'The Amazing Race' Recap: A Game-Changing Cab Scandal
'The Amazing Race' Recap: A Game-Changing Cab Scandal
The two-episode long leg is over, and Bill and Cathi were its final victims. The teams depart from the delightful, yet preposterous, Worlds Fair structure, the Atomium. They got to sleep inside it! Now, they will dress as characters from the comic strip, The Adventures of Tintin (also coming to a theater near you). Then they must figure out that they are detectives known as "one of three names" and find a guy holding a dog (Tintin! And the dog. Wait, is the dog Tintin?)

Andy and Tommy go around asking people if they look familiar or like characters from a comic. "Do you know this guy?" they ask people, showing them the photo of real life Tintin and the dog. No one knows. They are starting to wonder if they are Charlie Chaplin. They are not, but now they think they are.

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How cute are Ernie and Cindy as the detectives? Jeremy and Sandy talked to the right people, who told them they were from Tintin and their names are Johnson and Johnson (one of the three names, apparently). Ernie and Cindy also find the right person, who gives them "Tintin" and then someone else gives them Dupont and Dupond, which is also correct. Charlie Chaplin, however, is not correct.

Amani and Marcus got a case of the giggles seeing each other in the mustaches, and then tried not to peel them off by laughing. Amani and Marcus also find someone who knows about Tintin (Andy and Tommy must have been up too early for all the comic book lovers). Jeremy and Sandy are the first to human Tintin, who gives them a clue sending them to Panama City, Panama! Their next clue is in Parara Peru.

Ernie and Cindy get their clue next, and see Andy and Tommy struggle to find out who they are. Don't we all though? Are we ... Burt Reynolds? It's back to the internet for Andy and Tommy, who discover the third set of names, "Thompson and Thompson." Ernie and Cindy and Amani and Marcus are delighted to find that Andy and Tommy are not completely invincible.

Everyone gets on the same train and the same flight. Panama City will tie everyone up. How long do they have to wear those costumes? Do they wear them on the plane? The answer is no, as the teams hop into cabs in their normal clothes, but I was really hoping they'd still have the mustaches on.

Marcus threw his "magic rocks" out the window, deciding not to try to give them to Andy and Tommy for bad luck. Andy and Tommy arrive first, followed by Jeremy and Sandy. Everyone is wearing head lamps, and it is pitch dark outside. There are some obstacles in the water, and Jeremy and Sandy's boat driver gets stuck on one.

"Are you kidding me right now?!" Jeremy yells at the boat driver (or maybe Sandy). Poor guy. Andy and Tommy pass them as they get their boat dislodged.

Andy and Tommy arrive first, and sign up for the first TATTOO APPOINTMENT for the next morning. Tattoo appointment?! I reacted with shock, but my husband assured me it wasn't real because "this isn't Fear Factor." True, but I'm so excited for Fear Factor to come back.

Jeremy and Sandy get a 7:20 tattoo appointment, and Amani and Marcus take the 7:40 spot. Ernie and Cindy get the last appointment at 8:00. The jig is up for Andy and Tommy, everyone knows that they have magic/Jesus/whatever else on their side and they always seem to come in first. They are also winning at enjoying everything they do.

The tattoos are not real, and that's good because they're a clue. The tattoos send them to the San Francisco Bay Towers in Panama City. I wouldn't want a clue tattooed on me forever. I also wouldn't want to do the next Road Block, which requires a team member to walk a tightrope across the two towers. This IS Fear Factor!

Sandy is scared of heights, but Jeremy has done 6 road blocks and she has only done 5, so it's her turn. I guess you're harnessed up, but that is still scary as hell. Unless you're Andy! They can do everything.

The next clue sends teams to a bust of Ferdinand De Lesseps (any relation to the Countess LuAnn?). Sandy completes the challenge admirably. Jeremy and Sandy ask their drivers where the rooster is (forgetting that the rooster noise is not "cockadoodle doo" in every country, and that ours makes the least sense phonetically). The cab drivers discuss directions among themselves, meaning that all the cab drivers will know how to get there now.

