Amazing Race

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Ladies First

Jill/Thomas and Brook/Claire are arriving at the port just as Nat and Kat are climbing into the crane's tiny elevator. "For what portion can I have my eyes closed?" Nat asks the guide who's crammed in there with them. Jill and Thomas are also speculating that a bungee jump is in their immediate future, and he's a lot more excited about it than she is. And more excited than Brook, for that matter, who apparently hates freefalls. "I'm gonna have to deal with it," she says. Good attitude, that; there's no whining in the final leg. Well, there often is, but there shouldn't be.

Nat and Kat emerge from the elevator onto a high catwalk that poor Nat has to lead the way along, while Thomas runs up the clue box. In honor of the locale, he's wearing a t-shirt that says "Cali" and has an outline of the state printed on it. I started to mock, but I would totally do that myself; you need all the mojo you can get in the final leg. They read about the bungee swing and head for Crane 22, which Team @ are still making their way out across the top of. Brook and Claire are right behind Jill and Thomas, the latter of whom is glad they don't have to climb up. Kat is climbing out under the railing while Nat is basically meditating. "Mind over matter, "she tells us as her partner walks along a narrow plank that extends out over the harbor below. "I mean, I don't really believe any of that right now, but I'm trying to say it to myself." Soon Kat is on the bungee swing, hanging out over the water by herself. Probably a good call for her to go out first, especially since that part involves waiting.

Brook and Claire emerge onto the catwalk as Jill and Thomas are getting hooked up, and Thomas suddenly remembers Nat's fear of heights. Jill actually speculates they might get to pass her, but since a commercial break intervenes, I think it'll be fine.

Back from the ads, Nat is still trying to keep her pants dry. Jill asks Thomas to hold her hand when they go, and he says he'll start right now. I think she still has to wear a harness, though. Brook and Claire bump helmets like a couple of derby girls. Nat is led out onto the plank, asking if she can close her eyes. "Not quite yet," the guide says. Jill is also nervous (at least more nervous than Thomas), and Brook and Claire are just trying to figure out what exactly is about to happen to them all. Nat is guided into letting her harness take her weight, and she white-knuckles the cable with one hand while holding Kat's hand with the other. Something tells me Kat won't be tying any surgical knots with that hand for a few days. The guide pulls the release cords, and the doctors fall straight down, until they end up swinging back and forth at the ends of the cables. This is not a reassuring sight for Brook and Claire, who are waiting in their swing for their turn to go. Yes, there are three platforms on the crane, but it looks like they're only allowing one team to go at a time, so even if it's not a total bottleneck, it's more of a bottleneck than you want to see in the final leg. Kat interviews that Nat said, "This is the scariest thing I've ever done, and I'm never doing it again." Too bad Nat wasn't wearing a microphone so we could hear her saying that herself. Brook calmly tells us, "I'm feeling...petrified." Instead of being reeled back up or landing in a proper boat, Nat and Kat are lowered onto a tiny square raft floating in the harbor below as Nat celebrates, "I didn't even pee my pants!" Jill and Thomas go next, and enjoy swinging through space. Back on the pier, after divers have dragged the raft back to an access ladder, Nat all but kisses the asphalt. As she waits to get de-harnessed, Jill and Thomas have landed on their raft. Brook and Claire are still waiting to go. Nat and Kat open a clue that reads, "Ride a helicopter to a surprise destination, woo-hoo!" It might not actually say that last part in print.

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Amazing Race

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