Are You Good At Puzzles?
The Amazing Race 5: Episode 5


It's a plane! Previously, the Teams will never eat caviar again in the foreseeable future after a punishing leg where more than twenty hours of gruelling travel from Argentina to Russia culminated in a caviar-guzzling Roadblock that traumatized the Racers more than one would expect. love.com is eliminated, not because of the caviar but because of the aviation. This week, what's in store for the Teams?

Credits. I know I'm supposed to hate the Friends of Gulliver, but I just can't. I won't want to be stuck with Brobbie in an elevator when it breaks down, but watching her and Lillie is comedy gold. With their dressing up as if they're attending a soiree instead of running a Race, their bumbling yet surprisingly workable techniques, and Brobbie's laughably self-absorbed abrasiveness, they are like no other Teams I've ever come across on the Race. In fact, I must admit that they've lasted longer than I expected them to.

Philo reminds people that the Teams are now resting at Catherine's Palace, which he describes as a "luxurious country estate", in the town of Pushkin just outside St Petersburg. Peter the Great built the place for his wife Catherine and now its toilets and sinks are used by the Teams to throw up after their great caviar adventure. And that's before the Grouchy Fat Slobs plop their fat hairy butts on the clean marble toilet seats. The Russians really never get any respect, do they? The camera briefly zooms on the Teams resting, eating, et cetera, and it is quite amusing to note that the rest of the Teams give the Friends of Gulliver a wide berth. I understand completely - if I'm racing and I have to deal with Brobbie when she behaves the way she does, I'd be doing the same. But watching her and Lillie exasperating the other Teams, however, is another story - I can't stay away, heh heh.

It is 9:11 am and the Quotas, who were first at the previous leg of the Race, are ready to leave. They count the money they receive for this leg of the Race - $123 - and realize from their Clue that they must now head over to the Hermitage in St Petersburg. Philo "Package Matters" Koughie walks out to explain that the Hermitage is one of the world's largest museums, housing three million paintings. Teams must locate a particular painting, Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son, before the curator would give them their next clue. Since there are three million paintings, the Teams really should start making educated guesses if they aren't sure which painting they are looking for. Chip Quota talks about how great it is to be first (yeah, yeah, but it's not as if he's won so, like, whatever really) as he and Kim get a cab to take them to the train station where they would then get a train to St Petersburg. Language problems? No problem, actually. Kim knows how to tell it as it is: "Choo-choo!"

At 9:42 am, the C+Cs are off. Colin says that his Team is working most "cohesively", whatever that means, and while he admits that they sometimes "bark" at each other (here, Christie, bark for the bone), they work together perfectly. Of course, every Team says things like this, even Alison and her Donkey. They always work together perfectly until they screw up and then it's always the other person's fault. They too get a cab to take them to the train station.

The Grouchy Fat Slobs leave at 10:09 am. Munch, whose knees are sore from walking all over St Petersburg looking for the Bronze Horseman, points out that his knees are hurting and he could barely walk this morning. Aw, how unfortunate that they aren't hurting even more. Can I take a look at those knees? Let me get my crowbar first.

It is 10:13 am when the Friends of Gulliver leave the Pit Stop. Unlike the earlier Teams, they seem unsure as to where to get a cab. They approach a guy standing by the gate and Brobbie asks him where the train station is. Because when you can't find a cab, you ask for the location of the place you need to go - that makes sense, I guess, in Brobdignag. Brobbie fails to get an answer that she can understand even when she goes "Trrrrrrain! Choo-choo!" Lillie, with a look of exasperation, tells Brobbie to ask one question at a time so that the poor man can at least have a snowball chance of understanding what Brobbie is asking him. In the end, the two ladies just wander around the place, looking completely lost. Brobbie comments that the guy has some "good gold teeth". How do people tell good gold teeth from bad gold teeth anyway?

The Quotas have arrived at the train station. Kim looks at the building and says, "Choo-choo!" What is it with people going "Choo-choo!" at the sight of anything related to trains? Besides, even in Russia, trains don't go choo-choo anymore. They get their tickets and get on the train. St Petersburg, here they come!

At 11:50 am, God's favorite Team the GLPPs take off. Moppet again wants to walk to the train station, obviously haven't learned anything from his past mistakes, but Joan puts her foot down and insists that they take a cab. Cut to a shot of a man pulling a kid - his son? - on a sled. Hmm, is Bonghammer saying that Joan is the one who would lead the stray or something? I'm confused. Anyway, they get a cab where Moppet goes "Choo-choo!" at the cab driver. During the ride, Moppet sheepishly says that it would have been a long walk when he realizes how far it is to the train station. Joan refrains from cracking a wiseass remark, unfortunately, although she allows herself to look momentarily smug.

