The Amazing Race 7 : Episode 10
Previously, the Robfather teased Gretchen with a fib about an earlier plane. Whaddya know, there was an earlier plane that the Cannon Fodders and the IVFs could locate but the Robcouple and the GOPs couldn't. It was egg-on-faces time when the Robfather gloated and the two Teams arrived at the rear believing that they were leading over the IVFs and the Cannon Fodders. Caught in an unexpected fight to escape elimination, the Robcouple trashed the GOPs mercilessly in the dash to the finish. The GOPs came in last but weren't eliminated, and they had some Travelocity gift voucher to ease their painful and no doubt passionless stay at the Pit Stop.
Credits. Let me get this out of the way: after watching this episode, all I can think is that I never knew London is this beautiful. The scenery is breathtaking, the men are gorgeous, and even the weather is amazing. There must be a reason why my favorite British poets are always melodramatic saps: it's all in the air, God bless the Queen.
In preparation for London and Everything Beautiful, Philo Koughie comes out looking like a cross between a member of the gentry in a BBC Jane Austen adaptation and Just Philo. He's hot again this week! He explains that he is standing outside the fortress of Rumeli Hisari in Istanbul. This "550-year old fortress", he says, was the Pit Stop for the previous leg of the Race and therefore the starting point for this leg of the Race. He wonders whether the GOPs will manage to find some money since they were stripped of everything except for their passports and the clothes they were wearing for coming in last in a non-elimination leg. Well, if history is anything to go by, the Magic 8 Ball says, "Reassuredly definite." Philo also wonders whether the IVFs and the Cannon Fodders will manage to hold on to their lead. The Magic 8 Ball says, "Is that a rhetorical question?"
10:53 pm. The IVFs look happy as they get ready to leave. The confidence they gain from having to go first has given them a lovely lustre in their expressions. I really like them but I cringe whenever I see them trying to Race. Anyway, the IVFs learn that they must now head ten miles to the Sirkeci Train Station and locate a door guarded by two young Sufis.
Sufi is what we call a man that belongs to the Mevlevi order of "whirling dervishes". Philo explains that members of this order perform a ritualistic dance where they whirl around in a single place in an attempt to prove their devotion. That's not entirely correct, I believe, because a friend of mine who was also an Islamic scholar once told me that the dance is actually a form of meditation rather than a prayer. The dancer is supposed to find a "place", through the tempo of the dance, where his or her entire body resonates along with the air molecules around the dancer, creating a sensation of lightness that these dancers believe will allow themselves to receive divine energy. Sultans of yore of Turkey used to employ whirling dervishes as oracles.
Back to the Race, the IVFs must walk through the door and locate their next clue in a room with whirling dervishes in action. They, like all Teams other than the GOPs, are given $477 for this leg of the Race. For once, this hefty amount makes sense to me because cab fares in London can be more expensive than body parts on sale in black markets of select third-world countries. Uchenna hollers for a cab and one shows up as if on cue, earning him Joyce's teasing compliments on his hollering abilities. Joyce says to the camera that in their life before the Race, both she and Uchenna rarely do things together (I know, I find that hard to believe as well) so this Race is definitely bringing them closer than ever. They reach the station, locate the doorway, and walk through it while being escorted by a Sufi. There are five, I think, dancers in the room, their robes billowing out as they whirl with their eyes closed and faces impassive from religious fervor. The IVFs pause to admire the dancers before getting their clue from the clue stand. They learn that they can now travel 2,000 miles to London. In London, they must locate their next clue at a crosswalk made famous by a Beatles album cover. Philo reveals that this crosswalk is Abbey Road. I'm glad he tells me right up because this is exactly the kind of trivia question where the answer feels like it is right at the tip of my tongue but for some reason I can't remember what it is! The IVFs pause to admire the dervishes once more time before running out to get a cab. On their way to the airport, Uchenna thinks that they will have to look for Abbey Road in London. Joyce agrees that Abbey Road is the most likely place they have to go to in London.
11:57 am. The Cannon Fodder leave and naturally it is Gretchen who has to speak. Oh, she is so amazed and proud that they made it this far into the Race! She must be angling for a trophy that says "MOST ANNOYING AND RIDICULOUSLY LUCKY OLD GEEZERS EVER". She says that all they wanted at first was to last a few legs without embarrassing themselves - too late, Gretchen - but now, they want to go all the way. Good luck on that one. They'll need it.
At this point, the IVFs are at the airport and they are talking to a lady at the Turkish Air counter. The earliest direct flight to London departs at 8:30 am the next morning. As they purchase their tickets, the camera zooms in on Joyce who has ditched her bandana and decided to show the world her bald head. She has these adorable freckles on her cheeks that make her look even more adorable when she's bald. As they leave the counter, Uchenna tells her that they have not looked at possible non-direct flights that may take them to London at an earlier time. Joyce tells her that a direct flight poses the least risk (no connection flights that they may miss and all that jazz) and they should stick to their Turkish Air flight. I'm surprised that she doesn't seem to learn anything from her windfall in the previous episode. But then again, the Robcouple seem to be the only Team that take the initiative to move ahead instead of staying with the herd. That's why when people tell me that the IVFs are "more deserving" to win, I'd tell them that this Race is not a competition to see who is the nicer person, it's a Race. And right now, the IVFs aren't racing smart at all by being content with a flight and not even trying to seek better options.
