One of the best known lines from Woody Allen in "Annie Hall" is this: "A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark." I'm not convinced that's a way to look at relationships, and I definitely believe that's an awful way to look at "The Amazing Race."
But there we were, on the "Race" Sunday night, with two different teams risking elimination by playing sharks -- moving forward constantly even though they had left bags and key papers behind. Did neither Kisha/Jen nor Mark/Mike know about the team stranded in Russia -- stranded so long they did not even appear at the finish line -- because their papers were lost? Did they think they were just going to bounce around Thailand for the rest of the competition? That some kindly soul would know where to return their things? And, being as intent as they were on moving forward, how could they so cling to the notion that they would be circling back to where their bags were?
I know, this was a case of one team member being stubborn while the other counseled caution -- which made it especially apt for the show to replay Victor's stubbornness and Tammy's reluctantly yielding them even though it took them badly off course on an earlier challenge. But in each case, simply turning the boat back to get the stuff would have proven far less daunting than trying to get back much later in the race.
But this is proving quite a season for miscalculation. Mike/Mark have now racked up four different penalties over two shows -- two last week for sabotaging equipment (and isn't it great that "Race" punishes sabotage?) and for having a taxi driver lead them, then two separate penalties this week for paying for rides with their personal goods. Only the presence of a non-elimination leg kept them in the race.
I would like to think they're done. Well, no, I would like to think Jaime/Cara are done first, since I am so sick of their ugly-American commentary. But besides that, I don't remember a team being penalized as often as Mark/Mike. But even with a time penalty and a speed bump on the next leg, they may not be out of it; Victor/Tammy had a huge time advantage over the other teams at the beginning of last night's show, and all it took was one plane flight to catch everyone back up to each other. Still, to watch Mike/Mark press on while we no longer have the lovable Mel/Mike is a drag, even if it has its entertaining moments.
And, on a final note, I don't think I'd ever do a challenge that involved fitting people with fake choppers.