For once, teams end up on different flights to the next city. Gary|Matt and Brian|Ericka are left behind in Amsterdam while the other three teams race on ahead to a Stockholm amusement park. There it turns into one of those gnome-toting legs before they learn the Detour is a choice between setting off dynamite or decoding Viking runes, so you already know what everyone's going to pick. Poor Vikings. But the pre-blast sandbag filling proves more challenging, especially for Meghan and Cheyne. Still, that's nothing compared to what comes next: the haystack Road Block that was Kristy and Lena's spectacular downfall five years ago (go ahead and complain about the race cannibalizing itself, but I say this task should show up every season). Despite arriving third, Big Easy is the first to find the clue, while Sam and Meghan melt down and the two lagging teams catch up. Meghan follows, recovering her sense of humor in the process, and then Brian leaves Gary and Sam racing for last, but Dan breaks down when he and his brother reach the mat in fourth. Gary finds the clue before dark, and they finally get to the mat and learn it's a non-elimination leg. Which is just fine with me.
Guess what this is? Well, according to Phil, it's "the province of Groningen, in the north of Holland." Apparently it has history going back to 4,000 B.C., but all we're getting into is its immediate history, namely that it was the seventh Pit Stop. After reminding us that there are five teams left, Phil says that Sam and Dan arrived at 9:33 AM, and thus will depart at 9:33 PM. That's rough, restoring the twelve-hour rest period so it falls in the middle of the day. Still, the brothers look clean, rested, dressed in 21st-century clothing, and freshly be-stubbled as they open their clue in the evening twilight, with a big windmill in the background. What better time to learn that they're going to Stockholm, Sweden? Phil adds that once they get there, they'll need to take a train and a ferry to Tivoli Gröna Lund, an amusement park whose name shows you how grim a language Swedish can really be. The next clue will be found at the base of one of those rides that carries you up a high tower and then drops your ass.
The brothers interview that the race has been difficult, and it does not bode well for them that they're yelling at each other even before they get out of town, with Dan behind the wheel of one of those Mercedeseseses they always get. "We scream at each other, we yell, we're probably embarrassing our family," Sam interviews. Good to have a strategy.
Meghan and Cheyne are leaving at 9:48. Cheyne solo-interviews, "Meghan and I have been together for over four and a half years and marriage is definitely something in our future." He thinks their success in the race is a sign of compatibility and a great partnership. Oh, that is just adorable.
Flight Time and Big Easy leave at 10:32 PM, when it's almost fully dark, yet somehow the windmill behind them is still beautifully lit. In an interview, we learn that it is Flight Time's birthday, and he thinks winning a leg would be a great way to celebrate. As Flight Time gets them back on the road to Amsterdam, he offers to stop in the Red Light District. "We could head down there and say we went to use the internet," he suggests. Big Easy just laughs uncomfortably, because the Venn diagram of "Amsterdam's red light district" and "the internet" probably has a considerable amount of overlap.
Gary and Matt are leaving in fifth place at 11:08 PM, and learn they have $220 for this leg. Gary interviews about being the oldest racer left (which he actually has been since Vietnam, unless there's something Maria and Tiffany weren't telling us), and how it motivates him to prove he can still do it. Matt adds that Gary's always ahead of him, and Gary adds that he'd like to beat everyone. Yes, I can see how beating only Matt wouldn't be the same.