Esquire cab. "It just feels good to have a little bit of a lead in one of the most important legs of the race," Brennan says. "The most important leg," Rob says with a smile. "It would be huge if we could get there by the end of the day," he goes on, "because otherwise the second-tier teams are gonna gain a little ground." He makes a forward-march gesture and says, "Drive fast." Incidentally, something about the angle and the light in this shot reveals what's under the white patch on Rob's shirt: a Nike swoosh. Damn, I really thought it was an MBTV logo.
In a Team Guido interview in which they are wearing the team-name-embroidered Even-Worse-Than-The-Hating-Hats, Bill explains that although they're currently bunched away from the lead, "that can all be changed at any moment by the great equalizer, which is the airport." Well, yes, Bill, but probably not to the tune of eighteen hours. That's going to take a series of bunchings, I'd think. Furthermore, it could just as easily get worse at the airport, depending on who makes flights and who misses them. We'll see, Guido. We'll see.
Phuket Airport, which is not actually officially called "The Great Equalizer," 8:20 AM. (Wouldn't it be great if your airport really were called "The Great Equalizer"? You could say, "I'm flying out of JFK at 7:15, and I get in to The Great Equalizer at 10:40, assuming a good tailwind.") Esquire learns that there's a flight to Bangkok (where they need to go first in order to connect to Beijing) at 8:30. They don't make it. The counter person tells them it's gone. Rob looks disgusted. "I can't believe we missed that flight," he says. "That's gonna haunt me, dude. It's gonna haunt me." Brennan is quiet, but his face is all gritted-teeth-smiling, like, "I'm trying to book a flight, man, and if you don't shut up, I'm going to break your other hand, and that will haunt you." As Frank walks up, Rob tells him the bad news. "Are you ready to kick yourself?" He goes on to explain that had they made the 8:30 to Bangkok, they could have been in Beijing by 4:30. Now? They have to wait until midday for a flight to Bangkok. Again, I find the friendliness of these teams really interesting, considering their checkered history. ["Rob's monologue in Episode Eight, about how they generally are relieved to see other teams because it means they're on the right track, might explain it." -- Sars] Both teams decide not to buy tickets from Bangkok to Beijing yet, hoping to make something good happen once they're at the next airport.
Incidentally, who's chatting behind Loud Pushy Frank's back as he explains his airport strategy to the camera? Margarita and Rob. You heard it here first -- it's the best pretend storyline ever!