Recap: The Amazing Race (24) All-Stars 2, Episode 2 – Baby Bear’s Soup
First ever short version of the opening title sequence and here we go.
Jet & Cord open the first clue of the Leg telling teams to head to the Chen Clan Academy where they must stand still in front of the Master to receive their next clue.
They ask a local who can’t speak English, but who tells them that it’s too far to walk to, maybe 50 minutes. The Cowboys understand 5-15 minutes so they go on foot.
Brendon & Rachel are next to leave and Rachel leads Brendon through the shrubbery to keep the other teams from seeing them. Margie & Luke meanwhile start the Leg off snippy with each other after having just told each other to stay calm at the Pit Stop. They decide to take a taxi while Dave & Connor and Brenchel hop on the metro.
Leo & Jamal like Mark & Mallory so they tell them to follow. The rest of the teams depart the Pit Stop as Jet & Cord continue to run about.
Brendon & Rachel and Dave & Connor get to the Chen Clan Academy first where they watch a demonstration. One team at a time watches until the Master stamps their next destination onto their foreheads.
In this Road Block, teams must assemble a motorized kiddie car with instructions only in Chinese. The toy soldier will check and hand them their next clue.
Dave gets started on the Road Block with Margie & Luke close behind. Citing Margie rocking other building tasks in TAR14 and TAR18, Luke says she’s perfect for this task.
Leo & Jamal, Brendon & Rachel Mark & Mallory, Flight Time & Big Easy, Meghan & Joey and Jessica & John quickly arrive next.
The trailing Caroline & Jennifer and Jet & Cord are only just arriving at the Academy. The Cowboys manage to hop onto a taxi before the country gals and are now realizing they’ve gone from first to last.
Back at Eday Town, Dave, Margie, Brendon, Mark, Leo, Flight Time, Meghan and John are still getting through their little cars as the kids have fun messing with them when they are all suddenly surprised to see the Cowboys just arriving.
Mark speeds through the Road Block and finishes first. He and Mallory open the next clue telling them to deliver their finished car to the Guangzhou Children’s Cultural Center. Margie finishes right behind him.
Mark carries the car over his shoulder as Mallory grabs both their bags. But outside as they are catching a taxi, they appear to leave one of their bags on the ground as their taxi drives off.
Caroline & Jennifer finally arrive at the Road Block and Jennifer tells a reluctant Caroline to do it. She really doesn’t want to do it as she doesn’t know how. As Caroline complains, Jennifer decides it’s time to work her magic. She butters up to Cord and asks for the Express Pass, trying to guilt him into sparing Caroline the agony of actually completing a task on the Race. The other teams take notice.
Brendon & Rachel are out and Jet manages to finish. Jennifer asks Jet for the Express Pass and he and Cord decide to hand it over. Flight Time & Big Easy finish as Caroline drops all the car parts in front of the watching kids and runs off.
Fellow TAR22ers Joey and Jessica, now in last place, can’t believe how “the blondes” can never do anything on their own.
Mark & Mallory stop to check their car isn’t falling out of the trunk. Mallory asks Mark to also check if his bag is back there. It isn’t. Mark wants to go back, but Mallory insists they push on. They make it to the Children’s Center and deliver the car to the waiting children.
The open the next clue revealing the Detour. But Mark is more concerned with going back to find his bag. Mallory says she has his passport so it’s fine. But Mark really wants his bag. He needs his car sick medicine. I’ve got car sick medicine! Mallory says.
But Mark says he needs his bag. Mallory tries to ask other taxi drivers to go pick up the bag for them, but none of the drivers speak English.
An exasperated Mallory has no choice but to hop into the taxi as she and Mark argue over whose fault it was. Mark wants his clothes, but Mallory says she’d Race in the same outfit for the rest of the Race if she had to. Other teams will also be happy to give him clothes. But then Mark says it wasn’t even his backpack. I WILL BUY YOU ANOTHER BACKPACK!!! Mallory pleads. She knows this will cost them the entire Race.
Seeing Mark & Mallory’s troubles, Luke is happy that they are now in first place as they head to the Detour.
For this Detour, teams will choose between Featherball or China Cup
In Featherball, teams head to Liwanhu Park and must play China’s version of hacky sack with a team by together making 10 passes without dropping the shuttlecock.
In China Cup, teams will receive a traditional Chinese cupping therapy used to stimulate blood flow and remove toxins.
All teams head to Featherball.
Back at Eday Town, Meghan finishes before John, but stops and helps him before leaving with Joey.
Meanwhile, Mark & Mallory, still very upset with each other, catch up to the others at the park after having gone to get Mark’s bag.
Dave & Connor finish the Detour first and open the last clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop at Shamian Island. Caroline & Jennifer, Margie & Luke, Brendon & Rachel, Jet & Cord, Flight Time & Big Easy and Leo & Jamal finish quickly after in that order.
Joey & Meghan and Jessica & John catch up to Mark & Mallory and it’s between the three of them for last place.
At the Pit Stop, it’s a footrace between Brendon & Rachel and Margie & Luke, neither knowing that they are Racing for first.
It’s Brendon & Rachel who manage to edge out Margie & Luke to win their very first Leg ever on The Amazing Race. Margie & Luke are fine with 2nd as Caroline & Jennifer come running up in 3rd.
Phil asks about the Express Pass and they say that assembling a car is a guy’s thing… with Margie, who assembled the car… and is not a guy, standing right next to them.
Just then, Dave & Connor come running in with Flight Time & Big Easy right behind them. Phil says Dave & Connor are 5th, but they’re actually 4th. The Globetrotters are 5th. Jet & Cord and Leo & Jamal join the party at the Mat to officially check-in 6th and 7th.