The Friends of Gulliver are walking aimlessly along the road. I don't understand why the other Teams can get a cab but this Team can't. Then again, Brobbie is asking every person she meets, "Choo-choo?" No wonder she can't get any help. She should be looking for a cab, not the train station and also, she must come off as a deranged dingbat that scares people away. Times like this I wonder how it is possible that this Team has so far consistently remained in the top five in every leg of the Race.

The C+Cs are purchasing their tickets at the train station. Meanwhile, the Quotas get off their train at St Petersburg.

After their usual happy cheer moment, the Bates Sisters depart at 12:14 pm.

The Downtown Hiltons leave at 12:50 pm. Once more, they are talking about how they love the Team ahead of them (substitute the Quotas for the Bates Sisters this time around) but they will do anything to beat that Team. From their repetitious chatter to their dead-eyed expressions to their lamebrained Race techniques, I'm starting to suspect that they are more than a little slow upstairs.

The Bates Sisters, in their cab, talk about wanting to beat the Downtown Hiltons too. They are nearly twenty minutes ahead of the Downtown Hiltons so when they say that they are in a "horse race" with the Downtown Hiltons, I really roll up my eyes there. The editors must be really desperate if they have to put together lame subplots for the Downtown Hiltons and the Bates Sisters. I'd have thought they'd know when to stop after the flop that was the non-happening Quota feud with the Downtown Hiltons or the DOA feud between the Bates Sisters and Pout and Gout. Let's just focus on the delicious "Rude" Brobbie and "Despicable Criminal" Colin romance!

"Choo-choo?" Lillie sends a guy running with her oh-so-precise question. I don't think his name is Choo-choo, Lillie. Believe it or not, she and Brobbie end up walking all the way to the train station! The Moppet must be so proud of them. Brobbie complains that her hair froze on her way to the train station. She's lucky the cold only affected her hair because I fear for her if the cold gets to her brain as well. The two women look at the train station, probably hating it at that moment more than they can hate any other building in existence. And then, they say to the building, "Choo-choo!" I'm sure if the train station could speak, it would finally snap and yell back at these idiot Racers, "Choo-choo, your head!"

Meanwhile, the Quotas meet Sergei, the curator of the Hermitage. He's quite a dishy gentleman. Poverty brings out the hotness in these third-world country males, I must say. Chip is really excited to be walking in the hallways of the Hermitage. He insists that he can feel the "historical greatness" of the place and he thinks that this place is "awesome".

Lance begs to differ. "This sucks!" the moanie-meanie insists as he and his jerkbuddy Munch board the third train to St Petersburg. "The Russians might be the most miserable people on this planet. They're angry-looking! The freezing cold temperature in St Petersburg probably doesn't help them any," one of them says in a voice-over as the train departs. The camera zooms in on quite a number of said miserable, angry-looking Russians. Am I wrong to wish that these Russians defend their honor by lynching the Grouchy Fat Slobs on that train? I finally understand why they are on the Race even if they hate traveling and everything foreign: if they take part in, say, Survivor or Big Brother, the other contestants would have ganged up and shoved a pillow or a rock down their mouths before the first week is up in a special ritual elimination.

As the C+Cs arrive at the Hermitage, the Quotas are wandering inside, lost as they try to locate The Return of the Prodigal Son. Chip keeps mentioning the name to every person he comes across in the hallways and it's actually a funny sight. Kim laughs and so do I. He and his wife can be too slow at times, but they are actually alright. On the fourth train to St Petersburg, Brobbie learns from a fellow lady traveler that the painting is located on the second floor. For those who are picky about proper pronunciation, Brobbie mispronounces "prodigal" as "pro-dee-jal". The C+Cs has a map of the museum and they try to make an educated guess as to where they think the painting is. Hey, this beats the Quotas' wandering around without direction. Unfortunately, they also fail to locate the correct painting. Soon the Grouchy Fat Slobs arrive at the Hermitage to join the party.

In the fifth train to St Petersburg, the GLPPs smooch and try to insist that the other person is the sweetest of the two. The Moppet tells the camera that Joan is everything a guy could want (a skinny model who loves God - how can any man resist?) and yeah, he can envision himself married to her. Maybe Bonghammer can complete this sentence for me: "And I am supposed to care that Moppet wants to marry Joan because..."

