Commercials. The Amazing Achievement last week was Rolly obediently pulling the controls in a fighter plane? Wow. I am having a premonition that next week's Amazing Achievement will be an extra-dramatic right on red. Or a merge. Merging is amaaazing.
We swoop in over the desert, complete with its stereotypical "Welcome To Arizona" Saguaro cactus, hired by the state tourism board, which is standing there in that "I want to wear a cowboy hat and dance with you and play the harmonica" pose that the Saguaro is always adopting, as if it is just waiting for its chance to be anthropomorphized. Phil explains that we are at Lake Powell, which was formed by the construction of a dam that flooded the desert, and which was the eighth pit stop. The best thing about this sequence, however, is the burnt-orange shirt on Phil. It's such a relief when Phil isn't working in sweater weather. He wonders whether the Weavers' "continued alienation" from everyone will affect them, and whether the Linzes can stop coming in second and grab themselves a victory in something other than farting. And making jokes about farting. And thinking about farting.
5:45 AM. The Goodlookskis, not so much pink today as a combination of yellow and purple, prepare for their departure. The clue tells them to drive what Phil says is 136 miles to Monument Valley, Utah. Phil calls it a "spectacular landscape." I'm not saying that's plot-critical, but you should keep it in mind. Monument Valley was big in John Ford movies, so they need to get to John Ford's Point, where they'll find another clue. It's really too bad they couldn't have started out in Manhattan by being sent to Martin Scorsese's Gritty Dumpster or Woody Allen's Homogenized Jazz Club. Christine is already shrieking as they get on the boat to leave the pit stop, and Sharon gives her first "chill out" lecture of the day. One suspects that it may be the first of many.
Christine notes in an interview that she had hoped the sisters would all get to know each other better on the race, and she's a little bit bummed that hasn't happened. As one of the EEFPs pointed out, of course, it's not so much that they haven't gotten to know each other any better as it is that they got to know each other and haven't especially liked what they found out. Familiarity may not always breed contempt, but it doesn't always breed affection, either, as you know if you've ever...well, known anyone. Sharon insists that even on a gabble-gabbling team like hers, Christine is particularly gabble-rrific, and Michelle adds that Christine will in fact talk every day until she fills her quota of words she needs to say that day. Unlike, I guess, the soft-spoken Michelle, who keeps to herself until it's time to say, "What do you mean, 'Oh, God'?" Michelle, on Christine: "It's just, like, you know...'shut up.'" I certainly feel Michelle's pain on that front, considering some of the people I've recapped over the years, Mirna. As if to prove Michelle's point, Christine does indeed shriek all the way to the parking lot, where they discover that today, their SUV comes equipped with a giant camping trailer they have to drag. There is no immediately obvious reason for this, other than the inherent humor in large, awkward objects. When they can't tip over on Flo, they're not quite as hilarious, but the point remains the same.
5:46 AM. Linzes. They interview that they've had about enough of losing the first-place finish at the last minute, and they're ready to come in first. "This leg, we have to get it," Tommy vows. They leave with their trailer. The Goodlookskis, meanwhile, prepare to get on 98 West, which the Linzes note with interest since they're on 98 East and see the girls heading the other way. They theorize that it probably has something to do with the getting of gas, which is exactly true. But not the getting of gas in the way Tommy usually would think of it, so don't even go there.