The Cannon Fodders reach the Sirkeci Train Station and Gretchen proclaim the dancers "wonderful" as they retrieve their clue from the stand. As those two look for a cab to take them to the airport, Gretchen whines that she'd rather deal with Mel Thorme albums instead of Beatles albums because... er, because Gretchen loves to hear the sound of her own voice, I suspect. She will never rest until her voice dominates the airwaves everywhere in this world! The Cannon Fodders get into a cab and, for a blissful few seconds, Gretchen's voice is absent in this show.
12:37 am. The Robcouple get ready to leave. The Robfather is as familiar with "deverishes" as he is with gnomes. As they get into a cab, Ambore tells the camera that it is very easy to make stupid mistakes at this late stage of the Race. I suppose she is trying to say that she and the Robfather will try to be extra careful from now on. They can start by asking the Robfather to practice some discretion with his mouth. Ambore also chuckles because the both of them have no idea what a "whirling dervish" is. So do the majority of the viewers of this show, especially those who go onto online forums bitching that they know all along what a "whirling dervish" is so the Robcouple are proven irrefutably by them to be stupid, so she shouldn't feel so bad, truly. The Robfather suggests that maybe a "whirling dervish" is a "topless woman". The camera cuts to the cab driver raising an eyebrow in surprise. Nice one there, editors.
At the airport, the Cannon Fodders get tickets on the same flight as the IVFs.
12:53 am. As the GOPs leave, GI Joe talks about how they have no money and possessions, and brings up to the camerathe fact that Barbie Jane really misses her make-up kit. "She's really surprised me - and I think I've seen everything I want to see out of her on this race!" he says in a delightfully inscrutable tone that allows his statement to be interpreted in so many ways. That's why I don't think he is so much better than Barbie Jane like many people do, by the way: when he says things like this latest gem of his, I believe that he is as good in giving crap to Barbie Jane as she is at dumping on him. Barbie Jane says to the camera that she may once want to marry him but now she is no longer certain. How convenient that her realization dawns on her after he has told the TV cameras in front of her face that he is not ready for commitment. Barbie Jane however proves that she still doesn't get it when she hopes that the Race will let her know whether they are meant to be together. No, she really doesn't get it. Maybe one day, she will. Maybe.
The GOPs approach some guys walking down the street for money but it turns out that those guys are happy drunkards too inebriated to care about the GOPs' money problems. I'm quite disappointed that they don't shout at Barbie Jane to take off her top for them. The GOPs then walk into an all-nighter convenience store. Ohmigosh, are they going to rob the poor shopkeeper? No, alas, they just want to tell him how they have no money, boo-hoo-hoo. The shopkeeper asks them where they are from. The GOPs answer, "America!" The shopkeeper generously offers the GOPs eight million Turkish lire, probably thinking in his head, "How typical! Oh well, at least they aren't trying to rob me!" The GOPs then stop a cab, with Barbie Jane telling the cab driver that they have only six million lire (ooh, that's so dishonest of her!) so oh, can they just take the cab anyway, pretty please. The driver must be truly generous to agree because most cab drivers I know would rather leave a pregnant woman to give birth on the roadside rather than to accept a reduced fare and waive the midnight surcharge. Maybe we need to bring over more Turkish cab drivers to this part of the world.
At the Sirkeci Train Station, the Robcouple locate the doorway guarded by the Sufis. They may not know what a dervish is but as they stand outside the doorway, one of the Sufi prompt them to walk with him through the doorway. The Robfather, upon seeing the whirling dervishes, says in his typical charming way that they look like they are dead. Ambore agrees with him, adding that the dancers are "creepy" and they look like "they're hanging from something". This Team confuse me. On one hand, it is not wise to say such things on TV, but there is no malice in their voice so I'm not as offended as many viewers are. Then again, you know me. I rooted for Freddy and Kendra in the last season even after those things she has said about poor people in Senegal. I have this apparently rare ability to find humor in such situations, maybe because I don't take this Team seriously. If you're like me, we'll do great so stick with me until the finale, won't you? If not, hey, tough, but it's a good thing that there are so many recaps out there so there would be at least one that you will truly enjoy reading. I'm sorry that it isn't mine but hey, que serra serra.
Back to the show, the Robcouple get their clue and ponder about the Beatles record cover bit while they wait outside the station for a cab to pass by. The Robfather says that his father will kill him for not getting the answer to this puzzle right. He hazards a guess. "Is it Abbey Road?" asks he. Ambore thinks that Abbey Road "sounds right". I'm so glad, I tell you, that she has such good instincts! Once they manage to get a cab, the Robfather reaches to the driver and show the man a small black book. It turns out that while some men keep their girlfriends' phone numbers and annotations about bra cup sizes in little black books, the Robfather keeps instead Turkish translations of useful phrases like "Please go fast!", "Please help me!", and, hmm, "Where is the museum?" I don't know about the museum thing as it seems smarter, to me, to replace "museum" with "airport" instead but at least he is doing something instead of going "Choo-choo!" or pretending to be an airplane in front of the cab driver.
