Amazing Race
Ready To Lose Our Lives

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Contestants do get woolly, 'cause of all the stress

The next morning at 5:30, we see Oswald starting the day by putting in his contacts. Wow, now that seems like it would be a pain in the ass on a trip like this. I'd almost think you'd wear your glasses and forget it, though I suppose that could be awkward, too (that's apparently what Danny did). I also feel obligated to mention that Oswald is still really cute. Really, really cute. Are you sure I shouldn't marry him? Hmm. All right, if you still think it might be a bad idea.

As we begin the day, Blake hatches The Plan That Launched A Thousand Forum Posts, which is to carry on the backpacks rather than checking them. At the gate as they board, the gate agent says, and I quote, "Bring any bags?" And Blake says, "Uhhh, no." Yeah, that's a lie right there. He wasn't asked whether he needed to check any, he wasn't asked whether he wanted to check any, he wasn't asked whether he had checked any. He was asked whether he brought any bags, and he said no. And, in fact, I'd argue that the word "bring" specifically suggests that she's referring to whether he has any bags with him right now. And he says no. Big old lie. Furthermore, it's a lie to an airline, which, in these times, is not something one should do. Yes, the agent could see that they had bags after they had passed her and headed down the tunnel, but I'm sure it becomes rather tiresome to chase idiots all day long, and furthermore, she probably knew they weren't terrorists, what with the CBS cameras and everything. Any way you slice it, though, it's still a lie. To that point, the other teams are quite distraught to see that Blake has pulled off this particular Wacky Scheme. They argue to the gate agent that it's hardly fair that the Teeth were allowed to carry their bags on when other teams weren't.

Now, here's where I do a little speculating. Just about every time we've ever seen teams in this race get on a plane in either season, they've carried their bags on. We've seen it many, many times -- backpacks being put into or taken out of the overhead compartment. There is absolutely no freaking way that the other teams on this flight checked their bags because they weren't smart enough to think of carrying them on. No team in this race would ever have checked their bags unless they had specific reason to believe that they had to. So this is my guess: I think they were told, either by the person who sold them their tickets, or by the gate agent, or by somebody, that they had to check everything. Perhaps it's the size of the plane, perhaps it's security, whatever. But somebody told them they had to check the backpacks. And the Teeth ignored it. And they got away with it, and that's fine. But here are these other teams, who have been told by the airline that there's a rule you have to follow, and they've followed it, and now a team that lied and ignored the rule is being granted an advantage? That would piss me off, too. Moreover, keep in mind that Blake and Paige already have a reputation -- deserved or not -- for behaving questionably to try to gain an advantage. Remember the discussion about the fact that allowing themselves to get that reputation could one day bite the Teeth in the butt? Yeah, me too.

The other teams continue to press their case to the gate agent, who is totally unsympathetic because, frankly, she screwed up and would rather not discuss it. They ask why some were allowed to carry their bags on and some weren't, and she says, "I don't know." Note that she doesn't say, "Nobody else asked," or "You all could have carried on your bags" -- comments that would have shut everybody else right up. Chris points out that the Teeth lied about having no bags, but the agent remains unmoved. Alex, in an interview, calls the "blatant lie" a "good move on their part" in its own way, but ultimately says that if the Teeth want to get cute, they should expect others to get cute with them in return. If the rule is "whatever you can get away with is all right"? Well, the Teeth are about to find out that that one cuts both ways, and one way is going to be a well-deserved buzz saw right down the center of this particular Wacky Scheme.

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Amazing Race

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