The Amazing Race 7 : Episode 5
Previously, there were childish gloating, stubborn horses, and a river Detour that saw Patrick moaning and whining and wheezing until Mom and Moan were mercifully eliminated. I feel bad for Susan that she was stuck in the Race with such an irritating whiny adult who acted like a kid but hey, she shouldn't have encouraged him to act like a baby or make excuses for his "realism". On with the show, with seven Teams left and this is a special two-hour episode, what will happen now?
Credits. I have a theory about the Fat Fatales. They aren't actually boyfriends. They are actually formerly conjoined very ugly Siamese twins. They pretend to be boyfriends so that nobody will suspect that they have a shrine to the Robfather in their basement.
Ooh, Philo's package is back after being absent from the show for a while now. I hope it stays around for at least a few episodes more. I wonder where Philo misplaced it and how he found it back only by this episode. ("That's because he got his testicles back when he stopped kissing the asses of the Robcouple this week!" is the popular theory circulating around the anti-Robcouple circles.) Philo explains that he and the Teams are at Buenos Aires, at the "most prestigious polo club" in Argentina, and here is where the Teams will depart from for this leg of the Race. He wonders whether the remaining Teams will keep gunning for the Robcouple. He wonders whether the Cannon Fodders can ever escape from their last place. Tell me about it: those two have survived longer than I expected them to, not because they are good but because there are always other Teams who screw up and take the fall for them. And since they are given glowing edits this week, I suspect that they are going to be around for a while. Good for them, really, but not so good for my eardrums, alas, because I just know that Gretchen won't shut up about her sex life with Meredith.
3:00 am. Looking very fatigued, which will probably explain some of their less-than-stellar decisions in the next two hours, the Robcouple wearily read their clue. They can now take a cab to the airport and then fly to Johannesburg, South Africa (some 5,000 miles from here), and then locate a marked vehicle in the car park. Their next clue is in that vehicle. As those two climb into a cab, the Robfather says that they have been very lucky so far in this Race and suspects that angels are on their side.
3:38 am. "All righty, I do believe today will be a doozy!" And thus begins the deification of Dumb and Dumber as the show transforms them from goofy dingbats into cutthroaty competitive heroes who speak in over-the-top monotone. I think I'm starting to tell apart Brian from Greg easily now. Greg is the shorter and rather, um, pasty one. Brian is the taller one who speaks like he is constantly auditioning for the sequel of The Bourne Supremacy. Which he probably is, who knows? The Brian from Fear Factor is a completely different Brian on The Amazing Race. Maybe I'm a jaded person but I don't buy the deification of this Team as much as other viewers obviously did. As those two get into their cab, they talk about how they are a pair of brothers while the other Teams are all engaged or in relationships - yes, brotherhood isn't a relationship anymore - so they hope that some of these relationships will self-destruct, leaving them to move on. There's a nice bit of foreshadowing there. Maybe the editors are learning from the editors at Survivor.
Call me perverse but the fact that these two corny dudes want other people's relationships to wither just so that Dumb and Dumber can win a million dollars actually make me warm up to them more than any of the show's corny attempts to give them a saintly halo. Okay, I like nasty people on my reality TV shows with a caveat that these nasty people are witty and entertaining without crossing the line into abuse like Pornathan did in the previous season. It's probably time for me to also announce that if you are expecting non-stop Robfather bashing in this recap, you better stop reading because there won't be any moment where I will rant about the "morals" or "integrity" of the Race. I won't hesitate to club the Robcouple in the head if they deserve it, but that doesn't mean that I will pretend that I never liked them or I somehow stopped doing so after this Leg. Because, let me warn you now, I'm on their side in a way at the end of the day.
Now, where was I? The Robcouple have reached the Ezeiza International Airport where they learn that there is only one flight out to South Africa today and that will be the 10:55 am flight that goes through Sao Paolo. They will reach Johannesburg at an estimated time of 6:55 am tomorrow. The Robcouple are allowed to take their bags onto the plane. This seems like an inconsequential thing but the show puts on an ominous "Ding!" sound in the background to alert viewers into paying attention. Dumb and Dumber also reach the airport and get tickets in the same flight. They think they are golden. Like KFC, perhaps. Oh, and they are also allowed to bring their luggage onto the plane.
5:49 am. The IVFs leave. It's interesting that there is more than an hour in time difference between their arrival at the Pit Stop and Dumb and Dumber's during the previous Leg. Either they took a long time to locate the docks or they really took a long time to locate that correct island, hmm. Anyway, these two are so excited to go to South Africa because that's where their motherland is. You know, before those crappy White folks took over and made everyone's life but theirs difficult and horrible for a long, long time. They give some obligatory pre-Race babble as they get into their cab (something about having faith and following instincts) but they are more excited about going to South Africa than to think about the Race at that moment. I like these two. Having said that, I hope I haven't jinxed them or something. Go, Team IVF!
6:05 am. The GOPs are ready to leave. If they are having a great time being in a wonderful relationship, they sure don't seem like it as they get into a cab and argue without enthusiasm whether they should head straight to the airport or to a travel agent. Neither seems interested in making a decision and finally they just settle for heading straight to the airport. Barbie Jane says that the Race is the longest time they have spent together. Let me do the Math: goodness me, a week, give or take a few days, is the longest time they've spent together? These two must be hoping that their weekend fling is worth a million dollars to try out for the Race.
6:11 am. "Don't step on the horse pooooo-eeee!" Alex calls to Lynn as the Fat Fatales depart. So tired; I'm so tired trying to catch up with their over-the-top singsong antics. They insist to the camera that they are having fun on the Race but they never forget that they are here to win. Here's hoping that they won't win because I think my head will explode if I have to see them gloat at the finish line.
The IVFs and the GOPs reach the airport and get on the same flight as the Robcouple and Dumb and Dumber without much trouble. The flight isn't leaving until 10:55 am, after all. In this case, they purchase tickets at a different counter where the ticket lady forces the two Teams to check in their bags. The Fat Fatales arrive next and purchase tickets on the same flight at a counter where they are allowed to take their luggage with them onto the flight.
9:20 am. The RADs leave. Ray again yammers about how he wants the Team to end up at the head of the pack. Remember, he doesn't believe that he belongs among the bottom-feeders. Oh, and Deana can come along too. Darn the Race for preventing him from racing solo! Shortly after, at 9:35 am, the Cannon Fodders leave, amidst much mournful fanfare as they lament about always having to be at the back of the pack. I think they are the only ones puzzled about always losing out to the younger, faster Teams. Maybe it's time for Gretchen to put her feminine wiles to use to distract the younger males on the Race so that the Cannon Fodders to sneak ahead! As both Teams travel in cabs towards the airport, Ray hopes that the Cannon Fodders will get a flat tire. Unfortunately, the Cannon Fodders make it to the airport shortly after the RADs in one piece. All Teams are on the same flight and the Robfather is resigned but trying to be good-natured about the loss of their lead over the other Teams. On the flight, Ray and Deana manage to charm the airline staff into letting them sit in first-class so that they can enjoy the flight and get off the plane faster than the other Teams.
Johannesburg! Happy people dancing on the streets! Life in Johannesburg is perfect, Philo attempts to convince me, after the fall of the apartheid system. Everyone in Johannesberg dances on the street at the drop of a coin because they are so happy that way! Alas, the IVFs and the GOPs aren't so happy as they have to wait for the luggage while the other Teams run out of the airport into their marked vehicles and onto the road. First to hop into their vehicle are the RADs, who also discover that there is a Fast Forward along with their usual clue in the envelope.
