They Probably Should Have Some Counseling
The Amazing Race 6: Episode 6


It's a plane! Previously the show taught us that slavery is bad, the Berlin Wall falling down is good, and Pornathan is vile. All the way from Senegal to Germany (yes, we're back in Europe again), the DMJs fell behind early from the rest of the pack and they never managed to catch up. It is sad to see them go when the likes of the STDs are still stinking up the Race with their putrid presence but I guess there are worse things in life than a TV show. Pornathan, could, for example, move in next door to me.

Credits. Freddy's last name is Holliday. But that isn't as eyebrow-raising as Hayden's last name, Christianson. Seriously, it's really Christianson. I'm not joking.

Philo starts off today's theme, Packages Come In Great Sizes, by showing up on the TV screen wearing tight white pants that draw people's attention to right there. Yes, there. Honestly, if Philo Koughie isn't so sweet and well-behaved, I'd suspect that he's deliberately trying to get people to look at him there. Philo reminds everyone that his city is one of great turmoil - is that wiggling I see? - um, wait a minute, he's talking about Berlin being a city with a "history of social and historical turmoil". The Brandenburg Gate where he is standing in front of is the symbol for the unity of Germany. Philo then drops the chit-chat and focuses on the Teams instead. As the show cuts to scenes of the Teams doing their thing at the Pit Stop (talking, sleeping, whatever), he wonders once again whether the STDs will pull through and stay in the Race.

At this point, I don't care. Talking about Pornathan is what he wants people to do in the first place so excuse me if I don't feel like giving a damn about what this man do anymore. Since the Race folks are happy to let him stay in the Race without even a warning about his treatment of his wife, I guess I should be happy with it too. So if I come off as callously unconcerned about how he treats his wife from hereon, it's because both he and Tori are happily playing Ike and Tina outside the Race to keep the limelight focused on them. I have no more pity for Tori if she keeps insisting on staying with Pornathan just as I have no more energy to waste my thoughts and feelings on a piece of crap like Pornathan. Since people talking about them is what they want out of the Race, I prefer not to bite the bait. Being dramatic non-stop about the hate can be so tiring and I am not up to the task.

So let's just move on with the Race.

At 2:55 am, the Fre&Ks get ready to leave. It seems quite appropriate that Freddy has wrapped his head with what looks like a bandana with the American flag motive, seeing how Kendra is determined to prove that ugly Americans can come with pretty faces. Their Clue tells them to look for Checkpoint Charlie for their next Clue. Philo explains that Checkpoint Charlie is the "infamous East-West border crossing of the Berlin Wall". Ronald Reagen and countless authors of thriller stories make this checkpoint come off like some super-duper center of German espionage but what actually stands behind Philo looks like some typical toll booth structure. Bah, those stories lied. I have no more faith in humanity. In other news, the Fre&Ks count their money and they have received an unheard of sum of $408. Maybe they will have to do some shopping Detour later on. As they leave, Kendra asks Freddy to go back to the hotel. Freddy is taken aback by this, not aware that the American flag around his head is making Kendra feel more frisky than usual. Kendra insists that she wants to go back to the hotel "to do research" (sort like an advanced version of playing doctor, I guess). Freddy insists that they just head on to Checkpoint Charlie. In their cab, Kendra complains that she likes to "go, go, go" (oh, baby) while Freddy is the "more thorough" kind of guy. I think they have sexual incompatibility issues that go beyond them wanting or not wanting kids.

2:56 am. The STDs leave. Pornathan shoved his wife last week because of a freaking minute. Tori says that she doesn't like to be yelled at like Pornathan did in the last leg. He did more than yell at her but I guess women used to being treated like that are good at denials and changing history. No, he didn't beat her, she fell down the stairs. He didn't even yell at her that loud so please officer, don't take him away from her. The same old story, really. Tori shrugs off the entire episode of last week by saying, hey, that's "just" Pornathan. I know. He's "just" slime.

3:11 am. The Mollywoods leave. Hayden is telling Aaron to go quickly when they have barely set one foot beyond the starting line. Aaron tells the camera that one has to be very patient when dealing with Hayden because she's a "psycho". Cut to her chiding him because she doesn't like that he seems to be acting half-hearted on this Race. She's actually worried that they can't get a cab fast enough for her liking so she's taking it out on him. Indeed, Aaron looks like he's trying to tune her out but failing so he's biting his teeth hard instead. No wonder he and Freddy are good friends. They have plenty to drink and complain about in their evening pub sessions.

By this time, the Fre&Ks have reached Checkpoint Charlie. They locate the clue stand and realize that they must now head over to what Philo calls the "Olympics Stadium", which is the same thing as Olympiastadion Berlin, which is what they called the stadium in Germany. This Stadium will forever be known for the 1936 Olympics, where Hitler proved that eugenics didn't mix with athletics as well as performance enhancement drugs did. There is a signboard by the entrance of the Stadium (there is a large sign in red saying Champions so they shouldn't miss it, although why Champions is beyond me). Teams will have to sign up in the order they come in.