When they arrive at the airport, they too learn of the 8:30 am flight. But having learned from their mishap last week, the Robcouple decide to go online once they learn that they can surf the World Wide Web using the ticket office PC. There is some inadvertent plug for Expedia as the show cuts to the Robcouple using the website to locate possible earlier flights. What, Travelocity isn't as helpful as Expedia? I think I can hear the Travelocity CEO demanding his gnomes back from Jerry Bonghammer. After some systematic searching, they learn that they can reach London some one hour and a half earlier than the 8:30 am flight. They will take a 5:50 am flight to Frankfurt and switch to a flight to London thereafter. A trip to the ticket counter reveals that the flight from Frankfurt to London is full. The ticket counter lady offers to put the Robcouple on standby. The Robfather tells Ambore that this is a "very, very, very risky" move to make but Ambore tells him that they can't just play safe, not at this late stage of the Race - they have to take risks. The Robcouple ask to be put on standby. The Robfather tells the camera that they will be "screwed" if they don't make this particular flight to London. As they leave the ticket office, Ambore turns to the ticket lady and asks so sweetly for her to not let any other Team use the Internet, heh. It looks like the Robfather isn't the only devious one in the Team, he's just the more vocal one. The Robfather adds, "Please, nobody else." But they and the ticket counter lady have big grins on their faces that suggest, to me, that none of them take the Robcouple's plea seriously. Besides, it's not as if any of the other Teams are smart enough to want to go online!
The GOPs reach the Sirkeci Train Station, pause to remark on how nice they find the dervishes, and then try to persuade a cab driver to take them to the airport on a much reduced fare. Amazingly enough, the cab driver agrees. Yes, we need more Turkish cab drivers in my part of the world! Bring them over!
Over at the airport, the Robcouple say to the camera that they will now buy tickets at the counter for the 8:30 am flight as well to throw the other Teams off their track. Ooh, someone has definitely learned from their mistake in the previous episode! It's amazing how they can eat humble pie and still emerge more arrogant than before. They're awesome.
When the GOPs show up at the airport, Meredith approaches them to hand over some money. Technically, he's just repaying the Cannon Fodders' loan since the GOPs passed some clothes to the Cannon Fodders after those two coots came in last in the non-elimination leg in Soweto, so it's not as if he's being that kindly and generous like he and his wife like to pass themselves off as in post-show interviews. Meredith also directs the GOPs to the 8:30 am flight, helpfully pointing out that the counter is right over there, the one where the Robcouple are right now standing at. The GOPs go ahead to purchase those tickets. As they wait for the tickets to be printed, Barbie Jane asks the ticket counter lady whether she can borrow the lady's lipstick. Ugh. The ticket counter lady is obviously too polite to say no. Barbie Jane applies the lipstick directly to her lips, which can't be too hygienic. The camera zooms in on her while she is applying a new gloss of reddish coat on her lips and oh dear, Barbie Jane doesn't look good without make-up. But very few women do, so who am I to suggest that she should have asked for a powder as well? Besides, I wish I can be as easily made to feel content like Barbie Jane here. All she needs is lipstick to make her feel good. Me? Give me all your money, buster.
As the GOPs walk to join the other Teams, they happen to see the departures board and notice that there is a flight to Frankfurt leaving at 5:50 am. Barbie Jane tells GI Joe that Frankfurt lies on the way to London - a kind of strange logic that works in this case - so they should check out that flight. This is how they stumble upon the flight that the Robcouple have hoped to be their trump card. They too decide to take a chance on getting the Frankfurt-London flight and ask to be put on standby. In the meantime, they'll take the tickets for the Istanbul-Frankfurt flight. Thus, when the GOPs board the Istanbul-Frankfurt flight, the Robfather's gloating expression (or so the editors would want me to believe: that he is gloating about being the only Team on that flight, hmmph) changes to something more somber.
The remaining two Teams left at the airport now note with some alarm that a certain two Teams that they have taken pains to ocstracize are not with them. Oh dear, how tiresome! Don't the GOPs and the Robcouple understand that nice people hold hands all the way to the finish line together? Those treacherous backstabbing creatures! They don't deserve to be on the Race! Meredith insists to the others that they have actually done something wise. When he puts it that way ("A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!"), how can I argue? His logic is impeccable.
Over at Frankfurt, the POW-Survivor Alliance's plane has landed and they are now racing for the shuttle that will take them to the airport. As the Robfather explains to the camera, there are now four people jostling for seats on a supposedly full flight so it is vital that the Robcouple make their way to the ticket counter before the GOPs. The Robcouple almost miss the shuttle that the GOPs manage to get on but they make it, thus cutting short the GOPs' gloating. So now these two Teams are once more tied when it comes to cutting short each other's happiness. The shuttle approaches the airport. Each Team stake out a different door, each hoping to beat the other Team to the counter. Oh dear. And then, the doors of the shuttle open. And they're off! Once more the Robcouple beat the GOPs in a footrace and board the plane (seats are available) but once more the Robfather has to wipe the smirk off his face when the GOPs manage to board the flight too.
