Mow 'Em Down Like Grass
The Amazing Race 7 : Episode 7


It's a plane! Previously, Teams got acquainted with elephants, zebras, giraffes, gazelles, and warthogs - although Lynn never did get the warthog's phone number - as they performed primitive rituals like goat milking and barrier stomping. The IVFs and the Cannon Fodders committed mistakes as if being careless was going out of fashion soon while the Fat Fatales probably wouldn't be buying those unreliable keep-breaking-down (twice!) Land Rovers for their LA fat pad after all. Ultimately Dumb and Dumber screwed up big time to the point that the Cannon Fodders actually got lost after having to go back and retrieve a clue they left behind and still remained in the Race while Dumb and Dumber proved ultimately that they were savvier media hogs than Racers when they showed up in swim trunks and other hideous outfits. They left the Race and found a long line of fat ugly women waiting outside their door (they came from the same online forum, in a bus that they all chipped in together for) and wanting to have their babies while the remaining five Teams shoulder on.

Credits. Where are the Cannon Fodders going in their canoe? Wherever it is, I hope the cameraman has enough money in his pocket to get all of them back via a bus or something, because I would bet that those two end will end up lost even if they try to stroll from one end of a park to the next. Gretchen, of course, will be admiring the scenery on the way back. "Oh, that's an adorable mugger stabbing a pregnant woman in the stomach, how sweet! Oh dear, a ten-car pile-up, I hope no one gets hurt! Meredith, have you found my dentures yet? I need them to look beautiful for my weekly appointment with my gynecologist! Oh dearie me, are we lost again? Don't worry, I will make it up to you, Meredith, in an extra-special way! Hey, people on the bus, I will make it up to my husband in a very extra-special way! Do you think I need breast enhancement?"

Philo Koughie welcomes everyone to the Khwai River Lodge, one of the oldest safari lodges in Botswana, and points out that this was the Pit Stoop for the previous leg of the Race. The kitchen staff comes out to dance for the Teams as everyone starts to eat. Won't those poor staff members be disappointed when they learn that the Teams won't be generous tippers? In fact, I bet Gretchen will put on a sad face, ask them to dance for her two more times, and then ask them whether they can spare her and Meredith any money because they don't have enough in order to win a million dollars. Uchenna runs up to dance with the staff because he's so Afriiii-kaaaa like that. Maybe he wants to adopt one of those kitchen folks. Anyway, Philo wonders whether I will actually see this so-called "increasing tension" between GI Joe and Barbie Jane that he keeps talking about. What, he's saying that the GOPs are actually dating? Here I am thinking that those two are just sad unemployed losers who had a drunken shag after meeting at a GOP convention and somehow end up on this Race. Philo also wonders whether Meredith and Gretchen will keep going and going, through mishaps and blunders, until their flesh falls off and only their skeletons remain and even so, whether the skeletons will keep going and going and going.

12:45 am. The Robcouple open their clue envelopes and learn that they are now going to Lucknow, which is possibly the most appropriately-named locale the Race has ever dropped by at. Anyway, Lucknow is in India. Lucknow, by the way, is the state capital of Uttar Pradesh and it's a city rich in history (some of which are bloody indeed such as the 1857 Indian Mutiny) and culture. As we shall soon see, Lucknow is not Mumbai or Calcutta, a fact that these Teams should be thankful for. I'm also thankful, by the way, because I'm spared from the typical "ooh, poor people are so sad" PSAs that usually come together with the Indian legs of this show. Anyway, Teams are given $125 for this leg. The Robcouple look wary, either because they have seen what happened when people (read: Ambore) get on trains in India or they are trying to make out the method of transportation they are supposed to take there.

Instead of the usual "run to the airport and throw your fate to the airline ticket agents", Teams are now taken on a charter flight to Francistown, Botswana. Only in Francistown will they have to find their own way to Lucknow. Even though Teams are all leaving at the same time, they must sign up for the flights. After all, there are three planes to carry five Teams and maybe Teams want to pick the prettiest plane to fly in. Or maybe there's a catch - one of those planes will crash into the sea and kill the unlucky buggers on it, ho ho! (Gretchen: "Oh my, Meredith, drowning is such an unusual sensation! And look at those fishes!") Back to the Race, there is not much drama that arise from the Robcouple signing themselves for a charter flight - unless there is some drama about the pen running out of ink or something that they do not show on TV - and the Robfather muses about how there are five "strong" Teams left on the Race (and in the case of the Cannon Fodders, I believe that he means "strong" as in "strongly possible that they will come this close to being eliminated only to escape it again and sending Mrs Giggles into a strong cardiac arrest as a result") so any mistake he and Ambore make from now on, no matter how small, can be fatal.

