Sam and Dan's cabdriver tips us a thumbs-up as he drops the brothers off at the Kryocentrum in second place. They are led to a changing room, where a young female employee looks a little rueful about having to close the door to their changing room with herself on the outside of it. "My ass is too big for these," Sam says of his borrowed trunks as they head down the steps. Sam describes what they had to wear, including the "SARS mask." "It was a bizarre little costume," he says. In they go, trying to best each other's equanimity as they disappear down into the mist.
Brian is getting his last letter. "Can you confirm Z as in zebra?" he asks the mechanical voice. It repeats automatically, and he hangs up, satisfied. "Piecing them together, that's the tough part," he says as he heads for the supervisor's office. He gets his clipboard and takes up position in the back corner with a causal "What's up, Big Easy?" that belies the fact that the two of them are now effectively tied. He sits down and watches as Big Easy gets the dreaded triple-X yet again. "I've been here about two and a half hours," Big Easy confides. What!? How is that even possible? I mean, I'm no math whiz, but if I'm calculating correctly, there are 120 possible permutations of those five letters. And if you lock in the F, that reduces the number to only 24. Now, maybe Big Easy is not taking it for granted that Dan was telling the truth about that, but it still seems like a good place to start, if only because Dan isn't generally that sneaky. Of course, Big Easy may not be a math whiz either, but at least he knows when to ask for a calculator. Brian, meanwhile, doesn't fill in the last five letters before messing around with them a bit on scratch paper. "It's like we're missing a vowel," he remarks. Well, then why not try locking the vowel in the middle? That reduces the number of possibilities to six. Brian fails on the first try. "He's so mean with the stamp," he remarks as the supervisor does his thing, like Big Easy hasn't noticed. In two and a half hours.