CBS

Season 15: Episode 9 - We’re Not Meant for the Swamp (Estonia)

We’re Not Meant for the Swamp (Estonia): The five remaining teams traveled to Tallinn, Estonia where the rivalry between Sam & Dan and Flight Time & Big Easy took center stage culminating in a very physical run to the Pit Stop. Elsewhere, last place Gary & Matt couldn’t overcome a Speed Bump and that, along with their many mistakes, resulted in their elimination.

ALL ABOARD

Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 2:23am, Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy ripped open their clue instructing them to travel 236 miles by ferry across the Baltic Sea to Tallinn, Estonia. Once there, they had to figure out how to open a door to the building of Mustpeade, the secret lair of the Brotherhood of the Blackheads, using a ring of keys enclosed in their clue.

Arriving at the empty, desolate dock in Stockholm, the Globetrotters called an attendant who informed them that the ferry to Tallinn wouldn’t depart until 5:45pm that evening. After the sun rose over the city, married couple Brian & Ericka and dating couple Meghan & Cheyne joined Flight Time & Big Easy in the ferry terminal parking lot where the Globetrotters slept in their car. Once brothers Sam & Dan arrived, the four teams purchased tickets for the evening ferry to Tallinn. On the brothers’ behavior in the last leg during the Switchback, Big Easy commented, “They shouldn’t have been acting the way they were acting.”

Last place Gary & Matt, facing a Speed Bump at some point in the leg, pulled into the ferry terminal thrilled to join the other teams. After all five teams boarded the massive liner, Gary noted, “This ship may have saved our race life for a little while because we caught up to everybody. It’s do or die. It’s not a pretty place to be in.” Normally decked out in green, Matt donned a black headband, saying, “We mean business and we’re not gonna go down without a fight.”

THE BROTHERHOOD

After a cruise through the night across the Baltic Sea, the ship carrying the five remaining teams docked in Tallinn, Estonia. Running off the ship, dating couple Meghan & Cheyne and brothers Sam & Dan took the early lead in taxis while father and son Gary & Matt got off to a slow start in fourth place ahead of only the Globetrotters.

Getting out of their taxis and running along a cobblestone street, Meghan & Cheyne and Sam & Dan arrived at the ornate green door in front of Mustpeade. Fumbling with the keys provided in the clue, Cheyne and Dan both tried inserting various keys on their rings into a lock carved into the heavy stone. With married couple Brian & Ericka approaching, Dan turned the correct key setting off a signal and opening the giant green door. Once inside, both teams opened their next clue to find a Roadblock. The Brotherhood of the Blackheads is a secret society of merchants that has existed in Estonia for at least 600 years. In this Roadblock, one team member had to join the ranks of the Brotherhood to uncover a mystery. Teams had to descend into the cellar and find candelabra with a room number attached to it. Then, they had to locate that room where they would be given what appeared to be a blank scroll. They then had to figure out that if they held the scroll over the lighted candle, it would reveal their next clue.

Cheyne and Sam walked down into the dimly lit cellar where members of the Brotherhood ate, drank, reveled and even dueled with swords. Amid the lively atmosphere, Cheyne grabbed a candelabra with the number 73 attached while Sam took one with the number 112. Returning upstairs, the two racers joined forces but they could not find either of the numbered rooms in the massive building.

SWEAT IT OUT

As Brian & Ericka and Flight Time & Big Easy unlocked the door of Mustpeade, Gary & Matt ran to the Speed Bump, an extra task that only they had to complete after coming in last place in the previous leg. In this Speed Bump, the father and son had to find a saunabuss parked nearby, strip down, and take a five-minute sauna with a group of locals. Once they sweated it out, they could continue on the race in hope of making up for lost time.

Running through the cobblestone streets of Tallinn, Gary & Matt spotted the saunabuss, a large white luxury bus, stepped aboard, stripped down, and walked into the toasty sauna with a group of locals. Gary commented, “My family’s from Finland. We all have saunas. This is perfect for us.” Matt took notice of a woman sitting next to him clad only a towel describing her as “a very attractive young lady, tall, blonde. It was nice.” As the sweat continued dripping, Gary serenaded the locals with a sauna song and Matt made plans for his own Saunabuss “with a keg fridge over in the corner” before a bell signaled that their five-minute sauna had ended. Putting their clothes back on, the pair raced off of the bus and back to Mustpeade.

