Season 22 continues with an edgy theme as the remaining five teams get instructions to travel from Switzerland to Germany. where they encounter politics, psychedelia, and electric sign art.
Teams 1st take a train to the airport, then fly to Dresden. Along the way, some racers including Bates, nap. He awakes to find his pack is gone, probably stolen, but at least he still has his passport. The blondes and his bro offer to let him wear their underwear.
When teams arrive at the Ministry of Finance in Dresden, they encounter this season’s second major example of product placement: they’re instructed to drive Ford Fusion cars to the next destination, which they will get by answering three questions via the car’s audible text feature built into the dashboard.
1st Q: Which American president said, “Tear down this wall”? That’s the Republican Ronald Reagan, which may make conservatives who were upset about the Vietnam episode feel better.
However, Max and his wife Katie are 1st at this point, and he says Kennedy. He then admits he should know the answer because he’s a “cigar-chomping” Republican. Why did I suspect that?
2nd Q is which world leader was Reagan directing the statement at (Gorbachev) and the 3rd Q is where did he say it?
Answer: the Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, the next TAR destination.
Driving the Autobahn the 100 miles between Dresden and Berlin, Max and Katie agree that if they can get through TAR without killing each other, their marriage should be able to handle anything.
Behind Max/Katie, the running order at this point is You Tube stars Joey/Meghan second, country starlets Caroline and Jennifer, third, hockey pros Bates and Anthony, fourth, and roller queens Beth/Mona, fifth. By the time the gate’s reached, the roller queens are third, the singers, last.
Next clue instructs, go to a nearby 37-story hotel, the Park Inn, and do a variation on a bungee jump called “base jumping.” It should be called “face jumping” because the jumper is strapped around the waist and sent over the side of the bldg. face 1st, arms and legs flying. At the bottom a person ID’ed as a “jump master” is waiting to unstrap them and give them their next clue. It’s for the next detour: “train trails” vs. “font follies.”
Everybody except Team You Tube chooses “font follies.” It involves carrying plastic electric letters, about six feet high, the kind used on billboards, from a street location to the Bushstaben Museum. Max/Katie, still in 1st place, pick letters they think will be easy to carry. He takes an “O” and she takes a lower case “b” that they can sling over their shoulders and around their necks. One of the roller queens sees them trotting down the street with the letter and laughs as the sight.
Close behind the newlyweds, Mona/Beth pick a “U” and a lowercase “n,” also because they can carry them slung over their shoulders. Jennifer/Caroline and Bates/Anthony have fewer options but they pick from what’s left and walk together.
Max/Katie get to the museum, which is up the escalator in a shopping mall. Max describes it a little niche museum where nerds may hang out and smoke a pipe (he’s vague about what kind) every week. They get their next clue, to drive their Ford Fusion to a certain salon. It turns out to be the kind of salon that’s more like a saloon.
Good Republican Max says, “It was like this trippy little end-of-the-Communist-era shady little place,” and it’s someplace he and Katie wouldn’t go in their worst nightmares.
Katie calls it horrifying, and that’s before she does the roadblock. The clue asks, “Who wants to go tripping?” Before she actually starts it, she has to answer the question, “Who famously said, “Ich ben ein Berliner”? The answer is President John Kennedy, a Democrat, providing a little political balance to the earlier Q about Reagan.
Katie knows the answer, and the doorman gives her a coin to enter an arty theatrical fun house labyrinth where even stone-cold sober people can get a psychedelic experience. It’s a disorienting, disturbing crawl space full of flashing lights and strange noise. At the end, the racer crawls through a curtained tunnel into a glaring white rm. where TAR clue envelopes are attached to the wall. The clue’s for the pit stop. Katie tells Max afterwards, “It was a nightmare.”
He bluntly responds, “Better you than me.”
Joey and Meghan pick the “train trails” detour. They go to a train museum, where they must build a model train track and run a model train around it. If the train stalls, derails, or separates, they have to make adjustments, and start the train around the entire track again. They need seven tries to get it right.
Jennifer/Caroline and Bates/Anthony stop to ask directions, and set down their giant plastic letters. Anthony’s falls over and breaks. The guys decide to switch, but the singers continue to the museum.
Mona/Beth deliver their letters, get their clue. They then get very, very lost trying to find the salon to do the roadblock. Joey/Meghan finish their train track and model train run, get their clue. Caroline and Jennifer deliver their letters, get their clue.
Bates/Anthony arrive at the train museum and start putting together their model train track and navigating their model train around it. They need nine tries to get it right.
Max/Katie arrive at the pit stop, what looks like the Kurfestaden subway stop on a street described as “the Fifth Avenue of Berlin.” For being in 1st place, they win two Ford Fusions.
When Joey and Meghan arrive at the roadblock and read the clue, “Who wants to go tripping?” Joey wonders if one of them has to get high “or something.” He asks people at the bar who said the “Berliner” quote, and someone asks if he’s with the cat police, whatever that means.
While Meghan’s waiting, she thinks the place looks “mystical.”
Joey goes through the maze laughing and exclaiming, “This is so cool!” and “I feel like I’m in Alice in Wonderland!” He proclaims it the top RB in the history of The Amazing Race.
After he gets the clue to the pit stop, he tells Meghan about the “ultimate” fun house and exclaims, “I want to go back in here!” He promises her they’ll do it again together someday. Team You Tube trips to the mat in second place.
Jennifer/Caroline arrive at the RB and comment they were expecting more like a hair salon. Going through the psychedelic fun house, Jennifer compares it to a horror movie and says, “It’s probably what it felt like to be doing drugs, even though I’ve never done drugs.” She and Caroline get the pit stop clue and arrive in third place.
Beth/Mona finally find the salon and the hockey players are a few min. behind them. Both teams are convinced they’re fighting to stay out of last place. Beth the mom goes into the fun house maze and says, “So trippy–kids, this is what drugs are like, I think. Don’t ever do drugs.”
The hockey players get their RB clue, “Who wants to go tripping?” The brothers decide that’s Anthony.
Beth and Anthony find themselves in the labyrinth at the same time and work their way through the RB together. Both teams understand they’re headed for a footrace at the pit stop.
The hockey players outrun the roller-derby queens to the mat by a few yards. Phil informs the men they’re the fourth and the women they’re the last team to arrive. Then he says to the guys, “I’ve got some bad news for you.”
For a moment, the possibility floats that he’s going to penalize them or send them back. Then he adds some not entirely unexpected news, that this is a non-elimination round, so these two very competitive teams are going to have to compete against each other again.