The Grouchy Fat Slobs are randomly pointing at paintings they can see, hoping that they will strike gold. Well, with three million paintings, they will strike gold soon. Maybe by 2005. Chip displays better strategy in that he eventually, finally, asks for the location of the Rembrandt section. Have these people no idea how a museum is run? They have sections, people. Ask for the correct sections! Chip tells the camera that he and Kim, being "staunch Christians", have an idea that the painting in question depicts the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Oh please, I'm not Christian but even I can make the connection between Rembrandt and the title of the painting to realize that the Teams should be looking for a painting depicting the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (A visitor who knows what she is talking about kindly points out to me later that the prodigal son isn't Jesus. I stand corrected. Now, what's Chip's excuse for not knowing his fundamentals.) And no, I don't know what the painting looks like until I've seen this episode, but I can deduce what I should be looking for just from the artist's name and the name of the painting.

Colin has a bright idea that he whispers to Christie. He has this concept that the "prodigal son" is... get this, you'll never guess, Jesus Christ. Wow. Maybe next week he'll discover Christianity and joins Moppet in posing for naked bus-ads. Christie points out that there should be "quite a few" paintings of the prodigal son himself. Colin is excited because he is sure that they are looking for a painting of Jesus Christ now. Here they go!

Kim Quota locates the correct painting for her Team and receives the Clue. They must now travel 2,000 miles to Cairo by plane (duh) and locate the Tower of Cairo, which Philo explains is a 600-ft observation tower overlooking the city. Tourists love it. The Teams would too. I would too if the Grouchy Fat Slobs reach the top, trip, and fall. Chip is excited to be going to Cairo and he keeps saying "Cairo!" as he and his wife take a cab to get them to the airport.

The Bates Sisters finally arrive at the train station in Pushkin and realize that they've just missed a train. They are quite dismayed that the Downtown Hiltons will catch up with them now. Indeed, the gruesome sisters soon show up, causing Linda to tell Kathy that they will have to take on the Downtown Hiltons in another "footrace". Look at the bright side, maybe the next Roadblock will be another eating contest! No? No more eating Roadblocks ever? Okay.

Back at the Hermitage, Colin points to a painting of a guy writing in a book - Rembrandt for Dummies, probably - and of course it's not the correct painting. Sheesh, I don't think the creepy intense guy knows what a Jesus painting looks like, because that guy in the painting looks more like a scholarly old fuddy-wuddy. But it's a Rembrandt work, which tells the C+Cs that they are in the correct section of the museum. Eventually, they locate the correct painting and are given their Clue. Colin is already telling Christie that they must find a travel agent as they leave the Hermitage. What a far-thinking fellow. If I don't look at him and have to take in his beady little stony eyes, that awkwardly-shaped nose, and the pretentious curlish turn of his lips, I would be head over heels in lust with him.

The Grouchy Fat Slobs are on a determined course on their foolproof plan of Pointing At Any Painting In Random. But damn, they luck out in that they wander into the Rembrandt section and eventually point at the correct painting. The next time we have a task like this, Bonghammer should have the curators armed with cattle prods so that any wrong choice would earn the Team a nasty zap in the butt. That will stop any of the random-pointing and lucking-out nonsense. Then it's time to get a cab to get them to the international airport.

The Friends of Gulliver and the GLPPs are close on each other's heel as they begin hunting around the Hermitage for the correct painting. The Friends of Gulliver, armed with the general location of the painting, locate it first. Lillie is excited and announces that she has always wanted to see the pyramids. Brobbie says that she too can't wait. See, that's the spirit! Shortly after, the GLPPs also manage to find the painting. Moppet gives a whoop of joy - maybe the painting of Jesus is giving him an orgasm - and Joan shushes him, pointing out that this is a gallery and they must be very quiet. He gives her an apologetic look and covers his mouth. She shoots him a look of disgust, as if she can't imagine that he would be so gauche to make noise in an art gallery, and I almost like them at that moment. Heh.

The Quotas are at the airport asking a ticket person for the fastest flight and earliest to Cairo. At the same time, the C+Cs are at their friendly local travel agent in St Petersburg asking also for the fastest and earliest flight to Cairo. The Quotas get a flight that wil land the next day at 3:15 pm, the C+Cs get a flight arriving at 2:25 pm the next day. Heh, I need to ask for the address of that travel agent in St Petersburg in case I happen to need to get out of that place ASAP.

The Grouchy Fat Slobs catch up with the Quotas in the airport and Munch greets them with an awkward "What's up!" in that way stupid white men are prone to exaggerate their mincing when they want to be "hip" in front of African-American folks. I'm sure Chip will be amused. The Quotas inform the Grouchy Fat Slobs of the "early" 3:15 pm flight and the Grouchy Fat Slobs hurry off to the relevant ticket office. Chip notes to the camera that Munch is limping as if he's in pain and speculates that Munch will have trouble for the rest of this leg of the Race. I hope so, oh, I really hope so.

