TAR 5/5: Finale


From CBS: “The 4 teams start with bog snorkeling in Belfast, where 1 team faces elimination. The final 3 then sprint to the finish line in Washington, D.C. in a Race through the capital for $1 million during the 2-hour season finale”.

Bog snorkeling?!?

Noticed that the finish line is at the George Washington homestead. If you’ve never visited, just beyond the Amazing Mat is a hair-raising (at least to me) drop-off. It was cordoned off when I visited, but it still gave me the willies just looking over at it :shudder:

The view from the rocking chairs on the porch, however, makes up for it. The Potomac is so pretty from that angle :sigh:

I’ll be happy with any team winning except for Max and Katie. Don’t get me started with them. I just hope I didn’t jinx anything saying that :crosses fingers:

The bog swimming is great! I’d soooo do that, even for free!

Too bad I’m not in this one since I live in the DC area. Is it at Mt Vernon or George Washington’s birthplace? I’ve been to his birthplace but not Mt Vernon. Both are on the Potomac though.

Max is a dick, but he is a good Racer, at least on the last few legs.

Max and Katie are just so loathsome. If they end up winning this thing I am going to be cursing at the TV.

Mona & Beth almost suffer a major brain fade, but survive.
Just for the record, what is the greatest mental block in Race history?

I want to root for the Roller Moms, really I do, but they keep making these stupid mistakes based on wrong assumptions.

I can live with that.

I teared up. More out of happiness that Max and Cruella didn’t win than for who did. Yay!

Depends on how you define mental block. But I’d say Team Guido frittering away their earned Fast Forward to spend the day shopping and drinking tea and ending up almost 24 hours behind because of it (in Season 1).

I knew Mona and Beth were goners during the Titanic dinner service. I kept rooting for them, though, thinking that maybe…just maybe…

I’m not surprised re Bates and Anthony :slight_smile:

I’ll agree that Max stepped up his game, but that doesn’t negate my feelings for both him and Katie. I don’t know if I’d call them loathsome, but they definitely rubbed me the wrong way.

I have a good friends who lives near Mt. Vernon. I wonder if they noticed the fireworks?

Sounds stupid, but not really part of the Race. I was thinking of times like tonight when teams just could figure out one of the Race tasks. I didn’t start watching until about Season 4. I know the first few Races were quite different until they settled on the current rules.

I can live with this ending. When the Nashville women were no longer in it, I wanted either Bates & Anthony or Mona and Beth to win. Poor Mona and Beth - it’s amazing they lasted as long as they did with their lack of navigation skills.


How about refusing to use your Fast Forward even when you know you’re down to the last two teams and you get eliminated with the FF in your pocket? :slight_smile:

How long did it take Max to find the “secret agent” he needed? Apparently it was long enough for Bates & Anthony to finish the entire “put the places you went to in order” challenge before anyone else even arrived. Pretty ho-hum ending.

I don’t get all the hate for Max and Katie. They had some bad moments, but so does everyone else. The only times they snarked on other teams were in their confessionals, not in front of them. For the most part they just kept to themselves.

They were excellent racers, and best of all they never met a task they didn’t embrace. No whining on that team at all. It was just “What do we need to do? Alright, lets go.” They were far from the most physical team, but they didn’t ever give up and they did their best. I hate the ones that give up.

The one funny thing about that team is that Katie describes herself as unsociable and introverted. Her previous job? Buffalo Bills cheerleader.

At the very beginning of this episode, Max was talking with Mona & Beth. He said something like “how did it feel to find only two cars at the airport”. He just had to twist the knife about the other teams finding an earlier flight to Edinburgh.

Later, while he was searching around the Tidal Basin for the right agent with a briefcase, Katie was saying that he must have been doing it wrong. Sweetheart, it’s a needle-in-a-haystack challenge; sometimes you just don’t find it right away.

They deserve each other.

That figures. How many cheerleaders have they had on TAR, anyway? I’m so glad that this rare and special opportunity should go to those who’ve been so cruelly shortchanged by life, and saddled with the curse of beauty and popularity.

Taxi Assessment:

Stuck in the Desert and Officially Detained - or, Philiminated with extreme prejudice.
Matthew & Daniel and Idries & Jamil and John & Jessica and David & Connor and Pam & Winnie and Chuck & Wynona and Joey & Meghan (already eliminated)
Caroline & Jen (down from “Rapido!”) - It was pretty much over for Caroline & Jen fall when Jen took so long to finish the bog-snorkeling Roadblock, and going to the wrong ring-thing didn’t really help. They did pick what seemed to me to be the easiest of the two Detour options (Seriously? Running up and down stairs in a “do-it-again-until-it’s-right” task v. spray-painting?), but that wasn’t nearly enough, and Caroline & Jen are rather easily eliminated.

Flat Tire - or, not likely to get anywhere soon.
No one.

Stopping for Gas - or, not broken-down, exactly, but not a good sign.
No one.

“Rapido! Por Favor?” - or, making meaningless ineffectual comments from the back seat, but in no immediate danger.
No one.

