How Do We Know We Aren't Going To Get Shot?
The Amazing Race 8 : Episode 2


It's a plane! Previously, someone thought it would be a good idea to make a family-friendly edition of this show. I was initially excited about this concept change but after seeing the first episode, I wasn't so psyched anymore. This week's episode is better but I suspect that it's mostly due to the show being edited to fit one hour. The previous episode has too many filler scenes of Families being on the road. Here, the pacing feels tighter. Still, I find myself wondering what the folks being this show were thinking when they thought it'd be great to introduce families into the show. Oh, and we said goodbye to the Black family. Nice people but they were just too slow.

Credits. Let me say that if I am betting on the winner, I'd put my money on the Lunz family. Four able-bodied folks in their late teens and early twenties? Are you kidding me? They form a human pyramid in the credits to let you know that they may be cast to be on this show but they're so going to win in the process. It's a good thing that they show some brainpower this week which goes a little in making me view them as maybe something a little bit more than a catalogue of Abercrombie and Fitch wannabes thinking that they can be great TV fodder when they crack jokes about body functions and fratboy antics.

Back to the show, Philo Koughie explains that he is standing right smack in the middle of Amish county. Or Lancester, Pennsylvia, the center of Amish and Mennonite communities, whose folks really shouldn't be watching this show if they are being very good Amish folks. The show tries to give me this impression that these good Amish folks lead very happy lives of honest hard work in green grassy meadows. While that may or may not be true, I don't think I'm cut out for that faith. I mean, give me two months and I'll be selling my soul to the devil for a glimpse of Jensen Ackles on Superstition, my guilty pleasure of this TV season. Philo is standing before the Rohrer family farm, which he describes as a "traditional Mennonite homestead", and as I try to erase the theme song of Twin Peaks that suddenly keep playing in my mind, he explains that this was the Pit Stop in the previous leg of the Race. He wonders whether the Lunzes will remain last and whether the Godawfulshrieky Sisters will maintain their lead over the other Families.

The first sign that the mandatory rest period in the Pit Stop is more than the usual 12 hours is when the Godawfulshrieky Sisters get ready to leave at 7:57 am. The Sisters open their clue, yoo-hoo a little but they are clearly not too perky at this early stage of the Race yet, and realize that they must drive over to the Shoe House, located in Shoehouse Road, some 15 miles away in York. How cute, the Shoe House is shaped like a shoe. Dare I hope that the Families will be taking rides in giant teacups and visiting a replica of the witch's house from Hensel and Gretel some time in the future? Philo says that the Families must find the clue located somewhere in the Shoe House. There is a familiar flag at the roof of the Shoe House. Gee, perhaps the clue box is up there? The Sisters say that they are so happy to come in the first despite their constant bickering. Boy, I hate to imagine then the volume of their quarreling. They look for a gas station on their way to the Shoe House because their SUV is running low on gas. You know the show is putting that portion in because BP is sponsoring this show for this season, right?

8:07 am. The Gagglehams get ready to leave. Mrs Gaggleham believes that while at first the other Families assume that this Family is nothing as they have two kids who probably can't be of much use, she's sure that the other Families will change their mind now that the Gagglehams came in second in the previous leg. Be very afraid of Billy and Carissa, everyone! If you diss them, they will bite hard on your ankles and make you cry. Meanwhile, Mr Gaggleham checks the map and tells Mrs Gaggleham, who is driving, to take the 30 West to get to the Shoe House.

8:08 am. The Whining Weevils are off. Mrs Weevil says that after her husband went looking for Dodos one day and never came back, she has to step up to the plate in order to keep the family together. Again, I can certainly sympathize with her predicament but really, is it necessary to make this show her Family's personal therapy session? I understand that the million bucks can go some way in paying the bills and easing the grief but come on, really! Mrs Weevil in their SUV warns her family members not to fool around or get lazy. I notice that the daredevil driver daughter Rebecca has two feet down while driving this morning. Mrs Weevil did say that nobody can take things easy in this leg of the Race after all.

