And we’re back! Phil reminds us that Darius and Cameron made a huge, disastrous mistake, but another team made an even bigger mistake so they’re still around this week. (Not that this is going to turn into a pattern or anything…) Oh, and apparently people were planning to feed fish offal to stray dogs, which feels like a mistake on so many levels.
We open with a luvverly little montage of Dana and Matt back in Mexico, engaged in a decidedly one-sided freakout over something that clearly didn’t matter because they haven’t been lower than fourth this entire time. This is kind of the problem with starting eleven teams of racers–clearly, the producers wanted to fit in so much more pointless bickering between Matt and Dana, but with eleven teams there was so much going on that they had to wait a full episode to show all the whining going on. Oh, and yes, it’s now utterly clear that Dana and Matt are this season’s meltdown couple.
Tyler and Korey leave in first, and take a moment to clarify that they are not, in fact, a couple after all. This is probably one of those things I would have known if I’d watched his YouTube channel. They head to pick up their clue, which leads them to somewhere else to pick up another clue, which will eventually lead to a Detour because this is the first time the Race has been to Columbia and they want to show as much scenery as possible. They’re followed in short order by Kurt and Brodie, Burnie and Ashley, and Dana and Matt.
Once they pick up their second clue, which is in a very pretty, very solidly built fortress with narrow passages and no windows (because, you know, fortress…) they find out that the two choices for this Detour are “Tickets”, which requires teams to ride around in a bus begging people to pay them perfectly good money to get on and take a ride, and “Tejo”, in which teams play Columbia’s national sport which involves throwing chunks of metal at ceramic containers of gunpowder. Because Columbia is apparently far more awesome than I have previously been led to believe.
The fifth through ninth place teams leave in what appears to be a pretty big bunch, with Zach and Rachel taking the opportunity to mention that while they do love each other very much, Rachel is kind of glad to be out front for once instead of just admiring her husband’s skills. Oh, and Blair lets Scott carry her bag. She’s already exhausting me.
Kurt and Brodie take advantage of some navigational confusion on the part of Tyler and Korey’s cabbie to get in front and do the gunpowder. Needless to say, the effect of literal gunpowder and exploding targets on two guys already known for taking frisbee to the EXTREME! is absolutely hilarious to watch. They scream, they flex, they strut, they chest bump, they are in dudebro heaven. It’s actually cute (probably because they’re there by themselves and have nobody to trash talk) but it’s worth watching the locals in the background, who very obviously feel roughly the same way about Kurt and Brodie’s performance that Kurt and Brodie feel about a puppy who manages to catch its first frisbee.
Meanwhile, Dana and Matt argue their way through the fortress. And when I say “Dana and Matt”, I mean “Dana”.
Tyler and Korey go to Tejo, and Tyler is clearly fine with it right up until the “rocks and bombs” explode, at which he squeals adorably like a pre-teen. It does not matter how many times the gunpowder goes off, he cannot control the jump and squeal impulse. They complete the challenge pretty quickly and head out in second.
Darius and Cameron finally leave. This seems to bode ill. But wait…
Erin’s claustrophobia comes into play again as they go into the fortress to pick up the clue, although probably not as much as the montage of her panic attacks (accompanied by the sound effect of a racing heartbeat) seems to indicate. Luckily, since there’s no actual challenge involved, just finding a clue box and leaving again, all we have to worry about is one commercial break before she’s pretty much fine.
(You’ll notice, by the way, that I’m not really interested in the placing of the teams in the mid-to-back of the pack. This is because there’s really not much happening apart from the choice of Detour options to set teams apart, so you can pretty much expect that everyone’s staying in the same order as last week.)
Speaking of Detour options, Burnie and Ashley have also chosen rocks and bombs, and finish it in third. Dana and Matt keep their fourth place status with Tejo as well. (Oh, and tejo is now right up there with bunny agility racing in my list of sports that the Race should be popularizing in America.) But Zach and Rachel, the Clevver Girls (who I’m really hoping will converge on Phil from the sides at least once during the Race) and Scott and Blair all go with the bus task. The all-women teams clearly feel that their sex appeal will give them an advantage, as does Blair. “I’ll twerk, I don’t care,” she says, in this week’s Alternate Episode Title.
Brodie and Kurt now go to a local market, where Kurt takes the Roadblock–he has to choose a bag, and then wander the market looking for marked vendors who have two similarly styled bags by the same designer. It’s tricky because the vendors are spread out, because there are a lot of bags, and because you’re not looking for an exact match so you can’t focus on a single detail. And because, in the case of some teams, you’re rock stupid.
Brittany and Jessica get to tejo with Sheri and Cole not far behind, and come out in fifth. The fact that they jump to the top of the second group of teams on the strength of their Detour choice tells you a lot about which one was the smart take this time out.
Tyler takes the Roadblock for Team Squee, and although he does pretty well, you can see that there’s not going to be a huge chance to change positions here unless one team makes a massive blunder. Sure enough, Kurt and Brodie go to the Pit Stop in first, and Tyler and Oakley in second. Both are greeted by a very beautiful Miss Cartagena along with Phil.
