April 12, 2005

"I wish I had things to throw at them."

Tonight's episode of the Amazing Race was not the most exciting, but it did give us some interesting insight into the teams and how they're playing the game at this point.

Rob and Amber are very aware that the other teams don't like them, but they're just forging on, doing what they need to do and not getting caught up in it. You have to give Rob credit for how supportive he is of Amber and how well they work together. (Yes, I mean you, Romber-haters.)

Ron and Kelly have started to feel ostracized because they have also come in first a few times, so other teams are avoiding them. (Which is, of course, stupid because what does that prove on the part of the other teams?) You can also see the strain beginning to really show from spending so much time together, and they consistently don't make good decisions together.

Uchenna and Joyce are enjoying the hell out of themselves, but they are keeping their eyes on what they're doing, and so long as they don't get lost while driving, they do well.

Meredith and Gretchen feel that the other teams wouldn't mind if they were eliminated or dropped into a deep hole (like a cave?), so it was understandable that they were very suspicious when Lynn and Alex decided to "help" them at their first airport stop. Meredith straight-out asked Lynn, "Why are you doing this for us?" I thought that was pretty bold of him, considering. Lynn claimed that they wanted the oldsters to be in the final group with them. I think that surprised me as much as it did Meredith to hear that.

And Lynn and Alex. Oh, Team WeHo (see TVgasm if you don't know what that means!), your obsession with Rob and Amber is going to do you in. Seriously, they are so focused on those two that it guides all of their decision-making. This became clear to me at the Yield before the Roadblock -- Alex seem absolutely astonished that Rob and Amber didn't yield them. Kids, they don't care that much about your progress so long as you aren't in front of them. They don't hold the grudge against you that you hold against them for being good players. You tried your little power play at the airport by scoring someone's cell phone, but Rob outplayed you and didn't look back.

This was the annoying, unexpected "To be continued" episode for this season. I was wondering how they were going to drag it out until May with only five teams left, and I guess this is how. It was clear as soon as they made a point of showing us the "final" clue that this was not going to end in the normal way; Amber caught on to that right away, because the wording of the clue was unusual, as she and Rob headed toward the mat in first place. They met Phil, who was trying to look cagey and mysterious -- at least, I think that was the look he was going for -- as he announced that the leg wasn't over and that he merely had their next clue.

There weren't all that many standout moments, so I'm going to skip that part. Essentially, all of the part of India they are in was a moment. Cows roam the streets freely; people cheered the Racers and asked for autographs, for no apparent reason; there were so many people standing around and looking on that it was astonishing -- prompting Lynn to utter what became the title here, though I'm sure he meant it in a good way; and the roads are so crowded with all manner of motorized and non-motorized vehicles that it's hard to imagine driving them -- it made Bay Area traffic look tame by comparison.