The Amazing Race 8 : Episode 6
Previously, somebody had to become the crazy villainous fruitloops on the show in order to keep the viewers watching this dreadful season and the thankless task fell onto the weary shoulders of the Whining Weevils. They were more than able when it comes to being villains, however, and in this episode they will shine in all their macabre, isolationist, dysfunctional madcap glory that actually goes as far as to make people forget how irritating the Pablums are. Welcome to this week's episode of The Whining Weevils Show. Grab hold of some drinks that will work wonders in clearing boredom-induced sleepiness because I have a hunch that you and I will need it to go through another dumbed-down and insipid episode of a formerly fun show.
Philo Koughie steps out in front of the camera to announce that he is standing at Miraflores Locks, the Pitstop for the previous leg of the Race and also the part of the Panama Canal on the side of the Pacific. Philo gives some geography lessons to everyone by announcing that this Canal is a "marvel of engineering" that connects the Pacific with the Atlantic Ocean. If this show is cancelled after this dire season, Philo can always earn some extra dollars teaching Geography to the Whining Weevils. For now, Philo reminds everyone that the Godawfulshrieky Sisters came in last in the non-elimination leg of the previous episode and therefore had all their non-lingerie and non-silly clothes taken away from then. They had no money left after Philo took everything from them and they won't get any money at the start of this leg. Philo wonders whether this will doom the Godawfulshrieky Sisters for good. I would have wondered if previous seasons haven't shown that (a) mugged Teams ended up getting more money at the start of the new leg, more than what the non-mugged Teams officially received and (b) mugged Teams suffered only from the embarrassment or discomfort or dented ego from having to beg money from strangers. Come on, Bonghammer, the whole mugging thing hasn't worked since it was introduced in Season Five. Oh, and here's one more: has there been any point in this particular Season that the Families actually need to spend money on anything other than food? Anyway, can we put it aside and come up with something else to penalize people that come in last in a non-elimination round? It's a pointless twist rendered even more pointless in a season where gas is paid for by the show.
8:22 pm. The Pablums hear the sound of their Fast-Forward lead flushing into the toilet when they realize that they have to make their way by cab to a nearby bus station where they will then board one of the three charter buses that will take them to San Jose, Costa Rica. There, they must locate a volcano. Each bus leaves at a half-hour interval and will take only two Families. Mrs Pablum tells the camera that she is certain that her children are learning to appreciate her more on the Race. Whether this has anything to do with Brian telling the others not to fight or he will put his foot down - literally! - I have no idea. Maybe the kids are learning to appreciate Mrs Pablum more when she's quiet. I certainly am! The Pablums head back to their hotel to call for a cab. The cab shows up and they're off to the bus station.
9:11 pm. The Whining Weevils. Right off the gate, they are determined to show the audience of this show that they have moved from their previous broken record My Daddy's Dead to something more enjoyable, Hey, We're Another Bunch Of Crazy Christians On TV. I'm not saying that all religious people on TV are crazy, mind you, I'm just wondering why so many of them however are. Rebecca and Rachel tell the camera that they have been raised since they were born - their own words, people - not to trust anyone other than their family and in God. The more these people speak, the more I'm convinced that they are actually in some cult and they want to use the million dollars to build some giant ark because they are convinced that the world will come to an end soon. They also talk about how they are above all that mean-spirited trash talking that the other Families apparently fling at them because they are Christians and therefore above such pettiness. Remember this scene, people, because the Whining Weevils are going to be spreading the love around later on in the episode. They stand by the road and wait for a cab. This show is off on an exciting start.
9:16 pm. The Blandsens. They count their money - $74 can buy a lot of junk food - and as they wait for their cab, Mr Blandsen continues talking about how he is a slow, old, befuddled, on the brink of dying old man who can experience simultaneous asthmatic and epileptic outbreaks whenever he tries to run above a certain speed. I have a hunch that if the ground opens up and swallows him and his daughters, I probably won't even realize that they are gone until three months after this season has ended. The Blandsens stand by the road and wait for a cab.
