Amazing Race
How Do We Know We Aren't Going To Get Shot?

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Antebellum? I hardly even know 'em!

Introductory props to my inimitable Music Stylist for shipping me a DVD of this episode before being asked, so that I would not have a storm-coverage gap. I'm so glad the Packers won a game for you at last. (Confidential to Vikings fans: I am obviously lying.)

Previously on They Wouldn't Call Them Fossil Fuels If They Didn't Intend For You To Make Them Extinct, Now Would They?: A highly unusual edition began with ten families of four, and if you've ever seen "The Four-Legged Zoo," you know this means there are 40 people tearing around trying to confuse us all. The group went flying into Manhattan in their GMC Yukon Not-From-Here-Mobiles, immediately facing a whole new kind of transportation curse in the form of a strong possibility of being murdered by a cab driver while hesitating at an intersection. The Gaghans and Blacks were the ones with adorable moppets, the Paolos were the ones where their daddy was a war machine and their mama was long and suffering, the Godlewskis were the little pinkies who went gabble-gabble-gabble all the way home, the Linzes thought a pestering sister was a festering blister, the Bransens were a homophone for the home of Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede & Show, the Rogerses took parts of the Bible extremely seriously and were really looking forward to the part involving the inheriting of the wind, the Schroeders were like, "Daaaaad," the Aiellos were FIL-led with big love, and the Weavers had the season's first major accident ("AAAAAAAAHHH!"), which wasn't nearly as hysterically funny as the season's first minor accident ("DOINK"). The healing power of "She'll Be Comin' 'Round The Mountain" was made manifest, particularly when accompanied by a well-timed "Yee-ha!", and the pinks ultimately were first to the mat. Poor Megan was forced to spit out the line, "It's the Black family and our family!", but she and her brothers emerged victorious and the Black family was Philiminated. They're still really cute, though. I will miss you, Very Awkwardly Named Family. One down, nine to go. Who will be Philiminated...next?

Credits. Of all the dorky introductory dorkerrific shots that ever dorked, I think the Linzes and their slow thumbs-up turn to the camera is the dorkiest one of them all. There's more to Midwestern hipsters than Fonzie, you know.

Commercials. BP: The Official Gas Of Trying Not To Run Out Of Gas.

We return to the rolling hills of Amish country, where Harrison Ford is still hiding under a bed. As is usually the case in idyllic network-ized versions of the lives of people who don't have TiVo, this is a place where the birds are happy, the horses are happy, and it appears that all is as it should be. Even Phil seems especially warm as he tells us that we are in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It's not only a "picturesque farming area," but also -- and here, we observe a fairly creepy Giant Amish Man statue, standing next to a buggy no longer containing people he apparently ate -- the center of the considerable Amish and Mennonite communities with which Pennsylvania comes equipped. This is the part of the state you could give a nickname having to do with "brotherly love" without being ironic.

Specifically, we are at the Rohrer family farm, which served as our pit stop. I like how Phil calls it a "traditional Mennonite homestead," so you know it's not one of the ones with a roller-coaster. Phil says it "was the first pit stop...in The Amazing Race." Oh, altered patter, how you do emphasize all that we've lost. He might as well say, "The first pit stop...in a racenotsomucharoundtheworld." As Phil explains, the teams arrived at the pit stop for "a mandatory rest period." Will they eat? Sleep? Mingle? Play Monopoly? Phil wonders whether the endless fighting will send them to a fate merciless to them and merciful to the rest of us (try not to freeze frame on the shots of Mama Paolo screaming in the back seat, because you'll have trouble sleeping), and ponders whether the Linzes will ever figure out where in the hell they're going and get out of last place. Or will they harvest the power of the gas their bodies produce and propel themselves into first place?

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Amazing Race

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