*Spoiler* In retrospect, this is a vastly important episode, as it sets La Mina up like bowling pins to be knocked down by a surprisingly tight Casaya tribe. Had La Mina won, this game would've been a lot of different at the merge with Terry's Idol breaking the 5-5 vote and taking the numbers 5-4. Another great example of the importance of Immunity.
What deducts marks from this episode is the fact that you knew before Tribal Council who would be going home. I hate when that happens. It doesn't happen often; usually the producers give us something to make us second guess ourselves. Not this time. It was clear that Astronaut Dan was leaving.
However, that wasn't clear until after the combined Reward/Immunity Challenge, where we learned that, TWIST, the winner of the challenge would send one person to Exile Island, where he/she would be IMMUNE from the vote. Casaya played this perfectly. They knew Sally would likely be the next gone, so they sent her to Exile, forcing the men to turn on themselves. I found that very interesting and worthy of high marks, but the way it played out was rather boring.
What made this episode interesting was the exploration of Terry's character. I think Terry is very selfish, and maybe a little bit dumb. He gets rid of his number one ally in Dan. I sympathize with Dan and also feel that Terry should have forced a tie, forcing a challenge that would have let the "best man" win. Instead, the tribe scapegoatted Dan for their loss and didn't give him the chance to redeem himself in an invididual challenge (assuming that that's what the tiebreaker would be). Bad on Terry. He lost my favor with that move. At least Dan knew he was going and there was no sneaky stuff. If I were Dan, I'd have fought a lot harder to stay, ultimately 'forcing' Terry to make it a tie so I could have a chance to fight it out, man against man. Oh well, Dan's loss.
Over at Casaya, Shane's had enough of his alliance. He wants out. The fascinating thing about all this is that he only wants out with Courtney and Danielle. Apparently he has nothing against Aras. It's fascinating because Aras was the one who wanted Bruce out (instead of Bobby), while the women approached Shane to get out Bobby like he originally wanted! Yet he goes off on them being overly emotional or something. Love that guy. He sure makes this season watchable. .... .... ....
Ah, Cirie. I love how she's lasted so long. She's the last remaining player from the Older Women's tribe. And she's at it again. Courtney didn't sleep in the tent and thus didn't hear Shane's late night rantings against Danielle. But of course Cirie approaches Courtney to let her know Shane wants out of the alliance. Well done, Cirie. You bidded your time perfectly, and are now in a pretty damn good position. However! Casaya wins the combined Reward/Immunity Challenge and actually seems to bond again during the reward. Shane and Danielle make up. And Cirie ain't happy about it! LOL. She's great. Another great cast member this season that really hasn't had that many standouts.
Oh, and Shane finally gets a cigarette! How epic was that scene!