12:46 am. The GOPs greet the morning with pleasant ambience. GI Joe tells the camera that they had a talk about their issues before this leg started and they have sorted everything out by now. Barbie Jane dismisses their arguments in the past as "little spats". Oh yes, they definitely had sex in the Pit Stop. They sign up for their flight and then have sex some more under the seats. No, not really, that sex under the seats thing.

2:08 am. The IVFs are happy, as usual, and as they get about to sign up for their flight, they talk about how well they are communicating and how well they are working together. Positivity and synergism are so beautiful to watch, even if the end result is them being lost - but at least they get lost together, so hey - or worse. As they leave, it begins to rain. Joyce tells Uchenna, "Walking in the rain with the one I love!" Uchenna is pleased to hear that. It is so nice to have an overly-positively edited Team that speak without resorting to bohunk dude speak like the Templates of the previous season (shudder).

3:00 am. Oh, right, the loathsome and disgusting Fat Fatales are still on the Race. Dang, I'm starting to forget about them when they just have to show up on my TV screen and ruin my mood. It is really telling how camera-conscious they are when they start this obviously rehearsed confessional about how they, as a great couple, overcame adversity or something. It's that same script that every gay guy on reality TV feels compelled to deliver, as if it is their duty to strike a blow against gay discrimination even when, in the case of the Fat Fatales, they are making a very effective case for gay discrimination. Reality TV, after all, is the new soapbox for important issues that affect the world. And then Alex and Lynn try this so played out shtick where Alex talks about them trying not to be too stereotypical (gee, they sure are doing a good job at that) and Lynn then tosses his balding head and goes, "We are so amazing!" and Alex makes sure that he then tells Lynn that Lynn is being a stereotype. That is as funny as a ruptured appendix. Oh, and they sign up for a flight as well, et cetera.

3:45 am. The Cannon Fodders. Ugh. It has come to a point where I feel like I've just run a marathon whenever I see them on TV. They are so pathetic, so careless, so slow, and worst of all, so determined to remain on the show (while being pathetic, careless, and slow, of course) that I feel like screaming. Maybe that is how these two remain so chirpy. They have some dark abilities to transfer their pain and agony onto the audience. And now, they are surprised that they lasted as far as the top five. Tell me about it. They must be related to the obnoxiously stupid Downtown Hiltons of Season Five. Gretchen compares the Race to "ferocious lions", meaning that the other Teams will backstab Gretchen and Meredith if they have the chance. But before Teams can do that, they will have to hope that these two don't get lost by themselves first. They sign up for their flight. For some reason, Meredith tells Gretchen not to break a hip (haw, haw, so funny, now the two of them please eat some cheese and be silent).

Morning comes. Gretchen points out that their bags are already on the planes as Teams get ready to depart. I wait for her to follow that up with an embarrassing joke but, thankfully, she never does. The planes take off and everyone talk about how amazing the view outside their windows is. Oops, is that Gretchen falling out of a window? Nah, it's just a figment of my imagination.

The Teams are appropriately amused when they realize that Francistown Airport is more akin to those rundown airports Scooby-Doo and the Mystery, Inc gang used to investigate for spooky ghosts. There is a ticket office and Teams lurch themselves through the door to crowd around the poor lady behind the computer. Hmm, at least they have computers, I suppose. Anyway, the lady tells them that she will get them tickets from Francistown to Mumbai on the same flight. She tells them to give her an hour to get ready. Get what ready, exactly? Maybe they are using an Apple computer from 1988 and it needs an hour to warm up before it can be used. The IVFs and the Cannon Fodders obediently leave the office, followed by the Fat Fatales. Alex spots a random lady standing around the place (maybe the poor lady is trying to find the courage to use the airport toilet) and borrows her cellphone to call up a ticket agent to get them tickets from Mumbai to Lucknow.

Realizing that they are left alone with the ticket lady, the Robfather and GI Joe tell the ticket lady to put aside the work on the Mumbai tickets for awhile and look up the flight schedules for Lucknow from Mumbai for them. Outside, Alex is talking to the travel agent at the other end and learns that there is a flight that will get them to Lucknow through New Delhi at 9:35 am. As he asks the agent to book tickets for the Cannon Fodders, the IVFs, as well as themselves, Lynn frets and wonders why the Robfather is talking to the ticket lady. Notice how the Robfather never wonders what the other Teams are doing outside. It is Lynn who is always the one pushing at the Robfather, nibbling at his heels to get a rise out of that man, and calling the Robfather all sorts of names even as he secretly peeks over the Robfather's shoulders all the time to see what the man is doing. Underneath the whole nelly bitch queen act, Lynn is starting to come off like a vastly insecure and pathetic little man.

