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Dr. Darin's Magical Mystery Scavenger Hunt: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (In Britain) Episode 3.4

Dr. Darin’s Magical Mystery Scavenger Hunt

Get ready for one more hour of international high-jinks! (I really have no idea of exactly what high-jinks are, but I’m glad I finally got to use it in a sentence). The Fab Five find themselves on a plane yet again. Huh? So they’re flying from London to . . . London? Only now, instead of champagne, the flight attendant serves tea. And instead of earplugs, they have eye cream. Okay, I’ll buy it.

Ted whips out his handy-dandy laptop and shows the boys Darin Dobler, which sounds like a character from a John Hughes movie. Darin is getting his Ph.D. in London in molecular biology while Julie, his wife, is putting him through school. Carson wonders if he can invent a really, really strong hairspray. Perhaps, that’s what he’ll do as his dissertation. And Darin is messy! He leaves Julie to clean the house. And Darin isn’t romantic! So he’s the typical Queer Eye guy. Ted explains that Darin is also an “ex-pat.” He’s an American living in London. Or the outskirts of London, really, and apparently the couple has never been into London for fun although they live right there.

Their mission, they decide, is to set up a romantic scavenger hunt for Darin to give Julie around the streets of London. I’d rather go back on the Jack the Ripper tour. The FF suggest they make Julie Queen for a Day. Unlike the FF, who now proclaim they are Queens for a Lifetime! Carson changes into his gray airline pajamas.

Monty Python London credits. Oh, Thom and his Inspector Gadget cell phone inquisitive face. Followed by the Union Jack. Cause we’re still in London.

The Fab Five take over the science building. They run into Darin’s lab with beakers and stuff. Is this sanitary? Darin has on protective eyewear. Ted holds up a jar of an apple juice colored liquid and tells everyone to watch out for radioactive substances. Which is why he very well should be tossing around jars of mystery liquid. The guys strip Darin of his lab coat, pile into a cab, and come home to Julie, who’s washing dishes and may need her own make-over.

As they enter the house, Ted exclaims, “Jai, look at this hunk of a sofa!” The place is very white, much like the lab. The sofa is a futon, and yet again, this season I cringe, for it is the very same futon that I am curled up on at this very moment. Julie is a lady with long blonde hair. Carson continues to wear his sunglasses in the house, I’m assuming from the glare of the whiteness. Darin is a tall, lanky guy with short dark brown hair and some stubble. Julie wears a vertical striped blouse that matches the décor. Darin opts for a blue collared shirt. The dining table is white with a light wood top and chairs.

Ted holds an American flag and says, “These just make me sick because they’re nasty and unattractive.” I’m thinking that it might be American flag boxers.

Jai asks Darin if he’s romantic. Darin wishes he could be. But don’t we all?

Kyan holds up some fake flowers. Oh, wait, it’s real but dead. They’re white too. He says, “It’s like a tumbleweed. Look at it!” Hee.

And now Ted and Carson yell about underwear. Underwear are all over the living room. Ted’s like, “It’s drying on the sofa.” Carson auctions off, “Underwear! Hot underwear!” Then, of course, they dump the underwear all over the dining table. And Jai attacks the laundry basket by shaking it.

In the kitchen, Ted holds up ten bottles of hot sauce. “Look, Thom! I think hot sauce was on sale!” Ain’t nothing wrong with that, Ted.

Carson finds a tiny jar of nuts and asks if Darin is a snacker. Julie says, “He has to eat like every hour.” Ain’t nothing wrong with that, either.

Kyan has Darin in his tiny white bathroom. He zhushes Darin’s hair and then asks, “What’s this hair on your palm for?” while stroking Darin’s hand. Darin makes an “oh, you caught me” face, which sends me into a spiral of confusion. I thought the whole hairy palm masturbate thing was a myth to keep little boys from playing with themselves. So if Darin’s not embarrassed about that, then he really has hair on his palms, which I thought was anatomically impossible because even monkeys don’t have hair on their palms. Unless there’s no hair at all and this whole scene is pointless.

In the living room, Thom is tearing apart the futon in disbelief that it’s the living room sofa. He pulls down the mattress part to reveal the steel frame. He yells out, “Were you ever in prison by any chance? This is lovely.” Okay, check that sarcasm at the door.

Back to Jai asking Darin what the most romantic thing he ever did was. He says something about planning a night in London a day in advance and that it wasn’t planned well. It was Julie’s birthday and she wound up planning it.

Cut to Kyan, tugging at Julie’s hair. Wrong person to be messing with, Kyan. He comforts Julie that Darin keeps “this place a shit hole.” Thom comes over and asks, “What do you mean it’s a shit hole? Didn’t you see the American flag?” Kyan half-hugs Julie.