Philo explains that, as usual, there are only two Fast Forwards in this Race and this is one of them. He pretends that Teams should still consider whether it is "advantageous" to use the Fast Forward. Really, Teams who go for the Fast Forward has nothing to lose since there are only two in the whole Race anyway. In this Fast Forward, Teams must travel into Soweto, 26 miles from where they are at the moment, and head towards a nicely painted cooling tower (which looks like the tower of a nuclear plant, really). There, they must head to the top of the tower and cross a suspension bridge to the other side. It's a long drop if they fall (thirty feet), although of course nobody will be falling because the show will never court trouble that way. The RADs seem to be leaning towards taking the Fast Forward.
The Fat Fatales are the next to hop into their vehicle and Lynn, at the back, reads the clue and realizes that it is now time for a Detour. They are not taking the Fast Forward because they are sure that other Teams will be going for it. Philo explains that for this Detour, "Tunnels" will require Teams to drive to some underground caves some fifty miles away and explore the tunnels under the cave for their next clue. (Trivia: I'm not sure so I may be wrong, but these caves may be part of the vast mine shaft networks of the Gold Reef City in Johannesburg. The mines were long closed because the gold has been mined out completely by the 1970s.) In "Tribes", Teams must travel some 40 miles to a cultural village and, using trial-and-error, deliver correctly five "native" items to five "tribal chiefs" located at various spots in the cultural village. The Fat Fatales think that the tunnels sound ghastly and hard so they will be consorting with tribes today. As they ask for directions, Lynn says that he is glad to learn that Soweto, which he should know is the most famous town in South Africa particularly for the roles of its citizens in the fight against apartheid, is a "real city" and not a place with "chickens and camels and whatever" like he believed. Ah, but I think Kendra wants to know, are these chickens and camels and whatever breeding? I think I'm just glad that Alex and Lynn can't breed.
Sure enough, the RADs confirm that they will be taking the Fast Forward. Oops, Deana however has problems with the vehicle. They're in Africa where the driver's seat and everything the driver has to fiddle with are located in a mirror image manner to the vehicles back in America, after all. Ray is not amused, much less sympathetic. In the meantime, the Robfather tells Ambore that he doesn't want to waste time running around when there is a Fast Forward so they'll take it. Oops. Heh, the Cannon Fodders think that exploring those caves will be easy - yeah, easy to die in - and Dumb and Dumber go for the tunnels too. The two brothers then go "Dude!" when they realize that they are, in fact, in South Africa. I'm glad they're playing their roles for the camera so well, especially when their designated roles are the well-meaning goofballs so that we won't cry and gnash our teeth when they, another alpha male Team, predictably win because they can do all the Roadblocks without trouble.
The GOPs and the IVFs are waiting impatiently for the luggage when the GOPs' show up first on the luggage conveyor belt. The GOPs leave and they too will be playing in the tunnels today. Joyce is not happy but she says to the camera that there is nothing the IVFs can do but to wait. And finally, their luggage shows up and they are able to leave the airport. They first stop to purchase a map from the airport bookstore. They are of course thrilled to be in South Africa.
In their vehicle, the Robfather is aware that some Teams may be also going for the Fast Forward but he is sure that at this point, the Robcouple has already "burnt" their "bridge". In the other vehicle, Ray is pretty much telling Deana to steel herself to finish the task and she predictably brings up the possibility of she being unable to do so and the RADs end up coming in last. I can see Ray taking a deep, steadying breath already. What is it about aggressive and stubborn men and their tendency to have whiny, pessimistic girlfriends that bring out the worst in these men? Both Teams stop here and there to ask for directions, but the RADs have the advantage of leaving the airport first so they arrive at the cooler towers before the Robcouple. They take the number one tag at the board outside the tower ground and the supervisors tell them to suit up before escorting them to the top of the tower. By the way, the suspension bridge has no ropes or rails at the side for one to hold on to. I once managed to cross a suspension bridge that was located fifty feet from the ground during a jungle expedition in Borneo but that was because I didn't look down and had ropes at each side of the bridge to hold on to. Ray really must have nerves of steel to cross the bridge as if he's taking a stroll in the park. In that, at least, he's kinda cool.
A very enthusiastic tubby guy dressed in very ersatz tribal costume gives a mighty roar as he welcomes the Fat Fatales who have just walked into the cultural village. They must send the correct items to five tribal chiefs who will each gives them a necklace in exchange for the correct item. When the Fat Fatales hand over five necklaces to Chief Tubbyhahamama here, he'll hand them their next clue. Lynn squeals to Alex that Chief Tubbyhahamama is "so scary". They collect a random item from the pile of things arranged in a corner against a tribal hut and offers it to a random tribal chief who responds by shaking his spear (a real spear, just to make this clear, not the euphemism for a man's thingie) at them. "Is that a no?" asks Lynn. It's clear that he's used to situations where men are furiously shaking their spears at him and he learns that it's better to get clarification before getting down on his knees in surrender or running the other way. You can never be too sure, after all. Eventually, they locate a chief who accepts the item and gives Alex a necklace.
Dumb and Dumber try to get directions to the underground caves. They have a bright idea of tapping on a lady's car window. She naturally doesn't want to help. I don't blame her. Travelers to that part of the world are advised never to roll down the windows for strangers so I'm sure the locals are even more reluctant to do so when strangers tap on their car window. It seems that the underground caves are hard to locate because Dumb and Dumber as well as the IVFs and the GOPs are wandering around town looking for people to give them directions.
Ray is halfway across the suspension bridge when the Robcouple show up at the cooling towers. They are told by the supervisors that the Robcouple can wait here but if the RADs complete the task, the Robcouple would have wasted their time because they have to turn back and complete the Detour. Up there, Ray has finished crossing the bridge and announces that it's the "scariest" thing he has ever done. What, scarier than losing to old people or even worse, getting old?
Dumb and Dumber as well as the GOPs manage to get reliable directions to the underground caves so here they are. Barbie Jane tells the camera in what I hope is sarcasm that her beauty pageant experience will be of use here. It is quite sad when a woman goes by in her life being defined by what other people perceive her as and by how she compares to other women. Doesn't Barbie Jane have some other ways to define herself? Doesn't she have a job or something? Meanwhile, Brian tells Greg that he has an urge to say "spelunking" as they get ready to climb into an opening. I wonder how they learn that word. I bet they learned it the hard way when they mistook "spelunking" for something more, er, to their nature and yell, "I'm spelunking, take it all baby!" upon which their partners started laughing hysterically and the whole mood was ruined. The two Teams start climbing down the opening and wandering around the narrow and dark tunnels with only their headlamps for light. The tunnels are so low that they have to bend over at times to keep moving.
At the cooling towers, Deana begins to cross the suspension bridge. Outside and below, the Robcouple have foolishly decide to wait and hope that Deana will chicken out. The Robfather asks Ambore whether she thinks that the RADs will fail at the task. Ambore doesn't think so. He asks her then whether they should stay or go. She hesitates. Oh, Ambore, she has to make a decision one of these days. Better now than never, really! Meanwhile, Deana predictably stops halfway across the bridge and seems petrified of going any father. The Robfather sharply and brusquely asks Ambore once more whether they should stay or go. Ambore once more hesitates and stares blankly at the Robfather. She is saved from making a decision when Deana completes the Fast Forward task and the supervisors tell the Robcouple that they do not have to wait any longer as the Fast Forward is no longer available. The Robcouple take off, and Ray, noticing them from the top of the tower, says that the Robcouple are "in trouble". Oh please, in his dreams. The Robcouple has the devil's luck in them; didn't Ray hear the Robfather mention the cloven hoof, er, horseshoe up his ass? In their vehicle, the Robfather and Ambore wonder which Detour to do and they settle on "tribe" because the cultural village is closer to where they are at the moment compared to the caves. In the other vehicle, Ray is telling Deana to have more faith in herself because he feels that she can do much more than she gives herself credit for. In this case, I happen to think Ray is right. Deana should stop being so pessimistic and negative the moment she feels a little stressed about a task.
