Friends. My apologies. I have been mired in a very busy couple of weeks due to important things at home and the office which have occupied my time. In addition, I have been completely engrossed in reading A Song of Ice and Fire the last few weeks and it has completely taken all of my free time attention. Sadly, my Amazing Race recaps have taken the worst hit. I had half of my Episode 8 one done before I realized that I never finished it. Then I blinked and most of this week had passed meaning Episode 10 is rapidly upon us and I haven’t even done Episode 9 yet!
So my apologies. I’ll try to do a better job – and hey, I’m on Book 5 now. Mr. Martin hasn’t written any others as of yet! Let me sum up Eps 8 & 9 right now. We are in Europe. We lost the Mullets. And now we have the Derby Moms facing a Speed Bump tomorrow.
Welcome to Switzerland and the Great Amazing Train Race! After multiple early bunchings, the remaining teams flitted about Switzerland going from train to train. And really, that’s much of what we saw – teams trying to get to, and then riding trains. The whole leg. It was enough to make CBS synergy executives longing for Sheldon Cooper commentary.
The Race leg came down to this – Wynona struggled on the Roadblock. Mullet and YouTube missed the train to the Switchback, where Wynona struggled again. The end.
The long, drawn-out death throws of the Mullets’ attempt to win the Amazing Race came to a merciful halt this week. How they made it to the Final Six, well, I have no idea. They needed so many teams to screw up – through fear of water (those twin doctors, who I think were eliminated way back in 2009), stubbornness (Dudes), injury (Ribbon), and bizarre errors (Pwinnie). And their exit from the Race comes from Wynona’s slow pace during a mountain-scaling task – the only one who took a while to do it – put them in position to lose. And then her failure to walk uphill in snow put them woefully behind. All the while her loving husband ridiculing her all the way. He even dragged her up the hill during the Switchback – making her literal dead weight for the team, instead of the season-long proverbial dead weight.
If you haven’t guessed – I am not shedding many tears that this couple is only going to briefly be on my TV once more at the Finish Line. Wait. Please, AR producers, don’t cast them on any all-star season! Please!
The other big thing this episode was the Switchback task. In lieu of a Detour (unless it was cut for time), the teams got a Switchback task. To refresh your memory, this is a former challenge from a past season. This iconic one was the first challenge from Season 14. In that one, teams had to scale a hill and bring four huge cheese wheels down using some ancient cheese dragging contraption. Well, insanity ensued. All of the contraptions smashed. Cheese was everywhere. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria.
This time, we have fewer teams, a sled instead of the ancient contraption, and a mountain full of snow to slow them down. And as a result – a lot less fun. They all basically make slow and steady progress down the mountain. Slap Shot is fine heading up the mountain, but the cluster of the Moms, Underwood and Newlyweds are held up by the Katie’s struggles in leading the group up the hill. Later, the Mullets struggle badly too.
The Mullets actually finish ahead of YouTube because of the younger team’s failure to catch a ride to the Mat. They wind up going on foot – almost killing Meghan. However, the Mullets chose to just fling the cheese down the hill instead of using the sleds. Mistake. The 30-minute penalty enabled the plodding YouTube to arrive and survive.
Ep 8 – Random Task – Transport an Alps rescue dog via train to a watch tower.
Ep 8 Roadblock – Scale the outside of the side of Mt. Eiger. They don’t have to go far – just from one observation window to another – and need to gather up a Travelocity gnome tied up on the mountain. How about having that job? Go out on the mountain and tie up ceramic gnome. Roadblockers – Katie, Wynona, Bates, Jennifer, Meghan, Beth. All do well except Wynona. The task is fairly easy – just overcome the fear.
Ep 8 Switchback – The cheese.
Ep 8 Standings – Slap Shot (trip to Bora Bora), Moms, Newlyweds, Underwood, YouTube, Mullets (ELIMINATED
Ep 9 – They must go from Switzerland to the Ministry of Finance in Dresden, Germany. They all get bunched on the early train – the only thing of note is that someone made off with Bates’ pack. Bad job by the camera crew in missing that theft. Jennifer offers him her thongs – which should have been hotter, however, it wasn’t. Anthony also offers underwear. That’s not hot.
Ep 9 Random Task – In the Product Placement Car, they must answer some random questions asked by the car. First, who said “Tear down this wall.” It makes me sad that so many of them could not immediately say – Ronald Reagan. I weep for our schools. Max thinks JFK – and then reveals his right-wing beliefs by claiming that Rush Limbaugh would be mad at him for getting that wrong. Oh, Max. I was beginning to like you. Sigh. The others are just as bad with the guesses – YouTube even thinks it could be FDR. The Berlin Wall was not even built yet.
Ep 9 Random Task 2 – Base fly 37 stories off the Park Inn Hotel. This is friggin’ scary. My biggest fear, subject of recurring nightmares since I was a kid, is to be on the outside of a building. Shudder. All Katie is worried about is that she has to pee. I would not have to worry about that – let’s just say, I would not have to pee for long. Meghan gives a cool battle cry down, Joey acts cartoonish (again), and Beth’s mouth turns gigantic.
Ep 9 Detour – Train Tracks or Font Follies – In Train, they go to the train museum and built a model train well enough for the train to make one circuit. In Font, they find a bunch of huge neon letters and carry them to the Museum of Letters. That’s right, there is a Museum of Letters. And yes, I want to go there. Only YouTube chooses the trains, although Slap Shot flips after Anthony drops their V and breaks it.
Ep 9 Roadblock – Go to some speakeasy and go into this underground creepy funhouse and find the clue. In order to enter, they have to answer another trivia question – who said Ich Bein Ein Berliner. Again, some cannot answer the question and have to ask a random barfly for help. Love that random drunk German guys know our presidential history more than we do. Joey says he doesn’t know German quotes. Sigh. It’s only one of the most famous quotes spoken by JFK. Even if JFK messed it up – he is not a donut.
Roadblockers – Katie, Joey, Jennifer, Beth and Anthony.
It comes down to the Moms and Slap Shot doing the Roadblock together. Slap Shot follows them to the Mat and overtakes them in the footrace.
Ep 9 Standings – Newlyweds (Two Ford Fusions), YouTube, Underwood, Slap Shot, Moms (NON-ELIMINATED)
And I promise to be better next week.
Ep 8 & 9 Route Markers
• Anyone else expect the Mullets to be doomed the minute the show added the montage of them fighting?
• So tired of the fake relationship between the Underwoods and Slap Shot. Just tiresome.
• Derby Moms say that Colorado is not as good as Switzerland. Don’t mess with Denver, ladies.
• Of course Meghan made a Beethoven joke with the dog.
• The dog licks the singers on the mouth. Hey, that dog got further than Slap Shot has gotten!
• Of course Chuck let the dog drink from his water bottle. Who wants to bet that he drank from that bottle afterwards?
• How poetic is it that Wynona was dizzy in the cool looking tunnels? And seriously, those tunnels looked like a scene straight out of an old Bond movie.
• Am I crazy, or did Katie’s gnome move from the wind? Ok, that was a bit scary.
• The Moms think Dresden is a quaint town with trees lining the streets. Heck, every town looks that way. They could have been driving in almost any town in Maryland for all we knew.
• Does Underwood understand that they cannot share the Race win with Slap Shot? They need to stop feeling bad for racing.
• Moms doing the letter task – “We’re moms, we are used to schlepping things.”
• Loved the animated train wreck graphic when the toy trains crashed.
• Max – “The honeymoon continues here at the underground German speakeasy.”
Next Week – Scotland. And a Double U-Turn.