Zach scores some riders on the strength of his videos–for anyone who wonders if these people are “really famous”, that’s one of the teams being recognized in Cartagena, Columbia. Actually pretty impressive. Blair, meanwhile, is shouting, “Besos for pesos!” (“besos” meaning “kisses”) amid shots of guys leaping onto the bus. I still can’t tell whether that’s the creepiest part of this montage, or whether it’s when she explains that she was just blowing kisses, and her dad says in a weird patriarchal tone, “And that’s as far as that needed to go,” with this horribly smug grin on his face as if to say, ‘I will never stop enjoying my control over my daughter’s sexuality.’
Dana takes the Roadblock for Team Dance, and distinguishes herself instantly by telling Matt to shut up whenever he tries to say something supportive. Remember how I said it was so nice that the teams were all kind and polite to each other because they didn’t want to seem awful on national television? Yeah, that apparently doesn’t apply to intra-team cooperation.
Sheri and Cole get out of the Detour in sixth. We still have not seen anyone complete the bus challenge. (Oh, and it’s right about here that you start wanting to give Sheri a big hug and tell her everything’s going to be okay. She’s clearly psyching herself out and thinking of herself as the weak link of the duo, but she’s actually doing fine.
Darius and Cameron finally reach a meaningful part of the Race, taking the tejo challenge. This proves to be the smartest thing they have done in the entire Race, and spoilers aside, you can probably apply that to all future Race decisions as well. They get out in seventh, having made up a huge chunk of time over the remaining teams.
The Clevver Girls finally cash out in eighth. Scott and Blair finally collect enough fares to leave in ninth, and Blair shouts, “Thank you! Hug? Hug-o?” and is greeted with apathy by locals who probably have heard enough tourist Spanish to last them a lifetime. Zach and Rachel head out in ninth…but it turns out that she’s been miscounting all the money, so they don’t have anything like enough to win. They head back to the bus station to get a new bus, knowing that they screwed up but not realizing just how far behind the eight ball they truly are. Seriously, this is a huge catastrophe. It would take a vast, incomprehensibly huge mistake by one of the remaining teams to save them now.
Dana climbs all over the merchandise of a vendor looking for a bag, and gets a look of pure shade that says, “They did not fucking pay me enough for this.” Dana tells supportive Matt, “Go back into your own world, and let me live my life!” Nonetheless, they come in place just behind Burnie and Ashley in fourth. They give a nice platitude-filled speech about communication, but the train is already crashing here.
Cole and Jessica arrive at roughly the same time, and work together to complete their challenge. Even after Jessica completes her end, she sticks around for a bit to help Cole, but Cole shoos her along, because everyone is being actually decent to each other and it’s awesome. This means Brittany and Jessica take fifth (responding to “Miss Cartagena” with “Miss Iowa! Miss Florida!”) and Sheri and Cole take sixth.
The Clevver Girls arrive at the Roadblock in seventh, with Erin taking the task for her team. Darius and Cameron arrive at the market, and just start randomly pawing through merchandise at one of the marked vendors because, hey, red and yellow stripes! I am beginning to feel like they are not a great advertisement for homeschooling. Finally, they find the clue box and Darius agrees to take the task for his team. They both wander right the hell out of the marketplace altogether and start staring at random street vendors.
Scott takes the Roadblock in ninth. Erin and Darius haven’t left yet. He at least helps Erin get back into the market area they’re supposed to be at, which is a step above Darius at this point. Erin, in turn, helps him realize that they’re looking for bags from the same designer, right before she gives up on him as a bad job and sprints away to look for more vendors. Leading to the brief but spectacular highlight of the episode, where Scott looks down at the bags and says, “Are you helping me?”, not realizing that Erin isn’t even in earshot anymore.
Zach and Rachel finally arrive in last. Zach takes the task for their team, little realizing how damn lucky they are not to be field Philiminated. Erin asks Scott for a look at the map, and responds to his quite sensible, “No, you left me!” with “No, I didn’t leave you! But let’s go this way–that’s why I left you, because I know my bag isn’t over there.”
Darius may or may not have wandered clean out of Columbia at some point, but he finally gets back and finds his second bag! At which point he starts looking for the designer to give them back to. He walks directly past the person with the clue multiple times, while his brother watches in frustrated silence (helping in any way would incur a penalty) and then leaves to go look for her. Meanwhile, the Clevver Girls get to the mat in seventh and Scott and Blair check in with an eighth place finish.
Zach wanders into an actual store, but still finishes while Darius is wandering around the streets of Cartagena looking for the designer of his designer bags. He and Rachel leave Cameron standing there, feeling nothing but helpless, and head for the Pit Stop. Darius walks directly up to the clue giver, asks them, “Are you Adriana?” (the name of the designer), and when told no, turns and walks away again. It is agonizingly painful to watch.
Zach and Rachel go to the wrong destination before finally getting directions to the Pit Stop, but it’s still not enough–they finish ninth, mere seconds ahead of Darius and Cameron. (Literally, no Amazing Editing here; Phil doesn’t even finish checking Zach and Rachel in before the brothers show up.) The brothers are eliminated, which at this point feels like a mercy killing more than anything else.
Next week, Blair and Brodie apparently flirt, while teams play hide and seek with each other on trains. See you then!