By the way, the clue tells the RAD to head straight to the Pit Stop, the overlook at the end of the street where Nelson Mandela used to live while he was a practising lawyer. It's at 130 Main Street. There are many tours that will allow you to take a look at the house if you're visiting Soweto. If you do not know who Nelson Mandela is, I don't know you. Teams won't be violating the sanctity of the house though - they will just be heading down the street to meet Philo and the VIP at the finishing mat up a small grassy hill at the end of the street. The RADs are right now driving themselves there.
The Fat Fatales go about amusing the tribal chiefs with their hits and misses. These tribal chiefs are so funny. They could give the Fat Fatales lessons in being amusing without resorting to unfunny over-the-top antics. Elsewhere, the Robcouple need some direction to the cultural village. They spot a hospital. As the Robfather tells the camera with a chuckle, they may as well go to a hospital because they think they are due for a psychiatric evaluation anyway! As they walk into the lobby, one of the staff squeals in delight because she recognizes Ambore. The next thing the Robcouple know, they are surrounded by excited viewers of Survivor. Ambore tells the camera that they are actually in a hurry but then again, these fans don't let them leave that easily. Still, she enjoys meeting them (of course, of course). Armed with directions, these two soon hit the road once more. Somewhere, else, the Cannon Fodders court death with Meredith driving down the road like a madman. When the IVFs aren't being adorable, they are lost, and right now, as usual, they need to stop and ask for directions.
Dumb and Dumber are having fun in the caves, comparing their exploration of the narrow dark caves to their childhood antics of stuffing each other in sleeping bags and never letting the person out. They find the whole thing fun. How dorky and adorable. Now that they are grown-ups, maybe they substitute the sleeping bag with the refridgerator. Meanwhile, the GOPs misread their clue and hunt for the way out of the caves instead of the clue, so eventually they emerge from the other opening of the caves without a clue. They realize their mistake and have to climb back down the opening. After some scrabbling around, Dumb and Dumber locate a clue which tells them to head on down to the Soweto. Philo steps out to explain a little about Soweto's history and how the city that became the forefront in the fight against apartheid is now transforming into a bustling and relatively more pleasant modern city. Teams driving to Soweto must locate a market square for their next clue. So it's off to Soweto Dumb and Dumber go. They pass the GOPs on their way out and yell to the GOPs where the clues are. Complimenting each other for looking like an extra from Braveheart, Dumb and Dumber happily get into their vehicle.
The Fat Fatales finally deliver all their items and receive their clue from Chief Tubbyhahamama. They too are heading towards Soweto. At the caves, Gretchen naturally squeals to Meredith as Meredith suits up and goes down the opening, "I'll meet you down there!" And when she goes down, she squeals, "Goodbye, cruel world." I have nothing to say. I have a feeling that Gretchen is amusing if taken in small doses but I'd probably choke her silly if she talks to me for longer than an hour. The IVFs head on down into the caves shortly after the Cannon Fodders.
The RADs are in Soweto! They park their vehicle by the road and run up the street to Philo. Philo, Philo! Say it ain't so! But yes, the RADs are the first team to arrive and Philo even tosses in two Toyota RAF 4s as a bonus prize to them. Those two don't look so happy though, although I'm sure they are, especially when they don't have to share the vehicles. Ray naturally congratulates himself and Deana for being such amazing athletes that propel themselves from last to first. I would be more impressed if he's giving his aggrandizing speech after having actually completed a gruelling leg instead of taking a Fast Forward.
The Robcouple pull up at the cultural village and greet Chief Tubbyhahamama a little wearily before sizing up their task. After taking a wrong item to a tribal chief, the Robfather deduces that the item they must deliver to a chief can be deduced to what the chief or the people around him are doing. For example, if a chief is cooking, he will be looking for someone to deliver him the pot. When this theory proves correct, the Robcouple is on a roll.
The GOPs are the first Team to reach the market square in Soweto, where they learn that they have to perform a Roadblock. The clue asks for someone who loves to shop. Philo explains that the Team member in question must purchase five items on a list (a backpack, any toy, diapers, T-shirt, and a blanket) and return to the supervisors with these items before they are given their next instruction. Barbie Jane predictably steps up for this Roadblock. She wanders around and buys a Tweety backpack for two dollars. Oh, what a rivetting Roadblock!
The Cannon Fodders have the same mistaken belief that the GOPs had because they are looking for a way out instead of the clue. The IVFs are in the tunnels too. By the way, I know people online have compared Joyce to Gollum in the Lord Of The Rings movies but the resemblance is especially uncanny when Joyce is in the dark. Hubby and I do a double-take when the camera zooms in on Joyce's face in the dark. She doesn't say "My precious!" unfortunately. She and Uchenna are having a tough time navigating and Uchenna is worried that they may be lost. He wonders whether they should have gone for the other Detour instead.
Having quickly delivered all five items correctly, the Robcouple hand over the necklaces to Chief Tubbyhahamama, who then shakes the Robfather's hand before tapping palms with that man. Must be an ancient tribal ritual gesture, that one. Ahead, the Fat Fatales ask for directions from a gas station and Lynn stews and moans dramatically while Alex thanks the man who helps them. I think Alex can do better than tying himself that useless lard tub called Lynn. Even farther ahead, Dumb and Dumber show up at the marketplace and realize that the GOPs are ahead of them. "Gosh, we suck," Brian tells Greg in a completely flat monotone that is simultaneously dorky and camera-conscious. Does it matter who takes this Roadblock? Greg takes it because it is his turn to do a Roadblock. Greg buys medium diapers although he looks like he doesn't really know or care what size his diapers should come in, and Brian hollers to him to buy them some deodorants because they are running low with that. Hmm, that's a great way to be funny for the camera! Yeah, I laugh at that line, sue me. I'm starting to like how they pander to the camera like a more likeable Wayne and Garth manner. Barbie Jane continues her shopping. By the way, people who are ragging on Ambore for getting help later on from a local should take note that Barbie Jane has a local who is guiding her around the place.
The Cannon Fodders finally emerge from the caves in relief only to have their relief turn into dismay when they realize that their clue is down there in the tunnels. The IVFs are right now stumbling over the cave with all the clues and they take one. Alas, still no "My precious!" from Joyce. They emerge from the caves and are very relieved to see the Cannon Fodders unhappily going back into the underground caves. Secure in the knowledge that they are not last, they drive to Soweto. When Meredith and Gretchen try to cross what seems like a small pit, Gretchen slips and falls. Oops! Goodbye, cruel world! Meredith screams out her name and asks her whether she is okay. "I'll meet you down here!" screams back Gretchen. Not really. She just moans and Meredith shouts for someone, anyone, to help them as the camera cuts away from the caves for maximum dramatic effect. Sure enough, the supervisors and paramedics are soon dashing to the scene. Gretchen is slowly lifted up and oh dear, her head is all bloody from what seems like a deep gash on her forehead. As Meredith moans at the sight of his wife, someone asks Gretchen whether she can see the fingers he is holding up before her. She says yes and tells everyone not to worry. She even quips that she has been wanting a face lift for a long time before laughing in a macabre manner. Watching her, I have to admire her guts and tenacity. I just wish that she and her husband are better Racers than they are at giving this show some inspirational Hallmark drama. Meredith decides to look for the clue on his own. Gretchen is soon pestering him with pointed, quivering queries as to whether he has found the clue yet. I have salute her. She's a woman with remarkable priorities in life. Maybe she and me can go rob some banks together one of these days.
