Great American Road Trip
End of the Road

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Boring Cubed

This show is finally over. No more cheating Cootes, crying Favereys, praying Montgomerys, blazer-wearing Katzenbergs, ankle-spraining Ricos, screaming DiSalvatores, over-narrating Pollards, or pasty Reno! We open on a repeat of the end of last week, when the Coote father couldn't keep his mouth shut and Coote mother was her usual nasty self. On the DiSalvatore RV, Amy is already screaming, which doesn't bode well for the rest of the show. She's all worked up over what Keith said about taking them down next, but the male DiSalvatores tell her to let Coote father talk all he wants -- it doesn't guarantee his family a win. Except for the first six shows this season, when it totally did. Silvio says he's ready to show the Cootes what it feels like to lose. And I must admit that I'm ready to watch it.

Suddenly, we're in Pomona. Reno emerges from his RV and greets everyone and congratulates them insincerely for making it this far. He then reveals that the end of Route 66 is in Los Angeles, and the music swells here as if this were new information, which it is not. Reno pulls a cube out of his RV and says the families will have to find three more cubes hidden all over Los Angeles. Each cube has product placements that double as incredibly easy clues on it telling the families where to find the next one. Once they've gotten all four cubes, they'll put them together to show a picture of where the last End of the Road challenge will be. So ... the cube hunt and run to the location isn't the End of the Road challenge in and of itself? So what do you get for arriving at the End of the Road challenge location first? Is this even a contest? I'm confused. Amy figures out that the first cube is telling them to go to LAX via the 101, which isn't a route to LAX that I've ever used, probably because it doesn't go anywhere near there. The Cootes figure the cube clues out immediately as well and set off. But the DiSalvatores aren't going anywhere, because Silvio and Amy have to fight over who's driving. Blake calls them both ridiculous and says that they're fighting right now because Silvio wants to drive and Amy is all stressed out because she just had to be around Reno. Ha! Reno puts Amy in a bad mood. Blake says he's already nervous about their chances in this challenge. Meanwhile, he appears to be interviewing from LAX, so it looks like they got there eventually. Finally, Amy yells at her family for arguing so much, even though she's the one who kind of started it in the first place.

The Cootes head for LAX, and father Coote shows some actual humility by saying it's amazing to be in the top two families. Meanwhile, I don't know how the Cootes pulled this off, but they're driving on an almost empty LA freeway. On the DiSalvatore RV, Amy is still cracking under pressure. But they make it to LAX with seemingly no problems at all, despite Silvio being the driver. The Cootes arrive first, parking their RV right at the curb and leaving it there, which no one is allowed to do ever in real life. They arrive at the JetBlue desk, where tickets are waiting for them. They're told to go to Gate 3. Even though they aren't flying anywhere? How did they get TSA approval for this? The DiSalvatores arrive soon after (in fact, you can see the Cootes walking away from the desk just behind them) and get the same instructions. At Gate 3, they're all sitting around waiting, which is a great advertisement for the product placement airline. Amy, who suddenly has totally different hair than in her previous interviews, says she hopes she doesn't have to fly anywhere.

After the break, some woman walks off the plane holding a cube, and the DiSalvatores and Cootes sprint towards her. Except that this is actually Amy's mother, so the DiSalvatores are running towards her because she's family and to hug her and cry and stuff while the Cootes (specifically Jennifer and Cassidy) run towards her and try to grab the cube out of her arms, as if the show only sent one cube out there with Amy's mom and someone from the Coote family isn't on his or her way off the plane, too. Also as if this were actually some kind of competition, which it isn't. Awesomely, Amy straight-up shoves both Coote girls out of the way in her eagerness to hug her mother. Amy says her mother never flies, so this was a big deal. And since she was stuck flying on the crappy product placement airline, I'll bet Grandma never flies again. Meanwhile, Jennifer is stuck interviewing sheepishly that she and Cassidy probably scared Grandma DiSalvatore with their attempts to basically mug her. Amy interviews that she couldn't believe the Cootes tried to steal her mother's cube. "Go find your own motha!" she says. But then the Cootes couldn't get both of the cubes and therefore cheat their way through another challenge or whatever this is supposed to be. Finally, the Coote grandma arrives, and she's holding a cube and a cane, but that doesn't stop Cassidy from practically jumping on top of her. Grandma Coote (I wonder if this is the grandma who emailed me with a lecture about cruelty to children because I thought Jake's hoarse voice was fake but it was actually real?) says she missed everyone so much, even though they've only been gone for like three weeks. Meanwhile, Jennifer accuses her mother of "weaseling" her way onto their road trip. She also calls her mom "Mother." Cold. Grandma also noted that Jennifer took the cube from her before she bothered to hug her. She certainly didn't get the reception the DiSalvatore Grandma got.

Anyway, it's soon back to the game, as both families examine their cubes and discover that they're going to Universal Studios. But first, the DiSalvatores show Grandma their RV. You know that the Cootes just shoved poor Grandma into their RV and took off. Sure enough, while the Coote children excitedly tell their grandmother about all the stuff they've done on the trip, Jennifer interrupts to order her daughter up front to help figure out the cube, mostly because Keith has no idea how to put the final 4-cube clue together and thinks that two obviously mis-matched pictures go together. And then he bonks Jake on the head with one of the cubes, causing the rest of the family to laugh their asses off. So mean! I should email Grandma Coote with a lecture about how it's not nice to laugh at children when they get hurt. And Jennifer is the worst! "Jake, you okay? Shake it off, buddy, come on." Cassidy finally speaks up and says her mother doesn't even care that her son is hurt. Jennifer says she does care, but she obviously doesn't. And with such an evil edit, there's no way the Cootes are going to win this thing, right? Meanwhile, the DiSalvatores have a scrapbook to show off to their Grandma. I think scrapbooks are lame, but Amy's is actually pretty good.

Both families arrive at Universal for a VIP tour. Jennifer won't be enjoying any of it because she'll be too busy looking for a cube. By the way, this is not the VIP tour. This is the tour everyone takes with the fake broken bridge and flash floods. It scares the crap out of Silvio, though. Sure enough, the cubes are on the tour, hiding under some netting next to Jaws. Jennifer is about ready to just jump out of the moving tram and grab both cubes, but she does end up waiting for it to come to a stop and the tram operator let them off.

The DiSalvatore boys arrive at the cube first, and Blake takes the one on the orange platform while Mason takes the purple one. That leaves Cassidy with no cube. She runs back and takes one from Blake, who took the Cootes' cube by accident. Amy interviews that she feels no remorse for this, as Blake made a simple mistake. Plus, the Cootes tried to take her cube and her mother at the first stop, so it kind of evens things out. I just don't know why the families are still racing each other when this is obviously not a competition. Both families quickly figure out that they're heading for the Roosevelt Hotel, although the Cootes make sure to hide their box from the DiSalvatore's view, as if the DiSalvatores don't have the exact same box of their own to lo

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Great American Road Trip

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