The Amazing Race 8 : Episode 3
Previously, there was driving, black briefcases, reflecting pools, and a long drive where the Dodgers got lost and couldn't recover from that huge blunder. It was Mr Dodger's fault but he blamed Brock until his back was against the wall, so to speak, where he then insisted that people shouldn't blame other people so quickly. Poor Brock. Poor me. What is happening to this show? I don't mind the Families or the fact that this show is going to be taking place almost entirely within the USA, but I don't like the fact that the show seems to be going out of its way to present me with the stupidest Detours and Roadblocks ever, the most boring locales in the USA, and the dullness that can only result from these. It's only the third episode and it's already one of the most poorly planned one I've come across in the entire eight seasons of me watching this show!
Anyway, credits. Even the credits look more stupid than usual. I don't know if it's just the extension of my increasing dislike for this season but ugh, the poses are more stilted and contrived than usual.
Philo "Family Friendly Package" Koughie shows up before the screen to remind everyone that he is standing at Welbourne Manor in Middleburg, Virginia, a building that he describes as the home of a Confederate army guy back in the Civil War. Tell me about it. I'm still wondering why there is no Roadblock where Family members have to finish the full-length version of Gone With The Wind. This was the Pit Stop for the previous leg of the Race, explains Philo. He wonders whether the Blandsens will be held back by Mr Weaver's less-than-impressive athletic prowess and whether Mrs Weevil's self-proclaimed newfound leadership skills (didya know that Mr Weevil died in some car crash?) will hold the increasingly batcrap-crazy Whining Weevils together (seriously, you do know that their old man took a powder during some car race thingie and never came back, right?). He should be more concerned about whether this show will win any Emmy next year. Somehow I doubt that the Pablums screaming their way through an AOL email/vidcam session will bag one for them.
2:26 am. The Whining Weevils get ready to leave. Oblivious to the gathering clouds of batcrap craziness inside their heads, they read their clue and realize that they must now fly (no, silly, not by flapping their hands) to Charleston some 500 miles away. Thank heavens, and here I am worried that these Families will have to go to nasty places like Ontario! At Charleston, they have to drive around in their designated vehicles to look for some gazebo. The clue stand is located under the gazebo. The Whining Weevils get into what seems like some cab that is already waiting for them. Wow, so now Families are even provided transportation to the airport! What's next? Aromatherapy in-between the Roadblock and the Detour? The Whining Weevils asked to be taken to the Dulles Airport. To the camera, daughter Rachel says that the Family intends to Race without causing any drama. Thanks for making me laugh, Rachel!
2:27 am. The Lunzes leave. Megan complains to the camera that her brothers don't listen to her because she's a girl. How sad. She tells their driver to take them to "Dulls" Airport. Is that a Freudian slip with regards to her brothers? Only she will know.
2:29 am. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters get into their cab, where it seems that Sharon is the bossy one who shrieks louder than the others. She tells the camera that the Sisters don't officially put anyone in charge of the others and to the other Sisters in the cab, she tells them to shut up when one of them suggests that maybe they should ask the driver for his name so that they can all be friends and what-not. Shades of the evil lion from The Lion King here, if you ask me.
2:35 am. The Shroepers get ready to leave. Mrs Shroeper says that she treats her stepkids as if they are her friends and she theirs. She thinks that being "friends" with these kids is a "priceless" experience. I'll keep that in mind throughout the entire episode. In the cab, son Hunter complains that Charlestown is some historic place and he doesn't know history, as if he fears that some history pop quiz will come up or something. Mrs Shroeper tells him to just pay attention to his surroundings and keep his eyes opened. Hunter must have misheard her and instead rolls up his eyes. Mastercard's estimate of the worth of that scene: $250.
2:37 am. The Aiyoyos depart from the Pit Stop. By the way, one of the sons-in-law, Matt, does this jiggy-dancing thingie at the mat when they read the clue and I have a hunch that he'll be quite popular at BBQ parties. Matt says that they have been doing well so far and now they are ready to relax a little and have fun. Famous last words, sigh.
2:38 am. The Blandsens are ready to go. As they go, Mr Blandsen talks to the camera about not being able to catch up with his daughters. THey are still not a very interesting Family, this one.