8:09 am. The Dodgers leave. Brock, the kid, who could have filled the milquetoast heartthrob niche currently belonging to Jared Padalecki if he has the courage to leave his creepy and obnoxious parents and move to Hollywood earlier, says in a scene of foreshadowing that Mr Dodger likes to be solely in charge of everything and he also thinks that he is right about everything. Poor Brock. The Dodgers take off.

8:18 am. The Shroepers get to leave. The daughter Stassi, who looks like she's trying way too hard to look like Kelly Osbourne, tells the camera that they expect to came in first in the previous leg but we all know how that turned out, don't we, Mr Shroeper? She thinks that despite the current dent in their expectations, they are "learning" as they go along. So there they go.

The Godawfulshrieky Sisters pull up for gas in a non-BP station, which means we don't get to see the BP logo flashing at our faces. Meanwhile, Mrs Gaggleham tells the camera that she and Mr Gaggleham had spent the better part of the previous night studying maps and what-not to get into the "cruise mode". Alas, the Mini-Gagglehams are more intent on making silly faces and annoying each other in the backseat, distracting Mr Gaggleham who is trying to concentrate on the map. He tells the kids that he and Mrs Gaggleham need to "focus" right now so the kids need to get out of their "stupid mode". The kids don't seem too keen to oblige though, being kids that they are. Then again, the parents don't seem to mind so much either. Back to the Godawfulshrieky Sisters, they think ten gallons is enough to keep them going and look for Route 30. The Whining Weevils are also looking for Route 30 but to be on the safe side, they decide to pray to God to help them locate the road as well. I don't expect anything less from the Whining Weevils, come to think of it. Mr Dodger orders his clan to watch for the Shoe House. Mr Shroeper thinks that he knows a shortcut that Mrs Shroeper can take. Let's see how that goes, shall we?

8:21 am. The Pablums are already at it. Mrs Pablum whines to the camera in this abrasive, high-strung way of hers that no one ever listens to her when they should have because she keeps going about something again and again but they never listen, noooo. DJ complains bitterly to the camera that his mother is constantly nagging. It's remarkable how everyone in this Family seems to bring out the worst from each other. The mother is constantly nagging in a supremely irritating manner, the kids are constantly being nasty to her, and the father keeps quiet, maybe because he privately agrees with the kids. These four are totally painful to watch. I think having a drill constantly boring into my skull will be a more pleasant experience than being trapped in close quarters with the Pablums.

8:24 am. The Blandsens are off. Mr Bransen says that the Family did better than he expected. One of the daughters say that her father is not the most optimistic man around. I must say, since he obviously has low expectations from his own daughters! They too look for 30 West.

8:37 am. The Aiyoyos are off. The sons-in-law talk about wanting to make Mr Aiyoyo proud of them. They are such adorable men, all four of them, really, with their natural and easy camaraderie and all. Besides, they are also hot in a hirsute, real, and down-to-earth manner and I find them so much more pleasant on my eyes compared to the artifically chiseled Lunz himbos.

Speaking of the Lunzes, they depart at 8:45 am, vowing to make up for lost time and what not. The himbos are all sporting bandannas, making them looking like various progresions of Matthew Lillard through a steroidal buff-up phase.

The Gagglehams spot the Shoe House first and while Carissa wants to run out to get the clue, Mr Gaggleham tells her that they need to hurry so he'd do it. He runs up the stairs to the roof, therefore never letting me get a glimpse into what the inside of the Shoe House is like, and grabs the clue. He learns that Families must drive 110 miles to Washington, DC and look for a reflecting pool in front of the Capitol. As we shall soon see, he's not the only one who misreads "Capitol" as "capital". Anyway, the Gagglehams take off, with Mr Gaggleham telling the Mrs to go back to 30 West and then take 83 South. I'm learning a lot about highways of America on this show. I wish the lesson is delivered in a more interesting manner, sigh. The Shroepers are next to reach the Shoe House, so Mr Shroeper's short cut is correct after all. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters show up after the Shroepers and then they leave after getting their clue. Next to arrive are the Whining Weevils. They are stumped by the clue. Daredevil driver daughter Rebecca asks aloud, "Where's Washington, DC?" This is a pretty reasonable question since she probably doesn't know how to drive to Washington, DC from where they are. The other daughter, Rachel, however, just has to ask, "What state is that in, Washington?" I hope Rachel's friends are her intellectual equal or inferior because otherwise, she'll never live that one down. Finally, Mrs Weevil tells Rebecca to just drive to Maryland.