Meanwhile, the GOPs and the Robcouple learn of the flight the Teams outside are booking, but as they check the schedule on the monitor, they notice that there is a flight that will land at 9:30 am in Lucknow - some five minutes earlier than the Lynn-Gretchen Stinky Air flight. Outside, the Fat Fatales are congratulating themselves on getting everybody outside on a flight to Lucknow and make sure that, when they tell the IVFs about this, the IVFs thank them profusely for being such wonderful people. As they wait outside the airport for their Mumbai tickets to be issued, Lynn gets Alex to come with him and they both tell the owner of the cellphone not to lend it to the other two Teams inside the ticket office. Alex then gloats to the camera that "this" is how "you" play the "game". Yeah, gloating and making sure that everyone knows that you're a genius for getting everybody on a slower flight. Um, yeah. I'm also puzzled by how he and Lynn can feel so superior about their sneakiness when they gave the Robcouple a hard time about the Robfather bribing the guy in the bus station back in Cuzco, Peru. Is this one of those "If I do it, I'm a genius, but if you do it, GO TO HELL YOU DIRTY ROTTEN CHEATER BUGGER!" things?

Inside, the Robfather tells the ticket lady not to tell the Teams outside about the obviously superior Robfather Rocket Air flight. The lady gives him an "Are you kidding?" look and he just tells her, with this smile that has slayed the defenses of too many cynical old ladies who should know better (ahem), that if those Teams outside ask her about the flight, she should tell them that she cannot issue any tickets to them at the moment. If those Teams press her for a reason, she can point them to him and he will just smile at them. He demonstrates the smile and then he laughs. I'm a goner. Anyway, he should be careful with those smiles because one of these days he will push Lynn to the brink and Lynn will lock Ambore up in a cupboard, stuff a wig over his bald patch, and insists to the Robfather that he is really, really Ambore. Anyway, the Robfather then brazenly goes to the door and calls out to the three Teams outside to come in and collect their Mumbai tickets. As the three Teams make their way in, Lynn whispers to Meredith that the Cannon Fodders are sharing the same flight with the IVFs and the Fat Fatales. Meredith is surprised at this. Another reason why I want to shove pins into my eyes if the Cannon Fodders win the Race, this: they don't even think to get tickets from Mumbai to Lucknow when they are standing outside a ticket agent. Anyway, Meredith asks Lynn why Lynn is doing this. Lynn graciously says that the Fat Fatales love the Cannon Fodders (whom they call in the previous episode "stupid") and they want the Cannon Fodders and the IVFs in the Final Three with them. Yup, it's about love. The fact that the GOPs and the Robcouple have beaten the Fat Fatales enough times to the finish line has nothing to do with the Fat Fatales' so-called love for the Cannon Fodders.

While all the Teams wait outside to kill time before their flight departs for Mumbai, GI Joe tells Barbie Jane privately that their working together with the Robcouple are making them "a target". Aww, is the mighty POW afraid of a little poke from sweet little Lynn? To the camera, GI Joe talks disapprovingly about how "manipulative" the Robfather is. I can see his point. Somehow the nefarious Robfather has manipulated GI Joe into benefiting from the Robfather's actions! How disgusting! As an aside, I'm loving the fact that the hypocritical yet moralistic idiots on the show are making the Robfather come off like a candidate for papacy. In a truly grotesque scene of cuddling, Barbie Jane sits on GI Joe's lap and tells GI Joe that they shouldn't alienate the Robcouple because it is wiser to "keep your enemies closer". Hmm, is that why she is suddenly so cozy with GI Joe? I hope that this relationship has a happy ending instead of turning into a bad Alias episode where Barbie Jane is revealed to be a spy for the enemy or something. She teases GI Joe's leg, as if she wants to reach up his thigh and touch him, you know, there. But of course she doesn't. And I can bet that she learned that technique in Catholic School.

The Robfather on the other hand believes that the GOPs and the Robcouple have a relationship of "mutual respect and friendship". Still, in case anyone believes that he is becoming soft, he insists that the Robcouple is here to win and they never forget that. As the Teams continue to wait, with two little cliques obviously forming, Barbie Jane says that when the GOPs were struggling in the Race, the other Teams that ocstracized the Robcouple were happy to include the GOPs as one of their own. But now that the GOPs are Racing well, they find themselves excluded from the pack as well. Ambore in a separate confessional concurs with Barbie Jane, saying that the GOPs and the Robcouple, being "fore-runners" in the Race, aren't the most popular people for the other Teams to hang around with. Personally, I find all this juvenile high-school nonsense from the other Teams more of a reflection of their faults than the Robcouple's or the GOPs'. They are the ones making their conflicts with the Robfather personal, as a particularly ugly unaired scene between the Fat Fatales and the Robcouple (found in the Insider section at the official website) will reveal, and to me, this reflects more poorly on them than on the Robcouple or on the GOPs. If you have to sink lower than your opponent just to get back at him, you have lost the right to hold yourself better than him, that's what I always believe.

