So another season of TAR concludes–it feels like Season 23 is upon us already, and Season 22 proves one of the best in recent years. We’ll have to keep watch for fall 2013’s premiere date. First, though, let’s look back at how the 5/5/13 finale ended.
Max/Katie depart the pit stop at Ulster Hall, Belfast, at 5:04 a.m. Their clue says, make way by ferry to Liverpool, then take a train to London, find a certain pub, order two pints (one each) to get the next clue.
One min. behind are the hockey players. One says, “I like our chances of finding a bar.” The last female team in the race, Beth/Mona, depart at 5:47. All teams are on the same 8-hr. ferry ride.
When they get their clues at the London pub, it’s to fly to Washington, DC. Everyone’s on the same flight. Directions are to go to the Lincoln Memorial and stand in the place Martin Luther King, Jr. stood during his “I Have a Dream” speech.
In Washington Max/Katie are 1st up the Memorial steps, and a man who resembles King (perhaps a member of the Civil Rights movement himself) gives them their next clue. The other two teams are close behind.
This clue tells racers to go to 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. where an agent will escort them to get their picture taken with the president. Everybody gets all excited.
Beth/Mona mistake the address for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (the actual White House) and that turns out to be a costly error.
When racers actually get to the address, it’s a shopping mall. A man who ID’s as Secret Service escorts them to a shop where everyone gets their picture snapped and then photoshopped so it looks like they’re shaking hands w/ Obama.
The next clue is for the first of three tasks that are impossible to put a clock on. It’s for a revival (a “switchback” in TAR talk) of a roadblock 1st seen in Season 8. Teams must go to the paddleboat parking lot by the Tidal Basin, find a limo flying TAR colors, knock three times on the rear passenger window. The window comes down, a man hands them a briefcase and instructions, then the window goes back up.
Max/Katie find the limo about the time Beth/Mona are finally finding the photoshop op. Max decides since the task is physical, he should do it. He has to walk around the Tidal Basin, accosting up to 50 “agents” with suits, sunglasses, and briefcases. He gives each one he meets a code. Once he finds one that answers his code, they can exchange briefcases.
When the brothers arrive, Bates chooses to do the RB. He pulls off his
briefcase switch before anyone else. The next clue is in the briefcase, and to open it, the player needs to work a combination based on the team’s order of finish in New Zealand (which was only pt. of a leg) Indonesia, and Vietnam. Bates gets out his notebook, but still needs two tries to get it right.
Bates/Anthony are leaving the Tidal Basin about the time the women show up, and Max is probably having to accost almost all 50 agents. Next clue is for the home of the “Nats,” the Washington Nationals’ baseball stadium.
The challenge at the stadium is for one team member to put on a mascot costume of a walking baseball w/ a cap on. It severely limits vision and mobility. The teammate has to fly overhead on a zip line, and drop a baseball for the costumed racer to catch. Bates wears the costume, Anthony flies on the wire, and they accomplish the task fairly quickly. The next clue, “Hains Point” is written on a baseball. They show it to their cab driver, who knows where it is.
Back at the Tidal Basin, Mona gets her briefcase and Max finally gets his. Max/Katie arrive at the stadium after the hockey players have departed. She flies overhead and drops the baseball, he wears the costume and cues her when to drop it. They need at least half a dozen tries to get it right. Later Max says that when Beth/Mona showed up, that was the pressure he needed.
Bates/Anthony get to Haines Point to find three huge ball pits–cages full of dozens of beachball-like globes. Each globe is marked with a different country. One racer has to get into a cage, submerged in balls, and find globes marked with countries TAR travelled through this season. Anthony gets in and eventually finds one–Tahiti. He throws it out to Bates and keeps looking.
The other racer has to line globes up, ten total, in a tent where a clamshell-like plastic globe sits. If the order is right, the globe automatically opens up and reveals the final clue.
Back at the stadium, Max/Katie get their “Hains Pt.” clue and leave, while the female team, in 3rd place, needs 17 tries to catch the ball.
The brothers get their globes in a row and the final clue reads, “The finish line: home of the 1st president.” It’d be a shame to get a cab driver in
Washington DC who didn’t know how to get to George Washington’s home. Bates/Anthony have a smart cabbie.
By the time Max/Katie get to Hains Pt. the bros have left. Max dives into the ball pit, then after one or two globes, he and Katie switch. Mona/Beth arrive and Beth dives in. Max/Katie finish and leave. Beth and Mona switch out, it’s up to Mona to find New Zealand and Switzerland.
Bates/Anthony cross the finish line at Mt. Vernon and are greeted w/ applause from their fellow racers. Phil proclaims them the winners of TAR and $1 mil.
Max/Katie cross the finish line in 2nd place, as daylight starts to fade. Phil proclaims, “You should be very proud of yourself, you’re team no. 2!”
Katie responds, “We’re still married!”
As the sky darkens and lights come on, Mona/Beth come running in, one of perhaps eight female teams who’ve ever crossed the finish line. As the teams mingle, viewers get an update on Dave and Conor. Dave’s had his surgery, he’s on crutches and about to start his rehab. This is the team most likely to get a callback, I suspect.
Fireworks go off and the brothers raise their arms in victory. This race took 25 days to run. The ending was a departure from several previous seasons in that there was only one roadblock. There was no detour either but that’s not unusual in the final leg. Maybe that’s a curve TAR can throw next season.