Amazing Race
They're Slithering To The Finish Line Like The Rest Of Us, Part I

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Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
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I'll stop the world and melt down with you

In the train station, Zach continues to carefully monitor Flo, watching for sudden fluctuations like the guy who reads temperature gauges at a nuclear plant. She's returned to her recurring theme, which is that the situation is miserable, and she can't do it, and blah dee blah. She says that she's going to have a nervous breakdown on the train, and asks if he really wants to watch that. I'm sure he doesn't, actually. And I don't either, considering how unfortunate it would be to see her reputation for plucky perseverance interfered with by signs of distress. "I don't want to do this anymore," she whines. (FDD3.) She lies down on a bank of plastic chairs for a nap, but for whatever reason, the train station starts playing psychotically cheerful music over the speakers. Horrified at this development, she and Zach take off for a different terminal, where she lies down and goes to sleep. Call me a sadist, but her suffering in this sequence is beginning to take on a tone of absurdism that I find slightly satisfying, particularly when the music starts to play.

Just at 7:00 AM, the Bald Snark arrives at the station. They go inside and have a chat with Ian and Teri about getting first-class tickets. Teri somewhat gleefully tells them that she thinks Flo is bailing out. Gerard asks what exactly went on, but we don't see how much Teri tells him. In the other terminal, we see Flo snoozing in her nerd glasses on the benches while Zach, who can't sleep because he has to stay with Flo to throw baking soda on her in the event she spontaneously combusts, stares out the windows. I suspect he's wondering how many hours can possibly be left before he gets home and cuts through the links on the chains that currently bind him to the Flobatross.

Back at the ticket window, Ian orders up some first-class tickets so that he and Teri can have a sleeper. Gerard gets the same for himself and Kenny. As he finishes the purchase and walks away from the counter, Zach walks in and passes him. "Hey, everything all right?" Gerard asks. "Uh, define 'all right,'" says a frustrated and exhausted Zach, inching along toward the frayed end of his rope. When he gets up to the counter, Zach finds that he isn't able to get a first-class sleeper for himself and Flo, because Ken and Gerard and Ian and Teri apparently got the last two. He grabs seats that are at least in the first-class section, where it's air-conditioned. "If this girl doesn't get air conditioning, she's going to kill me," he tells the ticket agent. It's interesting -- I think that's one of the few times you can see how much this is all getting to Zach, because he certainly doesn't think the ticket lady really cares about that. This is like Zach's version of venting, which is sort of funny if you think about it. But not if you think about it too hard, because then it will make you run for the liquor cabinet, where you will unscrew every bottle top you encounter until you pass out. When the tickets are purchased, Zach goes and fetches Flo, who is wearing her unhappy fish-face. He assures her that there is indeed air conditioning where they'll be sitting. She nods and agrees to go. As she hobbles behind him across the terminal, she tells him that her foot is asleep. "That's good," Zach says. "The more sleep, the better, at this stage." It's really too bad he didn't parlay this theory into a large purchase of barbiturates, because then he could have just thrown her drugged body in his backpack for the rest of the leg, which I think would have saved him a lot of anguish. Hard on the back, but easy on the ears, if you know what I mean.

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Amazing Race

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