This week’s recap covers the fact that nothing much happened, since it was a non-elimination leg that involved one team being stuck at the airport for ages. But Phil makes it sound more exciting than it was, because he’s Phil!
Before they leave, recently engaged team Matt and Ashley gets to watch a pretty neat dancing exhibition as part of “Date Night”, which is another one of those things that makes me feel like they were really trying to get this out around February but couldn’t work the scheduling. Every leg, one team gets a random romantic outing during the Pit Stop, so they spend part of their resting time doing things. Seems sweet, but I’d wish I could cash it in later, frankly.
Then everyone except Harley and Jonathan flies to Bangkok. It’s about here that we find out just how far behind Harley and Jonathan were in their non-elimination leg; they leave at 7:01, a full three and a half hours behind the first-place team, and a full hour after everyone else’s flight leaves. There’s a lot of taxi-jockeying and Killer Fatigue-fueled bickering, but I’ll tell you right now that very little of it matters because Harley and Jonathan do not see another team for the entire episode.
Still, some of the bickering is pretty impressive. Remember how I said that I thought that Hayley and Blair would turn into a train wreck pretty quick? Um, yeah. They are now into Epic Bicker mode. At one point, they’re not even looking for the clue, because she’s passive-aggressively insisting that he should lead because he wouldn’t listen to her anyway, and he’s passive-aggressively insisting that she should lead because the only reason she wants him to make the decisions is so that she can have someone to blame for any mistakes. In a just and fair universe, this would end with the two of them standing there and glaring at each other until they get field-Philiminated, but instead she agrees to take the lead and they head off in completely the wrong direction looking for the clue.
Said clue leads them to the Detour, which has as its two options “Water” and “Wheel”. “Water” is a trip via water taxi, zipping easily and freely down the waterways of Bangkok; “Wheel” is a trip through heavy traffic in street taxis called tuk-tuks that the Race absolutely adores. “Water” seems faster, especially as the Detour forces half the teams to choose “Wheel” by limiting the supply of water taxis. BUT…
The teams have to make two stops on their respective races. The “Water” teams, in particular, have to stop off and eat a century egg. And I am not ashamed to admit that this would have been the point where I took a four-hour penalty rather than put that thing in my mouth. There is just no way I could look at an egg that had turned to translucent green jelly and say, “Yeah, I think I can choke that down.” Still, Tyler and Laura (as the first team there) regain a tiny shred of the massive amount of respect they lost, because Tyler not only sucks down his egg like a boss, he narrates the whole thing like he’s on ‘Wide World of Sports’. The Olympians, the Truckstoppers, Bergen and Kurt and the recently-engaged Matt and Ashley follow with their own eggs, although Matt and Ashley have one of those moments that happens occasionally in the Race where they wander up to a random street vendor and pay good money for some eggs that they choke down in the mistaken belief that they’re participating in a Race-sponsored event.
The “Wheel” teams, meanwhile, find out they need to sink a ball in a snooker game. They don’t have to sink one each, just pot one ball. It’s not the easiest thing in the world for people who don’t play much pool, but it beats a century egg any day of the week. Hayley and Blair, Jeff and Jackie, and Jelani and Jenny each set out on their “Wheel” tour.
Right about now…or at least what the Race is pretending is “right about now”…the New Kids finally land. They find the clue and set out on their Speed Bump, which involves assembling reeds into a neat little grasshopper-shaped arts and crafts project.
The “Water” teams leave the century egg for their next stop, a ritual at a Buddhist temple that’s actually quite beautiful. Everyone gets I Ching fortunes which seem to portend their various romantic fates; presumably if Hayley and Blair had been on “Water” instead of “Wheel”, they’d have gotten ‘#14: You will end up stabbing each other in the face.’
The “Wheel” teams move to their second stop, which is a trip to the Caturday Cafe to feed the kitties. As someone with five cats, this was the high point of the episode, and all the cats were super-adorable. Everyone manages to feed the cats without significant difficulty, although Jenny turns out to be terrified of them.
As the teams make it out of the Detour, they get to the Road Block, where they have to disassemble a car engine to find a screwdriver that’s hidden inside. And inside the screwdriver is a clue that leads to “Metal Castle”. This turns out to be not the latest location of Princess Peach, but instead an extremely bad translation of Loha Prasat (“metal temple”). The first flight of teams, which includes Laura and Tyler, the Olympians, Hayley and Blair, Matt and Ashley and Bergen and Kurt, makes it out of the disassembly pretty quick, but gets stymied by the clue.
Jonathan and Harley finally get out of their Speed Bump and onto their doomed Detour.
Jeff and Jackie get to the Road Block at about the same time as Jelani and Jenny. Naturally, the manly manly manly men will disassemble this engine! Or, more accurately, they’ll stand around poking at it at random with tools for a while. Then Rochelle walks up, yanks the transmission off in about five seconds with a power wrench, and walks off like a boss with the clue. Boom.
There’s a lot of muddle as various teams get bad directions, wander around, help each other, hop into a taxi and leave each other stranded and reaching out in a panic like they just missed the last helicopter out of Saigon (sorry, Ashley, but I laughed). In the end, though, Bergen and Kurt come in first, everyone else wanders in at various points, and Harley and Jonathan come in very, very last. And this time, there’s no non-elimination leg to save them.
And next time…well, next time appears to be postponed until April 3rd, but it will involve more bickering, more bickering, sand sledding, zebra wrangling, tightrope walking, and collapsing potato stands. Maybe not all in the same hour. See you then!