Anya and Giles fought demons in the magic shop. Buffy finally realized Dawn was old enough to fight her own battles. Spike underwent a brutal ritual to regain his soul. Xander saved the world by helping Dark Willow connect with her true self.
Sorry. That was previously on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Previously on The Amazing Race:
What? No previously on The Amazing Race? Why, I, I, I…I can’t lie. I was all prepared to diss TAR for having a recap when the previous episode ended five minutes earlier. But they didn’t – they just assumed that people were smart enough to remember what had just happened – and I have to give them props for that. That’s why they won the Emmy.
So anyway, we’re at the pit stop in the Philippines. Brandon and Nicole, who were the first to arrive at 3:16 pm, are the first to depart at 3:16 am. They get the missing tree mail from last week’s Survivor, which instructs them that they must go to Calgary, Canada, to visit Canada Girl and break into Pepe’s old residence. Okay, so the only part of that sentence that was correct was that they are going to Calgary. They must take a marked boat to El Neato Pier (translation: The Neat Pier), where they will take a charter flight to Manila, where they will take a plane to Calgary, where they will take a taxi to Lookout Mountain, where they will snowshoe 1,000 feet to the top, where they will find their next clue in the frozen clutches of Team Guido.
Brandon says he and Nicky (Nick Nick) really want to win the million dollars, unlike the other two remaining teams, who just like to travel. He adds that they are trusting in the will of God and that’s the biggest advantage they have. And he’s right, because they certainly don’t have any advantage in the areas of intelligence, strength, speed, common sense, aptitude, ability, or any other traits that might assist one in running a world-wide race. In fact, divine intervention is about the only explanation for these two making it this far. So does God really want them to win? Or is God only setting them up for some cosmic joke?
Anyway, Brandon and Nicole take the boat to El Neato and approach the desk to make reservations for the charter flight. Brandon leans way over the desk, and the desk clerk recoils in horror. Sadly, she neither pulls an automatic weapon nor presses an alarm button to summon people who will pull automatic weapons.
Chip and Kim, the second team to arrive at 3:40 pm, are the next to depart at 3:40 am. Chip says that no matter where they finish today they are already winners, but he would rather be the winner with a million dollars in his pocket. Technically Chip, the only winners will be the team with a million dollars in their pockets. Glad we could clear that up for you. Chip announces that they will be given $630 dollars for this leg of the race. When they arrive to make charter reservations, Chip promptly tips the desk clerk $625.
Finally Colin and Christie, the last team to arrive at 3:46, are the last team to depart at 3:46. They blather about how determined they are to win. Christie says that whatever else happens, she just hopes Chip doesn’t win. This Bruckheimer Foreshadowing Moment® is enough to cause Vegas books to start paying off Chip/Kim bets.
We cut to Chip and Kim, and Chip says the yield put Colin and Christie into a tailspin they can never recover from. Chip apparently spent most of the pit stop drinking. And as Chip and Kim and Colin and Christie converge on El Neato Pier, we realize that
Now is the time on The Amazing Race when we bunch.
Actually, it’s not really bunching. All three teams were within an hour of each other, and they haven’t been made to wait overnight to catch a flight. We’ll bunch later, or at least attempt to bunch.
All three teams make it to El Neato, all three take the same charter, and all three are on the same flight to Calgary. And just like that, we’re in Canada. The single longest flight of the race, and we don’t get anything other than the map graphic. We arrive at the airport, and the teams do the airport shuffle. Colin and Christie are the first to get a cab. Brandon and Nicole are not too far behind them. Chip and Kim bring up the rear, which Kim says is their history in the race.
Colin and Christie arrive first. Thanks to magic leprechauns, they have somehow obtained winter clothing along the way. (The same miracle will occur with the other two teams.) Colin says that he and Christie are prepared for this because they do extreme sports all the time. They board the gondola to the hiking area and change clothes en route.
Brandon and Nicole are right behind them, though it seems to take them longer to get out of the cab. Chip and Kim arrive after Brandon and Nicole get on the gondola, and Kim says that they had no idea the last leg would be in a cold climate. They apparently never watched TAR 1. She adds that they aren’t mentally prepared for it, and Chip says it’s culture shock for someone from Southern California, unlike the other two teams from the frozen tundra of Texas. Chip then makes some comment about getting dressed in a car. Chip has apparently never gotten any in a car parked at an abandoned farmhouse.