The IVFs and the GOPs board the 8:30 am direct flight, so all Teams are now headed for London. The situation has reversed completely from the one last week, with the trailing Teams in the previous week now back at the head of the pack. How sad that the IVFs and the Cannon Fodders only get to advance when the Robcouple and the GOPs make a mistake. Then again, "When other Teams make mistakes" is the Cannon Fodder's theme song on this Race, so I really shouldn't be so surprised.
Hello, London! Baby, the weather, the buildings, even the lighting - they're all beautiful, baby. I wonder why those people there are so miserable, or at least those that I see on TV. Maybe all that dampness in the weather can get to you, I suppose. At 9:00 am, the PSAs' flight reaches London. The Robcouple - again - beat the GOPs out of the arrival terminal. The GOPs should do well to worry if the race to the finish boils down to a footrace between them and the Robcouple. Anyway, the Robcouple decide to take the Heathrow Express tube to central London. It must be noted that there is a big sign on the wall in the airport that says "Heathrow Express - the fastest way to central London" that the Teams really can't miss if they are alert. The Robcouple get tickets for the tube and learn that there is a tube every fifteen minutes and the Robcouple need to get off at Paddington Station if they want to visit Abbey Road. The GOPs muddle around asking people about the Beatles cover until someone tells them that they are looking for Abbey Road. What, these two don't know about Abbey Road? I thought the Iraqis are big fans of the Beatles! Because they take precious time to ask about Abbey Road, the GOPs miss the tube that the Robcouple took.
"Dang!" says GI Joe. How sweet of him to remember his manners on TV. Now all he needs to remember is how to let a woman down easy without making the both of them come off like complete schmucks.
On the tube, the Robcouple meet this handsome young man named Stuart. As an aside, Stuart and I are getting married this weekend so all of you are invited to the party. Ahem. Stuart gallantly offers to let the Robcouple tag along with him because apparently he is also heading in the same direction. I wonder: if the Robfather says that he made a mistake about Abbey Road and he is actually going to Newcastle, will Stuart still look at the camera fondly and say that he too is going to Newcastle so the Robcouple can still tag along with him?
Back at the airport, the GOPs decide to make use of the time they have waiting for the next tube to beg for money. Hmmph, the least they can do is to at least entertain people for money instead of begging so boringly for money. I'm sure GI Joe knows some fancy acrobatic tricks he has learned from the almighty Army that he can show off!
Stuart tells the Robcouple that they have to change tubes at Paddington Station and the Robcouple get ready to leave with him.
The GOPs leave Paddington Station and hop straight into a cab to take them to Abbey Road. Why take the fastest method of transportation to central London when they can pay money that they don't have much of to drivers of some of the most expensive cabs in the world? GI Joe says in the cab of how glad he is to be in a country where the people speak English. How nice that he, therefore, fails to notice the sign that says in perfect English that it is faster to take a tube.
Emerging from St John's Woods station, they head towards Abbey Road, with Stuart inadvertently doing a Speedy Gonzales impersonation of that famous walk on the road as he runs ahead of the Robcouple and beckon for them to follow him. The Robfather tells Ambore with a silly grin on his face that Stuart is "pumped" to be with them. Really? Let's take away the cameras and we'll see if Stuart will still be "pumped". The UK don't get Survivor so Stuart shouldn't know who these two are unless he has access to those shows (a fact that many people forget or choose to ignore when they accuse the Robcouple of using their fame to their advantange in this leg of the Race). He's there, I bet, pumped and primed for the cameras. Maybe he's Sanjay's long-distance boyfriend and Sanjay has emailed Stuart in advance to get ready for a chance to be on TV? Nah, that's not likely. I think. Anyway, the Robfather tells Ambore that they should "lure him in" so that he can lead them around the place for the whole day.
At the clue stand at Abbey Road, the Robcouple's clue tells them to go to the London Eye. I guess British Airways must have failed to pay for placement on this show because, as far as I know, this wonder of modern architecture is always called the British Airways London Eye. Philo calls the London Eye some sort of Ferris Wheel on the bank of the Thames. I have to hand it to American TV shows - they know how to downplay nice things found in other countries with style. Stuart tells the Robcouple to "go straight back down and go to Waterloo". That's very helpful, don't you think? The Robcouple ask him to tag along with them and show them the way to the London Eye. Stuart agrees readily. Maybe he even does a happy dance when the camera is not on him.
The GOPs reach the clue stand at Abbey Road and now they have to find out where the London Eye is. They are told to take the tube from the nearest station, St John's Woods, which is within walking distance. GI Joe orders Barbie Jane to "pick up the pace a little bit". It's the start of a bickering session. Ahead, Stuart and the Robcouple disembark at Waterloo Station and collect their tickets at the London Eye reception counter. I suspect that the show have booked these tickets in advance for the Teams, maybe because they love the Teams so much that they can't bear to see the Teams get their own tickets as that would be such a mean thing to do. Up they go. Hello again, London. Such a pretty place, London.