In the kitchen, Jai finds a dairy product in the fridge with “clever” packaging. Okay, it’s phallic shaped and he licks it. We get it. Very funny, right?

Elsewhere, Ted finds the door into John Malchovich’s mind. No, it’s a storage space which he refers to as “Harry Potter’s room.” Heehee. He’s so well-read.

Kyan leaps out of the bathroom with lots of electrical hair equipment. Blow dryer. Curling iron. Flat iron. And lots more. He admonishes Darin and Julie, “You’ve got a problem with thermal styling.” Heehee.

Meanwhile, Thom is now locking Ted in Harry Potter’s room while Carson plays puppets with shoehorns in the closet.

Outside Thom finds a laundry hanger. The boys all grab a rod and dance around a circle as if it’s May Day and time to dance around the May Pole. This all ends with Ted careening into the garbage cans in a dizzy spell. Is this what high-jinks is?

On the purple bed, Jai and Julie chat about Darin’s lack of household responsibility. They miss their American family too.

In the kitchen, Darin says he cooks chicken stuff. Soup mixes and cheese and it’s a meal. He tells Ted he wants “more ideas” to be a better man.

Carson meanwhile reads one of Darin’s textbooks at rapid speed. Thom claims that Carson didn’t have toys as a child and now this is his entertainment.

Back in the bathroom doorway, Kyan yanks up Darin’s shirt to reveal his back-acne. Bacne. Perhaps it’s because he washes his sheets every few weeks or so? He should wash his sheets every week. Everyone should wash their sheets every week.

Then Kyan finds Cleopatra’s secret cream for Julie’s clitoris. Okay.

Carson asks if Darin feels like he fits in. Darin says he feels more like California. Carson points out that Darin likes blue. As in, everything in the closet is a shade of blue. All different textures. But blue. He also has boardshorts and a wrinkly labcoat.

Jai makes Thom sit down at the table for some dress up and hair styling. The price of beauty. Then Kyan sends Julie off for a hair treatment. Come on, Kyan! Leave her alone! But she seems happy.

Jai reveals that they’re flying in Darin’s family for tonight as his surprise to his wife. He’s happy! He’s in shock! Thom calls out that the house is “harrible!” And off Darin goes in a cab.

British Airways? Still flying to London.

Darin’s co-worker says that Darin dresses in blue.

His mother-in-law sees him in a blue shirt and khaki dockers.

Crossing Tower Bridge! Within the year, they’ve come into London only a few times. Cut to Ted speed-cleaning the kitchen and Carson speed-plucking the outdoor clothes hanger. Back in the cab, Thom and Kyan talk about Darin’s family coming.

They get out at London Furniture Store. They’re getting non-American furniture driven by “quality and design.” Obligatory sofa sitting. A plush chocolate-brown sofa that converts into a day-bed with convertible pillows. I. Want. This. Couch. Then they find a shaggy ottoman which Thom says, “is like Carson’s hair.” Ouch. That’s low.

Next, they look at shelves for Darin’s “big long wall.” It’s detachable. It turns the living room into a library. Darin mentions they have a lot of books so it will work.

Pigeons! People! It’s definitely London!

Over at the salon, Kyan and Darin hug. Aww. The Beta Institute is where they are. Bacne is why they’re there. He takes Darin to a chakra room to cleanse his back skin and “maybe do some extractions.” Oh, that does not sound like fun. Some woman digs out his blackheads as Kyan asks about how Julie will react to seeing her mom and sister. Darin predicts crying. Duh. Then the Blackhead Digger smears a mask over Darin’s back with cheesecloth in between.

Darin, dressed, goes over to Jai who is lying in bed at the Soho Hotel in London. The bed is the largest bed I’ve ever seen. They discuss Julie’s complaint that Darin doesn’t know how to clean. Enter Bjorn, the penthouse butler. Bjorn teaches Darin how to make a bed. Take off the pillows, put on some sheets, fold them six inches down from the top, make some hospital corners (for a “nice package”—heehee), and voila! Finished bed.

Next, Darin learns how to pick up after himself. Jai and Bjorn have strewn clothes across the floor and furniture. They teach Darin how to bend down, using his knees of course, and pick up the clothes. Just kidding, about the knee part. But they do make him pick up clothes. This is ridiculous. Bjorn suggests folding clothes in front of the television so it’s less boring. Then they all fold sweaters. Seriously, this isn’t a department store.

Thom speed shops at the furniture store.

