OMG, it’s the final episode of The Amazing Race and I almost care who wins! After a season filled with lying, yelling, crying, and a little bit of running, one of the teams is going to be a million dollars richer. And I’ll be mildly annoyed if it’s not the Doctors, even though they barely have a snowball’s chance in hell (don’t they just seem perpetually jetlagged?).
The Massholes depart first at 1 a.m. and are headed from Indonesia to Tokyo. Because it’s the wee hours of the morning, all of the teams will get to the airport in time for the morning flights and, oh! Surprise! They’re all on the same flight. But then the Cousins find a flight that gets in about ten minutes earlier and go for it while the other teams stick together on the later flight. I guess ten minutes can matter, but sometimes it’s better to keep an eye on your opponents.
The Cousin’s arrive at a Detour! Knock It Down or Call It Up. Become a human bowling ball, or make a phone call in a giant goldfish tank. The Cousins choose to be bowling balls. When the other three teams get to the Detour, their cab drivers insist on following each other because nobody knows where they are going, so none of them have a choice which task they are doing.
Human bowling involves putting on a silly birthday hat and a pink kimono-type outfit and compete in a Japanese game show where the teams become the bowling balls and have to slide down a hill to knock down the pins. Getting back up the hill seems like the hardest part of the challenge, and it looks like it’s going to take the Cousins quite some time to finish.
Meanwhile, the other teams arrive at a park and have to search for a media center where one team member must jump into a phone booth filled with water and goldfish and make a phonecall and relay the message to their teammate. Only two teams can go at a time, and for some reason I Hate You Too take off in a cab going to who knows where while the Massholes and the Doctors decide which teammate will be donning the skimpy swimwear and which will not. Amy and Travis are floating in fishy phonebooths. Amy gets the message first, followed closely behind by Travis. Well that was quick.
Sigh. The Cousins finished their task and are onto the next. Some time later, I Hate You Too arrive at the bowling task which puts them solidly in last place. But, they look like they’re having fun hurling each other down a hill and into giant bowling pins.
All teams are now headed to a fountain somewhere in the middle of a Tokyo park to search for their next clue. The Cousins hit their Speed Bump. They have to become an apprentice zookeeper and capture a fake rhino in a net, which is apparently how real zookeepers practice emergency drills.
The Doctors and the Massholes find the park and a Roadblock. Teams must build a roadblock using…robots? Robots! There’s a teeny tiny model and giant pieces to the puzzle, and Amy and Nicole decide to work together. When the Cousins finish the rhino task, they mock the ladies for helping each other even though it looks like a totally two-person job.
Finally, I Hate You Too arrive at the Roadblock and are shocked that they are in last place. Marie asks everyone for help but nobody wants to have anything to do with her. But she is strong and determined and catches up very quickly. Leo finishes first, but it is not built correctly and can’t quite figure out what is wrong. Amy and Nicole also get it wrong, twice. And when they figure out the problem, fixing it involves taking the whole thing apart. Wow, Marie gets it right and gets the clue. Now they have to find a roaming vending machine somewhere in Tokyo. Amy finishes her robot before Nicole, and even though they were helping each other the entire time, Amy bails on Nicole, giving her nothing more than a bit of advice and some words of encouragement. Well, a million dollars is a million dollars.
I Hate You Too find the vending machine quickly and receive a clue that sends them to the pit stop at shrine. But don’t worry, it’s just a preliminary pit stop and not a million dollar pit stop. They will be one of three teams racing for the big prize. Hooray. The Massholes check in as Team Number Two.
Back at the Roadblock, Nicole finally finishes her task just minutes ahead of Leo so it really is anyone’s game for the last spot. Running, running, running, and the Doctors check in as Team Number Three. Excuse me while I enjoy watching the Cousins get eliminated.
I Hate You Too depart first for their final destination, Juno, Alaska. Gasp! Marie reveals that she made him sign a contract for a 60/40 split for any winnings because she did all of the leg work to get them there!? Those two are so strange that I don’t even have any words. Everyone is on the same flight, but upon arrival, there’s a tussle for cabs to go to a boat. The Doctors get there first, followed by the Massholes and I Hate You Too.
Roadblock! Drop a bag of flour on a target from a prop plane. It’s a ladies’ task, and they all get their planes at the same time. They all miss their targets the first time. Nicole misses again, Amy gets it the second time, and Marie misses again. Nicole misses a third time, and I think maybe I’ll just let you know when one of them hits the target. Okay, Marie hits her target and leaves Nicole circling in an airplane. Pretty sure Travis is never going to let her live this one down. Fifteenth attempt, a miss. Sixteenth attempt, another miss. Eighteenth attempt, nothing. Finally, on her millionth attempt, Nicole hits the target and race into last place.
Next, it’s an ice expedition where they must look for their next clue in a glacier and chip away at it until it is free. So…climbing around on a glacier looks like the kind of exhausting task I would not be very good at. As it turns out, there are a bazillion clue envelopes stuck in the ice and the teams have to keep picking them free until they get one that contains an actual clue. The Massholes find it first and learn that they have to hike down to the shore and tandem kayak to an island to find their next clue. Did I mention how exhausting climbing a glacier looks? Kayaking isn’t much better.
Speaking of exhausting, Nicole is not doing very good at the glacier thing and drops one of her picks into a ravine and has to finish the climb with just one. It barely matters because I Hate You Too find the clue before the Doctors even get to the ice wall filled with envelopes.
After a mile-long kayak, the Massholes receive a clue that sends them back to Juno by helicopter where they must find a clue somewhere on a trail in I guess a park? I don’t know, Alaska is a weird, naturey place. Once they find the clue, teams must build a totem pole that spells out the currency they used on the trip, in the order that they used it. Huh. This is a hard one.
The Massholes are totally lost, and I Hate You Too claim to know all of them other than Abu Dhabi, so they hope that once they get the rest of them the remaining letters will help. The Doctors arrive at the task while everyone else is fairly far along.
Miraculously, the Massholes finish first and head to the pit stop at Douglas Island. I Hate You Too finish next, which triggers Travis’s wife-blaming. The Massholes hit the finish line first and win The Amazing Race. I thought that I would hate them, but you know what? They grew on me. Good for them. But wait, let’s see how pissed off Tim and Marie are when they lose. Well, they’re disappointed, so that’s good. And here are Nicole and Travis, tired, spent, totally sick of each other.
So that’s it. Join us again for The Amazing Race All Stars in February. And fingers crossed that I get a call from the producers to run the race next spring. Well, maybe not run so much as walk briskly until I see an opportunity to sit down and take a break.
Did you enjoy this season of The Amazing Race?
photos via CBS