Amazing Race
Race To The Finish, Part I

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The beginning of the end, my friends

Seattle. Plane lands. Danza, sitting at a gate, explains that they're waiting to get on a flight from Seattle to Anchorage. Esquire, sitting at a gate (perhaps the same one, I suppose), reflects on the fact that they're in the U.S. for the first time in quite a while. They look highly relieved. Brennan is wearing the visor, which I always feel the need to point out, because it casts such a pall. Rob holds forth: "As far as strategy, we just have to do what we've done all along, which is take each task at a time and get it done as quickly and as efficiently as we can, and just concentrate on the next one after that." That's one of the few times I've seen a team summarize their own strategy and have it actually match the way I would describe their strategy, so that's a plus. On the other hand, they both need haircuts. Badly.

Great Wall. Guidos. They pull the clue and decide that they should go up the steep hill. They look seriously taxed, but they make it all the way up. (Not bad for fifty, fellas; I gotta give you credit.) They look at the Scotty Lake clue. "Oh my God," Bill says. "Alaska."

Plane. Turns out it's the EDG plane landing in Anchorage. (Yeah, while the Guidos are still in Beijing. Score!) Danza gets off the plane long before Esquire, which Margarita explains is because Danza sat in the front of the plane in business class, while Esquire was in literally the last row of the plane in economy. Frank talks about their instructions, which are to find an SUV on the roof of the parking garage, and tell their driver to take them to the B&B. As Frank and Margarita work their way through the airport, Esquire is just getting off the plane, and Margarita's voice-over explains that "you know they were pissed off about that." She's right. You know how I know? As they exit the plane, Rob is chomping the hell out of his gum.

Danza finds the Sport Utility Cab on the roof. Frank gives the destination to the driver, and they're off. Esquire's in the airport. Frank and Margarita, in the SUC, grin at each other. "Good work," Loud Pushy Frank says. What, getting put randomly in business class by your ticket agent? Yeah, that's some good work.

Shortly thereafter, Esquire climbs into their SUC. "Alaska is cold," Brennan says. You know, I'm starting to think these Rain-Man-style comments are part of his sense of humor. At least, I'm hoping they are.

Over a shot of Danza looking completely zombie-like and miserable, Margarita voices over that they're trying to be really friendly, understanding, and respectful. Just not right now, apparently. She says they have hope that they can make it to the end and win.

Beijing. Where Bill and Joe still are. Hee! Now, here comes the tense part. Will the Guidos get a better flight? Will they begin their comeback? They looked fairly quick with the kites -- will they make a different flight and pull something devilish? Just how resilient is the luck of the evil, anyway? In their cab on the way to the airport, Joe explains that their plan is just to get to the airport and see what they can do. "Maybe this is our big opportunity to catch up," Joe says. I grind my teeth. They go up to the ticket window. "What is the fastest way to get to Anchorage, Alaska?" Joe asks. I lean forward in my seat. Will the ticket agent say it? Will she say, "We happen to have a direct flight leaving in five minutes, and the flight attendants will rub your feet and feed you figs and iron your clothes while you wait"? Ticket agent: "You can travel to San Francisco, then San Francisco to Seattle, then Seattle to Anchorage." Woo hoo! Guido no-bunching booty dance! Join me, won't you? This week, let's do it to the tune of "Mr. Big Stuff."

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Amazing Race

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