Oh, look. It's the worst episode ever. An enormously poorly planned leg starts out with a Detour where it's kind of impossible to tell whether anybody's doing well or doing badly, and it mostly just depends on which one you pick, as far as whether you wind up in Bunch One or Bunch Two on the incredibly suspensefulâ¦bus ride and trip to Waffle House. (Oh, yeah. It's for real.) At the end of the bus ride, it's an amusement-park ride as your Roadblock, which goes one team at a time, and then there's a clunky, meaningless, product-placement-heavy non-task that tells you to walk to the pit stop. So there's nowhere to gain ground or lose ground, meaning that other than which bunch you're in, your fate depends on the order in which you grabbed numbers at the Roadblock. Totally boring. The Paolos are the same as always, which is to say insufferable, the Weavers get weirder by the week, and the Godlewskis aren't nearly as much fun as they've been in the past, so now they're just loud. As if the rest of this disappointing suckfest weren't enough, the episode ends with the random and quite undeserved Philimination of the lovely Aiello family, one of two remaining teams I actively was enjoying watching. Boo!
Previously on Is It Re-Gifting If The Spy Who Loves You Gives You A Briefcase?: The teams were sent to Washington, D.C. to take a surprisingly hard test called How Many Reflecting Pools Does This City Have? They also learned that the clue-writers couldn't think of anything better to use as a "password" than "the sky is blue." That's what you get for cribbing from German I textbooks. (I was wondering why the last clue said, "Karl may be eliminated.") The Gaghans spent two hours wondering why they couldn't find the clue box, not counting on the tricky, tricky requirement that you read the clue to be the thing that would hang them up. If that's a PSA for parents about reading, let's just hope it worked. Papa Rogers sent his team east instead of west, and then he sent them down Brock-Blaming Boulevard rather than Dad-Blaming Drive, which was perhaps an even more egregious mistake. The Detour had a body count (yes!), and poor Wally "Pant, Pant, Pant" Bransen was the only one of the potential bodies not wearing a uniform. The Weavers landed in first place (weeeeeeee!), and Team Rogers was mercifully bounced. Papa Rogers undoubtedly still blames Brock one way or another. Eight teams left. Who will be out next?
Credits. Oh, please. Like the Paolos have ever been quiet for that long. That shot lingers for almost an entire second.
Commercials will be skipped this week, because I have obnoxious, flu-like symptoms and all my free time is being devoted to not passing out with my face in the keyboard.
We find ourselves at Welbourne Manor, despite the ad at the bottom for Survivor that might momentarily confuse your brain into thinking that we are in a very large clearing in the jungle. And there's Phil, taking the week off from his improved clothing choices to feature some butterscotch pants (boo, sartorial choices based on candy) with his, I admit, acceptable shirt from the Damning With Faint Praise Collection at JC Penney. This house, we are reminded, was the second pit stop on this race around what sheltered people consider "the world." Doesn't it seem like this season has already been dragging on much longer than that? Aren't we almost done? Is it Christmas yet? Can I have some chicken soup? Anyway, we get to revisit some arrival footage, which is no fun, because it involves shrieking Weavers (name of my Cyndi Lauper cover band). In fact, there is some shrieking from quite a few people, including Stassi, who may be the lost Gadzookski as a result. She's the Goth Gadzookski. She wears pink, but only as the stone in her eyebrow ring. Anyway, Phil wonders whether the Bransens can recover from the drawbacks created by weak, weak Wally and get their act together, and whether Mama Weaver will continue being awesome, assuming that you buy the argument that she was awesome last week. Better than when Amish technology was kicking her ass, I'll give her that.
2:26 AM. The Weavers are getting ready to go. They rip the clue, and it tells them to fly ("Fly"? What is this "fly"?) to Charleston, South Carolina. Phil explains that this is a 500-mile flight (wow, don't blow their minds or anything with the crazy culture clashes -- thank God it's north-south so they don't have to, like, change time zones), and when they land, they'll choose a car and drive to a gazebo to find a clue. Their airport transportation is spoon-fed in the form of both a car and a driver, which seems sort of absurd to me. But in any event, the Weavers order their driver to take them to Dulles. Rachel insists in an interview that they just want to be a strong team. No drama. In which case, I have a suggestion: less ear-splitting screaming. It avoids drama, and it also keeps you from being punched.