2:43 am. The Gagglehams leave. Billy is teaching Carissa some kiddie version of yoga involving slow-breathing while Mrs Gaggleham can only watch them with a look of bemusement on her face. Yeah, kids, they are so cute sometimes. Mrs Gaggleham tells the camera that she and her husband try to treat the kids like "little adults" on the Race so that the kids won't hold them back. This makes sense to me because to me, she seems to be saying that she and Mr Gaggleham will not be coddling the kids on the Race which is a sensible thing to do as they are, after all, running the Race. I'll be more disturbed if the kids behave like they are on the Race against their will, but since the kids obviously want to win as much as their parents, I've no problems with the Gagglehams.
Ahead, the Whining Weevils and the Lunzes are stuck behind a slow-moving truck. Megan Lunz innocently says that the Lunzes are stuck behind a "wide load", which leads her three brothers into guffaws and several repeats of "We hate wide loads!" jokes in order to make me understand that they are really, really funny, these himbo lugheads, because they have the wit to come up with fat-chick jokes. Call me an overthinker but I have this suspicion that the himbos believe that they are so much funnier than they really are. By the way, I think I can tell the difference a little between the three lugheads. One of them has a lazy eye that makes him look like he's deranged and about to go on a serial killing spree. Um, that's about it, yeah. Why do I care about telling them apart anyway? They don't even look good in the dark because they still won't shut up. A little behind, one of the Blandsen daughters borrow a cellphone from the driver - wow, they come equipped with phones too, these drivers - to enquire about flights to Charleston. She learns that there is a flight that will arrive in Charleston at 10:06 am. In the Gaggleham cab, Mr Gaggleham learns of this flight too and he makes reservations on this flight for the Family.
3:05 am. The Pablums leave. DJ, the eldest son, is already at odds with Mrs Pablum. As they get into their cab, Mr Pablum gives the usual America is great that every immigrant reality TV show contestants apparently has to give. Meanwhile, DJ and Mrs Pablum are bickering about nothing. What a wonderful family.
Ahead of the pack, the Whining Weevils and the Lunzes approach the turn to Dulles when the cab driver of the Whining Weevils manages to overshoot it. Mrs Weevil immediately asks the driver to make a reverse on the highway. This is a good time as any for me to remind you all on the Weevils' behalf that their pop died in a car accident. No "I hear that the car made a backward turn and ran over that old coot on the speedway" jokes, please, because that will so cruel to the poor dears. The Lunzes notice the amusing irony of Mrs Weevil's situation, which shows that they have some hope in them yet, heh. The Lunzes show up at the airport first and learn that there is an earlier Independent Air flight that arrives in Charleston at 10:04 am. They take that flight, as do the Whining Weevils. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters also get tickets on that flight. Oh, the excitement of seeing people buying tickets on a flight that is earlier than the other fight by two freaking minutes is positively killing me!
The Blandsens, the Shroepers, and the Aiyoyos show up. The Blandsens like the Aiyoyos so they decide to let the Aiyoyos know of the US Air flight that arrives at Charleston at 10:06 am, which Mr Blandsen mistakenly believes is the earliest flight. The Shroepers arrive at about the same time and they learn of the Independent 10:04 am flight, which they then take. The Aiyoyos also learn of this flight at the counter, as do the Blandsens, but unfortunately for the Blandsens, the Aiyoyos manage to get on board that flight but there are not enough tickets left for the Blandsens. Such painful suspense over two minutes! Meanwhile, the Gagglehams show up and take the tickets for the US Air 10:06 am flight.
As the Families in the airport wait around for their flight, the Whining Weevils are walking around pestering the ticket counter people about what they are doing. According to Mrs Weevil, this is her way of familiarizing herself with how an airport works because apparently she has never been in an airport before. From the way the wide-eyed woman with haggard hair and quivering lips behave though, she's lucky she's not arrested or something because she looks like she's crazed enough to strap herself with bombs and hug a pillar. The other Families look at the Whining Weevils in suspicion, because according to Mrs Shroeper the Whining Weevils are "sneaky". Mustn't someone be smart in order to be considered "sneaky"? As the Weevils walk towards where the Aiyoyos are standing, David thinks that they have to "test" the Weevils or something. So he asks them whether they have found another flight. The Whining Weevils ignore him as they have to right to since they are under no obligation to share any information with other Families. Or maybe they didn't even hear him, which won't surprise me given how spaced-out these people are at times. In any rate, the Weevils' silence leads David to announce that he "hates" them and bitches to the Shroepers about this. Listening and nodding, Mrs Shroeper turns to daughter Stassi and says that the Whining Weevils sure are "silent but deadly". Because Mrs Weevil will whack you in the head with the Good Book when you turn your back to her! At any rate, it's clear that many of the Families think that the Whining Weevils are fruitloops.
