Note: Contains spoilers. Do not read on if you haven't seen Episode 5 of Amazing Race Canada
How, you ask? Well, Hal Johnson is the one who knocks. First, he persuaded show sponsor Air Canada to allow the fit 50-something duo to take a night flight from Calgary to Edmonton, and catch up with Brett and Holly and Jet and Dave at the top of the pack, in Regina, for a 40-minute head start. Then, he showed off his wicked eyebrows, and a near-sinister grin.
It's no coincidence that for this leg of the race, Hal opted to wear his yellow and white t-shirt-style BodyBreak windbreaker, which bears a strong resemblance to Breaking Bad's famous canary haz-mat suits.
Canada's sweethearts soon took a two-hour penalty while digging for the prairie version of a needle in a haystack -- two teeny stuffed RCMP moose (Sgt. Bull Moose toys, to be precise) in a shipping crate chock-full of lentils. Seriously. The ParticiPaction pair, like married pediatricians Brett and Holly, could not complete the task, and wanted to steer clear from the threat of elimination.
But, most shocking of all: an exasperated, frustrated and likely dehydrated Joanne McLeod told Holly to "f--k off" when she wished them luck while running to the Pit Stop. What the what? Alas, even their brand new edge and "keep fit and have fun" strategy could not give them the push they needed to survive this leg's near-photo finish, at the hands of a nasty Double U-Turn. Curse you, lentils!
The remaining six teams flew from Whitehorse to Regina, via Vancouver and either Calgary or Edmonton. In Whitehorse, the increasingly lovable Jet and Dave (they showboat with the clue! They fall asleep on each other's shoulders on planes with their mouths open! They maintain a strong commitment to bro-styled hair, and, possibly, Sparkle Motion!) kick off the leg in the lead, and read off the first clue with appropriate caution -- there's a U-Turn ahead! Choosing to play defensively, the pair calls two cabs, one for themselves, and one for Brett and Holly, to discourage the other duo from using the U-Turn on them. It worked, and Jet even got a hug from Holly. I cannot emphasize the brilliance of this cab-calling move.
Once in Regina, the teams receive a BlackBerry Z10, which, in light of today's news, may have seemed like a better idea when the show was shot, back in May. The pairs use the smartphones exclusively to "tap" another BlackBerry Z10 with a parking attendant to receive their next clue, which leads them to the "largest lentil-splitting facility in the world," and Jon Montgomery, waist-deep in a vat of lentils.
It's here where the race evolves into a face-off between The Amazing Race Canada's only married pairs, Hal and Joanne and Brett and Holly. After seeing the teams on the later flights usurp their lead due to exceptional lentil digging skills, Holly quickly began to unravel, saying "I can't do it, I can't. I have no more energy in my legs. I'm spent." She then proceeded to slam her head against a pole, before continuing, "I'm really burnt out Brett, I'm on one-hour sleep, I can't take this pit anymore. We don't even have one [of the moose]." Each team took a harsh two-hour penalty, and left the legumes behind. In spite of their performance for the rest of the leg, they would have to meet at the mat at the end of the tasks, and wait out their extra time, before checking in with Jon. Oh, the suspense!
The teams then went to the RCMP Heritage Centre, where they faced a Roadblock and an intense inspection. Aside from learning that Jet is not just a police officer, but it's "what [he does] professionally," and that he can't keep a straight face (and is called out for it), the task was a tedious, detail-heavy time suck. Then, the teams made a brief stop at the "I Love Regina" landmark, and participated in some Ukrainian folk dancing before heading to Mosaic Stadium for the Saskatchewan Roughriders Detour.
Given the choice between Brawn (catching a touchdown pass, kicking a field goal, and performing football drills) or Beauty (completing a cheerleading routine), only Brett and Holly and Vanessa and Celina intentionally chose the cheerleading route, as -- eek! -- the U-Turn was waiting for them at the next clue box. Since Dave won his fantasy football league, which obviously makes him a bona fide CFLer, he and Jet quickly completed the Detour, opted not to U-Turn any team for the sake of good karma, and finished in first for the second leg in a row.
But here's where things get tricky for Hal and Joanne. Upon reading the U-Turn warning in Whitehorse, Tim Sr. announced his goal of the day was to bump the BodyBreakers out of the race. So, when the father-son team finished the Detour, and headed to the U-Turn post, their intent was clear, and they U-Turned their supposed rivals. Was he jealous of Hal's ability to sweet talk his way onto that overnight flight from Calgary to Edmonton? Hard to say. While Hal and Joanne and Brett and Holly thought all they had to do was race to the top of the stairs to U-Turn the other to make them feel the time crunch of the two-hour penalty, one of the teams was already U-Turned! Out of breath, Hal and Joanne beat the doctors to the U-Turn, and were able to set them back in time too, and force them to show off their "Brawn." Hal reassured himself (and us) that Holly would never be able to catch a pass in her life, and unfortunately his powers don't extend to psychic ability ... and she caught it on the first try. Soon, the pediatricians were speeding past the fitness gurus on their way to the pit stop.
Until next week, here are the five best watercooler moments of the episode, in no particular order, in the form of a hashtag.
It's so sad to see you go, BodyBreak! Even though you showed off your gritty side on this leg of the race, it was so charming to hear about your love story, and how when Hal saw Joanne looking "great on the pec deck," he knew he wanted to get to know her. You ran a great race and were shrewd when necessary, but ultimately, were too much of a target for other teams.
During the "Beauty" Detour, Brett asked one of the Roughriders cheerleaders, "What counts as a cartwheel?" Now, this is some smart racing. Knowing his partner, and wife, Holly had hit her limit in terms of physical exertion, and that they were also facing off against the scorching, brutal Regina sun, Brett sought to clarify the rules of the task, and quickly set his own. "Both feet off the ground?" he asked. The Roughrider nodded. By simplifying the task for him and Holly, Brett was able to bypass (forgive the doctor pun) additional tries at getting the cheerleading routine right, and to a tee. Not too shabby!
Vanessa and Celina had an unusually quiet leg of the race, but Celina's performance in the Roadblock taught us that just like in A League of Their Own, there's no crying in the RCMP.
Was anything better than Jet and Dave's faces when they read the clue as "I heart ... Regina?" in a confused, nearly-risque manner? Nope. Absolutely not.
Jon Montgomery's quite the character, burying himself knee-deep in lentils and even introducing the RCMP Roadblock with a friend, Asst. Commissioner Roger Brown. But, the question remains: was Asst. Commissioner Roger Brown the RCMP official standing beside him, or was it the golden retriever sitting at his feet? Hard to say, but I prefer the latter.
"The Amazing Race Canada" airs every Monday night at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.