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TAR 25 - 12/19/2014 - Sweet and Sour

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So the thing is, while the Sweet Scientists were not my favorite team, I'm glad an all-girl team won, and a team that was not particularly adept at racing either. This was truly the Season of Luck. Amy and Maya, especially, seem like nice young ladies who are smart at what they do and were looking for an adventure. They probably never expected to be the winners, but by golly and a WHOLE lot of good fortune, there they are standing next to Phil at the end.


The teams have to go from Manila to Los Angeles, and I love it when legs are in my hometown, because the freeways always screw someone up and I spend most of the episode yelling at a team that they are going the wrong way. This is no exception. The flight arrives and the teams disperse to their (Product Placement) vehicle. They must deliver the manila envelop they received from Phil in Manila to an official in downtown L.A. who apparently has nothing better to do than stand around and wait for these teams in a lovely Art Deco meeting room. The surfers, sweet scientists and Team Teeth don't have much trouble, but the wrestlers are immediately off to a bad start. Instead of taking the 105 to the 110, they somehow end up going south on the 10 and are about to drive into the ocean. It is a mistake from which they never recover.


The clue involves a filming permit and instructions to go to a marine warehouse, where a cool Roadblock awaits them. A team member must perform a stunt by jumping out a sugar-glass window and landing on a big pile of pads. It looks like a lot of fun. Adam does it for the Soul Surfers, Jim for the dentists and Maya for the scientists. Maya is nervous and has a lot of false starts but eventually gets it done. The guys sail through.


By the time Brooke and Robbie correct their grievous error and get to the stunt warehouse, Phil shows up to eliminate them. She is pissed awf! that the scientists were still in it instead of being eliminated in Manila, but if the twist had worked in her favor, I guarantee she would have been all for it. I ended up enjoying the wrestlers more often than not, but her bitterness is tiring.


From the stunt set, the teams set off on a Detour to the nearby Coast Guard station. Like the L.A. city official, the Coast Guard has nothing better to do than play at pretend-rescue maneuver exercises with TAR teams. The teams ride out onto the ocean - and knowing the pollution levels of the L.A. harbor, this really is risking life and limb - and "rescue" a dummy floating in the ocean. No, I don't mean Jesse the Pinhead (Robbie's wrestling partner)! It is a task made to order for the Soul Surfers and they complete it with aplomb. Maya forgot to take off her stunt gear, so they had to run back to the warehouse and were delayed and were going out to sea when the surfers were headed back in. As far as Misti and Jim...well, I'm surprised Jim didn't just sink to the bottom of the ocean floor with all his muscle-bound manliness. They finish and while the Soul Surfers have a slight advantage at the final Roadblock, it isn't a big lead.


The final Roadblock. Oy. Well, first, I love that it is one of those "remember where you were every leg and put it in order" tasks, but it is kind of horrible. I would still be wandering around! The team member doing the Roadblock must wander a maze of cargo containers, find one with the name of the city where a leg of the race took place, remember a color-coordinated number (yellow, blue, orange), then give the correct numbers correlating to the city in the order in which they occurred on the race. Good Lord! It is pretty brutal and the three participants, Bethany, Misti and Amy, are at it for hours. Luckily, this is where having a big brain pays off, and Amy is the first to finish. They take off for the Point Vincente light house, which is that last pit stop for the race. Once they cross the finish line (with Brooke clapping only due to contractual obligations), they are ecstatic! Really and truly happy and it is nice to see.


Team Crazy Eyes and Teeth come in second and actually take it much better than I expected, and finally the Soul Surfers arrive third, but then they win at life so....it's kind of a draw.


Next season arrives in February and FIVE teams will meet for the first time after online dating. Good Heavens, that it going to be brutal. I cannot wait!

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