The Pablums finally show up and alas, they can't get on that US Air flight that will arrive two minutes after the first flight. The Whining Weevils inform them of an United flight that will arrive at Charleston half an hour after the second flight. Of course, the Weevils can afford to share since it's a flight that will arrive later than theirs.
Later, Hunter Shroeper and Rolly Weevil are having some kiddy-fun whacking each other's knees (seriously) while Mrs Shroeper watch them suspiciously. One of the Godawfulshrieky Sisters tells Mrs Shroeper to be careful in case Hunter "gets sucked" into something unsavory like... um, I don't know, maybe whatever kooky cult the Weevils belong to, I suppose. Mrs Shroeper yells at Hunter to get away from "the kid". To the camera, Hunter says that he is about the same age with Rolly so they like to hang out together. Also, since Rolly is the only boy in his family, I understand that he'd like to hang out more often with Hunter. Boys his age do that. However, Mrs Shroeper is not so sanguine as she now marches over to the boys and drills Hunter about what he and Rolly were talking about. To the camera, Mrs Shroeper says that the Family will now leave Hunter out of discussions of Strategy and Secrets because Hunter can't be trusted as he is now buddies with Rolly. Is this woman kidding? This is just a Race, not war. As Mrs Shroeper brags to Stassi about how she told Hunter to "shut his pie hole", Hunter tells Rolly - the editor helpfully captions this - that his stepmother is "a bitch". Mastercard's estimate of that scene: priceless. Ding. Although Hunter, watching this show with his parents at home, may not be so amused when Mrs Shroeper gives him the smackdown that will most likely arise from this scene.
Finally, the earlier flight takes off with the Lunzes, the Whining Weevils, the Aiyoyos, the Shroepers, and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters on board. The Blandsens and the Gagglehams are on the US Air flight that arrives two minutes after the first flight. Left behind at the airport, Mr and Mrs Pablum along with the youngest son Brian check out some maps in the bookstore. This leads DJ to start scolding them for wasting time or something. Mrs Pablum tells him to watch his attitude to which that idiot responds by saying that he doesn't want to be shouted at like a two-year old. Maybe he should then stop acting like one? It's a reflection of how sad he is when he's coming off as the most immature moron on a show that has four young kids on it. Brian tells the camera in what must be one of the biggest understatements of the year that his family suffers from mood swings. DJ "jokes" to the camera that his mother would be his worst enemy if she isn't his mother. How generous of him. The Pablums finally board their flight with DJ still dogging his mother.
The first flight lands and the Families on board dash for their vehicles. They hit the road. Later, the second flight arrives. At about this point, the Shroepers locate the gazebo and realize that it's now time for a Detour. Philo explains that in "Muddy Waters", Families must drive a jeep around a mud run located about 37 miles from here while in "Forrest Gump" Families must drive to the wharf about seven miles away and behead 200 pounds of shrimps with their hands. The Lunzes and the Whining Weevils also show up to get their clue. I think the Aiyoyos and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. The Whining Weevils decide to do the mud run while the Lunzes and the Sisters choose to rip some heads off dead shrimps. The Sisters and the Aiyoyos eventually show up and the former decide to do the shrimps while the latter decide to do the mud run. At about this time, the Pablums arrive in Charleston. Ahead of the rest, the Shroepers arrive at a boat on the wharf where they learn how to behead the shrimps (it's very hard - you have to hold the shrimps between your thumb and your second finger and pinch until the head pops off). Mrs Shroeper starts complaining that pinching until the head pops off causes fluids to run down her socks. Snigger. Elsewhere, Megan thinks that the driving Lughead Himbo has missed the turn to the wharf, to be greeting by the lughead's derision. "You don't know what you saw, but you saw an arrow!" he sneers. One of them defends her while the other two are all dripping scorn and disdain apparently because they are just doing what she told them to do when they apparently missed the turn. "What a shock, I could be right," she says sarcastically and sure enough, she is right. The brothers reluctantly say that she has done a good job, and I suspect that it's only because there are cameras focused on them. It's a good thing that Megan isn't fat or her brothers will entirely discount her existence, eh? They show up at the wharf, followed by the Godawfulshrieky Sisters, and more shrimps lose their heads.