9:17 pm. The Lunzes. Generic bland wannabe-pretty kiddies with generic "We wanna win and we will win even if it means beating those Families that we like" yammerings. What will I do without them, eh? They join the Blandsens and the Whining Weevils by the road to wait for a cab. Fortunately for them, they manage to get a cab before those two Families.
9:23 pm. The Mini-Gagglehams audition for the lead roles in next Harry Potter by putting on a play where Billy tells Carissa that they will be running some 200 miles to Costa Rica. Meanwhile, the parents lead the kids back to the hotel where they call for a cab. The cab shows up and takes them to the bus station. Mr Gaggleham hopes that their luck will be better in this leg and Mrs Gaggleham laughs, maybe hopefully. Sigh.
The Whining Weevils and the Blandsens eventually manage to stop a cab right after the Gagglehams leave. The Gagglehams hope to make it to at least the second bus before these Families while in the Blandsen cab, the daughters apparently find it a tight fit, what with slow and old doddering Mr Blandsen being eight hundred pounds and three heartbeats away from a record-breaking cardiac arrest and all that. Ahead, the Pablums reach the bus station and locate the counter for Tica, the company that runs the charter bus. They sign up for the first bus... which leaves at 11:30 am. That will be about thirteen hours from now. Oh no, will those poor Families in the back ever catch up with the Pablums? Will the Godawfulshrieky Sisters ever raise enough money for a cab fare in the measly time frame? Those poor Sisters! Do you think they will ever have enough time to sell their "expensive French underwear" to the locals to raise enough dough? I am at the edge of my seat, people!
Meanwhile, the Pablums all move upstairs to stand like stern watchful guardians over the railing to the counter below. Mrs Pablum says aloud that she doesn't want the Whining Weevils to see them. Since this Family is the only one shown to be a little friendly to the Whining Weevils in previous episodes, I guess the Whining Weevils now have only Jesus to talk to on those long bus rides. The Lunzes show up and because they aren't the Whining Weevils, DJ deigns to help them locate the Tica counter and board the 11:30 am bus. Mrs Pablum tells her Family to help everyone other than the Whining Weevils. Thirteen hours, after all, aren't enough time to locate the Tica counter in this bus station. Then again, maybe everyone just doesn't want another repeat of that infamous creepy bus ride with the Whining Weevils incident. Who knows what those batcrap folks will do when the bus stops at a McDonald's this time, eh? Maybe Rebecca will start doing cartwheels in the car park and her tail will accidentally peek out from those too-tight, too-short, and too-trashy shorts that her Christian modesty favors. DJ tells the camera that nobody will help the Whining Weevils in anything. Does it matter? The Whining Weevils have the Lord on their side! So there!
9:43 am. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters figure out that they will need about $40 to pay for the cab ride to the bus station so it's time for them to whip out their dubious "feminine charms" to get guys to part with their money. The first guy they meet assures them that while he doesn't have money, he has, er, "love". Because the Sisters are not cheap and easy, they move on to guys who are willing to part with their money in return for some pointless airtime on a TV show that they may not even see in a long, long time. So they take a cab and head over to the bus station with at least ten hours to spare. How suspenseful!
The Gagglehams and the Whining Weevils show up next and poor DJ has to figure out a way to tell the Gagglehams where the Tica counter is without letting the Whining Weevils know as well. As it is, DJ only ends up confusing the Gagglehams with his calling them and then not telling them anything so the Whining Weevils end up locating the counter first. And since both Families are leaving in the same 12:00 pm bus anyway, I don't know why DJ is going through all that trouble. He'd have more success by telling the Whining Weevils to look in a wrong direction. The Blandsens show up next for the 12:30 pm bus and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters round up the gang by getting that bus as well. The Sisters still want money so they now ask Families for the dough. Mrs Weevil offers them five dollars. Oh no, I hope that is enough for the Sisters should the bus stops at some restaurant! Will the Sisters raise enough money in the ten or so hours before the bus departs? Oh, I hope so. I hate to see even a little hardship hitting these nice people on the show. Maybe the bus should take them straight to the Pit Stop! Later, everyone settles down to sleep in the bus stop like homeless people.
