Amazing Race

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Eisenstein, Tchaikovsky, and Babushkas

"Maaan," Mallory whines upon learning that they have to go to Alexandrovskaya. I assume that reaction isn't so much because she knows what a haul that is as that it's a mouthful.

Nick and Vicki are back at the music palace, listening to one piece at a time on each gramophone and then going into the hall while Vicki hums the tune back to herself so it stays in her head. Nick also appears to be following what could be a winning strategy, i.e. staying out of the way. They get one and two pretty easily -- or, rather, Vicki does -- and he interviews that he kept it together. "I took a little piece of Ghana and I promised to myself and to Vicki that I would never blow up like that again." Brief flashback to that shining moment, and in the present day, he's telling her, "I trust you, so which guy?" That's nice, but if he'd trusted her earlier they'd be in Alexandrovskaya by now. Vicki interviews that the race as a learning experience, and sure enough, she gets it right, at which point I learn that they actually are capable of meeting challenges like this if given a whole lot of time. Soon they're in the cab, both glad they didn't quit. Or, as an uncharitable viewer might point out, that they only quit twice.

Michael and Kevin are the first to get dropped off outside St. Isaac's Cathedral, and they run up to it looking for Phil. Jill and Thomas are also arriving, and Michael observes that there's no on one the front portico, so Kevin figures the Pit Stop mat is off to the side somewhere. He leads them in a chase around the building while Michael points out, "There's a park across the street, Kevin." "It's not at the park," Kevin says. It's totally at the park. Phil is standing next to a Russian in a baffling uniform that includes a tricolor sash and tricorn hat. And both of them, and the mat, and the Pit Stop sign, are, in their entirety, in the park. Jill and Thomas are also still looking. Michael again suggests, "Maybe across the street?" "No, no, no," Kevin insists. Jill and Thomas spot the Pit Stop -- across the street, in the park, and make it there in first place. For some reason, Phil doesn't look thrilled to see them as the local welcomes them to St. Petersburg. "It's gorgeous," Jill says. Thomas doesn't say anything, because he already knew that. Phil tells them they're team number one, and have won a trip to Sao Paolo, Brazil. "Jill absolutely killed the leg," Thomas says generously, especially considering that although she certainly aced the Road Block, he was the one who won the Detour. "For me to know that I can rely on her... makes us just that much more confident about us winning the entire thing." I'd feel better about this little redemption arc if he hadn't started talking louder when she wanted to say something.

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Amazing Race

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