We open with a flashback to The Race in 1980. Back then, Corinna was a kidnappee/prize, and her parents were both killed in a car accident near the finish line. Back in the present, Alex is a little sleepy, because he's had Allan James tied up in his bathroom all night. The man's got good taste, I'll give him that. In other news, John Trimble has a year to live, but his daughter doesn't know that. And Ellie Laird is anxious to make sure that her husband doesn't know he's AWOL. As the racers get their latest clue and head for Cape Canaveral, Alex pauses to kick Corinna out and gets a laptop to the head for his trouble. When Alex wakes up, Corinna, Allan, and Alex's truck are all long gone. A friendly truck driver gives Alex a lift, and he manages to find Corinna and Allan. Presumably, he just follows the trail of gray matter Allan's leaving behind, considering that the man gets knocked out every twenty minutes. Alex finally gets the backstory we learned in the teaser. It seems that Corinna isn't after the purse; she wants to get some vengeance on with the Sponsors. Meanwhile, Wendy tries her best to kill Ivy, but her best continues to be suboptimal. Luckily for them both, Ivy finds a loophole by becoming Wendy's partner. Her former teammates, Susan and Leigh, are left stranded with several flat tires, but on the other hand, they're free of Ivy. The benefits of partnership also rescue Corinna from Allan, since he's not allowed to kill racers. Upon their arrival at Canaveral, the racers are given a ticket and sent on their way to Rome, GA. Winston and Sean give Violet a helping hand when her dad collapses. Alex tries to quit, but is immediately goaded back into the race when he's sent some images of his wife with that friendly truck driver.
Captions: "The Race. Twenty-seven years ago." Back then, the world was a lot more sepia-toned. Godcam is home sick, so I'm not totally sure of the location, but I'm gonna go with a hunch and figure that it's California. One of the finish-line beacons is planted in the ground, and a little blonde girl is standing nearby. Which seems sort of unsafe even before we see what happens next.
A young couple in a boxy hatchback zooms along toward the finish line. They're both looking kinda sleepy. And dirty. They spot the little girl ahead and perk up a bit, and it seems pretty clear that the girl is their daughter, who was kidnapped like Alex's wife. It also seems pretty damn clear that the girl is Corinna, but I think we weren't supposed to guess that. Anyway, the couple is all excited and happy, at least until another car comes over a hill and sideswipes them, at which point their dominant emotions change to terror and surprise. They bounce against each other for a while, but the other car has a slight edge in terms of mass. The hatchback is pushed off the road and starts rolling down an embankment. We watch though the windshield as the car rolls and rolls. The woman is thrown out of her seat and ends up flying out of the back hatch. The man just bonks into the steering wheel a few times. Buckle up, kiddies. D says, "Cool beans!" Back at the finish line, the little girl who we don't know is Corinna, except we totally do, says, "Good trick, Mom and Dad! Do it again!"
Captions: "The Race. Today." Bright is sitting on a stainless steel bench, talking on the phone. He says that forty-two cars left Key West, and that the racephones will ring in thirty-seven minutes. He also reports, "Mrs. Patrakas was last again; she was given the package." Again? We reverse, and see that Bright is at Cape Canaveral, staring out at a shuttle on the launch pad.
Jupiter, Florida. We're at a diner called Preston's. Wendy is in one booth, staring at Ivy, who's with her friends at another table. A waitress, played by the ubiquitous Beth Grant, freshens up Wendy's coffee. Then she spots a photo of Wendy and Sam that's out on the table and coos over it. The waitress offers Wendy some advice: "While Florida is technically the South, I'd cover that up if I were you." Wendy realizes that the pistol is visible inside her purse, and she shoves it deeper inside.
Meanwhile, Ivy is discussing strategy with Susan and Leigh. She says, "A few flat tires, a couple clogged gas tanks -- and yeah, a snipped brake line or two. It'll thin the herd a bit." Whist has some karmic qualms about that.