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

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Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
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It's the end of the world as we know it

5:35 AM. Asshat. They open the clue, and it tells them to scout out a route marker at the Guang Minh Temple in Da Nang. The temple features a very large stone Buddha, as well as some amiable-looking cows. Teri and Ian take off, and Ian once again offers his indignant voice-over about how the other teams all underestimated him and Teri simply because they continually finished near the back of the pack. He seems to chalk this up to unjustified failure to take the old people seriously, but I would point out that of all the reasons to suspect a team of sucking, the fact that they keep narrowly avoiding elimination is one of the more merit-based. At any rate, they grab their cab. As usual, he snaps at the cabbie to go faster. "You gotta go! Go fast, go fast!" Just once, I'd like to see the cabbie put the pedal to the floor and see Ian and Teri pressed back into their seats with their cheeks folded back over their ears as the cab screams forward, leaving their teeth floating above the street like the little puff of smoke that's left when Wile E. Coyote falls off a cliff.

5:52 AM. Ken and Gerard. They count the money for the leg, which rings up at $250. As they leave, Gerard interviews that they've done a good job working together by pooling their strengths. Gerard: "I have no doubt that we can win this amazing race." You know how I love Gerard, but seriously, I hate it enough when they overuse the word "amazing" without actually incorporating the entire series title into casual conversation. I can tolerate only so much synergy between corporate and editorial, if you get my drift. ["I chalked it up to the sarcasm born of sheer exhaustion, and excused it on that basis." -- Sars] They get in the cab and talk about being on their way to the Buddha. Or, as Gerard says, "Buddha's feet and America's door."

Teri and Ian de-cab at the temple. They pull the clue, with Ian yelling, "Head for the U.S.A.!" Despite the fact that it would be much funnier at this point if the clue said, "Okay, back to Switzerland, suckers!", it indeed tells them to fly to Honolulu, Hawaii and "receive a blessing from the Kahuna." Teri reads this clue with great excitement, and even augments her delivery with a melodramatic arm-flourish. Acting! Brilliant! Over typically frenetic airplane footage, Phil explains that this will be a 6500-mile jaunt to Honolulu, beginning with a seventeen-hour train ride to Hanoi, where the airport is. Oh, goody. Seventeen hours on the Flo-rient Express. That'll be a hoot. Phil adds, however, that the teams can't enter the airport without tickets, so they'll have to secure their tickets from a travel agency in the city of Da Nang. Ian says in the cab that they're very happy to be heading home. That much I can believe. Can you imagine the things they must find to yell at each other about when they're at home? Appliances! Dinner! Bill-paying! Who left their shoes in the front hallway! If nothing else, going home will at least add a little variety to their usual menu of bickering about Teri being too slow, Ian being too irritating, and cab drivers not being aggressive enough. And as we all know, variety is the spice of strife.

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Amazing Race

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