The screen goes black. Spooky music starts. A graphic appears. "The Following Program Contains Scenes That Are Graphic In Nature. Viewer Discretion Is Advised." The fun and games are over, people. No more babysitting. No more penis pumps. No more bickering barbecues. The kids are still in Africa...and Africa is pissed.
The spooky warning is ruined by the shitty title sequence. The Shasta. Glam headshots. The Road Master lying that things are different. And this isn't even music. This is something that B & M's unloved and neglected kids made on their Casio that time their folks went on a weekend-long bender after Survivor's initial ratings came out. There are sonic gaps and missed beats and I find that it really fits in with the whole vibe of Road Rules: If you can do something cheaply and badly, why bother exerting yourself trying to make it good?
What the hell is going on? Dramatic, freeze-frame black-and-white image of a large African woman, shot from below, who is wearing a beaded thingy that covers her eyes -- sort of a cross between Nell Carter and Serena Williams...but spooky. Forbidding music. Slow fade-out. Short bus. Theo and Holly standing outside. Something's different about the film quality. Since "quality" is such a relative term in the B/M world, I'm not sure whether this episode suddenly is shot on film where we're used to video, or vice-versa, but the image quality is flatter and less contrast-y and somehow nicer to look at. Okay, not "nice" mind you, but again, in the evil B/M world, everything's relative. (Same as in Theo's love life...you know, "relative.") Holly says that they have to find "VuVu. Dr. Herb's Mooti shop." More black-and-white freeze-frames. Shot of a goat with its throat slit. Nasty. James with white stuff all over his face. Nasty. (No, not that white stuff. We're talkin' paint here, sickos.) James is very serious. Perhaps Theo dumped him. The sad exes, Theo and James, talk to a couple of local kids and ask them if they know where to find the Mooti-shop thing. Theo yodels, "He might be, like, some kind of witch doctor or something like that." Theo's face is all, "I know tobacco shops and bait shops, but I don't know no Mooti shop. Where's the Piggly-Wiggly, y'all? I need to pick me up a few Slim Jim's." This time a dramatic shot of a slaughtered cow. Kathryn, with same white stuff on her face -- and not from Laterrian -- staring in freeze-frame. James and Theo discovering from one of the locals where the shop is located. Shot of Holly. Kids walking. Special Edition Graphic of Stupid reads, "Mooti -- a potion that helps to communicate with the dead." Jim Beam does that if you drink enough. One night freshman year in college I spent two hours in Central Park with a bottle of Beam, talking to Jim Morrison. Split-screen of a boiling pot. Shot of local sitting in the streets and -- Whoa! Jesus. The B/M editors have actually gone clinically insane: They bring floaty Holly from a tiny dot to normal, full-screen size in one second, so she basically zooms onto your screen in a very disconcerting manner. Most everything Holly does is disconcerting, but having her disembodied head materialize out of thin air is pretty freaky. The fact that she still has the Red Cheek Star does nothing to calm me down after her shocking assault on my television screen. Holly babbles, "We're supposed to go to an herbal Mooti shop. Which Kathryn has been telling us all these horror stories about this stuff they make from ground-up people."