3:12 am. The most profound, thought-provoking, charismatic Team (babe) takes off. Kris tells the camera that she and Jon have been dating long-distance for a long time but now that they are together, she is "happily surprised" at how alike they are. Yeah, like two flat pancakes in a pan, I bet. Say something interesting, dang it! Anyway, they decide to walk to Checkpoint Charlie.

3:13 am. Girl and Girth leave. Fat Gus says to the camera that he feels good about their progress because it doesn't pay to rush for the sake of rushing. That's good, although it comes off like what Jabba the Hut would say to justify his inability to win a foot race. Hera and Fat Gus walk after the Templates, with her explaining to Fat Gus (and hence the audience) that Checkpoint Charlie is only two kilometres away from where they are so it makes sense to walk. At least, until they learn that there is a first-come first serve thing waiting at the Stadium and then they will regret not hurrying. But hey, no need to rush right, Fat Gus? Fat Gus tells Hera that "spies" used Checkpoint Charlie. Hey, Gus, don't trust those Tom Clancy novels too much, they lied.

3:33 am. The Goth-Nots leave. Rebecca wants to take a cab but Adam Ant wants to walk. This leads Rebecca to tell the camera that Adam is "stubborn and spoiled" and she doesn't love him anymore. Wait, she loves him through his inability to cut his toenails and now she doesn't love him anymore because he doesn't want to take a cab? Talk about a woman with a skewed sense of priorities. She is nagging him and he is tuning out as they walk out to the dark streets outside.

By this point, the STDs and the Mollywoods have reached Checkpoint Charlie, get their Clue, and urge their cab drivers to hurry quickly to the Stadium.

It is 4:30 am when the Superdumbos finally leave. Captain Liberty tells the camera that they being last "could be a disadvantage". Just like how having no teeth can be an annoyance when it comes to eating, I guess. It is a good thing that they will be bunched the first thing in the morning or this Team would be trailing behind the others by at least a day. She adds that however, she and her husband are working well as a Team. Since they are last, that statement is quite perplexing but hey, she's probably thinking that they could be worse off, although how things could be worse than being last in a Race is beyond me. Maybe it's possible to be less than zero, perhaps a negative, on a Race.

The Templates and Girl and Girth reach Checkpoint Charlie. When they realize that they have to check in to the Stadium, they finally decide to hail a cab and make haste. Ahead, Tori is telling the cab driver to go faster, saying that the traffic light is green so that man has better step on the gas. The man calmly tells her that it's red. "Okay," she says and sits back with a scowl, annoyed that everyone knows that apart from being the stupidest woman ever lived, she is also color blind to boot. The Mollywoods are happier because their cab driver insists that he knows where the Stadium is and even better, he knows a shortcut that will take them there faster. When it comes to cab drivers and shortcuts, I normally cringe because there's as good a chance for them to reach there faster as never getting there until three hours later, but hey, if that means that they can beat the STDs to the Stadium, go for it. Anything that can put a damper on the STDs can't be wrong with me.

The Goth-Nots arrive at Checkpoint Charlie. As they walk to the Clue Stand, Rebecca wonders whether Checkpoint Charlie is a "code name for, like, Gestapo". From everyone wanting to escape Africa to now this, Rebecca is proving that she is a hoot to have at Trival Pursuit parties. Maybe she'll end up on a celebrity special of Jeopardy! in her post-show appearances.

"I'll take world history for $500, Alex!"

"Shut up, Rebecca, I want to die!"

The Fre&Ks have arrived at the Stadium where they learn that they have to wait until 6:00 am before the Stadium is opened for business. After they write their names on the board (in the first slot, naturally), Kendra wants to do "research". My, that woman is really frisky today. First the American flag and now the Stadium where Hitler tried to prove that White People are Prettier and the Best, all these things are making Kendra more intoxicated with passion than one could imagine. If Freddy is smart and wants plenty of hot sex, he'd buy them a house in Auschwitz. Instead, pretty Freddy tells her that there is nothing they can do for research here. Kendra whines that they can't just sit here and do nothing. He tells her to calm down. She tells him to calm down. Kendra declares that she's not going to take "this", although I don't know what she means by "this" (the argument, perhaps, although it doesn't seem like much of an argument to me). Freddy walks off, leaving her high and dry.

The Superdumbos reach Checkpoint Charlie, read their Clue, and get back into their cab to go to the Stadium. They know they will be last on the first-come first-serve thingie waiting for them at the Stadium so they are not happy as much as they just want to get there and be done with it.