The Gagglehams and the Blandsens show up to collect their clue. The Gagglehams decide to do the mud run while the Blandsens choose to behead some shrimps. Mrs Weevil thanks the Lord when the Whining Weevils locate the mud run spot shortly before the Aiyoyos. The Whining Weevils immediately get stuck in the mud, causing the Aiyoyos to snicker as they trudge on until this close to the finish line before their jeep too gets stuck in the mud. Who's snickering now, boys? "We were going... great guns, though," says Kevin sadly. At the Shrimp Wharf, the Blandsens arrive and get to work. The Pablums show up at the gazebo and decide to do the shrimps as well. Back to the Bog of Misery, the Aiyoyos watch as a tractor pull the Whining Weevils' jeep back to the starting line and decide that they need a tractor too. In the meantime, they'll have some fun by throwing mud at each other. Oh, boys will be boys, bless 'em! Over at the Shrimp Wharf, Hunter and Stassi have a little mock fight over the way he is beheading the shrimps when Mrs Shroeper misunderstands them and starts complaining that the kids are bickering again. When the kids laugh at her along with Mr Shroeper, I can't help but to feel a little sorry for Mrs Shroeper. She may be crazy a little and overzealous at times but I think she feels her share of being the outsider in the family as well. The Lunzes work through the last of their two or three crates of shrimps - I know this because they announce it - where the youngest himbo lughead - the one that looks like he's spent hours before the mirror every morning to look and act just like Justin Timberlake - pretends to make out with a shrimp. Yes, I know, he likes them out cold and stinky. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are on their way to finishing up as well when one of them starts to compare who is working faster and bossy Sharon talks her down for starting unnecessary competitions. It looks like there will soon be a very loud meltdown in this Family soon if Sharon keeps this up and I, for one, dread hearing the cacophony that will no doubt take place. Mr Blandsen tells her daughters to "squeeze it" if "it" has a "head" and I'm sure this explains his daughters' wild actions in the next episode. They wonder what happened to the Gagglehams.
The Gagglehams about now on their way the Bog of Misery. Carissa is working very hard to look for street signs that will tell her which way the Bog is. She spots a sign and alerts her mother, saying that she's seen an arrow. The Whining Weevils complain that "the rugrats" have shown up when they spot the Gagglehams arriving. Rebecca isn't too concerned, saying that the Gagglehams are "city people", as opposed to, you know, backward hicks who don't know where Washington, DC, is. The Gagglehams get ready to drive with Carissa offering her words of wisdom, "Let's go 120 miles per hour so we just go on top of the mud!" Yes, let's. But the Gagglehams will have to wait because there are only two mud courses available and the Aiyoyos and the Whining Weevils are right now making their latest attempts to complete their course. The Whining Weevils embark on their sixth attempt, shrieking loud enough so that the Lord will wake up and give their jeep an extra push, but they once more get stuck shortly into their route. Mrs Weevil barks that this Detour is not "feasible" so they have to go do the shrimps instead. The Aiyoyos also try their sixth attempt and they get stuck quickly as well. However, they refuse to be cowed by mud and a stupid jeep. The Gagglehams now have their opportunity to hit the mud track.
The Shroepers behead their last shrimp and now they are told to walk to the nearby Charleston Visitor Center to sign up for one of two charter buses, the first leaving at 3:00 pm and the second at 5:00 pm to a "mystery destination". They take off, with the Lunzes and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters close on their tail. After they have gone, the Pablums show up to behead some shrimps and Mrs Pablum quickly complains about the smell of those shrimps. As the Pablums get to work, the Blandsens finish up and take off after the rest of the departed Families.
Aided by the fact that unlike the Aiyoyos the two Mini-Gagglehams weigh comparatively much less, Mr Gaggleham sends the jeep going across the mud track like a pro. The Aiyoyos quickly wish bad things to happen on the Gagglehams' jeep only to go "They're going to make it!" in a most unhappy tone when the Gagglehams approach closer to the finish line without encountering any problem. The Mini-Gagglehams cheer as indeed their jeep cross the finish line - and it's just this Family's first attempt at the course! The Gagglehams are now told to drive (as opposed to walk for those who did the shrimp thing) to the Charleston Visitor Center. Is there anything Mr and Mrs Gaggleham can't do on this Race? If this is a Race like it was in the previous seasons, I have a hunch that the parents will really kick some mean butt. The Aiyoyos are left at the mud bog to try again.
