Season 12: Episode 10 - MEDICAL EMERGENCY: Bruce Sails Away
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

After struggling with severe constipation for several days, Bruce's pain becomes unbearable. Unable to rule out the possibility of appendicitis, the SURVIVOR Medical Team rushes Bruce to a Panama City hospital, where the severe blockage is treated. Not having gone to the bathroom in more than a week, Bruce's pain is at an all-time high. As he sails out toward Panama City, Bruce becomes SURVIVOR PANAMA: EXILE ISLAND's latest casualty.

Returning from the decisive Tribal Council that saw Sally walk the plank, Terry, the lone ex-La Mina member left in camp, feels the loss of his compatriot. While the alliance of ex-Casaya members congratulate themselves for their unity, Terry is mindful of what he will need to do to stay in the game. With the hidden Immunity Idol as his ace in the hole, Terry knows the odds are stacked against him, especially with Casaya determined to get him out of the game. But as Courtney and Danielle bicker over who--literally--spilled the beans, Terry sees the advantage of being in an "alliance" of one: "What is going to be interesting now is the longer I hang out, the longer I get to see how they end up turning on one another. The one good thing I had going for me in Tribal Councils recently is I didn't have to vote against my tribemates. There wasn't any of that, where these guys are going to have to turn on each other."

While Terry is struggling with being the lone wolf in camp, Bruce is struggling with a different kind of problem. Having not gone to the bathroom in several days, Bruce openly complains to his tribemates about his constipation, which is so severe that he's having difficulty even standing up. "I haven't gone to the bathroom since just before the Panamanian Village Feast," Bruce laments. "I'm just blocked up, and it's very, very, very painful."

Tree Mail arrives in the form of several large boxes, each with a different tribe member's name on it. Before the tribemates open their boxes, Aras reads from the Tree Mail scroll. The scroll alludes to a Challenge that will test how well the tribe "observes [their] surroundings." In each of the boxes are "voodoo dolls" and art supplies for each of the castaways to style the dolls in their likeness. In preparation for the Challenge, the tribe busies themselves with dolling up their voodoo doppelgangers.

Voodoo dolls in tow, the tribe convenes for the Reward Challenge with host Jeff Probst, who explains that the object is to see how well the Survivors know the people they've been living with for the past 25 days. Each of the castaways will fill out a questionnaire in private, then the results will be tallied and the Challenge will begin. The questions will be posed to the group. At this time, they will guess whose name came up most often. Each time someone gets a correct answer, they'll get to chop one of three ropes assigned to each tribe member. After three chops, the rope will release a torch that will in turn send their voodoo dolls up in flames.

To the first question, "Who does the least for the tribe?" Cirie, Aras, Terry and Shane answer correctly with "Danielle." In spite of his correct answer, Terry is the first knocked out of the game when Cirie, Aras and Shane cut his ropes one by one. To the question, "Who mistakenly believes they are running this game?" the correct answer is "Shane." Bruce, down to one rope at this point, is knocked out of the game as Aras wields his cleaver. Danielle is next to go. As the game continues, the questions cause unrest, and the tribe begins to bicker. When the question "Who is the most annoying person out here?" is asked, "Courtney" is the correct answer, and when Aras strikes her last rope, Courtney is also next out of the game. After Shane is eliminated, it is down to Aras and Cirie. Faced with "Who would never survive on their own?" Cirie answers correctly with her own name, and with a flick of the wrist her cleaver slices through Aras' last rope, sending his voodoo doll up in flames and winning her the Reward.

With Cirie's victory comes the power of choice. After sending Terry to Exile Island, Cirie picks Aras and Danielle--to the disgust of their tribe mates--to accompany her on the Spa Reward.

