Recap: The Amazing Race 2, Episode 4 – This Game is About Minutes
Original Airdate: March 27, 2002
During the Pit Stop, things get a little crazy at dinner when Chris, Alex and Wil get a bit drunk and rowdy. A couple of teams believe Wil, especially, crossed the line with his vulgarity. So much so that pastor Russell called him out. Meanwhile, Alex and Tara continue to grow closer as they sneak around in dark stairwells and pretend to kiss.
Anyway, the 4th Leg begins when Oswald & Danny depart at 2:52am. The first clue, with $210 in cash, tells teams to find Ryan Blake Air using a provided map so they can sign up for one of two charter flights to Walvis Bay, Namibia. The first four teams will get on a 9am flight while everyone else will have to settle for a 12pm flight.
Tara & Wil and Gary & Dave also depart at 2:52am and they share a taxi van together. Danny tries to hide his yoga-injured foot.
Mary & Peach depart at 5:56am and are the final team to get on the first flight. Shola & Doyin and Blake & Paige begin the Leg at 6:02am and just miss slipping onto the first flight.
Chris & Alex depart at 8:50am and Cyndi & Russell depart at 8:51pm.
Upon arrival in Namibia, teams open the next clue telling them to find Swakopmund Lighthouse. Teams try to rent a car, but Avis only accepts credit cards. While the other three teams scramble for a taxi, the lady at the counter offers one of her drivers to Oswald & Danny. They ask how much for the ride, but she says they can pay however much they think is appropriate.
The other teams hire a taxi via a local stand. But Wil thinks the lady is ripping them off for the 560 rand ride. He says it’s okay because he believes in karma. And he expects the person ripping him off to get ripped off by someone else in the future.
Oswald & Danny maintain their lead when they open the lighthouse clue directing them to find the waiting trucks nearby. They must choose a truck and will also be accompanied by a driver, who for safety reasons will take over the wheel after dark.
Because of Danny’s bad foot, he and Oswald decide to go for the Fast Forward. For this Fast Forward, they must find where the railway tracks used to run and figure out that refers to the Swakopmund Hotel, a converted railway station. The Fast Forward is waiting for them in the middle of the pool.
The other teams must instead drive themselves to Matterhorn Sand Dune and hike to the top to get the next clue.
Mary & Peach consider the Fast Forward because hiking up a sand dune doesn’t seem like an appealing proposition. But Oswald & Danny have already claimed it. Danny has already stripped down to his underwear to jump in the pool and grab the clue. Before he and Oswald leave for the Pit Stop outside Windhoek, they stop at the front desk to exchange some money and also wish they had their Prada outfits at this wonderful establishment.
Tara & Wil lead the rest of the pack and arrive at Matterhorn. The clue there reveals the Detour: Slide or Stride. In Slide, teams must slide down the dune on a sandboard. In Stride, teams must follow flags and walk down the dune.
Tara & Wil choose the sandboard and quickly get the next clue pointing them to Spitzkoppe. There, teams must find the General Store and ask for the postcard of the day.
The second flight arrives and the twins, married pastors and the Mycoskies all quickly get taxis. Chris & Alex are pushed to last as they try to call for one. Blake says it’s their own fault for choosing to align with Tara & Wil and not him. The Boston Bros end up an hour behind waiting for their ride.
As all teams choose the sand sliding, Tara & Wil continue their lead as they receive the postcard which points them toward the Woodcarvers Market on the outskirts of Spitzkoppe.
Waiting for teams here is the Road Block. For this Road Block, teams must use their remaining money and bargaining skills to buy carvings of Africa’s Big Five animals: lion, rhino, buffalo, leopard and elephant. Once they bring their carvings to a bushman, they will receive a giraffe carving and their next clue.
Tara quickly does the Road Block and she and Wil can now take their giraffe with them to the Amani Lodge in Windhoek, the Pit Stop. Gary & Dave arrive just as Tara & Wil leave and Dave decides to do the Road Block.
Elsewhere, Shola & Doyin get stuck in the sand and have to get help getting unstuck. They had already been trailing. And then they are hit with an Hours of Operation since the Matterhorn closes at 7:45pm.
Back at the woodcarvers, Peach and Blake do the Road Block. And because it is already 7pm, the drivers have to take over the wheel for safety reasons. But teams must continue navigation. Later, Russell and Chris do the Road Block.
Oswald & Danny arrive at the Pit Stop and officially check-in as Team #1. Gary & Dave are Team #2. Tara & Wil have gotten lost and end up as Team #3.