The Dodgers get their clue and Brock and Mr Dodger then proceed to swap places so that Brock will now drive. Mr Dodger then starts the mess that this Family will never get out of by telling Brock to take 30 East (instead of 30 West) and then 83 South. Since Mr Dodger is holding the map and he likes to insist that he is always right, Brock therefore looks for 30 East. After they leave the Shoe House, the Pablums and then the Blandsens all show up, get the clue, and leave. They know their east from west, fortunately. The Aiyoyos show up next and it's another exciting scene of someone running up the stairs to get some clue - I know, how exciting, how can I stand it? - and the former Marine David is pleased that they are going to Washington, DC because he has lived for a few years in that area. He knows where the reflecting pool is, he tells the other guys. The Lunz then show up to reassure me that I am indeed right when I think that the Aiyoyo hunks are so much more attractive than the Lunz himbos. Right now those himbos look like they're wearing everything they can grab from the bargain bin in some Pretty Fly For A White Guy store for aspiring Eminems everywhere. Fortunately for them, they, like the Aiyoyos, know their east from west as well.

While the other Families happily ride off to the metaphorical western sunset to Washington, DC, the Dodgers are lost. Brock has taken 30 East as per Mr Dodger's instruction and now he is trying to look for the turning to 83 South without success. Brock also points out that he doesn't see any other Families on the road, which is always not a good sign when you're sure that you're lost. "You're responsible for finding 83 South," Mr Dodger however tells him in a tone that clearly blames Brock for this mess, even if Mr Dodger is the one holding the map even now at the backseat of the SUV. Over at the Aiyoyos' SUV, David has obviously misread "Capitol" as "capital" when he tells the others that the reflecting pool is between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Yes, that's the more famous reflecting pool (or so I hear), but there's another one right before the Capitol. In the meantime, the Lunzes are looking at the map for the location of the Capitol and discovers the location of the nearby reflecting pool. They also notice another reflecting pool on the map and double-check the clue to reassure themselves that they are looking for the correct pool. Spurred on, the Lunzes drive on. One of the Lughead Himbos announces that there will be no stopping for toilet breaks and anyone who needs to go can do so into a cup. Megan makes a face. I sigh. What is it with witless himbos and their tendency to associate jokes of body functions as something so adroit and comedic?

Back to the Dodgers, Mr Dodger insists that they have somehow passed 83 South. Brock isn't so sure and wonders aloud whether they have gone down the wrong direction instead. Of course Mr Dodger insists that they haven't because they can't have, since he's reading the map all the time. Brock says that he hasn't seen any turning or sign to 83 South. His father insists one more time that Brock is somehow stupid enough to actually did, and to make matters worse, Mrs Dodger backs him up even when she clearly has no idea what she is talking about. I have to give Brock credit for being patient and still polite instead of snapping back at his parents, although a part of me wonders sadly whether this is patience that came to him the hard way through years of being in such situations where he is double-tagged and ragged on by both his parents through no fault of his. Mrs Dodger says in a condescending tone that makes it clear that she thinks Brock is in the wrong that Brock should let Mr Dodger drive now. After all, that man is always right, see?

"Not seeing it and not passing it's two different things," Mr Dodger says sharply to Brock as he gets into the driver's seat." Brock insists that he has not seen any sign for 83 South but his father isn't listening. To the camera, the now officially odious Mr Dodger says, ""We took our eye off the ball. We said '83 South' to the driver, and we passed up the exit." That's nice. When he's in the wrong, the whole family shares the blame, while when his son's in the wrong, he'll rag him to the ground. Oh Brock. Oh Brock. Only when the daughter Brittney finally looks at the map and says that there is no 83 South turning on this road does Mrs Dodger finally admit that there may be a chance that Brock is right. Again, to Brock's credit, he doesn't gloat or pursue the matter further than a mild mocking of Mr Dodger's santimonious attitude. Brittney says that they should listen to Brock more. Mr Dodger however growls that while he may have given Brock the wrong directions, he can only do so much. Yeah, but all he did is to give Brock the wrong directions. How about an apology to Brock, Mr Dodger? But oh no, he's now playing the martyr, that prick.

