Recap: The Amazing Race 2, Episode 10 – It’s Hammer Time
Original Airdate: May 6, 2002
Phil says this Leg will end with the last elimination of the Race. He teases that they will have to make up being one hour behind 3rd place team Chris & Alex in order to survive. Tara & Wil are also the last team who has not used a Fast Forward yet.
Blake & Paige begin this 11th Leg at 2:13am with $20 and must drive a camper van to Maori Arts and Crafts Institute by finding Picton on a map and taking a ferry to Wellington on the north island. Ferry tickets are provided for them in the clue envelope.
Tara & Wil begin the Leg at 3:13am, Chris & Alex at 3:41am and Oswald & Danny at 5:04am.
Tara and Wil have a meltdown as they grow frustrated with trying to drive the RV and figuring out the directions. While Tara takes a nap during the long drive, Wil apologizes to her.
Blake & Paige make a new friend at the terminal who gives them a special pass that gets them on and off the ferry first. Chris & Alex and Tara & Wil are annoyed so they decide to speed forward and cut everyone else in line in order to get into that first position instead.
Meanwhile, Oswald & Danny miss the 11:30am ferry that the others are on so they have to wait two hours for the next one.
On the ferry ride, Tara says she has never seen the other teams as their enemy. So that’s why she prefers to hang out with them, especially Alex, rather than Wil who always says hurtful things to her. Alex says if Tara was his girl, he would punch Wil for the way he treats her.
The three teams arrive in Wellington and must now drive six hours to Rotorua. But HOURS OF OPERATION! The Maori Arts and Crafts Institute will open at 7am.
While the others head to the camper park, Blake & Paige decide to research the area’s points of interest so they will be prepared for tomorrow.
At 7am, all four teams run in at the same time. A Maori warrior leads them to a welcome ceremony. The teams rub noses with the warriors and are given the next clue pointing them to The Lost World at Waitomo Caves.
Tara & Wil decide to go for the Fast Forward which is located at Mount Tarawera where they must do a “scree run” which involves them hiking to the top before running down the near-vertical loose rock wall into the mouth of the dormant volcano.
After the exhilarating run, Tara & Wil can now hike out of the volcano and drive themselves 125 miles to the Pit Stop at the Warbirds Hangar of Ardmore Airfield in Auckland. They easily check-in as Team #1 and win a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico courtesy of American Airlines. They both accept that it’s time for them to move on from each other as a couple, but can remain friends.
The other three teams arrive at the caves. They suit up and descend into the caves to open the next clue, the Detour: Drop or Climb. In Drop, teams will descend down the world’s highest free rappel into the Lost World cave. This will get them closer to the clue at Jesus Rock. In Climb, teams will climb down a less-frightening ladder, but will have to walk a farther distance to the clue.
All teams choose Drop and they get the clue directing them to drive 125 miles to 4 Track Adventures in Auckland. Here, teams will find the Road Block. They will hop on an ATV and ride along rough terrain to the next clue waiting on the beach.
Paige, Alex and Danny decide to do the Road Block.
After the Road Block, teams can make their way to the Pit Stop. It’s a campervan Race to the Mat.
Blake & Paige check-in as Team #2 and Chris & Alex claim the last spot in the Final Three.
That means Oswald & Danny are last and eliminated.
What an interesting episode. Mainly because of all the driving! Such LOOOONG drives! Beautiful scenery of course. But the entire first half of the episode was just them driving and sleeping and eating before any kind of competition.
Well, that’s early TAR for ya. But still, watching it with a 2022 lens definitely makes it feel very weird and even almost outdated, to be honest. Many fans look back fondly at the olden days of TAR. (Myself included.) And it’s still a fun, nostalgic watch. But it’s so interesting to realize the good and bad things about both the early seasons and the contemporary seasons. Different styles and formats for different times.
Anyway, I was going to be annoyed if the ferry ended up deciding the Leg. But thankfully the Hours of Operation bunched all the teams up for the rest of the Leg at least.
The actual competition portion of the Leg was all straightforward though. And it didn’t offer much opportunity for teams to pass one another. As exciting as the tasks themselves were, including the Fast Forward and the spelunking and ATVs, when put together, it kind of felt too processional and linear.
Certainly not the most exciting Leg and episode. Especially when it is a pseudo-Penultimate Leg. But the beauty of New Zealand helps to save the day I guess.
My Subjective Team Rankings
So like last week, I still don’t really care about any of these teams. Lol Like, I’m fine with any of them winning. At the same time, I’m kind of meh with any of them winning too.
I have Oswald & Danny at the top only because they’re unique compared to the other three which have morphed into Racebots a bit. The other three teams act like they’re only Racing each other, so in those instances, I tend to gravitate toward the outsider. Which in this case is Oswald & Danny.
It was interesting to see Blake & Paige talk about being friendly to get ahead when for most of the Race, they (particularly Blake) have been quite antagonistic. Whether it’s toward the other teams (especially Wil) or to other cultures and religions (yikes!). They were able to make a friend at the ferry terminal, but it didn’t really get them anything of value Race-wise in the end.
Chris & Alex, who had been consistent, but not dominant this Race really turned into the alpha males now. And I guess for them, it works since they’re peaking at the right time.
But I have really been surprised by Tara & Wil. I honestly remembered them to be much more combative and dysfunctional. But nope. They even got closure in this episode. None of the huge arguments or insults I remembered from them. So strange!
Wil: “You’re already complaining.”
Tara: “You need some serious anger management.”
Tara: “I wanna fill your mouth with socks so you can shut the hell up.”