As the Grouchy Fat Slobs sit in the ticket office, who have to walk in but their darling buddies the Friends of Gulliver! The four of them in the same room result in as much frost as one would expect. To give them credit, at least nobody is trying to kill the other person. Brobbie, however, has a nasty gleam in her eye as she asks Lillie to "dance" for the people around them. Lillie has just a nasty gleam in her eye as she does just that, as if she's daring the Grouchy Fat Slobs to say something truly nasty to her in front of the cameras. But even those two idiots know better than to insult a little person on camera and they hurry off as soon as they get their tickets. The Friends of Gulliver ask for the same tickets and Brobbie thanks the Russian ticket lady in Italian. She's an indiscriminate walking Esperanto dictionary, that Brobbie, bless her.

The GLPPs arrive at the airport and, upon learning about the 3:15 pm flight, buy those tickets as well. It is quite amusing that when they are not screwing over their allies, they get screwed in a way because when the C+Cs arrive, everyone is dismayed to learn that there is an earlier and faster flight to Cairo. The Grouchy Fat Slobs, already suspecting something like this will happen, had earlier tried Air France (which love.com can testify as an airline service that should be avoided) only to be told that there are no tickets on sale that day. Colin grins evilly, pleased that he has once more trumped over the others. He'd probably disown his own mother if she dares to beat him at Monopoly.

As the Quotas and the Grouchy Fat Slobs watch miserably as the C+Cs depart on their earlier flight, the Grouchy Fat Slobs note that the Downtown Hiltons and the Bates Sisters have yet to turn up.

Speaking of which, there they are, at the Hermitage. The Downtown Hiltons manage to find a creepy young woman who looks way too much in love with them (bad taste indeed). This creepy woman leads the gruesome twins straight to the painting, peers over their shoulders when the twins read their clue, and will no doubt be heartbroken when the Downtown Hiltons flee Russia without promising to write. The creepy lady manages to dangle an offer to take the gruesome twins to a travel agent so that she can pathetically bask in the transient adoration of the two sisters. This is how the Downtown Hiltons get tickets for the 3:15 pm flight. The Bates Sisters watch the jubilant sisters and their newfound stalker-to-be leave the Hermitage and are dismayed to realize that they are now in last place. To top it off, when they do find the painting and get a cab to get to the airport, the cab driver drops them off at the domestic airport. Oops. To be fair to the cab driver, Linda didn't specify which airport they want him to drive them to.

The Downtown Hiltons join the Grouchy Fat Slobs, the Friends of Gulliver, and the Quotas in the departure lobby for the 3:15 pm flight and the three Teams are not happy at all to see the two sisters. I know that feeling. The Downtown Hiltons chirp to the camera that they nearly missed the flight but hey, they don't, so, like, woo-hoo! They give the loneliest cheer in the world which involves nose-crinkling and other nauseatingly sorority-sisterish nonsense I don't want to recall.

As the 3:15 pm flight departs to Frankfurt and later Cairo, the Bates Sisters' cab is taking them to the correct airport. They are downbeat, understandably, and are openly depressed when they are told that there are no more flights out to Cairo for the rest of the day. Ai-yai-yai! But there may be hope: the Bates Sisters follow instructions to head to a yellow building nearby where they are told that while they can't fly out tonight, they can catch up with the others at Frankfurt. The Bates Sisters give each other a high-five, although they are noticeably more subdued than before.

Philo steps out to recap the flight sequence. The C+Cs left in a flight that will land in Cairo at 2:25 pm the following day. Four Teams are bunched together in the middle of the pack, expected to arrive at 3:15 pm the following day. The Bates Sisters are trailing behind but they may catch up the Teams in the middle of the pack at Frankfurt. But wait, things may not be so simple after all. When the C+Cs reach Paris, while waiting for their transit flight they do some investigation where they learn that there is an earlier flight that can take them to Cairo. This flight lands at Cairo at 2:35 am - around twelve hours earlier than the flight they are currently holding tickets to. What do you think the C+Cs do? They barely make the early flight, but they are on their way, and what a way it is: they have widened the gap between them and the other Teams even more. They look supremely pleased with themselves and they ought to be.

It is night time at Frankfurt when the 3:15 pm flight lands. The Friends of Gulliver quietly move away from the other three Teams - not that the three Teams miss them, I'm sure - and sneak off to the ticket agents where they succeed in getting a flight that will land fifty minutes earlier than the 3:15 pm flight. Sssh, they won't tell the other Teams, of course. They'll act as if nothing has happened! And they wait until the other Teams are asleep before they sneak away to the departure gate of their new flight. Ooh, sneaky!