Detour! Filet or Sole. For Filet, they have to deliver seafood to different vendors around the market, and Sole requires teams to make a pair of sandals. These both sound challenging and a little gross. Fish or Feet? I've learned from Project Accessory that it is really hard to make shoes.

Andy and Tommy, Jeremy and Sandy, and Ernie and Cindy choose to make sandals. Amani and Marcus opt to deliver fish, but can't get to the proper market. They go, instead, to the other Detour. Why not just opt for the other Detour if you're already there? But they didn't.

Hopefully they didn't regret choosing "Filet" once they had those fish in their hands. Literally. In their hands. Yuck, so slippery.

It turns out Andy and Tommy are also, of course, good at making sandals. Their clue sends them to Cathedral Square, where a group of dancers has the Pit Stop location embedded in their necklaces and one of their dresses. Lord, that is practically impossible.

Would a therapist recommend sandal making as a team building activity? It seems to be creating stress for couples Cindy and Ernie and Jeremy and Sandy. Amani and Marcus make quick work of the fish delivery, and now their driver's cab is going to smell like fish FOREVER. No wonder he drove them to the other Detour.

Andy and Tommy arrive at the dancers first, but hastily decide that "Balboa," which is the name of the money around their necks, is the location of the Pit Stop. They ask their cab driver if he knows Balboa, to which he says yes and starts driving. What if it's like, five hours away? Oh god, this could be their Kryptonite (this, and performing poetry). They feel horribly confident, as their driver drives them further and further away.

As a man at the Visitor's Center (where their driver took them) tells them there's a Balboa statue, Andy and Tommy start to get a sneaking suspicion that they've fallen down a rabbit hole of wrong-ness. Their suspicion is confirmed as they drive by the statue and Phil is not there.

Fishy-smelling Marcus dabs down one of the girls with his sweat rag. Those poor girls, they're like the un-flinching guards in London. The other teams are struggling to find the clue, but they are launching a deeper investigation. Ernie and Cindy also determine that it must be Balboa (oh no!), but Jeremy and Sandy notice the right building carved into the longest part of the necklace. Jeremy draws it and shows it to his cab driver, who recognizes it! So lucky.

Amani and Marcus also decide it must be the statue of Balboa on Balboa Avenue. No one is sure that they're going to the right place. Jeremy and Sandy's cab driver tells the other three where they're going, in an act of helpfulness, but also betrayal. He doesn't know that this is The Amazing Race, he probably just thinks these are six to eight lovely tourists working together on a scavenger hunt.

The cab drivers all worked together to take their teams to the right spot, you know, the spot they didn't figure out on their own. Apparently Andy and Tommy's cab driver is not in on the holy trinity of Panama City cabbies, so they figure it out on their own after returning to the clue spot and reading the writing on the dress.

Oh god, it's so unfair! The other teams were going to make the exact same mistake they did, but their cab driver saved them? It's just not right. I don't even love Andy and Tommy, because they have already won all these trips and cars and stuff, but it's just not fair.

"They're running around," Cindy says of Jeremy and Sandy, confused. But Jeremy and Sandy are running to the right place. They check in first, which is terrible news for Andy and Tommy, and us. Unless you like them! I don't speak for everyone.

Ernie and Cindy finish second, giving Jeremy and Sandy the hugs their cab drivers deserve. No penalty for sheer dumb luck! Amani and Marcus hit the mat in third, and everyone screams and jumps, "we beat the boys! We beat the boys!"

Marcus compares Andy and Tommy to giants (or maybe The San Francisco Giants), telling an underdog story and taking all the credit for their cab drivers' phone calls. Sorry, I'm just a little outraged!

Andy and Tommy are eliminated, and here's hoping there will be some sort of Second Chances season for them, and that Jeremy and Sandy don't win this season. Enjoy your Mustangs, vacations, and probably beautiful wives, boys!

I'm working on going back over the best moments of this whole season, and since I'm biased/obsessed with Bill and Cathi, I thought I'd ask for your help.

What are some of your favorite moments from this season?

(images courtesy of CBS)


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