props all set up. It's the recycled Challenge moment where the nitwits will have to take part in a series of physical activities that they have encountered before in previous Challenges. You know, the ones where Terry won every one of them? First, the nitwits have to each dig in the sand to recover a bag. No wrestling this time, alas, they have to then run along to untie a familiar stupid fake snake before running up and down a hill to untie a dangling fish. I'm pretty sure that fish thing is new. And then, more gym obstacle course thingies. Without dropping any one of the thingies they have collected, the nitwits must reach the finish line first in order to win. The Reward according to Probby is an opportunity to delegate how much love everyone would get. That sounds like something out of a Charlie Sheen autobiography.

In the bag-digging part, Danielle find her bag first, Terry next, then Aras, and finally Cirie. Shane is the last so he is disqualified from moving on to the next round. Snake-releasing sees Danielle, Aras, and Terry moving on over Cirie. Aras and Terry move on over Danielle in the fish-thingie, and finally Aras stumbles to retrieve an item at a crucial moment, allowing Terry to win the whole damned thing again.

Probby now brings out the loved ones and introduces them as Trish (Terry's wife), Theresa (Aras' mother), Denise (Danielle's mother), HB (Cirie's husband, and the show never reveals what HB stands for, by the way), and finally, Boston Powers, Shane's famous son who also unfortunately looks like a young Jodie Foster. With his looks and a father that goes way over-the-top emotional about him, poor Boston can't have an easy time around kids in the schoolyard, I fear. Boston is wearing a T-shirt that says "Boston or Bust". Is that some Bostonian in-joke that I should know about?

After the loved ones and the nitwits exchange "I love you"'s and "I miss you"'s and "You rock!"'s with each other, Probby explains that as the winner, Terry will now decide which two person will get to stay overnight at a house with their loved ones, which person will get to spend a night in the camp with a loved one, which one gets merely a hug, and which one is denied complete access to the loved one and is sent to Janu Island instead. Man, that's harsh, made even more so when we have the braindead Terry in charge. As usual, he'll high-handedly make an ass of himself in the process, as I shall soon find out.

Terry picks himself and his wife along with Shane and Boston to the house for an overnight stay. Won't it make more sense to let Cirie and her husband come along and let Shane take the kid back to the camp instead? No, Cirie and HB will spend the night in camp. Aras will get to hug his mother only once and Danielle will go straight to Janu Island without any more contact with her mother. Danielle and her mother exchange a teary farewell before Denise leaves in her boat. Danielle says absently that her mother is cute as she watches Denise leave. Then it's her turn to get on the boat that will take her to Janu Island. Meanwhile, Terry and Shane with their loved ones board a boat to the house at another island while Aras along with Cirie and her husband head back to camp.

In Janu Island, Danielle imagines that a coconut is Terry's head as she splits it open. However, she says to the camera that while it is hard not to even hug her mother, she's not going to sit around and cry just because Terry is mad about his failed Final Three plan. Good for her.

Back at camp, the adorable HB is either flabbergasted or fascinated as Cirie shows him how she keeps "snail butts" to be used as bait when fishing as well as the "primitive" (a nice word for "ineptly constructed") conditions of the camp. Aras also shows HB how to make fire, a lesson that HB doesn't take too well too when he nearly gets burned by a stray coil of flame. Cirie tells the camera that she and her husband are couch potato types that have never done much or gone places. Indeed, HB is surprised at many things Cirie does in the camp, like drinking water that he finds too dirty for his liking and all. Cirie concludes to the camera that being on this show has taught her that she has underestimated herself all along and now that she has come this far, she can perhaps strive to do more and then some. Good for her, really, and I hope HB can catch up with her in the process.