Colin and Christie get out of the gondola and start up the mountain, but Christie rapidly becomes tired. Over the next few minutes we are treated to dialogue like this:
Christie: “I don’t know if I can do it, Colin.”
Colin: “Come on baby. Take deep breaths and keep going.”
Christie: “Colin it’s hard.”
Colin: “Oh my God baby, I know it’s tiring, but just keep going.”
Christie: “My legs are getting tired and I can’t catch my breath.”
Colin: “GOD! You’ve got to just go baby!”
One gets the impression Colin and Christie have said these words before.
Brandon and Nicole get out of the gondola. The ever perceptive Brandon states that they will have to climb up. Brandon is wearing an unbelievably goofy red maple leaf hat (but at least he got a free bowl of soup with it). Nicole, in protest, is hatless. She too begins to tire. Brandon tells her she has to keep it up, little by little.
Brandon then tells Nicole to imagine Jesus with open arms at the top of the mountain. (And here I thought it was Steve Perry with open arms.) Nicole’s face and body language convey the thought “I wish Brandon would just STFU”. As Brandon speaks, we are treated to a view of clouds opening up. I almost expected the next image to look like this:
but no such luck.
Chip and Kim arrive. As they get out of the gondola, we see Chip and Kim wearing the same lame hats Brandon had on. Looks good on them, though. The music starts to build, signaling either impending doom or impending advertising. It’s the latter, and as we cut to commercial, Christie is wearing the same expression she had when she had to eat the caviar.
A vaguely Richard Gere-ish looking gentleman hawking an acid reflex relief medicine other than Tagamet. KFC and the Chicken Capital of the USA. A treatise on puppy growth from Iams. The elderly at Home Depot. The post office, where there’s always work. Survivor: All Losers. Batboy: Not The Musical.
And we’re back. Colin tells Christie that she’s not even dying. Is this guy Mr. Compassion or what? He then says “Do you want to hold onto my poles so I can pull you up?”
I wish he wouldn’t make this so easy.
When they get to the clue box, a sign in the background says “EXTREME CAUTION”. Which is good, cause EXTREME is the only way Colin knows how to live life. The clue tells them to go to the cauldron at Olympic Park. They start back down. Brandon and Nicole make it shortly after they do, get the clue, and turn back.
Christie trips Colin, and he rolls down the mountain, turning into a giant snowball that threatens Calgary.
Okay, that didn’t happen. But wouldn’t it have been cool? Instead, Colin is turning somersaults down the slope, prompting Kim to remark that it felt like Colin was spitting in their faces. Sorry Kim. That was just sleet.
Unlike the other two couples where the males led the way and the females struggled, Chip is the one struggling to make it up the mountain. Kim says she will do whatever it takes to win the race. This is the first time the word “do” has come up in relation to Kim during the course of the race.
Colin and Christie, followed in short order by Brandon and Nicole, make it to the bottom, get in cabs, and head to Olympic Park. Chip and Kim finally make it to the top, turn around, and then finally make it to the bottom where they stand waiting for a cab.
We cut to Colin and Christie arriving at Olympic Park, where they find a detour. Sing along with Phil and I!
“A detour is a choice between two tasks Between two tasks Between two tasks A detour is a choice between two tasks Each with its own pros and cons”
Here teams are given the choice between luge and stooge. They can either take the luge course, or look like absolute idiots riding bikes down a snow covered hill. Each task is timed, and the teams must beat the time to get the clue. Colin and Christie opt to luge. At Nicole’s suggestion (keep that in mind – they’ll be a quiz later), Brandon and Nicole head off to the luge course, although once Brandon sees the bikes he wants to do that. Nicole gives him grief for second guessing her, though she eventually gives in to his passive aggressive wussiness.
Colin and Christie don the luge gear. Christie lays down first, and Colin lays on top of her.
Insert your own joke here.
They easily make it down the luge course, with Colin screaming “Yeah baby! Feel the speed!” all the way down.
Again, insert your own joke here.
Nicole and Brandon are struggling down the bike course. Nicole is unhappy. She appears on the verge of a meltdown the likes of which haven’t been seen since TAR 3.