Barbie Jane finishes up her shopping and returns to the supervisors with her items. The GOPs receive their next clue, which tells them to take the items they have bought and deliver them to the Orlando Children's Home in order to receive their next clue. The orphanage is about five miles from the market square, according to Philo, so the GOPs waste no time in taking off. Barbie Jane in their vehicle announces that she has "mad shopping skills". What, no love for that person who showed Barbie Jane where to buy those items in the marketplace?
"We can take those bitches!" That's Lynn telling Alex when they pull up at the market square and notice Brian waiting for Greg to come back from his shopping spree. Lynn is fast turning out to be the more irritating of the two, although this does not mean that Alex and his annoying Snidely Whiplash giggles are not without their faults. Alex is not oblivious to Lynn's faults as he makes Lynn promise not to freak out. Freak out? On a shopping trip? Elsewhere, Greg buys a blanket emblazoned with a dog and a WWF shirt. He's sure that little boys will love this kind of thing. Oh yes, I agree - Brian will love those things.
Over at the caves, it's time for the usual Injuries On A Woman Will Make You Forget What A Lousy Team She And Her Husband Is moment. Oh, Gretchen is covered with blood! Meredith chokes inside because he now believes that he knows now what Gretchen is "made of". I know. From what I see, I know too that she is made of flesh and plenty of blood. Anything else, Meredith? The show plays plenty of inspirational music when Meredith finds the clue and Gretchen is lifted out of the caves. Because an old woman who gets injured automatically gets a gold medal for courage and bravery. I hope no one watching this is tempted to push grandma down the stairs so that they can be popular kids in the neighborhood. I agree that Gretchen shows remarkable pluck under her circumstances but come on, all this exaggerated deification of the Cannon Fodders is just too much! Anyway, on saner grounds now after the Music of Brave Injured Women finally ebbs, the Cannon Fodders take off to Soweto. Gretchen frets about going to a market looking like she does, all covered with blood. I'm sure Lynn will have some politically incorrect joke about people covered in blood being a normal sight in Soweto in response to her quip.
The Robcouple show up at the market square. It's probably worth nothing that without Lynn around, Alex is actually pretty pleasant to those two, even wishing Ambore good luck as she steps up to the Roadblock and goes shopping. She and Lynn in their own separate ways start hunting for diapers. I'm sure there's a joke related to the mental state of their partners in there somewhere.
The GOPs show up at the Orlando Children's Home. The cutest children are groomed to stand at strategic camera-friendly locations in the playground (the chubby and not-so-cute ones are probably bundled off in some storeroom) and happy music plays when these children cheer at the sight of the GOPs. After some obligatory clowning around with the kids, the GOPs deposit the goods to the manager of the Home who pretends to act as if the GOPs personally donated the goodies out of the kindness of their hearts. She hands the GOPs their next clue which tells them to drive to the Pit Stop, although in this case the clue is a little more vague than the RADs' because the Teams will have to figure out Nelson Mandela's home address without the clue providing the information. As they leave, Barbie Jane's pageant kicks in and she starts going on and on about how the kids make this the best moment in her Racing experiences so far and... yeah, she's as convincing as one would expect from a beauty pageant contestant. ("Especially one who had to enter twice before winning the title," adds in the evil hubby.)
Dumb and Dumber are the next to show up at the Home - in fact, the GOPs are pulling out of the carpark when the idiot brothers show up - and true to form, they start pandering to the camera by interacting with the kids exactly like they have seen action heroes do when these action heroes inevitably star in a movie where they have to deal with unruly children. "Stay out of trouble, don't do drugs!" Brian tells them just like I expected an unimaginative guy trying too hard (and actually being quite successful in it, I must admit) to come off on TV as some adorable good-natured goofball. If I haven't seen Brian on Fear Factor, I might just buy his act as sincere. They deposit their stuff and leave.
The GOPs arrive at the Pit Stop as team number two. Philo says that they look much cleaner than when they arrived in the previous Pit Stop and GI Joe wants the camera to focus on Barbie Jane because she's so pretty. I'm getting this impression that that's all she is to him in a way, a beauty queen trophy for an ex-soldier, just as he is her action hero trophy boyfriend. These two have absolutely no chemistry between them.
Lynn finishes shopping and he and Alex take off, although not without a fond farewell, of course, to the Robfather who waits impatiently for Ambore to finish up. Ambore, elsewhere, walks around wondering aloud where she can purchase the next item on her list, a toy.
Dumb and Dumber exchange high-five after they arrive at the Pit Stop as tem number three. Meanwhile, the Fat Fatales wave at the kids as they walk into the Home and quickly deliver their items to the manager. Elsewhere, some lady who looks like she is doing some shopping during lunch hour recognizes Ambore and excitedly offers to help her in whatever she is doing. This lady, whose name turns out to be Talindi or something like that, helps Ambore locate the toy as well as the next items on her list. When she brings Ambore back to where the Robfather is waiting, Talindi squeals in excitement when she sees that man. I know that feeling. I'm not proud to admit that, but I really understand what she is going through at that time. Talindi happily joins the Robcouple in their vehicle because she can show them the way to the Home.
As the Cannon Fodders and the IVFs drive toward the market square, the Fat Fatales arrive at the Pit Stop as team number four. The IVFs arrive at the market square before the Cannon Fodders. Joyce tells Uchenna that he should do this Roadblock because she doesn't want to and he good-naturedly agrees. At the Home, the Robfather finds time to kick a soccer ball in between depositing the items to the manager and leaving for the Pit Stop. Talindi is still along for the ride, woo-hoo! Uchenna has no problems with shopping so soon he and Joyce are on their way to the Home. Only then - and who knows how much later - do the Cannon Fodders show up at the market square. Gretchen is shopping for the Cannon Fodders and, despite her concerns that her bloodied appearance would scare people away, manages to locate a convenience store (one similar to, say, 7-11) where she gets to purchase what seems like every item on her shopping list.
Oh, because it's African American people meeting African kiddies time, the show now puts on the slow-motion effects and the heartlifting music of Minority Folks Love Each Other moment, kind of like how the camera man at the Oscars desperately zooms to an African American fellow in the audience whenever an African American is on stage given a pity Oscar as the Academy's acts of charity for the next two or three years. There is nothing that puts the warmth in our hearts like learning that African Americans always love their own people. We're so wonderfully politically correct people that way. So the IVFs obligingly put on the waterworks and the "Oh! We've tried to have children for so long! And now we may even adopt!" inspiring statements. I have no doubt of their sincerity but I wish the show is a little less obvious in its hammy treatment of Hallmark moments. Is "African Americans crying in Africa" going to be a constant theme in this show from now on? ("Now, now, be fair: White People Crying And Moaning In India Or Africa While Adoring The Happy Children And Beautiful Clothes On The Women is a constant theme of the show too," says the hubby.)
Gretchen finishes up her shopping, telling Meredith (loudly enough for the cameras to catch her on tape) of how sorry she is that she can't get enough good deals from her shopping trip. Maybe she managed to purchase some "good deals" from some enterprising dealers on the streets while she was shopping, who knows?
