And we’re back! Phil starts us off with a reminder that last week in Georgia, everyone stabbed themselves, then danced until one team (Scott and Blair) finally keeled over dead. Or at least eliminated. On with the Race!
We begin with a tearful farewell, as Brodie makes sure he has the chance to give Blair one last hug before she departs the Race for good. Honestly, I hope they make each other happy. Blair was not my cup of tea as a Racer, but there’s no reason not to root for her and Brodie finding each other however it happened.
Everyone now leaves on the same flight for Dubai, to head out into the desert to a Bedouin encampment where they’ll pick up the Roaming Gnome (because what season would be complete without utterly shameless Travelocity product placement?) They’re all given a car of their very own, which should finally shut up all the Internet commenters who’ve been saying that they don’t let people drive themselves on the Race anymore and it’s too easy now and back in my day we had to drive ourselves uphill both ways and participation trophies and get off my lawn.
Dana and Matt are starting in early–he’s driving, she’s navigating, he’s asking her questions and she’s telling him that he never listens and that he’s stupid and that he’s a total jerk. Matt is nothing less than 1000% patient and supportive through this. Meanwhile, Sheri and Cole miss their turn and get lost, probably wishing the entire time that the Internet was right about the Race. Everyone else navigates successfully past the camels, arriving in Team Squee, Magic, Rooster Teeth, Frisbee, Dancer order, and gets a clue to the Detour.
This week’s Detour has, as always, two choices: “Races” or “Oasis”. Races is a bike race against racing camels in the Dubai heat, which is about as insane as it sounds. The only upside is that if you lose the first time, you get a head start the next time. You know, when you’re cramping up and dehydrated. Oasis involves leading camels through the desert, which is slower and more obnoxious but which doesn’t require outpacing the damn things. And which you don’t need to try multiple times.
Everyone hauls ass, with the first three teams all choosing to race. The fourth team chooses to race as well, but has trouble with the hauling part on account of how they get their car stuck in the sand. Brodie has the bright idea of throwing his backpack under the wheel of the car to give it traction, which works about as well as you’d expect, and eventually they’re reduced to digging their way out. Luckily for them, Sheri and Cole are still wandering in the desert, and there’s neither a pillar of smoke by day nor a pillar of fire by night to help them out.
On the way to the camel races, Rachel explains that she doesn’t really feel like she can ride a bike very fast. Zach appears to be too busy missing the turn-off to the racetrack to hear her. Burnie and Ashley and Team Squee pull in, and get ready to race while Brodie and Kurt are still just pulling out of the parking dune and Dana and Matt are preparing to herd camels to the oasis. Kurt and Brodie discuss using the Express Pass, but aren’t ready to commit to it yet.
Both Team Squee and the Roosters lose hard to the camels on Attempt #1. Tyler and Korey opt to take the head start and try again, but Ashley’s on the verge of vomiting. Burnie decides to take the burden off her shoulders and announces a switch to Oasis. Meanwhile, Zach and Rachel are preparing for their first try and she once again mentions that she’s not comfortable riding a bike fast. He says that they should try it anyway.
Sheri and Cole finally get to the Bedouin tents and get their clue. Dana snipes endlessly at Matt as they herd, with the basic gist of her complaint being that he’s not complaining enough and it’s making her feel bad for complaining constantly. It is literally the most annoying thing possible. Brodie and Kurt, after a rather impressive sequence in which they’re screaming and racing and biking and the camels are running and there’s even a commercial break, manage to finish about three feet in front of the camels and get their clue. Once they can walk again.
Zach and Rachel lose. Rachel says that even with the head start, she can’t win because she’s afraid to go fast on bikes. Zach’s actual motherfucking response: “Why didn’t you tell me this?” They switch, and she says, “My worst fear came true. I screwed up and it’s going to cost us the Race.” Which is kind of shitty and passive-aggressive, but then again, he did earn it.