HIGH FLYING Flying high above the jungle canopy, Aras, Cirie and Danielle start their Reward with a helicopter ride to the spa. Never having been in a helicopter before, Cirie is awestruck by the experience: she is on cloud nine. Arriving at the spa, the famished trio is greeted with a platter of appetizers. Between mouthfuls of food, the conversation turns to the searing effect the Reward Challenge had on Courtney. Cirie intones, "Damn, they put Courtney as most annoying." She continues, "I mean, I would be kind of pissed if my tribe members thought I was most annoying. I would've felt the same way."

Back at camp, the mood is dire as Courtney and Shane compare notes from the Reward Challenge. Shane, feeling that he was in a tight bond with Cirie and Aras, is shocked that Cirie chose Danielle over him and wonders whether he should be wary of Cirie. Courtney, having been the correct answer to many of the more negative questions, including "most annoying," is devastated by this revelation of her tribe's shared opinion. Shane offers some insight: "Courtney destroyed herself today. I mean, she takes a lot of stuff personally anyway, and just to hear some of the answers to what the tribe thinks about her, I think, really got her at an all-time low."

While Courtney struggles with her emotions, Bruce's struggle with physical pain intensifies. After another unsuccessful attempt at going to the bathroom, Bruce has taken a turn for the worse. In spite of the pain, he's willing to chalk it up as just "part of the game."

At the spa reward, Danielle, Aras, and Cirie are treated to total relaxation mud massages. All are in bliss except for Danielle, whose masseur's strong hands are a bit rough for her liking. "The man that gave me a massage was pretty rough," she laments. "I've never had a professional massage done, but I usually like to be massaged a little easier."

After their massages, Aras, Cirie and Danielle devour a huge dinner before settling in to discuss tribe dynamics. Focusing on Courtney and Shane, the three are convinced that Courtney has a crush on Shane. Mindful of how things played out in the Challenge, Cirie suspects that she won't be very popular when she returns to camp.

Meanwhile, back at camp, Bruce's pain is at an all-time high. Unable to stand, he writhes on the ground as Courtney tries to comfort him. But there is no comforting Bruce, and the Survivor Medical Team must be called in to assess him. When the doctor arrives on the scene his diagnosis is dire. He can't rule out appendicitis, so Bruce must be taken to the hospital. Shane, worried that he will have to sleep in wet pants, strips naked before lending a hand carrying the stretcher down to a waiting boat. As the boat pulls away, the mood on the island is somber.

With Bruce away from camp, tension runs high, as Courtney and Shane are the only tribe members left on the island. Grating on each other's nerves, Shane blows up after Courtney takes personally an off-hand threat he makes as a joke. Not recognizing the mania of his own behavior, Shane is convinced that Courtney is the crazy one in the tribe: "She's a lunatic, man. Especially after yesterday and finding out the entire tribe thinks she's an idiot. She is a dream to take to the Final Two. Anyone can win against her. Anyone. It's crazy. She's a dream!"

Returning to camp from their reward, Cirie, Aras and Danielle are given the cold shoulder by Courtney, who briefly explains that Bruce has been rushed from the island. When Shane arrives on the scene, with a dead boa constrictor in tow, Aras hesitantly approaches him for conversation. Shane reveals to Aras that his anger is directed toward Cirie for not bringing him on the Reward. After Aras is unsuccessful in putting Shane's mind at ease, it's Cirie's turn to try to mollify him. Cirie and Shane reconcile when they make a bond on their children to go to the Final Four. Shane, whose behavior has all been calculated, admits, "The whole discussion was a big rant and was absolutely calculated by me in order to get ahead of Cirie and Aras mentally. And it played exactly how I wanted it to."

On the morning of Day 27, Courtney, Cirie and Danielle are up early cleaning Bruce's rock garden when they spot a boat coming toward their beach. The boat brings host Jeff Probst along with Terry, fresh from Exile Island. After the tribe takes a seat around the fire, Jeff explains that Bruce's condition is dire and that he was evacuated in the nick of time. Being treated for a severe blockage, Bruce is recovering in a Panama City hospital, and he will not return to the game.