At 2:35 am, the C+Cs land in Cairo. As expected, the Tower of Cairo is closed and it only opens at 9:00 am. Still, they will have a lead over the other Teams, Colin says (while grinding his teeth intensely) to the camera, and he and Christie bunk down outside the Tower for the rest of the night. Or rather, morning. Given his constant proclamations of competitive intensity, I'm disappointed that he never tried to get into Tower by any means possible.

Back in St Petersburg, the Bates Sisters board their flight. Russia is like India - it will never let you to leave.

The three teams at the Frankfurt airport - minus the Friends of Gulliver - wake up to realize that a particularly annoying Team is missing. Maybe it is the silence that alerted them to this. Kim Quota believes that the Friends of Gulliver will show up when it's closer to departure time. The Grouchy Fat Slobs aren't so sure, however. One of them voices-over that while they don't like the two ladies, they know the ladies aren't "dumb". He'd wager that the Friends of Gulliver have sneaked away in the middle of night onto a better flight.

And indeed, they had. Brobbie happily looks around her and says that because "everything" in this plane is green, green is her new lucky color. They will arrive in Cairo at 2:25 pm.

To add to the vexation of the three remaining Teams in Frankurt, look who are here to join them but the Bates Sisters themselves! Woo-hoo, good morning, everybody! Moppet tells the camera unnecessarily that everyone is on this flight except for those "sneaky cousins". Yeah, look who's calling other people "sneaky", hmmph. Joan adds that as far as she's concerned, everyone on this plane is now tied for last place. Bingo.

At 8:55 am, the C+Cs are ready to scale the Tower of Cairo. Or maybe not that ready, as Colin sounds distinctly woozy as he talks about how wonderful it is to wake up and look at the Tower of Cairo looming before him. He should know - he looms over people too much. Happy that no Teams show up yet, they climb to the top where they find the usual clue along with the Fast Forward. Yes, the Fast Forward is still in the Race. Only, there are only two Fast Forwards in this Race, Philo explains, and Teams can use a Fast Forward only once on this Race. In this Fast Forward, the Team would have to locate a sacrophagus in the tourist locale the Pharaonic Village and deliver it via ferry to a priest at a nearby temple. The priest will then hand them the location of the Pit Stop. Colin suggests that since they are in first place, the C+Cs may as well use the Fast Forward. Normally this is a silly idea but since there are only two Fast Forwards on this Race, I'm with Colin. Why not? Any lead is a good lead, after all.

The task isn't as easy as they expected though because it turns out that there are a number of sacrophagi propped up against the wall of the entrance to the Pharaonic Village. But a helpful local informs them that the sacrophagus they are looking for is on an island inside the Village. After taking a boat to this island and finding no sacrophagus, they have to go back all the way to the entrance where the sacrophagus in question is right there, propped against the wall. Christie insists that she is right all along and Colin should have listened to her, Colin snaps that he did, that's why they made a mistake because she was wrong, and they bicker all the way on the ferry. The priest shakes his head. I'm in love with him. Finally the C+Cs deliver the sacrophagus and are told to head straight to the Pit Stop of this leg of the Race: the Sphinx. Christie tells the camera that their lack of trust caused them to make mistakes on this Fast Forward. Funny, I thought her dating the creepy sociopath Colin is the bigger mistake here.

What happens is simply the coolest scene ever in the history of the Race: the C+Cs stepping out of the cab to bask in the majesty of the Sphinx, surrounded by the pyramids. These Egyptian landmarks are overused in media to the point that we tend to become desensitized to them, but it takes one being right there before the Wonder of the World to realize that there are really some places that one would never forget after visiting and the C+Cs are at one such place. Colin agrees, using glowing adjectives like "absolutely breathtakingly astonishing" to describe the sight before his eyes. Too bad he's such an ass and his face looks like it's badly stitched together by Dr Viktor Frankenstein from parts of deceased Abercrombie and Fitch models. Oh, and the hair must die. Philo and Imhotep welcome them right under the shadow of the Sphinx. The C+Cs are team number one. Christie hopes that they can maintain the lead. Judging from the previews of the next week's episode where the C+Cs and the Friends of Gulliver square off over a cab, she is doomed to disappointment.

At 2:25 pm, the Friends of Gulliver arrive in Cairo. A cab takes them to the Tower of Cairo when they learn that they must now travel fourteen miles to the Giza Plateau, which Philo says is at the border of the Sahara desert and home to three "great" pyramids. There, the Team must follow a trail of yellow rocks to their next Clue. The Friends of Gulliver dash down the Tower. At 3:15 pm, the remaining Teams arrive. Chip Quota is excited when he realizes that his cab has just driven over the Nile because the Nile was where Moses demanded that his people be freed. Or wait, isn't the Nile the river where Moses' mother send him down on a basket boat thingie? Or something. I confess that it's been awhile since I read about Moses so the details aren't there in my head anymore. I am always more interested in Joseph's coat anyway. As a little girl, I found the whole silk purses and corn ears affair more fascinating than Moses parting the Red Sea. Chip is awed and psyched out to be in a place steeped in biblical history. Meanwhile, the GLPPs thank their cab driver for cutting past the Grouchy Fat Slobs' cab.