The Robcouple step up as team number five before Philo. The Robfather sighs and says that this hasn't been a good day for him and Ambore. He also introduces Talindi who has stepped up with them before Philo and tells Philo that Talindi has helped them "big time" in the leg of the Race. Somewhere in a hospital, a bunch of nurses are wondering where their personal thank-you shout-outs are. How disappointing that the Robcouple aren't first because I'd love to see if Talindi will demand a share of the first place prize.
The Cannon Fodders deposit their items to the manager of the Home and hope that someone will get lost so that, maybe, miraculously, the Cannon Fodders won't come in last. Speaking of being lost, the IVFs are apparently having trouble locating the Pit Stop despite being on the correct side. Still, this is just a teeny-weeny blimp in their masterplan as soon the IVFs step before Philo as team number six. Philo of course asks them about what it feels like to be in Africa and be in the orphanage - which, of course, reminds cynical old me to snort at how this show only asks African American people about how they feel about African kiddies and being in Africa. The IVFs' joy is real, I'd like to believe, but I'm not so sanguine about the show's manipulation of the IVFs' emotions for cheap Hallmarkish drama.
The Cannon Fodders step in last but, as every old-timer watching this show should have predicted even before the episode airs, they are not eliminated because this is a non-elimination leg. The bad news is, Philo takes all their money as well as their possessions, leaving those two with only their clothes on their back and their passports. Philo doesn't clearly say whether these possessions would be given to them at the end of the next leg though. Gretchen predictably says that all she and Meredith have right now "are each other". Goodness me, she talks like she's just lost everything in a war. Philo tells them not to give up hope and wish them the best in the next leg of the Race.
Brrrrr-rmph! Philo is back for the second hour of this episode and after the show cuts to the same "Elephants! Happy people!" montage now and forever known as "Manipulatively Sentimental Images of Soweto" and explains once more why Soweto is very, very important. No, it's not just because Africans did something great for themselves not too long ago or how TV network people love to show how much they respect people of color by allocating a few minutes in the whole season to some "people of color love and stick together" moments, but because Soweto is also the Pit Stop of the previous leg of the Race. He reminds people of Gretchen's brush with death that doesn't stop her from hamming up to the camera or how she and her husband have all their possessions removed from them, apart from - fortunately - the clothes they are wearing and their passports and wonders whether those two will find a way out of their dilemma. Philo also wonders whether the RADs will keep their lead over the other Teams.
10:41 pm. The RADs leave. Their clue tells them to head over to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve where they will feed the lions, hopefully not with each other or other Teams. Philo explains that Teams must sign up for one of the two bunches, oops, sorry, shuttles to enter the Nature Reserve that leave one hour apart. As the RADs leave in their vehicle, Ray says that he intends for his Team to remain in first place - hahahahaha, oops, I hope I didn't give anything away to soon - and complains that Deana has a problem with reacting under stress. "She needs to step up a little bit more and assert her talents where I need them!" he growls. If she does what he wants, these two would end up screaming and shouting at each other like some watered-down version of Pornathan and Tori. Deana should just keep being quiet and then just as quietly dump him after the Race.
12:39 am. The GOPs. As they leave, GI Joe gives what must be the most lacking in self-awareness confessional ever, where he insists that his Team is in the best physical shape among all the other Teams and thinks that cracks are starting to show in other Teams so he hopes that the GOPs would benefit from that. Barbie Jane hopes that they can beat some Teams on this Race. Gee, I never know beating the competition is what people do on a Race! Thanks for telling me, Barbie Jane! As they drive in the night, Barbie Jane reminds GI Joe that they saw the sign to the Nature Reserve while driving yesterday so they should know where they are going this time.
The RADs show up at the Nature Reserve where they learn that the first shuttle will only leave at 8:00 am. Still on the road, GI Joe sees some lights over the horizon and says that those lights remind him of "bombing downtown Baghdad". If this comes from some Baghdad local who has seen bombs go off around him, this comparison may be poignant. But with that comparison coming from a man who is on the side of those responsible for dropping those bombs... Oh, forget it. The GOPs show up at the Nature Reserve and sign up for the 8:00 am shuttle.
1:03 am. Dumb and Dumber. Brian reads the clue as ""Make your way home and give Mom a big hug, then eat all of her chicken enchiladas until you enter a food coma." Ha, ha, ha. That's actually very cute. They leave, the usual.
1:24 am. The Fat Fatales leave. Lynn insists to the camera that they are "people first, Racers second" and says that half the prize comes from being on the Race. I wonder whether this interview is recorded when he is in his Righteous Asshole mode after that event that happens late in this episode. Hmmm.
1:33 am. The Robcouple take off. Ambore points out to the camera that they aren't exactly the most popular Team and she's not holding her breath waiting for things to improve. The Robfather says that they are not going to be "getting any Christmas cards from these people". That's true, of course. While it is easy to take the high road and simplistically assume that these two should have tried harder to make friends, I don't think how they can do that since so many of these Teams already dislike the Robcouple based on those two being Survivor contestants who have won slightly more than a million dollars in total. Of course, if you scour the online forums, you'll notice that this dislike for that reason isn't confined solely to Teams on the Race. The Robcouple take off to the Nature Reserve, along the way the Robfather telling Ambore that "Meredith and what's-his-name" (that will be Mr Gretchen) won't be getting any money for this leg of the Race.
Dumb and Dumber show up at the Nature Reserve in time to book the last two spots in the 8:00 am shuttle. The Fat Fatales who arrive next have to settle for the next shuttle which leaves at 9:00 am.
2:20 am. Bring out the violins because as the IVFs leave, Joyce regales the audience once more with tales of rocky marriages and their newfound determination to have kiddies in their lives, kiddies who will then grow up listening to stories of their parents' once-rocky marriage and wasted couplings that produced no offsprings.
3:51 am. The Cannon Fodders start acting as if they're survivors from a wartorn country. My heart bleeds when Meredith compares their circumstance to being "warriors without weapons" while Gretchen moans about having to keep their passports in plastic bags - oh my, how tragic - before saying mournfully that she's just happy to be alive. Thank goodness she says that because I'm starting to believe that these two will catch a fatal disease at the end of leg and spend the next leg crawling in agonizing slowness until they collapse at Philo's feet and cry out dramatically before dying just as dramatically, "I am the warrior!"
The Robcouple show up at the Nature Reserve where the Robcouple makes a show of pretending to wipe out the Fat Fatales' names before signing him and Ambore up as the second Team on the 9:00 am shuttle. The IVFs are once more lost. The Cannon Fodders show up before them at the Nature Reserve, which makes the IVFs totally pathetic when it comes to navigation. Since there is plenty of time before the shuttles leave, the IVFs have nothing to lose if they choose to take a sidetrip to who-knows-where, so in the end they too make the 9:00 am shuttle. As everyone kill time by catching up on lost rest time, Meredith leans over the IVFs' vehicle and chats with Uchenna. This leads to Meredith telling the cameras that the IVFs handed the Cannon Fodder a bag of clothes the night before. How sweet of the IVFs. "If only they are better Racers" is my theme song where the IVFs are concerned.
The Cannon Fodders now decide to ask for money from the other Teams. "We're starting the Save the Rhino fund and that's no lion!" Gretchen says as she approaches Dumb and Dumber. I'm confused by that for a while until I realize, "Oh, no lying! Sheesh." Dumb and Dumber give her a few dollars for her dreadful punning. Other Teams also hand over money except for two notable exceptions. Yup, the Robcouple is one of them. The Robfather says that he's not giving the Cannon Fodders anything because he thinks that they are the "biggest con artists". When I think back to Don and Mary Jean in the previous season asking for money and getting more money from those Teams than what these Teams have on themselves, I can see where he is coming from. At the end of the day, this is a Race. The RADs also refuse to give the Cannon Fodders a single cent. An understandable sentiment, but I'm not sure about his telling the camera, "Meredith and Gretchen to me are sacrificial lambs. I want to see them be eliminated and I don't want to help prolong this agony for them any longer. I'm just thinking of them." It's all in the delivery since he's obviously trying to make a funny joke. Unfortunately, it's hard for me to perceive him as joking when he's saying all those things with this ferocious glower on his face as if the very thought of the two old coots breathing offends him to the core.
