Terry opens the episode by lecturing Cirie like she's three years old, which she does not appreciate. The reward challenge is the first in quite some time that isn't primarily physical, and Terry doesn't jump into a lead, so much. This freaks him out to the point where he hauls off and shoves Aras, making him lucky not to be DQ'd, really, and then late in the game, he starts complaining about the rules. And that's when Aras, overwound and sick of losing, yells out, "Somebody call the whambulance! Terry's crying on the co-urse!" Which is unbelievably juvenile, but also hilarious, especially because Terry gets even madder, and after losing the challenge, has to stop and explain why he could have won. It is not pretty. Cirie and Aras go off on the reward together, and Chiclets and Terry are sent to Exile Island, where they hatch a plot that requires Terry to win immunity. Of course, it's a puzzle challenge, and Terry loses for the second time in a row when confronted with something that requires something other than strength and agility. Aras winds up with the necklace, and he and Cirie vote for Chiclets, while Chiclets and Terry vote for Cirie. This sends Cirie and Chiclets to a fire-building tiebreaker, whichâ¦ is not resolved as of the close of the episode. Damn.
Previously on Crazy Is As Crazy Does: All the remaining contestants managed to scrape up someone to come on the show who claimed to love them. Terry won the challenge, and he allocated time to various people, leaving Aras and Chiclets with the short straws. Back at camp, he explained to Aras that everything would be different when Aras was married. After Terry won immunity again, Shane wanted to oust Chiclets, but Chiclets, Cirie, and Aras decided that Shane's time was up, so they sent him home. We are at the final four. Who, if anyone, will get the boot before the finale?
It is Night 33 at Gitanos, and the final four are returning from tribal council, having gotten rid of Shane. Someone else has probably inherited the wood Blackberry, so some lucky family member back home will soon be receiving an imaginary text message which, ironically, will express relief about the ousting of Shane. As Cirie explains, the evening's interpersonal drama starts right away when she lays down her torch in the dark next to a tree. Not the best place in the world to put your torch, but it's hard to find the best place in the world, especially in the dark. (I've eliminated Pittsburgh, North Dakota, and most post offices.) Terry asks, "Who dropped their thing right in the middle of the way?" Wow. Articulate! Not in the mood for a lecture, Cirie says, "I did. Right there. I couldn't see." Terry starts in like an aggressive bully, saying, "Yeah? Yeah?" And then, unbelievably, he says, "Is this where it goes?" Yes, he's using the rhetorical device most often aimed at three-year-olds and essentially never appropriate for use with adults. "I didn't know it had a specific place," Cirie asks, exercising caution and giving him more of the benefit of the doubt than he probably has coming. Terry: "You'd be slapping your kids around if they dropped their stuff..." Cirie cuts him off: "I don't slap my kids, Terry." Seriously, that is not a smart thing to say to anyone. "Verbally, then," he insists. "Well," she interviews warily as she begins to tell the story, "here comes Captain America." She explains that she didn't understand what was so horrible about choosing the wrong spot for her torch along their "fifty miles of beach."
Back around the fire, Terry won't drop it: "You do know I was right behind you. That's fine." Meaning, as the passive-aggressive always do, that it's not fine, but that he just wants you to know that he's awesome for pretending to forgive you. Cirie points out that it was pitch black, so she didn't know where Terry was: "So I don't know where you want my torch to be." Terry is not pacified. "Well, God, this just looks like one of my kids," he gripes, aggressively. Cirie points out that she is not, in fact, a child. "You're not, you're not," he agrees. "And that's why I expected a little bit more." I wonder when Cirie became responsible for living up to Terry's expectations. I missed the part where he became her parent, teacher, mentor, boss, priest, or life coach. "Make an attempt to throw it out of the way," he says. Cirie is not impressed. "Make an attempt to talk to people like you want to be talked to," she comes back. And: man, no kidding. "I'll tell you what," he says. "The least you could have said was, 'Hey, I'm sorry I dropped it right in front of you.'" She reminds him that she didn't know he was there. "Regardless," he says, "it was where I happened to be walking." Get that? He's saying that even if she legitimately couldn't have known he'd walk there, it was where he happened to be walking, and thus, she should have apologized.
Cirie is full-on pissed off now: "I'm sorry, King Terry [this gets exaggerated finger quotes], that this torch was where you were walking." And then he does the "I Am Arguing With A Woman, Therefore, It's All About Hysteria" thing, and he says, "All right, all right, Cirie, don't get so upset." Don't get so upset? You just browbeat her into apologizing to you, dude. That has a way of making people upset. Not that he needed to make her upset. I mean, his entire attack there was a catalog of condescending bullshit, but mostly, what strikes me is how preposterously unnecessary it was, no matter who's right or wrong about the torch. Even if she wasn't as careful as she should have been, what would have been wrong with just saying, "Hey, I know it wasn't intentional, but I almost stepped on your torch, so if you could kind of throw it out of the way so nobody trips over it, that would be great"? It could have been over in ten seconds. That's how you cope with living with other people. What would have been wrong with that; it's better than that snotty remark, "Is that where it goes?" followed by comparing her to a child? Why is it necessary to make things ugly when they're not? This is why I tend to agree with the EEFPs, who pointed out that in all likelihood, what's at issue here is that Terry was frustrated because of his total inability to control or predict anything that happens with the voting, so he took that frustration out on Cirie. The torch just didn't justify that level of reaction, you know?