11:30 am. The first bus leaves! The scenery is so pretty, the Families on that bus want me to know. 12:00 pm. The second bus leaves. Mr Gaggleham thinks that the opportunity for his children to see how the less fortunate live is a "great gift". He's talking about the children learning not to take their well-off lives for granted, obviously, but watch as fans of this show on those message forums out there condemn Mr Gaggleham because daring to suggest that Third World people are anything but happy is a sign that you are a racist American pig. I guess these so-called fans still haven't found any affirmation they need for their self-esteem from the attention they were trying to drum with their "Kendra from the Sixth Season is racist bitch who burns Africans for her entertainment and am I not clever to call her KKKendra like six million people out there?" blabberings, hence an encore of their so, so tedious and repetitious "Look at me, look at me - I'm an armchair psychologist!" nonsense. 12:30 pm. The last bus pulls out of the bus station. One of the Blandsen daughters tries to be optimistic because hey, they aren't last, they are just tied for last place. Yay!
Oh, San Jose. The first bus pulls up and the Pablums are quickly overtaken by the Lunzes in the race to their designated vehicles which are waiting in the car park. Why make the Families take cabs more than once in six episodes, after all? Cab drivers have germs and those poor kiddies may fall sick! DJ yells at Mrs Pablum to run faster. "I'm coming," insists Mrs Pablum. "So's Christmas," DJ spits back and... hey, that's actually a funny line! I'm going to steal that line. DJ doesn't deserve to have it all to himself, after all! All the Families have to do is to locate that volcano. The Lunzes are paying a cab driver to lead the way when the Pablums offer to pay half the fare if they can tag along too. The second bus pulls up but for some reason, the Gagglehams and the Whining Weevils can't locate their vehicles. The third bus pulls up next and the Blandsens and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters actually beat the previous two Families to the vehicles. Either the second bus is delayed somewhere along the trip or the driver of the third bus drives like crazy, but either way, the second bus is obviously the Bad Luck Bus. And to be stuck on the Bad Luck Bus with the Whining Weevils as well? Oh, those poor Gagglehams! As the Bad Luck Bus Families continue to look, Mrs Weevil prays to Jesus to show her where to go. Jokes about going to hell are too easy to be mentioned here, I suppose.
Eventually, all this drama turns out to be minor because the Bad Luck Bus Families catch up with the Good Luck Bus Families and all four of them leave the car park at about the same time. About, that is, because Mrs Weevil who is driving realizes that she isn't too good when it comes to driving stick. The car jerks and eventually comes to a stop, with Rolly muttering that hey, at least now they all know that the brakes are working. Maybe Rolly is a little more sane than his sisters and his mother.
Ahead, the Lunzes make their way to the volcano with the Pablums on their tail. The Gagglehams are making good progress as well. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are too. Meanwhile, the Blandsens are not sure where to go but no one wants to get out of the vehicle to ask for directions so they just keep driving and arguing. Rachel are praying to God to help the Whining Weevils beat the other Families, but thoughtfully says that God is free not to do that if that's His will. How generous of her. Back to the Lunzes and the Pablums, they realize that it's late and the volcano is closed for business. They will have to wait until tomorrow. Don't ask me, therefore, why the need for the charter buses instead of just one big bus leaving at the same time. Maybe the local equivalent of the Waffle House stop along the way has limited seatings, I don't know. Aww, Carissa is so cute when she sleeps in the Gaggleham vehicle, and Mr Gaggleham reassures his wife and me that Carissa can be "wide awake and go" in two seconds. Kinda like a velociraptor, eh, Mr Gaggleham? The Gagglehams show up third, followed by the Sisters, the Whining Weevils, and finally the Blandsens.
