Previously: Well, there are no previouslys, except in the sense that the entire episode is nothing but a string of previouslys, so it's not clear that anything can be considered to be the previouslys to what happened previously. Look at me, bending time and space. You can thank me later when the pizza that you order on Thursday arrives on Wednesday afternoon.
We open with sweeping city landscapes as Phil reminds us that, "not long ago," the race started. Remember how Phil pronounces it "Chic-eh-go," and how it kind of made you want to touch his eyebrow? Remember how he was all, "Go!," and they did, because this is not a democracy, it's a Phil-ocracy? The Amazing Yellow Line gets its best gig ever as it traces the entire route so far from Chicago to Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Senegal, Berlin, and Budapest. Phil promises that this "special episode" (grrrr) will offer a refresher on whatever you may have missed, and also some new material, known as "the stuff that makes the recapper work New Year's weekend." The promised new stuff begins with Hornio, seen losing their clue, fighting, discussing the possibility that they left it in a liquor store (?), and then, after Phil voices over about "more exciting moments," finding it (Rebecca only) and running out to the car screeching and jumping up and down like a little girl (also Rebecca only, surprisingly enough). If everything new is as hot as people locating their lost paperwork, this will be so exciting that we're all going to wind up naked.
Credits. Oh, glaciers, we hardly knew ye. [BOMP.]
Commercials. Steinbrenner, Schmeinbrenner. I've got your contraction right here. (Yeah, not technically Steinbrenner's fault, but the Yankee Button and the Resentful Small-Market Team Suffering Button are right next to each other on the control panel of my mind, and advertisers have such pudgy fingers.
Chicago. Teams fanning out in the first leg like little ants. Man, where's that magnifying glass when you need it? The first new tidbit is when we see Nuance lose the very first clue of the race. You'll recall that they also lost a clue in the second leg and took a penalty for replacing it without authorization, so apparently, envelope control is not one of the travel "nuances" they've mastered. In one of those disgusting coincidences the universe occasionally unleashes to remind you of its general hostility, Spazpants comes up with Freddy and Kendra's clue as it literally blows by on its way to the freedom of Lake Michigan. Jonathan decides to give it back, but he hangs onto it until the train. And rather than going around saying he has a clue if anyone lost one, he waits until Nuance admits that the clue is lost, and then he crows, all, "I've got it." Because he loves the part where he gets to help. When he's not pushing and shoving, he's all about philanthropy. He hands the clue over to Nuance. They exchange low-fives. You will note that this friendliness had evaporated by the middle of the next leg when Freddy departed the Boat of No Clue and declined Jonathan's kind offer with a command in which one-third of the words were dirty ones.