Bob Dog Sent to the Pound (Episode 12-5)

Bobby’s continued use (and misuse) of the outhouse put him in the doghouse with his tribemates. As a result, he wound up the fifth person eliminated from Survivor: Panama – Exile Island.

The mood at Casaya was tense long before they lost the Immunity Challenge that sent them to Tribal Council. Bruce spent the morning of Day 10 building a rock garden, as Aras, Shane, and Courtney futilely tried to make a fire. Aras asked Bruce for help with the fire, but when Bruce told him to collect more firewood, Aras snapped.

Even though there had already been three people working on the fire, Aras yelled at Bruce for not being the fourth. Bruce explained that, with his rock garden, he was trying to make something for everyone in the tribe to enjoy. But Aras didn’t understand Bruce’s defense and accused him of being selfish. Aras’s suggested that they communicate better in the future. Bruce agreed.

At the Reward Challenge later that day, the starving Survivors of both tribes fought to win some much needed food. Each tribe had a boat anchored just offshore, filled with a bag of beans, a bag of rice, and six large (about arm-length) fish. One tribe member ran to the boat to fetch an item, and tossed it to another tribe member. Each item was tossed from person to person until the final tribe member pitched it into the proper receptacle.

The tribe member at the end of the line was crucial, as the team’s runner couldn’t fetch the next item from the boat until the previous one was in its bin. And the fish couldn’t be thrown into their bin until the head and tail fin were hacked off with a large knife. Bruce put Casaya behind early, as he took over a dozen swings to chop off the first fish’s head, turning the poor thing into chum.

Teammates were allowed to switch places, and Bobby took over as Casaya’s butcher. He found a hidden talent, chopping off body parts with a single stroke. Casaya made up ground on La Mina when Sally needed multiple attempts to catch a fish thrown by Dan. Bobby and Terry each had their final fish on the block at the same time, but Bobby’s hacking efficiency won the challenge for Casaya.

As their reward, Casaya won all of the food they had successfully tossed into their bins, along with spices, cooking oil, and a bottle of wine. La Mina didn’t leave empty-handed; they were allowed to take either their bag of beans or their bag of rice back to camp. They chose the beans.

Casaya sent Terry back to Exile Island for another couple of days. Having already found the hidden Immunity Idol, Terry took the opportunity to rest up before the next challenge. He built a fire and munched on snails and coconut.

Like last week, Terry had a much easier time on Exile Island than his tribemates did at camp. Austin and Nick overindulged in the newly won beans and spent the night in serious gastro-intestinal distress. While Nick didn’t think it was polite to discuss details, his tribemates threw about the phrase “coming out of both ends.”

Things weren’t much better for Casaya, after they returned home with their winnings. Torrential rains had flooded the whole camp, washing away the fire pit and soaking the shelter. Rather than let the fish go to waste, they ate it raw. For Cirie, it was a rude introduction to sashimi.

That night, Bobby and Bruce found their tribemates hogging the dry space in the shelter and headed into the tribe’s outhouse to avoid the rain. Bobby brought the bottle of wine, and he and Bruce polished it off.

When the Courtney noticed the missing bottle the next morning, she confronted Bobby. He confessed that he drank it, but said he wasn’t sorry that he deprived Courtney of her share of the wine.

The tribemates also felt that, out of tribe loyalty, Bobby and Bruce should have spent the night in the shelter with the rest of the tribe — instead of in the same outhouse Bobby had christened with a “deuce” last episode. Bobby apologized to everyone except Courtney, who he called “probably one of the two or three most annoying people on Earth.”

When the two tribes arrived at the Immunity Challenge, Terry was in much better shape than the rest of La Mina. Only half of the challenge was physical, which allowed Austin to rest his aching GI tract. Casaya had to sit two people, and because Danielle and Courtney had sat out of the Reward Challenge, Cirie and Bruce did not participate.

The first half of the challenge required three tribe members to paddle a boat to the locations of four submerged coffins. Competitors dove underwater and untied ropes that held the coffins shut. In each coffin was a three-dimensional puzzle piece, made of connected skulls. Once they were all collected, the pieces were rowed back to shore, where the two remaining tribe members assembled them into a pyramid-shaped puzzle.

La Mina’s Terry, Dan, and Nick quickly gained a lead on Casaya’s Courtney, Danielle, and Aras, who struggled to open their coffins. This gave Sally and Austin time to try plenty of puzzle combinations before Casaya got their pieces to shore. Bobby and Shane were just starting to figure out the puzzle when Sally and Austin finished, and La Mina was spared a trip to Tribal Council.

Immediately upon returning to camp, Aras, Courtney, Shane, and Cirie discussed who should be voted out. While Shane favored eliminating Bobby, Aras persuaded everyone to vote for Bruce. Cirie didn’t care who went home, as long as it wasn’t her.

Shane was worried that Bobby would join with Nick and Austin at the merge. So he coerced Bobby into swearing (on Shane’s son, no less, not that Bobby knows or cares about Shane’s son) that he wouldn’t. In exchange, Shane promised Bobby at least sixth place.

With the decision to eliminate Bruce settled, Courtney commandeered his rock garden for yoga practice. Even though he was totally disgusted that she couldn’t find another spot on the entire beach, Bruce held his tongue.

Danielle, who wasn’t around for the Aras’s initial discussion about that night’s vote, talked with Cirie and Courtney. She convinced them to switch their vote back to Bobby. They all felt that Bobby wasn’t trustworthy, and Courtney thought it would be fun to knock Aras down a peg by changing their votes.

When the women approached Shane about their decision, he scolded Courtney for not telling him before he swore not to eliminate Bobby. He reminded them that he was the one who’d wanted to boot Bobby in the first place. Cirie played peacemaker, telling Shane that they should’ve listened to him then.

It’s clear nobody on Casaya has any idea how well Cirie is playing this game. By remaining involved socially with everyone — and becoming enemies with no one — she’s successfully avoiding being mentioned as a voting target. She’s managed this despite having no alliances, and since almost getting booted out in each of the first two episodes.

At Tribal Council, Jeff asked how the rain had affected Casaya’s camp, prompting Bobby to tell of his night in the outhouse with Bruce. Aras said that Bruce deserved just as much of the blame for drinking the wine as Bobby did. When Bruce asked Aras why no one had said anything earlier to him about it, Aras said, “The onus wasn’t on us to come to you, it was on you to apologize for it!” Aras has no future in criminal justice.

Danielle jumped into the fray, saying that Bruce doesn’t get the respect that he deserves as an older member of the tribe. But Bruce assured Aras that he’d take his comments to heart, and that they’d be hearing a lot more from him whenever there was a problem.

The voting results showed just how fractured the Casaya tribe is. The alliance of women voted for Bobby as they’d agreed, but Shane cast a meaningless vote for Aras. Bobby and Aras both voted for Bruce, who himself cast a vote for Courtney, as payback for defacing his rock garden.

If the three women stick together, they should be able to control who’s eliminated from their tribe until the merge, which should only be an episode or two away, anyhow.

Next week, the Casaya women have Shane in their crosshairs, and a couple of twists (the previews offered no specifics) shake things up for the contestants.