Exile Files is a weekly look at the political intrigue and alliance related trends occurring on the Panamanian beaches and on Exile Island. Who is wheeling? Who is dealing? And of course, who is reeling?
Is it me or does this season seem harder to predict and analyze? Or maybe it’s because I have to look a little closer this time around. My previous strategy sessions consisted of me talking with my sister’s via the phone. Me, all excited to ponder the future of Rupert or the shafting of Pascal. They, too concerned about overcooking the Easy-Mac or tripping over the kids toys. So now I have an outlet to share my feelings and boy-o-boy am I crashing and burning. Nevertheless, I must trudge on…
Somebody make a call to FEMA because this tribe is officially a disaster. Err…on second thought, that may not be such a good idea after all. What was once the poster-child for having their crap in one sack, La Mina has instead unraveled like the loose string from a thong bought at Sears.
Thanks in large part to the incredible editing and my desire to remain spoiler free, I was tricked into thinking that everyone on this tribe was contributing in uniform manner. Whoa Nelly. Instead we have a one man tribe with timid followers. Heaven’s Gate, anyone? Sure we got a glimpse of Dan growing some gonads but it is going to take a bit more than stomping your foot in the sand to gain credibility. More on Dan in a bit.
What surprised me the most was how helpless this tribe became when Terry left. You’ve been doing this gig for over a week now and you still don’t know what needs to be done?!
La Mina- subsection one- He Who Holds The Idol Makes A Lousy Liar
My wishes of seeing more footage on Exile Island were granted. In fact, there is no longer a need for any more footage unless something outrageous happens like Cirie shooting a white polar bear or Aras finding a downed plane with a bunch of Virgin Mary statues. Now that would make great television.
It only seems fitting that Terry would find the individual immunity idol. I have two main concerns, however. 1.) Why was he shown finding the idol? 2.) What in the world was he thinking when he said he only looked for the idol for a couple of hours?
To ponder the second question first, I would speculate that he wanted to downplay how much he looked for it. This might have brought on more questions such as where did he specifically look for it, do the clues say it is above ground or below, etc. Or my own opinion is it only took him a couple of hours to find it. Simple as that. Did you see how marked up that clue map was? They might as well erect a large blinking neon sign that read “Look here” with a gigantic arrow pointing down.
As to why we were shown Terry finding it, I believe that Terry won’t make it to the Tribal Council he would use it at before it becomes discovered. A revelation will made at a previous TC and thus the ‘boo-yah heard around the world’ is no longer in the cards.
The cynic in me also thinks that some snooping will be done. With these tribe members living in such close quarters, you can’t help but think while one group is off fishing and another gathering wood, one lone member would accidentally fall into another’s personal belongings. We could have another Beef Jerkygate in the making. Lastly, what happens if it is stolen? Is it finders keepers, losers weepers? Or does Terry retain sole possession?
La Mina- subsection two- Has the Stucco Cracked?
Ok, the alliance of the four men isn’t close to crumbling…yet. But this episode did bring about several concerns.
It seems Dan is the odd man out. He did seek out Ruth Marie and only got verbal yays by the other three. Ruth Marie was not approached by all four. Austin was right and that alone gave the other three a way out. I have no doubt that Dan is steadfast in his alliance with Terry and I commend him for casting his vote for Sally at TC.
This episode showed Austin as being a bigger piece to the alliance than previously thought. Austin was lost without daddy being around for those few days. When daddy came home, Austin ran to him with open arms and a whining reminiscent of Veruca Salt. “But daddy, I want a golden goose.” A few more conversations with Terry and Austin might just get that Mustang for his sixteenth birthday.
I’m not so sold on Sally being stronger than Ruth Marie. It was Ruth who broke free and almost made to the mat last episode. Where was Sally? Nursing a hang nail. It was Ruth Marie who stepped up in the first Reward Challenge and ran for the amulet. Sally left Danielle to the dogs and smirked when Misty stepped up to go to Exile Island. See the pattern? Sally will do what it takes to get by but nothing more. Hey, if it works you can’t fault her. Won’t matter much in the long run. If La Mina goes to TC next time, she’s outta here, anyways.