8:00 am. The first shuttle takes the RADs, the GOPs, and Dumb and Dumber into the Nature Reserve. The safety supervisor advises the Teams to stay still and do nothing should a lion leaps into the shuttle. GI Joe tells Barbie Jane that if a lion jumps into the shuttle, he's tossing her to the lion. She's not amused. But I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that this idea is just plain awesome. Buckets of bloody meat are passed around for the Teams to toss them to the lions. The lions are cute and adorable but nothing too exciting - and certainly no maimed limbs - happens. Once the shuttle stops at the end of the track, the Teams are given their clues. Teams must now fly some 150 miles to Gaborone, Botswana, and then travel first by train and then bus some 440 miles to what Philo calls the "statue of a giant aardvark". So off the Teams go to the airport.
9:00 am. This bunch is more jittery. Joyce wonders what the lions eat (er, meat, perhaps?) and hopes that they don't eat her. Ambore reminds everyone to stay calm should a lion decides to run over and give everybody a hug. Lynn whines that he'd rather see giraffes than lions. The Robfather compares the scene to Jurassic Park and asks rethorically to the camera what happens at the end of the movie. Well, the hero and the heroine survived at the end of the movie while the fat screaming babboon fellow got eaten up by a dinosaur. Hmm, now that I think of it, I want this show to end like Jurassic Park, yes indeed! But when they feed the lions, Ambore announces that the experience is great while Uchenna says that he refuses to make eye contact with the lions.
At the airport, the GOPs, the RADs, and Dumb and Dumber manage to get tickets for an Air Botswana flight that will depart at 12:00 pm. Meanwhile, the second group of Teams receive their clue once the lions are fed and they all dash into their vehicles. The Fat Fatales are in the lead and the Robcouple decide to just follow those two. The Cannon Fodders also follow. The IVFs, at the back, wonder aloud why everyone is going the wrong way. Just like how lightning strikes once in a blue moon, the IVFs have a rare, lucid moment where they are heading in the right direction while everyone else isn't. Once the Fat Fatales encounter a toll booth where they learn that they have to go back all the way they came and take the other turn from there, the two Teams following them must be feeling very foolish as they too have to turn back. Thankfully, it's a ten-minute hiccup so the Lilith Sisters can still hold on to their record when it comes to biggest navigational screw-ups ever. The IVFs make it to the airport to catch the Air Botswana flight that departs at noon. The Robcouple and the Cannon Fodders have to eventually settle for a South African Airways flight that departs at 1:35 pm when they show up next at the airport.
The Fat Fatales, in the meantime, end up in the wrong side of Johannesburg after taking the wrong turn at a highway and they end up in what seems like a rather seedy neighborhood. Lynn compares the area to Compton, which is reasonable enough to me, and then tells Alex to stop and ask for directions, or in his own words to Alex, "Pick someone who looks the least likely to have a gun!" Lynn catches the sight of one guy and asks Alex to talk to "Tupac" over there. While some fans predictably fly in hysterical overdrive over the Fat Fatales in Mini-Compton, I don't really find anything too offensive in their remarks. While I do think they could have come up with something less banal than "Tupac", I don't find any element of racism in their words. But what do I know? I wasn't part of the lynch mob of the previous season that wanted Kendra hanged from a tree. (An amusing aside: same of these same Kendra lynch mob people are now defending Lynn by saying that we shouldn't read too much into what people say in reality TV shows. Yeah, except that when I said just as much regarding Kendra, they refused to even entertain that concept.) The Fat Fatales offer Tupac some money if Tupac will lead them to the airport. He agrees, apparently, because the show then cuts to the Fat Fatales reaching the airport and getting seats on that 1:35 pm flight.
Good news for the Teams on the 12:00 pm flight: Gabarone, Botawana is beautiful and the weather is fine. Bad news for them: the train they have to take won't leave until 9:00 pm. As they wait, the second flight lands. The Fat Fatales manage to get what seems like a small tour minivan thingie to take them to the train station. The Robfather spots them and decides that they can very well share the vehicle with the Robcouple. He stops the driver while the Fat Fatales urge him to drive on. From my understanding of the situation - and having said that, let me make this clear that I am only assuming from what I see and not stating from facts - the Robfather seems to believe that the Fat Fatales are on a bus because he is telling the driver to let him and Ambore get on the "bus" as there are plenty of seats available. I believe that the bus is actually a cab because the driver listens to the Fat Fatales' wishes and drives on. The Robfather is annoyed, which he probably shouldn't be as he has pulled off the bus monopoly stunt in the past only with more finesse than the two fat oafs, and says that if that is how "they" want to play the game, that's how he will play too. Ah yes, spoken like a kettle trying to pretend that he's a little less black than the pot. The Fat Fatales are not making themselves come off any better as they go on and on to the camera about how there is really no room (while stretching their legs in the comfortable leg room that is available because there really is plenty of room in the cab) before cattily admitting that they will share the cab with any Team but the Robcouple. Plenty of ridiculous WWF-style yammerings follow, with the Robfather saying that "Lynn's got his head up his ass" and "he might be able to run Alex like a little farm boy, but he can't treat everybody like that" while Alex gives a catty sigh and says that he doesn't want the Robcouple to intrude of his enjoyment of the air-conditioning in the cab. All this is ridiculous because the Robcouple and the Fat Fatales could easily be ranting and bitching about themselves instead of each other. This show is setting them up for a dramatic confrontation in the future and I can't wait to see who will emerge the victor.
The Cannon Fodders get a cab to the train station. When they show up at the station, the Robfather comments about how the Cannon Fodders use their age and Gretchen's injury to play on everyone's sympathy. Does that sound awful, what he is saying? It's the truth, unfortunately, because while it isn't politically correct to admit it to be true, the show is exploiting the Cannon Fodders' age and Gretchen's injury for some Emmy-winning drama moment. How many people have announced that the Cannon Fodders are now a "great Team", conveniently overlooking their horrendous progress so far, just because Gretchen has a head wound and shoulders on like a trooper? There are many of these people. The Robfather is right in that instance, although he may be wrong if he's talking about the Cannon Fodders deliberately exploiting Gretchen's injury to their advantage. The Robfather then says that, hey, who knows, maybe Meredith even pushed Gretchen down the shaft to gain sympathy from the other Teams! That is not a nice thing to say, naturally, but it's a joke. See his smirk? He's joking. But maybe it's just me because I have a feeling that I would say exactly the same thing - jokingly of course - to my hubby if the Robfather hasn't beaten me to it.
9:00 pm. All Teams board the train. There's a telling scene where Barbie Jane moves to cuddle with GI Joe and he asks her in impatience what she is trying to do. I really suspect that these two people aren't really dating as much as they are sent by one of those weird right-wing people to be on the show for some misguided "tell the world about the power of Jesus and the Military" evangelism. The Teams then board the bus and hey, next thing I know they are getting off before the giant aardvark statue. Teams get their next clue which tells them that it is now time for a Roadblock. The person with a good aim must, with the tutelage and supervision of a bushman, succeed in spearing a "moving target" of a bag of sand, swaying like a pendulum, from a distance of twenty feet away. Brian, GI Joe, the Robfather, Lynn, Joyce, Ray, and Meredith will be doing the Roadblock.