Morning. For some reason, despite planning to make mad dashes to the clue stand once the volcano park opens, the Families are not trying to stand in front of the gate. Instead, they choose to get ready to run to the clue stand from their vehicle the moment the volcano park opens. Maybe this is some kind of game they have between them. Heaven knows, they need to do something in order to pass the time waiting for buses to go and places to open on this show! Carissa and Mr Gaggleham audition for the roles of Hermoine Granger and Professor Hot Daddypants in a scene about how glad they both are that kiddies can enter the park for free because kiddies are free. Or something. I love how Mr Gaggleham always manage to sound ironic and amused without being condescending all the while letting me in on the joke when he tells Carissa that indeed, "kids are free". But when Mr Gaggleham and the youngest Lunz lughead beat the others in the mad dash to the clue stand, they learn that this is not some first-come first-served thingie like they feared. Instead, they must now head over to Doka, a coffee plantation some 17 miles away, for their next clue. Oh, and there is a Yield ahead. On their way back to their vehicles, the Families all blend together like a terrifying scene out of some horror movie, like the Coalescence of Sucktitude. Most shockingly, DJ is heard telling Mrs Pablum not to hurry and instead just take her time. There is probably quicksand right in front of her and he's trying to lead her into it. When the Families leave, one of the Whining Weevil daughters declares that the volcano is the "dumbest" she has ever been to. How many volcanoes have she seen in her lifetime again? The Pablums think the volcano is "unbelievable", which is surprising since they come off like people who are used to volcanoes going off on a daily basis in their lives. Yeah, yeah, that's a cheap shot, I know.
Meanwhile, the Lunzes in their vehicle are at first saying that they will of course just go past the Yield stand ahead but a light bulb is switched on in when the goo-goo eyed lughead wonders why they don't Yield someone since they have to step on the Yield stand anyway. What about sucking it up to be mean for once and Yielding the... Whining Weevils? Hilariously, the Whining Weevils decide to pull up by the side of the road to ask a local for directions, allowing every other Family to drive past them. They spend some time with this fellow, which isn't surprising considering how Rolly is asking him whether the Whining Weevils should turn "right-o" or "left-o". I need a doctor-o. Ahead, intrigue brews and ferments when the Pablums begin to entertain the idea of Yielding the Whining Weevils. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are coming to entertain the same concept as well. As if tempting fate and not being content in going half-way in coming off as unlikeable trashy trolls on TV, Rebecca bitches in the vehicle about how useless that man was in helping them. Young lady, it's not his fault that he doesn't know what "right-o", is, alright?
The other Families all pull up at the estate but it is DJ Pablum who reaches the Yield stand first. And to be yielded are... the Whining Weevils! One of the Godawfulshrieky Sisters, Christine (at least that's what I think her name is), high-fives DJ. DJ considers bringing along a Yield stand the next time he tries to date someone. For these Families, it's now time for a Roadblock. This one is simple: find a red-painted bean in a mountain of 800-pound of coffee beans in order to get the next clue. If you haven't watched the episode, you won't appreciate how much coffee beans is there in 800 pounds until you see Mrs Gaggleham, Mrs Pablum, Megan, one of the Sisters, and one of the Blandsen daughters raking through their own huge pile of beans with rake-like spreaders. Megan chooses to grab fistfuls of beans and examining them before tossing them aside while the others choose to spread the beans around. The Sister gets very lucky when she locates the bean only after making a few scrapes of the bean mountain with her spreader. Families must now head over to a seaside town called Roca Loca and locate a guy named Javier in a surf shop. Mrs Pablum finds her bean next and her family, for once, is unanimously generous in praising her as they head off to find Javier in Jaco.
The Weevils finally show up at the coffee plantation where they learn that they have been Yielded. Oops. Now, I try to understand that they are not happy at being Yielded and they want to vent, but I wonder whether they realize how bad they come off as on TV when Rachel and Rebecca start mocking the Pablums for standing before a garbage truck in that photo of theirs. Hey, I did that too in a previous recap, but I was comparing the Pablums' excruciating squabbles to something you'd find in a trash can. But when Rolly starts calling one of the Pablums a "retard" and Rachel starts punching the photo of the Pablums, I'm starting to suspect that they're making fun of Mr Pablum's occupation as a garbage collector. And that's still okay with me too - not that I'd advocate everyone to do this because life won't be easy without those hardworking garbage collectors coming around to remove our garbage, mind you - if these Weevils haven't carried themselves like holy Christians who can't do wrong because they're above such petty behavior.
