Recap: The Amazing Race 2, Episode 6 – I’m Gonna Take His Girl!
Original Airdate: April 10, 2002
Chris & Alex begin the 6th Leg at 6:11am. Teams must return to Bangkok via Ampawa and find their next clue at a flower vendor in a sea of vendors at Pak Khlong Talad, the country’s largest flower market.
Mary & Peach depart at 6:42am with Tara & Wil leaving at 7:19am. Wil had promised to be more of a gentleman from now on, but he immediately yells at their boat driver. Blake & Paige depart at 7:22am, Gary & Dave at 7:23am and a defeated-feeling Oswald & Danny at 8:31am.
Gary & Dave have a lot to say about the other teams such as Tara being too nice and which they can take advantage of, Blake & Paige being privileged and Oswald & Danny being big divas.
Chris & Alex arrive at the intersection given in the clue, but have trouble finding the vendor. Mary & Peach arrive at the market, but the Boston boys are able to find the next clue telling teams to find the Old Bridge in Ban Muang Kut near Chiang Mai. Teams must travel by train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai before taking local transport to the bridge.
Mary & Peach see Chris & Alex and are able to grab the next clue as well.
Wil compliments Tara for finding the vendor quickly. The other teams also get the clue and everyone makes it on the same 15-hour train departing at 3am and arriving after 5am tomorrow.
Tara & Wil, Chris & Alex, Mary & Peach and Blake & Paige decide to go shopping and lunch together while waiting for the afternoon train. While the locals have a crush on Chris who helps get them deals, Blake has a bit more trouble with the haggle. Tara and Alex continue to flirt. But Mary and Peach argue over bartering for pants.
As teams board the train, Oswald threatens to quit because he can’t deal with the poverty any longer. Danny doesn’t want to quit, but he’ll do what is comfortable for Oswald. Oswald decides to push forward.
The other teams also struggle with the poverty train. But Tara & Wil meet a cute Chinese kid they play with.
Teams arrive in Chiang Mai at 5:50am. Mary & Peach and Oswald & Danny and Chris & Alex and Tara & Wil share taxis. Four teams arrive at the same time and open the next clue revealing the Detour: Boat or Beast.
For this Detour, teams must choose the mode of transportation that will get them to waiting cars that contain their clues. In Boat, teams must use a bamboo raft they will row with a pole. In Beast, teams must ride on the back of an elephant.
Gary & Dave, Mary & Peach, Oswald & Danny and Blake & Paige choose the rafts. Tara & Wil and Chris & Alex, bringing up the rear, also choose the raft and have to catch up.
Mary & Peach manage to move into first place as they get the hang of the raft and pole, passing Gary & Dave. Danny helps get their raft off of a piece of wood. Tara and Wil, meanwhile, argue over how to even move forward.
Mary & Peach stay in the lead as they open the next clue directing teams to Mae Ping Village. Teams must drive themselves along a dirt road in the direction their 4×4 is currently pointing. Gary & Dave are close behind with Blake & Paige and Oswald & Danny next and Chris & Alex and Tara & Wil still in last.
Mary & Peach arrive at the village and open the next clue revealing the Road Block. For this Road Block, teams must wash the traditional chalk markings off the elephants.
Mary decides to do the Road Block and gets started. Dave and Blake start the Road Block next.
Mary & Peach and Gary & Dave finish neck and neck and can now drive themselves to Karen Village, the Pit Stop for this Leg.
As Blake & Paige leave the Road Block, Oswald & Danny arrive and Oswald cleans the elephant. Still far behind, Alex and Wil are last doing the Road Block. But Wil takes a very long time scrubbing, allowing Chris & Alex to leave before he and Tara.
It is now a Race to the Mat for all six teams. Mary & Peach are able to edge Gary & Dave to claim the Leg win. They shake hands and say they had a fun Race today.
Blake & Paige and Oswald & Danny are Teams 3 and 4, respectively.
On the way to the Pit Stop, Tara noticed that the clue did not mention an elimination. So they all realize this is a Non-Elimination. Even though Chris & Alex beat Tara & Wil at the tasks, Wil steps on the Mat first and he and Tara are officially Team #5. That means Chris & Alex are last and Phil tells them this is indeed a Non-Elimination.
That move by Wil does not sit well with Chris & Alex. And Alex decides it’s time he stole Wil’s girl from him.
Wow, what an interesting episode! This was really something unlike you’d see today. Actually exciting competition with a huge chunk of interpersonal drama and teams getting to go shopping and sightseeing (with more opportunity for culture shock of course). This was definitely a full episode. And it should be expected since it was a 2-day Leg! Legs today last a few hours at most. Lol
First, the episode started off normal enough. Teams needed to get to a Route Marker in the city. Things were okay so far. A bit of a midpoint recap of teams and the Race so far. (By way of Gary & Dave’s snarky assessment.) But it did feel like a bit of a reset in some ways.
