Teams must now fly to Mumbai, India. With $110, teams head to the airport to look for flights. Millie & Chuck inform Jon & Al of a direct KLM flight. But Reichen & Chip have found an Alitalia flight via Milan that arrives an hour earlier. They inform their friends Monica & Sheree. But the NFL wives feel much safer with the direct flight.
Reichen & Chip agonize over whether or not to take the Alitalia and ultimately decide to go for it. Everyone else takes the KLM flight. The husbands arrive in Mumbai 35 minutes earlier than that flight and head to Film City. On the taxi ride, Reichen is shocked by the poverty around him.
The other teams arrive and have immediate culture shock even before hopping into the taxis.
All the teams get equalized at Film City where they must wait overnight until 9:30am to be allowed to bike through the lot to a studio where their next clue is waiting.
The teams wake up the next morning after a night on the ground and they reflect upon all the poverty all over India before they start pedaling through the studio.
At Studio 10, teams open the clue revealing the Detour: Suds or Duds. In Suds, teams must wash one bundle of laundry at Dhobi Ghat until they find a piece of clothing with a clue printed on it. In Duds, teams head to a clothing shop and search through saris to find one with a clue printed on it. To reach either destination, teams MUST take a bus or train.
The teams all hop on a bus to the train station. Reichen & Chip are at the station first and learn it is not going to be easy to board. They fight their way through a mass of people and then get squeezed into the train car full of bodies pressed up against each other.
Kelly & Jon and David & Jeff are next at the station. But they miss the first train when they can’t squeeze in. They make plans for the next one and they push their way on. Almost immediately, Kelly feels someone grabbing her butt and pushing up against her.
Next up is Millie & Chuck. Millie is able to get on, but Chuck is very tentative about pushing his way through. She’s stuck inside and Chuck has to hang on with the crew seemingly not even able to squeeze through as the train begins to leave.
It’s time for Tian & Jaree to fight their way on. And they too are assaulted by the local men. Jaree warns whoever is grabbing her boobs better stop of she’ll throw him out. Tian, meanwhile, feels someone pinching her as both of them are squeezed tightly in a train care full of only men.
Reichen & Chip maintain their lead as they arrive at Dhobi Ghat. They begin washing their laundry with Kelly & Jon and the “Goats” close behind.
After the Detour, teams make their way to Indo Universal Engineering at Sassoon Docks where they will find the Road Block. For this Road Block, teams must enter this “foul-smelling” fish market and find 20 palai fish in a pile of many different types. They must deliver the fish using a basket on their head to a waiting truck in order to receive the next clue.
Chip and Jeff decide to work together and finish even before Kelly & Jon arrive. They can now head to the Pit Stop at the Gateway of India. David & Jeff get their first Leg win and are awarded a cruise to Hubbard Glacier. Reichen & Chip are Team #2.
After Jon finishes the Road Block, he and Kelly head to the Pit Stop as Team #3.
Chuck, Clown Jon and Tian are next to perform the Road Block. But they are told by locals that they can take any of the fish instead of the ones they actually need.
Millie & Chuck end up as Team #4 followed by Tian & Jaree in 5th and Jon & Al in 6th.
Monica & Sheree, who had fallen behind after Bollywood, are last and eliminated.
— DryedMangoez (@dryedmangoez) February 26, 2021
Obviously, this is one of TAR’s most infamous episodes. It was shocking to watch back then, but even more shocking and sad now.
You would assume that TAR specifically wanted teams to take the train and bus for maximum culture shock. They wanted teams to get stuck in that sea of people. But I doubt they ever imagined the women would get treated that way on the train. (Though, they really should have seen that one coming.) Is there really any worse moment on TAR ever? You can hate moments where sneaky, conniving teams unleash their horrible behavior. Or sanctimonious teams feeling like they are God’s gift to the Race.
But we saw female Racers get sexually assaulted in broad daylight. I mean, this is beyond culture shock. America has been through a lot since this episode first aired. It’s hard to watch it in just the 2003 context. It was bad back then. It’s even more baffling and sad to watch today in 2021.
However, in Googling a little bit about the reaction after its original airing, I saw that Christie got groped in TAR5 in India as well. I had to go watch that episode again and WTF!
With TAR4, I can understand if that was an unforeseen circumstance. And thankfully, nothing worse happened to the teams.
But to think that TAR would intentionally return to India in the next season AND again have teams take a train? Why would you put teams in that situation again? TAR5 was filmed one year after TAR4 was filmed. And they didn’t think better of having teams, including women, going into those trains with the real possibility that they’d get harassed again? Unbelievable. Like, I only now realized that and it kind of upsets me.
Culture shock has always been a part of TAR. Especially in these early seasons. You can’t even count the episodes where TAR teams cry at the sight of poor people living in horrible, dirty conditions. There’s a whole discussion to be had about how TAR sometimes exploits such situations.
I bring up culture shock because it’s obviously a good thing to be exposed to other cultures and societies. Even more to have teams actually experience those cultures first hand.
But what happened here was just so unthinkable and then actually having the audacity to present an opportunity for it to happen again?! That’s disgusting.
All the airport drama at the beginning resulted in an Hours of Operation. So this is really an example of how airport drama might be fun for a few minutes at the start of episodes. But ultimately, means nothing to the Race. So why not remove that part out of it and just focus on the tasks and other stuff during the Leg. Perhaps there can be times when airport drama and ticket maneuvering can work (such as when there are no equalizers in the destination city and teams will be relatively close together). But most of time, it’s actually a waste of time in terms of the episode.
The fact that it would take 20 seasons before they had a Bollywood task (first time was TAR20, right?) is pretty amazing for TAR. So that Route Marker at the studio was interestingly irrelevant.
The Detour was alright. Certainly a typical early TAR type of task. And the Road Block was okay too.
But come on, the only thing this episode will ever be known for is what happened on those trains.
Also, where are the Non-Eliminations? What the hell? All for budget reasons? Lol
My Subjective Team Rankings
I must say, Tian is one of the most badass women to ever Race on TAR. She’s so tough. And not to put down Jaree any more since Tian does enough of that (lol), but Tian really did carry the team through the Race. I do think Tian & Jaree complimented each other well. And that makes them a fun team to watch.
Kelly & Jon kind of took a backseat this Leg, other than the train incident. But them stepping up their Race is evident.
It’s too bad Monica & Sheree fell so far behind finding a bus. They’ve actually been doing pretty well in the last couple of Legs and always get themselves toward the front of the pack. So it was sad to see them have just a horrible Leg like this.
Reichen & Chip have slowly, but surely put themselves in contention. And this Leg I think is the first time where they really asserted themselves as a frontrunner.
On the contrary, Millie & Chuck‘s dysfunction only seems to be growing. And it seems to be bubbling up and leading to a big explosion. We’ll see. I don’t quite remember what happens with them.
Jon & Al only ever pop up when they’re doing tricks for the locals. TAR hasn’t really invested much time in giving them any character other than that. And David & Jeff have also been under the radar so far, but are in a good position moving forward. The way Jeff and Chip worked at the Road Block together is the kind of “alliance” that is acceptable. Not whatever TAR32 was doing.