Amazing Race
Beacon of Hope

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B- | 2 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
D.C. Follies

Mona & Beth have managed to find their way to the fence surrounding the White House, which is as far as they can go. They ask a Park Police officer where 1100 Pennsylvania is, and as often as I claim that locals tell racers to go thataway, this one actually says, "Thataway." He gives them more precise directions and Beth VOs, "We could be in a lot of trouble." Yeah, that's not the kind of mistake you want to be making in the final leg.

Back out on G Street, the derby moms jump into a cab to take them the remaining five or six blocks. Where Bates & Anthony are also having the big letdown as they reach the gift shop and we listen once again to "Hail to the Wah-wahhh." Bates has removed his stocking cap for the occasion, which given the state of his hair is not really an improvement, and they get their photos making it look like they were wearing suits at the big moment. No amount of Photoshopping can make it look like Bates still owns a razor or a hairbrush, though.

Mona & Beth present themselves to the last "Secret Service agent" outside the Old Post Office, still all excited about getting to meet the president.

Max & Katie find the marked car parked near the Tidal Basin, and run up to it while a low-key piano on the soundtrack quotes a TV spy movie. When Max taps on the window, it rolls down just enough for yet another guy in sunglasses to hand Max a briefcase and before rolling back up again. Despite all this, Max isn't exactly James Bond as he slips walking around a park bench to open the clue they also received. Phil explains what's next: "Teams will now face an Amazing Race Switchback that requires them to play the role of a spymaster." From the flashback footage, I'm thinking we're Switching Back to the Family Edition season, which is not something you'd think the show would want to remind us of. As before, Phil explains that they'll be "searching around the iconic Tidal Basin, the centerpiece to Washington's famous memorials," and that "teams must figure out which one of these fifty agents is carrying their next clue." And there Phil is, looking rather clandestine himself in a black turtleneck and pea coat, surrounded by fifty briefcase-holding, sunglass-wearing , serious-looking dudes. I keep expecting Keanu Reeves to swoop in and kick all their asses.

Each team will get a "secret password" in their clue, and they're looking for the agent who will give them the correct response, whereupon they'll swap briefcases and find out how to open the one they just got, which will contain their next clue. We get more details in advance on how that we'll work, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Max & Katie debate briefly over which of them should do this task. Max thinks Katie would be better if this task calls for memory, but if it's running it might be better if he did. But then Katie doesn't seem all that excited about doing it, so that settles it. Max reads his password from the clue: "Where can I get a good half-smoke with chili?" Max doesn't seem to know what a "half-smoke" is any more than I do, but it probably doesn't matter. They're still standing there when Bates & Anthony roll up, tap on the window and get the briefcase. Max goes running off counterclockwise around the Tidal Basin as Bates reads, "Who's ready for some covert ops?" and decides to take it on. His password is "I did not dress warm enough for this weather," which seems appropriate given that all the clothes he brought on the race with him are either already on his body or on the other side of the Atlantic.

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Amazing Race

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