The GOPs argue as they reach the London Eye. Barbie Jane wants GI Joe to read the clue so that they can make sure that they do the right thing before they, er, run straight up to the top like they did in the previous episode. GI Joe tells her that he knows what to do. She asks him to read the clue, saying that she has asked him to do this so many times previously. He snaps at her, shoving the clue to her and telling her to keep it. She calls him a brat. He is. How much bigger a sign does she need on this Race to understand that they aren't meant to be?
In the London Eye, Teams are supposed to look around and locate a red and yellow flag somewhere in the world below. They must head over to the place where they see this flag. As the Robcouple scan the world below them, the GOPs make their way up to the London Eye. Once up there, Barbie Jane refuses to look until GI Joe has apologized to her. Now she is being a brat. Oh, these two. Just go away, please. The GOPs and the Robcouple are next to each other at this point that they can wave hello at each other if they care to. Instead, Ambore is getting worried because her Team are taking too long to locate the flag. The Robfather then announces that he's spotted the flag. Sure enough, there it is! Stuart says that he knows the building - it's the hotel "at the end". As the Robcouple and Stuart take the elevator down from the London Eye, the Robfather now asks aloud where the GOPs are. No, it's not a concerned enquiry, it's a challenge of a "Now, I'll crush you!" manner.
Barbie Jane isn't trying to hard to look so it's up to GI Joe to eventually locate the flag. She's too childish to overlook his childishness for the sake of a million dollars and he's exactly the same way. How fortunate for their opponents! The GOPs now leave the London Eye as fast as they can.
The Robcouple, with Stuart's help, now reach the clue stand by the entrance of the hotel. They learn that it's now time for a Detour. Philo steps out in his "I look like what Prince Charles should look like minus the inbreeding uglies" outfit and explains that Teams must choose between "Brains" and "Brawn". In "Brains", Teams must solve a series of clues to eventually end up at the home of Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker Street. This Detour is an obvious homage to Holmes and if you must ask who Sherlock Holmes is, go away, I don't know you. In "Brawn", Teams must head down to a park where they have to drag five 160-pound boats from a lake to a storage away a short distance away. Teams must stack five boats before they receive their next clue. The Robcouple believe that their brains are better than brawns so they will go sleuthing today. Their first clue tells them, simply, "Left luggage". Stuart suggests that they try and look at Waterloo Station. Hey, is he allowed to help the Robcouple? Then again, seeing how the Robcouple seem to very aware of the Rules given how they exploited to their benefit the time penalty of not completing a Roadblock in that episode, I doubt that they will allow Stuart to harm their Race if the rule forbids such help.
The GOPs reach the hotel and read the clue. They too decide to go sleuthing.
It turns out that there is actually a counter at the Waterloo Station that says "Left Luggage". Is that some kind of lost-and-found counter? Here, the Robcouple receive a small satchel with a magnifying glass and their next clue inside. The clue tells them to locate "three naked men in Hammersmith". The Robcouple ask Stuart whether there is place in London called Hammersmith. The always obliging Stuart tells them to follow him as he knows how to get to Hammersmith via the tube. Stuart doesn't know what the clue is talking about though. Bummer, and here I am hoping that it will be something naughty, like those acid clubs I keep hearing about.
At this point, the 8:30 am flight bearing the IVFs and the Cannon Fodders - remember them? - finally lands in London at 10:30 am. The two Teams casually enquire about other Teams at the Heathrow Express ticket counter and are shocked to learn that two Teams have passed here some two hours earlier. It is an eerie mirror to the situation that the GOPs and the Robcouple found themselves in last week when both Teams realize that they are now fighting to avoid elimination. Each Team vow to "do or die" or something similarly dramatic. Death seems to be looming though when they, like the GOPs, choose to take cabs from Paddleton Station to Abbey Road, thus bleeding time unnecessarily on the road. Yes, they don't have a Stuart to help them, but then again, why don't they get one?
Joyce thinks that London is beautiful. I know. You know what will be more beautiful? The IVFs doing something smart on this Race for once. Something to make me say without reservations that they are good Racers and not just very lucky ones.
On the train to Hammersmith, the Robfather is playfully peering at Ambore through the magnifying glass. She sees him looking at her and smiles even though it's obvious that she is very tired. The Race is obviously taking a toll on her stamina so it just warms my fangirlish heart to see him keeping her spirits up with small silly antics like this one. Stuart tells them that they will reach Hammersmith after three more stops. The Robfather shows some typical straight male terpidation about having to look for three naked men. Ambore chuckles and says that she will be the only one who is looking forward to finding the three naked men.
The GOPs manage to figure out their way to the Left Luggage counter at the Waterloo Station. Now having to look for three naked men in Hammersmith, they take the tube to Hammersmith. They begin asking people on the train about these three mysterious naked men. The baffled faces of the passengers as they listen to the GOPs' increasingly desperate queries ("Do you know of three naked men in Hammersmith?") are so hysterically funny that they have me roaring in laughter!
