Amazing Race
Race To The Finish, Part I

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The beginning of the end, my friends

Esquire cab. Rob's Lament. "It's just starting to kick in that I really want to win this thing," he says. Brennan comments that it's been "kickin' in for a while" from his perspective. Rob: "Standin' on that mat number one would be huge." "Yeah, it would be very huge," says Brennan. More Rob: "We've already done more than we ever expected, but…you know me, that adrenaline gets going, and I want to win, and I know you're the same way." That's a really interesting little speech, actually, particularly because of the cryptic facial expression I can only call Anxious But Dimple-Flashing. Here's my read: He's excited, but trying not to get excited; he's optimistic, but trying not to be optimistic; and he really just figured out two things at the same time -- how excellent it would be to actually win, and how bummed he's going to be if they lose. Something else, too, with regard to both teams -- the sudden (and I'm not saying permanent) disappearance of the Guidos from the radar screen has, I think, left a sudden and obvious hole. Rob himself said back on The Bunching-Boat To Tunisia so long ago that the Guidos were the team to beat, and I think that's been a fair statement until just the last couple of legs. Now, they look (and I emphasize look) like a non-issue. All that bluster, just sort of gone up in a puff of smoke and leaving this big, gaping hole. I think both these teams are stressing out partly because they see an opening that they didn't quite see so clearly before.

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Danza, now with the Detour clue in hand, is arguing over the fact that she wants to get a cab. He's telling her to get it while simultaneously making fun of her for wanting to get it, or so it appears. That's very frustrating. They eventually forego the cab and set out for the steep climb.

Esquire cab. "We seem to get slow drivers," Rob says, "and we can't communicate with them, but this guy takes the cake." He goes on to reiterate the strategy about getting to the airport before Danza and seeing if they can get on a flight Danza won't make. In doing so, he uses the word "boogie." Again. What is that? Anyway, they're in search of the anti-bunch.

Danza, looking for the steep climb. It looks like they're having a meltdown of some kind, because now they can't even follow a sign that has an arrow pointing one way saying "Steep" and another arrow pointing another way saying "Flat." As they bicker about it, she wonders aloud, "How did this all break apart at the end?" No kidding. They were doing really well, too, and now it appears as though they're almost back to square one. He goes off and rechecks the sign while she grumbles to the camera some more, and when he returns and tells her he was right the first time, they fight again. "What is your attitude for?" she asks. Oh, it's for fun, Margarita! Aren't you having fun? They do the steep climb, and it seems to wear them out a bit more than Esquire. It seems to particularly take it out of Loud Pushy Frank, which is kind of surprising. He doesn't actually climb all the way to the top -- hmm, is that allowed? Anyway, Margarita goes up and fetches the clue about Alaska, and they head back down. Now they're walking apart from each other and they're not talking, which is not so good, particularly if Frank's previous pronouncements about the importance of communication are accurate. They get a cab to the airport.

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Amazing Race

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