Megan manages to locate her red bean and the Lunzes take off.
Back to the Whining Weevils, the two trashy daughters, in their ridiculously tasteless tight shorts and ugly hair and hideous make-up, start trashing the supposedly "fake boobs" of the Godawfulshrieky Sisters once they pull out the Sisters' photo from the pile in the Yield stand box. Only, they say that they "hope" that the fake boobs "cost a lot", which makes no sense to me because if they are implying that the boob job is bad, shouldn't they be hoping that it costs very little? Stupid girls, they can't even get their insults right. Mrs Weevil joins in, saying that the Sisters never wear bras (the Godawfulshrieky Sisters, not the Rachel and Rebecca sisters, just in case you are understandably confused). I don't know, really. At least the Godawfulshrieky Sisters don't look like shopworn tarts trying to look older than they really are and having the wrong idea of what a "grown-up woman" looks like because they watched too much Jerry Springer on TV back at home. Rolly calls Brian a "retard". I think he must be addressing Brian previously when he called one of the Pablums a "retard". I also think this guy needs a wider vocabulary. Oh, these kids. They are the poster examples of why home-schooling should be conducted only by parents who really know what they are doing. When the Lunzes run past the Weevils on their way to their vehicle, the Whining Weevils clam up and start singing and dancing in that same crazy manner of theirs in that infamous Waffle House meltdown. I think the Whining Weevils genuinely believe that they can fool people into thinking that they don't care what other people think of them by acting like cult members who accidentally drank too much vodka instead of Kool-Aid. Megan wishes them luck and Mrs weevil snorts in disbelief, even if the Lunzes aren't the people who Yielded them. Then, the Whining Weevils insist that everyone is ganging up on them and nobody wants them here. Gee, I wonder why.
The Blandsen daughter manages to locate her red bean so the Blandsens now take off. It's only Mrs Gaggleham now searching for that red bean. Sigh. Why does it have to be her who is unlucky in this task? Why, dang it, why? I really like how Mr Gaggleham tells Billy to calm down and encourage his mother because shouting at her will not help matters. Billy agrees with his father (I have a hunch that he agrees quite often with his father because he seems to idol-worship his father from how he acts sometimes on the show) and they both encourage Mrs Gaggleham to keep going. "You can do it," pipes up Billy, auditioning now for the role of some cute hobbit in case the role in the Harry Potter movie doesn't pan out.
Mrs Weevil deliberately raises her voice as she tells her kids that they are all being "ganged up on" when the Blandsens run past them, an obvious passive-aggressive gesture that she seems to be very familiar with. Wally, like Megan, wishes them luck but Mrs Weevil again sneers at him like she did with Megan. And yet she wonders why the other Families all think of her and her children as the human equivalent of a plague. She can't really be that self-unaware, surely, because she's acting pretty badly to the Blandsens who have nothing to do with Yielding her Family? With the Blandsens gone, Mrs Weevil resumes muttering to her kids about how they are now doomed to lose in the Race. Oh, how I wish, really. She finally decides to take the high road by saying that those Families who are mean to them will one day answer to some "higher authority". Yes, God will personally strike down everyone who is mean to the Whining Weevils! How dare these people offend the sensibilities of the Whining Weevils, the Chosen Ones of Jesus H Christ!
Mrs Gaggleham is becoming more frantic. I think she is spreading the beans too widely and this makes it very difficult for her to locate the red bean among the beans she is raking furiously aside. Billy mutters to his father whether his mother knows what the colour red is. Oh, he's so getting a whack in the bum when his mother hears him, heh! Mrs Gaggleham wonders aloud whether there is actually a red bean in her humongous bean pile. Carissa points out that there is still a Family on the Yield mat and Billy, now auditioning as an extra in the next Dr Seuss movie in case the hobbit gig doesn't pan out, hams it up by saying, "Come on, Mom, you're under absolutely no pressure!" If he keeps up that sense of humor of his, he'd be a great reality TV villain one day.
