Phil explains that "in the pre-dawn hours," Esquire and Danza are getting ready to go. We get into the cabin just as everyone is finishing pulling their clothes on, which means to me that as usual, TV missed the really newsworthy moment, but hey -- what do I know? Brennan eats something, but it's hard to say what. Something shiny. Power Bar? Pop-Tart? Double-A battery? Rob pulls on his black knit hat. (Grumble, whine, damn hat. Looks like he's going to hold up a jewelry store, if you ask me.) Frank lounges. Margarita watches Rob suspiciously (or perhaps hungrily, if you know what I mean, and I think you do). The boys leave the cabin, Rob wearing his marshmallow-man jacket.
4:17 AM. Esquire opens the clue. "Last time we have to do this," Brennan says observantly. The clue tells them to strap on snowshoes and follow flags to a route marker at Takosha Lodge. Phil repeats the clue, as usual, in case you were noisily eating your Grape Nuts when Brennan read it. The route marker at the lodge doesn't open until 8:00 AM. They've got four hours to make their way over, so it doesn't sound like time is a big issue. They strap their snowshoes on over the Spice Girl shoes (tm raygirl) they've been given to wear. As they get ready to go, they find that the batteries in their flashlights have gone dead in the cold. (You know, I don't know if these were flashlights they were carrying or flashlights they were given, but if they were flashlights the teams were given, it seems kinda unfair. Eh, whatever.) Brennan: "Ohhhhhh, tell me what you want, what you really really want, I'll tell you what I want..." Oh, no, sorry. What he actually says is, "The cold drained the batteries, because this is a brand-new set and it's already dead." Wow. A full sentence! Which includes two clauses! And a conjunction! The editors must have been happy with Brennan this week. Perhaps he paid them off. "A lovely start to our final leg," Rob grouses. Rob is easily depressed; have you noticed?
As Danza heads out, Margarita yells that "It's on, baby!" I briefly wonder whether she's a long-lost friend of Big Brother's Monica. Of course, the other things Margarita says actually do make sense during the remainder of the episode, so I'm not sure there's a link. She says this is why she left her daughter, and she wants to win, dammit. (She doesn't say "dammit." She just thinks it, as I often do.)
5:03 AM. Danza opens the clue. As they take off, they find Esquire still standing around, because of the dead flashlight batteries. The night-vision-cam here provides a most unsettling shot of Rob with glowing demon eyes. Scary. Rob is possessed. Anyway, LPFrank explains that Esquire was still around when he and Margarita emerged, and Esquire "approached [them]." Brennan basically explains that the Esquire flashlight is pretty well pooped, so they thought they might just follow Frank and Margarita. Margarita voices over that this means the boys were "scared" to do the walk in the dark, and Frank agrees. Uh, okay. He goes on to emphasize that Esquire is "afraid to do anything on their own." Whatever, Paranoid Misanthropic Frank. Frank: "They started following us, of course, as they normally do." Now, look, I know we haven't seen everything that's happened, but...Esquire following Danza? As they normally do? Come on, LPFrank. You're reaching. They've finished ahead of you in half of the legs, including three out of the last four. They had four hours to walk a half-mile. If they'd needed to, they could have asked for fresh batteries, but why bother? You're obviously all going to be bunched anyway, so chill your LP head out, bud. At any rate, everyone plods along in their snowshoes, although interestingly enough, it sort of looks like they don't need snowshoes, because they're walking on a trail. My understanding of snowshoes is that they're for walking in deep snow, to keep you from sinking into it. This looks like they're walking on trampled-down packed snow, so I'm...not sure I get it. The snowshoes look like they're for show. I could be wrong, though. Well, off they go anyway. "We don't do a whole lot of this in L.A.," Rob says. I assume he is referring to the snowshoe bit, and not the petty arguing, because I bet there's plenty of that in L.A.