The climax of last night’s Amazing Race 15 episode was the most disturbing incident of domestic violence the show has seen since Jonathan shoved Victoria. And this was arguably worse: a woman screaming “help me” as her boyfriend grabbed her and tried to force her down a water slide that terrified her.
Sure, it’s just a safe water slide and it’s easy to joke about how dumb Mika is for not just going down it, never mind all the other stuff she’s done, but no one deserves to be that scared, never mind forced by Canaan, someone who supposedly loves her. And for no one to intervene as she screamed “help me!” was even more horrifying. Because of that, and the way it was never addressed, the ending was only half-satisfying.
Before the drama atop the water slide, teams made their way through a sweltering Dubai, and before taking off their clothes and meeting Phil on the mat while wet in their swimwear, made lots of dumb mistakes and said lots of dumb things. Maybe the heat got to their brains.
- After retrieving a locked briefcase that contained a clue, Meghan said, “I feel like a businessman.” Except for the man part.
- At some point, Cheyne said, “It’s going to take me two seconds.” Sometimes, they make it too easy.
- “Please, Jesus, let us leave Dubai,” Tiffany asked before opening her clue. Jesus said no.
- Meghan and Cheyne declared “that’s confusing.” What are they not confused by?
- “I get stressed out in the cab and she’s window shopping,” Brian said as Ericka gazed out the window. But it was Ericka who got stressed out later at the Detour, shutting down like we’ve never seen before.
- Sometimes the teams write their own jokes: “Do it for the hood,” Flight Time yelled to Big Easy as he rowed his raft. “Do it for the suburbs,” Sam yelled to Dan.
- “Love you,” Maria (I think) said to Tiffany, which should do a lot to fuel rumors that the poker players are also a couple.
- Teams received a watch as a gift from a Dubai resident, and its time, 8:35, was the combination to the briefcase. As Canaan looked at it, Mika asked him, “Does a Muslim clock work different?” Does your brain work, at all?
- Flight Time and Big Easy fell way behind because Big Easy couldn’t figure out that the watch’s time was the combination; he looked at the watch not as reading 8:35, but at the way the hands pointed to the 8 and 7, which isn’t really that stupid. But once he tried all nine possible combinations (87X), it still took him an impossibly long time to try the time. In the cab, he acknowledged his mistake, saying, “The ‘hood’s mad at me now: ‘Read the watch, dummy.'”
- Matt explained what a hookah is to Gary, who said, “We used to call it something else.” I see more father-son bonding in their future.
- After choosing the Detour task that asked teams to weigh enough gold to equal $500,000, teams were faced with a difficult problem: simple math. I’m an idiot when it comes to math but even I knew how to figure out how much gold was necessary, since it’s about the simplest algebra equation ever to divide $500,000 by the price per ounce. But it tripped up even one of the smartest teams, Brian and Ericka, who bailed and went to the other task.
- Sam and Dan pulled out a calculator that they were smart enough to buy and bring along on the race. Alas, they had no idea what to do with it. Dan said, “This is so hard.” Sam said, “We don’t know what to do.” When Maria and Tiffany showed up, the women borrowed the calculator and did the super-simple math, and then they gave the answer to Sam and Dan. Sam said, “The alliance with Maria and Tiffany really helped us out today.” So would have, you know, thinking.
- Cheyne and Meghan checked in first, and when Phil told them they won a generic “personal watercraft,” Chenye cried out, “Oh my god, no way!”, probably as in, “Oh my god, THAT’s our prize?”
- At the other Detour task, teams assembled a bunch of different hookahs under the hot sun. As Matt sat down to avoid passing out, Mika said, “I wish I were naked right now.” Clearly, she’s had survival training.
- After finishing the Detour, teams had to get their last clue by sliding down a pretty typical fast and high water slide. Mika, however, wasn’t up for it. So Canaan did what all good Christians do, and grabbed her and tried to physically force her down the water slide more than once, causing Mika to cry out to the lifeguard and/or producers, “Help me! Help me! You can’t make me! You can’t make me!” It was beyond disturbing, and then that abusive fucker Canaan actually had the gall to tell Mika, “You are breaking my heart.”
- Flight Time and Big Easy were far behind, but caught up to Mika and Canaan at the water slide, which triggered a two-minute time limit. The Globetrotters took advantage of that, and taunted Mika: “Don’t do it, I wouldn’t do it,” Big Easy said. The lifeguard told Mika and Canaan, “Time’s up, step aside,” and Canaan said, “I thought you were decent, Big Easy. You’re a piece of crap, man.” Let’s see, who’s the piece of crap who literally pried his girlfriend’s fingers off of a handle and tried to push her down a water slide? Hint: He’s not a Harlem Globetrotter.
- Canaan went down the slide, and Mika walked down, where Phil eliminated them. Even more disturbingly, the show tried to write this off as some kind of milestone in their relationship, rather than something demanding an immediate intervention. Canaan said, “There’s freedom in forgiveness, and there’s freedom in understanding people aren’t perfect, and neither are you.” Trying to throw one’s partner down a water slide when she’s terrified and screaming for help makes you not just imperfect, but an abusive asshole–and an asshole who shouldn’t be talking about forgiving someone for losing a game.