The STDs are perplexed when the Mollywoods manage to arrive at the Stadium earlier than they. Pornathan can't imagine how that could happen. After all, traffic is linear, doncha know? Both Teams however muddle around the grounds, unable to see the signboard, and Hayden is this close to arguing with Pornathan over whether they are in the correct place (she insists that they are) when Aaron notices the sign-up board and quietly drags her away from the STDs. The STDs then spot the board too and they try to outrun the Mollywoods. Hayden grabs the pen first and Aaron chuckles in delight along with me. Tori finally catches up with her husband as he writes his name down and shrieks in anger when she realizes that he has, indeed, written his name down and only his name. Wait until she realizes that on his Fishbowl website profile, he listed his marital status as "N/A" while she listed hers as "married". Then again, any woman desperate enough to sleep with Pornathan after watching this show must be two-thirds brain-damaged so these women must be as much "N/A" as Pornathan's marital status. Pornathan says through gritted teeth that they must go back to their cab (why is it still there?) to "regroup" and Tori complains that he'll blame her again for the way things turned out as usual. Hey, she married him so what can I say? The ball is in her park. Watching the STDs, Aaron mutters that the STDs are such "f**king spazzes". He's too kind. I'd add three more f**kings to that description.

The Templates reach the Stadium and sign up for fourth. Hayden regales them with the story of the STDs and Kris, in the same perky tone as always, says that the STDs should have some "counseling". I think she is congenitally unable to feel anything other than perky on the account of some accidental lobotomy performed on her when she was a baby and she has to take happy hormone pills ever since. Hence, her perkiness. She probably met Jon at a Lobotamous Anonymous support group.

"Ohmigod, Jon, I broke the vase in the house!"

"Don't cry, babe! What a beautiful pattern of shattered glasses you made on the floor, babe! Good job, babe! It's awesome!"

"Thank you, babe. You are so supportive and understanding!"

"The game is on, babe. Kiss me, Kris, and we'll buy a new vase this evening!"

"Awesome, Jon! I love you, babe!"

I want to vomit.

At their cab, the STDs are having their daily screamfest. I love it when Pornathan screams at her to carry her own weight in the Race. Dude, she's already carrying the heavier bag.

Without much fuss, Girl and Girth, the Goth-Nots, and the Superdumbos arrive in the order they leave the starting line and sign up for fifth, sixth, and seventh place respectively. The Tick for some reason comments that the Fre&Ks and the Mollywoods have some alliance between the two Teams that are working very well, which don't make sense to me unless he is trying to say that he wishes that he is in some alliance too.

Dark turns to light and the Teams are in the Stadium. It seems like they just appear magically inside but I'm sure they came in through the front entrance like any normal person would. They are gaping at a huge crane getting ready to do, er, something. "Dude, what's up with the crane, man?" Rebecca asks nobody in particular. Adam Ant spots the bungee ropes and says that he is ready to go home now. Rebecca hears that, scowls, and says that they are going to have some problems here, what with his eternal wussiness and all that.

It is 6:00 am when the Fre&Ks get to read their Clue and realize that it's time for a Roadblock. "Who's ready to be stretched to the limit?" the Clue asks. That sounds really intriguing or disgusting, depending on how dirty one's mind is. Philo says that the Team member must perform the Hot Rocket Bungee, a fun game where you basically get strapped to a bungee cord and let the crane toss you high up in the air and dangle you around in the air. It's fun. Kendra jumps up and down in excitement - guess who wants to do this Roadblock - and Freddy laughs at her exuberance. The other female members of the Teams also decide to step up, leading to a "girl power" moment in the Roadblock. But Tori, watching Kendra getting geared up to go, wonders whether she will choke on the chord and die. She will be disappointed if she is expecting comforting and reassuring responses from her husband.

Kendra has weights and straps and what-not attached to her and then she's off, screaming all the time as Freddy watches her and laughs. He isn't laughing so much when she reaches the ground and promptly falls onto her side, complaining that she's feeling dizzy. Fat Gus says that she isn't looking good because she's still down. But after what seems like a minute or so, she's up again and even standing steadily on her feet when she and Freddy read their next Clue and take off. Hmmph, and they made it seem like she broke her skull in the previews for this episode, those misleading editors! Philo explains that Teams must now fly to Budapest, Hungary, a 450-mile journey from Berlin, and from the airport, pick and use a "notoriously unreliable" local car called the Trabant to get themselves to Eger some 62 miles from Budapest to locate the next clue. The Fre&Ks get a cab to the airport and Kendra complains that she still feels "sick".

Hayden says that she is scared of heights and she doesn't even go on roller-coaster rides. But for the money, of course, she'll do this. Aaron, watching her go, compares her to a fish dangling at the end of a line. That's quite an accurate description. If the acting gig doesn't turn out well, he can always be a soap writer. Tori goes up and down next and doesn't die in the process like she feared, earning her a shake from Pornathan (as if she isn't nauseated enough already) as he screams in her ears that she is a "superhero", an act which I suspect will make the ringing in her ears even louder. Never let it be said that Pornathan doesn't know how to make his woman feel good. The Mollywoods and the STDs rush to get cabs to take them to the airport.

The Fre&Ks are at the airport and after a momentary false alarm when they realize that they are at the wrong ticket counter and the correct ticket counter is closed, they manage to find an opened counter where they can purchase tickets for a flight on the Malev airline.

Kris, perkily, happily, gets ready to bungee. You know what she says? "I think this is going to be fun!" Perky, perky, perky all the time, all the way. She does it well, they get into a cab, and Jon kisses her and tells her that she has done a good job (babe). Pop quiz, which Team is more boring, this Team or the Oily Bohunks of Season Four?

