Hey kids, it’s time for another episode summary of TAR 8: “Why Embarrass Just Yourself When You Can Embarrass Your Entire Family?”
The episode of course starts out with a recap. If you really want to know what happened, I refer you to idiotcowboy's highly entertaining summary. But the quick and dirty is this:
*** Ten teams started in New York City.
*** The Paolo family, who happens to be from New York, got lost. They also yelled at each other. A lot.
*** The Godlewski sisters, who will always wear pink, won the first leg of the race. They also screamed and jumped around. A lot.
*** A bunch of the teams had trouble pushing around Amish buggies.
*** And the Black family, who happens to be black, got eliminated.
That’s pretty much all you need to know. Maybe next week's summary writer, JSlice will also do the preview, in which case, you can probably stop reading now.
The day starts in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at the Amish farm where everybody spent the night. Phil ominously warns us that the Paolo family has been having friction and the Linz family is currently in last. So for anybody paying attention, we know those two families ain’t going home for a while. Now we get to run quickly through the teams leaving for a big Shoe house in the town of York, 15 miles away.
(1) The Godlewski sisters are psyched that they finished first and now feel confident they can stay there. They promptly stop for gas and fall behind.
(2) The Gaghan nuclear family (Nuclear both b/c it's a mom, dad, and 2 kids, and the mom and dad are clearly on something radioactive) thinks they will be viewed as more of a threat now. The parents, though, are still trying to keep their kids focused.
(3) The Widow Weaver is hoping that she will be able to take more of a leadership role with her family.
(4) In the Rogers family, son Brock points out that Pa Rogers is always in charge. This is supposed to be ominous foreshadowing but comes across as whiny griping.
(5) The Schroeder family is rather disorganized but still plugging along. Pa Schroeder even manages to pick out a shortcut on the map.
(6) Still no love in the Paolo family between Ma Paolo and her sons.
(7) Pa Bransen is worried they won’t do well, but his daughters are more optimistic.
(8) The Aiellos are still fired up and trying to make Pa-in-Law Aiello proud.
(9) The Linz family isn’t happy they almost got eliminated but are trying to learn from their mistakes.
The Gaghans show up at the giant shoe and find out their next destination is the reflecting pool outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. This requires them to leave the shoe, taking 30 West to 83 South. The Schroeders use their shortcut to push into second, just ahead of the Godlewskis. The Weavers think the shoe is really cool, but can’t figure out at first what state Washington, DC is in. They finally settle on Maryland, which won’t win any Geography Bees but I guess is actually close enough for purposes of this game.
The Rogers pull up next and decide to swap seats, with Brock now driving and Pa navigating. Pa immediately proves this to be a bad decision by ordering Brock to take 30 East to 83 South, which happens to be the wrong way. The other families all manage to avoid that mistake and make it out of Amish Land.
To highlight the Rogers family’s mistake we now get to watch all the other teams head onto 83 South. Meanwhile, Pa Rogers, still not realizing they are going the wrong way, tells Brock it is his responsibility to find 83 South. Talk about parents setting impossible goals for their kids. Finally, Pa checks the map again and realizes they are way off. Naturally, he blames Brock for missing the exit despite Brock’s claims that they never passed it. Pa and Ma decide Brock has failed them, and Pa resumes driving duties.
After a break, we are back with the Rogers family where the daughter finally realizes that Pa directed them the wrong way. Pa’s response: “Only one person can do so much.” Gee Pa, I think you’ve done plenty already. Yeesh.
Anyway, time for the DC leg of the trip. The trick here is that there are two reflecting pools on the Mall of our nation’s capital: one by the Lincoln Memorial and a smaller one by the U.S. Capitol. The Gaghans and the Schroeders show up first, but they are both at the wrong pool. The Godlewskis and the Weavers both pick the right one and race to the clue box. The clue says the teams have to get a briefcase from a man in a nearby limo and take that to the Jefferson Memorial. The Gaghans wander around the whole pool looking futilely for the clue, while the Schroeders finally wisen up enough to ask a ranger if there might be another pool and dash off without telling the Gaghans.
The Paolos make it to the Capitol pool next, although Ma Paolo is concerned they are about to run out of gas, while the Bransens and the Aiellos pick the wrong pool. The Aiellos though quickly check a map and realize their mistake, while the Bransens join the Gaghans in their aimless walk. Meanwhile, the Linzes go to the right pool, showing up just after the Schroeders but just before the Aiellos.
At the Tidal Basin, the Godlewski sisters arrive and are the first to perform the roadblock. Basically one team member has to wander around asking other people with briefcases if they are “spies.” If that sounds lame and childish, it’s because it is. Apparently all the challenges have to be dumb downed enough that a ten year old can perform them. Next week we’re playing Capture the Flag and “Heads Up, 7-Up.”Anyway, one of the sisters quickly finds an actor and learns the team must now head to the airpo…. No actually, they are off to rural Virginia. At this rate, I think we might make it to northern Georgia before this show expires.