The Gagglehams reach the reflecting pool by the Lincoln Memorial, which is the wrong one, and start looking for the clue stand. The Shroepers show up too and they too start hunting for the clue stand. Good luck, folks. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters ask someone for directions to the Capitol so they are on the right track. Elsewhere, near the Capitol, a helpful passer-by lets the Whining Weevils know that there are two reflecting pools in Washington, DC. He lets them know as well that they are at the correct pool. The Whining Weevils happily park and start looking for the clue stand. With the Godawfulshrieky Sisters close to their tail, the Whining Weevils locate the clue stand and learn that they must now collect a black briefcase from a black limo parked by some street and take the briefcase to the Tidal Basin. Ooh, this is some secret agent thingie! How exciting! Now I know why the Families selected to be on this show are mostly White and fit the typical WASP middle-class population stereotype. Who knows what will happen when the folks around Washington, DC see Middle-Eastern folks running around the place with black briefcases! It's a quick and painless effort to locate what seems like the longest limo I've seen - perfect for Senators to do drugs and have sex with ambitious interns away from the prying eyes of the media, I suspect - and collect the briefcases in question for the Whining Weevils and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters.

The Gagglehams are running round and round the pool in what I swear in a circular race-track manner looking for the clue stand. I don't know what they are trying to do. Maybe they expect the clue stand to magically rise from some secret compartment in the middle of the pool after they have run six laps or something. In the meantime, Mr Shroeper stops to ask someone whether this is the only reflecting pool in town and realizes that they are at the wrong pool. The Shroepers leave but they pretend that they don't know where the clue stand is when they come across the Gagglehams. I don't blame them, of course, as they are on a Race. Elsewhere, Mrs Pablum is telling the others in her most obnoxious manner that they are running out of gas. And because they are just as obnoxious, the others ignore her. They manage to locate the correct reflecting pool and later the limo. Gah. Back to the Wrong Reflecting Pool, the Blandsens and later the Aiyoyos show up. The Aiyoyos, upon failing to locate the clue stand, quickly look at the tourist map at one of those helpful outposts they have at places like this and realize that they have to go to the other reflecting pool. The Gagglehams, meanwhile, keep running. It's nice to see that they always have time for their running no matter where they are or what time it is. At the Correct Reflecting Pool, the Shroepers, the Lunzes, and the Aiyoyos all show up and later collect their briefcases. Run, Gagglehams, run!

The Godawfulshrieky Sisters manage to beat the Whining Weevils to the Tidal Basin, where they learn that it's now time for a Roadblock. Philo comes out to explain what a Roadblock is and the restriction on the maximum Roadblocks a member can perform in the Race is noticeably missing this time around in his explanation. I don't get it. I'm sure we all don't want to see some ten-year old girl screaming in terror as she attempts to eat a hundred pounds of wriggling worms or whatever it is those funny folks in the Ozarks eat for fun (just kidding, people) but if that's the case, why then are Roadblocks in this season dumbed down to the point of ridiculousness? In this particular Roadblock, the Family member must take the brief case and approach a spy with the code phrase "The sky is blue." There are twenty-five spies wandering around but only ten will have the correct briefcase. The correct spy will answer, "The sky is green!" This spy will then exchange briefcases with the Family member and the next clue is in that briefcase. One of the Sisters start running around asking folks in long suits whether the sky is blue. It will be hilarious if somehow a real flasher manages to slip past the ranks and shock someone but ah, this season seems determined to bore me with lameness as much as possible. Behind, the Whining Weevils are making a lot of noise. Apparently they don't like the way Rebecca is driving. Maybe they want her to put one leg on the seat.