The Teams finally depart to Mumbai, although the Herald of the Hypocrites show doesn't end there and then at Francistown, unfortunately. The GOPs and the Robcouple have only five minutes to catch their flight to Lucknow and they manage to make it on that flight in the nick of time. This leaves the remaining three Teams to start biting their fingernails because no matter how much they loathe the Robcouple, apparently they loathe it more if they don't see the Robcouple around either. Lynn frets that he and Alex don't know where the other two Teams are. Still, he says that at least he is confident that this flight will take them to Lucknow. That isn't the most convincing attempt to save face in light of his grossly premature gloating of his own brilliance back at the Francistown Airport but I'll let that pass because he's too pathetic to be held up to a higher standard. Uchenna joins in the fray, saying indignantly that the Robcouple and the GOPs don't want to share information with the IVFs. Since I didn't see him tell the Robcouple and the GOPs about their oh-so-wonderful Lynn-Gretchen Stinky Air flight, I don't see how he has the right to complain about people not sharing information with him. And seriously, what does he expect when he is in a Race?

Meanwhile, Gretchen buys a backpack. She tries to use her senior citizen status to get the prices of designer backpacks lowered only to fail and end up with some blue-colored schoolgirl backpack. Meredith thinks that Gretchen looks "snazzy" carrying that backpack. Am I mean to hope that they will come in last at a non-elimination round and get that backpack seized from them?

The three trailing Teams defiantly board their flight, not that they can do anything else anyway, and no doubt assure each other on the flight that they are better people than the leading Teams because they, at least, share information with each other unlike the stinky-poos ahead of them who don't want to share anything! So yes, it is a good thing that they don't share with those stinky-poos first!

Philo explains that all Teams are flying to Lucknow through New Delhi. At Lucknow, they must locate their next clue at the Bara Imambara Palace, Lucknow's most famous landmark. By the way, I think this is where I should point out that the exact location of the place the Teams are heading towards is the Asafi Imambara, the place of residence located within Bara Imambara, which by itself encompasses the Asafi, a mosque, a mousoleum, and many other buildings.

Elephants! Of course, the necessary lady-walking-with-laundry scene! Bicycles! Hello, Lucknow. At 9:44 am, the GOPs and the Robcouple reach Lucknow. The two Teams pay at the prepaid booth for their cabs and dash into their respective cabs. GI Joe asks his cab driver to "mow 'em down like grass" - is he related to Christie from Season Five? - and later compares the bustle around him to Baghdad when his people were bombing the city and everyone was fleeing for life. It must be great to live a life where everything revolves around Baghdad, although someone should tell GI Joe that it is not good for his PR if he keeps comparing every city he visits to a city that was bombed to hell and left to eat itself up in the aftermath. Everyone loves a POW, maybe, but a POW who keeps making morbid and depressing comparisons of everything to Baghdad? Even Barbie Jane is captured on camera making an "Oh, please" face when GI Joe makes that comparison between Lucknow and Baghdad.

How appropriate, therefore, that their cab stops at the gas station soon after GI Joe babbles about Lucknow being the new Baghdad. From comparing a city bombed sky-high because of gas to learning that one's cab is running low on gas - only on the Race, I tell you, where irony bites you in the ass in finest timing. The GOPs heckle and shout at their cab driver, although I have no idea what they expect the cab driver to do if the cab needs gas. It is not as if the cab will take them to Asafi Imambara while running on empty. The Robcouple's cab overtakes the GOPs and the Robfather belatedly asks his cab driver whether they have enough gas for their journey. The driver says yes. The GOPs lament their bad luck, boo-hoo-hoo.

The second flight arrives in Lucknow at 9:52 am. Oh dear, it looks like the second flight arrives later than the scheduled five minutes behind the first flight. For some reason, I find that very amusing indeed and cackle accordingly. The IVFs point out to the camera that a helpful person on the flight has told them that it will be faster for them to get a cab through the prepaid booth and this is what they do. The Fat Fatales and the Cannon Fodders, on the hand, seem to have gone straight to some cab booth located outside the airport. I can only speak from my own experience but when it comes to cabs not sanctioned by the authorized airport cab company, tourists, especially Caucasian tourists, should expect to pay what they call "white man's tax". In other words, be prepared to pay outrageously high prices for everything if they realize that you are not aware of how much you should be paying for things. As a result, the Fat Fatales and the Cannon Fodders soon find themselves in a shouting match that are made worse by language barriers, or in Lynn's case as he believes that the currency of India is "ruple", dimwittery. The two Teams end up paying about four times the fare the IVFs paid and they leave after the IVFs to boot. More than a century after the Indian Mutiny, it looks like Lucknow is still unforgiving on the white man. Eventually the Fat Fatales and the Cannon Fodders manage to make their way out of the airport.