Ahead, driver DJ Pablum and the Sister Christine (I think) are trying to figure out where to go despite being behind the wheels in separate vehicles, prompting Mrs Pablum to scold DJ for sharing information with other Families. DJ tells her to stuff it because he wants to be in the Final Three where then it will be every Family for themselves and until then, he'd do what it takes to get the Pablums there. Hmm, it looks like underneath DJ's Mommy Dearest demeanor is some genuine competitor who wants to win and I think I may actually like him a little for that. Elsewhere, Megan's brothers are generously giving her the "golden balls" for making them proud and she gushes that she has waited twenty-one years for them. She's alright, really, it's her corny brothers that I cannot stand, more the pity. Yes, I'm trying to find reasons to like the remaining Families on the Race because by the end of the episode I have officially no Family that I really like to root for.
Oh no, the Whining Weevils are now free from their entrapment at the Yield stand. Rachel looks for the bean while her mother orders her to pray. Praying and looking for the bean at the same time? Won't that distract her from looking for the red bean?
Ahead, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters stop for directions but DJ stubbornly keeps driving ahead. Since it's a straight road, I guess he's doing the right thing as the Sisters are (heh) told to keep driving straight on the road. Eventually DJ reaches a town where he stops for Brian to get out and ask this guy who looks like Shaggy drinking to drown his sorrows after Scooby-Doo ran off with Odie for directions. As DJ becomes more impatient, Shaggy tells Brian to keep driving because the surf shop is "dos" kilometres ahead.
Poor Mrs Gaggleham. She has at this point spread the beans all around her but she still can't find the red bean. It's like the Linda Bates in Season Five digging a big hole in the sand pit while looking for a scarab in Luxor - maybe like Linda Mrs Gaggleham is being too thorough. You know how sometimes you look too hard for something but can't find it, only to find it later when you aren't looking for it at all? I think this is what happens here. Just like it always happens at times like this, Rachel spots her red bean after a few superficial rakes of her spreader. As the Whining Weevils take off, Mrs Gaggleham begins to search even harder. Poor Billy actually has his hands over his eyes, heh. Just when Carissa is starting to get convinced that there is no red bean in her mother's pile, Mrs Gaggleham finally locates her red bean. It is with relief that the Gagglehams finally leave that place. She apologizes to the others when they are all in their vehicle but her children assure her that they know that she has done the best she could. Aww, how sweet of them. Maybe they can reaffirm their delightful bond by taking part in the clobbering of the designers of this leg of the Race with a giant coffee spreader.
Incredibly, the Blandsens manage to catch up with the Pablums when they reach the town and they even beat the Pablums to the surf shop. Javier hands them a clue. It's now time for a Detour. In "Relic", Families get to play at being archeologists and travel on a hanging bridge network in a jungle to locate a set of cheap plastic knock-offs passed off as "relics". In "Ripe", Families must head over to a banana plantation some distance away, pick 15 bushels of bananas, put them up on hangers that are hanging from a rope and pulley device, and then pull the bananas back along the rope. The Blandsens want to play with relics - since Mr Blandsen is one - while the Pablums opt to go bananas. The Lunzes show up next and they opt for the relics. Behind, the Gagglehams find some helpful local to show them the way but they are far from feeling good about themselves on the Race. Can anyone blame them? The Godawfulshrieky Sisters show up after the Lunzes and they opt to go for the relics, but they then waste time when Sharon and Michelle get into a pointlessly loud screechfest over Sharon's driving. Sharon has had enough of Michelle's criticizing and stops the vehicle, daring Michelle to take over the driving if Michelle knows so much about driving. Michelle obliges and Sharon then sits in the back and spends the rest of the drive looking really pinch-faced and bitchy while criticizing Michelle's driving. An eye for an eye, I suppose.