The Pablums show up and DJ, after some unnecessary rudeness to Mrs Pablum, takes off to do the Roadblock. I wonder why he is so rude to his mother because it's clear as he runs awkwardly around the place and approaches even more awkwardly at those paid actors pretending to be spies, he's probably the kind of person that people give a wide berth to in real life because he's so danged awkward socially. If his mother doesn't love him, then who will? The Godawfulshrieky Sister manages to locate a spy who knows that the sea is green (and I used to wonder why these Intelligence people can't seem to do anything right sometimes) and after much woo hoo eeee aaaaah whoops of joy, learns that she and her Sisters can now travel to Welbourne Manor some 49 miles away in Middleburg, Virginia. Philo describes the Manor as a "historic antebellum home". I think "antebellum" is an euphemism for "slave-owner", but I may be wrong. Mrs Weevil takes the Roadblock for her Family and finds a spy who tells her that the sea is green in her first try. Hallelujah! The Whining Weevils take off, leaving the unhappy Pablums to sulk as DJ bumble and sulk his way through his latest rejection. I have a hunch that he's used to receiving plenty of rejections. Finally, he locates the correct spy and because the spy is African-American, DJ goes, "I love you, my brother!" If this spy is played by Chris Rock, I'd bet the response would be, "Shut up!" followed by some N word only he and a few others can get away with using on TV. Alas, this show is still boring.

The Shroepers show up as the Pablums leave and Mr Shroeper offers to do the Roadblock because he thinks that this Roadblock may be "hard". He'd leave the easy ones like dragging a two-hundred pound Arkansas swine through a mud pit for the kiddies. Mr Shroeper then thinks it will be funny to insult those spies that reject him with wonderfully creative insults like "I think her panties are too tight!" Anyone's panties will be tight too when they are approached by an unfunny slimeball like Mr Shroeper. Over at the Wrong Reflecting Pool, the Gagglehams pause in their fitness regime to let Carissa throw a coin into the pool and make a wish that they will find the clue soon. That sentence is so wonderfully multilayered, eh? The Blandsens are learning that Mr Blandsen is having a hard time keeping up. Two of the daughters seem to be more than happy to just keep running and leave Mr Blandsen behind but the third daughter, whose name I suspect is Cordelia, tells Goneril and Regan that they have to let Mr Blandsen take a moment to collect his breath. Mr Blandsen tells the camera that he is surprised that he is not as fit as his daughters - hmmph, looks like he's unrealistically optimistic in at least one aspect of his life after all - and hopes that he won't let his Family down in any way. Judging from the impatient expressions on the faces of Goneril and Regan, they are probably thinking that he'd better not. On a lesser note, the Aiyoyos and the Lunzes show up at the Tidal Basin. David and Lughead Himbo #2 will be doing the Roadblock for their respective Families.

Mr Shroeper, after calling a distinguished-looking older "spy" "Pops" and learning from "Pops" the sea is green like my face after heading Mr Shroeper trying to be amusing on TV for only fifteen minutes, comes across David and Lughead Himbo #3 walking side by side and says that those two look so dashing together. I agree. Naturally Well-Honed Marine Dude and Gym-Beef Himbo Bunny go so well together, it's like some gay adult movie waiting to happen. As for Mr Shroeper, I think somebody watched the Robfather on this show and believed that he could pull off the same mix of attitude and behavior that made the Robfather a polarizing contestant on this show. So far he's not doing too well in his inferior imitation.

Ahead, Mrs Pablum is going "Aha! I told you! I told you!" only in an even more obnoxious manner when the Pablums realize that they really need to stop for gas. The men tell her to shut up. Mrs Pablum however tells the camera that they should have listened to her and she has full intentions of reminding them of this again and again. Ugh, that is like throwing gasoline into a bonfire. I hope the part where they all strangle each other as the folks at the gas station can only watch and gape at takes place will be worth enduring their pointless bickerings and arguments. Back at the Correct Reflecting Pool, David happily receives a briefcase from a spy who is from the sea is green school of thought, leaving Himbo Lughead #2 in dismay when this poor dear realizes that a spy can only give one person a briefcase instead of pulling another one out magically from the spy's behind to give it to Himbo Lughead #2 as well. David takes off. So long, Himbo Lughead. Oh well, these two are not as hot as the Ryan, Howie, and Jim love triangle on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart anyway. The Aiyoyos leave and the Lunzes wait impatiently for Himbo Lughead #2 to come back to them.