The Robcouple pull up at the Asafi ahead of the other Teams and learn that they have to put on some scarves over their bare head. The Robfather says wryly to the camera, "It's custom, you know, and we're all about the customs!" And I suppose custom is why he wears the scarf over his baseball cap, heh. As they walk into the Asafi, the Robfather tells Ambore, "Some guy built this for his girlfriend. Imagine: if I built you a place, it'd look twice as nice." That's so sweet of him. Only the Robfather can pooh-pooh a historical monument and make it a sweet romantic gesture. Oh, in a way he is right about the building of the Asafi for a "girlfriend" in the sense that the entire Bara Imambara was built by a chief, Asaf ud Daula, who loved his country so much that when famine hit the place, he built this whole place to give his people jobs. Apparently he could have given them money and food but the Nawabs were too proud to accept charity, hence the palace to give them jobs and money. I have my doubts about this story but that's what they say in those history books so don't look at me like that. The GOPs show up next and Barbie Jon stops GI Joe from putting on a blue scarf and insists that he puts on a darker blue scarf. Maybe it's a Republican thing?

Out on the streets, Uchenna notices that there are no women on the street that he can see and tells Joyce this. "The women are not playing a big role in the program here," he tells her. It's amazing how he can tell his wife that he is scanning the crowd for other women and still come off as sweet and devoted. Sigh. If only they are better Racers! Meanwhile, Lynn loves the chaotic bustle. Gretchen prattles something in her quivering high-pitched voice about the vehicles around her.

Back at the Asafi, the clue stand is located at a corner and because the Asafi courtyard is a big place, the GOPs and the Robcouple are wandering around the place looking for it. The Robcouple climb up a stairs and spy the stand peeking at them from the hallway above them. They run for it and realize that they have to take a "horse-driven tonga" they can find on the street outside and go to the Kohinoor Steel Emporium for their next clue. The clue also warns them that a Yield is located somewhere ahead of them. As they descend the stairs, the Robcouple meet the GOPs who are climbing up and they let the GOPs know where the clue stand is. As both Teams dash onto the street, GI Joe muses that the Robcouple could Yield them if they wish so the GOPs should try and hit the Yield mat first. In a separate confessional, the Robfather says that he wants the Robcouple to head to the Yield mat first because the GOPs would Yield the Robcouple if the GOPs are "any type of players at all". Both Teams hop into their respective tongas. As they leave, GI Joe tells Barbie Jane that there is a chance that the Robcouple may Yield them. Barbie Jane tells him that the Robcouple would most likely Yield the Fat Fatales instead. She also says that she doesn't want to Yield the Robcouple. After all, they are benefiting well from the alliance, so it makes sense not to end the alliance prematurely, so she is making some sense there.

The IVFs show up at the Asafi and Uchenna learns that he doesn't need to wear a scarf since he already has a cap. I guess the Asafi staff changed the rules after they saw the Robfather with a scarf over his cap? They muddle around to locate the clue stand. The Fat Fatales and the Cannon Fodders all show up shortly after the IVFs and everyone manage to have a brief happy reunion around the clue stand, where they no doubt congratulate each other for scheming against the other two Teams and end up on a slower flight than those two Teams. As they all leave in their respective tongas, Alex hopes to Lynn that the Robcouple won't Yield them.

Speaking of which, here is the Yield! Ooh, they have set up the Yield post in a makeshift alcove built from those metallic-silver tin boxes, like something out of a low-budget science-fiction movie. The GOPs manage to reach the Yield seconds ahead of the Robcouple. They stand on the mat, open their mouths to speak, and I laugh when the both of them automatically look at the Robfather for a decision as to what to do. He tells them that this leg is probably a non-elimination leg so the Yield will go to waste. Using logic to cover his own ass - that's not a bad way to play at all. And so, the GOPs decide not to Yield anyone. The Robfather says in his confessional that if the situation is reversed, he'd Yield the GOPs but "luckily", he concludes, the GOPs are "not the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree". It is nice to see that the GOPs and the Robcouple are flourishing in a relationship based on - what did the Robfather say again? - ah yes, "mutual respect and friendship". The Robcouple also pass on the Yield. Even if they want to Yield anyone, it won't do at all to do so in front of the GOPs after what the Robfather has told the GOPs, so it's not as if they can do anything else here. Anyway, it's now time for a Roadblock.