The Pablums realize when they reach the banana plantation that those bushels can weigh a lot. Thankfully, Mr Pablum's much-derided occupation becomes useful in an unexpected manner here when his years of hauling and tossing heavy bags of garbage over the top of the garbage truck allow him to haul those bananas over like they don't weigh anything. The Blandsens show up at the jungle site for their Detour, where Mr Blandsen tries to explain what a relic is to his daughters. "It's like a artifact, you know, a little thing from the past?" he tells them. Some of the archeologists nearby seem taken aback by this definition. Either they're genuine archeologists or they are heavy-duty Indiana Jones fans, these "archeologists". Anyway, the Lunzes show up next and the lugheads look thrilled to be standing behind the Blandsens. Why? I suspect that them being forced to walk behind the Blandsen daughters may have something to do with the lugheads' delight. However, their delight dims when they are stuck behind Mr Blandsen, who naturally starts pulling that "I'm old, useless, shoot me dead somebody, please put me down because I'm slow, I suck, oh, oh, oh!" act of his on the bridge. Oh, and it begins to rain. Life moves in beautiful poetry sometimes, doesn't it?
The Whining Weevils wonder whether the guy they are looking for is called Javier or Xavier and actually spend their ride arguing about this. Stupid and nasty - what's not to love, really? They locate Javier eventually and they decide to collect relics. Speaking of which, the relics are indeed cheap-looking knock-offs that weigh very little because even the decrepit Mr Blandsen manages to get out of his deathbed to carry them. Way behind, the Gagglehams locate Roca Loca with the help of their guide, whom they thank profusely. Billy, now auditioning to be some charming kid in a Hallmark special, walks up to this fellow and shakes hands after saying gracias. He's twelve. How old are the Weevil daughters again? Tsk, tsk!
The Pablums finish up their Detour and they learn that they can now head over to the Pit Stop of this leg of the Race, a beach at the town of Quepos some twenty-mile away. The Pablums leave happily, having run indeed what seems like a near-perfect leg. Brian calls his father a "fricking monster", which is his way to telling Mr Pablum how proud he is of that man. DJ tells the camera, "I understand fully what my dad does every day. If I tried to lift a garbage can, I can't. I can't do it. When he picked up those bananas, I don't have that strength. I cannot do what my father does." As nice as his confessional is, I'd like to see him say something similar about his mother before I jump onto the love train. I have a hunch that these guys are closer to their father than their mother so all this "He ain't heavy, he's my father!" gushings aren't as dramatically "hope shines at last over the Pablums" inspiring as they are edited to be. Gosh, I'm such a dreadful pessimist!
Now, this can get confusing so pay attention. At the Relics site, the Blandsens collect the relics and leave for the Pit Stop. The Lunzes collect the relics and leave for the Pit Stop. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters collect the relics and leave for the Pit Stop. There is no way I can make this Detour any more exciting than it actually is (not). What are the Race people thinking when they come up with such a lame Detour like this one? "I want my bananas?" The Whining Weevils show up and leave too. Finally the Gagglehams show up at Javier's popular surf shop where they opt to collect relics as well. They arrive as the Whining Weevils are leaving. So orderly, with Families leaving one after the other here - they may as well put a revolving door at the entrance! The editors desperately try to drum up some suspense by prolonging the scene of the Whining Weevils' vehicle being stuck in the mud while the Gagglehams try to complete their Detour but... come on! The Mini-Gagglehams have fun scaring themselves on the wobbling hanging bridge network. The Whining Weevils are still stuck. The Gagglehams banter happily as they pick up their relics. They are so adorable! I hate this episode! Mrs Weevil wails that she is tired of doing things that she can't do. Like being nice, I suppose, although she hasn't been doing that either. The kids are pushing at the vehicle when the vehicle suddenly flies out of the pothole and along the dirt road, leaving the Weevil kids running to catch up with their mother. Mrs Weevil looks like she's going to lose control of the vehicle and this show looks like it's finally going to become awesome when... it doesn't. The Whining Weevils get going instead. Bah freaking humbug. The Gagglehams finish up and hope that they can still wiggle in second-to-last like they have done for what seems like two hundred times in the past.