Elsewhere, the Dodgers finally show up in Washington, DC and asks someone where the reflecting pool is. The helpful person directs them to the Wrong Reflecting Pool, saying that they can't miss it. He then chuckles, "Famous last words!" Mr Dodger uses this opportunity to glare at his Family and talks about missing the 83 South turn, even though you, me, and the neighborhood dog know by now that the fault lies entirely on this clodhopping blockhead here or that they didn't miss any turn to 83 South because they were on the freaking wrong road in the first place, thanks to this idiotic jerk here. Ahead, Billy asks his parents to ask people for directions or something but Mr Gaggleham impatiently asks him back who they can ask directions from. The camera zooms in on the information booth, heh. So the Gagglehams keep running and running despite having wasted two hours at that place. Meanwhile, the Blandsens are looking as well when they learn from a passer-by that they are at the wrong pool. They quietly leave the place. The Dodgers finally show up and they bump into the Gagglehams who tell them that the Gagglehams have been literally running in circles of futility for two hours here. Only then do both Families, united by the fathers' stubborn refusal to listen to their sons - look at their clues and realize that they should be looking for the "Capitol" instead of looking at the "capital". Finally the Gagglehams, with the Dodgers, head over to the information booth where they learn that the correct reflection pool that they are looking for is in front of the Capitol like the clue says. Both Families dash for their SUVs. I have to love Billy when he says aloud that he hopes the Gagglehams' SUV is parked closer than the Dodgers. That kid wants to win, that's for sure! In the Dodgers' SUV, Mr Dodger says that it's a pity that his Family will have to pay for his mistake. He speaks like a truly creepy preacher man with cult leader aspirations. Poor Brock.

Somehow the Gagglehams manage to beat the Blandsens to the correct reflection pool. The Dodgers come in last. All three Families have no problems locating the limo, of which I'm sure they're grateful. Ahead, the Pablums are stopping for gas and Mrs Pablum is asking them whether they even comprehend the fact that you need to stop for gas regularly. The men are naturally shouting back at her. This family seems incapable of having a sane conversation, a fact that I'm sure they will blame on the editing in post-show interviews. Maybe I should start praying to Mrs Weevil's God for the elimination of the Pablums pronto. The Gagglehams show up at the Tidal Basin where Mrs Gaggleham actually manages to get her briefcase at the same time that Himbo Lughead #2 finally get his. The Gagglehams may have bled two hours at the wrong place but with luck and efficiency, they are making up for lost time. Both Families leave at the same time, looking for 50 West. The Blandsens now show up where for some reason the exhausted Mr Blandsen decides to do the Roadblock and for equally bizarre reasons the three daughters allow him to do so. Elsewhere, the Dodgers can't seem to locate the Tidal Basin while the Pablums can't seem to reorientate themselves after making that off-city detour to find a gas station. I'm pretty sure that their neighbors are hoping that they take their time in getting lost on their way home from this show. DJ, who is driving, shrieks that there are three people in the same vehicle as him who can't read a map. Mrs Pablum screams back, "Blame the three of you because none of you ever ever ever listen to me!" DJ turns to grab the map and for a truly evil moment I hope their SUV flies off the road and straight into a ditch. Alas, this show isn't interesting in that way.

Far, far ahead, the Whining Weevils and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters approach Middleburg. Meanwhile, the Families behind them are stuck in traffic. Here is where the Lunzes look at their map and realize that there is a route (50 West) that they can take to bypass the headache of the traffic jam and they take it. Not bad at all, really. It's Megan's idea, by the way, and the three lughead brothers listen to her for once. Or so the editing suggests anyway, because later on when they show up at the Manor, it shows that they actually decided not to take this route and instead remain on Interstate 66 until they later cut to 15 North, which, while better than remaining on Interstate 66 all the way, is not as fast as the initial bypass into 50 West. So the Lunzes aren't as brilliant as the show wants us to think they are if the Lunzes can second guess themselves out of an actually good alternative route. I'd leave it to you as to why the show wants us all to think that the Lunzes are pretty and smart. Let's just say that their editing seems to be following the same direction as an equally pretty but initially edited as dumb team, the Zoolander Twins from the third season. Hmmm.