Brian calls his bushman "Yoda" and when he misses the bag in his first shot, calls his aim "sissy". Oh, dude humor. I really like to imagine that I am above such brand of humor, normally associated with smelly unwashed men who imagine that their unkempt state somehow makes them "real" and "honest", but Brian is making me laugh, damn him. Ray announces as he takes aim that he is not a bushman but he voted for Bush the last time around. Er, if he says so. Everyone throws and misses until Brian finally manages to spear the bag close to its lower right edge. "Got him in the hind leg!" he exclaims happily as he gets the clue from the bushman supervisor. He and Greg must now travel in designated Land Rovers parked nearby to a "cattle post" 35 miles from where they are. Philo also adds that each Team will be accompanied by a "safety guide". I have a hunch that this voiceover is added to placate concerns from viewers about safety measures after what Dumb and Dumber will cause a little later into the show.
GI Joe finally hits the bag and the GOPs are also off. Ron tells the camera that he is using through the desert in Humvees before (gee, I wonder where he learned to do that) and he's sure that no one else knows how to do this magical, wonderful skills only POWs are privileged to learn. Lynn and Ray also hit their bags, allowing their Teams to chase after the GOPs and Dumb and Dumber. By the way, Lynn seems to standing much closer than twenty feet from the bag when he hits it with his spear. But at this point the show doesn't seem to care about making sure that the contestants obey the rules it has set down so let's just move on. Joyce then hits the bag but once their excitement cools down, the IVFs can't figure out where they dropped their bags. Ugh, these two! The Robfather is starting to get a little edgy, wondering aloud whether those spears he is using are sharpened as they keep missing the bag or worse, just bounce off the bag. Ambore voices-over that the Robfather loses his patience very quickly. Ooh, he loses his patience after missing what seems like dozen of times. That's very quick indeed. Someone put the Robfather in anger management classes pronto! Finally the Robfather hits the bag, allowing the Robcouple a chance to keep up with the others, especially when the IVFs are still running around like headless chickens at the moment trying to locate their bags. Ugh, those two!
In the Land Rover race to the cattle post, Brian says in his vehicle that he must be hanging out with Lynn too much because he is tempted to go "Eeeee!" (he does this complete with shoulder shakes). The show then cuts to Lynn in the other vehicle going, yup, "Eeeeee!" Lynn is apparently finding this ride to be similar to an Indiana Jones movie. Gretchen cracks a President Bush joke that falls flat. The Robfather hoots as he overtakes the Cannon Fodders and then the RADs, with Ray going, "Damn it! Critical mistakes!" when he sees the Robcouple overtaking his Land Rover. Trailing at the back, Uchenna says that all he can see in his vision is "Meredith's dust". Joyce asks, "Is that her up there?" Uchenna corrects her by reminding her that Meredith is the husband. Heh. But what's this with Gretchen being "up there"? Is she standing on the roof of the Land Rover or something?
Brian is driving very, very recklessly and that idiot, when he realizes that he has missed a turn, instead of going ahead and making a slow and easy turn, quickly goes medieval on the steering wheel. As a result, the Land Rover flips over and the camera crashes onto the ground before everything turns black. But not before the driver of the Land Rover morphs into an un-Brianlike guy in white shirt, that is. I love how this show feels that it needs to get a stunt driver to recreate the Land Rover crash and no doubt make it a little more "exciting" than it actually is. When the show comes back on, the poor cameraguy is lying unconscious on the ground, his head cradled in the lap of a woman whom I presume is the safety guide. Some safety guide she has been so far, eh? Dumb and Dumber tell the camera that their vehicle "rolled over" and the "camera guy is hurt". Oh, thanks for letting me know. I'm starting to believe that the camera guy is just faking everything so that he can press his nose between that woman's legs.
The Fat Fatales drive by and upon seeing the accident, stop. Or so the show would like me to believe, as the Insider interviews has Alex saying that he doesn't want to stop but Lynn wants him to and Lynn then saying that he loves the fact that he and Alex have stopped because they can now gloat over how much better they are as people compared to the Robcouple. The evidence is there on the official website. Therefore it becomes very hypocritical of the Fat Fatales that, when the Robcouple drive by and, er, drive by without stopping, the Fat Fatales quickly launch into an "Omigod! Can you believe those heartless people?" shriekfest even when the cameraman is still lying on the ground. In their vehicle, the Robfather says that he hopes no one is hurt but he's not stopping because this is a Race. He gives the camera a nervous smile because I suspect that he knows the crap he is going to be heaped upon with from his action by the moral police watching this show.
While I agree that it is nice if they pause to ask if everything is okay, the Robcouple don't have to stop. Firstly, this is a Race and therefore, there would be paramedics and other trained personnels to help anyone who is injured. The Fat Fatales aren't helping by stopping - they are more intent on standing there, waving their hands, and telling everyone how better they are compared to the Robcouple because they stopped for Dumb and Dumber. Should they have been nicer and paused to check if everyone is okay? Maybe, but they are not obligated to and they aren't lesser people for not doing so. This is, after all, a Race. On a personal note, I prefer people who aren't nice than people who pretend to be nice for selfish reasons so in this respect, I find it very hard to view the Fat Fatales' "selfishness" as anything but yet another ridiculous dramatic stunt created just to push forward their anti-Robcouple agenda.
The GOPs are ahead of Dumber and Dumber when the idiots crashed the Land Rover so they miss the whole drama about how apparently it is okay to be a reckless driver that endangers the camera crew but it is not okay to drive on by especially if you are the Robfather. They show up at the cattle post where they learn that it is now time for a Detour. Philo steps out to explain that in "Food", Teams must use a traditionl (long) pestel and (big) mortar device to grind corn into fine flour. There would be supervisor ladies who will check the texture of the corn flour the Teams end up with. Teams must produce enough corn flour to fill a bucket to a fixed level indicated by a line and the flour must meet the approval of the supervisor before they are given their next clue. In "Water", Teams must use straws to fill twelve hollow ostrich eggshells with water from a spring and bury these eggs in the ground before they are given their next clue. To me, "Water" seems like the easier and faster Detour but I guess the other Teams have their reasons for choosing "Food". The GOPs choose to grind the floor and GI Joe tells Barbie Jane to "beat the crap" out of the flour. And so they do.
The doctor is on his way to tend the injured cameraman so the Fat Fatales deem it time for them to part ways with Dumb and Dumber. In their vehicle, Lynn gasps about how the Robcouple are "literally" "awful pigs" because those two didn't stop to stand around and gasp at the wounded cameraman the way the Fat Fatales did. Soon, the RADs show up and they stop briefly for Ray to ask them whether everything is okay. Dumb and Dumber wave them on. Gretchen is complaining about the various bumps and jolts on the road and Meredith asks her whether she wants him to drive slowly and therefore lose. She grumbles that she doesn't want to lose but she also doesn't want her bladder to end up in her chest cavity. Heh. When she's not playing too obviously to the camera and just speaking naturally, she's a funny lady. They spot the accident site and slow down just to ask if everything is okay before going on their own way. The IVFs slow down and Uchenna yells whether everything is okay without even stopping his vehicle. But because he's not the Robfather and some of the moral police watching this show need to be beaten in the head with the obvious before they "get" anything in this show, especially a joke, Uchenna is still okay.
