The Amazing Race Recap
We're Not Meant for the Swamp
By Daron Aldridge
November 18, 2009
"We're not meant for the swamp." – Brian lightheartedly assessing their difficulty maneuvering at the Detour.
It seems to be the last non-elimination leg of the season is behind us and Gary and Matt live to race another day...for now at least.
Phil reminds us we are in Stockholm, Sweden, "the birthplace of dynamite, the Nobel Peace Prize and supergroup ABBA." That is a direct quote, by the way. Apparently, our host is a Dancing Queen fan. Our lovable Globetrotters were the first at the Bögs Gard farm pitstop and if you didn't recall, we are once again basking in the glow of Travelocity product placement as the guys peruse their prize vacation online.
Flight Time and Big Easy leave the farm at 2:23 a.m. and head to a ferry that will take them to Tallinn, Estonia. They humbly give credit to the other teams that at this point all the ones left deserve to be there and specifically, brothers Sam and Dan are the strongest competition. They get to the ferry, which is closed, and are told the devastating news that the next ferry to Estonia leaves at 5:45 p.m. This season continues to prove that the producers are not willing to let travel disparities determine their winner. The upside is that I don't have to worry about what time each leaves because it doesn't matter this leg.
Meghan and Cheyne leave next, followed by Brian and Ericka. This husband and wife team seem to have the right overall perspective on the race. Even though they haven't been first yet, Brian points out that Ericka didn't win any of preliminary pageant competitions but still won the big prize of Miss America and "the only leg that matters is that final leg." Hear hear, Brian. Each season it frustrates me that the teams focus on being first on each leg but seem to forget this point.
Sam and Dan are the fourth to leave and vow to not let the bickering get out of hand like during the hay Roadblock on the last episode. Despite Dan's crocodile tears when they checked in, this seems like an empty promise, like Season 5's Jonathan's wedding vow to love, honor, and cherish Victoria.
One by one the teams, including Matt and Gary, begin to arrive at the station and get the bad news that they have hours to wait for the next ferry to Estonia. The producers start foreshadowing pretty thick of the impending confrontation shown in the preview between the brothers and the Globetrotters. The brothers want the Globetrotters out and Big Easy chastises their behavior to one another at the previous Roadblock, which makes sense with all the yelling, cussing and bird flipping between them.
The ferry departs on its 16-hour ride. The teams are much more well-rested than previous seasons undoubtedly. They just got off a 12-hour rest period, then another eight to ten hour wait on the ferry itself and now this downtime. That is an unprecedented 36 hours of travel.