These past few weeks of Survivor have been so great, and heading into Sunday’s finale, I couldn’t be more excited. I’m not just saying that because last night’s episode ended on such a wonderfully frustrating note. I am genuinely excited to see how this season will end. I could try predicting it, but honestly, my guess is as good as yours (I assume your guess is pretty bad too, right?). Anyway, it was another fun episode, and with any luck, Sunday’s extravaganza should be all that with a bag of chips. What? I’m not allowed to throw around some ’90s slang? That’s whack!Last night’s episode began with the Gitanos tribe returning to camp after the dumping of crazy Shane at Tribal Council. Whenever anyone goes home, we always have to brace for bickering and yelling around camp, but tonight was different. I mean, there was bickering and yelling, but not about Shane. Instead, the controversy focused on Cirie and her selfish torch-putting-down-habits. Apparently it was really, really dark at camp, and not knowing where to put her torch, Cirie simply put it down by some tree. Seems harmless enough. Too bad she didn’t realize that His Holiness Terry was walking right through the prime torch real estate. He tripped, and instead of asking Cirie not to leave her torch lying around willy-nilly, he put on his whiny dad voice and asked, “Who dropped their thing right in the middle of the way?”
Cirie said that she had, and again, Terry adopted a totally condescending stance, asking, “Is this where it goes?” Shut up, Terry. She’s not eight years old. Just tell her to leave her torch elsewhere.
Well, Cirie was not about to take any of Terry’s shit. “Here comes Captain America,” she explained, “and he’s like, ‘Well, who dropped their torch in the middle of the–’ I don’t even know. Middle of what? We have like fifty miles of beach!” She did have a point. It’s not like the torch being next to that tree was particularly in the way of anything. And besides, what’s the big deal? So Terry tripped on a torch. GET OVER IT.
Cirie then told Terry to stop talking to her like one of his kids, and he came back that she’s acting like one of them and that he expected a lot more out of her. It’s true. When Terry first laid eyes on Cirie on day one, I’m sure he said, “I hope she never, ever fecklessly leaves her torch lying about. Otherwise, I’ll be devastated.”
Nevertheless, Terry continued to harp on this, and Cirie replied, “I’m sorry, King Terry, that this torch is where you were walking.” I’m shocked he didn’t insist she call him Sir King Terry. It was obvious to everyone that Terry was just bitter because his new ally, Shane, had been voted out, but that wasn’t a reason to be such a buzzkill. At least, according to Aras.
“Don’t ruin our night, tonight, Terry. All right? Don’t do that,” Aras said. Seriously, Terry. F-you. They had a delightful evening of snail tasting prepared, and now it’s all gone to shit. Are you proud of yourself? Are you proud?
Terry then told us that he felt like a human pin cushion and that everyone was ganging up on him about the torch. No, dude, they were ganging up on your total asshole attitude. Some people have claimed that Terry has a right to be a dick with the way these people have treated him, but don’t you think they’d be more receptive to him if he weren’t always so condescending and cocky to them? I mean, since the merge he’s acted that way. No wonder why they’ve reacted so negatively against him.
Anyway, Aras was still totally bummed about Terry’s torch antics. He seethed, “We could have come back here and celebrated our final four, but you knocked Cirie RIGHT AWAY!” Poor Aras. He just wanted to celebrate. You know that he’d made his faux-hawk all nice and tall for the occasion too. Sorry, dude. This party was ruined. It was like a starving beach version of My Super Sweet 16.
The next day at the reward challenge, the cameras whizzed by tons of ropes and creatures and items of that ilk. What convoluted, elaborate event would be in store? Well, quite a good one, if I do say so myself. Here’s the deal. Each player would be attached by a carabiner to ropes, and the ropes would lead to six stations. At each station, there were things to count (branches, rocks, iguanas, etc. — yes, I said iguanas). Players had to memorize the quantities and then race back to the start, find an “answer tile” that corresponded to the number, and then place the number into a combination grid. Still following? Once the players had all the numbers, they’d use the grid to open padlocks and long story short, first one to open up all three locks would cause a flag to unfurl and would win the reward. And what would that reward be? A trip down the Panama canal on a yacht. Yay!
