As any summary writer, I should start by recapping what led up to this week’s story. Teams ran around looking for their next artifact. One team found it easily, “Team-Air-Force”, and finished first. Astonishing isn’t it? The others, “Teams-Not-Air-Force”, had problems and the “Cute-Team-Not-Air-Force” was “Motoroled-Out” of the hunt. It could have been the summary of almost every other episode this year and anyway REALITYBITES has a very good summary if you want more info for your history and geography exams. To get the live “WTF” reactions, there is also ECP's thread .
So it’s down to “Team-Air-Force” vs. 9 Knuckleheads. It hardly seems fair for the knuckleheads.
The recap at the start of this episode tells us that team “Air Force” is again first (well DUH!), Sam inspired his “Lets-dummy-it-down” teammates and the “Bean-Boys” proved they still belonged in the hunt by washing the map first. We see nothing of importance from the “Spooks” besides being p*ssed off. Hmmmm!
THE PRESENT brought to you by GENWORTHless
Please Note: The events depicted are real, only some dialogues have been changed in an attempt to make the participants interesting.
The opening sequence tells us we are back in the USA. The Statue of LIBERTY (hint) has the right stature.
At the start, we had received the usual inspirational confessionals from the teams:
The “Dummies” told us, “It’s awesome to be back on American soil. It’s a little weird, it’s gonna get crazy but it's no holds barred.We couldn’t leave Sam in the swamp, but we’ll find a way to split this treasure only 2 ways!
The “Bean-Boys” said that since they are back in NY, it is time to shine. I thought a Boston team should be worried in New York, or am I wrong?
Brooke the Uber-Woman from “Air Force” said, “We’re excited to see how all this history relates to this final treasure.”She went on to say: “I’m the only woman left in the race but I’m the smartest one. Do you think it is a coincidence that my husband and his best friend have the same first name? It was good thinking on my part, I’ll tell you that! It avoids embarrassing mistakes!”
(The last part of her speech was cut off unfortunately but retrieved from the editing room floor. You can’t say I don’t work hard for you guys!)
Teams are enjoying a feast in a suite of the Waldorf Hotel and it reminds me of a Survivor merge episode where everyone is happy on the surface but wants to get rid of the others. If you think I’m going to describe the menu or the stupid chitchat, you are sadly mistaken. If you need that info, they’ll have DVD’s to sell! And if you think the Waldorf was much classier than a Survivor shelter, I’ll remind you of Koror’s shelter. That tribe also had too much food to eat and a short white-haired drunken man!
Here the short white-haired guy is making a fool of himself with his toasts and saying Brooke flirted with him! One of his fellow “Spook”, the mid-life crisis guy, you know, what’s-his-name, TODD (!!) is worried. His buddy Mark is getting drunk and they may have an early start. Aren’t you reassured we had these 2-watt light bulbs working for the Central Intelligence Agency?
Indeed teams get MotoroLaird at 9:00AM the next morning and the hunt is on, only 10 minutes after show time. The first destination relates to a Susan B. Anthony coin and takes the teams to the “Great Americans Hall Of Fame”.
The chatter on the way to the Hall is pointless and teams mainly complain and follow each other. The “Bean-Boys” arrive first after following a cab, know what Susan looks like and reach the bust. After that they don’t know what to look for.
The Hung-over “Spooks” have nothing nice to say but need the fresh air to get their skin color back from green to grey. They drive like a little grand mother through the streets of NY, windows wide open. It gets them to the Hall in second place. “Dummies” are third and “Air Force” last.
We have a major bunching point where as soon as one team finds the clue, they all do. The “Bean-Boys” finally notice Susan’s longing looks at Lafayette and wonder if history has some nasty secrets. Since enquiring minds want to know, they go ask Lafayette who remains as quiet as a stone. They do however retrieve keys and a note to go to the Gould Memorial library. They run there, and receive a “Motoroled-clue”: “Artists have hidden messages within their art-work. The next clue is hidden in one of these paintings. In this case: Art imitates life.”
