The Leg With 414 more dollars in their pockets, the teams learn they are leaving India and heading to Osaka, Japan.
TK & Rachel find a 6:55pm flight that connects through New Delhi and Beijing (cue: *RATTLESNAKE ‘OOPS’ EFFECT*) while the other three teams find an 8:30pm flight that connects only through Hong Kong (complete with Phil’s emphasis).
TK & Rachel arrive in New Delhi and they show TK concerned about their position. In Japan, a flight arrives at 2:30pm and it’s the three teams.
The teams take taxis to Kishiwata Castle. On the way, they try to figure out if TK & Rachel are ahead of them or behind them. Ron settles on them being behind them, while Nic thinks they’ve gone to Osaka, India.
At the castle, they search the grounds for the clue, which tells them to travel to JR Kandosen Noda Station where they must search for the station’s cleaning man for the next clue.
Nate & Jen comment on how there are no signs in English (Nate: “That’s why we’re not drivin’, babe.”), while Ron & Chris talk about all the streets being one-way with Christina saying “I’m never driving in Japan.” (cue: *GONG*)
Lo and behold, the clue at the station tells them about the Road Block, “Who’s the Backseat Driver?”
In this Road Block the teams must become a taxi driver and drive a Japanese couple to an address that is given to them. However, the address, which tells them to go to the Osaka Centre Post Office, is written in Japanese. They can not invite a local to lead them or ride with them nor can they ask the couple for help with directions. After they drop off the couple at the right address, they will hand them their next clue and then they must head back to their partners at the station before opening it.
Jen starts first, followed by Christina and the Nicolas.
Jen can’t figure out the address. Meanwhile, Ron & Chris decide Chris will do the Road Block because of her knowledge of Japanese, but then they regret that decision when they find out she has to drive when apparently she is bad at directions. Then she can’t find out how to work the car.
They all have trouble navigating the streets and getting directions, all the while the couple in the backseat laughs and makes funny faces at their funny American drivers.They finish in the same order, though one final turn is the biggest hurdle of the Road Block as Nic has the most trouble.
Reunited with their teammates, teams must now travel to Kita-Modo Temple for their next clue.
As Nicolas tries to find his way back to the station, TK & Rachel finally arrive in Japan and Nicolas & Jen and Ronald & Christina are on their way to the temple.
Nate & Jen arrive first and find the Detour.
In this Detour, teams have to choose between Sense of Touch or Sense of Smell. In Sense of Touch, teams head to the Shimojima Building where they must use miniature robots controlled by cell phones to play soccer and score two goals against two robotic defenders. In Sense of Smell, teams head to the Saera Flower Shop, one that only sells artificial flowers, where they must used only their sense of smell to find one REAL flower among the fakes, the only one that will obviously have a smell.
Nate & Jen and Ron & Chris choose Sense of Smell. Meanwhile, Nicolas finally makes his way back to the station and they are on their way.
Nate & Jen unwittingly find the flower shop with Ron & Chris right behind them. Nicolas & Donald choose Sense of Touch and take a little while trying to figure out how to maneuver the little robots, Donald having a particularly harder time. (“I don’t even own a computer!”)
Nate & Jen find a real flower first and they sneak out to make their way to the Pit Stop at Tempozan Park. Ron & Chris are right behind them, but they find a taxi first.Nicolas & Donald finish playing soccer and they are right there in it.
All the while, we see TK & Rachel in a taxi, though with the sky considerably darker than when the other teams are outside.
Ronald & Christina arrive at the mat and Phil tells them they are First! Not only that, they won an environmentally friendly electric vehicle. First a catamaran and now an electric vehicle!
Nate & Jen are disappointed, as they are 2nd again. And Nicolas & Donald hang in for 3rd.
Meanwhile, TK & Rachel are last and far behind. We hear what sounds like their goodbye messages as we see them finish their tasks. They head to the Pit Stop…and lucky for them, this is a non-elimination leg, though Phil says they are three hours behind the other teams, and they will have to face a Speed Bump in the next leg.
