Amazing Race
Back in the Saddle

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | 81 USERS: B
YOU GRADE IT
Mulligan Stew

Now that the first flight is full, there's no point following the rest of this task. We just see the remainder of the teams flooding out to the parking lot, loading in their backpacks, and hitting the road. On what is presumably the 405, Dave yells excitedly about being on their way to China, and Mallory tells Mark that they've got to win this. "Third time's the charm," says one of the seven people doing this race for the third time. Rachel tells us that she's star-struck as a fan of so many of these other teams. Yeah, I'm sure the feeling is mutual. Joey & Meghan can't believe they're back. I don't believe they have much chance of sextupling their YouTube numbers again.

After the credits, which now end with a BOOM instead of a BOMP in honor of the All-Stars, Mark wonders aloud to Mallory if they're going the right direction. He thinks they should be going towards Los Angeles. I'm not sure how to address that, because UCLA is west, and LAX is south, and Los Angeles is fucking everywhere. Mallory breaks the news that "I am so bad with navigation," which I'm sure puts a dent in Mark's excitement over his new partner. I seem to recall that getting lost is what put her and Gary out of the running in TAR 17. She interviews about how hard it is to travel with someone you barely know, and Mark agrees that they have to get to know each other's strengths and weaknesses. Indeed, in the place where the subtitles normally indicate the teammates' preexisting relationship, Mark & Mallory are identified as simply "Team Kentucky." As Mark drives, he checks with Mallory on her ability to eat stuff (anything but cole slaw, apparently) and she checks on his willingness to wear a dress. Let's just say his answer suggests that he wouldn't have enjoyed being in TAR 23 very much.

Arrival at LAX, never easy, is further complicated by the fact that they have to find the charging stations in the parking ramp. Dave & Connor seem to manage this first, then Natalie & Nadiya, though they can't even get the thing plugged in without swearing at each other. The Afghanimals approach the ticket counter in what they think is their usual charming manner, and Leo "jokes" about getting upgraded to first class. Alas, the ticket agent doesn't take him up on it and get them disqualified. At another counter, a wide-eyed Mallory tells Mark that she forgot their passports. Oop, she's just kidding! That will help them bond. Mallory interviews that she had to ask Mark his last name. "We got communications issues to work at. We're glad we have a whole flight to China," she says. Mark agrees, "Whatever we gotta do for Bopper is what we're gonna do." It'll be easier for them to get to know each other when they're both sitting in their airplane seats and the top of Mallory's head isn't level with Mark's armpit.

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Amazing Race

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