Amazing Race
Phil Is A Choo-Choo Charlie

Episode Report Card
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Over And Over, They'll Be A Fool For You

Old news: Naked Gus scrubs with snow. Lori's implants are frozen. Everyone climbs the ice wall, except for the fools who search for buoys. Hayden and Aaron grab the first-place finish for the first leg, while Avi and Joe doubt Gus and Hera and get the boot.

Joe tells us that "The Amazing Race is an experience that, at least on some level, everybody needs to have in life." He thinks it gives you perspective, even, apparently, if you're only there for like a day and a half. Please. I've been to longer graduation parties.

Old news: Norway! Meredith and Maria stall out endlessly in the parking lot.

Meredith and Maria, it turns out, get help from Kris and Jon. Are you surprised? Yeah, I didn't think so. Of course, all Kris really does is hop in Meredith and Maria's SUV and move it out of the way so that everyone else can go, but it's clear that relieving the tension gets Maria out of her rapidly developing meltdown in time for her to pull it together and get moving, so gratitude is indeed appropriate, and it is present. In their car, Meredith and Maria declare Kris and Jon "very nice people." Heh. Well, yes. That quality was probably particularly evident given the rest of the company. And everybody looks like an angel when you're having car trouble.

Old news: Adam rides the zip line and cries like a girl. It's time to go to the Viking Village.

In the Viking Village, Jonathan's lecture to Victoria about how proud he is of himself actually goes farther than we saw in the original episode. I realize this is hard to believe. He also seems to be having a little trouble getting used to interviewing, given that he looks like a complete freak as he stares directly into the lens, like he's at spring break in Fort Lauderdale and this is his only shot at the MTV camera. He babbles that what really matters in the game is slowing down and trying to, as he says, "be the game." And that reminds me of Troy, and now I'm all sad. And then he's full of some more crapola about challenging down to the core and yap yap yap make a million dollars without spending a penny of your own and I did it all through real estate and you can too and Amway can help you and the government will give you $25,000 in cash just for asking and you too can become rich from coin collecting. Shut up, Inspiration T. Cornpone. What's wonderful about this sequence, if you're paying attention, is how the editors of the show are getting so good at letting the guy be hoist on his own petard, because without comment or particularly intrusive music or anything, they just keep showing footage of him talking and talking and talking, and every time they cut to more of him talking, the point becomes clearer. In fact, I believe they couldn't have made the point any more clearly if they had put up graphic of a hammer, then a screwdriver, then a wrench, then a pair of pliers, then a flashing red arrow pointing at Jonathan's face. In the best moment of all, Jonathan lifts his arms while saying to Victoria with great earnestness, "Don't doubt yourself." She nods. "Can you wash your shirt?" she asks. "You really stink." It's so sad that she probably means that literally, and that he will probably take it as such. Of course, in truth, the kind of stink he stinks will never come off in the shower. His or mine.

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Amazing Race




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