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Sunday, April 01, 2007
 
TAR Work Shall Make You Free

General comments: A long and ultimately unsatisfying episode that nonetheless had some very high points. Teams start out in Zanzibar and must make their way to Warsaw. Phil discloses that at this point, the Old Gay team is an incredible 16 hours behind the leaders, One and a Half Women.

As was the case once before this season, teams have assigned seats on one flight but they are free to locate an earlier flight. However, to say that the service at the Zanzibar Travel Agency is not the best is perhaps putting it mildly. The Beauty Queens manage to get a flight arriving at 9:10 AM. Joyce and Uchenna catch another flight that will connect with that one. In the meantime, Mirna and Charla and the young gays endure 7 hours of searching before they finally find a flight that will get them in at 9:45. But Joyce & Uchenna miss their connection and now they are stuck at Mt Kilamanjaro?

Things also turn out badly for Old Gay and the Frat Boy and Danielle, as they are stuck taking the scheduled flight, which then misses its connection. Looks like the BQs are doing quite well this evening! They make it to Warsaw first, and head to a castle where Chopin lived.

There they must choose between Perfect Angle and Perfect Pitch. In Perfect Angle they must carry a mannequin to an X-ray clinic, where, by positioning the mannequin correctly, they will find their next clue in an X-Ray. In Perfect Pitch, they must find the one key on a piano that is out of tune and tune it. The BQs kick butt on piano tuning, and head for the next clue, a monument to a war hero. From there they head to the Pit Stop. Huh? No Roadblock this episode? They win a trip to Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile the Young Gays and One and a Half Women are having trouble with the piano tuning, but the former finally get it, as do Uchenna and Joyce. One and a Half Women decide to bail and go for the X-Ray Machine.

And suddenly they announce that because of the extreme lag between teams, they announce that the Beauty Queens have now started the next leg. What the... is this a double episode? A check at the clock confirms that we are carrying over. The teams must go to Auschwitz on either of two charter buses.

As the other teams arrive at the mat, I am convinced that this will not be an elimination leg, and sure enough, even though the Old Gays arrive last, they are only marked for Phil-Limination if they don't finish first on the next leg. This is actually a big boon for Eric and Danielle, who are far behind the other teams, but effectively a half hour ahead of the Old Gays.

The BQs, Young Gays, and Joyce & Uchenna catch the first bus to Auschwitz, while One and a Half Women get stuck behind with the other two teams. This looks pretty unfair, but the worst is yet to come. After touring Auscwitz and lighting a candle to the victims (at which point everybody gets appropriately emotional) the teams are told to make their way to a theatre in Krakow. Joyce & Uchenna and the young gays arrive first and are greeted by an Intersection, where two teams must pair up.

This really hoses the Beauty Queens, who now must wait for the second bus, which was four hours behind theirs, to arrive. Worse still, the Intersection includes a fast forward, by which the first two teams can zip ahead. The Fast Forward task turns out to be ridiculously easy; count the steps in two large towers. Joyce & Uchenna and the Young Gays get it right the first time and move far into the lead, while the BQs must wait.

They strategize as to which team would be best to join up with but in the end they take the first one to arrive, which is Charla & Mirna. Detour: Eat It Up or Roll It Up. They must either make some kielbasa and eat it (2 feet apiece), or roll up 20 bagels. Looking at Charla, I gotta thing that eating nearly her height in sausage is going to kill her, but they decide on that task. The other team, the Frat Boy and Danielle and the Old Gays decide initially to make bagels, but it turns out that they can't locate the shop, so they decide to wolf down the meat. As predicted, Charla has a tough time, eventually she finished just as the other team is complete.

The teams must now go to another castle. Roadblock. One member of the team must wear a suit of shining armor and guide a horse a half mile to the castle. Charla does it for One and a Half Women, with predictably comical results. Meanwhile things are looking grim for Old Gay, who are ahead of the Frat Boy & GF, but not by enough to survive a 30-minute penalty. And, when they reach the mat in fifth they must stand by to be Phil-Liminated.

General commments, Part Two: This episode revealed why the bunching maneuvers (which have been minimal this season) work so well to enhance the drama. Without them the BQs would have waltzed easily to victory because they were the only team to get the really early flight to Warsaw. The three teams now at the back of the pack (BQs, One and a Half and Frat Boy and GF) are now going to need to hope for another bunching to catch them up to the leaders.

As always, check out Viking Pundit's recap as well.

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