With Probst getting all sweaty in his midsection, he flapped his arms and the game began. Oh yeah, one nuance to this: everyone was attached to the same ropes, which meant there were opportunities for gridlock along the way. Right off the bat, Terry was battling for position, but Cirie pulled some sort of defensive move and pulled ahead of the pack. Yes! (Btw, to all the Terry lovers who read this, I apologize. Just pretend everything I say about Terry is good, and everything I say about Cirie is bad).
Anyway, we then watched the survivors running from station to station, memorizing numbers and trying to get by each other. If I were one of the Casaya three, I probably would have started yelling random numbers when Terry was near his home base, just to screw him up. Either way, the sun started to really beat down on everyone, and as people began to slow down, resident gym teacher / drill sergeant Jeff Probst told them to hurry up, yelling, “You can sleep on the yacht!!!”
The challenge went on and on (not saying it was boring. It was anything but), and eventually, the Casayans began ganging up on Terry a little. Cirie happily acted as a roadblock, stopping all forward Terry progress. Later, Danielle tried to be a similar obstacle, but she was terrible at it and wound up delaying everyone else. Worst roadblock EVER! Soon, the group became totally entangled, and we could tell Jeff was having the best time ever as he recited a super intense play-by-play. And then suddenly, tensions boiled over. Terry was absolutely trapped by Aras, and so he did what any frustrated airline pilot would do: he shoved Aras out of the way. Probst scolded the guys, told them to settle down, but then he couldn’t help but take joy in the action, happily saying, “Two battering rams!” Inside, Jeff was probably thinking to himself, “Pure poetry, Jeff. Pure poetry.”
Soon, Terry and Aras were working to open their locks, and before long, each of them had their first open. Danielle and Cirie were not far behind either. This was still anyone’s game. That second lock, however, was being stubborn for everyone, and eventually, they all returned to the course to do some recounts. Everyone carefully scanned the items, and the first one back was Terry who — sorry, guys — still didn’t have the right numbers. As he headed back into the woods, he noticed that everyone else had been out there way too long. They were looking at multiple stations! Terry instantly complained to Jeff that they were supposed to look at one station and then come back immediately, but the host said no, after the first round, people could take as many looks as they wanted prior to returning. Haha. In your face, TERRY.
“Oh, you didn’t tell us that!” Terry complained. Shut your whiny mouth and just start counting.
Aras actually had the best comeback when he yelled out, “Somebody call a wah-mbluance. Terry’s crying on the course!” Who said anything about a wah-mbulance. I think we need a ZINGbulance!
(BTW, I just checked my Tivo. CBS titled this episode “Call the Whambulance,” which is sort of funny because I spelled it “Wah-mbulance.” Their way reads like some sort of vehicle that provides emergency doses of Wham!. “I need ‘Careless Whisper.’ Call the Whambulance!” I guess that would be Wham!bulance though.)
Well, Aras returned to his locks and managed to open the second and third one. He won! Excellent! But not victory goes uncontested with Terry. He didn’t complain, per se, to Probst, but he asked our host to verify the rules in a really snotty tone of voice. Probst just stared blankly at him, almost as if to say, “Do you want me to kick your ass? Because I’ll do it. I’m Jeff Probst.”
“Terry, every time somebody else wins, are you going to say that you got hosed?” Aras asked. Wow, the yoga instructor was on a roll today.
“That’s only the first time I lost,” Terry replied. Well, it’s the first time he lost, if you don’t count all those other times he LOST. Look — he’s not undefeated with reward challenges. He can’t act like he is. I guess he just really, really wanted to see the Panama Canal.
Anyway, Aras continued his rant, saying, “Every time you don’t win something, you complain about it. Every time… what are you going to do? Say something bad about women? Do I have to worry about that?” I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by that, but I liked the general bitterness behind it; so I was happy.
As the winner of the reward, Aras of course got to choose someone to share it with. What he didn’t expect was that both people he didn’t pick would have to spend the next few days on Exile Island. No surprise here: Aras picked Cirie, a potentially dangerous move. After all, Danielle has proven herself to be pretty savvy in regards to promoting her longevity in the game, and if she sensed that she was the third wheel, she would have no problem shifting alliances — as she should. I just wouldn’t want her to shift towards Terry because I can’t stand him.