Cut to Selfridges Food Court with Ted. Natural, real, delicious, gourmet food. Beginning with cheese. The most famous cheese, cheddar, was created in London. Who knew? They taste some moldy cheese, which is supposed to be moldy. Ted comments about mold that they “usually find in a straight guy’s house.” Heehee. They taste more cheese. They like cheese. Thankfully, no one is lactose intolerant.

Over to fresh veggies. Cucumbers for cucumber sandwiches. Ted stays behind for more grocery shopping while he sends Darin off to buy some new duds.

Darin’s never been shopping at Selfridges, which was started by an American. Carson and Ted with their fun facts. Carson is ready to spend money “like Beckham.” Makes no sense, yet funny. Carson wants to get Darin away from California t-shirts because London is wet and cold. They need “smart” clothes. Darin wants clothes that keep him cool (bacne!). Carson asks if he likes bright colors. Darin says yes, but then looks at a nearby sweater that has a stripe of every color under the sun. He says, “I like bright colors, but maybe not all in the same sweater.” Ha! Darin’s funny. Carson refers to the sweater as “circus o gay.” Double ha!

They find Jai, Kyan, and Ted and have a fashion show. Carson calls the first outfit, “Harry Potter chic” and “school boy chic.” It’s a blazer with chest emblem, a tie, and a top coat.

Next is a horizontal chunk striped brown and navy sweater with darker pants. “Nothing says Mr. Rogers like a cardigan.” For sure!

The last look is a trench coat (Macintosh jacket) over khaki pants and a black and white sweater.

They all jump out of the store with yellow shopping bags. They hail a cab. What fun. This has got to be high-jinks.

Julie wants their house to be a place where people can come over.

The sister-in-law says they have no coordinating furniture whatsoever. Does she mean coordinated or have I learned a new word?

A different co-worker says, “the red, white, and blue theme of the living room is just atrocious.” Now that’s some patriotism for ya.

In the taxi, Darin tells Kyan and Jai that he had lots of fun. They discuss how he’s been preparing for the Most Amazing Evening Ever. Darin has no clue about a plan but he’s excited. Back to the whole, Fab Five Queen for a Lifetime, Julie should be Queen for a Day comment. Which was funny only the first time around.

Meanwhile, Ted is speed decorating. The walls are red. The wooden shelves are awesome along the wall with all their books. The plush couch is in the center of the room and has leaf-patterned pillows.

Out in the taxi, Carson hopes that Thom has “coated the whole place in black latex.” The boys enter the house. Darin drops his jaw and is speechless for a moment. Then, “wow!” The molding is white. The fireplace is white. A huge flat screen television is on the wall. Thom jokes that it’s not real, but it’s art. Heehee. Julie loves red! Thom removed the door to Harry Potter’s room and made the nook into an entertainment center.

All the art is black and white London photos. The shaggy ottoman is behind the couch with a table separating the two. Oh! The American flag that Thom thought was sick before? That was a placemat! I see it now in the before/after shot. I’m happy it wasn’t underwear.

The kitchen is sage green. Thom took all the doors off their hinges and added an island/breakfast bar in the middle. No more dining table.

Ted and Darin put on aprons. Ted holds up smells-like-foot cheese and tells Darin that he’ll have a buffet that night. They also have little flags to label the cheese. They both wave around the little flags and yell out cheese names with bad British accents. High-jinks!

Ted also has garnish. Because nothing says fun like sprigs of rosemary. Then Ted tells Darin to leave the crusts on the bread, unlike traditional English tea, but then make the rest of the sandwich traditionally. It involves spreading mayo, arranging watercress and cucumbers. Done. “How easy is that?” Ted inquires ominously.

Next is crawfish and arugala sandwiches. Thom says it’s amazing. Ted makes the picnic basket say hello.

Kyan grabs Darin into the bedroom and teaches him how to make the mask they used on his back before. It looks like humus. Kyan tells Darin to have Julie put it on his back. Has Julie been informed of this? Kyan’s trying to take over London in this episode. First it’s make-over Darin. Then send Julie to the salon for a hair treatment and make her smear stuff on Darin’s back. Next, it’s gonna be a dye job for the Queen. Darin is happy about the mask. Kyan says, “for a bio-chemist, it’s a piece of cake.” Then he calls out, “I’m finished. And I’ve got stuff all over my hands.” Carson pops his head in and says, “You should really wash your hands when you’re done doing that.” Okay, a very obvious joke but I can’t help but laugh. I guess we’re all thirteen at heart.