The Robcouple and Stuart get off the train at Hammersmith Station. When they reach the lobby, they notice right away a statue of - yes - three naked men dominating the hall. Thankfully, the little pouches are not dangling from the three you-know-what. The Robfather takes one of those pouches and discovers some tobacco, a pipe designed to look exactly like Holmes', and their next clue. The clue is printed in very fine fonts. Using their magnifying glass, the Robfather reads aloud the words, "On what street did Victorian London's most famous detective live?" Stuart all but squeals in joy as he whispers excitedly, "Baker Street!" The Robcouple - and Stuart, of course - must get off at the station of the same name and locate "Sherlock Holmes that stands tall" outside the station. Stuart knows of a statue of Holmes outside the station so it's off to Baker Street they go.
The IVFs and the Cannon Fodders, in that order, show up at Baker Street and collect their clue before heading off in cabs to locate the London Eye. How unfortunate that they blindly decide to take cabs in a city where it is faster to take the tube.
The GOPs arrive at Hammersmith Station and really, they can't miss the statue. They retrieve a pouch and ask someone at a nearby Starbucks about the street mentioned in the clue. They are told to look for Baker Street. Back into the tube they go.
At Baker Street Station, the Robcouple spot at once the statue Stuart mentioned earlier. They retrieve one of those hats patterned after Holmes' favorite headgear and learn from the clue that comes along with the hat that they must now bring all the Sherlock Holmes paraphenalia they have collected to the museum in 221B Baker Street. Heh, Ambore decides to wear the hat, which is too big for her, and stick the pipe in her mouth before walking down the street, the magnifying glass pressed against her right eye while her other hand makes this "Heh! Heh! Heh!" hand-pumping gesture. The Robfather tries to contain his laughter as he playfully tells her to give him back the magnifying glass because he is sure that they need to put it in the pouch before handing it over to the person-in-charge at the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Ambore tells him to stuff it and continues going her merry way, looking at people through the magnifying glass. They are Racing well and they are having fun on the Race. How is it again that they end up being the Team to root against?
There is a guy looking too much like Sir Ian McKellen at some angle dressed up as Sherlock Holmes. How sad that Dr Watson never gets any love, eh? He collects the paraphenalia from the Robcouple and hand them their next clue. He puffs contentedly on his pipe as he watches them read the clue. The Robcouple must now head over to the Millennium Dome, which Philo says is "the largest public arena of its kind in the entire world". No mention of the Labor Party scandal related to the construction of this Dome though. Then again, the USA and the UK are best friends forever. Oh, and the clue warns the Robcouple that there is a Yield ahead.
Alas, Stuart has to go now since it is late and he must get home so that he can go online and turn on the IM Messenger. Sanjay is waiting for news and Stuart can't wait to go "EEEEEEEE!" with him about the Robcouple. So it is with heavy heart that Stuart, after telling the Robcouple how to get to the Millennium Dome (take the Jubilee Line, get off at North Greenwich Station), bids adieu to the Robcouple. The Robfather tells the camera that they have to make it to the Yield first or they will definitely be Yielded.
The IVFs and the Cannon Fodders are in their respective outlook points in the London Eye. Gretchen's mouth is moving. Where's my remote control? Joyce spots the flag and the IVFs leave quickly. Gretchen's mouth moves some more until thankfully Meredith spots the flag and Gretchen can shut up now.
The Robcouple head towards the tube station. Ambore, obviously playing to the camera, moans that they are on their own. Oh no! The Robfather laughs. "What are we going to do?" he moans dramatically to the camera. Er, go win the Race? Just a suggestion, really.
The GOPs wind down their sleuthing trip, eventually encountering Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker Street who hands them their next clue. And once more - big blunder here, as I'm sure people who know the quirks of London traffic will agree - the GOPs decide to take a cab to the Millennium Dome.
The IVFs reach the hotel and decide to take the "Brawn" Detour. Joyce is only half-joking when she says that brawn will be "better" for them. Meanwhile, the Cannon Fodders, when they show up, decide to take "Brawn". Why? Because they have no brain, obviously. Then again, they have no brawn either. What's the third option, Philo? The "Brains" Detour is tailor-made for Teams like the Cannon Fodder, for heaven's sake, and for them to tackle the heavy boats... good heavens.
Both Teams take cabs to the park.
The Robcouple are on their way to the North Greenwich Station. Elsewhere, the GOPs announce that they "definitely want" to Yield the Robcouple whom they perceive as their biggest competition on the Race. But since they are trailing behind, they will have to imagine this scenario. Because right now, the Robcouple have arrived at the Dome, spot the Yield stand, and make their way towards it. This is the last Yield on the Race, by the way. The Robcouple consider whom to Yield. Ambore wants to Yield the IVFs. The Robfather wants to Yield the GOPs. At first I believe that the Robcouple should have Yielded the IVFs since they pose a bigger threat than the Cannon Fodders and Yielding the IVFs can very well mean that the IVFs can't recover from it. But the Robfather's telling Ambore that the Yield will be wasted if the IVFs are eliminated but the GOPs still come in last makes no sense to me. After checking the Insider clips on the official website, things begin to make sense when I come across an unaired clip where the Robcouple explain how they somehow believe that the GOPs are last in the leg so they target the GOPs because of that. Therefore, the Robfather has the correct idea on how to use the Yield to its full devastating potential. His only mistake is his assuming that the GOPs are trailing behind. How he can imagine that the IVFs and the Cannon Fodders can magically overtake the GOPs, I will never know. Maybe the Robfather is just covering his butt in that clip. I don't know. But speaking as someone who knows the order of the Teams while watching that scene, I still say that the IVFs should be Yielded.
