Okay folks. I tried watching the Weavers tonight a little more openly. I tried to find some redeeming qualities. I was in a spirited debate last week with someone on a message board who likes the Weavers very much and can’t see where they have done anything wrong. I only saw one small redeeming quality and that was Linda giving money to the desperate Godlewski sisters. But just before that one of Linda’s daughters had said everyone was Christians and indicated the Weavers were “above them all.” What the heck is that? Someone else suggested a “Free Rolly” campaign, and I think he has a point. Rolly Weaver does seem to be the Marilyn Muenster of the family.
The Paolos leave Panama City at 8:22 PM and receive instructions to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica by catching buses that will be leaving thirty minutes apart. They will then drive to Volcan Paos, the top of an active volcano. Marion thinks her boys appreciate her more. She says she’s not as quick as she used to be, but she can still do it. She wasn’t just a mom staying home doing laundry. As they leave, they fight, of course.
The Weavers leave much later at 9:11 PM with Linda directing a prayer, “Heavenly Father, please guide us.” It was here that one of the daughters said they were raised not to trust others, but trust God, as they can’t control others, noting here that no one else seems to like them (Get a clue!). She utters here the line about everyone being Christians, but they are above them all. Really, I find nothing likable in any of that.
Five minutes later the Bransens leave. Wally says his three girls are close and have a lot in common. He knows they love him, but he feels he is the outsider in their group. The Linzes leave at 9:17 with one of the brothers noting they have met some nice people on the race, but if they survive today, they will have a one in five chance for a million dollars. He sees the competition starting now and recognizes it in others’ eyes as well.
At 9:23 the Gaghans leave. As they are running to get an early departure time on their bus, nine-year-old Carissa misunderstands and thinks they have to run all the way to Costa Rica. Billy notes they’d be running for “like 200 miles.” Father Bill says yesterday they had a lot of luck, and nearly all of it was bad. The Godlewski sisters leave last, twenty minutes later. Since they survived a non-elimination leg, they had all their possessions and money taken away from them and start this leg without any money as well. They try begging out by the pool and are told by a man he has no money, just love. Hmmm, I wonder what he wants looking at these attractive young ladies.
The Paolos reach the bus station first and catch bus number one, leaving at 11:30 AM. The Linzes arrange to catch the same bus and Marion decides no one should tell the Florida team (The Weavers) where to sign up for the bus, explaining they are rude to everyone. They do help the Gaghans. In the end, though, both the Weavers and Gaghans catch the second bus leaving at 12:00, and the Bransens and Godlewskis catch the third bus leaving at 12:30. The Godlewskis find the time to corner Linda Weaver and ask for a handout. She does provide it.
On the buses Bill Gaghan notes the exposure they are getting on the race to see these other countries and the different ways they leave, some of it in poverty. He sees it as a great gift to his children to be able to witness it. The bus carrying the Paolos and Linzes arrives in Costa Rica. As they run to pick up their van Marion says she’s coming. DJ says, “So is Christmas.” Both teams pay to follow someone to the volcano and split the cost.
The bus carrying the Weavers and Gaghans arrives, and both teams struggle to find the vans they need to pick up. Linda Weaver notes being nervous in this area and Carissa Gaghan is directed to not fall behind and hold someone’s hand. The Bransens and Godlewskis arrive and are excited to find they have caught up to the middle two teams. Finding the vans, Linda says she can drive a stick shift but certainly seems to be driving it a little rough. Don’t rent that van when she’s done with it.
The Bransens are a little lost and the girls direct their dad to get out and ask someone. He tells them they should since he’s driving, but they don’t want to. They then turn their intentions on nagging at him to put his seatbelt on. The Weavers utter a prayer, “God let us beat the other people, if it is your will.” Does God will teams to beat other teams?
As the Paolos and Linzes reach Volcan Paos State Park they find the gates closed, not opening until the morning. As the Gaghans arrive, it doesn’t matter to them to wait as Carissa is out cold in the back seat. Thank God she didn’t have to walk all that way. Billy, though, notes the sign says, “Kids are free.”
The gates open and all six teams race in at once. The Linzes are the first to reach the cluebox and find they now need to travel to the Doka Estate Coffee Plantation. There is a note that there is a Yield ahead. On the drive to the coffee plantation the Linzes note to remember they are not using the Yield, then wonder if they should after all. They all agree that if they do, it should be the Weavers that are Yielded, as they are a good team. They think they’ll “suck it up and be mean for a day.”
Linda Weaver looking for directions to the plantation asks if it is “On the righto or lefto.” I like their creative Spanish. Last week Rolly told the cab driver, “El Speedo.” I have to write these down for my trip to Mexico later this month. The Bransens decide if they get a chance to Yield they will Yield the Florida team, but it’s the Paolos that reach the Yield first and use the Yield power on the Weavers.
