Quitters Never Win…Right? (Episode 12-2)

To quit or not to quit? That was the question Shane pondered throughout the second episode of Survivor: Panama – Exile Island. Even as he walked to Tribal Council, he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to continue the game. Somebody, get this guy some Nicorette.

The night following the first Tribal Council of the season was rough for everyone, not just the Golden Girls, who had just voted out their first member. A massive storm hit Panama, and all of the teams endured a soggy, sleepless night. Shane was interviewed during the storm, and said that the whole island felt unlucky. Seconds later, Mark Burnett’s prayer was answered. As the camera rolled, Zeus lobbed a lightning bolt right next to where Shane was standing.

After the storm cleared, Shane elaborated on why he was in such a lousy mood. He missed his son, and he felt stupid for coming on the show when his family didn’t need the money. On top of that, he stays very busy in his ordinary life, and the monotony of camp life was driving him nuts. This is who you become when you don’t use your vacation time, people.

Before this week’s Reward Challenge, the original four tribes were dissolved. A man and woman were selected randomly as the first members of two new tribes. Danielle became the first member of the Casaya tribe, and Terry the first member of La Mina. Each of them selected another teammate of the opposite gender, and the new teammates followed suit in a schoolyard pick ’em.

Somehow, La Mina wound up with the Survivor equivalent of the varsity basketball team, while Casaya got the chess club. And Danielle had the first pick! How did it go so wrong? Her first pick was Shane. Here’s the order in which members were picked:

Danielle – Shane – Courtney – Aras – Cirie – Bobby – Melinda
Terry – Sally – Austin – Misty – Nick – Ruth Marie – Dan

Danielle chose Shane because he was “the cool guy with the Boston tattoo.” Presumably, Shane picked Courtney because she’s an outsider like him, Courtney picked Aras because she thinks he’s hot, and Aras picked Cirie because he’s a flake. Cirie gets credit for making the only smart choice of the lot, selecting Bobby because he was the strongest guy left.

Contrast this with Sally, who chose Austin because he was “fast,” and Nick’s choice, Ruth Marie, the strongest woman left. La Mina had a strategy to win. Casaya had no clue what they were doing.

Bruce wasn’t selected by anyone, and therefore had to spend three days on Exile Island. That meant that Bruce wouldn’t participate in the Immunity Challenge, but it also meant that he couldn’t be voted out. Instead, he would take the place of whichever castaway was eliminated next.

There was very little footage of Bruce in exile. He tried to make a fire but broke the flint, and he practiced karate. Apart from enduring a rainstorm alone, Bruce did remarkably well by himself. With his discipline from karate, and the perspective of a 58-year-old, Bruce was probably the person best suited for three days in isolation.

After Bruce parted ways with the other castaways, Casaya suffered the first of what should be many defeats. In a reward challenge, they failed to carry a half-dozen heavy wooden snakes through an obstacle course before La Mina. The winning tribe received fishing gear, including a Hawaiian sling (basically, a pronged fishing spear with a rubber strap), lines, hooks, and a raft.

But La Mina’s victory celebration was cut short back at camp. Onshore, Terry warned his teammates to keep hold of the sling’s strap when firing the spear. Sally was excited to try fishing, so she and Nick took the raft and sling out to some 30-foot-deep water. On her first practice shot, Sally flung the spear into the ocean, where it promptly sank. At that exact moment, somewhere in Indiana, Rupert Boneham wept, without knowing exactly why.

Thank goodness La Mina still has the rest of their prize. They’ll need that raft if they plan on losing the rest of their fishing hooks.

Over at Casaya’s camp, Shane quickly organized an alliance with Aras, Courtney, and Danielle. Cirie and Melinda had a hard time controlling their instinctive eye rolls every time one of their new teammates said “like” or “whoa.”

The Immunity Challenge wasn’t any easier for Casaya than the Reward Challenge. Five tribemates sat with a thatch zombie head inside a leaky boat. Those five bailed water, while the other two team members had to pull the boat ashore by diving underwater and carrying a big box that served as the boat’s anchor. Once ashore, the tribe needed to run and place their zombie head atop a zombie scarecrow’s body.

Casaya struggled to find two people who had the lung capacity and strength to complete the first part of the task. By the time Aras and Courtney proved themselves as Casaya’s strongest underwater duo, Terry and Austin had already pulled La Mina to a speedy victory.

Upon returning to camp, Shane realized that coming on Survivor was the stupidest thing he’d ever done, and asked his tribe to vote him out. But Aras convinced Shane he was just suffering from dehydration, prompting Shane to ask his tribe not to vote him out.

Rather than stopping the nonsense there, Aras told the entire tribe that either Melinda or Cirie was going home that night. Aras said he wanted to play honestly and not blindside anyone. That should work about as well as showing everyone at the poker table your cards before betting begins.

Shane criticized Aras for sounding “insincere.” He then said that whichever of Melinda and Cirie didn’t go home this week was going to be heading home next week. Off-camera, Courtney and Danielle cursed themselves for aligning with two morons.

At Tribal Council, Shane laid out his frustrations for Jeff Probst, including his desire to quit. Melinda and Cirie both expressed frustration at their team for even thinking of keeping someone who didn’t completely want to be there. But their protests went unheeded, and Melinda was voted out. Her replacement, Bruce, must be eager to whip these idiots into shape.

Next week, Misty and Sally use their feminine charms to keep Nick and Austin from aligning with Dan and Terry. And Shane gets mad at someone or something. We’ll have to wait and see if the object of his wrath is real, or if its just those darn sand fleas he yelled at this week.