Hera complains playfully that she can't believe that her father is letting her do the Roadblock. Deal with it, lady, because we all know that there is no way that Fat Gus can do the bungee jump even if he wants to. Fat Gus is concerned because the contraption doesn't look too safe, although that doesn't get him to volunteer to take over in Hera's place. Fatherly concern has its limits, after all. Hera nonetheless does the woo-waa-aaaah thing and then they are off in a cab to the airport too.

The Mollywoods reach the airport and meet their allies, the Fre&Ks, who then tell the Mollywoods where to get tickets. Both Teams will be boarding the flight to Budapest at 9:45 am. They will arrive in Budapest at 11:05 am.

How cute, someone has drawn a stick figure hanging upside down on the sign-up board. Since the show cuts to Rebecca, I guess it must be her. I wonder who that stick-character represents. A Gestapo escaping from Africa? Adam enjoys the sight of her flailing helplessly in the air a little too much and if I'm Rebecca, I'd be sleeping with one eye open in case little Norman Bates here gets some creative ideas on how to use the curtain cords in their bedroom. And then they are off as well.

Captain Liberty gives the Tick a "Why me?" look and cracks that she's pleased that her breasts aren't bigger than they already are. How cute. But once she gets into the bungee swing, she's really into it. Still dangling in the air, she looks at the camera and says, "That was awesome!" As is she. It's too bad that she and the Tick are hopeless in navigation that I can't see them going much farther into the Race because I like this Team.

The STDs arrive at the airport. They bump into the Fre&Ks and as the STDs wait in line behind the Mollywoods, Kendra tells Pornathan that everyone will most likely end up on the same flight. Well, not really, as the Templates, when they arrive, try to get seats on an Air Berlin flight instead. Girl and Girth are the next to arrive and instead of joining a ticket counter, they proceed straight to the travel agent. They don't know it but they end up trying to get the same last seats on the Malev flight as the STDs. They manage to beat the STDs to the punch, making this a most satisfying moment when the ticket officer tells the STDs that the flight is "overbooked" and there are no more seats for the STDs. Fat Gus tells the camera that they may not be the fastest Team on foot so they have to be the most observant. Welcome to the theme song of Girl and Girth, people: they love to talk about how they compensate for Fat Gus' lack of speed in many other ways. They would be boring if they aren't right now twisting the screws into the STDs' plans.

Airport drama continues as the Templates realize that their Air Berlin flight lands in Budapest at 12:10 pm, slightly more than an hour after the Malev flight, but alas, the Malev flight is full so they are stuck with Air Berlin. Over at the other counter, the ticket lady is offering the STDs seats on this same flight. The Goth-Nots queue up behind the Templates at the other counter and get seats on Air Berlin as well.

The Malev flight is now ready for boarding. Tori starts when she sees Girl and Girth going through the departure gate along with the Fre&Ks and the Mollywoods and alerts Pornathan to this. She wonders how that is possible. Pornathan cannot imagine how, seeing as they came to the airport first before Girl and Girth. The STDs storm to the people at the gate about how they are unfairly deprived of their rightful seats on the Malev flight. The guys there have a "Yeah, like we care!" face as Pornathan scolds and pleads with them, telling them that he has an important Race to run. Since he's so obnoxious, won't it be an added incentive for the airport staff to deliberately obstruct the STDs further, especially if slowing them down will thwart their evil plans some more? Failing with them, the STDs decide to bug the poor ticket counter lady one more time, even pleading with her to "accidentally" give them first class seats. Yes, I'm sure that will work. In the meantime, the Superdumbos arrive only to find that even Air Berlin is full. They manage to find a flight to Budapest but it will arrive at 12:20 pm, which puts them last again but only ten minutes behind the Teams on Air Berlin. The Superdumbos now board for their flight (they arrive and manage to get seats at the nick of time, apparently) and Captain Liberty tells the camera that oh well, they board their flight first but they are the last to arrive in Budapest.

By then, the Malev flight is also ready to take off. The STDs are wasting precious time haranguing the ticket counter lady and arguing about why they should be on that flight that will be leaving, oh, just about now. When the flight takes off, Pornathan slams his palm down on the counter and tells the agent that she has lost him the Race. I'm sure she will run into the storeroom and uncork a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Now, the remaining Teams get ready to board the Air Berlin flight. Kris, perky as usual, explains that her Team along with the Goth-Nots and the STDs are on this flight. I don't know why she feels so happy about being in the same flight as the STDs but... Oh yes, the lobotomy! Such a shame, really. And she is so young too!

11:05 am. It's funny how flights always land on time in this show. The Fre&Ks, the Mollywoods, and Girl and Girth run into the airport carpark and their jaw drop open when they see the Trabants for the first time. Trabants, if you don't know, is East Germany's national car of sorts, cheaply cobbled together with bodies made out of plastic and with engines that emit nine times more hydrocarbons and five times more carbon monoxide than other cars. In short, the Trabant isn't just a joke, it's an environmental hazard. It is a good thing that post-Cold War Germany has abandoned the Trabant more or less, although the issue of handling the non-recyclable and non-scrapworthy Trabants cluttering up the junkyards of Germany remain a headache for the relevant authorities. These Trabants are expected to break down on the Teams so Philo reminds the audience that if the Trabants break down from no fault of the Teams, Teams can always request for another Trabant to be sent to them. I'm sure that will reassure the Teams greatly.