Blake & Paige and Mary & Peach finish as Teams 4 and 5, respectively. The Mycoskies run through the trees and Mary & Peach are a bit upset since they thought they needed to run along the trail only.
Cyndi & Russell check-in as Team #6 and Chris & Alex settle for 7th.
That means Shola & Doyin are last and eliminated without even attempting the Detour or Road Block.
Well that was a logistical nightmare of a Leg! lol Very much reminiscent of earlyTAR. But it made for a pretty interesting episode. I think because it is so emblematic of what an early season Leg looks like, it’s much more interesting to watch now in 2022.
I guess the flights into Namibia played a part. But it would’ve been much better if all eight teams arrived in the country at the same time. By the middle of the episode, it felt very predictable.
Still, this was probably the fullest episode of the season so far.
First off… Wowow at the Pit Stop drama. It’s so crazy to watch all of that happen knowing that contemporary TAR sequesters teams from Pit Stop to Pit Start.
Drunken dinners? Hooking up? You’re not going to see any of that in 2022! Lolol
Thinking about it, the Pit Stop mingling had a lot to do with how teams formed relationships with each other. Which would then carry over into the Legs. I know sequestering teams started all the way back after Bragate. But maybe it’s time to bring mingling back to spice things up. Then again, it might just foster more alliances, so forget I even brought it up. Lol
Upon arrival in Walvis Bay, how interesting to see teams trying to rent a car. I never even realized that could’ve been an option. Though even if it was allowed, it would’ve only been for the airport to the lighthouse anyway.
The Detour is another one of those early TAR types of tasks. Sliding down a sand dune? That should be an extra task on a Leg, not a Detour option. But back in 2002, it was amazing and scary. And even though all teams chose the sliding, the walking side of the Detour would still be an appealing option for many teams.
The Road Block was also interesting since it involved specifically trying to bargain with the locals. Though money was no problem with the teams, I guess TAR hoped some teams would run out of money for the drama of it all. Anyway, it was an okay task as it got teams interacting with the local people. (“People,” not “natives.” Lol)
Really crazy to see Hours of Operation end up eliminating Shola & Doyin. But they were so far behind. (Wouldn’t have been a problem had teams left South Africa closer together and not three hours apart! Lol)
Overall, a solid Leg. But interesting and enjoyable episode.
My Subjective Team Rankings
With the Gutsy Grannies eliminated, I don’t really have a favorite team at the moment. But I do like everyone left at least.
Oswald & Danny are definitely the biggest characters of the group. Again, it’s not hard to see how they earned their All-Stars slot. Strong Racers and fun guys.
It’s interesting to see Chris & Alex playing catch up all the time. I would’ve assumed they were Rob & Brennan-type alpha males. But then again, Rob & Brennan also took a while before they started looking like real contenders. So they’re definitely following in their footsteps. *wink*wink*
Tara & Wil‘s relationship is really one of the most interesting storylines ever on TAR. Especially when you throw in Tara’s growing closeness to Alex. I don’t remember everything about how it played out, so it’s very interesting to watch it all happen again. Meanwhile, Wil was really mean to that taxi stand lady. Like, actually rude. Yikes! But even with their bickering and all that, they had a great Leg. And I do remember how that will be the case moving forward. Good Racers in spite of their personal problems.
I forgot just how cutthroat Blake & Paige could be! Cutthroat, in a nice way I guess. But definitely competitive and not messing around. A rivalry with Mary & Peach isn’t something I would’ve ever expected. But Mary & Peach annoyed by them? Yes please! I want to see moar! Lol Gary & Dave are definitely comic relief characters, but also dark horses in the Race.
Cyndi & Russell were a bit lowkey this Leg. But I can see some cracks in their Racing and relationship I guess.
Finally, Shola & Doyin weren’t the wonder twins I thought they were I guess. They were eliminated because of Hours of Operation AND not knowing how to drive stick. I guess learning how to drive manual transmission wasn’t yet an unwritten rule back then. But it certainly will be after this.
Oswald: “Look at how we’re dressed. We feel so inadequate.”
Tara: “I’m not running.”
Wil: “We’re not walking.”
Wil: “Cheaters! Speeders!”
Dave: “Look at the natives over there!”
Gary: “They’re called people, they’re not natives. It’s not 1800.”
Chris: “You got a bunch of animals flying all over the road And you don’t want to him ’em because you’ll become a carcass yourself.”