To cut things short, they Yield the GOPs. They head over to the clue stand, where they learn that it is now time for a Roadblock. The person doing this Roadblock will have to drive a double-decker bus around a marked course without hitting any of the cones lining each side of the road before parking the bus, parallel-parking style, into the parking area by the course. Ambore says that she can't drive stick so the Robfather will have to perform this Roadblock. If you are keeping count of the number of Roadblocks each person has completed, the Robfather will be ineligible to perform any Roadblocks after this so Ambore is on her own for the next two Roadblocks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Ambore will be up to the task. The Robfather hops onto a bus after saying hello to the supervisor and eventually crushes a cone under one of the wheels of the bus. Ouch. The Robfather has to get out of the bus and let the supervisor drive the bus back to the starting point before he can try again. Ambore hopes that the Robfather will finish faster. Things can get rather uncomfortable if the GOPs catch up with them, after all.
The IVFs reach the park first and without much ado, they haul a boat from the lake and stack it onto the storage area provided. They are hauling their second boat when the Cannon Fodders show up and start to work. As the two old geezers struggle, the IVFs encourage them to keep going. How sweet of them. I guess they really do want to hold hands and dance to the finish line with the Cannon Fodders!
The Robfather is now into his third attempt to drive the double-decker. This time around, one of the wheels grazes a cone lightly but the eagle-eyed supervisor spots that and blows his whistle. The Robfather will have to start again. He apologizes to Ambore, saying that the task is hard. Ambore tells him that she understands. She smiles when he boyishly assures her not to worry as he really, really gets "it" this time and after all, like he says, the fourth time's the charm! How adorable. I am embarrassing myself so I better stop gushing. Fourth time is indeed the charm as the Robfather successfully parks the bus after completing a course without any conical casualty. After thanking the supervisor, he apologizes once more to Ambore for taking so long in doing the Roadblock. They receive a clue that tells them to head straight to the Pit Stop at Potter's Field Park, eight miles from the Dome, beside the Tower of London, and offering a great view of the Thames. As the Robcouple leave, the Robfather is surprised that no one catches up with them. "I was there for like an hour!" he says in amazement as Ambore laughs. They take a cab.
The GOPs show up at the Dome. They have spent an hour on the road and they are not happy about it. They are even less happy when they come up to the Yield stand and realize that they have been gobsmacked by the Robcouple. "This is the nail in the coffin!" GI Joe says before he turns the hourglass like Barbie Jane tells him to. Okay, now I'm confused. They, like the Robcouple, believe that they are last. Why is that? I guess I will never know, will I?
The IVFs now finish stacking four boats and are about to head over for the last boat. Meanwhile, the Cannon Fodders are still struggling to stack their second boat onto their first. Gretchen tells the camera that the IVFs are nice friends to the Cannon Fodders (translation: they always help the Cannon Fodders). So it is with heavy heart - for I do like the IVFs - that Uchenna is now officially stupid for wanting to help the Cannon Fodders. He goes ahead and push their second boat with them until the Cannon Fodders remind him that he can't help them. It's stated in the rules. As the IVFs finish their Detour, Uchenna tells the camera that the Cannon Fodders are nice people so it breaks his heart to see them suffering like this. Well, what can I say? Those two old coots choose to do this Detour so it's not as if they deserve that much sympathy from me. As the IVFs leave, Gretchen begins nagging Meredith. I guess the bump she suffers on her head must be making her more cranky than usual. Luckily, the show has very little time for trailing Teams so Gretchen is cut off before she gets to deliver her latest epic whine to the camera.
This time around, the IVFs ask a cab driver whether it will be faster to take a cab to the Dome. The cab driver is more honest than most: he tells the IVFs to take the tube. The Cannon Fodders stack their fourth boat. The IVFs get directions to the station. The Cannon Fodders finish up the Detour and take a cab (haw, haw). The editing seems to suggest that the Cannon Fodders finish up as soon as the IVFs left but who are they trying to kid, seriously? The IVFs actually walk onto the tracks instead of going to the correct station and are flabbergasted when the train just passes them without stopping. Boy, this is not a good day for the IVFs. They come off like total nitwits. In their cab, Meredith hopes that some other Teams will encounter some trouble that will allow the Cannon Fodders to sneak up and past them, just like how they have lasted this long into the Race. The IVFs are directed to the correct station and Uchenna worries that their mistake may cost them the Race. The Cannon Fodders are stuck in traffic. I'm sure that there are at least seventy hours worth of Gretchen moaning and whining that are left at the cutting room floor by the end of this episode.
