Vyxsin is getting sniffly as she half-cries that she's been missing her mom a lot lately, so this message was great timing. I actually think it was horrible timing, based on what happens the rest of the leg, because the emotions she's feeling are draining, and they're about to pick up a hitchhiker in the form of some wicked Killer Fatigue. Kynt seems to have a genuine smile at Vyxsin's reaction to the call. In Nick and Don's car, Don can't figure out how to retrieve the message (aw), so Nick has to pull over, which makes sense, because as far as they know, these could have been race instructions instead of ironic/sappy/uplifting messages from home. It's apparently from one of Nick's parents, who writes to Don that he/she has one thing to say: "Don't embarrass me." So, Door Number One, then. Rachel reads the message to "Thomas Kyle" that when things get rough, he should "dig down and grab that strength." That's leg-appropriate advice. TK says that the fact that they survived the ordeal they just went through "gives me more confidence in the race, and makes me know that I can win this thing." The fact that they do not cut to a bug-eyed Rachel mouthing "I?" to the camera makes me think he didn't mean it that way. But did only one member per team get the message? I find that hard to believe, considering Jen's still in a good mood. This episode is kind of tightly packed as it is, anyway.
Nate interviews that they're driving through "mountainous territory" with winding turns, and we get some shots of the road that are kind of scary. I mean, there are guardrails, so no one's doing a Princess Grace per se, but if someone driving the other way had too much chianti at dinner, things could get...what's the term I'm looking for...non bene. However, Nate seems to be handling the driving well, and he still thinks the way they're going is the fastest. Ron and Chris have reached Bologna (Ron pronouncing it the same way Vyxsin did, ugh, even though he did it correctly earlier) and he tells us he just wants to be sure he doesn't miss their exit to Firenze (Florence, in Italian). The next thing you know, though, they hit massive traffic, as do Kynt and Vyxsin, and Kynt pulls a face that makes him look like a semi-scary Keebler elf. Nick and Don hit the same traffic, and Nick smiles, "This is not going to be good." I actually cannot get over how delightful this kid is. TK and Rachel speed along, but Ron and Chris encounter a police car that's stopped for some reason, and Chris wonders, "Are we getting Detoured?" No -- in a Detour, you have a choice in front of you, but here you've already made the wrong one. But she's actually right -- the exit to Florence is blocked off, so they have to take the one that says "Milan." Wow, I didn't even realize that when I made that joke before. Get ready for the runway, Goths! Christina looks at the map to figure out how to cope with this development. Kynt and Vyxsin follow Ron and Christina soon after, but Nick and Don seemingly are far enough behind that the road is kind of a parking lot by the time they're approaching the detour, so they actually get out of their car to try to go see what's going on. They're told that the road to Florence won't reopen until six A.M., and in a daylight interview, Don tells us that that was "frustrating" as Nick sits next to him and looks like he's positively stewing. I'd think this interview would have to be from the pit stop, but I don't know why Nick is looking quite so severe if that's the case. Did the pit-stop bartender not buy that he's of age? (I'd have some trouble myself. By the way, can you believe TK is younger than Nick? I wouldn't have called that at all.) Back in the car, Don VOs that he's driven thousands of miles in Europe, and it's really difficult when you get off the main roads, so again, that's an explanation in the direction of why to choose this route, but still. Nick and Don end up pulling to the shoulder and catching a nap until the road opens, which, given how long it ends up taking Ron and Chris and Kynt and Vyxsin to back-road it, is definitely not a bad idea.