Thursday, March 09, 2006

Survivor--Salvation & Desertion

Our show begins at camp Casaya after the vote. Shane is afflicted with some kind of demon that keeps his mouth running without actually connecting it to his brain. He harangues Danielle for bouncing Bobby when the logical choice to go was Bruce. He believes she has ruined their tribe because of her personal feelings. She is evil. He cannot associate with such as she. Blah Blah Blah. The subtext of this is--Shane is a wack job. Danielle handles it very well and things don't escalate. I'm surprised but realize that Courtney slept on the beach which accounts for things not going to heck in the proverbial handbasket. The next morning Cerie updates Courtney about Shane's wig-out and hopes for a complete breakdown of the alliance. Who can blame her? She deserves to be safe in an alliance way more than crazy Shane.

At La Mina, Dan now feels comfortable enough with Nick and Austin to reveal his space shuttle experience. Sally, meanwhile, feels like she's been dropped on Boy's Club island. Clearly, reality tv is having a tough time making a story out of these well-adjusted adults.

Later in the morning, Shane re-visits his previous rant with Danielle and Courtney. He wants out of the alliance but he can't get out without their agreement because he swore on his son's name or life or something. So he asks for his son's name back. Danielle is all up with that, so is Courtney, so is Aras. Hmm, not a good sign when your alliance is really really really glad you want out of the alliance. With all the dysfunction at Casaya, one wonders, how can they win any challenges?

The immunity challenge and reward challenge are combined into one high stakes event. La Mina realizes that this combined challenge is the equivalent of the seventh inning of the last game of the World Series. They must win. You know my reaction to statements like that--must win? Must not win then or we wouldn't be talking about it on camera. Nothing a reality tv editor likes so well as irony.

At the challenge we learn that three team members must run out and retrieve four puzzle pieces (and they are big!), two other team members will solve a spinning puzzle when all the pieces have been collected. The Survivor creative team have created a very pretty design in the field. The overhead shots are beautiful, I wish they stop following the challenge so I can get a good look.

The event begins and La Mina is out to a significant early lead when Shane has difficulty undoing the knots on the first puzzle piece. La Mina ends up with all four puzzle pieces a fair while before Casaya gets back with their fourth. Don't know how long their advantage was because of the tricky editing. The early start does not help Dan and Sally solve the puzzle faster, however. They are stumped. They cannot fit the first piece in place. Hmm. Meanwhile, Casaya begins solving the puzzle. Dan takes the opportunity to stop trying to solve the puzzle and just see what Casaya is doing. This is sometimes called cheating. You know, looking at the other guy's work. But all's fair in love and Survivor. Unfortunately, this is not a successful strategy because Casaya finishes the puzzle and La Mina had one? piece in? Maybe? I can't swear to it. Great start...baaad finish.

With the reward and immunity combined, Casaya will be allowed to send a La Mina tribe member to Exile Island and that tribe member will be immune from tonight's vote. Casaya sends Sally to Exile Island, saving her from the evil intentions of the boy's alliance. Sally is relieved! She knew she was going next. Meanwhile, gotta say the girls of Casaya were very clever. They saved Sally and ensured her loyalty when the merge comes if she's still around. They've also forced La Mina to get rid of a man, potentially weakening them for the next challenge. (I think Sally could have taken Dan, so maybe not so much.)

The boys are in a quandary. They like each other so much, you see. They're so well-adjusted. Nick and Austin approach Terry about voting off Dan. Physically he is the weakest and he lost the puzzle challenge. Terry reluctantly agrees that for the good of the team that is the best choice--not to mention he's out-numbered. Like the well-adjusted adult he is, Terry tells Dan to his face (shocking, I know!) that he doesn't see the point in letting the vote go to a 2 vs. 2 tie. Dan wishes things were different but he respects their decision. Dan admits that they wouldn't be in this position if he had just solved the puzzle. Wow. Terry is respectful of Dan. Dan takes responsibility for his own mistakes. This is inspiring. Am I still watching Survivor?

I usually fast-foward through the rewards because I don't enjoy them unless there is some strategizing going on. The notable events of Casaya's barbeque party with some Panamanians: Tribe mates eat their weight in every kind of food. (Woo hoo. I didn't see that coming.) Shane cadges a cigarette and breaks his fifteen day cold-turkey fast from cigarettes. He smokes that cigarette down to the absolutely end of the filter. Wow, that's desperate. Under the influence of food and drink, Shane apologizes to Danielle. She seems to accept his apology for his stupid mouthiness. Cerie watches the rapprochment morosely. Shane back in good with the alliance is not good for Cerie, after all.

At tribal council, even tricky Jeff can't make this vote into something with deeper implications regarding tribe unity. Dan leaves with dignity. The others send him off with regret. And Sally sleeps alone on Exile Island safe for three more days.

Next week's episode is being shown on Wednesday because of the NCAA basketball championships. I get the impression it is a recap episode with some new footage. Rats. Then it will be THREE more weeks before we have a new episode. Yikes! What's up with that? My sister carefully reviewed the preview of the new episode and she is sure that the "medical emergency" that is briefly shown involves a woman and it is not Cerie. We'll see. Thank goodness I love basketball.

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