The Amazing Race, Ep. 23.11: “Amazing ‘Crazy’ Race”

TAR S23E09 promo pic 1

The Amazing Race, Season 23, Episode 11: “Amazing ‘Crazy’ Race”
Aired Sundays at 8pm (ET) on CBS

Two-hour finale! Can you feel the excitement? It’s hard, considering we’ve been looking at these same four teams as front-runners basically from the beginning, and that they never really broke out of their initial molds, but nice that the fun-loving Afghanimals still get to play, and that we get to finally see everyone really go for it in terms of breaking alliances for the million. Jason and Amy depart first from Indonesia and fly to Tokyo.  

Their strategy is to stay with the group, so they make sure to tell Mr. and Mrs. Dr. which flight they’re on, and they let Tim and Marie in on the info as well. All three have a semi-pathetic pow-wow on how to keep the Afghanimals out, still citing the Afghanimals’ “lies” as the reason, which gets weaker each week. No matter, as in Singapore the Afghanimals choose to use this to their advantage, and pick a different connection that gets them into Tokyo early, albeit by 5 minutes.

Trouble brews for the alliance on the ground. Marie lies about knowing the address of the ceramic cat temple they’re supposed to find. Mr. Dr. leads a mutiny and leaves Tim and Marie in the dust, looking for a taxi. Tim is frustrated that the Japanese can’t read anything that’s not “symbols.” It’s not exactly surprising that the plan to stick together disintegrated.

Detour: Knock It Down or Call It Up—human bowling in a Japanese game show, or making an underwater phone call.

Mr. and Mrs. Dr. decide Call It Up. Everyone follows. When they get to the location, though, Jason and Amy huddle with the Dr.’s and find out where to go, yet decide to walk there “casually,” not run and make it obvious. Jason tries to throw off the scent even more to Tim and Marie by blatantly lying to them, which makes Amy balk, but like usual with this hypocritical group, she complies anyway. It works, and the Exes head to the other challenge, thinking the other teams are just lost.

The Afghanimals pick bowling before everybody. They have trouble with it for a moment, but persevere and make it through in 1st place. However, they fold back up their uniforms to also throw off the scent. It works when Tim and Marie arrive and wonder what happened to the Afghanimals. The eager host of the game show picks on Tim and Marie, calling them an American Love Story…. Marie aptly retorts that it’s an American Horror Story.  They also have a little bit of a hard time, but they make it through as well. The other teams have no trouble at Call It Up. It’s a tight race.

Afghanimals must do their Speed Bump. Drill of capturing an escaped zoo rhino. It’s as ludicrous as it sounds.

Roadblock: Build a Robot. Mrs. Dr. and Amy work together. Afghanimals get done quickly with their Speed Bump, and Leo catches up to build his robot. Marie comes up. The girls don’t help her find the miniature model. Nicole and Amy are “dead” to her. Leo points her to the model. He’s a nice guy, after all. Maybe a mistake though, because once she finds the model she totally BEASTS it, in what turns out to be a pretty physical challenge. Marie gets out, going from last place to first.

Tim and Marie go to a traffic crossing, where there’s an adorable runaway vending machine. They get their clue and head to the Pit Stop. They win a trip to Aruba, but will go separately, since they won another trip as well.

Amy finally figures out the robot. But once again, like in the last building Roadblock, stays behind to help Mrs. Dr., who her husband dubs harshly as “weak.” Jason and Amy are team number 2. Mr. and Mrs. Dr. are team number 3. Mr. Dr. awkwardly chews out his wife. But they still manage their goal of pushing out the Afghanimals for the last leg. Goodbye, Afghanimals.

Final leg: Juneau, Alaska. All teams fly together. Obligatory taxi scramble. Mr. and Mrs. Dr. pull ahead, and get to a boat, but soon enough all three teams are speeding across the water.

Roadblock: Simulate a supply drop. A bag of flour needs to be dropped on a bull’s-eye from an airplane. All three girls decide to fly. All get close, but Amy gets it perfectly first, on her 2nd attempt. Jason and Amy pull ahead to go on an Ice Expedition—including climbing a glacier, going through a tunnel, and digging for clues in ice.

Marie gets the flour drop on her 12th attempt. Mr. Dr. feels bad for himself again, that he’s stuck with such a weak partner. Mrs. Dr.’s 21st attempt finally hits the target, but she is clearly upset with herself and scared about what her husband will think and say.

On the Ice expedition, Jason and Amy continue their lead. Tim and Marie catch up close behind, and Mr. and Mrs. Dr. run into trouble again when she loses one of her climbing picks. Amazingly though, she uses just one pick to haul herself up the ice wall, and makes it through. It’s too little, too late though. Jason and Amy have this race. They kayak to find a marked island, helicopter back to Juneau, and build a wall of totem poles. They’re lost for a bit, since the idea is to spell out all the different kinds of currency, and they don’t have notes on that, but it’s possible enough to figure out how the letters connect on the totems. They head to the finish line and claim their victory. It’s deserved, if predictable, ending a so-so season. As Marie explains she was going to take 60% of the money if they won, I think to myself that I’ll miss her most of all.



By Michael

Michael Narkunski should have had an NYC accent, but watched too much Brady Bunch growing up, so sounds like he's from California. His very favorite TV shows often have titles taken from their main female characters: Buffy, Roseanne, Felicity, Xena, Daria. He will create one of his own once he finds a name not too weird and not too common (most likely Ursula). Also, Michael remains an undying fan of Todd Solondz, Mike Leigh, Stanley Kubrick, Charlie Kaufman and anyone else who spun their Jewish straw into a uniquely tortured gold.

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