As the GOPs wait to be released from the Yield mat, Barbie Jane scribbles demon horns, moustache, and ugly glasses on the photo of the Robcouple. Being an honest God-fearing lady who only lies to cab driver about the amount of money she has, she naturally writes that the devil made her do it on the photo and repeats that line aloud to the camera. As if I care, really. Once they are free to go, Barbie Jane announces that she will do the Roadblock. GI Joe tells the camera that he would have done the Roadblock if he hasn't done five already. Yeah, yeah, I know. He knows and can do everything because he was in the Army. What-effing-ever, dude.
Cutting across the Potter's Park, straight to Philo, right onto... well, hello there, Mr VIP with beautiful eyelashes and killer cheekbones, have you been waiting all your life for me? Ahem. The Robcouple step onto the finish mat before Philo, who doesn't seem so hot anymore now that Mr Luscious VIP is standing beside him. The Robcouple are the first Team to arrive and they have won an new entertainment set that they don't need, woo-hoo! Ambore modestly tells the camera that the Robcouple have just been very lucky so far and therefore luck is very important on this Race.
The IVFs reach the Dome and pause momentarily to admire Barbie Jane's carnage on the Robcouple's photo before having Joyce tackle the bus. At this point, Barbie Jane is struggling with the bus while GI Joe is yelling orders at her. Uchenna hopes that Joyce can finish this Roadblock faster than Barbie Jane and thus allow the IVFs to beat the GOPs to the finish. The Cannon Fodders show up next and Meredith decides to handle this Roadblock. All remaining three Teams are now here, prompting Uchenna to speculate that this game is anybody's at this point.
What happens next is a hilarious montage of the impromptu bus drivers' frustrations. GI Joe yells at Barbie Jane to drive straight. Uchenna yells at Joyce to turn left. Gretchen howls at Meredith to slow down and he shouts back that he is, prompting her to act like she's the wronged one here because she doesn't like to be shouted at, YOU UNDERSTAND? Barbie Jane makes a hilarious face as she tries to understand what GI Joe says when he tells her to "cut the wheel hard". Things become more hilarious when the drivers start blaming the order-givers when they hit a cone. Uchenna tells Joyce to go right, she goes right, hits a cone, and she screams exactly Gollum-like that he is telling her to do the wrong things. People start screaming and shouting and hitting the steering wheel. This montage is prime grade comedy. You have to see it for yourself to appreciate how hilarious this montage is.
Barbie Jane is on her seventh attempt when she drives too slowly for GI Joe. He complains to the camera, "It's like teaching women how to drive!" Er, he knows that Barbie Jane is a woman, right? No wonder he's annoyed if he's hoping that Barbie Jane is some crossdressing guy and feeling cheated when she pulls down her pants and a reversed The Crying Game scenario ensued. Mercifully, Barbie Jane completes the Roadblock in her seventh try. Barbie Jane is noticeably at the brink of tears. But GI Joe, stupidly, tries to kiss her in the cab and she rebuffs him. He then makes a sound of disgust, as if he can't believe that women can be so annoying like this, and this launches another tiresome fight between those two. GI Joe comes off like a complete asshole here because he firstly insists that he is a military guy so he shouldn't be held to "man and woman problem", as he puts it. And then he accuses Barbie Jane of being angry with him because she can't stand that he is better at things than she is. Is this guy for real? GI Joe snaps that they should go back so that he will prove to her that he is better than her at driving the bus. This is a more obnoxious rehash of his berating her non-stop for not being able to balance a bucket of water on her head back in Sankuyo Village, Botswana. I don't care who is in the wrong or in the right; they can hash this out before their priest or relationship counselor and I just want them to get off my TV.
Joyce eventually completes the Roadblock in her fifth attempt. As the IVFs leave, Joyce calls out to Gretchen and Meredith to keep trying. Gretchen gives this ugly look at the camera. Oh dear, is she unhappy that her best friends forever are going to beat her and her husband in reaching the Pit Stop first? Poor Gretchen. Good people always finish last, don't they? Finally, Meredith completes the Roadblock in his seventh attempt and the Cannon Fodders leave the Dome.
The GOPs check in with Philo as team number two. They tell him that it had been a tough leg for them. Talk about understating the situation. Get them off my TV, somebody!
The show tries to suggest that it is some close race between the IVFs and the Cannon Fodders, but it is much darker when the Cannon Fodders show up so I really don't think so. Nice try though, editors. The IVFs are team number three, which means the Cannon Fodders are finally eliminated when they should have been gone at least three episodes ago. The Cannon Fodders predictably give the "our love and the friendships that we made are more important than money" babble and Philo naturally calls them an "inspiration" just because they are old. If you are old, you are automatically "inspirational" even if you coast on other people's mistakes, ride on coattails, and do every possible stupid mistakes that can ever be made on the show, don't you know?
So it's now down to three. The Robcouple vow to win. The GOPs say that the Robcouple have a "definite lack of character" because he treats her like crap, they lie to cab drivers... oh, wait. The IVFs hope that the GOPs and the Robcouple will negate each other, thus allowing the IVFs to sneak past them to the finish line. Me? I can't wait for finale. I'm sure you can guess which Team I'll be rooting for.
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