Meanwhile, Colin and Christie get the clue, instructing them to get a flight to Dallas and to go to the stockyards there. They, like Sandy Cheeks, are happy to be going home to Texas.
Cut back to Brandon and Nicole, who have to ride the bikes again because they didn’t meet the time requirement. Nicole is given a new bike, but it doesn’t stop her from completely transforming into Flo. She stops, throws the bike down in disgust, then falls to the snow crying. Brandon attempts to comfort the bike as we go to commercial.
LL Cool Bean. Denny’s French Toast, the toast of war appeasers everywhere. British Airways. The DVD release of Mean Girls, and unlike Landru, I can think of two reasons to like Lindsay Lohan. (I actually saw Mean Girls on a flight to Anchorage, and I actually enjoyed it a little. Had it been an overnight flight, with a dark cabin, I would have “enjoyed it” a lot more.) Febreze. Cingular Wireless, for compulsive talkers. Frank Sinatra, whose estate is whoring him out for Visa. Dave. Either Dr. Phil’s Halloween Special or Dr. Phil’s Candid Camera, where he tells a family that their child is going to grow to be a serial killer, which right there shows that it’s some sort of Punk’d show and not a real show, because WHO THE HELL WOULD EVER SAY SOMETHING THAT FRICKING CRASS TO A FAMILY AND A KID?. Christine Lahti for a movie I thought aired several weeks ago. My local news, which is, of course, in a smallish media market, but at least it’s the vaguely hot anchor woman, not the azz-clown anchorman, who has a less expressive face than a Ken doll. The syndicated version of Entertainment Tonight, which now that I think about it, is probably the only version of Entertainment Tonight. Toby Keith, whose a Ford truck man, that’s what he drives, he don’t got no boundaries, he don’t compromise, and I know it will ruin my liberal standing but I love Toby Keith’s music (with the exception of Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue which in addition to being simplistic and jingoistic, is, more damning, a hastily-put-together piece of crappy songwriting), and I think How Do You Like Me Now? is one of the best songs in any genre in the past ten years or so and the second best FU song of all time, trailing only the Tubes Talk To You Later, but if Tech forgives me Ann Coulter, maybe she’ll forgive me Toby Keith as well. McDonalds. Honda.
We’re back, and Nicole is crying. Brandon and Nicole decide to abandon the bikes and go to the luge. Brandon gives Nicole a piggyback ride off the hill to the luge track. And while at first that seems really sweet and nice, it isn’t all that impressive when you consider that Chip has given Kim a piggyback ride all over the world.
We then see Colin and Christie buying tickets on American Airlines. They talk about playing it smart and how they have led at every pit stop (and with that, those bookies that were still holding out hope of another outcome pay off their Chip/Kim bets).
Brandon and Nicole complete the luge, and Brandon says going down was so easy. Nicole asks why they ever tried the bikes. Chip and Kim are next up, and they crash.
We cut to Brandon and Nicole in a cab to the airport. Nicole says she wishes they had gone to the luge first. Brandon asks why she didn’t speak up. SHE DID! SHE SAID LET’S DO THE LUGE! YOU TALKED HER OUT OF IT, IDIOT! Nicole points out quietly that she spoke up, and Brandon starts to throw yet another wussy fit. “Oh, I guess it’s my fault. I guess I cost us a chance at the million dollars. I guess I’m the one to blame.” If Colin had said the same thing, he would have been sarcastic. But Brandon, while he obviously doesn’t mean what he is saying, is definitely in a passive-aggressive posture.
Meanwhile, Chip and Kim crash the luge again.
Brandon and Nicole get to the airport, and buy tickets on the same flight as Colin and Christie.
Meanwhile, Chip and Kim crash the luge again. They try one more time, and they make it.
Brandon and Nicole go to a hotel, the same hotel Colin and Christie are staying in. We see the two groups pack luggage to check through to Dallas. They think this will save them time. Earlier we saw Colin call ahead to Dallas to make sure that a driver was waiting for them when they got off the plane. Smart move, Colin. Not as smart as double checking your flight status would have been, but smart nonetheless.
Chip and Kim get to the airport, and Chip is ruing their chances. Kim calls the airlines, and discovers that the flight Colin and Christie and Brandon and Nicole have booked is delayed two hours due to fog. They call around, the get tickets on another flight that is on time. A United flight. That’s on time.
