Sunday, March 13, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: "Meltdowns All Around"

In last week’s Amazing Race recap, I talked about the unfairness of the penalty that was handed to Flight Time and Big Easy. Not that it was undeserved, but that the way it went down was unfair. If it was an offense that warranted a penalty, then it should have been assessed when The Globetrotters hit the mat, not after Ron and Christina whined about it to Phil.

Again, it's not the point THAT they got penalized, but WHEN they got penalized. It's like driving by a police officer doing 75 in a 65 zone, and not getting a ticket...but later he gives you the ticket because the guy behind you said you were doing 75 in a 65. Ridiculous. I'm surprised it wasn't addressed in this episode.

This week, the 9 remaining teams were off from Japan to China. Can Zev and Justin pull of a third straight first-place finish? Which team takes a big-time wrong turn? And what’s with all the yaks?

My Random Thoughts:

- Last week I made a joke about the Commodore Perry Pit Stop. Did nobody get it? Really?

- Zev and Justin talked about the last couple of legs being "rocking chair legs" for Zev, meaning he pretty much had to sit back and do nothing. Hello Mr. Foreshadowing...why not just put a flashing neon sign on the screen that says "Zev has to do a Roadblock this episode and has a lot of trouble with it!!"

- Mallory's grunt-fest continued right from the mat at the beginning of the episode, as she made some sort of gutteral noise as she and Gary opened the envelope to start the leg. To be fair, she wasn't as bad for the rest of the episode, and I'm wondering if she's being edited like she was last be a manic freak for their first few episodes, and then a calmer and mellower Mallory for the last few episodes. The fact that we may be seeing that switch already leads me to believe that we aren't going to see much more of Gary and Mallory.

- Kisha and Jen, upon seeing that they were returning to China, reminisced about their last trip there, with Jen saying, "we had a bad leg where I called a deaf guy a bitch." I certainly hope she wasn't calling it a bad leg because she called Luke a bitch...because in that situation (loved seeing the replay), Luke was a bitch. (I wonder where he learned that from...more on that later) I think the bigger focal point for Jen and Kisha would be to make sure that they don't have to make any unscheduled bathroom breaks in China this time.

- Jaime and Cara also commented on having a bad leg in China last time (more old footage...but not of Jaime yelling at non-English speakers. I remember that's where her major meltdown happened last time. On a completely separate note, Happy Birthday to Cara, who is celebrating her birthday today (March 13). Facebook is a wonderful thing.

- Kent and Vyxsin stated that they wanted to approach this leg with PMA: Positive Mental Attitude. That mindset went out the window before they even got into their vehicle, as they rambled at each other in a combined state of confusion and panic. Then, they had no clue how to navigate the streets of Japan, and seemingly decided to just make random left turns until they found themselves in a metropolitan construction zone before getting on the highway in the wrong direction. Wow...what a disaster.

Kent tried to keep a panicky Vyxsin calm by telling her "The Amazing Race is about tragedies...but it's also about miracles." Kent...I love ya, but The Amazing Race is about neither. The best part of the segment was when they came back from commercial and we heard this dramatic horn music, because it was almost exactly the same as when Lost would send things to commercial on a dramatic note. Seriously, go back and listen if you're a Lost fan.

With 10 full hours between when they left the mat and when the scheduled flight left, even with all of that, they still should have been able to make their flight, but they didn't notice the direction on the compass (!!) until far too late, and they did indeed miss their flight. Justin later wondered if they would incur a time penalty for missing the required flight, and I'm not sure what the ruling will be on that, but I have to think the SIX-HOUR delay they had getting out of the airport after missing the flight might suffice for any intended penalty.

Once they did get that flight, they landed to find an empty airport, and declared that they needed to find a place to hang out. If you're working in a Chinese hotel and you see those two come in at 4:00 am, what would your response be?

- Enough Moon & Cloud shots to signify impending troubles...we get it. It's not a Twilight Movie.

- After arriving at Jade Mountain, teams had to find a marked shuttle, which looked like a Pixar creation that could have been in either A Bug's Life or Cars, before saddling up some yaks and crossing a river staircase. Mallory thought she was in a parade, Cord smacked his hat on the yak's ass, and this was the first in what is sure to be another season full of tasks where locals laugh uproariously at the contestants. Remember that cheese-rolling episode a few seasons back? That was the jump-off point.
- The Detour with the charms was pretty straightforward, but definitely difficult. Big Easy looked for guidance by talking to a cow, Christina thanked her mom for making her memorize the Zodiac signs when she was young, Cord clucked like a hen while asking a local to help him find a rooster (seriously...wouldn't "cock-a-doodle-doo" have been a better sound effect than clucking?), Vyxsin wore gloves that looked like she should have been scuba diving...and picking up sea urchins, and Zev annoyed the Clue-Giver so much that he just sat down and waved a hand dismissively at our favourite Duck Whisperer.

Mallory breezed through the challenge, then inexplicably helped Luke with his. This right after Margie told us "I'm sure he'll do fine. He is really good at details." Um...Margie, do you remember the Surfboard challenge? The one where you guys were ready to win a million dollars? Until Luke and his awesome way with details couldn't...remember the details. Yeah, sure...Luke is just GREAT with details.

