The Amazing Race: I Just Hope He Doesn't Croak on Us

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Phil wants to know: Will TK & Rachel's ability to stay "cam" under pressure continue to serve them well? Oh Phil, you wily Kiwi and your crazy made-up words.

This week, we're going to Japan. I don't know about you, but I'm excited. So are TK & Rachel, leaving in first.

They and Ron & Christina head to travel agents, while Nic & Gramps go straight to the airport. I would like to take this moment to thank Christina for being about the only girl not to wear leggings at any point during this race. And also for knowing Japanese, thanks probably to her "falutin' college." (Don't ask me, ask Gramps. He's the one that said it.)

TK & Rachel book onto a 6:55 p.m. flight through New Delhi and Beijing, while the other teams all get onto an 8:30 flight through Hong Kong. They don't tell us the arrival time of either flight, but Phil carefully points out that TK & Rachel's has two stops while the other only has one, so at this point... make of that what you will. No one knows where TK & Rachel are, and TK & Rachel don't know where anyone else is.

The flight carrying the three teams lands in Osaka at 2:30 p.m. the following day. Gramps calls Nic his bitch. They're all heading to Kishiwada Castle, and Nate & Jenn get there first; the clue tells them to cab it to a train station where they are to search for the cleaning man, who will give them their next clue. Everyone seems to be in remarkably good spirits this leg. They must have had some killer naps on the plane.

Nate & Jenn are first to the cleaning man also and they receive the Roadblock clue, which instructs one team member to become a taxi driver – put on a hat and gloves and transport a Japanese couple five miles to a given address, then drive back to meet their teammate. This comes on the heels of comments from a couple of the teams about how much they don't want to drive here, especially considering there are no English signs. Phil adds a caveat that they aren't allowed to ask a local to lead or join them on this little excursion, and neither can the couple they're chauffeuring help them, heh heh heh. Foiled!

Jenn's first up and she is rockin' the cute little hat. She even stops to admire herself in the rearview mirror, which is a little... well, you will be seeing yourself on TV not too long from now if you're that curious, Jenn. Christina is chosen to take the Roadblock for her team because she knows the language, but is displeased to learn it will involve driving.

So the directions the couple hand to the racer are in Japanese. Yeah. I don't know how that's going to work out, unless you're Christina, and then it's still not certain, as apparently she is a bad driver, according to both her father and her. Jenn tries to get directions from someone and finally finds out she's supposed to head to the post office. Nic is going to take another one for the team, because Gramps is tired. Is there not a half-and-half rule about the Roadblocks this time around? Is anyone counting?

Meanwhile, TK & Rachel still have not been seen. Uh-oh.

Oh man, Nic is so cute in his hat. He's wearing it sort of lopsided backwards, and it is just so dorky and adorable that I want to give him a great big hug. Those are excellent hats. I think I want one.

Christina is having trouble with the left side of the road/right side of the car thing, flicking the windshield wipers on by accident (I have so been there); Jenn is getting directions out the window from passersby, including what appears to be a traffic cop who helps her turn around in the middle of the street; and Nic has managed to find the right building without ever finding out what the Japanese words actually say. Remarkable.

Jenn arrives back at the train station first and completely flips out at this realization. The new clue tells them to taxi to Kita-Mido Temple for their next clue. Christina is next back. Their cab driver is wearing a bowtie. Adorable. Is Nic lost? Yes, he is. My feet are cold.

TK & Rachel are finally arriving, and though they don't tell us what time it is, it is at least still daylight. I am distressed at their chances of not finishing in last.

Ron & Christina's bowtied driver is having an apparent asthma attack, or possibly a heart attack, providing us with our episode title. He's still driving, though. Yikes.

Nate & Jenn pull the Detour clue at the temple, and it's a choice between Sense of Touch or Sense of Smell. In Sense of Touch, they have to use cell phone-controlled robots to play a game of table soccer, and each team member needs to score a goal. Cool, and yet... bizarre. In Sense of Smell, they have to go to a two-story flower shop that sells only artificial flowers and use their smellers to find one real flower. Gosh. Those both seem like they would take forever. Nate & Jenn decide to choose theirs based on which is closest, and the English-speaking local they find tells them they're the same distance, and offers to take them since he's headed in that direction. They decide on Smell, since Jenn apparently has the nose of a frickin' bloodhound. Ron & Christina also find a local and use the exact same decision making process.

Nic has finally found the train station, and Gramps tells him the other teams left ten minutes ago. They will be doing Touch. Nate & Jenn find the flower shop and are astonished at its size. Arriving just shortly after them, Christina tells her father to blow his nose first. Heh. Nic & Gramps are having a tough time with the robots, as I'm sure I would be also, but eventually Nic scores. Gramps... well, he might be a while.

TK & Rachel are in a cab, lamenting (in the sense that they are commenting benignly) how they haven't seen anyone since the "Pit Start." Hahaha, Pit Start. Hilarious.

Nate & Jenn find some real lilies and are sent to the pit stop, Tempozan Park, which is, Phil tells us, named after "the lowest mountain in Japan." So... not so much a mountain as just... land. Ron & Christina also find a real flower (that also looks to be a lily, but I'm no flower expert), and the green-haired shopkeeper (I don't know) excitedly hands them their clue. Meanwhile, Gramps gets his goal and they're on their way to the pit stop, too. But, in first, it's Ron & Christina. They each win an electric car. Dang. Christina is extremely proud of how her dad didn't lose his temper at all this leg, and indeed he did not. Colour me impressed.

Nate & Jenn are second, and not as mad as I thought they would be. In their post-leg interview, Nate hilariously slips up and says, "The best team is gonna finish last, and that's gonna be Jenn and I [sic]." A record scratches on the soundtrack and Jenn looks at him like, "The HELL, foo'?" Nate clarifies for us, "I mean, finish the last leg first."

Nic & Gramps are third, and it's definitely dusk at this point. We haven't seen TK & Rachel in some time. Gosh, I hope this is non-elim. Speaking of them, they're going through their tasks cheerfully, figuring they might as well enjoy it while they can. Rachel takes the Roadblock and we see basically none of it. They choose the flower detour (obviously; let us not forget Rachel owns a flower shop), and we see footage of Rachel finding a teeny, tiny red rose on top of voiceovers from the two of them about how much they care about each other. Adorable. TK is totally impressed at how she found the one real flower among a ton of other flowers that looked exactly the same. She giggles adorably at his accolades.

They run up to the pit stop in pitch black night, and... they're last, and... THEY'RE NOT ELIMINATED!!!! Oh, I'm so happy for them. Phil reveals they're nearly three hours behind the other teams and explains the Speed Bump to come. I hope there's a big wait for a flight in the next leg.

After a gorgeous New Zealand commercial (Seriously, wow. I got shivers.), we are told that next week will determine the final three. Don't miss it!

Tags: The Amazing Race

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