The teams walk into the challenge on the observation deck of the Hoover Dam. Reno is waiting for them. "When I see Reno, my heart stops," Amy says. So does Reno's, but that's because his arteries are finally feeling those four Big Macs he just had for lunch. Reno says the challenge is for each family to make its own "hydro-electric plant," just like the Hoover Dam! Oh, please let this involve continuous pouring of concrete that can't be stopped, not even to free someone who fell in. And let that someone be Silvio. And Amy. And Amie. And Keith and Jennifer Coote. Ron, you're cool so far. Each team gets a running faucet and a box full of pipes that must be connected with each other and run through a series of pillars until they reach a turbine. The water from the faucet will go through the pipes and turn the turbine wheel, powering an engine that inflates an Uncle Sam balloon.
The Pollards go first. Amie says that instead of focusing on their family's success, they only care about beating the Cootes. That's the spirit, Amy! Reno turns the faucet on and laughs like a dumbass as it sprays all over the place. With that, the Pollards begin. They have trouble lining up the pipes with the concrete pillars at first and have to start over. Amie soon realizes that they're not going to dominate this challenge like they had hoped, because it takes brains. They start working together as a family, as the triumphant background music tells us, and things look better. Many minutes later, they get the pipe to the turbine and the balloon begins to inflate. They're done, and Ron says that he doesn't know if they did it quickly enough with their stumbling at the beginning. Reno comes up and says they did it in 20:33.
The DiSalvatores go next, and this is going to be a loud, hot mess. They have no strategy and seem to know this is their challenge to lose. "We're doomed," Amy says. That's the spirit, Amy! It's stupid to try and run risk of looking incapable of something when you can just give up and tell people that you can do something but you just don't want to right now. The game begins, and Amy sets out to start building the pipes from the end where there's no water. That sounds like a good idea, except that if you're wrong you won't realize it until you're back at the beginning and then you'll have to rebuild the entire thing, right? Anyway, Silvio works somewhere in the middle solely to avoid getting his hair wet while their sons decide to begin at the beginning. So everyone is working on a separate section. Apparently, Silvio isn't even doing the challenge, just putting some pipes together to create what Amy describes as an "artwork monstrosity." Silvio, what the fucking fuck? Either DO THE CHALLENGE or sit out. But this is bullshit that wastes everyone's time and hurts the team's chances of winning, which means no college fund for your kids, so suck it up and be helpful for a freaking change! Amie tells us that it was clear that the DiSalvatores were doing fine until they had to fix Silvio's mess, which was a "Chinese jungle gym." Yeah, like Amie's ever been to China, let alone a school playground there. Or anywhere. Amy tells Silvio to take something apart, but he insists it'll work and there will be enough pressure for the water to make it uphill in the pipes the way Silvio has them set up. Aside from that, Silvio can't get his pipe section connected to the rest of the family's. While he keeps trying, Blake, Mason, and Amy have given up and want to forfeit. Might as well. They aren't going to get anything built with Silvio bringing them down. But wait -- a rip-off of "Chariots of Fire" is playing. The time ticks by and past the Pollards' time, but then, amazingly, water comes out of the last pipe. The DiSalvatore-made pipe is leaking all over the place and at one point Silvio has to stand there and physically join two of the pipes with his hands, but it's better than nothing, I guess. It gets the balloon inflated, anyway. Silvio says that his family did this together when they couldn't have been more apart, but whatever. They finished in 27:34 according to the clock. Reno says it took 6 hours and 44 minutes, though. I don't know which time is correct. It certainly felt like 6 hours and 44 minutes to me.