As Dumb and Dumber wait for a replacement Land Rover to reach them, at the cattle post the GOPs are hard at work. The Robcouple arrive next and they choose to tackle the ostrich eggs. The Fat Fatales show up next and they choose to play with food. As they work beside the GOPs, Lynn naturally tells them about how the Robcouple didn't stop for Dumb and Dumber. So, did anyone die? Who cares! The Robcouple didn't stop and that is all that matters in this case. Barbie Jane announces that the Robcouple therefore don't deserve to win because they didn't stop and they, er, quit the meat Roadblock. If these are the people the Robcouple have to deal with day by day on the Race, I'm starting to understand very clearly why they chose not to stop. There is nothing more unpleasant to watch than condescending hypocritical know-it-alls lording it out on TV as if they are better than everyone else.
"Water" is proving to be a better Detour as the Robcouple make steady progress with the eggs, compared to the GOPs and the Fat Fatales who have their flour rejected by the supervisor. GI Joe takes off his shirt. If that face doesn't have so much teeth and doesn't scream "Hickwoods" so much, he'd be a fine sight to the eyes. Eventually - because they started first - the GOPs manage to come up with enough flour that satisfies their supervisor and are allowed to head straight to the Pit Stop for this leg of the Race, the Makgadikgadi Pans. The Makgadikgadi Pan is one of the largest salt pans - it shares the title with the Nxai Pan - and was once a great lake that has been dried up for two thousand years. While it looks dry and barren on the show, the Pan comes to life during the rainy seasons when the Pan becomes a watering spot for various animals as well as nesting and breeding spots for some, especially the birds. There are beds positioned around the Pan because the Teams, lucky them, will get to spend the night under the great sky in Makgadikgadi Pan. Back to the GOPs, they waste no time running towards their Land Rover.
Joining the bickering Fat Fatales are the RADs, the IVFs, and the Cannon Fodders. Those three Teams begin pounding. Ray begins berating Deana for being too slow. Meanwhile, Dumb and Dumber get their replacement Land Rover and they spend some time praying for their cameraman. It is always good to pray when the cameras are focused on you, after all. Oh, and they also pray for God to let them win the Race. Of course, of course.
The Fat Fatales are arguing because each man believes that he is doing the pounding right and the other man isn't. Hmm, that sentence sounds more dirty than it actually is. Deana hits her eye with the pestle, ouch. That explains why her left eye is swollen throughout her confessionals, done after the leg, in this particular hour of the show. Joyce eventually has to sit down so that Uchenna can pound away the corn on his own. When this Team isn't getting lost, they are doing Detours in a shady manner. Ugh. If only they are better Racers!
The GOPs step up as team number one. They try to pretend that they are happy and they love each other but they aren't that good at pretending. The Robcouple step up shortly as team number two where Philo then grills them for not stopping. The Robcouple laugh nervously the way naughty schoolkids do when they are caught being naught by the teacher but come on, really. It is not as if the cameraman will actually die out there in the carefully controlled environment of the Race! As the Robfather says, this is a Race.
Lynn goes berserk on the pestel and mortar, jumping up and down and saying that he is so numb that he doesn't feel the pain in his arms anymore. If he actually channels his energy into working as opposed to just screaming and making a fuss, he may actually do something. I'm just saying. Teams pound. And pound. And pound. On the road, Dumb and Dumber hopes that the Detour is "super-duper physically tough" so that some Teams will be slowed down enough for the idiot brothers to overtake them. Back to the Pound Pound, Uchenna comes up with enough satisfactory corn and the IVFs are off. Lo, the Fat Fatales are done too! Ray starts getting vocal on Deana because he is back among the bottom feeders and he is getting old so oh no, his life is going downhill all over again. He accidentally hits Deana in the head with the pestel and when he refuses to apologize, she snaps that he can finish this Detour by himself and stops pounding. Ray grits his teeth and tells her to keep pounding but she ignores him. Oh, Ray. Looks like his method of yelling at animals to make them move faster isn't working on Deana now. Maybe it's time for a new strategy?
Eventually Deana relents and starts pounding again. Dumb and Dumber arrive at the cattle station and are pleased to see the RADs and the Cannon Fodders still pounding away. They decide to choose the ostrich eggs because there is a chance that they can complete it faster than the other Detour. There has to be a reason why it takes some Teams so long to finish the other Detour, after all.
The IVFs are team number three. Wah, wah, happy, happy smooch. If only they are better Racers. Ugh.
The Fat Fatales are team number four. Lynn says that they would have been team number two were not for their magnanimous attitude towards Dumb and Dumber's road accident. Because no one else can beat them in the pestel and mortar task or the water task, you see. The camera then cuts to the Robfather shrugging, which has me rolling up my eyes because he is obviously shrugging to something some other Team member is telling him in some Pit Stop conversation moment. When the show cuts back to Lynn and Alex walking towards their beds, the Robfather who is previously standing and shrugging has magically teleported himself to a bed which he is sitting on and talking to Ambore from. I know the Robfather is supposed to be capable of all sorts of villainy but teleportation isn't one of them. To the camera, Lynn and Alex generally gloat about how much better they are as people compared to the Robcouple. The sad thing is, they really seem to believe what they are saying, as if by making an empty nice gesture to someone means that they have a free pass for their next one hundred actions of petty bitchery.
The RADs keep getting their flour rejected, leading Ray to suspect that the supervisor has something against him. If that's the case, good for the supervisor. Deana should start taking notes from her. Dumb and Dumber blow, suck, and belch over the ostrich eggs. The belch is so obviously done for the camera but the idiot brothers are still funny in my book. And somehow as the other two Teams work and grit and belch and moan, the Cannon Fodders manage to come up with enough flour that meet their supervisor's standard and they get to take off before the RADs. This has to be killing Ray. Meanwhile, Dumb and Dumber have finished filling up all twelve ostrich eggshells with water and are starting to bury them.
The Cannon Fodders arrive at the Pit Stop as team number five and Philo makes a big deal about how these two aren't dead yet. If they are dead, the show will make heroes out of them and throw a special tribute episode to milk the drama to the fullest.
Dumb and Dumber bury their last egg (with Brian the human Loony Tunes cartoon character telling the bushman supervisor, "No one's going to eat our water - no one knows where they are!") just as the RADs finally come up with enough flour that make the grade. Both Teams leave within seconds of each other and it's a mad race to the Pit Stop. Dumb and Dumber unbuckle their safety belts while driving at full speed (here I spare a thought to the replacement cameraman of theirs) while both Teams express confidence in beating the other Team in a footrace. Then the RADs stop their vehicle and run towards Philo. Oh no, Dumb and Dumber are just behind them! And Dumb and Dumber overtake them! Oops, sorry, Ray and Deana. Dumb and Dumber hug and cheer as they check in as team number six. Philo reminds them that their cameraman will be okay and they are like, "Oh yeah, oh yeah, how nice."
And now, it's time for Philo to send the RADs out of the Race. Ray says that the RADs deserve to lose because they had been performing poorly throughout the entire leg. Philo puts on that Dr Phil front that he is really bad at and asks Ray whether the Race has brought him and Deana closer together. He says that he won't race with Deana again because she doesn't have enough competitive spirit to keep up with. Hmmph, is he blaming her for their loss? Deana tells the camera that Ray needs to learn that a relationship isn't just about him but she hopes that they can find a middle ground in their relationship. On the other hand, he says that he doesn't know what is keeping them together. He must know eventually, I suppose, since they are telling everyone in post-Race interviews that they are currently engaged and will be married in May. And with that, it's on to next week where all those Robcouple detractors, gleeful about how this two-hour episode reveals some negative aspects of their personalities somehow means that the Robcouple will be eliminated next week, will have gnash their teeth as the Robcouple once more give them the finger in the eye. I love this show.
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