But once again, Luke and Margie got ahead thanks to another team instead of on their own skill and ingenuity. Left to their own devices, these two can't do anything. New nickname for Margie and Luke: Team Freeloader.

- Best line of the episode: "This is not a bus. Buses have doors." Yes Ron and Christina...buses have doors. But perhaps you should read the clue that instructed them to get on "the marked bus", and not "the first vehicle you see." Ron freaked out, Christina actually jumped out of the vehicle, and then Ron just threw things. Yes...another meltdown!

- After the Road Block, teams had to make a wish and deposit the wish in the box that corresponded to their own Chinese Zodiac sign. This was if you knew your own sign, of course, which Margie apparently didn't know (she must have asked another team), and the Globetrotters had heaps of trouble with. I felt bad for the poor guy handing out the clues on this one, because he must have had a legend in his pocket telling him what the correct answer was for each racer.

- The Detour took teams to Old Town Lijang, which appeared to be filled with nothing but candy makers and stray dogs. As the teams were pounding out their Chinese brittle with giant hammers, Ron couldn't stop eating it. Did you notice that he spent this entire episode either eating...or trying to stop for random Chinese street food? Yes, we know you're Chinese, and you like your steamed sticky buns, but if they're going to make you look like you're about to cry when you're running afterwards, maybe you just skip it. Ron just doesn't get the concept of the Race at all if he's justifying stopping for snacks along the way.

- When Team Freeloader arived at the mat first, I was furious, because the only reason they were up that high was because of Mallory. Phil told them "You are the first team to arrive" instead of "You're team Number One", which gave me hope that there was perhaps a penalty on the way...but alas, it was just a swerve because the teams were still racing. Margie and Luke were indeed #1, and won another romantic mother-and-son trip that included a massage (just like last awkward.)

But the best part was when Phil told them that they were still racing, and instead of being happy that they were #1 and just won a trip, she snarkily told him "You don't know what I want to say right now." I'm just going to be blunt...what an ungrateful bitch. I wonder where Luke learned his behaviour from.

- So, our half-episode ended with 7 teams racing ahead, Zev and Justin still carrying a giant horn, and Kent and Vyxsin realizing that they lost their passports and money, and trying to convince a speeding bus to turn around. (What is this...a Sandra Bullock movie?)

Next Week: The return of the Double U Turn and the search for the passports continues

Just a quick note for those of you that also read my Survivor recaps on Wednesdays. One of the things I pride myself in is the fact that my recaps are up within one hour of when the show airs on the East Coast. Unfortunately, that will not be the case this Wednesday as I have another commitment that will keep me away from home until later in the evening. I should still be able to get my recap up by midnight ET, so be patient…and your weekly fix will be there, albeit slightly delayed.

Amazing Race fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or Twitter, where I post all of my recaps (and other Random Thoughts) as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Related Posts:
Darren Franich's Amazing Race Recap at
Spoiler TV Recap


Anonymous said...

Kinda funny after complaining and getting the trotters a penalty, it was the trotters that had the bus driver stop so Ron and Christina could get on it. The least they could of done it tell them their Zodiac signs. I am so sick of hearing daddy! Grow up Christina...

Pom said...

Next week is going to be an interesting episode. None of the team is really hating each other (like Caite vs. Brandy and Carol on TAR 16) right now so it's kind of hard to guess who are going to be u-turn next week!

But I predict somebody(Margie and Luke?) will finally u-turn the cow-bros since they are already seen as a threat in this season. But, who knows.

I really enjoy your blog, thanks for posting!!

UnclePeJay said...

What is it with TAR and Tsunami's? Have you noticed that just after they filmed in Indonesia in 2005, that country was hit by a major tsunami? And now, just after they filmed in Japan, an earthquake that caused a major tsunami. If I were in charge of an Island country prone to earthquakes, I would deny TAR permission to film in my country.

God Bless the people of Japan.

Dan said...

Again, with the dislike of Luke. While I find him to be a whiny baby, Jen did run up behind him and grab him like she would try to push him out of the way. Neither action, hers or his, would be out of place in the race to the clue box. The only thing I found questionable was her reaction afterward and everyone's derision on the boards.

Again, I'm not defending his overall whiny attitude, just that instance from their first season.

Sean said...

"Jen did run up behind him and grab him like she would try to push him out of the way."

Dan, that's not what happened at all, she ran to the clue box behind him, there was incidental contact (100% unintentional), and Luke threw an elbow up at her head like he was Charles Barkley grabbing a rebound.

Then, it was all followed by 2 years of "poor Luke" by Margie and Luke.

That's why the dislike. He was the instigator of the "questionable behaviour".

Sean said...

Watch it again.

Choirchick22 said...

I actually really felt for Team Pink and Black. That is crazy bad luck for them to have so much trouble.

Not having seen any previous seasons (other than the season with the cowboys), I can honestly say I cannot stand half of these teams. I like Zev and Justin and the Cowboys, but a lot of the other teams are too... mean/pushy/freeloading/whiny. I like the people who play nice and play fair.

Let's hope Team Feel Sorry For The Deaf Kid doesn't UTurn the Cowboys! :)