In the Passing Lane - or, ahead of the pack, but not quite comfortably.
Mona & Beth (holding steady) - Mona & Beth got lucky that Jen crashed and burned at the Roadblock, because their performance at the Titanic dinner was abysmal. And in the final leg, their old nemesis, “Finding the Right Place,” again reared its head, so they spent most of the leg rather badly playing catch-up. Although we didn’t see much footage of the them at the ball pit, it looked to me like Mona & Beth arrived at the Mat significantly later than Max & Katie did, so I suspect that even had they navigated correctly earlier, they’d have finished in third anyway. Still, they made it all the way through to the final, something eight other teams can’t say.
Max & Katie (holding steady) - I can’t quite tell whether Max just got unlucky at the briefcase Roadblock, or whether he was victimized by his own poor planning by sprinting too far the wrong way around the Tidal Basin. Still, that was the pivotal task in the final leg for this team - it looked like Anthony & Bates completed both the baseball and ball pit tasks in less time than Max & Katie did, but had Max & Katie started out with the kind of lead Anthony & Bates had after the briefcase task, the finish would have been a lot more exciting.

Cruisin’ with Earl - or, drivin’ on the shoulder, takin’ shortcuts, and generally kickin’ butt.
Anthony & Bates (holding steady) - Anthony & Bates got a little lucky in finding the right Secret Service agent so quickly, but in the end it didn’t matter: they got through the baseball-catching task quicker than, and performed the ball pit task at least as well as, the other two teams. Coupled with some pretty good preparation for the expected final leg memory-puzzles (not that the other teams weren’t also prepared, but still), Anthony & Bates cruise to a surprisingly uncontested first-place finish.

To be fair, I’m pretty sure John thought there was one more team behind him besides Chuck & Wynona, and was planning on using the FF if that team showed up. If that was his strategy, then it’s pretty darn dumb not to be sure that other team atually exists, but not quite as dumb as idly standing by and letting Chuck & Wynona pass them.

I’m a little ambivalent about Max & Katie. They did make a good team, and weren’t really unpleasant to each other, which is something I really hate about some teams. Still, Katie had a telling confessional remark early on, when she noted how hard it was to be fakey-nice to all the other nasty plebian teams. I suppose it’s better to pretend to like all the other people you’re forced to hang around with than to let your dripping contempt show, so points for that, but I would prefer people who are actually friendly.

Max did wind up, at one point, far away from any briefcase-carrying men. I think the men were supposed to be staying in a certain area, and Max went chugging on around the Tidal Basin past that area. It wasn’t clear to me if he ran a bit too far and then came back, or if he just kept motoring a mile beyond where he was supposed to be. If the latter, then yeah, Katie had a point.

I thought Katie was really quite loathsome. In addition to the incidents already mentioned, she also told Max that he sucked at baseball, despite the fact that the first two throws of hers they showed had him trying to sprint forward for a poorly dropped ball in a giant baseball costume with a thick grill on his head while looking upwards through a mesh ball cap. Sure, the attempt that they showed just before she told him he sucked appeared pretty catchable. She struck me as one completely ready to blame others around her for any lack of success, and to do so in a particularly aggressive and nasty way.

We were thrilled that they did not win.

I was a little surprised at the 'tude that Bates was showing at the Titanic challenge. They hadn’t really shown him getting so hostile to Anthony and getting so pissy on past challenges. It was quite unappealing and tarnished our view of him. Still, we were rooting for them in the end.

The roller moms struggled in really stupid ways. Beth, in particular, seemed to be a person who gets a thought in her head and does not think to do much checking of it. After one or two failures at the Titanic, ideally both of them should have conferred to check their thinking. Instead, they pressed ahead and repeatedly made the same mistake over and over. I lost count, but it was at least four or five tries up to the point that Anthony told them what they needed to do. They still pressed on for at least one or two more tries after that before deciding to step back and rethink things.

In the cab in DC, they got it in their heads that they were going to meet the president, and thus that they should be going to the White House. Mona told the driver “1100 Pennsylvania,” whereas Beth shouted “the White House”!

As for that picture with the president, of course it’s extraordinarily unlikely that they would have been going to meet the president, but I thought it was kind of bullshit for the clue to say that they were going to “meet” the president and have a picture taken with him. There’s little way to spin meeting him as anything other than being in person with him.

The end must have been very, very lopsided for the Amazing Editors not to even take a stab at introducing some fake drama. They didn’t even bother to show but one of the globes retrieved by the second and third place teams in total.

Final legs are always boring. This was a final leg.

If they’re going to allow teams to just use their notes to complete the game ending memory tasks then they should stop having game ending memory tasks.

I can’t believe that all three teams actually bought into them meeting Obama. When I realized that at least one team was heading for the White House I imagined them getting gunned down by Secret Service in response to two people running fast for the White House gates while carrying large backpacks.

Potentially like the bog snorkeling, but two things interfered:

  1. Why put a time limit on it if that time limit is going to be so forgiving that you can do the task really poorly and still succeed? Kind of seemed like telling me it is time to go to bed and to make it more exciting I will have only 25 minutes to talk from my living room to my bedroom.

  2. Since not a single one of those people actually snorkeled, I wonder if there was a rule that they had to keep the snorkel in their mouth the entire time.

The one that comes to mind first for me is a Roadblock about which I actually remember only a few details. The teams were in a room full of telephones, and had to listen to some message. From elements of that message, they had to figure out an answer and show it to a guy in the room. I think they were in eastern Europe. The setting, IIRC was supposed to be like some early 20th century spy kind of thing.

Anyway, one team just could not get it. They spent forever at the challenge, and they decided to take a penalty. I think they ended up getting eliminated as a result, although I do recall there being some chance during the episode that another team was going to have some significant problems somewhere else on the race.

As for the bog swimming, my wife and I thought we must be missing something. The level of panic that the challenge brought on for two of the teams was really surprising.