Beards in the Wind

Childhood friends Adam (left) and Brandon (right) travel by high speed boat to the fishing village of Henningsvaer, Norway on "The Amazing Race." (CBS / October 8, 2013)

Hasn’t it been a long week? Do you even remember Team NFL getting trapped in airports for a day and Phil eliminating them before they could even breathe the fresh open air of Portugal? Those were bad times. Let’s have some fishy times!

Everyone travels to Norway on the same flight. That’s so simplistic and anticlimactic after all the airplane drama from last week, right? Then they take a three-hour ferry ride. It’s cold (Arctic cold!), but the teams make time to do some dramatic Titanic poses on the deck as the boat races through the evening.

And now is the time on "The Amazing Race" when everyone loses their minds, because it’s 11:05 p.m. and the sun is still up. First up is a Detour: either they string bundles of fish heads and transport them to drying racks, or they collect 15 pairs of dried cod from 30-foot high drying racks and pound them with a wooden mallet to make one kilo of jerky. Either way, they’re doing abusive things to fish in the middle of the night.

First Battle for Quote of the Week

Team Beard explains that they are good at physical tasks in the outdoors. Adam says, “At one point, we were both Boy Scouts. We are no longer Boy Scouts. Now we’re Man Scouts.”

The Exes are the first to start stringing fish, but then the Beards walk in. Marie tells Tim, “They’re going to be good at this, they eat gross stuff and do gross stuff all the time.”

As the Afghanimals string fish, one says, “We don’t really fish. The closest I get to water is the shower.”

One Pink Ice separates the bigger fish heads from the smaller ones, because, “Stabbing the baby heads was really depressing.”

Possible Beginning of Marie’s Possible Downfall

Marie is abrasive and grating, but she knows this. She’s one of the most self-aware Racers out there. She’s still dangling the extra Express Pass in front of anyone who might help her. She and Tim string the fish and wheelbarrow them down a road to the drying racks. But she makes a rookie mistake (just like Team Bingo did two weeks ago): she doesn’t hang the fish heads on a marked rack.

The Overachieving Daters and the Beards hang fish on the correct racks, while Marie freaks out because the clue-giver isn’t giving her a clue. She asks the Beards for help, mentioning the Express Pass, but they don’t bite. “Why is this happening to me,” she fake-laments, “I’m nice to everyone!”

When the Daters leave, they pass their alliance buddies, Team Married. The Daters tell Marrieds to look for a marked pole, which they do.

Marie tells Tim, “Figure out what’s wrong in 30 seconds or we use the Express Pass.” But then she looks at the Married pole and finally sees the Race flag, so she discovers the problem and they soon pass the challenge.

Dried cod are heavier than they look

Team OK and Team Bunny Baseball Wives choose the other half of the Detour. One partner climbs the drying racks to get a pair of fish from the top, then brings them down to the waiting partner. I think they were specifically instructed to not let any fish hit the ground, because they aren’t throwing fish around. The waiting partners loop the fish around their necks and arms to keep them from falling. It’s…challenging.

Then they have to walk the fish down the road, one partner carrying most of the fish while the other partner carries some fish and both backpacks. Team OK manages OK (heh), although their arms are sore. Team Bunny Wives are tougher than I thought. The one holding more fish gets mosquito bites on her forehead while she waits, but does not freak out.

While the Wives walk with fish, one tries to take fish from the other, so she puts her notebook in her mouth to free up a hand. Moments later, she panics because she can’t find her notebook. If you’ve never done something like that, then she looks pretty stupid. But if you have (and I have), you totally get it. After she locates her notebook, she tells her friend, “Your arms look so strong! She’s like the Cod Queen!”

Second Battle for Quote of the Week, plus Homework

When Team OK turns in their cod jerky, Tim says, “You know how to beat that meat, Danny.” Danny gets bashful and says, “Whatever. You’re the beat meater.” Even if he’d said it correctly it would still be hilarious.

The next challenge is a Roadblock: one partner jumps off a bridge, dangles on a rope, then releases the rope to “splash into the frigid Arctic Ocean” and swim for a clue.