The Friends of Gulliver approach Giza Plateau, where Brobbie is awed at the size of the pyramids. Well, they certainly are bigger than my house, that's for sure.

At the Tower of Cairo, the clue is read by first the GLPPs, then the Grouchy Fat Slobs, and then the Quotas. I am hoping that Chip's misreading Giza Plateau as "Giza Plaza" will lead to some amusing cab misadventures later on but alas, no. Then the Bates Sisters reach the top, with the Downtown Hiltons last. But when they are leaving, the Downtown Hiltons manage to get their cab driver to overtake the Bates Sisters' cab. What is with all these skeevy people finding the Downtown Hiltons attractive enough to be charmed by the braindead twins' dubious assets?

At the Giza Plateau, the Quotas, the GLPPs, and the Grouchy Fat Slobs are looking for the yellow rocks. Chip alerts everyone when he finds the trail and they all take off in that direction. Munch can barely walk, however. His knees are killing him and he is hobbling in obvious pain. How... adorable. Ahead of them, Brobbie is yelling at Lillie to hurry up. Lillie says that she can't move that fast but Brobbie unsympathetically yells back at her to do a better job at running because it will get dark in an hour or so. Lillie finally huffs and puffs her way to the clue where they learn that it's time for a Roadblock. "Who's up for going down?" the clue says.

Excuse me?

Philo comes out to explain that in this Roadblock, the Racer must climb down a dimly-lit shaft to collect a satchel at the bottom of a pool of scummy water. This is supposed to be a task representative of archeology, albeit a pathetic one. When the Racer passes this satchel to the "Egyptologist" waiting nearby, he'll hand over the next clue. Brobbie says that she's claustrophobic so she can't do this Roadblock. Lillie will have to do it. Brobbie tells her to take her time in completing the Roadblock. Yeah, I don't think she's serious either.

The Downtown Hiltons look for the trail of yellow rocks and the Bates Sisters, coming from behind, decide to follow after them. Alas, Linda steps into a hole on the ground and falls. She tells Kathy that she's twisted her ankle. When Kathy tries to help her up, she groans in pain. Oh no, this leg of the Race is not working out at all for the Bates Sisters.

Brobbie, meanwhile, is shouting Lillie's name down the entrance of the shaft. I wonder if she realizes that she's being a distracting nuisance more than anything. She frets to the camera, saying that she should've given Lillie the whistle so that Lillie can blow it if she needs help. But ah, then how would Brobbie call for help when she sees something terrible, like a cockroach? Lillie, on the other hand, is calm and steady as she struggles to climb up the ladder. She tells the camera that it isn't easy to do so with a wet and heavy satchel strapped to her. Also, the distance between each rung of the ladder is roughly half her height. It is obviously not easy for Lillie to do this quickly. Eventually she climbs out of the shaft and Brobbie declares that Lillie is a hero. Lillie's expression is such that if she could have gotten away with an eyeroll and a snort, she would have done both and more. They receive a rolled-up parchment from the Egyptologist.

Philo reluctantly leaves my loving embrace (oh, shut up) to step before the camera and do his duty. He explains that the parchment is a map of the Giza Plateau and the satchel Lillie brought up contains puzzle pieces. The Team would have to assemble the puzzle pieces over the map. When they have done this correctly, there is a region on the map that is uncovered by the puzzle pieces. That is the location they must head towards next.

Brobbie mostly watches as Lillie assembles the pieces, fretting and saying nervously that she, Brobbie, doesn't have a clue as to how to do the puzzle thing. Or maybe she's talking about her life in general, I don't know. I think I understand her better when she's speaking in Spanish.

The Quotas, the Grouchy Fat Slobs, and the GLPPs are making their way to the Roadblock. Munch is grumbling about his knees. Seriously, he ought to just lie down and don't move; things will get better.

The Friends of Gulliver are looking at the hole in the puzzle. Lillie deduces that the location indicated in the hole must be their next destination.

Far behind, the Downtown Hiltons and the Bates Sisters are searching for the yellow rocks. Sheesh.