As the Pablums finally find their way to Interstate 66 to join the other Families already stuck there, the Blandsens finally get the correct briefcase and leave to join the fun of experiencing the traffic jam too. The Dodgers show up last at the Tidal Basin where Brittney performs the Roadblock. She'd better hurry or Mr Dodger may start blaming her for who-knows-what soon. Eventually she locates the correct spy and the Dodgers take off... to join the merry traffic jam.

At Middleburg, the Whining Weevils and the Godawfulshrieky Sisters have their eyes peeled for signs pointing to Welbourne Manor. The Sisters miss the sign while the Whining Weevils spot it so the Weevils are the first to arrive at the Manor. Here they learn that it's time for a Detour. For "Heat of the Battle", Philo explains that Families must plunge into the midst of a civil war reenactment and carry five "wounded" soldiers using a stretcher to the sick tent. For "Heat of the Night", Families must fill 20 old-fashioned kerosene lamps with kerosene from large barrels and carry these lamps to a table where under the watchful supervision of a "quartermaster", they must light all 20 lamps in order to receive a flag that they must carry to the Pit Stop - a short distance away from the Roadblock site. Boy, I'm glad that the Blacks aren't here because won't it be awkward for them to take part in a reenactment of the Civil War, on the side of Virginia? The Whining Weevils ultimately decide that it may be slower to light the oil lamps but they have taken a vow in the previous episode to never ever do any physical tasks anymore so it's off into the heat of the night that they go. When the Godawfulshrieky Sisters show up, they plunge straight into the heat of the battle.

Guns! Aaah! Someone is wounded! My, I'm so happy that all the young men playing soldiers in this reenactment all look like out-of-job aspiring actors hoping to get a break from waiting at tables, which is what most of them are anyway, I suspect. Anyway, the Whining Weevils start filling lamps, dumping plenty of kerosene into the ground (I hope the owners of Wellbourne Manor aren't seeing this act of pollution!), while the Godawfulshrieky Sisters start manhandling poor handsome waiters pretending to be soldiers while hoping to be actors onto their stretcher one by one. The Lunzes show up and it's a no-brainer for four able-bodied young people to plunge straight into the heat of the battle. Megan even starts counting aloud the number of "soldiers" that they have carried while they quickly catch up with the struggling Sisters, although I'm still not sure whether she wants to encourage or intimidate the Sisters who are clearly running fast out of breath. I'm leaning towards the latter. The Shroepers, the Aiyoyos, and the Blandsens show up next. The Shroepers think that they make better Florence Nightingales while the other two Families decide to plunge into battle. I don't know what Mr Blandsen is thinking when he allows himself to do that Detour when he's clearly out of breath. David - does anyone remember the names of the other two Aiyoyo sons-in-law? - says that as a former Marine he is thrilled to be in a war reenactment fighting on the side that wants slavery to continue and he finds the whole event so freaking meaningful.

The Whining Weevils squeal in excitement when they finish their task first and they quickly grab their flag and run. Meanwhile, the Lunzes shockingly enough (snort) beat the Godawfulshrieky Sisters in carrying poor manhandled waiters on their stretcher and they too run after the Whining Weevils with their own flag. Alas, nothing can apparently stop the Whining Weevils when it comes to flag-waving so onto the finishing mat first are the Whining Weevils. Philo tells them that they have won a trip to Bermuda for coming in first. Rachel takes the opportunity to remind everyone that her mother took responsibility for all of them after their father headed off to the giant race-circuit in the sky. At the rate this is going, I think Mr Whining Weevil will be the most famous stiff in Reality TV Land by the end of the year. The Lunzes come in second and their perfectly-curved pecs throb in disappointment that they haven't won a lifetime supply of video streaming into female locker rooms in colleges everywhere. The Godawfulshrieky Sisters are third.

