Another Tuesday evening of primetime, another Wednesday edition filled with The Amazing Race and Law & Order: SVU. Starting with The Amazing Race, the teams hurried out of the gate to find a bus station where they would sign up for one of three departure times to Costa Rica. The Paolos were the first to arrive at the Pit Stop, so they were the first to leave as well. As per usual, it didn't take long for them to burst into their first fight of the leg. And wouldn't you know, it was over the clue - AGAIN! Every week they argue over whether they are missing part of the clue and somehow Marion always gets blamed. The Paolos managed to sign up for the first bus, as did the Linz family. The Gaghans and the Weavers snagged the second bus, even though the Linz family and the Paolo family tried to get the Weavers on the last bus. I'm really not sure why so many of the teams dislike the Weavers. They're mildly annoying, but I'm really not seeing the hate and contempt. I know they told the Linz's boat operator to drive slowly last week, but this is a race. Aren't you supposed to do what you can to get an advantage? Anyway, the Bransens and the Godlewskis (backpackless because of the non-elimination round last week) landed on the third bus. Once in Costa Rica, the teams had to make their way to a Volcano park and drive up to the rim to get the next clue. Of course, the park was closed and all the teams caught up.
The next morning, there was a mad dash for the clue box, with one of the Linz brothers coming out on top. The teams then made their way to Doka Estate where they encountered the first Yield of the race. Not surprisingly, many of the teams planned on yielding the Weavers, but the Paolos got there first , yielded the Weavers and then headed to the Roadblock. One member of each team had to search through 800 pounds of coffee beans until they found the red one. Most of the teams easily completed the task, but Tammy Gaghan struggled and struggled and then struggled some more. Meanwhile, the Weavers made their way to the Yield and found the bad news, but they decided to keep their spirits up and in the most Christian way - by making fun of the pictures of the other teams. One of the Weaver daughters found it hysterical that the Paolos were standing in front of a garbage truck in their photo. After the time ran out on their Yield, the Weavers quickly found the red bean while the Gaghans still struggled. Finally, Tammy found it.
It was onto the Detour where teams chose between loading 15 bundles of bananas onto a pulley system or crossing some extremely high footbridges through the rainforest and finding some Mayan relics. The Godlewskis had another breakdown on the way to the Detour, this time over who should be driving. It was not on the same scale as the "baypayck" crisis of a couple episodes ago, but funny all the same. The Paolos chose the bananas, and DJ, who always gives his mother a hard time for slowing down the team, found himself eating some of his bitter words. As other members of his team were loading the bundles of bananas, DJ called out to Tony, "I can't lift these, Dad." I don't know why I found this so funny, maybe it's because of DJ's constant rudeness and arguing or maybe it's his constant yelling at his mother, but somehow, this was hysterical! So, a bundle of bananas gets the better of DJ Paolo. Meanwhile, the other teams easily completed the Mayan relic Detour. The Weavers were leaving just as the Gaghans were pulling up to begin the Detour. It was beginning to look like the Gaghans were sunk. Not so fast! The Weavers had a breakdown over their stuck vehicle (seems it couldn't get out of the muddy grass), but just when we thought all hope was lost and the Weavers would be forever stuck in Costa Rica, the van suddenly became unstuck. The Gaghans completed the task and decided not to give up because other teams might have gotten lost on the way to the Pit Stop. Cue the perennially lost Paolos, who were of course, lost. No matter, though, because they soon found the Pit Stop and found themselves in a foot race with the Linz and Bransen families. The Paolos finished in first and Phil got his weekly bear hug from Papa Paolo, which I think Phil is starting to enjoy. The Gaghans finished last and were eliminated from the race.
Last night's Law & Order: SVU was quite surprising. First, we learn about the gun shop's seedy basement Nazi meetings, then we learn that the school shooting was related to said Nazi meetings, then there's a shootout in the courthouse where the judge and a few others end up dead (yeah, I wasn't too thrilled with the obvious parallel to the Atlanta courthouse shootings either, but this is Dick "Ripped from the Headlines" Wolf), then we find out that one of the Nazi members is really a Federal Agent undercover and then for the real shocker. The white adopted parents of the little African American boy killed in the school shooting were not as broken up or sad as they seemed because they orchestrated the entire plan so they could collect the $750,000 life insurance policy they took out on him (apparently the reason they chose an African American boy). Yeah, it was really sick. In the chaos of the courthouse shooting, both Stabler and Munch got shot, but both will recover.
About Last Night... Nielsen has delayed the ratings today, so I will bring them to you tomorrow along with tonight's overnights. If you would like to get them sooner, you can keep checking Zap2it, as they will update as soon as they get them. Sorry for the inconvenience.
@8 p.m. - JT must decipher the clue in order to find his girlfriend on NBC's E-Ring. The episode is the first of a two-part storyline.
@9 p.m. - If you missed the 2nd season premiere of UPN's Veronica Mars, here's your chance to tune in and see what you're missing. There's no new Lost again this week, so it's a perfect time to acquaint yourself with this season's intriguing mystery on the other best show on television.
@10 p.m. - A wealthy man is shot inside an elevator on CBS's CSI: NY. The Law & Order team works to solve whether an abusive mother was illegally sterilized tonight on NBC. Is it just me, or are these two shows screaming for a crossover? It could air simultaneously on both networks since they share the timeslot. Ok that's what I thought, it's just me.
*FX is closing the book on Over There after evaluating the show's ratings performance. The war drama started out strong, but faded over the remaining weeks of its 13-episode run. FX president John Landgraf issued a statement on the difficult decision saying, "I'm deeply proud of Over There, which was beautifully produced, acted, written and directed. The series was arguably the most critically acclaimed new television show of the year, a fact which made the decision not to renew it all the more difficult." The drama focused on the daily lives of a group of soldiers in Iraq, their families back home and a soldier struggling to deal with his new amputee status.
*NBC Universal is unveiling plans for a new cable network devoted to crime junkies of the fictional variety. The new SLEUTH network will air reruns of shows like Miami Vice and The A-Team and movies such as Casino, Scarface, and Sneakers. The new channel launches January 1st.
*And finally, beginning today, you can catch episodes of the new CBS sci/fi thriller Threshold on CBS.com. The free streaming video episodes are commercial free and will be available for a three-day window only. Currently, the web site is showing the September 23rd episode. This Friday's episode will debut on the site November 9th.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for final thoughts on the now canceled Over There and all the latest television news!