Warning, nothing but spoilers ahead.
Random thoughts on last night’s “Amazing Race: Unfinished Business”:
— Last week’s season premiere was frustrating with its non-elimination leg, but taken as a whole now, the two-parter feels a lot more satisfying. Because it benefited a team that I like, I didn’t mind at all the bunching for the flight to the Outback. And I loved how all the clues in both episodes were more riddle-like instead of spoon-fed “go to Point X.” Making the teams have to figure out what the clue means makes it a whole lot more interesting. Hope they keep that up.
— Very nice to see Justin & Zev pick up the win. They’re hands-down my favorite team this season and are nothing but fun to watch. Zev beat me to the easy Outback Steakhouse joke, and his “artistic AND autistic” line was the best of the episode.
— And I was hugely relieved that the cowboys, Jet & Cord, didn’t get sunk by that not-too-difficult-looking flag code. To their credit, they finally worked it out, which is more than can be said for the Globetrotters (and didn’t someone tell Kent & Vyxsin the answer too?). A lot of credit goes to the airport bunching, but the fact that the cowboys finished third — after their utter haplessness last week — was pretty amazing. So has “son of a buck” replaced “oh my gravy”?
— Amanda & Kris . . . . I can’t really say anything about them because they were so completely forgettable that I didn’t even remember them from their original season. My girlfriend had to remind me of their nickname — Amandahugnkriss — to jar my brain. They did nothing for me this time either, so it can only be a good thing that they’re gone.
— Still annoying: Margie & Luke (mostly Luke), Ron & Christina (mostly passive-aggressive Ron) and Jaime & Cara (I still can’t figure out which is which).
— Ron was right about one thing though: Mallory is total spaz.
— Either Jaime or Cara said a kangaroo wasn’t the type of animal she usually dresses up as. Um, what? Thanks for giving me mental images of a furry convention.
— I’m a little bit worried for Mike & Mel. They’re super nice, but if Mel is breaking down midway through the first leg, then they’re likely not long for this race. I just hope the poor guy doesn’t kill himself. Dude’s gotta hydrate.
— As expected, “TAR” looks fantastic in HD. The scenes from Sydney were stunning.
— No. 2 surprise of the night: That no one tried the painting Roadblock. Spitting paint on your hand seemed a lot easier and faster than putting together a mosaic and dancing around. Amanadhugnkris seemed to bang it out in not much time.
— No. 1 surprise of the night: Kent and his chemistry knowledge! Knowing the periodic symbols for mercury and bismuth? Color me impressed. I’d never even heard of bismuth (um, I got a C- in chemistry).
— Funniest moment of the night also went to Kent, as he ran around frantically calling for Vyxsin to bring him children. If I was one of those kids, that’s when I would have run.
What did you think? Who are your favorite/least favorite teams? Think this season’s off to a good start?
And on an unrelated note, “TAR” host Phil Keoghan visited his hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand, for a report for CBS’s “Morning Show.” Watch if here; as fellow residents of earthquake country, it’s sobering.