Sunday, March 15, 2009
Margie & Luke Finish First Again!
In tonight's episode, teams board the Trans Siberian Railroad to travel to Russia. Only one train leaves that day for their destination and it's scheduled in the evening. This allows all the other teams to catch up to the flight attendants who were the first to depart from the pit stop. For AR fans, this is known as an "equalizer". It can be frustrating when your favorite teams are ahead but this time it proves a wonderful advantage for Margie & Luke who came in fourth on the last leg.
As they board the train that night, the teams comment on how cold the weather is. Brrr. Next we learn that Mike, Tammy, and Victor are all aware that Margie & Luke were responsible for the blind u-turn. Mike says that Luke will create a new archetype for the show as "the sinister deaf kid". Nah, I don't buy into that. Luke & Margie do not fit the mold for Amazing Race villains. Indeed, Mike admits that he now realizes they are "power players". They are racing well and their determination to win is plain to see.
In Russia, the teams face a Detour choice of bride or snowplow. Interesting combination there. Luke strategizes that the snowplow task is less complicated and predicts it will be the faster option. He & Margie, their closest allies Cara & Jaime, and Victor & Tammy (who are there when they are choosing) all go for the snowplows. It appears that the three teams are going to work together. But no, while pulled over at a gas station as the cheerleaders ask for help, Victor secretly gets directions from a cabdriver filling his tank, and pulls away from the pack without sharing his information. Luke & Margie manage to follow, while Cara & Jaime are left behind. En route, Victor gets additional directions and shakes off Luke & Margie. Any goodwill the other two teams felt for this brother/sister duo has evaporated. It's "game on", as Margie says.
I wonder if Tammy & Victor may have forfeited that goodwill for nothing as the other two teams quickly catch up to them at the Detour site. All three teams are successful at driving their snowplow through a short curving course as their partner directs them. I'm excited to catch Luke signing "stop!" emphatically to his mom. That's one of the signs I use often at my house. Just ask my son...The teams' next clue directs them to a biblioteka (not sure on spelling) which Margie recognizes and signs to Luke is a library. Another sign I know!
Meanwhile Mel & Mike have chosen the Russian bride detour. The father & son drive themselves to an apartment complex, find their bride, and drive her across town to meet her groom at a church. The two sweetly compliment the beautiful bride. Mel marvels at how well his son navigates through Russia. Falling behind, the stuntmen choose snowplows, while the flight attendants and the sisters choose brides.
The library Roadblock turns out to be the outdoor "run in your underwear" task we saw in last week's preview. Luke & Margie arrive first at the library. Luke takes the task much to Margie's relief when she finds out that he has to run 1.4 miles in his underwear accompanied by a group of marathon runners. Is this CBS' idea of humor? It is terribly cold out and rather humiliating to have strangers see you in your undies and laugh. I think I would have preferred watching a Travelocity gnome task, an unpopular commercial tie-in staple of previous races.
While Rocky theme music plays and Luke jogs, Margie is shown giving encouragement from a cab as she passes Luke. He says he pushed through his embarassment by not looking at anyone as he ran. At the end of the race route, Luke is reunited with his mom at a performance center. The two race up several flights of stairs to find Phil at the mat while ballet dancers twirl on a stage in the background. Still in his underwear Luke is thrilled to see Phil sign that they are team number one! Their reward is a trip to St. Lucia after the race.
Victor & Tammy finish second, the cheerleaders third, Mel & Mike fourth, and the stuntsmen fifth. The first and second place teams from last week are now battling it out to not finish last. In the end, the sisters arrive before the flight attendants. The blondes are sad to hear Phil begin to say "I'm sorry to tell you..." but are pleased when he finishes with "you'll be the last team to leave on the next leg of the race." Aha, this is the first nonelimination leg of the race. The flight attendants have been spared for now but they will find an additional challenge known as the Speed Bump - a task only they will have to perform - on the next part of the race.
Margie & Luke are the only team so far to have finished first more than once. Go, Luke & Margie, go!