Recap: The Amazing Race 2, Episode 5 – Welcome To The World Of Being Human
Original Airdate: April 3, 2002
During the Pit Stop, tensions flared between Tara & Wil and Blake & Paige. Chris & Alex tell Tara & Wil about Blake saying he wants them out. Tara & Will decide to confront them and ask why Blake hates them so much. Blake says he just doesn’t like them. But Tara points out it was Blake who cut the grannies at the airport and made them cry. Wil points out Blake & Page cut Mary & Peach before the last Pit Stop. Blake doesn’t want to hear it and walks away.
Anyway, Oswald & Danny start the Leg at 7:47am and open the first clue (with $88) telling teams to fly to Bangkok, Thailand. Tara & Wil depart at 10:34am and are excited since they travel to Thailand 3x a year for their furniture business.
Gary & Dave, who arrived 2nd at the last Pit Stop, will now depart in 3rd at 10:45am. Both they and Chris & Alex receive a 42-minute penalty for not following the guidance to drive 20 km/h below the allowed speed limit for added safety in the last Leg.
Blake & Paige and Mary & Peach are at the Mat together at 11:34am and the Mycoskies allow the sisters to open the clue first because of cutting in front of them yesterday. Mary & Peach appreciate the gesture, but Blake says all bets are off as soon as they reach the airport. (lol)
Cyndi & Russell depart at 11:44am and Chris & Alex leave at 12:59pm.
At the airport, Danny kisses the ticket agent and Blake & Paige gift their agent the animals they bought in the last Leg. All the teams except Chris & Alex hop on a 1:55pm flight to Johannesburg.
At the Johannesburg airport, Blake walks up to Wil to get things off his chest. Blake says since Paqueta Island, Wil has “done everything to make [his] life a living hell.” Tara & Wil are confused. Blake says he came on this trip to have fun, but both Tara & Wil have been talking about them behind their back.
Tara & Wil deny that. But Blake says he is not having fun anymore thanks to Tara & Wil.
Wil thinks Blake is trying to hang on their coattails while in Thailand.
Chris & Alex manage to catch up to the other teams as they are all on the same flight to Bangkok.
Upon arrival in Bangkok, teams must make their way to Erawan Shrine by taking a bus to the sky train then getting off at Siam Station before walking the rest of the way.
Gary & Dave and Blake & Paige are first to get on a bus. Tara tells Wil they have to wait for Chris & Alex who are still going through customs. But Wil doesn’t think they should and says he’s done with the Race. Tara tries to calm him down and the two teams end up hiring a van together anyway.
Mary & Peach and Cyndi & Russell get on the bus together. Peach says being in Thailand “scares” her.
Oswald & Danny, who were first, are now in last and lost trying to find the bus.
Gary & Dave arrive at the shrine first and open the first clue revealing the Detour: Confusion Now or Confusion Later. In Confusion Now, teams have to figure out how to get to a water taxi dock that will take them to a bird market. At the bird market, they will buy a cage of sparrows and release them for good karma. In Confusion Later, teams must take a taxi cab to Chinatown and figure out they must buy a paper car which they must burn as an offering to their ancestors at Lee Ti Biew shrine.
Gary & Dave and Blake & Paige choose the offering while Tara & Wil and Chris & Alex choose the water taxi. Cyndi & Russell and Mary & Peach also choose the water taxi, but they go in different directions.
Oswald & Danny ask a local student, Fern, to guide them for the day and she helps them as they choose the offering Detour.
Gary & Dave are able to figure out the paper car part of the Detour and burn a BMW, but at the wrong location. Blake & Paige buy a Mercedes and head to a temple where they are told to pray before burning the car. They pray specifically for the salvation of “all these people who are lost and so confused and they worship idols.”
All the teams, except Cyndi & Russell, work out their confusion and get the next clue directing them to take a bus to Ratchaburi and find Wat Khao Chong Phran.
Gary & Dave maintain their lead as they get on the first bus. Tara & Wil hop on a taxi and Wil is annoyed that Chris & Alex, who choose a tuk-tuk, seem to not have any sense of urgency. Turns out, the tuk-tuk is able to weave in and out of traffic better and they get on the second bus out of Bangkok. Tara & Wil get driven to a random area instead.
Peach can’t believe how Bangkok smells. “This is crazy.” She and Mary are able to catch the 3rd bus. Tara & Wil are on the 4th bus and Blake & Paige are on the 5th bus. Oswald & Danny end up on the 6th bus thanks to their friend Fern. Cyndi & Russell, meanwhile, get more and more lost.
In Ratchaburi, Chris & Alex catch up to Gary & Dave and arrive at the temple in first. Here, teams will encounter the Road Block.
For this Road Block, teams must put on masks and gloves to protect from dangerous bacteria and navigate through a cave of bats in the dark to retrieve the next clue.
Chris heads into the cave and quickly gets the clue. He and Alex can now make their way to the Pit Stop at Ban Plai Pong Pang via long boat. Chris & Alex officially check-in as Team #1.
Peach and Blake are next to go into the cave followed by Dave. Peach ends up last out, but because she and Mary hop into a taxi while the other two teams take a tuk-tuk, they are able to reach the Pit Stop as Team #2.