Carson takes Darin over to his couture. A blue shirt with red flowers. It’s very Hawaiian, the way Carson told him not to go. I’m confused. Carson has a gift for Julie and boxes that are patterned and don’t need to be wrapped. Is this shirt for Julie? I’m so confused right now. Carson has also gotten him underwear so he has so many that he’ll never have to wash them and they’ll be disposable. Sure.

Jai and Darin lie in the bed. Jai rips the sheets off. Darin laughs. Jai says that Darin will have to make the bed in front of her when she comes home. Yes, that’s a turn on. Put the sheets on the bed. Every woman loves that.

They head downstairs and gather round the living room with pints of beer. I’ve just noticed Carson’s pants for the first time this episode—they’re black and white checked pants usually reserved for chefs. Nuff said. Jai explains the night to Darin, which Jai calls, “The Magical Mystery Tour.” Umm, no. That title is already taken by a little band called The Beatles! I like my title better: The Most Amazing Evening Ever. Okay, it’s not a great title, but at least I didn’t rip off England’s greatest musical icons.

The night begins with tea at the Savoy. Next, they go to the Damien Hurst boat and sail under three bridges on the Thames. London has about fifteen bridges, so this isn’t a surprise. Then they dock and cab it over to the London Eye with a private pod. Julie’s family will be inside and Julie will be surprised! Carson says she’s going to be hammered. Throughout the night, Darin has to give Julie index cards with clues on them so she figures out the next place they’re going. Because it’s a scavenger hunt! Kyan explains, “you don’t use Savoy in the limerick” but you hint at it so she figures it out. Thanks, Kyan. Be a bit more condescending. I mean, the man is a molecular bio-chemist. I think he can figure out how to write a clue!

Darin is amazed. Skin. Dress. House. Carson says, “And your breath is fresh too!” Darin lists a few more things and says something about details. The FF say in unison, “God is in the details.” Darin toasts, “To the details and the Fab Five.” Cool toast. Kyan says, “We put the tail in detail.” Redeems himself yet again. Jai leaves Darin, saying that the last surprise is that they have a car and driver for the night. Darin is happy.

Hip Tip: Marinate things in beer. Thanks, Ted.

Julie describes Darin as “really funny, really smart.” Add great personality and you’ve got the description of every blind date I’ve ever been on.

Mother-in-law predicts crying and fainting when Julie sees them. That spells party!

Gather round the London Loft. Thom is in a velour red jacket. Ted is ready for the “Magical Mystery Tour.” Ugh. Already, Darin is adjusting things on the shelves. Carson, I think, comments, “He’s stroking his wood.” Heehee. Darin now makes the bed. I thought he was supposed to do it in front of Julie. As he shoves sheets under the mattress, Carson calls it “a mental hospital corner.” Ha!! Jai is panicked that “it’s not looking so good.” Darin continues to shove the sheets around and redeems his hospital corner.

Darin now wraps couture for Julie. Jai asks if Darin will wear the high heels. Carson says answering the door in heels and a smile would be a great idea. Darin wraps the high heels instead. Good call, Darin. He places the presents on the bed. When he’s finished, he wipes his brow and the Fab Five, in unison, shout, “Wow!” Thom mocks, “Are my eyebrows okay?”

In the kitchen, Darin grabs some bread and a knife. Ted calls out, “Your fingers!” and says he always gets nervous when the straight guys have to cut things. He smears, he spreads cukes, and he cuts the sandwich which falls apart. Thom says, “He’s having cucumber problems.” Ted comments in a high-pitched, old lady British accent, “There’s no watercress!” Darin tries to piece the bread back together and the guys can’t believe that he’s having this much trouble with a little sandwich. (Remember when Ted said it was going to be easy?!) Thom says, “It looks like he made it with a lawnmower.” Heehee. That brings on a very real moment where Kyan turns towards Thom and laughs a very real laugh, like he’s genuinely tickled by Thom’s comment. These guys joke around so much that it’s nice to see that they really do enjoy it.

Darin then grabs every cheese known to man out of the fridge and throws it in the picnic basket. Ted says, “He’s packing a picnic hamper,” while Carson comments on his “nice basket.”

Into the bathroom for a shave. “Very nice!” the guys yell as Darin shaves slowly. But then, “oh!!!” He starts shaving the very top of his chest. Kyan says, “That’s a little low,” while pointing and laughing at the screen. Have I mentioned that Kyan is wearing a dark mauve shirt with a black jacket and he looks fabulous and as I have paused the tape I’m watching, he’s stuck in an eyes-closed laughing position which is incredibly endearing? Sigh. Ted wonders if Darin’s going to a swim meet. Heehee. Then there’s a really gross shot of the sink with milky water and shaving cream and stubble floating around. Ew.

