You know that expression, "all over but the crying?"
As Toni and Dallas emerge from a Metro station to street level, Phil pops out of a doorway in front of them and confronts them on the sidewalk. No greeter, no mat. They know what's coming, and they stop dead in their tracks. Phil gazes at them sympathetically for a moment, then delivers the bad news like a doctor in a waiting room or an army officer on a doorstep. "Toni and Dallas, three teams have checked into the Pit Stop. Those three teams are the teams that will be racing to the Finish Line for the one million dollars. I'm sorry to tell you, you have been eliminated from the race." He looks like he means it too. Toni kisses her son, and Phil obviouses, "Rough day." They agree that it didn't go so great. Phil asks Dallas how he's feeling, and Dallas can only say he feels bad about letting his mom down. "You didn't let me down! Give me a kiss," Toni interrupts, hugging him tightly. "I had a great time." "It's just tough. Been a tough day," Dallas finishes. That seems to be all he can trust himself to say.
In their post-leg interview, which looks like it was shot in a funeral home, Dallas talks about how proud he is of his mom and himself. "Everything I am is because of my mom," he says. Way to try and shift blame there. Toni tearfully adds that she feels closer to Dallas than she ever has. "This has been the best experience of my life, and I wouldn't change a thing that we did. Not one." Not even one? Not even that one? "I have never been so proud of you, baby," she finally finishes as she breaks down. Dallas puts a big, dopey arm around her, and we see them walking alone down the street, probably to find the U.S. consulate to figure out how the hell they're going to get home.
Time for the pre-finale expressions of confidence and bravado. Starr: "I'm very confident that Nick and I can cross that Finish Line first." Dan: "New race. It's one leg, you know, winner take all." Ken: "It's time for us to take control of our destiny and kick ass and win this thing." Andrew: "A million dollars. What a graduation gift." Tina: "We're gonna dominate." Nick: "Bring it on!" Well, at least that was short.
Next week: The end.
M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter (mgiant), or just e-mail him at M.Giant[at]gmail.com