And to ratchet up the competition even further, Phil tells them that there are two flights waiting for them at Logan Airport in Boston, but the first flight has room for only three teams, and is scheduled to arrive thirty minutes earlier. Anyone who's ever been on a plane or at an airport or knows someone who has knows that "scheduled to arrive" are key words, but why get into that at this early stage? Phil tells them their first clue is waiting on the baggage they brought, and after reading them, they'll need to jump into the waiting Smart cars (I looked up how to capitalize that, but the company website insists on calling them "smart fortwo," no caps, and I want no part of it) and head out. Phil reminds them that whoever wins at the end of twelve legs will win one million dollars. Big cheer, even though a million dollars isn't what it was when this show premiered nine years ago.
Phil's finally ready to start the race. Raising his hand, he slowly recites, "Good luck...travel safe...go!" I don't get the chills any more, but I can't help smiling. And I tried. The teams flow past Phil in an undifferentiated mass, around the manor house, and to the backpacks with the clues. Amid crazy-fast editing, they learn that they're flying to London, England, and from there they'll be driving themselves to Stonehenge. "AAAH!" Mallory screams. At some point this season, those three words will comprise most of a recap, but that point is not yet here. Their allowance for the first leg is a hundred dollars. Everyone runs for the Smart cars and jumps in, to the extent that such is possible with a Smart car. Brook & Claire are out in front. "We're on the Amazing Race!" Brook crows. "These cars are, like, my size," Mallory observes. This is all being recorded on Taxicab Confessions equipment, because there's no room for camera or sound crews in those soup cans. And if there were, they'd probably kill themselves anyway when biker Nick pronounces, "Gonna win us the blingin' buckarooskis!" I have a blingin' headache.
Credits. Nat and Kat? Nick and Vick? Jon and Con? What is this, the Dr. Seuss season?
Right after the credits, Brook and Claire ask some passing cyclists for directions to the airport, and fist-bump after getting pointed to Route 128. The race certainly is going well for them so far. Tony tells Ron to get his compass out, so they can know which way is south. "This is going to be one of our strongest suits, is being able to navigate really well," Tony jinxerviews. Chad is happy to let Stephanie do the driving, and she remarks that she's seen Stonehenge before. "You mean you've seen it on TV?" Chad asks. Stephanie duhs, "Yeah, I've never been." One continent, one country, two cities, a dozen or so miles, and they're already sniping at each other.