Amazing Race
It Was Like Being Dropped on Planet Mars

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Marcy and Ron arrive at the hotel. For some reason, in the elevator to the roof, she slaps him on the face with the clue, harder than I think she meant to, and apologizes immediately. "The fuck was that?" he laughs. Excellent question. We see Meghan and Cheyne at the park with one balloon left to collect before returning to Marcy and Ron, who find themselves the only ones at the observation deck. As they start perusing the vehicles circling below, a little window pops up at the bottom left of the screen with the letters they're searching for: PLACOD (and please just accept this disclaimer about the Vietnamese versions of the letters as applying to the rest of the recap). They find the C, A, P, O, and L in short order, but Ron mistakes the rather block-like D for an O. Which is an understandable error, since he's looking at it sideways. But when they go to check with the security guard shakes his head. This task would be a lot more dangerous without him. Not because of the security he provides, but because he keeps the racers from going off on the next step with the wrong letters. Of course, if an actual security situation were to arise, you'd be shit out of luck.

A whole batch of teams is arriving at the animal kiosk at about the same time in a confusing mass, but Sam|Dan end up pulling a grazing doe out, having positioned it lying on its side on the cart. Maria and Tiffany have a big wolf, Gary and Matt haul out a zebra, and Zev and Justin, for reasons unknown, have selected a giraffe, which is so heavy that a local has to help them load it up. Their waggish cameraman keeps focusing in close on the giraffe's painted-on eyes, which somehow nonetheless seem to reflect the indignity it's suffering at the hands of these buffoons. While the teams ahead of them are already getting their red balloons, Justin is pulling the cart while Zev warns that the giraffe is tipping, and the giraffe starts to look distinctly nervous. Up ahead, Team Inside Straight has run into trouble crossing the road: their cart has broken. Points to the Amazing Cameraman who actually got a shot of how the caster has come halfway detached from the bottom of the cart's deck. Otherwise I would have just assumed the girls were being stupid again. Gary and Matt take advantage of this unscheduled pit stop to pass the women while Dan hangs back and tries to help them. In an interview, Tiffany says, "As much as we love those guys, we don't want to impede their progress... they should race and do as awesome as they can." What a mature and reasonable position to take. Even if Sam and Dan don't always do all that awesome. In real time, Tiffany sends Dan on ahead and she and Maria resolve to head back on their own for a fresh dolly. As the other teams continue to collect balloons, Maria and Tiffany get going again, while Zev and Justin are trying to lower their giraffe down off a curb. Justin's attention is occupied by the wheels, so he doesn't heed Zev's warning that the whole thing is about to topple over. Which it does. As it crunches into the pavement, a whole section of its neck breaks, although the wire armature underneath keeps the head on so the Amazing Cameraman can pan past its horror-stricken eyes to the pieces of it lying on the pavement. "This is awful," Zev says. But the Amazing Cameraman is saying to himself, "This is awesome!"

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Amazing Race

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