Going through the gallery, this time, the “Dummies” are first to notice the ship on a painting titled “Today” and also on a scuplture that, once lighted, leads to another painting with a message. They are off to the next destination: Philadelphia’s Land Title building. Charles tells us,““Whatever it takes to sacrifice, we’ll do it to win.” By now you may question if a new nickname should be given to the “Dummies”. Be patient, my friends, and you’ll see. We do get a hint when Sam, running from the building says, “I never ran this fast, unless it was for food or sex.” Sure Sam, food we believe you. Sex? Did he just confess to chasing girls like a crazed maniac? Nah! He simply doesn’t get any.
The remaining teams wonder where the “Dummies” are. Could these guys be on a hunt and gone ahead from the group outing? It wouldn’t be fair now would it? What is less fair is that the big “Dummy” with the huge sideburns, (or is it a beard at this point?) tells us “Philly is my home town. I know every street and building in the city. It is a huge advantage for us.” And there you get the next hint as to why they are truly “Dummies”. Didn’t they see the Rogers get eliminated from the Amazing Race in their hometown of New-Orleans and the Brooklin Paollos getting lost in New York city?
Finally the bunch of “Air Force” and 2 “Not-Air Force” teams find the clue and off to Philly we go! Feel like a cheese steak sandwich? Poor Brownies, none for them!
In Philly, the “Dummies” kept their lead and Robohost guides one of them to go to the 22nd floor and suite 2226. While the nerdy one goes up, sneaky Laird advises the other members that if nerdy has a fear of heights, then one other member will have to replace him. They are directed outside to look for a plaque on the ledge where their teammate will have to go. The nerd finds a clue about credit having wings and uses his credit card security number to open the door. Out on the ledge, Charles, the nerd, tells us, “My heart stops, and immediately I get a shot of adrenaline.”I felt like Harold-the-barrel in the old Genesis song, singing: “I'm on this window ledge, With the whole world below. Up at the window Look at the window...” They look like little ants.”
Charles finds the plaque and reads it over the cell to his fellow “Dummies”: “Founders’ Hall, Girard”Evil Francis says, “Take a running jump and we only need to split the treasure 2 ways! His plan is foiled when Charles gets back down safely. Francis can still proclaim; “They’ll think Girard is a man’s name but it is a street and I know where it is. I don’t need to make any other research.The treasure is mine, all mine, Ha! Ha! Ha! Of course, they wind up driving aimlessly down a street that goes for miles and they aren’t even sure if they are going in the right direction: “Dummies”!
Back at the Land Title building, the other 3 teams had arrived with the Spooks in 2nd place, Bean-Boys in 3rd and Air force is in 4th (?? Something’s wrong with the universe!) We get a cell call and get Laired, and re-Laired as each team gets the same instructions. The Spook gets the clue about the credit card but HE LEFT HOME WITHOUT IT! Since he has to wait for the other teams to open the door and only 1 team at a time can go on the ledge, the “Spooks” fall from second to last.
Matt, the husband, is first off but still there is something wrong going on, the pilot tells us he is afraid of heights. What? Does he fly his fighter jet with his eyes closed? Brooke watches from below and tells us, “I don’t like watching him up there… I have a replacement Matt, but I like having both!” She then orders the cars to stop honking and they do! They know they should listen to Uber-Woman!
Each team makes it down from the ledge with John and Todd going for their teams. As “Air Force” gets in their car one Matt tells us that “Matt is magic on the computer" . More than just the computer, Brooke chimes in. He finds out that Girard is the Girard College and Founders’ Hall is on the campus. The universe realigns as Air Force is first at the Hall. We learn from professor Laird that Girard helped finance the war of 1812 and that without his efforts, Americans would be speaking with a British accent. Really? Even the Bean-Boys and the Hanlons! I find that hard to believe. Anyway, Laird tells us they can find the clue, a 7-letter word that will open the cryptex, in many places. We’re in the Hall with “Air Force” going from room to room. They go to the basement where they find civil war memorabilia and a record book. Brooke tells them they need to go upstairs even if Matt thinks all they have to do is find a 7-letter ship name.