The Teams Well, everyone knows how I feel about TK & Rachel (lol), so needless to say I was disappointed in the ending. I was already sure that this was a non-elimination, though I did get my hopes up with that clever editing (those uber-clever TAR editors strike again!)… but alas they’re still in it. I have to admit, they didn’t get on my nerves as much this episode… but that’s probably because they were in it all of 2 minutes.
Nicolas & Donald are chugging along. Now that they are in the final 4, it’s really everyone’s Race to lose, including them. They have just as good a shot as anyone else, but fatigue could be their worse enemies. We’ve seen numerous times throughout the Race, either Donald not being able to keep up or Nicolas’ tiring of carrying the weight (sometimes literally) of the team. If they win, all the more deserving because of everything they’ve had to go through.
Nate & Jen provided more laughs again this week. The mood swings from kissy-kissy to “You pushed me!” (*vague flashes of Jonathan & Victoria*) were more funny than anything, and even after the leg, they were still in good spirits as we saw them with Jen laughing at Nate’s incorrect prediction about their fate.
And I am definitely happy for Ron & Chris who place 1st again! Yay! Also again, Ron acknowledges his failings and other than his frustration of their being dropped off far from where they were supposed to and arguing about the difference between a direct and nonstop flight, he was all right this leg. I would love to see them and Nic & Don racing for the million together.
Overall Until the twisted ending, I thought this was one of the best episodes ever. As always, it was exciting and thrilling, but also as always, the locations play a huge part of the episode and going back to Japan was great. The Road Block and Detour were awesome, and how cool were those robots?!?! Soccer, ninja moves, and even able to applaud… I want one of those, of course with the matching cell phone.
And the taxi Road Block was genius. Original and fun.
Plus some great funny moments again this week: -Ron & Don sharing their snack. -Nate “listening” to Jen. -Nate’s We’ll be last flub. -The poor wheezing, but smiling taxi driver. Hope he’s okay and doesn’t really have a medical problem! -Don’s high-falutin expressions.
As for the ending, it was expected. I kept hope, but oh well. Hehe… only one more episode left until the finale!! That makes me sad. If CBS really didn’t give the greenlight early enough (They could be secretly running TAR13 as we speak! *crosses fingers*), we might have to wait until late Summer or even the Fall for TAR13!
QUOTES FROM EPISODE 12-09 Ronald: “Oh, Osaka, Japan… land of Sushi.”
Nathan: “I actually had a fantasy the other night. We were running to the finish line, and anyone who was in front of us, I was going to throw my bag at their legs and hopefully they fall and us run past them.”
Ronald: “I paid him good money just to walk more?!?!”
Ronald: “I’m just an old fart that runs on emotions.”
Donald: “Anything’s possible on the Race.” Nicolas: “That’s so cliché.”
Nicolas: “I wonder if Ron & Chris speak Japanese.” Donald: “Yeah, I wouldn’t doubt that they speak Japanese. She’s at some big ‘falutin’ college and everything like that…” Nicolas: “‘Falutin college’?” Donald: “Yeah, Princeton buddy!”
Christina: “First off, I don’t have a car! I use public transportation, so this is ridiculous that I’m doing this.”
Nicolas: “It’s easier to land a plane than to drive in Osaka.”
Jennifer: “The streets were very confusing and then there was this last little angled street where this station was at…” Nathan: “I’m sorry… It’s hard for me to pay attention right now when he’s driving… sorry.” *silence* Nathan: “Nah, I’m listening to everything you’re saying, it’s hard to, uh… you know what I’m saying.” Jennifer: “No, I don’t.”
Taxi driver wheezes Christina: “Are you okay? Is he okay?” Ronald: “Is he having a heart attack or something?” Christina: “Yeah, it sounds like his health is not the best.” Ronald: “I j ust hope he doesn’t croak on us.” Jennifer: “We decided to do sense of smell, because I freakin’ have the nose of a bloodhound.”
Jennifer: “We were just sniffing, sniffing, sniffing, and I was looking up and I was like… seeing all these colorful flowers, I thought I was hallucinating, like in a Pink Floyd music video or something.”
Nathan: “The best team is going to finish last and that’s Jen and I.” Jen: “Going to finish last!?!?!” Nathan: “I mean finish the last leg first.”