The Blandsens, the Pablums, and the Lunzes all show up at Quepos at the same time and it's a mad dash to the Pit Stop. The Pablums are parked farther than the Lunzes. Mrs Pablum shrieks that she can't run anymore. Megan shrieks that she can't too. In short, the usual suspect in each Family act up right on schedule and just as predicted. It turns out to be a footrace between the Lunzes and the Pablums, and I suppose those freebies given away to first-placers are really tempting in a "I will do anything to have them!" manner, because Megan is shrieking and Mrs Pablum is moaning and... woosh, the Pablums manage to come in first. Um... yay? They can take their pick of a Vespa, a Segway, an ATV, or a jet ski. Excuse me, a Segway? Barring people with movement disabilities, who uses a Segway? Have they come up with a way to keep Segways from being stolen yet? ("Maybe it's a Segway of Bonghammer that he can't even give away to his friends!" suggests hubby who has stopped watching since the third episode of this season but would like to butt in anyway.) The Pablums announce that Mrs Pablum is cool now and DJ tells the camera that Mrs Pablum "exceeds" his "expectations" (how high are they in the first place). Mr Pablum gushes to the camera that he too loves Mrs Pablum now. Well, I can say that with the Pablums' "We Love Mommy... At Last" storyarc ending right here, they're definitely getting eliminated next week. Heh.
In quick succession, the Lunzes check in (second), Blandsens next (third), and then the Godawfulshrieky Sisters (fourth). In the Gaggleham vehicle, Mr Gaggleham is trying to reassure the kids that they may still be in the Race. "Winners never quit, quitters never win," says Carissa and Mr Gaggleham runs away with that, asking his kids whether they are winners or quitters. Mrs Gaggleham is careful not to let her kids see that she knows they are in last place. Her face is heartbreaking to watch because she seems to be sad as well angry at the same time, as if she is questioning whether she could have done the Roadblock any better than she had. After contemplating the scenery outside the window, she answers weakly her husband's question, "Winners." At the risk of coming off as corny, I want to tell her that they are all winners and I want to give them all a hug. Meanwhile, the Whining Weevils check in as the fifth Family to arrive. Oh, be off with them! The Gagglehams walk in leisurely towards Philo at last, with Mr Gaggleham telling the kids that they will all come back here one day for a vacation. Mr Gaggleham is trying to distract the kids by telling them about the beautiful sunset and all, but in the end, there is no use in stalling the inevitable. As the Gagglehams make their way to stand before Philo, Mrs Gaggleham asks Billy to hold his head up high.
Philo delivers the news that the Gagglehams are the last Family to arrive and therefore they are eliminated. It's like a balloon that has been punctured: Carissa's hand falls from her father's grasp. The parents both reassure the kids that the kids did a great job on the Race and they are so proud of the kids. They then share a peck with each other. Meanwhile, Carissa is trying to hold back tears in a manner that cannot be faked and, most heartbreakingly, she is still trying to hold them back when the tears start to fall. Mr Gaggleham tells Philo of how proud he is of his family. Billy manages to say, "We ran this real hard and we're gonna go out with our heads held high." Philo in the meantime tries to comfort Carissa by telling her that she is the youngest person on the Race to make it this far. She is really trying to hold back tears and be strong but this news only forces her to force her lips tight and blink quickly to prevent more tears from falling. Oh, Carissa. Philo tells her that she and Billy will never forget the experience and she can only nod. Mr Gaggleham says that it is difficult to see his children becoming so upset when they lose but hopes that they walk away from this experience with lessons learned about preserverance, determination, and hope. What hope? They lost. The Gagglehams are gone. Gone! Because of a stupid red bean!
Still, as upset as I am by the Gagglehams' elimination, they remind me that as much as I find this season boring, for the Families, especially for Billy and Carissa, this is an adventure of a lifetime to remember always. And for Billy and Carissa, this is their only opportunity to experience the Race at their age. I can't begrudge them for that, especially when I think that they are adorable little troopers. Their parents are awesome as well. As much as I am bored by this episode, at least some people like Billy and Carissa have a good time so this season may not be supremely boring after all. I don't know. Farewell, Gagglehams. I can't say that they raced well but it's been a pleasure watching them come all the way here to this point in the Race. I'll miss them as the rest of the season hurtles onwards towards its conclusion.
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