In the house at the other island, Shane discovers ice-cream, lots of it, in the freezer. Terry explains to the camera that the house is well-stocked with food and all (with alcohol, of course) and his wife says that she can't wait to get him clean and "studly" again. Eeeuw, TMI. Meanwhile, Shane says that being with Boston is the best reward he has ever had in his entire stay. He tells Boston that he ultimately didn't quit because Boston would kick his ass if he did. Boston just nods. When he's older, he'll rewatch this season and tell Shane that Shane should have just quit early on and spare the both of them plenty of embarrassment in the process. In the meantime, Terry shows his wife the stupid Wally that has ruined this season beyond repair and tells the camera that his wife is more strategic than he is and she quickly advises him on things. Newsflash: even a gerbil is more strategic than Terry. Later, when all four sit outside and chat, Trish wonders aloud whether the endgame will be an all-male affair. Shane says that it is his plan at Final Three to boot Aras and keep Cirie. Trish suggests that Danielle may find Wally and Shane says that he knows Terry has Wally. Trish tries to deny that, not knowing that her stupid husband has already showed Wally to two people, at the very least, in camp. Shane compliments Trish to the camera for being a lovely but "unbelievably competitive" woman. I always wonder why many men are always surprised that a woman could be simultaneously lovely and competitive.

As Shane and Boston reiterate how they are like the male version of the Gilmore Girls, Terry and Trish get into bed where Terry "begs" for her to be gentle and she tells him that she'll be good to him. Eeeuw, TMI, TMI! The lights then mercifully go out before I am subjected to some very traumatic creepy Republican pornography.

Morning, day thirty-three. That was fast - what happened to the thirty-secondth day? At camp, Cirie is putting HB (HB could stand for "Honey Bunny", heh, since she calls him that) to work collecting branches and all around camp. Cirie explains that it is only smart that HB helps around the camp so that she and Aras can hang on to what strength they have for the upcoming Immunity Challenge. That makes sense. HB jokes to the camera that it is tiresome to be bossed around by Cirie but he's fitting in very nicely. He now even drinks the grimy water like his wife and Aras would.

And then it is time to say goodbye as the boat arrives to take HB back to civilization, so he and Cirie share a tearful goodbye. He calls her his hero as he leaves and Cirie tells the camera that she now remembers why she is here and she is more determined than ever to win the money and give her family a "wonderful life". Aww, she is so sweet and nice, it is even more heartbreaking when I can't see any way that she can get into the Final Two, what with that stupid Terry and the big dumb Wally standing in the way. I hate Wally. Burnetto should be punished for making Wally too powerful - let Hagrid and Terry both move into his house! That will show him what it's like to be subjected to these two loathsome morons for so long!

Terry now returns to the camp with Shane in tow (their loved ones obviously having parted ways with them at the house) and here is where Terry demonstrates just how fucking stupid and how much of a fucking asshole he is. Pardon my use of expletives, but seriously, Terry is so so stupid. When Aras innocently asks Shane and Terry how things were, Terry quickly says, "There wasn't any sleeping on my part!" This is just like how Hagrid deliberately humped his wife in front of everyone - Terry must be so freaking insecure or something to trumpet the fact that he has shagged his wife all night to all and sundry. What's the point? It gets worse: Terry now brags that the "choices" had been "so clear" to him all along. Here, Cirie tells the camera that Terry proceeds to explain his choices.

Indeed, Terry is saying to Aras, Shane, and Cirie that "Danielle's twenty-four years old and it was only her mom". Excuse me? Aras in a most reasonable tone tells Terry, "Just so you know, man, twenty-four or not twenty-four, everybody out here wanted to see their families. Just as bad as you wanted to see Trish, I wanted to spend a night with my mom... and to think, 'Well, it's just a mom' - that rubs me the wrong way when you say that." Terry however puffs up his chest and lectures Aras, "When you get married, in my viewpoint, there's no choice. If I had a choice to see my wife or I had a choice to see my mother, I'm seeing my wife!" Wow. I don't know what to say. Terry is just so... fucking stupid.

