Well, this is confusing. Two things antithetical to everything this show should rightly be about -- volume-based eating challenges and abandoning tasks -- collide when the teams go to Argentina and are confronted with a Roadblock that involves eating four pounds of meat. So it's not an "eat unfamiliar food; mind over matter" challenge, it's just an "eat until you throw up, and then after you throw up into this bucket, eat some more" challenge. Apparently the sight of Freddy eating his own puke last season made somebody think that nothing goes as well with what should be a classy show like people being forced to eat until they're sick. It also turns out that the show has informed the teams of the way the four-hour penalty works. Rob makes a run at the meat-eating, but ultimately concludes that in all likelihood, he's not going to finish, and given his early arrival at the Roadblock, he gambles that he has a better shot at staying in the race by taking the penalty than by taking the time required to finish the food. Booo, quitting! On the other hand, he immediately goes into desperately-trying-to-stay-in-the-game mode, which takes some of the sting out of the quitting, and he convinces two other teams to abandon the task as well, meaning that he's got company in whatever bad position he winds up as a result of taking the penalty. Moreover, all the teams have a nice bit of insurance based on the fact that Debbie and Bianca open the episode by driving two hours in the entirely wrong direction, having no idea where they're going. Ultimately, Debbie and Bianca are so far behind that even after the other teams take the penalty, and even after Debbie ultimately eats the four pounds of food (supposedly), they still finish last.
Is it a good development to have people who abandoned a task -- albeit because they thought it increased their odds of staying in the game, and not because they reached an "I don't care if we lose anymore" point, as have past quitters -- finish ahead of people who did the task? It is not. Would it have been a good development to have people who drove two hours in the wrong direction like total morons stay in the game because somebody else wasn't capable of eating four fucking pounds of food? Not to me. Volume-based eating challenges are stupid, and they create no-win situations, and they have nothing to do with racing, and they should be done away with immediately. BAH!
Previously on Liar, Liar, Beginnings Of A Tragically Cheesy Sleazestache On Fire: Debbie and Bianca played the morality card on Rob, who didn't acknowledge her version of "morality" and therefore just considered it "the card." Everybody made each other nauseous, but no one recognized the foreshadowing. Rob came up with the Super-Secret Bus Egress Delay Plan, which gave him about thirty seconds of racing time but multiple hours of other people's attention, so he wrote it down under "Successes" in his Little Book Of Evil Plots. Various teams behaved like obnoxious, loud, stereotypically American cranks during a grocery Detour, culminating in Lynn and Alex throwing around unsupported allegations of retail corruption. Gretchen demonstrated just what a honkload of noise she was capable of making, and assorted South American domesticated and feral animals sought asylum elsewhere in response. Rob and Amber finished first, and the battle for last place came down to Brian and Greg and their blonde sweeties, creating the first close finish where there was a serious possibility that the losing team would be foiled by hair-wrangling difficulties. The boys pulled out the victory, and a couple of perfectly innocuous women found themselves banished to Sequesterville, the better to succumb to the charms of Ryan and Chuck. At least that's what I like to think happened, because that is some sparkling conversation on which I would have enjoyed eavesdropping.
Credits. It's so weird to remember that the TAR 1 credits had actual scenes from the race. They would so never feed the spoiler people like that now. We were so young once. I feel like this show is ballet, and I am Anne Bancroft. [BOMP.]
Commercials. I hate it when they show commercials for Survivor. Because, like, I already have to watch it. Don't rub it in. (Okay, it's actually kind of awesome right now because of what I'm sure is an entirely unintentional shortage of irredeemable jerkweeds, but still.)
We return to Santiago, Chile, where there are many people and, nearby, there are "Andean foothills." And here is Phil at the pit stop, looking lovely as usual. The banishment of eat/sleep/mingle appears to be permanent, as we have once again retreated to the "no idea what's in store for them" primer. Maybe there was some kind of mingling-related controversy. Maybe the FCC is issuing vague orders against mingling if it's, like, a boy and a boy, you know? Because they would. At any rate, Phil wonders whether Uchenna and Joyce can maintain their good standing after moving up in the pack last week, and whether Susan and Patrick can step outside their save-us-Dr.-Phil bickering long enough to keep things a bit more together this time.
12:34 AM. Rob and Amber. They open their clue, which tells them to drive themselves to Argentina through the Andes mountains, a trek Phil explains will be about 150 miles. There, they'll find a bridge called Puente Viejo, where they'll grab up another clue. Rob notes that the clue also indicates a Yield coming up, so presumably they want to get moving, lest one of the already-declared haters get any crazy ideas. The clue tells them that their cars are parked at a specific garage, and as they take off to head that way, Rob says that he and Amber "definitely have luck on [their] side." He adds, however, that they've been increasing their odds of having good luck by "taking a lot of chances." True, although they've also certainly increased their odds of having bad luck. I think it's safe to say Rob's whole feats-of-derring-do thing reduces the predictability of his experience, if nothing else. "You know that thing, the American dream?" he says, in an interview that appears very randomly placed at this particular spot. "Amber and I are living it." I suppose they could be said, in a sense, to be living the New American Dream, in which fame and money and the cover of Us Weekly, unsupported by any particularly worthwhile achievement, light upon the shoulders of the telegenic like so many chirping bluebirds. They ask someone to help them find the garage, and Rob comments on how nice the people they've been meeting have been. Apparently, Survivor viewership does not run high in this part of the world.