The Shroepers are running towards the Charleston Visitor Center when Mrs Shroeper complains that her backpack is heavy. It is Hunter, surprisingly enough, that asks for the others to slow down for his stepmother and it is Mr Shroeper who refuses to slow down. The Lunzes are also running towards the Center and seeing the Shroepers slow down, they decide to run faster and overtake them. However, Megan complains about her heart and her brothers, in a rare show of consideration, stop quickly to take her backpack before telling her to keep up with them. Er, maybe there's not so much "consideration" there, heh. Does Megan have some heart condition, by the way? Hmm. After this exciting dash to the bus, they all sign up for the same bus leaving at 3:00 pm. So exciting! The Godawfulshrieky Sisters and the Blandsens, who prefer to keep a more sedate pace, show up next to sign up for that bus too. This bus can only accommodate four Families so everyone else will have to board the 5:00 pm bus. Anyway, the bus departs shortly afterwards.
Hopefully the Aiyoyos can complete their Detour before 5:00 pm. For their thirteenth attempt, they try to bounce up and down on their seats to keep the jeep moving. It doesn't quite work, that technique. For their fourteenth attempt, they start bouncing up and down while flinging their bodies left and right, looking like deranged lunatics escaping from a madhouse in a jeep, but this time, they manage to reach the finish line without getting stuck. Hurrah! They finally take off from the Bog of Misery. Meanwhile, the Pablums finish up on the shrimps while the Gagglehams reach the Center and sigh in disappointment when they realize that they're stuck with the 5:00 pm bus. The Whining Weevils finally show up to behead shrimps. They are lucky that the artificial bunching is here to save their butts. The Pablums eventually sign up for the 5:00 pm bus, with the Aiyoyos showing up after to join them. Since these guys beat the Whining Weevils to the bus, it is probably not so smart to bail out on the mud bog Detour. Still, the Weevils manage to complete the task to make it ti the 5:00 pm bus. As this 5:00 pm bus departs, Mr Gaggleham rallies the others by cheering, "We're all in last place - yeah!" Everyone else cheers along with him. How cute, really.
Philo explains that unknown to the Families, the bus will travel for eight hours to Huntsville, Alabama, which he describes as the "rocket capital of the world". They're sending the Pablums to the moon! Hurrah! Okay, I better not get my hopes too high and instead just wait and see.
The first bus arrives in Huntsville eight hours or so later. At the bus stop in Huntsville, the Blandsens are the first to spot the clue stand and learn that they must now drive to the US Space and Rocket Center, where they must locate the Edward O Buckbee Hangar for their next clue. In heartpounding suspense, I finally see the Lunzes take their clue next, followed by the Shroepers and then the Godawfulshrieky Sisters. Oh, they take a clue! This is more exciting that seeing a Survivor get ripped to shreds by a Guatemalan alligator. Oh, wait. By the way, the Families don't even mill around in confusion this time around because they see a giant and brightly-lit rocket thrusting out like a giant phallic symbol in the distance and even they are smart enough to know that they just have to get to where the rocket is. How nice of the Race designers, because they know my heart can't take any more of the excitement in this episode! The Blandsens reach the Hangar first, get their clue, and learn that it's now time for a Roadblock. Philo says that usually Roadblocks require only one person from a Team to perform but this time around, two people can do it. Why shouldn't they, because as it is, this Roadblock requires two people from each Family to just sit inside a giant centrifuge device and experience about 3.2G of force on them (3.2G is 3.2 times the force of our Earth's gravity). And, er, that's it. And of course, it's a first come first serve thing so everyone has to dash and grab numbers at the post by the doorway. By the way, Philo demonstrates a little by getting inside the centrifuge but mangles the explanation of what will happen to him by saying that the "force of gravity" is acting on him. It's centripetal force that is acting on him in a centrifuge, which is why it's called a centrifuge and not a gravitifudge or something. If I remember my Physics correctly, centripetal force is the same thing that keeps us in a roller coaster and stops us from falling to our deaths when it is upside down on the track.