This is the moment I realize God wants Chip and Kim to win. I mean come on! A United flight that’s on time? That’s never happened before, and is unlikely to ever happen again.
Chip and Kim make their way to the hotel where Colin and Christie and Brandon and Nicole are hanging out. Somewhere, someplace, Elaine Stritch sings “Here’s to the racers who bunch”, then proceeds to Emmy-whip some 18 year-old male model/dancer.
Chip and Kim sneak out of the hotel to make their flight. Brandon and Nicole arrive, discover their flight is delayed, and freak. They attempt to rebook on the United flight. Colin and Christie arrive and do the same. Chip speculates that Colin is still off his game, since he didn’t book tickets on every flight leaving an airport in Canada that morning. I hope that one of the rule changes for TAR 6 is that you can’t book multiple flights at once. You can book one, and if something happens to that flight or you miss it, you can then book another. As we go to commercial, the delayed teams have the same expression on their faces that the Bowling Moms had when they came to the cliff-climbing challenge.
Some merchant I’ve forgotten already and am too lazy to rewind to catch. Talbots. Juicy Juice. Tyson’s, asking if I’ve had my protein today. Yes, and thanks for asking. A bunch of students in a classroom as someone sings West Side Story selections on behalf of TIAA Cref. CSI: New York. JAG. Judging Amy.
We get back, and Brandon and Nicole discover that they can get on a flight from Denver to Dallas that arrives 18 minutes after Chip and Kim. If they can get to Denver. Brandon and Nicole and Colin and Christie are put on standby on the United flight to Denver, bumped to the front of the standby line, and given seats on the same flight as Chip and Kim. That’s right – United bumped people ahead of them so they could make the flight. Hey United! Just shell out the money to be an official sponsor, okay? Colin and Brandon and Christie and Nicole then check their bags from Calgary to Denver on United and Denver to Dallas on American. Keep this in mind. This decision sealed the outcome of the race.
When they arrive in Denver, they rush to the United counter to get on standby for the same plane as Chip and Kim. They are informed that they can’t get on the United flight because their bags are checked on American. Colin takes off running for the American counter, but Brandon stands and argues. And argues. And pleads. Until finally the agent tells him that the best thing he could do is hurry to American to make that flight. Which he and Nicole do. While Colin and Christie had time to stop at McDonald’s and indulge in some product placement, Brandon and Nicole arrive just as the final boarding takes place. Both planes take to the air, Chip and Kim with a 20 minute head start. As we head to commercials, it occurs that Episode 13, the final episode, is slightly extended. Which means AKim got off easier than me in terms of summary writing. (And if you haven’t read her summary yet, you should.) But that’s okay – the VP always has to do the heavy lifting.
Ortho, a sister commercial to all the Levitra ads. By the way, the pill now has it’s own Web site. Swiffer, driving Buggy nuts since last year. Claudia Schiffer, asking herself why she ever dated that magician geek and trying to sell us some L’Oreal. Campbell’s with that British dude. No, not Andy Warhol. The other British dude. Radio Shack. The Early Show. Survivor: All Losers again. John Kerry. And another digression.
You know, this might be a smallish media market, but it is in a BATTLEGROUND STATE, and not just any BATTLEGROUND STATE, but the BATTLEGROUND STATE that has the FIRST IN THE NATION CAUCUSES, which means that I’ve been seeing presidential campaign commercials since August.
That’s right. The presidential campaign in Iowa never stops – it just has lulls. (I think that’s the real reason the Festers left.) Hell, right now we have national Republicans attending meetings and dinners and events here who are positioning themselves for the 2008 election. You heard me. This election is still weeks away, and we already have people laying the groundwork to run in the next one. All you whiners who want some other state to go first in the process should think about that. We Iowans, along with New Hampshirians, take the pain so you don’t have to.
Back to commercials. Hyundai (Excuse You!). The Children’s Hospital of Iowa. My local news’ expressionless azz-clown anchor man.
We arrive in Dallas. Chip and Kim head off in a taxi. Colin and Christie and Brandon and Nicole arrive. Colin and Christie get in their waiting car, driven by a guy who appears to have had plenty of experience in breaking the law while driving, not to mention appearing as Lenny in productions of Of Mice And Men.
