A two-hour finale always feels like spending a week cramming for a final. But at least I've been to all the classes this semester.
The pre-credits recap of the season so far is oddly heavy on alliteration. And also oddly heavy on Bopper and Mark, considering Team Kentucky isn't even in the race any more. They lasted so long it's easy to forget that they ultimately came in fifth out of eleven teams. But then the Amazing Editors make up for it with a high-speed montage of Rachel's many crying tantrums all over the world, as Phil narrates that she and Brendon "felt the pressure of the race early -- and often." It's interesting to learn that she always cries in the same key, though.
After the opening titles, which feature a half-dozen or more ex-racers I don't even remember any more, Phil starts out the episode proper by telling us that Cochin, India is known as the city of harmony, which explains why all the teams have been getting along so well. We're reintroduced to the giant Chinese fishing nets on the shoreline, a location that Phil reminds us is the start of the eleventh leg. Because Other Rachel and Dave won the previous leg, as usual, they're leaving first -- this time at 1:51 PM. After they rip their clue, they'll take a flight of nearly 4,000 miles to Hiroshima, Japan and then get themselves to Miyajima Island to receive their next clue. Dave interviews that winning is important, but his relationship with Other Rachel is more important. From what we've seen all season, it seems like achievement of the one is necessary for the survival of the other. They head into a travel agency and as Other Rachel sits down across from one of the many travel agents behind the counter, Dave orders Other Rachel, "You work that to completion." I think she was going to, Major. The agent asks her how his country is and she says they love it, it's very nice. "Rachel, please don't distract, let him work," Dave dicks at his wife for politely answering a question. He interviews that he doesn't see Other Rachel as his wife, but as his equal and as his teammate and his peer, while Other Rachel keeps correcting, "soldier" until Dave finally agrees. I was going to say "piss-boy," but I'll allow it. They learn that they'll be getting into Hiroshima at 8:10 tomorrow night and that's the earliest flight available. In other words, everyone is going to be on the same plane, as usual. Yes, Other Rachel, the producers obviously work very hard to make that happen. Try to keep up.
Since everyone will be flying out together, the Amazing Editors apparently decide that there's no point in going over the other three teams' rankings or departure times. So the first time we see Rachel & Brendon (Rachel says that with only four teams left, one mistake could be it for them), Art & JJ (JJ maintains that they're the best team, all evidence to the contrary) and Vanessa and Ralph (Vanessa's ankle looks swollen and purple after crashing and burning in the previous leg) is when they're already on the plane. Now that we know who everyone is, an Amazing Red Line swoops east-northeast across the sea and south Asia to Japan. The teams land at night and some wander through the terminal to a row of bus ticket vending machines with touchscreens that they have to figure out. Art and JJ end up being the first team to get on a bus, but Brendon and Rachel go straight to the bus and ask the driver where to get tickets, while the Border Patrol quietly mocks them. "I don't even think they read the clues," JJ says. "I just think they run." In the seats behind them, Ralph and Vanessa snicker as JJ goes on, "It's staggering that they're still here." I said that for two seasons of Big Brother, dude. Soon both teams with Rachels in them are trying to puzzle out the touchscreen vending machines, with the help of locals. Other Rachel and Dave end up being the next to board the bus and JJ refers to him as "Private Dave." Clearly JJ was so offended by the U-Turn kerfuffle that he's arranged for Dave to be busted down ton an enlisted man. By now the three teams on the bus are encouraging the driver to get going already. And indeed, the door closes before team Big Brother is on board, a development for which Rachel blames Brendon for not listening to her. Even when they get on the next bus, which seems to arrive almost immediately, she bitches, "From now on I'm not making any decisions. You can do them all." Mature as always. She continues yelling at him across the aisle for not listening to her, while simultaneously not letting him talk. I'd say she's demonstrating a cleverly thought-out point by demonstrating the behavior to which she is objecting so he'll know how it feels, but we all know she's just being an asshole as usual. Brendon lectures her about yelling on the bus, so she starts bitching sarcastically at a lower volume about how he thinks he's so smart. Well, she's got a point there.