“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains“…by paraphrasing this Bull Durham quote about baseball and adding to it the idiom “when it rains, it pours” – we pretty much can summarize this whole episode in one sentence.
All the teams leave Chile for Lisbon, Portugal. They can go to a designated travel agency or arrange their own flight connections. Chester and Ephraim – who are the first (!) team to depart – do not get the flight they want because of a travel agent’s mistake. From one mistake, it grows into a comedy of errors – delayed flights, missed connections…the teams behind Chester and Ephraim still manage to get on more advantageous flights, so I really don’t understand how it went so downhill for the ex-NFL players.
One of the surprising moments at the airport was seeing the “baseball wives” making a smart move – getting themselves on a standby list at an airport lounge instead of waiting at the gate to do so. Good for them, but even this clever move cannot mitigate the fact that overall they are so bland and utterly uninteresting.
Another surprising moment was when team “Oklahoma” declined the offer by the “Afghanimals” and their “Race wives” (aka cloned blondes) to take the same flight. Team “Oklahoma” realized that they were only needed as an insurance against the last place. So they declined and found a different flight to take (why couldn’t Chester and Ephraim?!). Good for them that they could see through the “Afghanimals”!
The teams arrive in Lisbon and (eventually) to the Pit Stop pretty much in the order determined by their flights. The ones with more advantageous flights arrive in the front of the pack, the ones with less advantageous flights arrive in the middle, and so on.
The Detour in this episode is “Tiles” or “Miles” – you either have to assemble a big puzzle from ceramic tiles (“Tiles“) or measure on a big map the distance that Magellan traveled while circumnavigating the Earth (“Miles“). Since the latter involved a map and a minimal knowledge of arithmetic – the “Afghanimals” and their “Race wives” majorly flunk and switch Detours. The rest of the teams finish whatever task they chose originally.
The Roadblock – “Slings and Arrows” is more picturesque than challenging: you have to keep shooting arrows from an ancient sling until you hit one of the several shields ahead. Those with more luck finished a little quicker, those with less luck – a little later, but everybody finished sooner or later.
The race for the first place at the Pit Stop was pretty much between the doctors (Travis and Nicole) and Jason/Amy. No surprise here – after all, they were among the first three teams landed in Lisbon. The doctors had a little bit more luck with their taxi driver and got to the Pit Stop first. The last at the Pit Stop were Chester and Ephraim. Actually they didn’t even make it to the Pit Stop – looks like Phil got tired waiting for their multiple delayed flights and went himself to the airport to meet them. Given their disastrous flight connections – no surprise here either.
What can I say about this episode? The Lisbon is gorgeous, the challenges are alright, the luck is fleeting, and you can get from first to last in the blink of an eye.
What else? Team “Oklahoma” are even nicer than they seemed…smart, too…team “Afghanimals” are as annoying as ever and appear playing for the camera more than genuinely enjoying the Race…if anything good came out of the whole “race wives/race husbands” silliness is that I am learning to tell the “cloned blondes” apart by their more visually different attributes – their “race husbands”…
Unlike some fans, I am not cheering for the doctors (Travis and Nicole). I didn’t like Nicole from the very beginning, and – if anything – I feel even more so now. The ER physicians who misread the clues, fall apart under pressure (remember Nicole’s nervous breakdown on the bike in the last episode?), get easily frazzled…well, it’s not that fun watching them on TV (let alone – imagining getting under their care in a real life ER!)
Another team I disagree about with many fans is team “Marie” (and I am not even counting her partner since – despite of being a strapping lad – he is largely invisible). Many want to see team “Marie” go. Not me though. Yes – she is bitchy and mean. Yes – she is loud and unapologetic. She would not think twice about lying and scheming. She would not give a damn about making friends and being nice. But! The rest of them more or less blend in while she stands out. A priceless quality if you want to have a memorable season.
Till the next episode!
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