Next, Darin takes off his towel and reveals pristine, white boxer briefs. He wears a button down blue shirt with vertical fuchsia stripes and either navy pants or jeans. I’m thinking they’re pants or else the guys would yell at him.

Here comes Julie down the street in a gray fitted jacket and black pants with a Burberry bag in hand. Kyan comments how her hair is done. Arg.

Darin has yet to write down the clues for the evening. Julie’s at the door. Oh, no! High-jinks may be in store.

Julie knocks profusely. He finally opens the door. Julie’s reaction? Speechless for a moment. Then, “Dude, you look so hot!” Kyan says, “I love a girl that says dude.” “Sexy!” Julie continues. She gives him thumbs up and snaps. She loves the house too.

Darin starts to say, “you know how one of the things we talked about was…” but then doesn’t finish because he starts crying and Julie wraps her arms around him. Aww. He finishes, “to show the house is us and we’re Americans in London.” He points out the art. The television. She loves.

In the bedroom, he shows her the bed and reveals he took lessons. Carson says, “She wants to have sex right now!” Because the bed is made.

Next Julie opens her presents. “Love it!” She likes the clothes. Who wouldn’t?

Darin lets Julie get ready while he writes out his clues. She comes down wearing a pink jacket, much like the gray one, with a pink belt and gray pants. Oh, the jacket with flowers was for Julie! Makes sense now. And it matches her bag. Thom says, “They’re going to have to move out of Colchestire because they’re too metrosexual.” Yes, that’s spelled wrong but it’s my best England-ese without looking at a map.

Darin puts on his jacket, grabs his basket, and they’re off.

Shots of London at night. Thom says, “She has no idea she’s going to embark on her whole family.” What? How do you embark on your family? I thought embarking was reserved for boats. Whatever.

Darin gives Julie her first clue: “It rhymes with boy and is a great hotel.” Heehee. The molecular bio-chemist gets an A for effort. She can’t get it! “Savoy!” she yells after Darin whispers it in her ear. They tell Gary The Driver to take them to the Savoy. He guffaws all English-like, but in an amused way, not a mocking way.

And the Fab Five start rhyming things with Savoy. Bok Choi. LaToy-a. Oy-vey.

The Savoy is pretty and has lots of lights. They’re there for high tea. Scones. Cream. Tea. Kyan thinks they’ll make “little baby Doblers now.” They receive a gift from the butler in the room. It’s from Jai. A free night at the hotel for a later date. Cool.

Clue number two time. “It’s not a plane or a train or an automobile, but it will be a magical journey.” Again, Darin says, “Do you have any idea?” Again, Julie’s wrong. “It’s either walking.” The FF all say, “No!” “A horse?” Darin says, “No.” Carson can’t take it any more. “Okay, it’s a boat on the Thames! Let’s go!” Heehee. Darin hints that the Savoy looks over water and she guesses the river. Hooray.

They sail towards the London Eye. Darin says it’s nice out. It looks like it’s freezing. She’s amazed. They love each other. Clue Three: “I spy a giant eye in the sky, or is it rolling along the Thames?” What? Julie guesses, “The London Eye?” Darin says, “It’s the Houses of Parliament!” Heehee. Ted mocks the “tough clue.”

Jai is about to pee his pants. Julie doesn’t know her family is there. Darin and Julie get into the pod. Two women are standing at the far end with their backs turned. When they kept saying family, I was thinking lots of people, not just two. Anyway, it’s going to be great. A mom and a sister! They turn around and Julie covers her face and can’t believe it. Oh, there’s a baby with them too. I’m guessing Julie’s nephew. It’s Jack. Aww.

They have a picnic in the pod. Darin labels the cheese with the flags and Thom calls him “such a scientist.” Darin toasts to family. This guy is good with toasts. Carson toasts to “sleeping babies, my favorite!”

Julie says she had the best day of her life. They love each other.

Ted yells, “Well that worked.” Jai said they reached all their goals of romance, assimilation, and romance. They toast to stinky cheese and family and England. I want to know what they’re drinking because they look like fun drinks.

Carson says carry a stylish umbrella.

Kyan says moisturize and drink water on a flight.

Thom says souvenirs are tacky and not to buy stuff with the name of the city in it.

Jai says go get drunk at a pub to make friends. Well, not exactly, but that’s the gist of it.

Ted says use lots of tea for perfect tea and then serves a Queen.

And Dr. Jekyll becomes Mr. Hyde (in a good way, not the murderous, pyschopathic way–work with the metaphor) with the help of a few life-long queens. Cheerio!

–Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl

Tell me all about your international high-jinks: Email me at christina@realityshack.com

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