Well, Cirie and Aras went off on their yacht where they promptly got drunk on champagne. This led to them making fun of Terry (hilarious — I mean, AWFUL! That’s for the Terry lovers. I want everyone to feel welcome here). Aras then began babbling in his typically idiotic way, this time telling us, “What I try to practice is love and compassion, and I haven’t practiced love and compassion with Terry recently. It’s been ego. It’s been all my ego.” And faux-hawk. Lots and lots of faux-hawk. By the way, why does such a student of “love and compassion” ever go on Survivor? It just doesn’t make sense.
Meanwhile, on Exile Island, Terry vented to Danielle about how emotional Aras was becoming lately. The outburst after the reward challenge was totally uncalled for, he believed. “I was just trying to get a final ruling on how I basically messed up,” Terry explained. Yeah, he was just innocently asking for clarification… in an obnoxious, snotty, petulant way. I don’t know what Aras was feeding off of.
Anyway, Terry again showed Danielle his hidden immunity idol, but this time he showed more than just the tuft of hair she’d seen several weeks ago. This time she got to see the whole thing. Sometimes, I wonder if Terry shows off his car the same way he shows off that idol. I bet his neighbors secretly can’t stand him. Oh, there goes Terry showing off his car again. No, Terry, we don’t want to come over and look at your car. He’s totally the suburban competitor. Well, he and Danielle made a pact to go to the final two, and if he won immunity, he’d give her the hidden immunity tonight — which we learned was the last night to use it. I found this laughable. After all, Terry would never part with that thing, even if he had every reason to. But then again, it would be now or never. Maybe he actually would give it away…
We then cut back to Aras and Cirie who were presently enjoying the glory of the canal’s locks system. It was very cool, but seriously, why were we watching this. I could turn to the National Geographic channel if I wanted to learn about locks. And didn’t we see this last season on The Amazing Race anyway — complete with time lapse photography that shows the boats going up and down and whatnot?
Finally, we returned to camp where Aras promptly farted up a storm. I never saw him as the farting type. Apparently he practices love, compassion, and flatulence too. If only Terry were around. He was really missing out on some prime fart-reprimanding opportunities. A little later, whilst dearest Aras napped, Cirie decided to start a fire for the first time. She’d never done it before, and she decided it was time to challenge herself. It was sort of a touching moment, watching her struggle with it and finally succeed. I also couldn’t help thinking that this was setting us up for some tie-break scenario. When Steph and Bobbie Jon squared off last year, we watched a whole segment about how Steph just could not start a fire (but of course, during the challenge she did and it was awesome. That was pre-Guatemala when we still liked her).
We then headed off to the immunity challenge which was just a chock full o’ puzzles. If Danielle or Terry won, I’d be particularly upset. I didn’t want to see Cirie in danger. Anyway, the task at hand required the survivors to solve three puzzles. Each puzzle would give “coordinates” that the survivors would use to drape ropes over a circle in the sand (just like the one in the Belinda Carlisle song). Where the ropes intersected would be where a bag of puzzle pieces would be buried. Those pieces, when put together, would reveal more coordinates and so on and so forth. First person to completely the puzzles would win.
With my heart thumping (I REALLY didn’t want Terry to win. I mean, yes, I wanted him to win!), the challenge began, and right from the start, Aras actually had a lead. He found his bag super quickly, and within what seemed like seconds (probably minutes in real life), he put together his first puzzle and had his next set of coordinates. He began digging again, and while he had a comfortable lead, Terry was still threatening. Suddenly, Aras had his second bag and again completed the puzzle in no time. Do not mess up, Aras. PLEASE.
Speaking of messing up, Danielle was totally retarded. I don’t know what she had done, but she had dug a huge crater in the sand and still hadn’t found her bag. Maybe it’s time you reexamined your coordinates? “I don’t get it,” she said, baring her huge teeth in protest.
“You’re getting sloppy with the ropes. You’re not gonna find it!” Probst then yelled. He really does love rubbing salt in the wounds. That’s why he gets the big bucks.
