Amazing Race

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B+ | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Ladies First

Hey, remember the other team still in this race? Nat and Kat are leaving in third and last place, at 4:27 AM. They borrow their cabdriver's cell phone as we hear them saying that they lived in Los Angeles for four years, having met at UCLA. "Hopefully it's a sign of good mojo for the rest of the leg." Kat interviews that they're used to digging deep when things get challenging. Which is just what you want to hear from your doctor.

The sky is beginning to get light as Jill and Thomas's cab approaches Incheon International Airport. They walk in to find the Korean Air counter closed, and camp out in front of it to wait for Brook and Claire. It's just about totally light outside when Team QVC joins them, high-fiving and everything. Looks like all is forgiven with regard to that U-Turn unpleasantness. Jill compliments their matching outfits. Brook interviews about the Brook & Claire flair, and the camera catches Thomas in what may or may not be a leer. I'm sure it's not, though.

Enter Nat and Kat, and the former interviews about Thomas being the only guy left in the race. "You are the last man standing," Jill intones at him. Brook makes a joke about all getting pedicures together later, which seems to make Thomas a little uncomfortable.

When the counter opens at 6:30 AM, all three teams secure tickets to L.A. without incident .Soon they're on the plane, all looking determined as it takes off. Man, I don't know who's going to win this, but the front of that passenger cabin had better look the fuck out.

Again with the Katy Perry as the Amazing Red Line crosses the Pacific to Los Angeles, which Phil reminds us is their final destination. It's always a little weird when the b-roll on this show is of places I've actually been to, like, in this case, the Griffith Park Observatory and Sunset Blvd and the Kodak Theater. I didn't see myself, though, probably because the show isn't in hi-def yet and I haven't actually been to California for years. The plane lands, and it's the expected mad scramble through LAX, beginning at the jetway. Nat and Kat are the first to secure a cab outside, followed by Jill and Thomas and a more decently dressed Brook and Claire, all of whom are on their way to Port of Long Beach, Pier J. All the teams urge their drivers along through what looks like light traffic as Brook says, "I'd rather be in L.A traffic than Bangladesh traffic." Spoken like someone who's been in both.

Soon they arrive at the port, and Nat can't help noticing the giant cranes looking on the horizon, wondering if they're going to have to go up on one of them. Because, in case you've forgotten since Norway, Nat has a crippling fear of heights. And when they find the clue box and open the clue, its first words can't be encouraging: "Welcome to the drop zone." Now here's Phil, telling us that Long Beach is the second busiest port in the U.S., moving more than 14,000 cargo containers a day. All of which, I'm sure, are thoroughly inspected before being brought into the country. Of course that much freight calls for the use of numerous giant gantry cranes, one of which "will take the teams one drop closer to the finish line." He elaborates that they'll have to ride an elevator to the top, get handed a clue in a Ziploc bag (don't open it yet!), get strapped into a "bungee swing," whatever that is, and "plummet a hundred and fifty feet towards the water." Then and only then do they get to open their clue. Nat wisely says, "Let's just go fast, I don't want to have time to think about it." Think slow, then. Guides start encasing them in pads and harness sections as Nat reminds us of her previous freak-outs over heights on this race, even though she didn't actually have to do anything. There was the gondola ride in Norway, for instance, and...okay, that's it, actually. As in Norway, Kat tells her they'll be fine, but this time she remembers not to marvel at how high it is.

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Amazing Race

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