Phil then announces Brendon & Rachel’s prize; $2500 each.
Back at the Detour, Mark & Mallory are already at nine touches, but can’t get that 10th one. If only they did.
Jessica & John and Meghan & Joey finish and head to the Pit Stop where they check-in 8th and 9th respectively.
Mark & Mallory finally get through the Detour, head to the Pit Stop and run to the Mat where all the other teams have gathered. Phil tells them they are last and eliminated.
The episode was so full they had to do the first ever short version of the title sequence.
It really was a very exciting, full episode though despite having to watch the sad and uncomfortable downfall of Mark & Mallory. I think what we’ve learned with them is that one of TAR’s biggest rules, that teams must have a pre-existing relationship, is actually very important.
We saw Mark & Mallory absolutely implode. For non-casuals who have seen Mallory Race twice before and actually remember her would know that this is probably the first time we’ve seen her angry and upset. She is usually bright and happy and positive even when in bad situations. She keeps a positive outlook.
But that’s when she Raced with her father. Here, she is Racing with someone she doesn’t know outside of what she’s likely seen on TAR. And as we saw with Mark, his background is something that weighs heavily on his mind. He and Mallory will certainly have different goals, priorities and philosophies for the Race.
So it wasn’t unexpected to see them absolutely collapse. We saw it last week even without losing backpacks.
Anyway. The Team Kentucky drama certainly helped contribute to the overall feel of this episode. Even without that drama, this episode had something that we rarely see on contemporary TAR: competition. The teams were competing side-by-side in tasks and at Route Markers that were actually challenging and tricky.
That was evidenced by the constant placement changes and the eventual big party at the Mat. Another TAR first.
The Road Block was great. It was a good thinking challenge despite what Caroline & Jennifer were whining about. The kids running around made it all the more awesome. And then of course the kids at the Cultural Center whom they delivered the cars too. Caroline’s laziness robbed one child of his or her own car to play with at the Center. Hmph.
The Detour was fine. It would’ve been fun to see the teams try out the cupping therapy which looks very weird, but works great. But why only $2500 each for Brendon & Rachel? It used to be $5000 each. Boy, TAR is really on a shoestring budget these days.
So this was another Leg that I followed along with in real time back in November and it was agonizing watching it unfold on the internets. It was even worse watching it all edited together in an hour-long episode. The great Ferns had already reported that Mark & Mallory were not getting along, but they along with Brendon & Rachel were the only hopes left to make this Race worthwhile. So after their elimination was confirmed, my small hopes for the season pretty much vanished. Who knows how far Brendon & Rachel make it this season, but if they get eliminated soon, I might be forced to root for Margie & Luke for goodness sakes. You know things are bad when you are actually rooting for a tolerable (!) Margie & Luke. Yikes.
My Subjective Team Rankings
My God, Margie & Luke in my Top 3 before a Gap?!
Yes, that’s how insane this season has started out.
First of all Brendon & Rachel are now the only hope to save this season. They eked out a win today, their first. But they are showing that they are strong Racers. I hope they don’t breakdown any time soon, or ever. It was sad to see Rachel crying at the Mat because Mark & Mallory eliminated means one less ally for them in the Race. That could spell trouble for them if they ever get on a team or alliance’s bad side. (And we’re seeing it already on Twitter.)
Mark & Bopper and Gary & Mallory are true All-Star teams and both could’ve easily been invited back and have deserved the spot. But a Mark & Mallory-hybrid team was just misguided on TAR’s part and a bad gimmick gone worse. It wasn’t going to work and shame on TAR if they did it just to get the meltdown we got this week. It wasn’t worth it. Especially with this horrible cast.
Margie & Luke. My #3 team. Wow. I never thought that would be possible. But it is. They definitely haven’t gone all goody-goody or anything. But in this season with this cast, they are still one of the better and now more tolerable teams. Margie at the Road Block was great and Luke reminding us of her kicking ass in TAR14 and 18 earns them some bonus points. Margie is definitely a tough Racer. Imagine Caroline & Jennifer trying to do what Margie has completed on the Race. I doubt they could have, especially considering their Mat comments.
Dave & Connor are alright. But again, just boring. All of Dave’s stories to the camera earlier were so blah. So uninteresting. But they’re Racing fine. Leo & Jamal are also trudging along and thankfully not as loud this week.
Joey & Meghan and Jessica & John get bonus points for their side eyeing Caroline & Jennifer’s ways. And extra bonus points to Meghan for her “slap in the face” for all women comment. Indeed, Meghan deserves extra kudos for actually completing the Road Block, no problem. She needs to not stop and help another team when they’re in last though. And Joey needs to calm down. A toned down Flight Time & Big Easy is also a better Flight Time & Big Easy.
Jet & Cord are still petulant homophobes. But Caroline & Jennifer are now the worst team because of their horrible attitude this Leg. They pretty much quit at that Road Block. It was pathetic. Yes, the Express Pass is part of the game. But after them saying they wouldn’t be tagging along this Race like they did to Anthony & Bates and now doing exactly that? Even more pathetic. Margie is almost twice their age, yet did that task no problem. Only for guys? Margie and Meghan must be guys then. And now they seem to be running their Twitter mouths and making judgments about other people’s Races. We’ll just see how they run this Race themselves.
Caroline: “We flirt with life.”
Mallory: “I can’t believe you just sold me out like that.”
Meghan: “It’s kind of just a slap in the face for all girls, I’m just saying.”
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