Meredith and Gretchen are on the street on the way to the Roadblock, and while they're stopped at a light, there's a kid juggling in the middle of the intersection. Meredith notes that the kid is out "earning a living." "Paying for his college," Gretchen puts in. And...sure, maybe. Nothing says you can't juggle your way to higher education. And then Susan and Patrick basically have the same experience, only instead of a juggler, they have a clown. "What is that clown doin'?" Patrick asks wearily. "I don't know, but he's in my way," says a clipped Susan. Patrick, with perfect tired timing: "If there was ever a time you wanted permission to...run over a clown." Hee. Oh, Patrick. I'm telling you, I put Patrick in the same category as Mikalah Gordon, which is that I give them this advice: Go away, but get back to me in ten years, because there is an excellent chance that you will be the kind of person I sort of like.
Ray and Deana set up for the Horseblock, meaning that she prepares to get on the horse, and he goes and sits on the Hay Bales Of Heel-Cooling. "I think she'll do it in a time or two, and we'll be on our way," Ray says tightly. He does not think that. "Kick hard, Deana," he tells her. "Ray, I'm tryin'," she comes back. Ray tells her she needs to be faster, and she's all, "Dammit," and she's upset already and stuff. "These are horses," Ray tells her brightly. "You've got to do it the right way." And then, snidely referencing our last overly aggressive boyfriend, Ray says, "Yours isn't broken; he doesn't need new batteries." Ooh, at home, Colin just broke something with his teeth. Deana: "You think it's easy? There's nothing I can do!" "We're going to get eliminated over horse riding," Ray mutters angrily.
Meredith and Gretchen approach the Horseblock. In the interests of not hearing what Gretchen's voice would sound like when prodding an animal, Meredith takes it. Meanwhile, inside, Ray is angry at Deana again. "Make him run; it's too slow," he tells her. "Shut up, Ray," Deana spits, showing a promising display of backbone that would at least make this ugly scene a little less one-sided. "I'm kickin' as hard as I can; he's not doin' nothin'," she says. "Then talk to him. Yell at him, or pull the reins," Ray says. "What am I going to say to a horse?" Deana asks with bored incredulity, like this is the stupidest thing he has ever said to her. Which, incidentally, I seriously doubt. "I'm not babying you anymore," Ray declares flatly. "Get mad at the horse!" he demands. "I mean it!" "I am!" she protests. "You want to quit and go home?" he wants to know. "No!" she says. "Then get mad at the horse!" he commands. Ray then notes the arrival of Meredith and Gretchen, whom he calls "the oldsters." I'm sorry, "oldsters"? What century am I in? "We're wasting time," Ray adds. Meanwhile, Gretchen sits nicely on the Hay Bales of Heel-Cooling and tells Meredith to ride nice and close to the barrels. Meredith and Deana both take off for a run at about the same time. Gretchen and Ray both cheer, although obviously, in her case, that takes the form of support, while in his case, it takes the form of additional bellowing. As Deana approaches the end of the course, her foot pops out of the stirrup, and she falls to the side, and the horse stops. Deana starts to cry, and Ray orders her not to give up. And then Meredith finishes the course. Yay! "Ohhh, what a gaucho you are!" Gretchen calls out. Aw. They get the clue. "Poor Deana," Gretchen notes once they are in their car. "She's not making the horse go fast enough." And they say the powers of observation are the first thing to go.
Deana takes off again. "If he stops, get madder," Ray commands. She screams at the horse, but can't keep it going fast enough. You know, in describing this moment, I really cannot improve on the description sent to me on Wednesday by one of my friends, who claimed that Ray's approach was indicative of the way he apparently handles all of life's challenges: "Did you yell at it? Did you try yelling at it again? Try hitting it!" I guess I could only add that "Did you kick it?" is also apparently acceptable. I bet the appliances at Ray's house are all really dented.