Anyway, two daughters - Goneril and Regan, maybe, since I still can't tell the daughters apart - will get into the centrifuge device and sit down. Outside, the Lunzes pull over with Megan saying that she has been to this "Space Camp" when she was in the sixth grade. At this point, the himbo lughead with the lazy eye is looking like he either wants to bite someone or he is terrified beyond reason. It's amazing what a wonky eye can do to a person, I tell you. The Lunzes are second in line for the Roadblock. The Shroepers show up and they are third in line. The Lunzes walk in to see the two Blandsen daughters waiting to get inside the centrifuge. One of the himbo lugheads tell the Blandsen daughters not to "puke". Oh, that witty fellow! Elsewhere, Sharon is bossing around her Sisters with her telling them what a hangar is used for. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are fourth in line and I really dread the impending explosion when the other three Sisters have had enough and get medieval on Sharon.
The Blandsen daughters get inside the centrifuge where I am subjected to the rivetting sight of them just sitting there as the thing spins. And then they are done and the Blandsens are told to walk about a mile to the Rocket Park, locate a row of shiny plasma-screen monitored PCs, and log in to freaking AOL to get their next clue. Wow, AOL pays for product placement in the two suckiest seasons ever (season six and this one). Is that a coincidence or is AOL trying to tell everyone something about it? Now two Lunz himbo lugheads get inside the centrifuge and the one who keeps going on about body function announces that he needs to "fart". The season is starting to suck badly and now this freaking moron is trying to pull a tedious "body function jokes are funny, haw haw haw" joke on me. Can't I get any break, people? The Lunzes then try to catch up with the Blandsens. Mr Shroeper and Stassi get into the centrifuge next and really, the Lunz himbo lugheads should pay attention to Mr Shroeper's antics because they will be just like him in ten years or so unless they get a brain transplant somewhere in the near future. The Blandsens reach the row of shiny new computers where one immediately explodes in their faces. No, not really, they get a video of Philo telling them to walk to the Space Shuttle Pathfinder where the Pit Stop is. They leave. In walk the Lunzes. They also get their message from Philo.
Oh look, here are Philo and the VIP, whom I understand is actually a person of significance in the history of space travel of US but obviously not important enough for this show to even identify, and here are the Blandsens as the first team. Woo! And they cheer when Philo announces that they get free gas for life for every registered driver in the Family, courtesy of BP. I suspect that this prize comes with plenty of restrictions but still, it's a good prize if the Blandsens live near the correct gas station. They will get many new friends in the process, I suspect. The Lunzes come in second.
In the second bus, the Whining Weevils are starting to demonstrate to everyone that they probably don't have many friends in real life. They start whining and moaning and even crying with Rebecca sobbing about how she doesn't get enough sleep (why she doesn't just sleep in the bus, I will never know) and Mrs Weevil saying that the bus is like a prison. The others in the bus who must already be suffering from the stench of shrimps and mud on their persons, not to mention being filthy and exhausted, don't appreciate the Weevils' dramatics. David Aiyoyo calls them crazy to the camera. Even young Billy Gaggleham looks to the camera and wonders whether the Weevils are for real when they start caterwauling like lost alley cats trying to find their way back home. They take a stop at Waffle House for food and toilet break, and the Whining Weevils then lock themselves in the bathroom where they pretty much lost their collective minds and start sobbing like crazy. Outside, Mrs Gaggleham tells her husband that the Weevils have gone totally bonkers. "Good!" says Mr Gaggleham happily. Heh. I like him. Back to the Weevils, Mrs Weevil tells the others to just pretend that they are happy so they all walk out from the bathroom with forced hilarity and wild crazy batcrap crazy eyes. To the camera, Mrs Weevil and her shining wide crazy eyes tell the camera that she "reached down" and found some strength back there in the toilet. If she's a saner person, I'd assume that she's talking about some solo habits best not described on TV. Since she's crazy... well, she's crazy. Then there is this utterly bizarre and creepy scene of the Weevil daughter Rebecca laughing fakely and dancing around in the carpark. I have this feeling that they think they are "faking" strength and happiness there and then when everyone else watching them will no doubt want to call the men in white coats to tell them away to some padded cell. Even the Pablums, who seems like their only friends on the Race, start telling the camera that the Whining Weevils have officially lost their minds. Rebecca tells the camera that she normally doesn't break down like that - like what, dancing around in a car park like an insane young lady? - because she's had experienced worse things in the year and the half since, you know, he died. She will be strong, yadda yadda, and, I suppose, keep dancing in the car park. I understand what it feels to be grieving over a loved one, I really do, but the Whining Weevils don't seem to just grieve, they make an event out of it where they proceed to base their entire personalities on the Race around. It seems, to me, that they feel this need to exaggerate their grief, revel in it without boundaries, and overemote on the cameras like some desperate measure to gain attention. I don't know, but I do know that, judging from how they are on the Race, I probably don't want the Whining Weevils to move in next door to me. Anyway, when the Families get back on the bus, the Whining Weevils start to sing while the others try to sleep.
