So what happens next is it gets dark, and one last plane lands at the Lisbon airport in what is probably pretty late at night. Chester & Ephraim step off the plane and onto the tarmac shuttle, and then start running as soon as they're inside the terminal, as though it's not all completely futile. And as though Phil isn't inside the building looking for them, which he is. "This way, guys!" he calls out to them. Team NFL abruptly changes direction and is brought up short when they find themselves standing face-to-face with Phil. "Uh-oh, that's not good," Chester understates. He admits that he's not happy to see Phil, getting a laugh from Ephraim, who probably gave this up as a lost cause somewhere over the Atlantic. Phil says, "I wish it was under better circumstances, but welcome to Lisbon, Portugal." "Finally," Ephraim says after what must have been a nightmare leg of planes, planes, and planes. I mean, even the onscreen graphics lost count of how many flights they took.
Phil tells them that all the other teams have checked in. "That means that you are officially the last team to arrive, and I'm really sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from the race." Chester blames the flights, but Ephraim is philosophical about having had a great experience and getting to do it with Chester. "To quote the great Ricky Bobby, if you're not first you're last." Phil thanks them for coming on the race and shakes their hands, then says, "You're at an airport so it might be easy to get out of here" by way of sending them off to find a flight. "Good luck with that," he says. Way to rub it in. Or maybe Phil's just parked in the Red Zone and has to get back before he gets his ass towed. It's kind of fitting that so much of this episode took place in airports, because that's ultimately where this leg was won, lost, placed, and shown. Any actual racing in Lisbon was only between people on the same flights, and there was never a chance for anyone on a later plane to pass anybody on an earlier one. And as the episode closes in this appropriate setting, the former football players and former Amazing Racers walk off arm in arm as Ephraim says, "Can you believe we just got our asses whipped by an airport?" Well, if it helps, it wasn't just one airport. It was several, and they threw a damn blanket party.
M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter, or just e-mail him at M.Giant[at]gmail.com.