Joan reads the clue. In case the Moppet gets funny ideas, she clarifies that the "going down" part refers to the pyramids. Smart gal. Moppet isn't reassured. He tells the camera that he's afraid of "crevices". Oh my goodness. Why do these professed good Christians always come out with double entendres like this that will haunt them for the rest of their fifteen seconds of fame? Do they want people like me to make fun of them? But he has to be a man somehow, and as Joan watches in bemusement, Moppet and Chip get ready to go down. Ahem. Moppet asks "Big B" to show him how it's done. He even calls Chip "doctor". Maybe I should hold off the playing doctor jokes here because frankly, all this is way too easy and probably unworthy of me. A snigger will have to suffice.

The Friends of Gulliver locate the spot where they are supposed to be and discover that it's now time for a Detour. Teams must successfully perform either "Rock and Roll" or "Hump and Ride" (what?) before they can move on in the Race. For "Rock and Roll", Philo explains that Teams must use a platform and some large logs to transport 600 pounds of stones for a distance of a hundred yards, just like how those ancient Egyptians transported stones to build their pyramids (give or take some alleged UFO aid). Obviously if a Team is strong it can finish this Detour quickly. "Hump and Ride" isn't this show's excursion into softcore pornography, alas, but a task requiring Teams to ride on horses and guide two camels along a designated trail. This Detour can be fast or slow depending on how well the Teams can manage the horses and camels.

There is also a downside to this Detour, as Brobbie explains to the camera: the camels only bother to do their thing from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. The time now is 5:27 pm. Lillie points out that she doesn't think she can make it to where the camels are in three minutes. Brobbie insists that if she can do it, so can Lillie, conveniently forgetting that Lillie's legs aren't designed to run as fast as hers. But then again, as Brobbie tells the camera, they can't possibly accomplish the "Rock and Roll" detour either. The image of Lillie pulling the rocks while Brobbie trips and gets crushed by the logs is too amusing for words, by the way. It's do or die here.

Moppet has finally become a real man as he emerges triumphant from the dark, wet hole. Eeuw. He has the satchel and brags that he now feels like Indiana Jones. Meanwhile, Lance grumbles because Munch and his wounded knees can't do the Roadblock. I hope he gets stuck in the hole and they have to get a forklift to dislodge him.

Ahead, Brobbie sees the camel riders heading off for dinner and screams at Lillie to run faster.

Chip goes down, bags it, and comes up for air. What a guy. Lance goes down. Alas, he can't stay down.

The GLPPs study the puzzle pieces the Moppet had collected during the Roadblock. He asks her whether she is good at puzzles. It occurs to me that they haven't mentioned God even once on this episode. I bet they must have finally had hot sex at Catherine's Palace and now God has taken a backburner, especially now that Moppet is no longer afraid of dark, wet crevices.

Brobbie isn't going to let the camel drivers leave without a fight. She takes out her whistle and blows on it. I have to hand it to her: she puts up a good fight and she never backs down once she's backed against the wall. The camel drivers fortunately notice the Friends of Gulliver and kindly wait for them to catch up. Lillie notes that it strikes her only then how large the horses are compared to her, and oh yes, she hasn't ridden a horse before. Still, as Brobbie tells her, she looks like a true jockey as she allows a man to help her up on the horse and then takes over like a trooper.

The middle three Teams that have just completed the Roadblock are quite befuddled by the hole in the assembled puzzle piece. The GLPPs and the Quotas realize that they both have similarly shaped holes in their puzzles over the same location on the map and deduce correctly that they have to make their way to this location. The Grouchy Fat Slobs as usual tag along without having to exercise any brain cell.

Brobbie says that she feels like she's in Lawrence of Arabia as she and Lillie rides into the sunset. With this breathtaking panoramic scene and that of the Sphinx, this show must be the most beautifully shot reality TV show around.

Thanks to Lance, the middle three Teams locate the clue stand in Giza Plateau. Since the "Hump and Ride" Detour is no longer available for this day, they would have to "Rock and Roll" instead.

The Downtown Hiltons would still be wandering like zombies in the Giza dunes today if they haven't caught sight of the dusk light reflected in the Roadblock shaft opening. They read the Detour instructions and one of them asks the other what a satchel is. Good grief. What is happening to youngsters nowadays? Shouldn't these two young ladies be in school instead of running around like this?

Lillie catches sight of the pyramids as they approach the Sphinx and has nothing but glowing adjectives for the sight. They stop before a clue stand and realizes that they can now head over to the Pit Stop which is, why, just over there! Run, Lillie, run!

The GLPPs and the Quotas are rock-and-rolling. The men pull the rocks while the women pull the logs at the back and move them in the front so that the men can keep moving the rocks. Joan describes their actions as "a little train action". Ah, so she does know the word "train"! I'm starting to think that all these Teams know is "choo-choo".