Ahead, the Shroepers get their clue after they are done with the Roadblock. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters dutifully send two of them into the centrifuge. Wheee! Then the Sisters are done and they get their clue. How dramatic! The second bus finally arrives at Huntsville where Mrs Weevil prays for strength to go where she needs to go. Since she's not driving, I don't know what she is praying for when it comes to "strength". Maybe it's the strength of the rope holding the last vestiges of sanity in her head together that she's praying for. The other three Families also get their clue and climb into their respective vehicles. Ahead, the Shroepers walk, AOL, and walk to the Pit Stop. Team number three! Will this be more exciting if I add in more exclamation marks? Let's try it again. Team number three!!!!!!!! Nope, it doesn't work. Anyway, the Godawfulshrieky Sisters are the next to walk, AOL, and walk to the Pit Stop. TEAM NUMBER FOUR!!!!!!!!!! Nope, capital letters don't work either. This episode is still wretched.
The Whining Weevils show up first at the Hangar so they get to go first. The Aiyoyos actually show up before the Pablums and the Gagglehams but because they actually waste time moving to a distance away from the clue stand and argue about who should do the Roadblock, they fail to notice the "first come, first served" part of the clue until the Pablums and the Gagglehams have dashed to grab their numbers first. So by the literal luck of the draw, the Aiyoyos have to go last in a first come, first served Roadblock. Where it's then a dash to the Pit Stop after this. Whoever designed this leg of the Race should be fired without severance pay and then tarred and run out of town because this arrangement is freaking stupid. The buses already force an artificial bunch between the Families and now the Families on the late bus have no chance to catch up or overtake the others, or in the case of the Aiyoyos, find a way not to come in last. Isn't this stupid? No, let me rephrase that: isn't this unbelievably stupid?
So, anyway, the show tries to throw me off-track with plenty of "Oh my, are we lost on our way to the Rocket Park?" scenes to get me hoping that somehow some Family will get lost and the Aiyoyos can overtake them to the Pit Stop. But that's just misdirection using smokes and mirrors, and not very good one at that, because it's obvious that the Aiyoyos, having to wait for their turn at the centifuge, will never catch up with the others, much less overtake them. A noteworthy scene is Mr Gaggleham urging Billy to run faster, asking the kid to run like Carissa. Billy reasonably points out that Carissa isn't carrying any bags while he is. Mr Gaggleham answers, "I know, I know, it's hard but the team behind us is strong and they're going to be sprinting." I don't find Mr Gaggleham being overbearing or acting like a tyrant to Billy specifically because of the way he answers Billy - calm, reasonable, and exactly like an understanding father would. I really like this Family and I hope they find a way to move ahead of the pack. Anyway, The Whining Weevils do their thing and come in fifth. Um... yay? "This is us. There's nobody perfect out there. And this is us. If you like us, great. If you don't like us, we're not going to change for you!" says Mrs Weevil to the camera. Okay then, stay crazy and creepy and don't ask why when nobody wants to take the kids to the prom. Next, the Pablums. Whatever. Next, the Gagglehams. Wooh, wooh, sigh. And finally, the Aiyoyos. Goodbye, they're out, sayonara. And all because they hesitated for a few seconds and took a bad number. How nice that this is one of the few Families that I really enjoy watching on the show and they have to leave just like that - pfffft!
It looks like the only enjoyment to be had from this show, albeit one comparable to watching a trainwreck, are the Whining Weevils acting like manic depressive performing monkeys on the show. How sad, really, for the show and for me.
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