Tyler and Korey get out in second while Matt and Dana are still screaming at one another. (Well, while Dana is still screaming at Matt.) Nonetheless, they get their clue, some yummy camel milk, and a third place clue. It’s notable that Sheri and Cole are just starting their first try at the camel race at this point. Which they lose, despite Cole’s hilarious enthusiasm for camel racing. He says afterwards, “Those camels had endurance like racing camels!” Which would be a great alternative episode title, if not for the fact that the existing title is the best thing ever.
Those with the clue now head to Aquaventure, the water park famous for a previous challenge that one team literally failed to do altogether. This time, though, instead of having to do the crazy-ass stunt of riding a waterslide through a shark tank, they just have to climb into the shark tank with the sharks and grab something as the Roadblock. That something is a puzzle that they have to do (sealed tube, metallic letters sliding around loose, magnets that match the letters, you get the idea). Brodie takes it for the team, and puts on gold swm trunks that will fucking _haunt_ you. He also wears, in the words of Kurt, a “space hat”. The episode titles are thick on the ground today.
Brodie screams at the letters, “Grr! Why won’t you get in the hole!?” Which is the only possible better episode title than the one we got. He decides to use the Express Pass rather than struggle with it, and is sent up with Kurt to the top of the brand new crazy-ass waterslide from hell that they made as the other teams arrive and change into their gold swimsuits…which, again, will haunt you, although in the case of Dana it’s not necessarily in a bad way…and begin their shark swims. (With the exception of Shari and Cole, of course, who have managed to defeat the wily camels but are once again lost.)
Burnie, Korey and Dana finish their swims and begin getting to the business of the puzzle. Unsurprisingly, Dana screams the entire time about how hard it is and how miserable it is and how much she hates it. Also unsurprisingly, Burnie nails it and is gone in a flash. Meanwhile, up at the top of the cray-cray waterslide, we get the scenes they’ve been teasing all week, of people getting locked into the chute and launched, Kronk-style, down a massive waterslide. Everyone has hilariously awesome responses, especially Tyler, who is literally so high on adrenaline afterwards that he can’t open his eyes all the way or stop giggling.
After they get down the waterslide, Brodie and Kurt get a clue leading to the Pit Stop, which is across the river in the Old Souq. Burnie and Ashley are close behind, but the Express Pass pays off with a win for them. Zach, meanwhile, is nailing the puzzle, and Dana says she’s about to have a meltdown. (Yes, apparently the stuff so far has not been a meltdown.)
Tyler and Korey get to the mat in third, and Tyler actually manages to fluster Phil for the first time I’m aware of by offering to giving him a traditional Bedouin greeting (nose rubbing). Phil is like, “Um…gosh, I…” It’s hilarious. Zach and Rachel come in fourth, having made up.
By the time Sheri and Cole get to the waterpark, everyone’s gone. It seems like there’s no hope for them…but that’s when Dana kicks her horribility into high gear. Frustrated that Matt asks to repeat directions, she stops navigating, then refuses to ask for help and finally decides she’s not going to get back into the car because she hates Matt and the Race and everything and she’s just sick of it all. Speaking personally, I think there should be a rule where if you say you don’t want to do the Race anymore, Phil appears like a motherfucking genie and says, “Done!” And you are instantly Philiminated.
But unfortunately, her huge meltdown came right before a commercial break, so when we get back, she and Matt are coming in fifth. Phil lectures them on the straight up bullshit Dana pulled, and reminds them that they can’t keep pulling this shit if they want to win. And Sheri and Cole, sadly, come in last…
…but it’s a non-elimination leg! Again! Holy shit! Sheri and Cole earn yet another reprieve! Unbelievable! I’d feel like this was a weak team being saved too many times, if they weren’t so nice and fun and happy to see on camera (as opposed to certain other teams, thank you DANA). They’ll have a Speed Bump next time, but at least they have a chance.
And next week, we head to Indonesia, which is always brutal, and people handle live snakes, which isn’t brutal but you can’t tell some people that. See you then!