Philo explains that a Team member must look into the metallic-silver tin boxes all over this Emporium for their next Clue. There are 600 boxes of various sizes and only ten have the Clues. No wonder the Roadblock asks for someone who has plenty of patience. It is hilarious when Barbie Jane says that she has patience, to which GI Joe answers, "It's not you, really, but it has to be you for this!" Or when Ambore reads the Clue, "Who has a lot of patience? I have to do it!" As the two women begin to look into the tin boxes, Barbie Jane asks Ambore to let her know whether Ambore has located the Clue and Barbie Jane would do the same for Ambore. Ambore, no doubt wondering what good that will do, merely says yes as she looks into a box. As the trailing three Teams approach the Emporium (in much celebration as they all try to look cute and act cute to the cameras), Ambore systematically looks through the boxes quickly while Barbie Jane seems to working randomly without any organization in her search. It's probably not surprising therefore that Ambore quickly locates her clue first and tells Barbie Jane this. Barbie Jane asks whether all the clues are in the same box. Aha, so that is why she wants Ambore to let her know when Ambore has found the correct box. Alas, that's not how this Roadblock works!

Ambore runs out of the Emporium to meet the Robfather and they learn that they must now take a rickshaw to the Aishbagh district and locate the Indane gas station there for their next clue. Barbie Jane finds her clue in a box shortly after and as the GOPs try to catch up with the Robcouple, Barbie Jane protests that the Robcouple are always so lucky. GI Joe says that he should have Yielded the Robcouple, dang. In their rickshaw, the Robfather tells the camera that the GOPs not Yielding them was the GOPs' "mistake". Oh, these silly men, always trying to prove that they have the biggest penis of them all!

The IVFs step up to the Yield mat, refuse to Yield anyone, and Uchenna starts looking among the boxes. The Fat Fatales show up next and Alex is stunned that the Robcouple didn't Yield them. It must rock their universe to realize that the Robcouple don't consider them as much a threat as they seem to consider the Robcouple to be, those poor fatties. They too choose not to Yield anyone, although they should, since there is just one Team behind them at the moment and this Team will never recover from a Yield if this is an elimination leg (and they all have no idea that this isn't an elimination leg). Anyway, Alex will be hunting for the clue. He has this dumb idea of shaking the boxes to check whether there's a cardboard envelope inside but hey, carry on, Alex, do carry on. Surprisingly, that method works as Alex quickly locates the clue. He proceeds to dance this cute silly little jig as he hollers in joy before running to Lynn. He's quite energetic, I must say, for a man who complains to Lynn that his backside hurts.

The Cannon Fodders show up and Gretchen decides to look for the boxes. Apparently, her plan is to use her voice as some sonic probe to determine whether the boxes have a clue - or something - because as usual, her mouth doesn't stop moving as she starts fretting. "Oh God! Oh no! I don't believe this!" she will go. Spurred by her voice, no doubt, Uchenna quickly locates the clue and runs out of the place. He must be so eager to get away from Gretchen because he even helps the rickshaw driver push the rickshaw onto the street. Gretchen starts panicking. She half-heartedly opens a box, reaches for a box only to moan when she can't reach it as it is on a top shelf, and says that she could be stuck in the Emporium for a "week". She doesn't seem to be doing anything other than moaning. She's excruciating to watch. She runs out to get a pity hug from Meredith, only to then forget which boxes she has already checked and has to start all over again. There is sweet and there is "OH MY GOD PUT THEM OUT OF THEIR MISERY PLEASE!" Guess which side the Cannon Fodder falls into. Finally, prompted by one of those kiddies who are watching from the balconies when this kid points to a specific box in the Emporium, Gretchen looks into the box and discovers the clue. Meredith kisses her and all is well in the world of these two again, especially when a young man offers to travel with them and show them the way to Aishbagh.

This brings me to the locals. I always assume that when all those extras in those Hindi and Tamil movies just stand there and stare lifelessly at the camera it is a result of poor direction on the director's part. Watching this show, it seems that the locals in India are really like that - they really do stand around a camera and then stare at it, barring one or two more outgoing guys who will wave timidly at the camera. I think one of these days I will take a camcorder to Lucknow and test my theory, heh.

The Robcouple locate the Indane gas station, followed by the GOPs who are pretty much just following the Robcouple at this point. They all learn that it's now time for a Detour. Philo steps out to explain the Detours and he is flanked by those Zombified Indian Movie Extras who are trying to get their faces to show up at the camera around Philo. I swear I actually see a kid running in front of Philo and waving at the camera before running back out. Philo explains that in "Solid", Teams must go to a coal depot, smash coal into 175 pounds of smaller pieces, bag these pieces up, and use bicycles to deliver the bags of coal to a store. In "Liquid", Teams have to take part in what is essentially a scavenger's hunt, only in this case they must push a cart of tea and deliver cups to tea to at least five employees (on the to-do list that each Team is given are the names ten employees) in a three-story office building. The correct person will give a business card in exchange for the tea. Teams must present their five business cards to the tea shop owner and he will give them their next clue.

