The teams head from Edinburgh to Belfast, Northern Ireland via train and ferry, and soon find themselves struggling with driving directions. At Peatlands Park, a Roadblock requires Anthony, Katie, Mona, and Jennifer to don wetsuits and go bog-snorkeling. Mona freaks out, but at least she makes it on the first try. Unlike Jennifer, who tries to quit in the middle of her second attempt.
After the bog, teams head back to town to look for something called "a thing with a ring," a sculpture where they find the clue to the Detour. That turns out to be a choice between either serving historically accurate meals at the dry dock where the Titanic was built, or finishing a graffiti project at an indoor skate/bike park. Most of the teams go for the former, which proves challenging in a) the distance racers have to schlep the food, b) figuring out what to bring to whom and in what order, and, surprisingly, c) knowing what "chartreuse" means. Max & Katie win their third leg in a row when they become the first ones to check in at the last Pit Stop, Ulster Hall, just seconds ahead of Bates & Anthony.
However, Mona & Beth prove completely lost at the serving Detour, insistently missing the first step, while Caroline & Jennifer get lost just looking for the painting Detour. Eventually both teams find their way, and it's supposedly a close race for the last slot in the final three. Which ends up going to Mona & Beth, as much as they can't believe it. So Bates & Anthony are going to have to race to the Finish Line without their girlfriends.
When the final leg starts, it requires racers to travel by ferry over the rough Irish Sea to Liverpool and then by train to London, where they have to order a pint before they can learn their final destination city: Washington, D.C. Everyone spends the night together at Heathrow before flying across the pond en masse. They then race to the Lincoln Memorial to stand on the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. From there, it's off to 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, which the clue says is where they'll meet Secret Service agents for a photo op with President Obama. Mona & Beth get so excited they head to 1600 Pennsylvania instead, thinking they get to visit the White House. Instead, Max & Katie are in the lead as they reach the correct address, which is a cheesy gift shop where they'll pose for a fake post card. Bates & Anthony are in second place en route to a cloak-and-dagger Switchback Roadblock at the Tidal Basin. Here, the racers have to use spy code phrases to check through a small army of costumed secret agents to claim a briefcase that's just for them. The combo for each briefcase ends up being each team's rank in New Zealand, Indonesia, and Vietnam respectively. Bates finishes first, while Beth also catches up to a completely flummoxed Max.
At Nationals Park, Bates dresses up as a giant baseball to try to catch a baseball dropped by Anthony, who is gliding overhead on a zip line. Beth also passes Max at the Tidal Basin, but Team Newlywed hijacks the derby moms' cab and steals second place back. The hockey brothers complete their game of catch and head to Hains Point, after which Max repeatedly drops the ball while Mona & Beth wander the stadium aimlessly in search of the clue.
Thus the hockey brothers are the first team to reach the final challenge, which includes a giant ball pit filled with inflatable globes the size of beach balls. The goal there is to locate globes where the countries they've visited are highlighted, and put them on stands in the correct order to get their last clue. The hockey brothers finish first and head to the Finish Line at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.
After 17 attempts at the baseball task, Mona joins Max in the giant ball pit for the final challenge while Bates & Anthony stress out over whether they're going to right place. Katie & Max switch jobs, and finish the globe challenge in second. The derby moms also switch, just before Bates & Anthony coast to an easy first-place finish, which will certainly improve their dating prospects with Caroline & Jennifer. Max & Katie finish their honeymoon in second place, and Mona & Beth are team number three. Also, in medical news, Dave has his surgery stitches out and plans to be off his crutches in a week. Not the most exciting finish ever, but at least there are fireworks. Even if they're only the literal kind.
We get the standard season finale's ultra-long previouslies reintroducing us to the final four teams, as though this show has a huge audience that only watches the last week, which it probably doesn't. And if it did, the ultra-long previouslies are likely to put a stop to that.
"Edinburgh has been the capital city of Scotland since the fifteenth century," Phil narrates over visuals of the place, "and is divided into two distinctive areas: New Town and Old Town, a world heritage site." Of course we mostly see Old Town, and the bridge that connects the two segments, until we join Phil at the location of the previous leg's Pit Stop: the narrow alley known as Niddry Street. He also says that's the start of the eleventh leg in a race around the world, but once again the leg is not starting quite where the previous one ended. Instead, it's on some other local street next to a couple of the U.K.'s iconic red phone booths, in clear view of Edinburgh Castle, which looms on the hilltop overhead. Max & Katie, who again won the previous leg, are starting this one at 4:07 PM, when it's already dusk. Too bad they don't have time to head up to the castle and check out the haggis buffet.
Max reads from the leg's first clue that they're heading to the capital of Northern Ireland. For further clarification, Phil narrates that the teams will take a train to Stranraer, Scotland, then board a ferry (a big one, by the looks of it) that will take them across the Irish Sea to Belfast. After disembarking, they'll have to locate a warehouse where product-placed vehicles are waiting for them so they can drive themselves to Peatlands Park for their next clue. Max & Katie start searching for a cab. The weather in Edinburgh isn't so great today, so they're doing a pre-leg interview with the hoods up on their electric-blue rain jackets as Max says that after winning the last two legs, he feels like they're "the hot team heating up." He's confident about their chances to make the final three. Considering who one of the other teams is, I don't entirely blame him.
It's even darker when Bates & Anthony open their clue in second place, at 4:15 PM, but not completely dark; more like the color of the sky at 11 PM when I was there one May. In other words, there's clearly a big difference between the longest and shortest days there. They're having a little more trouble flagging down a cab in the rain than Team Newlywed did. Before starting the leg, they interview that Mona & Beth have to go, being the strongest competitors left in the race. "Including ourselves," Bates says with false modesty. I think this has more to do with alliances than strategy, as so many of this season's allegedly strategic decisions have been. Back in the race, they pause to look at a street sign and decide they might be within walking range. Which tends to get further when no cabs are stopping anyway.