People Will Say We're In Love
Team Oklahoma experiments with same-sex dancing in Poland -- but how much of it do you need to watch?
A quick pre-credits segment starts off with, as you might expect from the cliffhanger and Marie's utter lack of a choice, Marie giving up the Express Pass. It's not worth watching given that the part where Nicole/Travis drive off isn't shown again, but Nicole's post-extortion explanation that "she wouldn't have known where the damn Pit Stop was otherwise" isn't to be argued with. Also, somehow this is Tim's fault, like that's news.
Four Out Of Five Racers Choose Trident
The Beards head back to town to get a boat and...are psyched that they've been racing for thirty hours? Their enthusiasm for the wonders of the Race is admirable, but is still making me tired. The only other check-in of note is Jason toasting the Viking extras, which is great; he's definitely the guy with whom I'd most like to go to a frat party. Everyone has to take a boat-plane combo to Gdansk, Poland and find Solidarity Square, and they're warned about a U-Turn ahead. The boat doesn't leave until evening, so everyone's leveling out again, and it's a thirty-four-hour ride, so we've basically got a moving Pit Stop; the fact that there's no "getting to know you" bit suggests that the teams maybe aren't all that interesting. Nicole/Travis get the Express Pass from Tim/Marie on the sly, because both teams want to keep the transaction a secret, but I'm surprised that Nicole/Travis trusted Tim/Marie to give it to them later; maybe there's a formal rules ritual whereby you declare your intentions to a producer? It's my vocation, so I'd kind of like to see that. Apparently the flight is inconsequential, as we cut to Poland, and our Presented Without Comment section has Amy informing us they're heading to "Solitary Square." Tim/Danny want to U-Turn someone, as I think they've mentioned before, and are first to the Detour. Pose: Copy the stance of a statue of Neptune to earn donations from spectators. Polka: Learn a choreographed routine in costume. Both choices are spectator-friendly, which is great, but Tim/Danny dance despite the fact that one of them will have to wear a girl's costume. The Beards, still looking for their destination, call to find where it is -- but they get Jason/Amy's driver, who at their prompting hilariously tells them nothing, and Jason's glee apparently makes him go back to Boston: "Clue box right heah!" He and Amy and Nicole/Travis pick Polka while the Baseball Wives Pose, and they haven't been the best at picking Detours so this will be a nice change. Your petty side will love your two hated teams -- Leo/Jamal and Tim/Marie, with A(sh)(l/le)y thrown in for good measure – hopelessly lost together for no apparent reason. Tim loudly thinks Danny will be the more attractive woman since he's thinner, and their cab driver gets no end of delight out of the discussion. Danny gives in, and as they get dressed, Tim inquires, "Do you want to go to dinner with me?" If it were hetero dress panic, it would be tired, but I think Danny's only getting annoyed because of the low-level shit Tim keeps giving him, so it's funny. The dance is complicated, and Danny complains that Tim has three left feet, which is two too many. Nicole/Travis take the time to compliment each other's look, while the Baseball Wives hold their poses and rake in the cash quickly. The Beards arrive and go for Polka, while the other three teams are so, so lost. Ha!
Devil In A Polka Dress
Leo/Jamal finally figure out where to go, and the others follow. The Polka's tiring everyone out; on their way to it, the Beards spot the Baseball Wives and decide to go for Pose instead, and Brandon says that if it were up to him, he'd just wear a seashell over his crotch instead of a black onesie. Adam, with a theatrical grin: "Whoa." I'll miss them. The teams have to wear costumes until the end of the leg, including the Neptune tridents, which can only be for the benefit of the audience and random Polish passersby, and as such, I appreciate it. The Baseball Wives head for the Double (!) U-Turn, while Danny snaps that Tim's supposed to be leading, because he's the man, and I love him using the gender roles for his own benefit. Jason talks about Amy holding his "ahms" in place so he doesn't fuck up, and they move on. Leo/Jamal/A(sh)(l/le)y take Polka, Tim/Marie Pose. The Baseball Wives get bum directions, so Jason/Amy are first and decline to U-Turn anyone; they head to "the longest apartment building in Poland." The Beards switch, since the money isn't coming in quickly enough, and the show surprisingly doesn't indulge in a musical cue of doom. Nicole/Travis pass the polka, and Danny's about ready to give up, but they too pass on their next try. Fearful of being U-Turned, Tim/Marie use their EP; they contemplate hitting Nicole/Travis, but thanks to their long delay in getting lost, they're not sure if they're behind, so they ultimately wimp out. The Baseball Wives also decline, but Tim/Danny once make like they're going to U-Turn someone, and you'd better believe Danny in the dress is not kidding around.
A Pastry By Any Other Name
Tim/Danny U-Turn Leo/Jamal. YES! Tim/Danny knew from the Detour that Leo/Jamal were behind, so it's a layup play, but everyone else is whining about not wanting to make enemies. Jason/Amy get to the HUGE building -- it's over half a mile long -- but Tim/Marie find the main entrance and get the Roadblock in first. Who's got a sweet tooth? They're given a list of apartment numbers and have to search for the one with a certain rose-flavored pastry. It's a boring task visually, which makes this segment eminently skippable, but there's a warning that they may be penalized for bad manners, and Tim is like, "DID YOU HEAR THAT, MARIE?" Hee. Jason/Amy, seeing Tim out of costume, realize Tim/Marie used their Express Pass, so I guess there was a small Race-related reason to keep them in costume, but we can all agree not to remember it. Marie/Amy team up, while Jason kind of adorably (!) teaches Tim the polka dance. Speaking of, A(sh)(l/le)y get it right, and Leo/Jamal soon after them. Kim waits for the elevator, and Travis, on the stairs, pushes the button on every floor; he doesn't twirl an imaginary mustache to the camera, but it's still pretty funny. To her credit, Kim kind of smiles when she figures it out, and I admit that I thought it might take her longer to catch on. Leo/Jamal, while being U-Turned, also unfortunately get to U-Turn the Beards while A(sh)(l/le)y proceed unscathed. Travis decides to follow Amy/Marie, knowing they've been there longer, so they make a team of three. People are very polite, so at least we know they're getting better at reading the clues. Travis is the first to get the rose, and he's good as his word, so Marie and Amy profit from his find. They head for the longest wooden pier in Europe -- it extends 1600 feet into the Baltic Sea -- which just happens to be the Pit Stop. Danny finds the rose pastry and sends Kim on the right path, while the Beards aren't happy to be U-Turned but suck it up. It's a foot race for the finish down the long pier, but Tim/Marie the gym rats win, followed by Jason/Amy and then Nicole/Travis. Jason and Tim seem to be buds now; did dancing the polka bond them for life? Nicole/Travis are jazzed that they have the only Express Pass left, and the Beards' arms are exhausted, which is a fairly uninspired spot to leave for commercial.
You Never Know -- Except When You Do
This is strictly mop-up; the Baseball Wives come in fourth and Tim/Danny in fifth. The Beards try to tell us that you never know, but you do, really, and by the time Adam reaches the Roadblock, the other two teams are finishing. The Beards arrive with the sun setting over the pier and are duly eliminated, but they're looking forward to their next adventure. Will it be Survivor: Blood vs. Beards?
U-Turn legs continue to be the most random and unsatisfying, and this episode has no good travel to boot and essentially takes place all in the same city. It's true that you probably won't see Danny in a dress again anytime soon, but is that really worth an hour of your time?
For Scary Week we ask:
Which would you be most scared to attempt?
- travelling anywhere for thirty-four consecutive hours
- crossing Marie
What did you think?