Phil explains that when they get to Panama City, they'll travel 31 miles to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, where Archie Bunker's beach towel and Mr. Rogers's Hawaiian shirt are stored. There, they'll take a boat across the Panama Canal to an island. And on that island, they'll search for Ricardo Diaz -- referred to by my friend JWB as "the laziest scientist in Central America" -- who will be lying in a hammock with their next clue, just kind of kicking back, like nature experts do in Panama when the lizards are hibernating. I notice that this is a lot of steps to squeeze into one clue. Maybe they're saving on printing costs by jamming everything into the same envelope, and they're spending the extra on access to locations like the giant chair. As the Bransens leave, they talk about being happy to leave the country and so forth. I'll bet. Not exactly what any of these people had in mind, I'm sure, wandering around Mississippi looking for BP stations. Wally appears at first to be taking the week off from talking about how pitifully incompetent he is, because he instead tells us how different it is to be in a situation where he and the Tonyas are all equals. But it's a fake-out, because at the last minute, he adds that the Tonyas are "carrying [him]," so Wally has happily not forgotten that the theme of his participation in the race is "I can barely get from point A to point B without requiring oxygen, painkillers, and a nurse."
12:41 AM. Paolos. I am exhausted at the sight of them. Mama interviews that she feels like she has to take a certain number of "punches" as a mother, and then she says that her ideal situation at the end of the race would be for DJ to hug her and tell her he loves her. Less punching, more hugging. Who doesn't like seeing a mother ask for that? Mama is all weepy while she says this, too, so I'm not sure what to think about that. I've wanted to agree with people who have speculated that this family doesn't actually suffer in any serious way, because this is just the way some families are. But when Mama is crying over her wish that her obnoxious kid would tell her he loves her, I feel like she either isn't okay or she's convinced herself she isn't okay, and both are officially less fun than a barrel of monkeys. Suffice it to say that I'm pleased that they aren't my neighbors. They look for a cab.