Flight Time found the room he was looking for, number 78, in first place and received the seemingly blank scroll from a member of the Brotherhood. Immediately, Flight Time thought the way to make a message appear was to draw on the paper and, as he describes it, he “proceeded to start scribbling and coloring like he was in kindergarten.” Sam wasn’t having much better luck in Room 112, where he tried holding the parchment to the natural lighting but couldn’t make out any words, asking, “How do you read this thing?”

Cheyne, in Room 73, and Ericka, in Room 82, had more success when they held their parchments up to the candlelight. Slowly, the words on the paper began to appear to them. In separate rooms, the two racers read the clue, Pikk Hermann Tower Garden, and ran back to their waiting partners. Exiting Mustpeade together, Brian & Ericka and Meghan & Cheyne asked locals who directed them to the nearby garden, which they could reach on foot.

WHAT’S A CANDELABRA?

With Flight Time and Sam still trying to decipher their parchments, Matt ran into the cellar of Mustpeade hoping to overtake one of the teams. Immediately, his goal hit a major impediment when he read the word candelabra. A confused Matt asked, “Candelabra? I have no idea what a candelabra is. Am I missing something?”

As Sam & Dan and Flight Time & Big Easy exited Mustpeade with the name Pikk Hermann Tower Garden, Matt continued to scratch his head on how to find a candelabra. Watching the Globetrotters leave, Gary said, “I’m feeling a little frustrated right now because I can’t help him.” The members of the brotherhood laughed at Matt’s expense, but eventually the pink-haired racer deduced that candelabra sounds like candle. He walked to the table where he saw the marked candelabra and took one, saying, “Okay, I got it now.”

TAXI TUSSLES

Arriving at Pikk Hermann Tower Garden, Meghan & Cheyne and Brian & Ericka found a Detour with the choice of Serve or Sling in the muddy bogs of Estonia outside of Tallinn. In Serve, teams had to slog in the bog to play a round of volleyball against a local team. Submerged deep in the mud, they had to score five points to earn their next clue. In Sling, teams planted themselves in the mud and, using a slingshot, fired assorted vegetables at a moose target. When they made a direct hit, the table below it collapsed dumping a pile of cabbages on the ground along with their next clue.

Both teams intended to serve it up, in a game of bog volleyball, and ran to the street to find taxis to take them to the marshy countryside. Both teams spotted a taxi at nearly the same time, but Meghan & Cheyne had the advantage being closer, so Brian conceded, saying to the dating couple, “Tell him to call another one if you can.” Furious with her husband, Ericka snapped, “Brian! You’re giving our taxi away?” As the dating couple sped off alone in first place, Brian & Ericka wasted valuable minutes searching for another taxi. Once they finally flagged one down, Ericka commented on her generous husband, “I’m going to have to keep him in check because I’m more capable of being a dirty player than he is.”

After asking for directions, Sam & Dan ran through the streets of Tallinn to Pikk Hermann Tower Garden with a pair of unwelcome followers, the Globetrotters, tailing them all the way. Big Easy told his partner, “Stay behind them. We’ll just run them down.” Both teams searched for a taxi after the brothers led the Globetrotters right to the cluebox, prompting Sam to snap, “Go find your own way!” The Globetrotters even tried to use their renown, shouting, “Somebody gotta give the Harlem Globetrotters a taxi!” Sam & Dan asked a taxi driver with a passenger to call for another taxi when an available taxi van pulled up behind them. The Globetrotters spotted it first, but the brothers claimed that was the taxi called for them so the two teams shared the ride. Later, Big Easy said, “Believe me, it was our taxi.” Sam countered, “They’re not doing anything for themselves. They’re literally just following us.”

Exiting Mustpeade still hoping to catch up, last place Gary & Matt ran to Pikk Hermann Tower but couldn’t find the cluebox. Matt didn’t read the last word of the clue, garden, so he and his father actually walked to the tower doors trying to figure out how to get inside instead of noticing the cluebox positioned in clear view across the garden. A frustrated Gary said, “We’re getting way behind.” The pair eventually noticed the cluebox stationed in the garden and flagged down a taxi, now even further behind.

