And we’re back! Phil starts off by reminding us that Blair and Brodie are a sort of maybe kind of thing, and that co-operation sounds really awesome unless you’re the one team nobody is helping. Brittany and Jessica are gone, we’re down to eight teams, and it’s starting to feel a bit like a competition around here. On with the Race!
The leg begins where the last leg ended, in Chamonix, France. Everyone gets some serious winter gear, and they’re all thrilled and excited and playfully modeling clothes and not even wondering why the Race is providing them all with cold-weather outfits. (Hint: It is for insurance purposes, because losing a toe could result in a worker’s comp claims.)
Speaking of insurance, the teams now go to find cars that are chauffeured through the icy streets of Chamonix to Montblanc, probably because the production team doesn’t trust the road conditions although there’s a theory that the insurance people won’t let the Racers drive anymore. They get to the ski lift, pick up climbing gear, mountain guides and (incongruously) baguettes, and head up in a gondola. It’s only two teams per gondola, though, creating some separation between Team Squee and the Frisbeers and the next groups to arrive. Oh, and there is a discussion of who would eat who if the gondola broke that is either morbid or incredibly flirtatious and I have no idea which.
Zach and Rachel get into Gondola #2 with Sheri and Cole, but then Sheri and Cole realize they forgot their guide and have to go back. This appears to mean that Zach and Rachel have to wait. Meanwhile, at the top, the first two teams find out they have to zipline out over a gorge (Kurt and Korey being the actual zipliners in question) to get the clue from a rocky crag. It’s terrifying, because the Race loves to do this shit, but over quickly. Phil, who’s actually there in person, offers them a choice between “Dynamite” and “Campsite”.
“Dynamite” involves walking a rope course over the craggy peaks that’s safer than it looks while carrying dynamite that is highly unlikely to detonate, then giving the dynamite and the baguettes to some park ranger types who will set off the dynamite and eat the baguettes. (To shake free loose avalanche-prone snow and to satisfy mild hunger pangs, respectively.) It feels very unsafe, but is quick. “Campsite” involves assembling a tent. It is very safe, but also very very very slow.
Burnie and Ashley go in Gondola #2, which was Gondola #3, with Matt and Dana. Both of the front-runner teams decide to go with the Dynamite, with Tyler shouting, “Let’s blow stuff up!” (Excellent alternative episode title.) Matt and Ashley do the ziplining for their respective teams, which isn’t very “zippy” because the line is almost purely horizontal, so you’re just pulling yourself along (with a pulley assist from your teammate). Nonetheless, Matt gets his clue quickly and so does Ashley. But Ashley drops her clue, and it falls into a crevasse. DOOM! CHAOS! FAILURE! COMMERCIAL BREAK!
Oh hey, she just went back across and got a replacement. They didn’t really lose any time at all. But then they decide to do Campsite, gambling that it will be quicker, which is about to lose them a pretty big chunk of time. Meanwhile, Gondola #3 now contains Zach and Rachel and Scott and Blair, which means that Sheri and Cole must have bled some serious time going after their guide. They head up as Kurt and Brodie ascend to the peak in a scene that, again, looks way more dangerous than it is.
Dana and Matt go up too far looking for the dynamite, and Dana suffers briefly from the low oxygen before they realize that there’s no dynamite on the observation platform and head down. They spot Tyler and Korey heading out to the peak, and get a handy tip on the location of the required items. Meanwhile, Burnie and Ashley start tent assembling. Remember, they were in fourth.
Zach takes the zipline. He says, as he looks out over the peak, “I’m kind of rethinking this whole thing,” which is also an excellent episode title. (We’re kind of spoiled for choice this week–it’s not as though “We’re Only Doing Freaky Stuff Today” is at all bad.) The Clevver Girls and Team Bravo finally come up in Gondola #4, which is last place, and it becomes rapidly clear that Cole is not a fan of heights. In fact, he’s so nervous about them he’s freaking out his momma.
Meanwhile, Kurt and Brodie get to the top and get to see someone throwing dynamite down a mountainside. It’s pretty much the eye candy this week, and it’s freaking gorgeous. Tyler and Korey also make it to the rangers, and are also treated to a big boom. Burnie and Ashley break their tent. Dana, as it turns out as they get onto the roped course, is also no fan of heights, and definitely shows her vulnerable side as she straight up begs Matt to stick right next to her like glue. Matt, who has really shown nothing but solicitous care and adoration for her this whole time, keeps the streak up as he helps her climb.
