Amazing Race

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Out On a Limb

Cut to the Pittock Mansion overlooking Portland. It's got a big yard, but that giant red Mat Phil's standing on takes up a great deal of it. Both teams seem to be reaching the parking lot. Up by the mat, the first six eliminated teams are there, cheering and applauding for the cameras. There's Arthur and Anita, the married beekeepers; Mark and Bill, the Geeks; Aja and Ty, Team Long-Distance. Toni and Dallas are, of course, probably still stuck in Russia without their passports. A cab pulls into the parking lot. Phil pops an eyebrow. And coming around the trees into view at a dead run, it's...it's...

The Frat Boys! Holy motherfucker!

No, it's really just Nick and Starr. Try to act surprised anyway. There's Terence and Sarah, in matching purple New York T-shirts. There's a pretty nondescript couple who I vaguely remember as Team Tick-Tock, Anthony and Stephanie. They don't look married yet. Nick and Starr sprint onto the map so fast that they nearly overshoot it, before hugging each other hard. There's the Southern Belles, Marisa and Brooke. Phil makes his big speech, trying vainly to get the Sibling's attention by putting a hand on Nick's shoulder, but he only has arms for his sister. "Twenty-three days, five continents, and almost 40,000 miles," Phil announces, vainly trying not to be ignored. "Nick and Starr, you are the official winners of The Amazing Race. Congratulations, you have won the one million dollars." Even Team Divorced, Kelly and Christy, seem happy for them. Or they're better at faking than they are at reading clues. The Siblings hug again. Phil makes a remark about how they like to win, and Starr admits they're competitive before turning to the peanut gallery and adding, "Every single team here is competitive, and you made it one hell of a race." Well, except Arthur and Anita, obviously. And, to be frank, about half the other teams. Phil asks the winners what they want to say to each other. Nick starts to say something, but Starr tells him, "You're my best friend" and hugs him before he can. He interviews that he's proud of his sister. "More than the million dollars, more than being the winners of The Amazing Race, I love the experience that I've gone through with my sister and I've loved seeing her succeed so greatly." Really? Can I have the million dollars, then?

Ken and Tina jog into the yard and see everybody there, including Nick and Starr on the giant mat. They all hug, and Phil congratulates them on being team number two, forever and always. As the four lead racers stand arm-in-arm on the mat, Phil brings up the big question: did Ken and Tina reconnect? Ken gushes, "We've been through a lot of ups and downs on the course of this race. She's the best." They hug. Everyone Awws. Then Ken pulls a couple of ratty wads of tissue out of his Amazing Purse, saying that they haven't been wearing their rings for a while. Because he's been toting them around the world in these ratty little wads of tissue. He slips Tina's ring back onto her finger, saying, "I'm going to ask you to start this thing over again, and we'll do it right this time." Everyone claps, and even Phil wipes away a tear (or pretends to) before Ken kisses her like a new bride. Take that, Nick and Starr. For the longest time, I've wondered how hard it was for Ken and Tina to have so much attention focused on their relationship. Now I finally know: not that hard at all.

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Amazing Race

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