The first half of the episode was all about getting to know these final six teams. And that shopping sequence was absolutely where things started to take off. How crazy was it to watch those scenes of teams just having fun about town. Unheard of in modern TAR! Lol
But during the shopping and lunch, we got to learn more about the team dynamics. Arguments, flirting, worldviews, It was fascinating to watch.
Then afterwards, the long train sequence where we got to see more “OMGPOOR” culture shock moments from the teams. What’s most interesting about that is the awkward and slightly offensive comments by teams morphed into renewed competitive spirit and being able to “overcome” all the rampant poverty they’ve encountered.
Yes, that sounds as offensive as it reads. But that’s how it came off and that’s how the show depicted it. Teams felt dirty and unsafe, but in the end were all like “I can handle the dirty and unsafe and poor! Congrats to me!” lol
So weird. So fascinating. But very 2002.
Anyway, the second half of the episode was the actual competition and it was pretty exciting and fun. No one did the elephant Detour, but there was an elephant Road Block. So TAR definitely wanted those elephants in the show somehow.
The Detour was a typical pair of tasks as well. And the Road Block was good as it was, I think, maybe one of the first times (if not the first time) teams actually got to interact with elephants on the Race. Very unique for American broadcast television at the time.
I knew a Non-Elimination Leg was due. And then I noticed Phil not mentioning that the last team would be eliminated. It’s so funny to think that back then, whether or not the Leg was a Non-Elimination was very obvious. And the teams certainly noticed that. It’s an interesting dynamic about knowing it was a Non-Elimination. And without a penalty back then, you could see how weird it was for Tara & Wil and Chris & Alex to not have any hustle or urgency to get to the Mat. So odd. But thankfully, that would be corrected soon after.
Overall, this was a very full and fascinating episode. Probably the most interesting episode I’ve watched with a 2021/2022 lens so far.
My Subjective Team Rankings
I think these are the best six teams to have gotten the chance to Race this Leg, both Race-wise and personality-wise. They all got their moment in the spotlight this episode. And seeing how all of them have very distinct personalities and stories really helps to make this episode so well-rounded and full.
One interesting thing to notice is how most, if not all of these teams feel “privileged.” That is, people who are far from used to being exposed to urban poor in Southeast Asia, for example. I think in the early days of TAR, the culture shock aspect was a major pillar of the show. And this episode definitely put that at the forefront.
I was happy to see Mary & Peach win the Leg. I actually didn’t remember if they ever won one or not. So it was exciting to see them Race to the top this time. Obviously, Peach continuing to talk about the dirty, smelly surroundings is annoying. But I guess the main point we are to take from their scenes is that she is pushing forward and overcoming whatever discomfort she has with all the poverty. lol
Not really a fan of seeing Chris & Alex crawl to the Mat even though this was a Non-Elimination. But that has more to do with the Race’s format back then. Still, their most interesting part of this episode was the continued evolving relationship between Alex and Tara. And what that relationship will do to the already tense, competitive dynamic between Chris & Alex and Tara & Wil.
The happy moments are definitely over for Tara & Wil. This is the Tara & Wil I remember. Lol The bickering and all that. They are such full, well-rounded characters. You can’t script something better than how they’ve been so far. Fierce competitors, bickering couple, flirting with another team, big stumbles. They’ve got it all! lol
This episode saw Blake & Paige establishing the template of All-American siblings that we’d see many times over the years. The comfortable, nice guy and girl next door. Of course, we know they (especially Blake) can be very competitive and cutthroat. But we saw the other side of them this Leg.
Gary & Dave can be funny. But a little bit like Oswald & Danny, their shtick can get annoying and old sometimes. I get the kind of characters Gary & Dave want to be. But we haven’t really seen them put it into action yet. Just them being snarky. But what about actually going up against the other teams?
With Team Cha Cha Cha, I get it. They’re pampered and high-maintenance. They prefer five-star hotels over dirty Thai trains. Okay. We know this already. So seeing a whole episode of it and Oswald even threatening to quit because of it was not very appealing to watch. Especially when in previous weeks, they had been so friendly to locals and things like that.
Gary: “Let me tell you something, I’m upset that the British never took the time to colonize this place because nobody speaks English.”
Gary: “Peach can’t kill anything except if it’s a pink margarita.”
Oswald: “We’re going to be with the real people!”
Peach: “The 3rd class, 14-hour train ride almost killed me.”
Peach: “This is a crucial moment as women.”
Danny: “I think I have a real butch bone in my body.”
Oswald: “The last time I got this wet… I wasn’t rowing.”
Peach: “Glad you can read a compass because the only compass I can read is the direction finder at the mall.”
Blake: “It was great until the elephant took a dump on my foot.”