Amazing Race

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Eisenstein, Tchaikovsky, and Babushkas

"This is Narvik, on the west coast of Norway," Phil announces. It may be a "quaint seaside town" now, but was first settled during the Stone Age, possibly by some of the same people we saw in last week's episode. Speaking of the Stone Age, apparently the Norwegian military helped the British bomb the German Navy back there during WWII at Ankenes Marina, which more recently and more importantly became the fifth Pit Stop in a race around the world.

Nat and Kat, who won the last leg, will be leaving at 8:26 PM, even though it looks like the middle of the day. That happens in the northern latitudes in June. Makes it a bitch to put your kids to bed. Anyway, Nat reads from the clue that they'll be going to St. Petersburg, Russia, which Phil says will happen via car, train, and plane, although they're only covering about 1,200 miles. Upon landing, they'll need to get to Vasilievsky Island and find the Rostral Columns, which Phil says are a monument to Russia's two largest rivers. Do those really need monuments? Were St. Petersburg residents likely to forget them? Whatever the case, the Columns are the site of the next clue box.

As they jog back to the car they drove here, Nat and Kat marvel about how light it is outside even though "it's so late at night" (again, the timestamp on the screen reminds us it's 8:28 PM, so it's not that late at night for anyone who isn't a morning-radio DJ). As Kat drives them to the train station, we hear them talk about how they are used to succeeding in a male-dominated environment, so they think that mojo will translate to making them the first all-female team to win. After 16 seasons, that's certainly overdue. They reach the train station, which -- oops -- opens at 6:00 AM the next morning. Oh, come on. They ate a sheep's head for this? They do succeed in getting a security guard to open the door and check a schedule for them, which is how they learn the next train will be leaving at 10:26 tomorrow morning. "It looks like probably everyone's going to be on the same train," Kat narrates. And after a quick shot of Narvik's nighttime sky -- which in summer actually just looks more like what we in more civilized latitudes like 45 degrees north know as sunset -- it's 10:26 AM, and all the other teams are indeed at the station. So we never find out how far apart the teams actually were at the end of the last leg. I hate that. It's just about the only objective information we get about how well teams are actually doing in relation to each other.

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Amazing Race

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