Zach and Scott clear out, although thankfully we’re once again treated to another rendition of Blair’s screeches of “DADDY! DADDY!” as he ziplines. Thank God, I don’t think I could have gone a week without it. The last two teams get to the zipline, and Sheri bravely takes it for her freaked out son even though she’s pretty freaked herself, while Joslyn charges full-bore into the task. But we cut to a commercial break on Sheri literally sobbing in terror at the halfway point. Even knowing she’ll be fine, it’s still enough to make you want to give her some hot chocolate with marshmallows and tell her to warm up in front of the space heater while watching cartoons.
Sure enough, she finishes, but in last. They’re now faced with a nasty choice–Sheri is sure that Dynamite will be quicker, but Cole is still freaking out about heights. (Sheri is right, because Burnie and Ashley are still at the tents.) She has to try to keep him calm, while being freaked herself. Meanwhile, Matt and Dana clear the Detour in third as Scott and Blair set out…and manage to figure out that the baguettes are the food to be delivered, despite some confusion on Scott’s part. Seeing the Clevver Girls approaching, they decide to sow a few seeds of confusion by reminding them to “grab lunch”. This leads to the amusing spectacle of Erin and Joslyn wandering into what appears to be a ranger station and rummaging through some stranger’s belongings like Yogi Bear.
At that point, we finally catch up to Kurt and Brodie at the Roadblock, where one teammate has to tandem paraglide with an experienced glider. It’s tricky, because you have to run through knee-deep snow to try to get momentum and there’s a chance of simply faceplanting into the snow, giving the next person a chance to try. Oh, and you also have to look for a yeti waving a French flag on the way down. Brodie and Korey take it, respectively.
Sheri and Cole finally decide to dynamite. The Clevver Girls finally live up to their name and figure out that “lunch” has been with them all along. (No, literally. In the form of the baguettes.) Scott and Blair stumble their way up the mountain. Burnie and Ashley finally notice that they haven’t seen another team in ages. And Brodie gives us yet another great episode title when he shouts to the arriving Korey, “I’m literally about to run off a mountain, yo!” Fun times all around.
Brodie faceplants on his first try. Korey churns his legs madly in the snow, and gets airborne on his first try. Brodie takes it pretty well, to be honest. Again, I love that there’s very little acrimony in this season; Kurt and Brodie have been trading first and second places with Tyler and Korey all race long, but there’s been nothing like what we saw with the Texans and the Green Team. Brodie does get off the ground in second, but there’s not going to be much chance to switch places after this.
Burnie and Ashley still haven’t gotten out of the tents. Erin and Joslyn jump into sixth based on the strength of their horrible decision. Korey lands, mentions the yeti, and gets the clue leading to the Pit Stop at a statue of Captain Picard. (Or possibly Dr. Paccard. I was distracted for that bit.) Brodie lands, and tells Kurt he’ll explain the reason he lost a step on the way to the Pit Stop. Meanwhile, Burnie and Ashley finally finish up the Detour in seventh. Sheri and Cole are still last…but they bump into Burnie and Ashley at the gondola. It’s about here that Burnie and Ashley realize the severity of their fuckup.
Team Squee comes in first and gets a trip to the Philippines. The Frisbee Boys are not far at all behind, and admit that as frustrated as they are at coming in second, they’re not mad at Tyler and Korey for coming in first. A ways behind them, Matt paraglides into third (with Dana staring up at him in irritation as he comes in for a landing, shouting, “Come on, we have stuff to do!”), while Rachel faceplants and gives Blair a chance to jump into fourth. Rachel comes down in fifth.
Ashley and Sheri catch up with Erin at the take-off point. Which means it’s all down to who can paraglide successfully now. Ashley faceplants. Sheri flies. Erin faceplants. Ashley stops dead before she faceplants. We cut to the bottom, where Sheri is landing. And behind her comes…
Ashley! And that means that barring a non-elimination leg, the Clevver Girls are about to get eaten by Philanosaurus Rex. And this is not a non-elimination leg. Erin and Joslyn are eliminated, despite not wanting it to end.
And we’re once again getting a hiatus for March Madness, but it looks like we’re getting camel racing, dancing, cliff diving, and watersliding when it returns! See you then!