If you thought previous episodes were boring, it was only because you hadn't seen this one yet. After a leisurely hot-air-balloon ride, the teams complete a Detour that offers a choice between hammering and carrying, and then a Roadblock where you saunter around on horses. The Linzes get hosed by the second camera-battery production error in two weeks (the hell?), which drops them from first place to fourth, but they apparently receive no time credit. Thus, for no reason related to anything they did, they're battling the Gadzookskis for last place late in the leg after -- this is for real -- the teams complete a "task" that requires them to watch Old Faithful erupt. Sigh. The Weavers are still crazy, the Linzes are still goofballs, the Godlewskis are bickering more than ever, and Wally talks once again about how slow he is. And then at the end of the leg, we find ourselves staring at the now-familiar "To Be Continued" screen that says the leg is continuing into next week. Just a reminder that the last team to be eliminated was eliminated on November 8. It's going to be at least four weeks from then until another team is eliminated. Way to build up the momentum late in the season, show.
Previously on Trailers Of Tears: The teams took off hauling long trailers across the American West, just like the cowboys did. Or at least like the cowboys' retired grandparents did. They headed for Monument Valley, Utah, the spectacular rock formations of which the Weavers thought weren't nearly as attractive as, say, their yard. Or the mall! At least the mall has escalators. Can the American West say the same? Hmmmmm? A helicopter ride reminded everyone of either the beauty of nature or Dr. Romano, depending on one's cultural frame of reference, and then a rappel gave Wally another opportunity to be slower than the Tonyas. Wally is clearly going to be the first father in history to simultaneously take up sprints and family therapy. A trained bear gave the teams a clue, which (little-known fact) was a minor alteration of the original plan to have the clues distributed by Cowboy Bob at the Hootenanny House of Ribs and Bibs. (Try the loaded baked potato!) The Linzes didn't care for the Weavers and weren't particularly afraid of a little smiting, so they took the opportunity to Yield the holy terrors when the opportunity arose. After getting through a Roadblock that offered no excitement unless you get your jollies from Dripping Wet Nick (look, look, here come my jollies!), the Linzes finally got their first-place finish, and the Weavers got the last-place finish that everyone from God to the anti-littering lobby to the American Society of Cartographers has been praying for. Still, this being the season of unceasing cruelty that it is, the Weavers were not eliminated and even got a pep talk from Phil, who really needs to work on keeping his eye on the sparrow, not the preening peacocks. Four teams are still left, with nobody eliminated since the Paolos, who left three weeks ago and have probably resolved their differences by now. (Just kidding.) Can we freaking get rid of somebody already? Preferably somebody with two-toned hair?
Credits. Watching this long after the Schroeders have left the scene, it occurs to me that Hunter needs to punch his father harder next time. [BOMP.]
Commercials. I really hope that Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Costner aren't falling in love in this movie, because I really don't need another one where the wrinkly old dude gets the fabulous babe to fall in love with him. The Reverse Gender-Age Equivalent for that coupling, if you're keeping score at home, is Jason Priestley and Harriet Sansom Harris. Or, if you really like great imagery, Jason Priestley and Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien. Pleasant dreams!