The “Bean-Boys” arrive second even if they had to stop and ask a guy on a terrace. The brothers start fighting. John has to separate Matthew and Martin who are close to punching each other. They yell “shut up” to each other over and over. Can this Boston team lose because of a stupid mistake? After the ‘79 Bruins getting a too-many-men on the ice penalty to lose game 7, and Buckner having a grounder go through his legs, it’s almost a tradition!
As a Genthworthless blimp goes by with the message: “Independence for the People”, we go back to Team “Air Force” when they reach a huge painting on the wall. Brooke shouts "Matt, don’t touch" causing them to miss the secret room. They go to one of the deserted upper rooms where they finally look into the book and realize they should try all the ship names with 7-letter. After a few tries they get “LIBERTY” and the cylinder opens revealing a parchment telling them the final artifact is at the Library of Congress. MotoroLaird calls to congratulate them and tells them they are one of the Final 3 teams so they should get some rest.
That leaves another bunching of the 9 knuckleheads, but this time one will be “Motoroled-Off”. The “Bean-Boys” have called a truce just before the other 2 teams reach the Hall. Home field disadvantaged “Dummies” are in last place. The “Bean-Boys” reach the upper level and simply start trying to open the cryptex with “Freedom” “Bean-town”(??) and “Liberty” and guess what? They get it open. High-fives and belly-slaps are given all around while I am left with a question to the producers: What if one team had tried “Liberty” in Paris, seeing the small “Miss Liberté” and all had followed? Would I have had to recap 1 hour of “filling-the-time-slot” buffet at the Waldorf?
Anyway, two teams are still struggling and the “Dummies” entered the Brooke-Verboten room. Will it be their doom? Will curiosity kill the fat cat? The “Spooks” are trying words on their cryptex, the “Dummies” are staring at ships. Suddenly they see a ship named “Liberty”. The Spooks realize Philly has the “Liberty Bell”. They twist and turn their cryptex, really working it hard, using quick wrist actions and they both get it open. The “Spooks” read the parchment, the “Dummies” laugh in excitement. MotoroLaird calls a cell, (pause for a Laird-effect) but which one? The “Dummies” answer and are told they are one of the final 3. The “Spooks” also get a call but this one tells them they are the 7th team to be “Motoroled-OFF”. What? They can’t believe it. ”Did the Genius found it before we did?” they ask in disbelief. I throw a challenge flag at my TV and rewind the tape twice. Then: “After further review, because of insufficient visual evidence we cannot overturn the ruling of the Laird. Therefore the play stands as called.” Bye-Bye “Spooks”, we hardly knew you. Guess you can return to any undercover assignment now since no one would recognize you.
The FUTURE brought to you by “Must-we-see-TV” Helicopters and mad dashes to the end, my station cut off the previews! Guess you’ll have to tune in!
PS. MISSED OPPORTUNITIES Despite all the product placements, I think the producers missed many opportunities with the eliminated teams:
-The Young Professionals: Put your CV up at “OnlineJobs.com” just don’t write that you lost to the Hanlons.
-The Grad Students: Going on vacation? Don’t forget your travel insurance in case you wind up in a hole in the ground.
-The Wild Hanlons: “One mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Also “Have It (Out Of) Your Way.”
- The Brownies: “Have another doughnut. It’s good for you!”
-The Fogals inspired slogans such as: “If you’ve ever been Fogaled, depend on us. We’ll Fogal them back for you.” It would work for Law firms and Con Men. What…Con men don’t advertise on TV? Just wait, November is getting closer and some campaigns will heat up!
-Miss USA Maid Services: “We’ll get to the floor on our hands and knees and scrub. We are professionals. We worked the streets of Paris. Satisfaction guaranteed!”