As she and Brobbie approach the Sphinx, Lillie tells the camera that she has always dreamed of seeing the pyramids so this is one more dream of hers that came true. Awww. Lillie and Brobbie step on the finishing mat, team number two. Lillie again tells the camera that she wants to show the world that she can do anything, nothing she hasn't said in the last four episodes. She can prove it to me by stuffing a sock into Brobbie's mouth when that drama queen gets overboard with the theatrical hand-wringings.

Joan is complaining to Moppet that her task of moving the logs from back to front is actually tougher than Moppet's pulling the rocks. Oh please. But at least the GLPPs and the Quotas are making steady progress. The Grouchy Fat Slobs just gape after the two teams and wonder how those two teams can actually move those rocks. I'm wondering how these two idiots expect to win this Race if they don't want to run, carry heavy things, or meet foreign people. I mean, what are they thinking when they sign up for this Race? Has Average Joe ran out of slots for ugly delusional losers? Lance tells Munch not to get "distracted" by the camels. The show cuts to a scene of camels moving away in fast-forward, making it seem as if the camels are fleeing in terror from Munch's lecherous attentions. I love this show.

The idiot Downtown Hilton down the shaft is wondering what she should be looking for. Remember, she doesn't know what a satchel is. I wonder if she knows what a bag is, because that's what she will be in, oh, ten years time: a stupid bag. In other news, the Bates Sisters catch sight of the light reflected at the shaft entrance and stumble upon the Roadblock site too. Finally the Idiot Down The Shaft comes out with the satchel and now the Downtown Hiltons have the tricky task of doing puzzles. Okay, they get the assembling part right, but they stare at the hole in the puzzle in bewilderment. Finally, they have a brainwave: they'll just pick a spot in the map at random and go there! One of those idiots tells the camera that they have no plans, no clue, and absolutely no idea as to what they should do. They can start by signing up for remedial grade three classes.

They have the luck of the imbeciles on their side, surely, because they stumble upon the Quotas who are on their way to the Sphinx. Chip actually takes precious time, once he realizes that the idiot girls are lost and the idiots can't comprehend him when he points at where they should go on the map, to turn back and show the idiot girls the Detour location. Seriously, Chip is such a fool! He says that he is aware that there is "bad blood" between the Quotas and the idiot girls but hey, he's a nice guy. As he leaves, he jokingly calls out to the idiot girls to forgive him. And one of the idiot girls actually takes him seriously and answers rather smugly that yes, she forgives him! Something is really wrong with the Downtown Hiltons, I tell you. They are possibly the stupidest Team to ever run the Amazing Race. No, upon reflection, they are the stupidest Team ever. Their Race so far has been nothing but a series of calamitous mishaps.

One of them falls on her face during their trek to the "Rock and Roll" detour. Oh dear, she really can't afford to sustain any injury on her head, can she? If one more brain cell dies, she'd be reduced into a drooling vegetable.

The GLPPs are team number three. Shortly after, the Quotas step up, with Chip telling Kim, "A South Central LA boy and a Compton girl make it all the way through Russia and the Sphinx - this is unbelievable!" He and Kim are team number four. Chip says that he's not going to stop being himself however (read: a silly dolt) even if his helping the Downtown Hiltons cost his Team precious time.

The Bates Sisters solve the puzzle, locate the clue stand, and groan when they realize that they would have to rock-and-roll. The Grouchy Fat Slobs are wondering where everybody is as they slowly make their way across the dunes when the Downtown Hiltons show up. One of the idiot girls tries to be funny by asking the men whether they are having fun. Whatever the Grouchy Fat Slobs may be, they are definitely better than the idiot girls in the rebuttal department. Lance says that the idiot girls just wait until the fun really starts. Indeed, as the idiot girls begin rock-and-rolling, they begin whining, among other things how much they hate doing this and how stupid they find this Detour. In the meantime, I hate watching them and I definitely find them too stupid for words.

Finally, the Grouchy Fat Slobs are done just as the Bates Sisters show up for the detour. The Grouchy Fat Slobs are team number five. It seems to be a close race between the two remaining Teams, with the Bates Sisters and the Downtown Hiltons actually in a foot race to the Pit Stop. Alas, with Linda's twisted ankle, the Bates Sisters step in last. Thankfully, Philo explains that this is not an elimination leg. The last clue did say that the last team to arrive may be eliminated instead of the usual phrasing. Unfortunately, the rules have changed so that the last team to arrive at a non-elimination leg will be stripped of all their money and will also be given no money at the next leg of the Race. Philo wishes them luck and Linda voices over that it will be very difficult to be stranded in Egypt, not exactly your everyday fountain of wealth, with no money to continue the Race. Still, the Bates Sisters are not giving up! I guess I'll have to see how things will turn out for them.

On with next week and the Friends of Gulliver continuously annoying the heck out of the C+Cs!


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