Aras meanwhile had his third and final bag. All that was left was for him to solve the puzzle. He had a big lead, but we’ve seen puzzles take down even the most sizable of advantages. Hurry, Aras! Hurry! If he lost this, I would have flipped out.
Anyway, Terry started coming on strong, but in the end, Aras finally pulled out his A-Game and won. YES! The reign of terror was finally over! Albeit, perhaps too late, but it was over. And here’s a shocker: Terry didn’t complain to Probst either. Wow. Maybe he was ill.
Afterwards in camp, Terry pulled Aras aside and confronted him about those post reward challenge comments, particularly the ones about him disrespecting women. He wanted an apology, and being a servant to love and compassion, Aras gave one to him wholeheartedly. Aww. Meanwhile, the two women saw the guys talking off in the woods and began to wonder. What were they talking about? Were they aligning each other? If this misunderstanding turned into a game-changing event, that would be awesome.
But it didn’t. It was just a passing suspicion. Soon everyone realized that Tribal Council was going to come down to Cirie versus Danielle, and if that were the case, we’d be looking at a fire-building competition. In preparation, Terry began teaching Danielle the ways of fire-making, but if he were really smart, he’d just slip her the idol and trick everyone into voting for her. That would essentially eliminate the uncertainty of the fire battle and send Cirie packing. Later, Danielle even raised this idea to Terry, but we couldn’t tell if he were for it or not. Once again, probably not. He will never let go of that idol.
Cirie, meanwhile, was taking tips from Aras as to how to start a fire. His biggest piece of advice: “Hey, and have fun while you do it too!” Yes, I’m sure she’ll have a barrel of laughs. Only a million bucks on the line. No big whoop!
At Tribal Council, we saw our jury, which now featured Shane. I don’t know how he did it, but he went from a walking skeleton to fat overnight. Then again, maybe he was just puffing his stomach out as he is wont to do. Either way, he should have buttoned up his shirt. This was Tribal Council, not Club Med.
Anyway, Probst asked Terry if he felt vulnerable tonight, and with a typically smug look on his face, he said no, he did not feel vulnerable at all. Hmmm… that was too obvious. He probably wanted people to think he had the idol when in fact he had already slipped it to Danielle. But then again, he’ll never give it up. Hard to predict this one, I must admit.
Danielle then said that Terry will OBVIOUSLY use the idol on himself. Okay, they were trying too hard to establish that he had the idol. I didn’t buy it for a second. But then again, maybe they were trying to over bluff it so that Cirie and Aras would think that Danielle actually had it, and so they’d vote for Terry instead — thinking they were one step ahead of the game — but in fact, Terry would have it all along. Sorry, it’s all getting too convoluted. I can’t help trying to guess the outcome!
Cirie then talked about how much she’s grown, which drew warm looks from Courtney. However, when Danielle talked about her experience, Courtney commenced a marathon of eye-rolling which was nicely complimented by Shane’s general sneering and angriness. Then again, Shane could have been reacting to the voices in his head. The ones that use WOODEN BLACKBERRIES!
Everyone then voted, and then Jeff announced the results. First vote: Danielle. Second vote: Cirie. Third vote: Danielle (in bubble letters. So dumb, but of course, Courtney smiled in the jury). Fourth vote… Cirie. It was a tie! Now the big question was whether or not Danielle had the hidden immunity idol. Did she? Did she? Nope. Terry STILL wouldn’t let go of it. I guess it’s understandable. Why jeopardize himself? FYI — if the producers use the hidden idol twist again (and they definitely should), I don’t think it should be usable after final five. Fire tie-breakers are cool, but not as cool as watching people scheme and manipulate.
2006′s answer to Natural Born Killers?
Well, Probst announced that we would in fact be faced with a fire tie breaker, and in reaction, Shane puffed up his stomach to maximum distended-ness. The women took their seats before the fire contraptions, and then… TO BE CONTINUED! Ahhh! I had a feeling that would happen, but still, it always gets you.
So what do you think? Who’s gonna go home? Some people have said the previews for Sunday’s finale spoil the outcome; so I avoided them.
As you comment please remember, NO SPOILERS. And also be respectful to the West Coast viewers who will not know the winner until about 1:10 AM EST on Monday. Feel free to chat about spoilers and stuff like that in the forums.