Hera calls the Trabant a "clown car" (and she has no idea how close she is to the truth) while Fat Gus tries to wedge himself into the driver compartment that is way too small for him. He says that the Trabant "ain't a lotta car" as he uncomfortably drives himself and Hera out of the parking lot. But he's getting the job done so good for him. In keeping with this Team's tendency to put too much emphasis of their wisdom and what-not into every decision of theirs that pan out well, Fat Gus says that he can drive this car well because he is an "engineer" and an "aviator". I bet he's a rocket scientist too on Mondays. Elsewhere, Hayden and Aaron try their usual arrangement of she driving and he navigating because Hayden, as she says, is really lousy at reading maps. But Hayden can't start the Trabant and Aaron, after telling her to cool down, has to take over. But he too can't start the Trabant. Oh dear.

Freddy points out that the gearshift is actually located at the side of the steering wheel, at the place where we usually find the signal and/or the windshield stick, and says that he will have to get used to this unusual arrangement. But he manages to get the Trabant moving, even if there is a lot of smoke and ominous sounds in the process. To their credit, the Fre&Ks seem genuinely reluctant to leave the Mollywoods behind but Aaron tells them that the Mollywoods most likely have to get a new Trabant sent in so the Fre&Ks should go without them. How touching, this is like Titanic all over again. Left behind in the carpark, Hayden looks around her helplessly while Aaron, in his rare loss of cool, smashes his fist into a pole. He then rubs his knuckles as he tells Hayden calmly that they need to call someone to check the Trabant. I must be weird because I find that scene kinda sexy.

On the road, Girl and Girth stop for directions. The Fre&Ks manage to overtake them, leading Fat Gus to comment that with the Trabant, there is no chance of speeding. Funny, I thought he didn't like to speed even when he's in a more conventional car. Back in the carpark, a mechanic checks the Trabant of the Mollywoods and points out that the battery is dead. Ouch, don't tell me that the show designers actually drop a few Trabants with dead batteries around, because that is really, really mean! Finally, Aaron manages to slowly but surely get their new Trabant out of the carpark into the streets.

Shortly after, the Air Berlin flight lands. As they pack their things in the Trabant, Pornathan again slams the hood on Tori's fingers and again he doesn't apologize or even show concern when she shrieks in pain and anger. I guess he's used to that, like how he often slams the door on her face or how he accidentally trips her up when he gets angry, I guess. And all because he is angry that she didn't run out of the airport fast enough for his liking. Remember, she's always carrying the heavier bag, so this makes Pornathan a stupid cowardly jerk who makes his wife do all the harder things and then berate her for daring to fail at those things. Meanwhile, Kris happily calls the Trabant a "Herbie" and when Jon gets the Trabant going, tells him that he's doing a great job (babe). I have to remind myself that lobotomied Carebears need love too. Pornathan, driving, declares that he is good with cars because he knows where the clutch is. Okay, why am I seeing so much of him, Bonghammer? Can we just get rid of him altogether? We can use those newfangled technology thingies to replace his loathsome face with a donkey's instead. Rebecca urges Adam Ant to drive but he thinks it will be better for him to test drive the Trabant in the carpark before he takes it out on the street. The idea, needless to say, doesn't go down well with Rebecca.

12:20 am. The Superdumbos are here! Adam Ant catches sight of the Superdumbos getting into a Trabant and finally remember that he's in a Race and there is no more time to dither and hesitate. He slowly drives them out of the street. Captain Liberty tries to catch up.

Kendra tells Freddy that he's doing a great job at driving. It's amazing how she does that without making me want to pull every hair out of my head, unlike some people from a certain Most Perfect Bloody Boring Team. Fat Gus talks about having to treat his Trabant like a baby. The Mollywoods are driving but Aaron now has another problem: Hayden insists that she is "retarded" with directions so she isn't even looking at the map she is holding. There is nothing like people who are so sure that they will fail that they won't even try to help in any way. Tori tries to crack a joke only to earn a shrieky rebuke from her husband. She is the last person in the world to realize that he has no sense of humor. The Templates talk about how beautiful the scenery is and how they are enjoying the "cool little town" of Budapest. I'm starting to believe that these two are hired moles playing the perfect parody of ideal Racers while subversively driving me crazy with their complete lack of interesting conversation or even a drip of personality. Hayden is so busy telling people that she is "retarded" with directions that when Aaron asks her whether he should make a turn, she just shrugs. Only when Aaron passes the turn does he realize that he should have made that turn. How he manages to stop himself from screaming at Hayden is beyond me. I'm in awe. The other Teams make the turn because the people at the backseat actually try and read the map instead of repeatedly trying to convince the world that they are "retarded" with directions.