Both Teams choose to deliver tea. (Actually over here that kind of tea is called teh tarik - literally, 'pulled tea' - named because the tea maker often does some acrobatic contortions while making it to reel in the tourists every time.) The Robcouple get into their rickshaw to get to the tea shop. GI Joe asks Barbie Jane to come along because he doesn't want to lose the Robcouple. Instead of being overjoyed that GI Joe is now taking her advice about keeping enemies close to his heart, Barbie Jane says that they should take a cab to that tea shop. Since traffic on the street is so heavy at that moment, I doubt a cab will be faster than a rickshaw. Take it from someone who has endured enough traffic jams in Bangkok to last her a lifetime - always walk in situations like this one, even if it's a long way to walk, because taking a cab is slower and also because it will be even more exhausting than walking after you are stuck for two hours in a traffic crunch when the actual journey should only take half-an-hour. She reluctantly relents when GI Joe insists that they take a rickshaw. "I disagree with that, Ron but I'll go and do it. But I'll make it known that I disagree with it and we can get there in a taxi in three minutes," she says as she walks after GI Joe. GI Joe rolls up his eyes and asks her to quickly come with him.

"Oh, I love to wave at the people! I wish I had things to throw at them!" Lynn says as he does just that, waving stupidly at the people around him who are stuck in the traffic as the Fat Fatales' rickshaw makes its way to the Indane gas station. Maybe the crowd is wondering whether they should throw something at him too. Alex then complains that his backside hurts. Whether this is in any way connected to Lynn wanting to throw things at the crowd, I don't want to speculate although I'm pretty sure a dirty joke can be found in that situation, somehow. Elsewhere, the IVFs are enjoying life, the usual. The Fat Fatales get to the station first and choose to deliver tea. They too argue whether to get a cab or a rickshaw to the tea shop and Alex reasonably points out that there is no cab in sight so they should just take their rickshaw. Lynn agrees and they do just that. Uchenna, who by now is actually pedalling the IVFs' rickshaw (how cute), and Joyce are the next to reach the gas station and they too choose to deliver tea. They ask their rickshaw to take them to the tea shop. Meanwhile, the nice lad who is helping the Cannon Fodders bring them straight to the gas station. Gretchen thanks him and he replies in a heavily accented English (which I understand because... well, I am a Malaysian and some of my Indian friends speak just like him) that the pleasure is all his. She goes "What?" and he repeats what he has just said. She doesn't understand him still but she thanks him anyway.

At the building, which turns out to house several offices on each of its three floors, the Robcouple and the GOPs park their cart by the street and study their lists. The Robcouple decide to look for one person at a time so they decide to start with a guy in the Accounts Department. First, they have to determine which floor that department is and the people they meet aren't the most helpful. They stumble into the Audits Department before getting directions that the Accounts Department is one floor above the Audits Department. The Robfather begins asking who has a business card when it becomes apparent that no one knew what he is talking about when he asked them about the names on the list. Upstairs, they end up in the Property Department instead, ugh, and the Robfather starts asking in his take-no-prisoners voice for anyone who has a business card. Finally someone admits to having one. The Robfather takes the card and checks the name on it against the names on his list. Realizing that they have found one of their guys by luck, the Robfather tells Ambore to give the man his cup of tea. The Robfather tells the camera that this task is tougher than he expected.

As the Robcouple head back down to collect their next cup of tea from their cart, they meet the GOPs. The GOPs of course want to know where the Robcouple find their guy so that the GOPs can as usual benefit from the information. It turns out that the sneaky Race producers make sure that each Team has a different list of names. That way, Teams can't work together and nobody has to die from drinking five cups of tea in one go. The Robcouple resume looking for the Accounts Department once they have collected their next cup of tea. This time, a helpful guy shows them the way to the Department and the Robcouple deliver their second cup of tea without too much drama. They thank the helpful guy like they always do when they receive help. The GOPs manage to deliver their first cup of tea shortly after. Elsewhere, the IVFs and the Fat Fatales reach the tea shop and collect their carts.

