Amazing Race
Beacon of Hope

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B- | 1 USERS: A+
D.C. Follies

The ferry pushes off at 7:30 the next morning, just as the sun is beginning to rise over the Irish Sea. Like we saw before, this is a pretty big boat. Not to mention well appointed, with an information desk and a computer lab that gives the teams the opportunity to do a little advance research on Belfast. Beyond what I'm sure they already know from U2 songs, of course. "This is the calm before the storm," Bates interviews while chilling with Anthony in the lounge. "Once it's go time, it's everybody for themselves." Even the country singers? The boat approaches the harbor, and Katie vows, "Once we get that next clue and we're in Ireland and racing, it's game over." That would have sounded a lot more badass had she used the correct preposition.

So here we are in Belfast, with obligatory deedly-deedly music playing on the soundtrack over shots of various landmarks and Northern Ireland's flag. And then the racers are sprinting down the gangplank, across parking lots and down the waterfront road to the warehouse they're looking for. They scramble inside, hop into the cars and drive off. Beth & Mona are very briefly in the lead, until Max passes them during Beth's confusion over how to get onto the M2 and the roller girls end up trapped in their lane. "You're a navigatin' machine, Katie!" Max says, and spots Bates & Anthony in his mirror. He probably can't hear Bates's fake leprechaun voice in the backseat of the Belfast hockey-mobile, though. Katie realizes they might have overshot their turn, and has Max pull a U-ey, which the brothers emulate. "Maybe that was a sharp right," Bates deadpans. However, Beth remains confident that they're going the right way and continues driving in that direction. Caroline wonders if she should turn around, but Jennifer says from the back seat that they should stay the course. "We have officially been separated from the boys. That sucks." Not if they're going the wrong way and you're going the right way, Sparky.

But she's not. Instead, Max spots the sign for Peatlands Park and lead Bates & Anthony in. Meanwhile, Beth has to pull over to get directions from a local and gets pointed back the way they came, so the two all-female teams have to turn around. At the park, the two teams who went the right way are running in, Max saying they shouldn't give up their lead for the rest of the day. Like anybody ever does voluntarily. They run up the paved path and eventually make it to a collection of rustic buildings and a clue box. This is a Roadblock that opens with the question, "Who wants to get bogged down?" I'm thinking that everyone would probably prefer not to, this being a race and all. Katie reads on that racers will "participate in a bog snorkeling competition." Cut to Phil in a warm, comfortable pub, hoisting a Guinness as he says, "Conceived over a pint of beer, teams will now take part in what might be the quirkiest sport on earth." Wait, how does Phil know that all of the remaining teams were conceived over a pint of beer? How comprehensive are those application forms, anyway?

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Amazing Race




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