The Fre&Ks are the first to reach their destination, a castle at Eger. Philo never mentions the name of the castle but it's not that hard to guess its name. It's called the Castle of Eger. The people of Eger are probably better at other things that don't involve creative nomenclature, like charging tourists money to enter the castle. The Fre&Ks learn that it's time for a Detour. Philo, still in those mesmerizing white pants (baby, I can't look away), steps out to explain that Teams must choose between two activities that are, in his words, "associated with medieval castles". "Catapault Crash" involves the Team trying to operate a catapault to send a watermelon crashing onto a target a distance away. "Cannonball Run" will require the Team to move a cannon up the hill to a parapet and then follow up with 55 four-pound cannonballs to the same location. It's a choice between luck and brute strength. The Fre&Ks in this instance decides to take the cannonball run instead of putting their fate in the hands of chance and fate. It isn't long before Freddy points out that Kendra isn't "pushing" the cannon (he's pulling it while she is pushing it up the hill) and she insists that she is so he'd best not talk to her that way. Oh, pretty Freddy. Who do the pretty ones always go for such pampered, high-maintenance princesses?

Girl and Girth are the next to reach the Castle and they decide to take a chance at the catapault because they think it sounds "fun". Seriously. Their first watermelon smashes onto the ground a short distance from the target. That's fun.

The STDs are stopped by some cops but it turns out that they are not happy with him driving with the lights on. And to my annoyance, they decide to let the STDs follow them all the way to Eger. I hope the other hardworking cops of Hungary are better judges of character than this particular misguided cop. Send them to jail, for Kris' perky sake! Pornathan, as to be expected, starts crowing about the amazing things he can do, like how he manages to make me hate him when I haven't even met him in person.

By the way, at this point there is a bruise visible on Tori's upper arm. If Pornathan is a nicer man who treats his wife well, I can probably assume that maybe Tori had knocked against something, instead of expecting Tori to say that she knocked against something, if you know what I'm saying. Seriously, why are they letting these two remain on the show? This isn't sad anymore, we have progressed from "sad" to "outright nasty" territory here. I hope the casting of these two is only a temporary lapse of sanity on the casting department's side and not a sign of things to come in the upcoming seasons of the show.

Elsewhere, Hayden is really getting worked up over her inability to read the map (or as it seems to be in her case, to even try) and before she and Aaron have a full-blown shriekfest at each other, they stop the car so that Aaron can read the map himself and figure out how to go from hopelessly lost back to the turn that they should have made. Quickly, Aaron decides that he knows where he should go and asks Hayden to get back inside the Trabant. Hayden asks whether he is sure that he knows and he nods, reassuring her that yes, everything is good. Sure enough, he soon takes them back at the junction and into the turn that will take them to Eger. I'm really impressed with his patience. He and pretty Freddy can be my poolboys any time.

Shortly after, the Templates arrive at the turn and turns accordingly.

Way behind, Rebecca watches askance as Adam Ant growls and abuses the uncooperative gear stick. Wait, that's how she always look anyway so I don't know, maybe she's just lost in thoughts. Even further behind, the Superdumbos stop for directions.

At the castle, the Fre&Ks have deposited the cannon and now have to go back and gather the cannonballs. They have to stack the cannonballs into a pyramid at the spot beside the cannon. Freddy carries as many of them using his shirt (which he doesn't take off, that killjoy) while Kendra tries to carry some in her arms. She complains that they are heavy. Well, I'll surprised if they aren't. They realize soon enough that they have to make a few runs to collect all 55 cannonballs. Over at Watermelon Waterloo, Girl and Girth are still trying to hit their target while the people attending to the Detour are trying to hold back their mirth.

Back to the Fre&Ks, he's calling her "Punky" - which has nothing to do with her attitude towards people in less fortunate areas, I'm sure - as they finally get the last of their 55 cannonballs and stack them in a pyramid to get their next Clue. Between "Punky" in this episode and "L.O.L.A" on the official website bio, I think pretty Freddy won't be so pretty if he's allowed to get carried away with this activity called "talking". Philo explains that Teams must now head back to Budapest by train and locate the internet café called the Net Klub. Teams will have to use one of the PCs there, log in to AOL (get one today, people), and get the next clue via Philo's email to them. Or something. Philo's description says that the Teams will receive an email but the reenactment suggests that this may be some videoclip affair instead. I suspect that whoever wrote the script doesn't know what he or she is writing and hopes that by using the phrase "wireless internet" often, people won't suspect a thing. Oh please. The Fre&Ks run to get a cab that will take them to the train station. At the station, they learn that the next train leaves at 4:25 pm. Kendra grumbles that Girl and Girth will catch up with them.

Maybe. Fat Gus and Hera decide to abandon the catapault and try the cannonball run instead. Far, far behind, the Goth-Nots and the Superdumbos struggle to reach Eger. The Goth-Not Trabant breaks down, oops, and it becomes apparent soon that both Adam and Rebecca's knowledge of car repairs go as far as opening the hood and staring at the engine in helplessness. Rebecca manages to stop a passing driver who then comes up, turns the key in the ignition, and gets the Trabant all ready to go again. Rebecca says in awe that this nice guy did a "voodoo spell" on the Trabant. This time, she'll do the driving. Adam Ant says at the back, "You're the king of the game today." I don't know whether he's addressing her or talking longingly about the manly guy who just helped them get their Trabant started again. Rebecca doesn't care, she's so happy that they are moving again that she hollers happily.