Aras tells the camera that Terry could have at least shown some empathy since Aras himself could only hug his mother once while Terry get to spend overnight with his wife. All those Terry sympathizers saying that Aras is a tool and doesn't deserve any sympathy are missing the point (but then again, most Terry sympathizers are that way because they either hate someone like Aras more or they are very simplistic people who automatically assume that armed forces people are infalliable heroes): it all boils down to common sense when it comes to playing this game. It's not just good manners, it's common sense that if you want to win this game, you don't alienate everyone unnecessarily. What is Terry doing? Telling someone that his mother is not as important as Terry's wife... what the hell is that all about?

Aras tells the others that his mother is his rock and they have spent about a month on this island, so what Terry is saying is in fact assuming that someone's rock is more or less important than another person's rock, which isn't true. However, Terry now tells the camera in a haughty tone that he has "a twenty-four year old" lecturing him and he's gleeful that he got Aras all upset. Yes, by merely saying that his wife is more important and has more value than another person's mother. That is the sign of a man of integrity and decency, I tell you. To Aras, Terry tells him in a tone that bodes no argument, "When you have a wife, you'll know this. When it happens to you, it'll happen!"

Anyone knows what this man is talking about? A married person can view his or her spouse as a rock, which is natural, but how can Terry assume that a relationship between an unmarried person and the person's parent is something trivial to a bond between a married couple? Some married people's best friends are still their mothers and fathers. Perhaps Terry's mother had a cool relationship with him, I don't know, but that doesn't mean that all parents and their children have a lesser bond compared to that between a husband and a wife. Way to come off like a moron, Terry. Good job!

On the other hand, Aras tells the camera that Terry, being the elder person, should respect him, which comes off pretty wrong. But still, I can see where he's coming from in the sense that Terry is old enough to know better than to automatically discount someone's opinion just because that person is young. Aras says that he is now fired up to beat Terry in the upcoming Immunity Challenge.

Which coincidentally enough is taking place next. This time, the nitwits must each stand on a platform and fill up a bamboo tube with water until it reaches a specific point. The winner will get the Dunce Necklace. Terry, former pilot who should be trained to do this kind of hand-eye coordination thing, wins again. Shane on the other hand is never in the game since he's pouring water into the wrong hole. If that's not funny enough, at the end when Terry has won, Shane announces complete with sound effects for maximum drama, "For one of you, the game will end tonight!" Truer words have never been spoken - truer than Shane would like to believe, bwahaha.

Terry tells the camera that it feels good to win another Challenge, blah blah blah, as the nitwits return to camp. Yes, and he will be the first braindead asshole to win this game without doing anything other than to win Immunity Challenges. Forget "outwit and outplay", this is all about Terry demonstrating that this show has haemorrhaged so much from its glorious Pulau Tiga heydays that a braindead monkey could win it just by winning a bunch of lame physical challenges. We may as well turn the next season into some straightforward mini-telethon sports events held in some exotic island and bring in a busload of army veterans to take part just to get all those flag-waving misguidedly-patriotic viewers to tune in.

Still under the delusion that he is somehow relevant in the strategy of the Cadavers, Terry approaches Shane about Danielle leaving. Shane tells him that Danielle is depressed because she knows she's a goner. Shane talks to Terry about how Danielle is some spoiled pampered princess at home that gets everything she wants. And this is relevant... how? Terry tells the camera that he's not too unhappy that Danielle's leaving. Shane and Terry think that it will be the two of them in the Final Two. If that happens, I think we will have our most stupid Final Two ever in the history of the game. Terry says that should it comes down to him or Shane, he would win because he catches for everyone, he gets firewood, and he has won all the Immunity Challenges so far. He conveniently forgets that he also pisses off everyone every time he opens his mouth. I will give him a pass on forgetting that Jury members always vote to make themselves feel good - which is to say, nine out of ten times they are voting out of spite or some burning need to avenge themselves (see: Lex Loser) - because Terry is capable of thinking beyond his nose. However, Terry may end up being the beneficiery of the spite and pettiness in this Jury, which makes Terry's cluelessness a very tragic kind of irony that breaks my heart.

