In this week’s episode, the teams were off to Thailand for the fourth leg of the Race. Who is getting all wet when their boat capsizes? Which team is having a meltdown battling the wind? And who can’t figure out which way is North?
My Random Thoughts:
- Off the top, we are informed that Indonesia is home to 129 active volcanoes, but I think the more interesting fact is something that I noticed in a shot on the way to the airport. Did you notice that in Indonesia, “Taxi” is spelled “Taksi”? True fact.
- Exiting the Pit Stop, the Route Info indicated that the teams were headed to Thailand, where they would have to find a floating pier. How many different pronunciations of Phuket did we hear from the teams? I caught Poo-ket, Pooka, Bucket, Foo-Ket, and Puckett, which only makes me think of one thing…
- 7 minutes of non-relevant airport happenings, since all the teams were equalized at the floating pier. When the most interesting thing is the snowboarders tickling Laurence in line at the airport, did we really need to see any of this travel escapade?
- I read some people giving Bill and Cathi a hard time since he threw on a fake Asian accent a couple of episodes ago. I’m sure those people won’t be pleased at his “Chop Chop!” directions to their cab driver with the creepy tattooed hand, but I’m not too concerned about a generational borderline racial comment. I’m more troubled by the images caused by Cathi calling Bill “babycakes” and telling him how much she enjoys the view while he is climbing the wall. I really like Bill and Cathi, but it’s a vision that I would prefer to stay out of my head.
- I was hoping the floating pier would lead to some entertaining moments like on an episode of Wipeout, but alas, it looked rather sturdy. I noticed that when Tommy got the clue, Andy just turned around and started running back without actually reaching the clue drum.
Did you catch that? He was about 20 yards shy of where the clue was. I always thought that both members had to be there to get the clue, otherwise, why wouldn’t you just send the fastest member and leave the other one back at the beach?
- Coral Reconstruction was obviously the first-ever TAR challenge to include the phrase “when the marine biologist is satisfied with their work”, and was essentially a Lego/Meccano/Ikea combo building project for the first portion. I wanted to refrain from making the joke that the Snowboarders breezed through it because they’re clearly “good with a pipe”, but I’m just not that good of a man.
Here’s the thing I don’t get, though. When the teams chose to switch tasks after their structure broke or fell apart underwater…isn’t it ridiculous that they just left it out there in the water? I mean, the whole point of the task was to reconstruct the reef that was damaged after the tsunami. Isn't leaving a bunch of plastic pipes on the ocean floor kind of counter-productive to that goal? Aren't they now just littering?
- In Beach Construction, teams had to deal with finding their items, digging problems, and wind issues. Most people got the task done in a reasonable time, except for the twins, who seemingly ALSO got a hand from all the other teams on how to do it since they were so hapless. This seemed like another challenge designed to have the locals laugh at the racers.
- Ernie and Cindy got lost on the way to the Roadblock because they didn’t actually go North, and were looking for flags in the water instead of the giant rock formation that was sprouting out of the sea, as it was hinted on the medallion. They instead stumbled across a random boat in the open waters. I’m not going to lie, I was hoping it was pirates.
- Laurence and Zac seem to work well together, until they get lost navigating a boat! “What a bunch of useless sailors we are”, Laurence astutely pointed out, as the experienced mariners resorted to “Follow that boat!”
- At the Pit Stop, which was at a floating soccer stadium in the village of Koh Panyi, Team Snowboarder came first, winning a cool $5,000 each, which would be enough to take their wives on the trips they already won. Did anyone else notice that they are alarmingly interested in the hair/beards of the locals? First the guy who drove their speedboat, and then the greeter at the mat with Phil?
- Jeremy and Sandy had an impressive 3rd place finish on this leg, but I’m wondering if the way they were edited this week was an effort to lay the groundwork for some discord and disharmony in future episodes. I hope not, I’m actually enjoying not having a team to dislike, so I hope we don’t get a villain edited in the coming weeks.
- Liz and Marie were last to the Pit Stop, but after learning it was a Non-Elimination leg, rapidly changed their tune from “It’s like Riding to our death” to “It’s not over till it’s over.” We’ll see if next week’s (sure to be lame) Speed Bump will slow them down.
Next Week: Elephants in the Stream, and the Twins are Penniless.
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