The Cannon Fodders are on their way to the Indane gas station when a young lady comes up by their rickshaw with pen and notebook and asks them for their autograph. The helpful young man they have with him tells the Cannon Fodders that the locals are so happy to see them. At this rate, I would be starting to suspect that I'm being led to the local Lucknow Branch Davidian cell or something if I were in the Cannon Fodders' shoes because these people are giving me the creeps. Anyway, there is a large crowd of people gathered around the Indane gas station as the rickshaw pulls up and these people cheer and clap the Cannon Fodders on. Those two naturally act like they are Queen Elizabeth II and her husband on a Commonwealth tour. The Cannon Fodders decide to deliver tea, thus missing an opportunity for Gretchen to attain sainthood should she accidentally breaks her own skull with a pickax and just won't stop babbling in the process, thus earning her the undying love and awe of the audience. Some guy asks Meredith for his autograph and he tells the weirdo that he will give the weirdo an autograph if the weirdo will get him a rickshaw in return. Not bad at all, Meredith, not bad at all.

The Robcouple deliver their third cup of tea while the GOPs deliver their second. The IVFs locate their first person easily. The Fat Fatales, on the other hand, are looking for the Education Department - this must be a town council office; Lucknow must be a laidback city indeed if the town council can spare time to take part in a TV show - and they realize that they have to go upstairs. They take the stairs and Lynn takes the time to promote step aerobics.

Some minor drama erupts in the Law Department when the guy who steps up to take the Robcouple's fifth cup of tea doesn't have a business card and the actual guy who is supposed to take the tea is smirking nearby, so leading me to suspect that these guys are trying to pull a fast one on the Robcouple. The Robfather manages to straighten out the situation and tells the joker, "Thanks, buddy. Don't try to pull a fast one like that again!" No one pulls a fast one on the Robfather, after all. He pulls one on them, not the other way around, so there! Gretchen also reprimands a guy who takes the tea she is offering when he is not the person the Cannon Fodders are looking for. It's not his fault since she never checks before handing the tea to him but what can I say? Gretchen is Gretchen.

Not trusting these people not to pull another fast one on him and Ambore, the Robfather goes to locate the helpful guy who showed them the way to the Accounts Department earlier. "I need your help some more," he says to the guy, and before the guy can say yes or no, he is leading the guy down the stairs while telling him, "We're going down the street now." Now I know why so many people find it hard to say no to that guy. As they leave, the GOPs shortly deliver their last cup of tea as well. Both Teams leave with their carts at the same time, although the Robfather is of course annoyed that he and Ambore cannot shake off the GOPs who are determined to keep following them.

Both Teams receive their clue from the tea shop owner. The clue tells them to meet Philo at the roof of a building a mile and a half from the tea shop. The clue helpfully tells them to "Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!" Hmm. As the Robcouple leave with their helpful guy leading the way to this building, Ambore points out to the Robfather that this clue is worded differently this time around and there is no actual mention of a Pit Stop. See, see, who says that Ambore is a dingbat? The Robcouple manage to get a cab. The GOPs, meanwhile, can't find a cab and end up taking a rickshaw. Barbie Jane spots the Robcouple zooming past them in a cab and blames GI Joe for not waiting to get a cab. He tells her to "lighten up the attitude". She looks like she has just swallowed her own tongue and it tastes awful.

The IVFs quickly deliver their last cup of tea, followed shortly by the Fat Fatales. The IVFs manage to get a cab from the tea shop to the building where Philo is waiting for them. They are exhausted but they manage to keep smiling always. I wish I know their secret. The Fat Fatales collect their clue from the tea shop owner and Lynn wishes that they can now head to the Pit Stop because he is exhausted and he will die if they aren't heading to the Pit Stop next. Alex reads the clue and tells him that they are heading indeed to the Pit Stop and Lynn claps his hands happily. Ooh, I can't wait to see his reaction at the mat with Philo.

The Robcouple's helpful guy asks them why they are in a hurry, as if the cameras on those two aren't indication enough that the Robcouple aren't your usual everyday tourists wanting to use a toilet in a building located a mile and a half away right now. Ambore uses her arms to gesture and tells him that the Robcouple is in a Race. He goes "Oh!" and proceeds to tell them how to get to the building as quickly as possible. The GOPs close in with their rickshaw, but the Robcouple reach the building first. They run up to the roof and step onto the mat which doesn't even have the words The Amazing Race on it so it's clear that Something Is Not Right here. First the Cannon Fodders getting a warm reception from the locals and now there is this fishy mat and a Philo Clone standing behind it. Have the pod people taken over Lucknow? The Robcouple are expecting some "twist" to take place, obviously, but they play along, allowing Philo Clone to use his eyebrow of doom thing as he gleefully reveals that the leg is not over and he will be handing them their next clue right about... next week. The camera pans in on Ambore's big "Noooooo!" face, which is obviously made for the camera because she already suspected that something like this would happen as soon as the Robcouple left the tea shop. But it's a great "Noooooo!" face anyway because I'm sure people have no idea until now that Ambore can open her mouth that wide. Cool! Bring on next week!


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