Just outside the Yield the Paolos find a Roadblock. One member from each team needs to dig through 800 pounds of coffee beans to find the one red bean. Marion decides to do the searching, as does Tammy Gaghan arriving just after. One of the Bransen sisters joins the search as do Meghan Linz and Tricia Godlewski. Tricia somehow finds it right away and receives a clue to head to the small beach town of Jaco and find Javier at the surf shop to receive the next clue.
Marion finds the red bean next, and it’s nice to hear DJ tell her, “Nice job, Mom.” The Weavers arrive at the Yield and are dismayed to find it was the Paolos that yielded them, although they refer to them as “The Cleavers.” They then look through all the pictures in the box and make fun of everyone. They make fun of the Paolos standing in front of Tony’s garbage truck. Well, not everyone can work at a race track. They decide no one wants them there, but know they are responsible to a higher authority.
Meghan Linz and the Bransen sister both find their coffee bean. Tammy Gaghan is still searching. Apparently they are finding the bad luck again today. Rachel Weaver searches for the red bean after their Yield timer finally runs out. DJ says he will play nicey nice to stay in the race for awhile, but once it reaches final three he won’t be so nice any more. I’m not sure what her brothers said to her, but Meghan Linz says for twenty-one years she’s been looking forward to getting balls.
Both the Paolos and Godlewskis stop to ask where to find the surf shop. Paolos ask a man at a bar and he tells them it’s maybe dos kilometers down the road, then winks at the camera. Rachel finds the bean and Tammy is still searching. Much later she finds it.
Getting their clue from Javier, the Paolos and Godlewskis find a Detour, forcing the teams to choose between Relic and Ripe. In Relic the teams need to run through a nearby rainforest over precarious bridges in search of four different ancient relics of the Mayan civilization. In Ripe teams go to a banana plantation, gather fifteen bushels of bananas and attach them to overhead pulleys to transport them to the distribution center. The Paolos choose Ripe and the Godlewskis choose Relic.
On their way still to find Javier, the Gaghans pick up a local to help them find the location more quickly. The Godlewski sisters argue driving to the rainforest and Sharon stops the car, gets out, and tells Michelle to drive since she thinks she can do better. The Paolos find the banana bushels to be very heavy, but dad Tony is the hero of the day, hauling them easily, used to dumping heavy garbage cans. Take that, Weavers. His job helped him in this Detour. They finish quickly with one of the sons calling his dad “a fricking monster” for the way he easily moved the bananas. They receive a clue telling them to go to the beach in the town of Quepos for the next pit stop.
The Bransens and Linzes join up at the rainforest and are taken aback slightly at the rope bridges they must cross. Just as they wonder when they will ever find the relics, they find huge ones residing in the river and must carry them back. The Godlewskis and Weavers choose Relic, but Linda Weaver gets the van stuck trying to back out. As she is stuck the Gaghans catch up, running quickly through the rain forest. Linda’s kids push the van out and once they are on their way again, she says she is sick of doing things she can’t do.
The Paolos, Linzes and Bransens catch up to each other at the Quepos pit stop. They all drive around looking for a good place to park, then have to run quite a distance to reach Phil. Marion is really running it hard, she wants to stop and is encouraged by her family to keep going. She pulls it out as they arrive first on the mat. Tony hugs Phil while the boys hug their mom. Courtesy of the Wild Bean Cafe, each team member wins either a Segway, Vespa, jet ski or ATV. The boys say their mom is exceeding their expectations for how she would do on the race. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Marion has already won something pretty important. She has won the respect of her sons after working very hard for it. Tony says if it wasn’t for Marion, he doesn’t know what he would do.
The Linzes and Bransens arrive just after on the mat for second and third place. The Godlewskis overcome their last spot finish in Panama City to reach fourth place here. The Weavers and Gaghans pull up to the beach and race for the finish. Just when we think the Gaghans and their marathon running background will help them pull it out, the Weavers run in to take fifth place.
The Gaghans then slow their pace down, knowing they are already last. Carissa asks if they can come on vacation to Costa Rica some time. Bill says he thinks so, as he loves this place. As they stop on the mat, they are Philiminated, but not before Phil tells Carissa she is the youngest ever racer to make it this far in the race. Billy feels they ran the race hard and can go out holding their heads high. Father Bill hopes his kids have come out of this with optimism and a sense of perseverance.
Of course, just when I was starting to like them, the Gaghans are eliminated. I didn’t get their family dynamics in the beginning, but understood them so much more later on. The Weavers, though, I still haven’t changed my mind, despite trying to be as open as I could possibly be about them. They don’t even seem to be having any fun. The only time I can remember them having fun was making fun of all the other racers. Rolly isn’t quite freed yet.
This time around I’m taking an unofficial poll. I want to know whether people like the Weavers or not. I’ll post the results next week. Email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com