The Superdumbos realize that they are lost. No surprise there.

Surprise, Jon is gritting his teeth as he jams at the gear stick while Kris is definitely not smiling at the back. So it does rain, at least once a year, in the land of the Stepford Barbies and Kens.

The Fre&Ks' train arrives and to their delight, they are the only Team on board. They are so happy, because they haven't heard of the memo passed around town. You know, the memo where this show has been retitled The Amazing Sit Around, Wait, And Follow and there will now be at least three major artifical bunches per episode.

The STDs reach the Castle. Fat Gus is hard at work pulling the cannon while Hera is pushing it. She says that they have moved the cannon over her toe but assures her father that she will live and they can go on. They are soon done with the cannon and run back to collect cannonballs. The STDs also decide to do the cannonball run and true to his descipable, cowardly nature, he makes Tori pull the cannon while he stands at the back and pretends to help her by (not really) pushing the cannon. She tells him to be a man and pull the cannon. He tells her to be a woman and shut up. Soon, Fat Gus and Hera pass them on their way to the cannonballs. Pornathan immediately demands to know how those two bypassed the STDs for tickets to the Malev flight. Girl and Girth ignore him, with Fat Gus deigning only to call Pornathan "little bastard", and just keep going. Good job, guys! Soon, they pass the STDs again on their way up with their first clutch of cannonballs and again Pornathan pesters them. Again, they ignore him. Fat Gus just says, "Pain in the ass!" Great job, guys! I am loving Fat Gus now.

The Mollywoods breathe easier when they realize that they are getting close to Eger.

Someone passes the very slow Tarbant of the Templates and the driver yells something in Hungarian at them as his vehicle passes the Tarbant. Kris, perky again, laughs and says that she knows what that guy said and it isn't good. Wow, she knows Hungarian. That doesn't surprise me one bit. I bet she has a chip in her brain that allows her to understand every human language since the dawn of civilization. Jon opens the door and uses his foot to move the Tarbant along. Perhaps that will be funny if it is someone else other than Jon doing this. As it is, I suspect that he's just using the superhuman strength in his bionic leg to boost the acceleration of his Tarbant. The Tarbant dies a merciful death after a while, leaving the Templates stranded by the roadside.

Fat Gus Fat Gus has taken his shirt off when Girl and Girth finally finish the Detour and get a cab to the train station. Of all the men on this show, it just has to be Fat Gus who takes off his shirt the most. I think a cosmic joke is being played on me. At the train station, Girl and Girth get tickets for the 5:18 pm train. They have a little more than half hour to kill before the train gets there. Meanwhile, the STDs decide to use a tarp (don't ask me how they manage to get their hands on one) to carry the cannonballs.

Jon pushes the Trabant, hoping that it will start again, and when it doesn't, stands on top of the Trabant and tells Kris to put it in gear. "There's, like, nothing, dude! We need another car!" she says, with laughter, of course, because remember, these two are so perky and they love the words "babe" and "dude" so-ooo-ooo much. Eventually someone comes up with another Trabant, this one with a question mark painted on the side. Kris giggles and says that the question mark is appropriate because, hee-hee, they don't know whether the Trabant will work, hee-hee. Okay, lobotomized drug addicts need love too. I'm fine with that. Just shut her up, please, somebody, before I really become creeped out by Kris' unnaturally upbeat perkiness.

Fat Gus at the station hopes that Pornathan gets eliminated because he's "starting to become a pain in the ass". Fat Gus, Pornathan is a pain the moment he came on the show. Welcome to the present, big guy. Back at the Castle, the STDs realize that they must make one more run for the remaining cannonballs. Tori carries four cannonballs while Pornathan carries one. Then again, I'm sure the tarp he is wearing over his shoulder must weigh a ton. When they are done, he runs around pretending to be a superhero because he single-handedly pulled his weight on the show, unlike his useless dead weight wife Tori, and when she pulls the tarp off him, he grumbles that she never lets him have any fun. Give me a syringe filled with poison and I'll show that jerk what fun is.

As the Templates, Goth-Nots, Mollywoods, and Superdumbos struggle to reach Eger, Kendra in the train tells Freddy happily that she is sure that from the Net Klub they will be able to make their way straight to the Pit Stop. Is this where I say "knock on wood"?

Pornathan has his shirt off all the way from the Castle to the train station. You know, I never find lumps of pale pasty clay sexy so Pornathan and sexy, well, never the two shall meet. They catch up with Girl and Girth at the train station, where Pornathan proceeds to tell the two all the way onto the train that Girl and Girth have marred the STDs' "flawless run" by "stealing" their tickets on the Malev flight. Poor Fat Gus. He's trying hard not to choke that man in his meaty paws, that gentleman. I admire his restrain, although I'm sure nobody will blame him if he gives in to the temptation and choke the crap out of that jerk.

