‘The Amazing Race 28’ episode 4 review: Into the Alps (and a terrible train ride)

Bernie -There is so much to praise about Friday night’s new episode of “The Amazing Race,” but we’ll start by just celebrating the sole fact that the show is really visiting a wide array of locations that are a little more off the beaten path. (Don’t worry: We’re going to have a lot to complain about later.)

While the show has visited Switzerland before, it still feels reasonably new and refreshing to us and we liked the location as a result of that. Also, the tasks were really fun and original. One of the Detours at Geneva, designing the Swiss army knives, is something that is iconic to the country. Meanwhile, the whole “guess how many people who can sit on the bench” Detour was so completely random and arbitrary that it was hilarious. We guess that there was a range of right answers because of this, but what about really skinny people? Couldn’t more of them fit on there?

Also, the Roadblock at the United Nations was a nice little test of geography, even if both this and the bench Detour did emphasize one of our least favorite things: Teams sitting together in a campfire circle (metaphorically, of course) being more than willing to help one another for some unknown reason. Nobody really wants to look like a jerk this season, at least if they know they’re not close to last. This is the bad thing for Brittany & Jessica, who fell behind at the Detour and struggled to catch up.

Here’s the thing: We’d have a whole lot more sympathy for the models if this was a case of them being mistreated in any way. It’s just strategy, and they complained about pretty relentlessly like someone took their lunch money.

Now, we’re going to issue a complaint of our own as we get to all of the terrible things about this leg: What was the point of this whole leg if we were just going to see everyone bunched up on the trains from Switzerland to France? Burnie & Ashley worked hard to get a lead that was just instantly squandered. (Brodie & Kurt ended up getting first place.)

Basically, the only reason that the models were eliminated was because they didn’t catch the train on time, but if they were a few minutes faster, think about this hypothetical: Burnie & Ashley could have went from first to last place in theory just because of this train. We know that this wouldn’t have happened because they were reasonably fast even if the models did get on, but the idea that it could is pretty infuriating. This complete disregard really for the entire leg negates almost everything else that we liked. It may be one of the most useless / unfair ways to eliminate someone we’ve seen. Sure, the right team still went home in this instance, but it feels more like a result of chance than any deliberate design on the show’s part to have it play out like this. Grade: D+.

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