Aras and Danielle talk. Aras has not forgiven Shane for planning to take Courtney and Cirie to the Final Two over him, however, so he tells Danielle that Shane has lost his trust. Obviously he now doesn't feel any guilt in wanting to see Shane booted. Danielle says that it is most amusing how Shane thinks he's in control when he isn't, which is too true to the point that it's actually quite sad how delusional Shane can be. Aras now tells Cirie about the plan to boot Shane. Meanwhile, Danielle says to the camera that she and Shane are trying to get rid of each other and she has to trust that Cirie has her back in this instance. She tells the camera that you have to find one person to trust in this game and for her, that person is Cirie. In a way, Danielle is making the most sense of all the nitwits in this episode and I find that most bizarre indeed. She may not be too happy to know that Shane and Cirie are at that moment in a discussion about getting rid of Danielle. Cirie tells Shane that she's completely with him ("100%!") in the plan to boot Danielle now and later Aras. I have a strong suspicion that Cirie's "100%" will return to really haunt her should she end up in the Final Two. Shane wonders whether Aras and Danielle have gone to Cirie to get her to go after him and Cirie again lies to Shane. Shane is confident about his plans working out later in the Tribal Council, therefore. It takes very little to convince Shane of anything, doesn't it?

Cirie tells the camera that while she has the strongest alliance with Danielle and Aras, she believes that Danielle can beat her in the Final Two. Shane however will lose to her, she thinks. Courtney is a Danielle vote, Cirie thinks, along with Austin and Bruce, two men who have some kind of crush on Danielle. She ends up saying that while she loves Aras, she will have to do what she has to in order to advance her own game, so someone may be surprised at Tribal Council later tonight. In the meantime, Shane thinks that he can beat anyone in the Final Two. I admire such confidence in a man. Shane asks his tribemates whether anyone is planning to vote for him. He wants to know upfront, after all, if he's going. Of course nobody confesses that they want to boot him out.

Night, Tribal Council. Courtney joins Austin, Sally, and Bruce in the Jury, and she blows kisses and all like some bizarre walking freakshow while doing it. Probby then begins the session. There is nothing of note, really, apart from Probby's irritating attempt to side with Terry against Aras. Terry is beyond disgusting in his smugness as he announces himself as being in a "God position" and winks or roll up his eyes at the Jury every time someone else speaks. Probby is trying very hard to get Aras to admit that Terry is a better competitor and all. I've said again and again that this show has really started going downhill when Burnetto stopped looking for the new Big Gay Hatch and started hunting for the next Middle-American Poster Boy of Mediocrity superstar like Hagrid. Burnetto lucked out in Tom the Mighty who is anything but mediocre despite Tom being casted for being a fireman that will cater to these middle-class flag-waving audience that he is apparently trying to capture for his audience. He had a lucky escape when the next Big American Middle-Class Vet Hero, Jim, was voted off before anyone knew much about him. But Terry, on the other hand... And to see Probby now trying to pass off these pathetic examples of players as some ideal Survivor really pains me to no end, I tell you. Aras however manages to make Probby at loss for words when he points out that this game is more than just a physical competition - you won't get the money if the Jury hates your ass. Terry rolls up his eyes because it is clearly not true since he doesn't think it's true.

Time to vote. Time to tally the votes. Probby reads the votes. Surprise, Shane! Goodbye, Shane! Shane however just laughs and as he gets his torch to Probby, he turns to say, "Oh my God, I'm going to have a chocolate ice cream bar in about one... like, one minute!" And his final words aren't too bitter at all, which makes me wonder whether Shane is just playing a role on the show like the actor he is, hoping to be the new Jonny Fairplay or something. Either way, he's gone, and it's down to four now. The endgame is nigh, and so is the wonderful day when I will not have to endure Terry on my TV ever again. Anyone but Terry for the win!