So let's get to it. Down, set, hut. The six remaining teams leave the pitstop at Whitehorse (not Carcross but enough quibbling). They gotta find a clue on a boat that tells them to get to Regina. So all the teams head to the airport. And here's where the producers pull out a classic TAR trope that I've talked about before. We get a shot of Hal and Joanne in the back of their cab and there's some background info on how the two met. Once I heard that, I thought "Uh oh." If you've watched as much TAR as I have, you quickly realize than when the producers edit in some background info about a team at this point in the episode, it's a foreshadow of elimination. It's not always true but usually about 75 percent of the time. So I worried about Bodybreak.
Quickly the teams discover that you can't fly direct to Regina from Whitehorse; you gotta go through Edmonton or Calgary (after a changeover in Vancouver). The flight out of YEG arrives 40 minutes earlier. The Bicep Bros and the Docs (in brief alliance that started in Whitehorse with the Biceps calling two cabs instead of one), are out of YEG. The rest: YYC. But Bodybreak use their gameplay (and celebrity, no doubt) and manage to get on the YEG flight. Nice move but it creates a target on their backs. It seems the teams may have had enough of the Bodybreak celebrity.
Arriving in Regina, there's a Blackberry ad as the teams get directions to a pulse trading company. Those who didn't know Saskatchewan was the #2 exporter of lentils in the world, raise your hand. And it seems there are a lot of lentils because the next task is a killer, finding two tiny stuffies in a truck load of lentils, six feet deep. This is one of those dreaded needle in the haystack tasks which have broken many a great team in the past. Luck also plays a major role. The top three teams start digging and pretty quickly, or maybe it's just the editing, the Docs start falling apart. Guess pressure at a hospital is different than digging through lentils. Either way, it's not something I would have enjoyed. Also, why is no one wearing hats under that hot prairie sun? Especially the Docs; they should know better. Or is it a part of the show that prohibits teams from wearing hats.
Anywho, the Biceps Bros dig like dogs and find the stuffies. And the clues orders them to the RCMP Heritage Centre. And they're off, pretty confident about the upcoming roadblock because Jet's a cop. Although he's an odd cop because he's got a problem with authority. Go figure.
Bicep's relatively quick finding of the clue, along with the arrival of the other teams, worries the Docs and Bodybreak; so much so that the Docs decide to quit and take the 2 hour penalty. It's always a tough decision whether to take the penalty in TAR, especially if you're the first team to do so. The key to this decision is to hope another team does the same thing, so that at least you're ahead of them. And lo and behold, that's what happens: Bodybreak calls it quits and accepts the penalty. To be honest, I was quite surprised by this move by Hal and Joanne. They've played a smart game up until then.
The Timmies don't get bogged down, the Sisters cry, and finally, the Brothers do what they always do; they power through the task, quitting the task the last thing on their minds. I truly believe that this is the team to watch. They haven't finished high in the other legs, but they are relentless. I get the feeling they are just going to grind all the other teams down, let them make the mistakes and come up from behind.
Back to the RCMP Depot, the Roadblock requires one teammate to prepare a cadet's pit for inspection. My old man was in the army for 28 years and I know about this kind of stuff. One reason I didn't follow in his footsteps into the military. Even so, it's nice to see a team having fun and making jokes. That's been lacking since the Gay Cowboys left. Although Jet's sarcasm does annoy the Commander who seems surprised that this muscular goofball is also a cop.
And while folks have some trouble with the tasks (save for Jody who spent 20 years in the military) and one of the Sisters cries (again), the big talk is about the two teams that quit the lentil task for a penalty. You could see the relief on the other teams's faces, especially the Sisters, when they heard that news. That meant that the race not to be last was between the Docs and Bodybreak, unless somebody else completely fell apart.
But despite the tears and frustration, the teams pass their inspection. Nice touch with Jody and the Commander for their nods of respect. "Thank you for what you do," they both said to each other. And after a quick Ukrainian dance by city hall, we are transported to Rider Nation, the greatest place in Saskatchewan. If you don't the Canadian football, then here's quick education. The Saskatchewan Roughriders (THE RIDERS!) are the only pro sports team in the province. And everybody who is born in Saskatchewan is a diehard Rider fan and a member of the Rider Nation, till the day they die, not matter where they live.
Rider Nation offers a detour: Brawn or Beauty. With Brawn, they have to do some football tasks including catching and then kicking a football. If they miss the catch or kick, they have to begin again. In Beauty, it's a cheerleading routine with cartwheels and a carry. Totally surprised that Bicep Bros did this because Dave's a cheerleader. Then again, he's more used to catching and throwing and Jet doesn't seem like someone he could throw around.
As with the inspection tasks, some teams struggle while others don't. The elephant in Taylor Field though is the Double U-turn at the top of the stairs. The Bicep Bros finish first and don't U-Turn. They head to the pitstop with their second first place finish in a row. The boys seemed to have a lot of fun on this leg which could be the reason why they've been doing so well. I wonder if they really are going to pick Regina for their free trip in Canada?
And though Bodybreak and the Docs arrived before the Timmies, the father and son team bust through the football. They run up the steps to the U-turn and surprise everyone by U-turning Bodybreak. Are they now the new villains of TAR for knocking out the most favourite team in the country? Some may think and will rail against them, calling the move unnecessary because they were so far ahead. But I don't. It was actually a smart move on the Timmies part to U-turn one of the strongest teams in the race. Everyone else left should thank the Timmies for that move. Especially the Docs.
And to be perfectly honest, the game didn't change when the Timmies U-turned Bodybreak; it changed when Hal and Joanne decided to quit the lentil task and accept the penalty, after one team had already quit. That's what killed them. They put themselves behind the Docs and into the race not to finish last. All the other teams finished the lentil task and because of it, they knew they were safe. Everyone finished ahead of both the Docs and Bodybreak. The Timmies just put the final nail in the coffin.
The drama at the end of the show was fantastic as both tried to finish the other side of the Detour. Who would have thunk that the Docs would beat Bodybreak in a physical task? Which just go to show you; just because you're in good physical shape, it doesn't mean you're coordinated. Or sporty. And another big surprise that everyone's talking about, Joanne breaks out of her wholesome TV character and tells Brett to "Fuck off". It doesn't really get any better than that.
I'm sorry to see Hal and Joanne go, they played the game well but in the Amazing Race, all it takes is one mistake and you're out. And I think they've reinvigorated interest in their efforts to keep Canadians healthy. Before Amazing Race Canada, they weren't even on twitter. And now, they are tweeting like pros with thousands of followers.
But that was another excellent episode. I'm looking forward to the trip to Quebec City, my mom's hometown. According to the teaser, the Sisters get lost. Are you surprised?