Now, ask yourself this: Is it really possible that anything is going to happen except that the Aiellos are going to come in last? What would have to happen for them to pass anyone? There's nothing between here and the pit stop that requires any skill whatsoever. The entire idea of putting one of these "first come, first served" Roadblocks where you pull numbers and wait in line right before the pit stop so that nobody can possibly recover is just asinine. It's horrible planning, and it makes the result basically random. It's true that they probably don't give enough attention to the "first-come, first-served" in the clue fast enough, which the Paolos do, to their credit, moving them ahead of the Gaghans. But still, to have this be the deciding moment? To ensure that there is no other ending that can result? It's ridiculous. To take a huge bunch and follow it immediately with one of these things that forces a much longer separation, and to do that as the last step in the leg? Dumb, dumb, dumb.
The Weavers finish the Roadblock. The head for the stupidest "task" ever, the AOL business. The Paolos take the Roadblock. The Weavers sign onto AOL and run to the mat. Welcome, you are team number five. Phil sort of inquires about their nervous breakdown on the bus, and they insist that they're happy now. "This is us," Mama Weaver interviews. "There's nobody perfect out there. And this is us. If you like us, great. If you don't like us, we're not going to change for you." And it's that kind of interpretation of listening to other people as a form of weakness that makes kids turn out inquisitive and self-possessed, I think. Furthermore, asking you not to scream like ninnies in the middle of the night at Waffle House isn't exactly demanding that you "change" because other people "don't like" you. It's asking you not to cause disturbances that create crossovers with COPS. Police officers are well aware of the fine line between pluck and methamphetamine.
Paolos finish the Roadblock and look for the computers.
Even in her exhausted state (eight hours on the bus would mean it was about one in the morning when they got off in Huntsville), Carissa stares transfixed at the screen, watching the capsule-cam where her dad and Billy are taking the ride. The Gaghans finish and head for the computers.
The Aiellos take their trip next in the centrifuge.
I don't know how to describe what they do here, except that there's a lot of creative editing desperately trying to create the impression that something can happen besides the completely obvious. There are theoretically shots of people being lost, but guess what? The Paolos land on the mat next, and then the Gaghans. I guess you could count as "controversy" the one moment thus far when Papa Gaghan answers Billy's concern that he can't keep going by telling him to look at Carissa. It doesn't come off snotty to me, just encouraging, really, and Billy is both confident and comfortable with his dad enough to point out that Carissa has no bags, after all. "I know. I know it's hard," Bill tells him, "but the team behind us is strong, and they're going to be sprinting." ["An excellent point, but he could just have just said that to start with and left Carissa out of it. I don't get the feeling it's the first time Billy's heard this." -- Sars] But really, it's just a lot of running around and finding things, and everybody knows what's going to happen, which is why the episode is so damn boring and pointless. It does appear that the Gaghans pick up some time on the Paolos, since they arrive at the AOL thing just as the Paolos are leaving, but it's not enough to make a difference. Also cute: the fact that on the mat, Carissa and Billy have their arms around each other as they wait to hear their placement. But…yeah, there's not a lot to say.