The Weavers miss the turn for the parking lot, allowing the Paolos to briefly pull in front of them. But it takes one of the Paolo sons so long to find a spy who can understand his thick Italian accent, that they finish the task first. The Paolos then set out searching for gas. They can’t find any, leading Ma to go off on her boys (again) and the sons to speculate that they may not sell gas in Virginia. Back at the Lincoln Memorial, the Gaghans and Bransens are still wandering around. Pa Bransen by now looks like death on legs, causing one of the sisters to berate the others for not slowing down for him.
The Schroeders finish the briefcase task, while the Aiellos and Linzes decide for some odd reason to perform together. This leads to the first truly funny moment of the episode when Aiello Son finds a briefcase and Linz Son realizes he can’t trade with the same spy, forcing him to wander around by himself some more.
Meanwhile, the Rogers family finally makes it to Washington. With two families still wandering around the wrong place, all they have to do is pick the right pool to push ahead. Which they naturally fail to do. The Gaghan boy suggests asking someone for help, a possibility Pa Gaghan, doing his best Pa Rogers impression, swiftly shoots down. Finally, the Bransens ask a park ranger for help, and he immediately points them to the Capitol. The Rogers run into the Gaghans, who complain they have circled the pool for two hours. (This just serves to point out how truly lost the Rogers must have been.) Pa Rogers now makes yet another bone-headed move (“Never help another team!”) by pointing out to the clueless Gaghans that the clue says the pool by the U.S. Capitol, and they all race off to the right location. Once on the right track, the Gaghans make up ground fast, hitting the Jefferson Memorial even before the Linzes have left.
Somewhere the Paolos are fighting. You may now return to the Race.
***END NEWS FLASH***
The Bransens start with the stupid briefcase and, for some reason, select ailing Pa to wander the heat of the Tidal Basin. Meanwhile, the Rogers are again lost. I know you are all shocked by this, but it’s true. The Godlewskis and the Weavers are getting close to the goal, but the other teams who left later are stuck in DC’s famous afternoon rush hour. The Linzes get off the expressway to try the back roads in hopes of gaining time. The Rogers, either through dumb luck or help from the producers, finally make it to the spy station long after the Bransens have left. Daughter Rogers excitedly screams when she finally gets her briefcase. Apparently she is glad that her 15 minutes are about up and she won’t have to spend too much more time cooped up in a car with grumpy, directionless Pa.
In Middle-of-Nowheresburg, Virginia, the first teams hit the “Civil War Detour.” I agree the Civil War was a bit of a detour in our nation’s history. Some strange people though consider it the main event and every last one of them apparently has showed up to recreate the durned thing. The teams must now either (1) carry 5 heavy men playing wounded soldiers off the battlefield, or (2) fill 20 lamps with oil and light them. The Weavers pick the lamps (even though the Widow Weaver can’t light a match) while the Godlewski sisters decide it will be more fun to pick up men. The Linz family’s shortcut pays off, and they start taunting the Sisters on the battlefield.
The Schroeders, Bransens, and Aiellos show up simultaneously. The Schroeders choose oil, while Pa Bransen, wounded himself, inexplicably chooses soldier lifting. Maybe he’s trying to turn one of his daughters into a war bride. Or he’s listening to the Aiellos, who also pick the soldiers because “5 is less than 20.” I’m not making that up. The Weavers finish with the lamps at the same time the Linzes dump their last soldier. But the Weavers make it to the pit stop first and are rewarded with…another trip together. If I ever get on TAR and win a leg, I’m telling Phil just to buy me a flat screen because I’m never leaving my basement again. At least the Weaver trip is to Bermuda. As a bonus to viewers we get some sort of confessional from one of the Weaver daughters, who is hot and hopefully not too far underage. The Linzes finish second, and the Godlewskis third. But the Godlewskis did get telegraph numbers from three of their four soldiers. The Bransen family finishes off their second soldier, when Pa announces that he’s giving up. Since this happens right before another break to sell us some BP gasoline, the move screams misdirection. But I’ll make a dramatic paragraph pause just in case anybody hasn’t been paying attention to how these shows are edited.
When we come back, Pa Bransen not-so-shockingly decides to gut it out. The Gaghans show up, and despite the fourth grade daughter who hasn’t started her steroid supplements yet, still choose to carry soldiers. After a bunch of boring scenes of cannons firing and people on stretchers, the Schroeders reach the pit stop, followed by the Aiellos, Bransens, and Gaghans.
Hours later, the Paolos, after driving back to their home gas station in Jersey, finally arrive and choose to carry soldiers. They finish two when the Rogers show up and make their twelfth bad decision of the day by also picking soldiers. Then to make matters worse, drama queen Ma Rogers decides after the first soldier that she can’t do any more and the family runs over to light lamps. Son Brock can’t believe it. Neither can I. I could drag the drama out further for an “exciting finish” as they do on the actual episode, but really what’s the point? All I would do is discuss the Paolos screaming at each other in excruciating detail before finishing ahead of the Rogers.
Pa Rogers admits that he has to take the blame (ya think??) while Brock is frustrated. I’m frustrated too, but mainly because the Paolos are still in the race. Ma Rogers plans to hold the family together, assuming Pa lets her. We hear nothing from the daughter, who may have already filed for emancipation.
Next time: The Aiellos get stuck in the mud and the media whores head to NASA. If we’re lucky, they’ll all get blasted into space. Maybe the Martians would actually listen to Ma Paolo.