And they're off, and here we go. Nick starts with Alaska. Wally starts elsewhere. Nick uses the stepladder provided to get up to the top of the puzzle, leading his team to call out, "Come on, shorty." I will say this, having met the Linzes: shorter than I thought. Most people are taller, but the Linzes are shorter. Am I distracting you from the tense, suspenseful finale? Okay. Anyway, Wally works. Nick works. "This is so nerve-wracking," Tommy notes. I agree. Wally and Nick really are keeping it pretty close.
The Weavers are on their boat. Who cares? They get their clue. I forget all about them.
The Tonyas fret over Wally. Nick chants to himself, "South Carolina, where are you?" I would note that the only state they bother to caption in yellow is Minnesota, which I am taking as a shout-out. Wally fills in Central America. Nick fills in Tennessee. Nick can't find Ohio, despite living there. It's getting close to the end. "I can smell the million dollars," Megan says, grinning and dancing. Nick has some little states left, and he works to fill them in. The Linzes start to gather their bags. Nick goes to smack the last piece into place, and he manages to knock out another. Yikes! He puts it back. "Don't pound anymore," Megan recommends. They grab their stuff and start to go. Nick spots one last little piece just as he grabs his bag, so he smacks it into place as he runs, and the Linzes take off for the finish line.
Wally finishes the puzzle, and the Bransens run off as well.
And here, toward the mat, come the Linzes. The Bransens jog along, holding hands, undoubtedly knowing they won't catch the Linzes. The Linzes run. "Dad, you did awesome, I'm so proud of you," says one of the Tonyas. Aw. Good for her. Phil waits on the mat. The Linzes jump onto the platform. They all hug. Everyone cheers for them. Phil declares them the official winners. As Megan cries, Alex reaches over and kisses her on the forehead, which is very sweet.
And here come the Bransens. The teams exchange big hugs. They are welcomed by Phil as the second-place winners. Now with everyone anyone gives a crap about standing on the mat together, Phil brings the Linzes over and he asks them about their first-place finish. "This is all for Mom and Dad and everybody back home," one of them says. Tommy declares himself "speechless," which: unusual. Megan says she's done running and will never run again. Heh. She interviews that it was hard to keep up throughout, but she "ran with the boys." Phil asks them about the Bransens, noting how Wally kept up. We cut to Carissa for the world's most adorable shout of "Go, Wally!" Nick pays tribute to the Bransens, in his way, saying how remarkable it is that a team of three men and a woman would be worried over three women and a man. (Feminist crickets chirping.)