Amazing Race

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…And the Horse That Rode in on You
ut of the scrubby ground and figures, "close enough." But pulling on it reveals nothing. He tucks it back in so as to let it fool future searchers as it fooled him. Meanwhile, Jordan and Jeff find a loop of rope of their own, but this one is actually attached to a pair of bags. So the treasure hunt doesn't so much involve digging for something as pulling on ropes that are exposed to daylight, which I guess is how anyone's going to finish this task at all before the finale episode. "We gotta give it to the lead bandit," Jeff tells Jordan on their way back to the gunslinger, who just grins at them. Jeff rereads the clue and thinks their mistake is not getting the right coordinates, when in fact that's only one of their mistakes. Joe and Heidi find a bag too. Joe calls out to Jeff, "Where's the train station?" Jeff calls back that he doesn't know where it is. Then he quietly asks Jordan what Joe was talking about. I assume that was a rhetorical question, as all questions directed at Jordan eventually end up being.

Over at the polo field, Carol is up on a practice pony at the starting line, and Steve is trying to get on his, with a butt-push from Allie if necessary. Which it is. They both get to work on their balls. Please do not read anything into that statement.

Joe and Heidi reach the dusty old railway station, with the Benicio Del Toro-looking lead bandit laconically watching their approach and occasionally spitting. But since the numbers on their bag don't match those on their sheet, they have to go back. Or, as Joe decides, to Horse Power. Here's what I'm wondering -- do they have to return that bag to where they found it, lest some other team that's actually been assigned to that bag go to where it's supposed to be and find it gone? And my second question is for Joe: How'd that compass work out for you?

Dan and he-Jordan decide to do Horse Sense, as Jeff and she-Jordan again try to deliver their cash to the gunslinger. "If those guns were real I probably would have shot myself with it," Jeff interviews. And the gunslinger probably would have let him.

Brent thinks he and Caite are closing in on El Boliche Viejo. Seriously? Louie finally ropes his steer, and they're off in seventh place.

Steve is going to try his next swing lying crossways with his belly in the practice pony's saddle, which looks as cool as you're probably imagining. And for the next swing, Carol coaches Brandy, "Pretend it's my face." That never doesn't work, when someone's willing to say that. While helping her groaning father carry their pony down the course, Allie asks him, "What's hurting?" "I'm fifty-seven years old, what isn't hurting!" he responds. Heh. But they still finish in second place, which is good for restoring quite a bit of dignity, and off they go. Carol and Brandy also seem to be done. Joe and Heidi have now arrived and are just getting started. But Joe sits too far forward on his horse, and it topples forward out from under him when he swings his mallet. Twice. You don't need a compass to know which way is down.

The Detour choice is a no-brainier for the Detectives -- they think. It's going to be horse sense for them. "We got no knowledge of horses," Louie says. "At least we're gunslingers too."

At long last, Brent and Caite arrive at El Boliche Viejo, which is already a lot more viejo than it was when the first teams arrived. They beat their gnome's pair of nines with two pair while Shawne is still throwing airballs out back. Brent joins her, and also misses. The first time. But then he succeeds on the second try, which means he did exactly as well as the professional champion cowboy on this task. That's almost as impressive as knowing how to drive a stick. It also means they're in something other than last place for the first time this leg. Behind them, Shawne, now resorting to prayer, finally manages to get a loop over the very tip of one of the horns. That's been enough for other teams we've seen, but when she tugs on the rope, the loop slips clean off. Bummer! Jesus let her down!

After the ads, she makes Monique help with the praying while she winds up for another throw. And that seems to do it. So even if they're in last place, at least they're finally done. "Thank you, Jesus," Shawne says in their car to the Detour clue. "For all the good it's going to do you," Jesus is not heard to reply.

Hey, remember the Cowboys, who headed off to the Pit Stop, like, forever ago? They drive in through the front gate, which is adorned with Amazing Flags, with an obligatory "Oh. My. Gravy." However enormous this ranch is, they seem to find the Pit Stop mat with little difficulty. The goateed gaucho standing next to Phil welcomes them. "That's another cowboy right here," Phil observes, and they compliment him on his hat. Phil tells them they're team number one, and they've won a ten-day trip to Patagonia. Back here, in other words. "This is the best place we've visited so far!" Jet says happily. Phil again brings up their belt buckles, because he apparently can't get over the fact that someone would willingly race around the world with ten pounds of cast iron on the front of their pants, and they pull up the fronts of the polo jerseys they've been wearing since the Detour to show them off. Phil asks if the buckles aren't slowing them down. "We'd be slower with our pants around our ankles," Jet quips. Maybe so, but I can think of a few teams they'd still be able to beat anyway.

Now there are three teams wandering the treasure field. Louie and Michael wisely lay out their course before getting started. Or at least it seems wise at first. She-Jordan pulls an empty rope out of the dirt and then tosses it away, because she lacks the sharp cunning of Joe. Or indeed that of a guinea pig. Louie and Michael, having already used up all the brainpower they care to on this task, have fallen into bickering, because now that Michael's convinced that they're already near where the treasure is buried, he wants to initiate a grid search like they're combing the woods for a body. "I just execute search warrants," Louie protests. Meanwhile, Dan and Jordan find a bag, dig it out, and read the coordinates only to realize it's not theirs. At least they made that discovery before schlepping all the way to the train station. So rather than continuing to search -- or, as might have been preferable, begging the gunslinger to swap out their coordinates -- they decide to switch to the polo task. Louie and Michael find a bag, and loudly read out the coordinates. Jordan and Jeff turn out to be smart enough to know their coordinates when they hear them at least, and they gratefully claim their bag from the detectives. But then, once again, they try to get their next clue from the gunslinger. "We met some guy with guns just assuming he's the bandit," Jeff interviews. He blames himself and Jordan, and rightly so. "We're so stupid! We definitely shouldn't reproduce," he says. Hey, didn't I say something like that last week?

Joe and Heidi finish the polo task in fourth place. Ahead of them, Steve and Allie arrive at the ranch and reach the mat in second place. Steve wants to switch his knit hat for the gaucho greeter's. "Put that on, because you know what? I'm a cowboy!" It's like he can sense how little screen time he's getting. Carol and Brandy find the mat next, and arrive in third place. "Imagine what we could do if we didn't bicker!" Brandy says. And then she interviews, "If we don't pull up out of this, we are going to self-destruct." Instead of the comment I am tempted to put in here, I will simply remark that on a reality show like this, there's no way we get to see both sides fully presented. We don't hear everything that's said. Which is why I'm refraining from telling Brandy to quit starting shit, then.

He-Jordan spends a lot of time discussing which color polo jersey they should wear to go with their pants before Dan takes his first shot, sidesaddle. After Jordan

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Amazing Race

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