Lastly there is Nick who is playing a strong game in my opinion. He hasn’t screwed up and went along with the ousting of Ruth Marie. With Austin, Terry and Dan tattooing bull’s-eyes on their backs, Nick is prime to coast on through to the final merge.
This weeks power rankings:
I’m beginning to enjoy this tribe. The alliance of Larry, Curly, Moe and Shemp have more plotlines than the old Luke and Laura days of General Hospital.
I’m betting Shane is kicking more than his three pack a day smoke habit. He’s kicking his own arse for aligning so soon. Had he waited two days, he should’ve swapped out Danielle and Courtney for Cirie and Bruce. My guess is he went with boobs and flat tummies over substance and intelligence. Of course, that’s not to say that some other alliance not including Shane could’ve formed. It doesn’t matter anymore. It makes for good viewing.
Casaya- subsection one- Cirie Moves Up, Courtney Slides Down
Six days ago, Cirie was as good as gone. Today, she may just be as good as gold. Even she is enjoying the infighting as she continues to work hard and giggle at all the bickering. How does work in Cirie’s Favor? One word: Courtney.
Courtney has just about pissed everyone off with the exception of Bobby who can’t be woken from his mid-day naps. I really don’t see the alliance of four making it much longer. I could be wrong, and in most cases I usually am, but I think Shane and company will cut their losses now in order to bring on another member. That member? Cirie. It’s important to get to Cirie now before Bruce and Bobby get her firmly locked into another alliance. Yes, I realize that it still makes four against three but thinking ahead it wouldn’t be all that farfetched to see Courtney abandoning her alliance since she is unwanted to begin with.
It has to be about numbers going in to the final merge. Casaya may not know what the alliance make-up is of La Mina. La Mina has four, Casaya currently has four. If they drop Courtney, then Cirie is the obvious choice to pick up. Cirie has all but screamed “Pick me, pick me” from the sidelines. She even showed some faux alliance when put on the spot about Danielle not doing squat.
Casaya- subsection two- Bruce and the Rest of the Caboose
With Cirie’s real estate improving, Danielle, Bobby and Bruce continue to keep the cellar warm and cozy. Bruce is a strong player and I’m beginning to warm up to him as this game unfolds.
The problem with Bruce is he went to Exile Island before he had a chance to form an alliance. This makes him an unofficial leader of himself, Cirie and Bobby. Ok, maybe they are not as aligned as the quartet but when you know you’re down three to four, the remainders will group together.
Danielle has become food for fodder. The magical trick to this game is to work your butt off, make smart decisions and not rock the boat early on. She has struck out on all three. As for Bobby, well, he’s as good as gone. Depending on how this tribe does at immunity challenge, Bobby may see his torch snuffed if Courtney doesn’t go first.
Casaya- subsection three- A Hypothetical Thought: Reshuffle the Alliances?
It’s pretty apparent that the alliance of Shane, Courtney, Aras and Danielle has pretty much hit rock bottom. There are a couple of possible shifts in alliances that I would like to see happen, if only for pure entertainment.
1.) Cirie, Bobby, Danielle and Courtney. Both Danielle and Courtney are only a member of their current alliance by virtue of having a beating heart and breathing. Bringing Bobby in should be a no-brainer and planting the notion that Cirie is gone without aligning would secure her as well.
2.) Bruce, Cirie, Bobby and Danielle. Bruce gets the flock of sheep that he craves and Cirie and Danielle are secure. Bobby gets the call only because Courtney is so damn irritating.
3.) The best for last. Shane, Aras, Bruce and Cirie. This is what the initial alliance should have been. Yeah, Shane thinks Bruce is annoying but Bruce is proving his worth. This group would be strong going into the merge, especially if Austin is corrupting the alliance of La Mina.
This weeks power rankings:
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