Chip and Kim get to the stockyards, where, like the lab rats they are, they are forced to run a maze. Twice. First to get a picture and a key, the second time to get a key and a clue. The maze is filled with funny signs, none of which is interesting enough to repeat here. They struggle through the maze, but eventually complete the task and head off to the finish line. They are leaving as Colin and Christie arrive.
Colin heads off into the maze in a logical manner. You know, sometimes I think that Colin was given such negative editing because otherwise we would have been disappointed that they ran such a great race and lost due to factors beyond their control. Sometimes I think that Colin’s excesses were overplayed, that everyone probably had excesses during the race, that Colin’s weren’t any worse than anyone else’s, and that his were exploited to make him seem like the quasi-villain. And then I think about flat tires in Africa, and oxen being broken, and I realize that if anyone had excesses that perfect for TV, they would have made it into the show as well. And that Colin got what he deserved.
As Chip and Kim get stuck in Friday afternoon traffic, Colin and Christie complete the first part of the maze. Brandon and Nicole arrive at the maze as Colin and Christie are leaving it, and Brandon and Nicole are never heard from again, probably because Brandon dismissed Nicole’s idea to leave bread crumbs. Colin and Christie complete the maze, then head into traffic. They too get stuck. Despite the best attempts of the editors to make it seem close, one gets the feeling they are in no particular danger of relinquishing their lead.
Chip and Kim get out of the cab, the finish line in sight. Phil stands there like the demanding taskmaster he is. Chip and Kim run to the line past all the losers, uhm, competition. Phil starts his spiel about continents and miles, then declares Chip and Kim the official winners of the Race and the million dollars. They both start crying. Chip motions the Twins over, and whispers something about finally being able to meet their price. Chip and Kim blather some inspirational brak while the losers, uhm, competition, look on. Phil looks like he wants to cry as well, but not for the same reasons. Colin and Christie arrive while Chip and Kim are talking, and they take their defeat pretty well. Colin says nice things about Christie, and is about to cry as he says that the only thing that’s important to him is Christie. In the post-race interviews, they talk about their love for each other.
Birds sing. Crickets chirp. Seasons change. Colin and Christie marry, divorce, remarry, and re-divorce. Finally, Brandon and Nicole show up. One gets the feeling that the producers had to send a team into the maze to lead them out. When they get there, Phil somehow resists the temptation to say “Where is your god when you need him? Huh? Where is your beautiful, merciful $%&^*$ now?”
Speaking of which, with all respect to Supes and some guy named Dave who I am led to understand does something similar, I’d like to present The Top Ten Things God Wants Brandon And Nicole To Take From The Amazing Race:
10. I generally don’t care who wins a Reality TV show. I really don’t. There’s a lot going on in the world right now I’m trying to keep track of, and the outcome of some TV show, even a well-made one that’s fun to watch, is not likely to be one of those things.
9. That being said, guess who made it foggy in Calgary and delayed your flight? C’mon, guess. That’s right! Me. Why? Because of all your whining, I sent a little fog Canada way. I wanted you to come in a very distant third. And it would have worked too, if it weren’t for those pesky kids, uhm, I mean Satan Air.
8. Actually, it did work, considering how long it took you to cross the finish line.
7. That thing Chip did, where he tried to fake you out about the flag? That wasn’t a bad thing. Not at all. In fact, Brandon, if anyone was doing something wrong, it was you in being lazy and trying to cheat off Chip. Paybacks are a Bebo.
6. I am not Santa Claus. You need to do some things for yourselves, mmkay?
5. I am not a Magic 8-Ball. You need to think some things through for yourselves, mmkay?
4. Calling cab drivers “Honey” is usually reserved for the working girls. (Sorry, that’s something Myrna should take from The Amazing Race.)
3. Brandon, I know you’ve got a pair. I gave them to you. You might want to use them every now and then.
2. Nicole, I gave you a pair too, but they looked nothing like those oobies <click – even God pays Buggy royalties> you’re sporting these days.
1. It’s only hair. It grows back. I know. I planned it that way.
Brandon and Nicole get their moments of inspirational blather, the losers, uhm, competition applauds, and we fade to credits.