Hayden says that the entire day is one of hellish proportions as she and Aaron reach the Castle. They too choose the cannonball run. When they get the cannon to the top, she wonders whether the cannon is facing the right direction. Aaron tells the silly woman that because the barrel is facing out, it has to be in the right direction. "It's got to shoot people," he explains to her. Sexy and intelligent to boot. I'm in love. For the cannonballs, Hayden and Aaron use their backpacks to carry them, thus saving them from making several runs and allowing them to quickly leave for the train station. Not bad at all, these two. They meet the Templates who have just arrived at the doorway. Jon asks them, "How much do these cars suck?" He always know how to break the ice in a creative manner. They do the cannonball runs. They finish that one without much ado because they are robots and robots do things efficiently. Jon allows people a peek at his washboard stomach when he lifts his shirt a little while they read their next Clue. He's not sexy. Like Kris, he's a plastic action figure set on "perky" mode, with three different words in his vocabulary to choose from: "dude", "babe", and "awesome". Oh, and she tells him, "Thank you for being so strong, babe." Good freaking heavens, do these people have to compliment each other on everything? Are they affected put-on camera hos or genuinely perky Stepford Barbie and Ken? You be the judge. At this point I'm beyond caring, although I'm learning towards the former.

The Goth-Nots are the next to arrive and Rebecca, suspiciously perky, announces that they will play with the catapault. "We can do it! I feel good about it!" she cries. And when the first watermelon falls far from the target, she crows perkily, "We're doing the other one!" Has she finally snapped and gone crazy? Cool. And then it's the cannon they go, with Rebecca screaming at Adam Ant to "Push it! Come on, push it!" Is this how it happened when they first... oh, that's too easy, I probably shouldn't even try. When she and Adam return for the cannonballs, she cooes that the cannonballs are "some dirty balls". Either Adam has stumbled upon the brilliant idea of plying her with alcohol all the way here or she has really gone crazy because seriously, she sounds crazy. If they focus on her eyes, I bet they are at that point wild and crazy eyes.

Just when the Superdumbos are on track, their Tarbant breaks down. The engine is dead. They have to call for a new Tarbant. Dang. They have to sit by the roadside and wait for the Tarbant to arrive. It is already getting dark.

Hayden is still insisting that they are not at the train station when their cab pulls up at the station. Aaron snaps and tells her to "just relax" because she is "psychotic". Perhaps seeing the station for the first time, Hayden finally shuts up and follows Aaron as they get tickets for the 6:30 pm train. The Templates soon join them.

The Fre&Ks have arrived at Budapest and happily walk to the Net Klub only to realize that it opens at 10:00 pm, three hours from now. This is BS, by the way, because one only has to look up the Net Klub's website to know that they normally operates from 10:00 am. This kind of artificial bunching BS is one of the too many crammed into every episode and I, for one, am getting tired of it. There's no suspense anymore in this show because bunching occurs not only from A to B but also from B to C to D to E and to F. The two Teams get on the train and Jon kisses Kris and tells her that - yes, say it with me - she did a good job (babe). He is also happy to be on Budapest. Let me take a deep, steadying breath after that momentary paralyzing creepiness that caught a hold on me after that scene.

Girl and Girth and the STDs arrive in Budapest. While Fat Gus and Hera get a cab to the Net Klub without problems, the STDs both yell at their cab driver to go fast even when he has barely stepped foot on the gas. The driver, with a "Finito!", steps out, opens the door, and orders the STDs out. That is simply awesome! Alas, another driver soon picks them up. But it doesn't matter who reaches the Klub first because at the end of the day, everyone is bunched until 10:00 pm. The Goth-Nots get on the next train to Budapest and there is still plenty of time before the Klub opens.

The Tick Then again, the Superdumbos may not catch up. They reach the Castle after everyone else is either in Budapest or on their way there, do the cannonball run, complete it with no problems (oh please, just look at those two) and as the others wait outside the Net Klub, finish the Detour. The Tick has his shirt off and let me just say two things. One, thank you, thank you. Two, Hayden is wrong. The Tick doesn't use steroids. He is all man, yeah baby, and he will be perfect if he stops shaving his chest and stomach. When they reach the station, they learn of a horrific development. There is no more train to Budapest until the next morning.

10:00 pm. The other Teams begin walking through the Net Klub doors. Poor Captain Liberty sits at the bench outside the station, looking so torn up, while sweet, sweet the Tick just holds her and strokes her hair in a comforting - and did I say sweet? - gesture. What will happen now? The show will be continued after the New Year recap episode, and I will have to wait and find out.

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course the Superdumbos will catch up! Look at the time now. It's 10:00 pm. The Teams will have to do something the next morning and I think I can safely bet that they will have to either scramble around at the airport or wait until some stupid establishment opens its doors at, say, 9:00 am. That gives the Superdumbos plenty of opportunity to catch up. At the rate this Race is so badly designed, it is a good thing that the cast are interesting to watch or I'd have tuned out a long time ago.


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