It's funny how on the Race, the simplest tasks can cause the most trouble. Sure, there's the exhaustion factor.
But who would think tea would bring someone to their knees?
We're in China and we're down to eight teams. The cowboys, who won the last leg, leave first. The clue sends them to a tea shop where they are to participate in a traditional tea tasting, get a brick of tea and then the clue. Phil tells us that the tea the teams drink will appear in another leg of the Race.
Apparently China isn't popular among the Racers; almost all of them do some form of eye-rolling or sighing or whining because the clue keeps them in the country.
Their pain is short-lived; the clue at the tea tasting sends them to Kolkata, India. (Don't you love how respectful the Race is? You know you still spell Calcutta!) When they arrive, they are to go to town hall for the next clue.
Zev of Team Aspie decides to Race Hugh Hefner style, donning a silver pair of pjs for this leg.
All the teams are on the same flight and so there's a mad dash for cabs upon arrival in India. It becomes a race in the cabs too, with teams telling the cabbies they are in a race and not to let other teams pass. This is a bad idea as it seems Indian cab drivers are a fearless lot, willing to speed recklessly in a city that's packed like Times Square on New Year's Eve all the time. Red lights are run, a near miss accident with a bus occurs. Luckily, everyone survives.
It doesn't matter anyway because the town hall doesn't open till 10 the next morning. The early arriving teams decide to mess with father &Miss Kentucky daughter as they arrive for town hall, getting them to crazily run for the non-existant clue box. After she figures out the joke, Miss Kentucky daughter admits she acted like 'a pageant dog,' which I guess is like Pavlov's dog.
In the morning, the clue takes the teams to a road block. It's a tea tasting. One team member picks up a papaya and a mango, bring the fruit to a tea auctioneer with the tea brick. Then they must find, among hundreds of cups of teas, the same tea they tasted earlier in China, which was papaya and mango tea. When they find the right tea, they exchange the cup for a bottle of iced tea in a bottle (this leg of the Race is brought to you by the good stuff, Snapple) with the next clue under the cap.
There's a lot of tea and the potential for another tragic bathroom stop a la the sister sistahs. (Remember Jen had to go potty immediately BEFORE going to the pit stop, costing them the Race?)
That's not a problem for the Asian dad who uses his nose and finds the tea quickly. The clue under the cap sends teams to a tea stall. The cowboy uses his sense of smell too.
The sister sistah finds the tea pretty quickly too, but when they get the bottle they don't open it for the clue under the cap, instead thinking that they are just supposed to go to find the Snapple factory, since the bottle is a Snapple tea bottle. Snapple is really getting bang for their sponsorship buck at this point.
Deaf son seems frustrated as soon as he looks at the table. It's so much easier when momma does everything. Soon it's down to the Globetrotters, Team Aspie and mother & deaf son. Silver pjs be damned, Zev is losing his cool, even smashing a cup. But then he gets it.
There's no technique now; Flight Time, the Globetrotter on the tea task, and deaf son, are just drinking all the tea and bringing the cup to be judged. Again, there's A LOT of tea.
Meanwhile, Asian father & daughter, who left first are lost as they seek to find the tea stall. So are the sistah sisters and they still haven't opened the bottle to actually get the clue.
Thus, the Goths are the first to get the clue for the detour. Hindu art involves painting, dress and adorning a statue of a Hindu god. When the statue matched the example of a finished idol, teams get the clue. Bengali lit involves taking eight stacks of books into a school bus rickshaw and riding to a school to deliver them to the headmistress.
Somewhere in the city, the sistah sisters open the bottle of tea.
Meanwhile, Flight Time and the deaf son are still drinking tea. Finally, perhaps two gallons in, Flight Time finds the right tea. His success brings deaf son to the breaking point. He's sobbing tears, no doubt caffeinated and fruity tears, and wailing to his momma 'It's too hard.'
Father & Miss Kentucky daughter finish delivering their books and get the clue to take them to the pit stop. They arrive first and get to be first to try the new Snapple based on flavors from this leg of the Race because that's just what they want, more damn tea. Also, they get an Indian feast, a Bollywood dance performance and $20,000 to split.
At the Hindu art detour, the Goths are having a blast. The Hindu god is pink, like them. He wears extreme eye makeup, like them. 'It's like getting dressed in the morning," Boy Goth exclaims.
Back at the tea challenge, deaf son is near death. Picking up cups, drinking tea, just how much can a man take? His momma says that when he got frustrated the last time on the Race, and pretty much gave up, he felt like he was at fault for losing the Race. So she won't let her boy quit. "I know how you'll feel if you don't finish," she tells him. "And the last time, it was a puzzle, a brain teaser. This time, it's just drinking tea. I mean, how could you look at yourself in the mirror if you can't do that." (That's what she was thinking.)
Cue the theme from Rocky because deaf son decides to dig deep and go back to the tea. The Indian men at the tea party applaud his will to finish; after all, tea drinking ain't for sissies. Finally, he drinks the right tea! As momma runs to deaf son, the Indian men pick him up, lifting the water-logged champion. Was that part in slow motion or was that just my imagination?
They are just behind the Globetrotters who decide to do Hindu art and are painting the god. Mother & deaf son arrive and the Globetrotters start to rush, which leads to a mistake; Flight Time kicks a can of paint and splashes the god statue. They'll have to repaint.
Still, they finish first. Flight Time hugs mother & deaf son because he knows how hard the tea task was and because, well, he knows they are last.
But maybe he should have hugged himself because when they try to leave ,they can't find a taxi. They get one around the same time as mother & deaf son. Who will make it to the mat first?
The Globetrotters. And the elimination brings deaf son to his knees in tears again. He's failed momma again. But that's not how momma sees it. She's proud of him. He signs that he never thought in a million years he could be on the Race.
And yet here he's been on twice in a million years. And he's made a good case for tea toddling as an Olympic sport.