Wil and Oswald are next to finish the Road Block. Tara & Wil manage to get a fast taxi and arrive at the Mat in 3rd.
Blake & Paige take 4th and Gary & Dave finish in 5th. Oswald & Danny finish as Team #6.
Cyndi braves the bat cave. But she and Russell arrive at the Mat in last place and are eliminated.
This was definitely a great episode and great Leg. Maybe the best so far this season. It felt like modern TAR without all the annoying stuff.
First, we got some spicy Pit Stop drama. That was a lot of fun. And it even continued to the airport. The whole issue between Blake & Paige and Tara & Wil is hilarious since it feels like it has come out of nowhere. Or at least, escalated well out of proportion. But the drama encompassing almost all the other teams too is so crazy, in a fun and enjoyable way. Another one of those “You don’t see that anymore” things.
Then there’s the whole sequence with Tara & Wil and Chris & Alex arriving in Bangkok. It was so weird lol This is the kind of awkward drama that is almost nonexistent on contemporary TAR. But one after the other here, I love it!
It feels so weird to be in Southeast Asia in the middle of the Race! It’s always in the first few Legs or (more commonly) the last/penultimate Legs. So, very refreshing and I wish TAR would do it more.
The airport drama (ticketing/flights) was also kept to a minimum. Which is good. But all the teams got on the same flight anyway.
The rest of the Leg was great as well. Having to navigate public transportation is always a challenge. And I’ve noticed teams were more outwardly, hmm… I won’t say “racist” because not everything is racist. But I guess a bit more sheltered, I guess, back then. And TAR definitely played up the “OMGPOVERTY” moments in the early seasons. So pair the public transportation in a poor urban setting and you’re going to get these kinds of culture shock comments.
The Detour was simple and straightforward, but the teams definitely made it into this wild sequence of events. It was really awkward and fascinating at the same time. Teams praying for people to convert out of their religion and teams being a bit less than respectful for temples and shrines. So crazy! But certainly all too real.
The Road Block was also a good early season kind of task. It got sped through at the end of the episode. Felt really rushed, especially with tuk-tuks vs. taxis playing a big part in placement.
And finally, FERN! So this is where Fern came from. I remember those early days of TAR fandom lol I remember “Fern” being the term for any local who helps a team. Especially a local TAR fan who decides to help and guide a team through their hometowns. I had no idea, or maybe I just forgot, that the term originated here on TAR2 with Oswald & Danny’s friend. Very cool to remember.
Overall, this was definitely the best and most enjoyable Leg and episode so far. All the hallmarks of a good TAR episode, whether in the olden days or modern, simplistic TAR.
My Subjective Team Rankings
All the teams had their moments this week. Oswald & Danny‘s world tour is fun to watch. Making friends everywhere they go. High maintenance guys who have no problem trading their Prada for a tuk-tuk. It’s great to have this refresher on how fun they were.
Chris & Alex finally live up to their alpha male billing. Kinda. But at least, we finally see that they do have what it takes to make it to the top.
Tara & Wil‘s relationship is so awkward! Again, knowing what’s ahead and seeing these scenes is so weird! But it’s all part of their multi-dimensional characters. They’re in a feud with another team, there’s something happening between Tara and Alex, their own relationship is dysfunctional and they can be pretty good Racers. So they are so interesting to watch.
Their rivalry with Blake & Paige is so weird and funny too. I remember that moment back on Paqueta Island. But for it to have festered to this point is so crazy! But the way Blake especially has been portrayed as this cutthroat, uber-competitive guy is so unexpected for me. I’ve forgotten all of this, to be honest. That’s why it was funny to see Blake allowing the sisters to open the clue 5 seconds before them. Like, what difference does that make? It’s a nice gesture, but I don’t think it’ll make teams dislike you less. Lol And then he goes on to say it’s back to the cutthroat Racing at the airport. It’s funny, but it’s definitely added some extra aspects to the season I don’t remember. Feels brand new.
Mary & Peach are also a multi-dimensional team. I just thought they were a fun sister team. But they’re certainly showing a lot more than that. Peach’s comments about poor places and being scared of Thailand, it’s all very awkward. But then you have her going into the bat cave or saying she enjoyed the poor kids she gave glasses to. All these teams are so interesting to watch! lol
Gary & Dave is another team. Like, I don’t know if I should be laughing out loud at the things they say or do or if I should cringe and feel like something’s a bit off or inappropriate. Such a strange feeling to have watching a TAR team lol
And finally Cyndi & Russell. They really fell behind and thus didn’t get much screentime this Leg. But throughout their time on the Race, you could see some of the typical bickering couple moments between them. And the fact that they’re pastors made that very interesting to witness. But at the end of this Leg, they were reiterating their love for each other. So all’s well that ends well I guess.
Wil: “I’ll feed him to the tigers.”
Blake: “You’ve done everything in your power to make my life a living hell.”
Gary: “My grandfather would never drive a BMW in his lifetime. And now we’re sending it to him when he’s dead.”
Dave: “They were good people, but they was the wrong people.”
Paige: “We just bought a Mercedes for $3.”
Blake: “I’ve burned a couple of cars in my day.”
Oswald: “This is my chance to be really, really butch.”