Amazing Race

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Curse You, Red Baron!
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Phil welcomes us back to Hamburg, whose Cliffs Notes (Amazing Race Edition) are pretty Beatles-centric. He reminds us that the Fab Four first played here at the Indra club in 1960 -- and there's Non Lennon, Ring-faux Starr, Forged Harrison, and Paul McCart-not posing picturesquely on the stage behind him -- as he reminds us that this was the fourth Pit Stop in a race around the world. So did the racers have to sleep in the bar? Alas, no; we see them loading their backpacks into the cargo hold of a motor coach as Phil narrates, "During the Pit Stop, teams boarded a bus in Hamburg, Germany and traveled to an unknown destination." Oh, another moving Pit Stop. I approve. And sleeping in a bus is even worse than sleeping in a bar, speaking as someone who has done both. Okay, except for the sleeping in a bar part. As the bus rolls through a rainy night, Jeff interviews that he and Jordan are currently in last place and have a Speed Bump ahead of them, but he's confident they won't be coming in last. Especially if there's a blank-stare task, which Jordan is clearly practicing very hard for. In the back, Joe is icing his sore knee and boasting that the other teams are "Not gonna hinder me at all... imagine when this thing improves." Up ahead of them, Michael and Louie aren't enjoying listening to that. In fact, Michael seems to be taking it personally, and interviews that he hopes to give Joe a reality check. Back in the bus, Heidi adds that they've been finishing in the top three even with the bad leg. "I need some quiet up here," Louie calls back. There are chuckles, but he's totally kidding on the square.

The Amazing Red Line meanders, without any comment from Phil, down from Hamburg to Les Monthairons, France. Not that Google Maps identifies the country, but even if the name of the city doesn't exactly look Japanese, the first shot there is of the French flag flying overhead. Then there's a shot of some countryside, and a huge-looking chateau in a foggy morning, and then Louie and Michael opening their clue in front of it. "We believe we're in France," Michael interviews before the leg starts. "We know we're south and southwest of Germany." By the way, for this leg he is wearing a t-shirt that is emblazoned with the recycling logo and the word "Karma," which I normally wouldn't comment on but feel obliged to, given what's coming later. They're leaving at 9:35 AM, and the clue tells them to drive themselves to a place called Ste. Menehould. Phil adds that they have to find Boulangerie Defontaine (nice French pronunciation on Phil, by the way -- you can really hear the phlegm), and buy a fresh baguette to receive their next clue. As they get into a nice Mercedes, Michael interviews that this race meshes nicely with their usual work schedules. "You might get some sleep, you might not. You don't get to wash your clothes, you gotta go dirty, you don't eat a full meal... we live that life every day." Add involuntary and frequent contact with human bodily waste, and he just described the life of a new parent. The Detectives flag down a postal worker for directions, on the logic that, "Who knows the streets in the area better than a postal worker?" As long as you don't mind following directions that you have to sit on the wrong side of the car to understand.

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Amazing Race

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