Back at the Field of Guns and Oils of Glory, Mr Blandsen announces that he really can't go on anymore. The Whining Weevils hold their collective breath, worried that Mr Blandsen's impending stiffhood may steal the thunder from their dead father. Fortunately, this is only a minor drama on Mr Blandsen's part. I hope, for his daughters' sake, that he isn't this high maintenance for the rest of the Race. The Gagglehams in the meantime show up. What happened to them between the Tidal Basin and Welbourne Manor? Billy squeals that he'd love to go to the battlefield while Carissa is worried as she asks her mother, "How do we know we aren't going to get shot?" Since she's nine, it's understandable that she's worried about all the noise and guns waving around. Mrs Gaggleham tells her not to worry. I wonder how the two kids will keep up with the parents in this Detour. Indeed, Billy is soon complaining that Carissa isn't doing anything the way young boys always do when it comes to their sisters. Still, the two parents are obviously pulling most of the weight here and they are doing a good job while the two kids hold themselves together very well despite the confusion going on around them.

Elsewhere, the Shroepers finally light the last lamp. They take their flag and Philo checks them in as team number four. Poor Mr Aiyoyo is trying his best to keep up as the Aiyoyos haul in their fifth "wounded soldier" and run to the Pit Stop with their flag. Mr Aiyoyo tells the camera that he always thought his daughters could do better than these men - and really, which loving father doesn't think that way sometimes? - but in the last few days he's really impressed with them. Maybe they really will go camping together after this show. I really like them. Hot at their heels are the Blandsens, prompting Mr Aiyoyo to run as fast as his can. One of the sons-in-law actually holds Mr Aiyoyo's hand as they run to the Pit Stop together. Aww, that's so sweet, really. The Aiyoyos come in fifth and the Blandsens sixth. The Gagglehams eventually come in seventh, which isn't too bad since they made a huge blunder at the wrong reflection pool.

The Pablums finally show up at Welbourne Manor and even so, they thrill me to no end when they can't figure out where the Detour site is. Only by finally hearing the sounds of gunshots do they stumble upon where they should be. They opt to carry soldiers but by the fourth soldier, Mrs Pablum announces that she can't carry on any more. Meanwhile, the Dodgers also show up and they are catching up on filling those lamps while the Pablums waste time arguing with each other. The Pablums dash off to fill those danged kerosene lamps as well and none of them explodes in their faces, much to my disappointment. The Dodgers fill. The Pablums fill. Who will make it first to the Pit Stop? The editing suggests that it's a close dash to the finish but judging from how the two Families are never in the same shot, I find that unlikely. The Dodgers' directional screw-up is so great (remember, they left the previous Pit Stop only two minutes after the Gagglehams and one minute after the Whining Weevils, and still arrived at the wrong reflecting pool later than the Gagglehams after the Gagglehams wasted two hours lingering there) that I'm not surprised to see the Pablums come in eighth. Ugh, I'd rather see them eliminated. At least Brock gets more pretty the more I look at him. Or maybe it's just me having a soft spot for silent and wounded guys.

Indeed, poor Brock. Mr Dodger tells Philo that he generously takes the blame for the Family's screw up. But to the camera, this loathsome asshole says, "It's my responsibility to take the blame if there's blame to be cast." Can't you believe this guy? "If there is blame to be cast"... what on earth? And yet, he then goes on to say, "The one thing that I always tried to show Brock is you can't get to where you need to go in this life casting stones and blaming other people for your misfortunes." Seriously, what on earth? I mean, what has he done then on this Race if not at first unfairly blaming Brock for his own screw-up? Perhaps I can generously assume that his bizarre last statement is a sign that he has learned from his mistake and tries to tell Brock this but come on, he also says in the same breath that loathsome disclaimer "if there's blame to be cast". The message according to Mr Dodger seems to be that he will only accept blame from his own screw-ups when his back is against the wall and even then, he wants everyone to know that blaming him for this and that is Not The Way To Be, but at the same time he can rag on Brock all he wants, fairly or unfairly. Give me a break. Brock stands aside from the other three people, looking miserable, while to the camera he says that it can become very frustrating when he's right but his parents don't listen to him. Mrs Dodger says that she is the glue that holds the family together. Yes, by siding with the father without even giving Brock the benefit of the doubt. Poor Brock. Won't someone give him an acting role in some soap and take him away from his control freak father's shadow?


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