But more on that later. Episode 4 was another great episode, just like the previous one. Full of drama, excitement, mistakes, great tasks, wonderful gameplay and incredible scenery. I've only been to the NWT once and even though it was in the middle of winter, it was fantastic. And that's where the teams head after the Pit Stop in Drumheller: Yellowknife. Obviously, the teams didn't stay near Drumheller for the Pit Stop because they had to get to the Calgary Airport first. And you can't really take a taxi from Drumheller to there. Okay, you can, but it's expensive.
So the teams get to the airport and the Sisters use their physical skills, so to speak, to get to the front of the line. A valid piece of gamesmanship on their part, although in the end, all teams got on the first flight. Even the Timmies. The fact that the other teams were surprised to see the Timmies tells me that the producers are sequestering the teams, rather than letting them hang out together. This way, no one knows who has made it until the next leg.
In Yellowknife, teams go the Bush Pilot Monument, find a clue which directs them to the Government Dock. Most everyone jumps in their vehicles and drive away, thinking they'll find the locale as they drive. This happens a lot in the game and you'd think teams would take a bit of time and check the map before driving away. (Side note: In the final leg of Amazing Race Australia Season 2, two of the three teams did the same thing, while the team that paused and checked the map got to the tasks faster and thus won the entire Race.) Only the Docs paused and discovered they just had to cross the street.
Jumping in the frozen Greater Slave Lake was a great task, simple but tough. And very Canadian. Overall teams didn't linger too much but nice try on Tim Jr. to jump ahead of the Bicep Bros. He should have forgotten the boos of the crowd and jumped in regardless. That's what I would have done. The Amazing Race isn't a popularity contest, especially to the folks that have been hired to act as an audience on a task. Who cares what they think.
Once they finish this frozen task, teams head to a local hanger and sign up for 1 of 3 flights to Carcross, Yukon. Never been there but I've only heard good things about the Yukon. The Docs and Bicep Bros sign up for Flight 1 while Timmies get first for Flight 2. Unfortunately, Cory from the Brothers makes a major mistake. Instead of signing up as the second team for Flight 2, he signs up as the first team on Flight 3. Body Break notice the error and wisely get on Flight 2.
I'll admit to being slightly disappointed when the Brothers asked Body Break to cut them a break. Normally, these guys accept their mistakes and move on. It wasn't Body Break's fault that Cory made a mistake, so to ask them to fix it didn't seem right. And good on Hal and Jo for saying No Chancey Mr. Whalen on the request. Why give up a seat on the second place for one on the last one? That's just asking to be eliminated.
So the teams fly to the Yukon some twin engine planes. I'll bet it was an amazing trip over some of the best landscape this country has to offer. Once in Carcross, the teams gotta find the old Duchess train. Based on how far the teams had to run, it didn't seem that close to the airstrip. It looked to be especially hard on Jodi. At the train, a Detour. Supply Run or Gold Rush.
In Supply Run, teams must build a raft, load it with supplies, paddle out to get a clue and then paddle back. Oddly, the Docs picked this one because it seemed a lot more physical than the Gold Rush, where teams had to complete three small tasks: saw some wood, throw a hatchet and push a teammate in a wheelbarrow while the other teammate was blindfolded. Don't get how the blindfold bit was part of the Gold Rush, but whatever.
The Docs begin in trouble with Brett yelling at Holly for questioning why he chose this task. The Bicep Bros use their Biceps Of Unusual Size (BOUSs) to power through the task. Although the boy with the biggest biceps, Jet, can't throw to save his life. But they are the first to hit the mat. Regardless of the short bickering and their lack of raft building experience, the Docs do pretty good and get second place.
BodyBreak come a respectable third, but the Timmies get caught up on their Roadblock, which is remember and then recite four verses from Robert Service's classic poem of Canadiana, The Shooting of Dan McGrew. Nice to see the producers pay homage to a great Canadian writer. Also, the folks acting as the drinking Klondikers in this task were hilarious. Reminded me of the times I spend with my buddy Gord, drinking beers and eating chicken wings.
Because of the Speed Bump and the Sisters usage of the Express Pass, the two girls move ahead of the Timmies and race to the mat. I love how this rivalry seems to play out on its own, with the two teams always racing each other to the mat. And when the girls were told to bring their backpacks within view of Jon, I thought the boys would win this time around. But they didn't. Still, the Timmie's seemed just glad not to be in last place. "Hugs all around," said Tim Sr., maybe putting the rivalry to rest.
When the Sisters used their Express Pass, my first thought was "Uh-oh. That's not going to be good for the Hippies." And it wasn't. If they had given their pass to the Docs as they first agreed, the girls would have had to complete the task. And based on their coal experience, they would have sucked at it. The Hippies and the Brothers would have beat them easily. So there's the karma. And, instead of using their Express Pass, the Hippies let pride get in the way and took on the raft task because they are both kayaking and canoeing guides. So that allowed the Brothers to pull ahead.
The final minutes of this episode were very exciting, with Jodi worried about letting down his brother, and the Hippies seemingly catching up. Nice editing in the suite, folks. Again, I'm amazed at Jody's strength and determination. He ran a lot in this leg and still kept running, despite the pain he must have been feeling. And so they finished ahead of the Hippies. It probably didn't feel good to be eliminated from the race with an Express Pass in hand, but at least they didn't make excuses they way some team did in the most recent US Season of TAR.
Next week, the Queen City, Regina, Sask. where it looks the Riders play a role in a task and bunch of teams look to fall apart. And a double U-Turn! Can't wait for that.