BACK ON TOP

Arriving at the bogs, Meghan & Cheyne ran along a path of wooden planks until they reached the volleyball courts and players ready for action. The dating couple stripped down to bathing suits and took to the knee-deep mud facing off against two players on the other side of the net. Meghan & Cheyne had early success scoring three quick points, but then they hit a rough patch of mistakes and misfires before finally earning the final two points. After emerging from the muddy mess, the dating couple ripped open their clue instructing them to run to the Pit Stop at Keava Raba Overlook Tower. A quick jog along the wooden planks ended with Megan & Cheyne walking up the Overlook Tower and claiming first place. For their victory, the pair won a red cedar sauna.

Brian & Ericka arrived at the bog at the same time as Sam & Dan and the Globetrotters, but they lost a foot race to the two available volleyball courts. Instead of having to wait for a court to open, the married couple decided to put on bogshoes, similar to snowshoes, and traipse across the mud to shoot the slingshots. Grabbing assorted radishes, potatoes, and onions as ammunition, Brian & Ericka took aim at the target, but both missed over and over, shooting long, short, and every way imaginable.

SHOWDOWN

Taking to the muddy volleyball courts, Sam & Dan and Flight Time & Big Easy both lost points against the Estonian players, making the teams realize that this would be difficult. At one point, Big Easy became mired knee-deep in the mud, unable to move. Eventually, the Globetrotters’ athleticism won out as they scored the five required points to edge ahead of brothers Sam & Dan, who scored their fifth point moments later.

With a narrow lead over Sam & Dan, Flight Time & Big Easy ran in the wrong direction in search of Keava Raba Overlook Tower, allowing the brothers to pass them. Realizing their mistake, the Globetrotters turned around and had the brothers in their sites, ready to retake the lead. However, with only narrow wooden planks to run on, passing by the brothers proved treacherous for Flight Time who fell down twice, the second time taking Dan down with him. Dan recovered faster than Flight Time, darting back up, and running with his brother to claim second place while Flight Time & Big Easy settled for third. On the mat, Big Easy implied that Dan had a part in Flight Time’s tumble, saying, “We didn’t know that the elbow and the physical stuff was in play.” An incredulous Dan replied, “What? He came running beside me and that’s when he fell and I fell.” Big Easy responded ominously, “I’m 6’10”, 260, so we’re gonna do what we gotta do.” Afterwards, Sam asked, “If they have this big vengeance they want to seek out…what are they planning on doing, punching us? Pushing us over?”

FAREWELL

After Brian & Ericka hit the moose target to finish in fourth place, Gary & Matt finally arrived at the bog, used slingshots to hit their target, and stepped onto the mat last. Phil delivered the bad news to the father and son that they had been eliminated from the race. Gary got emotional speaking about how much this meant to him, saying, “You can’t put a price on this experience and being able to spend the time we have together. It’s been great.” After hugging his son, Gary added, “I love you buddy and I accept you just the way you are.” Having a sense of humor about his elimination, Matt added, “I never want to see another candelabra in my lifetime.”

1509 ROUTE MARKERS

Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person can perform. The Brotherhood of the Blackheads is a secret society of merchants that has existed in Estonia for at least 600 years. In this Roadblock, one team member had to join the ranks of the Brotherhood to uncover a mystery. Teams had to descend into the cellar and find candelabra with a room number attached. Then, they had to locate that room number where they would be given what appeared to be a blank scroll. What they had to figure out was if they held the scroll over the lighted candle it would reveal their next clue.

Performed Roadblock: SAM, CHEYNE, ERICKA, MATT, FLIGHT TIME

Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, teams had to choose between Serve and Sling in the muddy bogs of Estonia outside of Tallinn. In Serve, teams had to slog in the bog to play a round of volleyball against a local team. Submerged deep in the mud, they had to score five points to earn their next clue. In Sling, teams planted themselves in the mud and, using a slingshot, fired assorted vegetables at a moose target. When they made a direct hit, the table below it collapsed dumping a pile of cabbages on the ground along with their next clue.

Serve: SAM/DAN, MEGHAN/CHEYNE, FLIGHT TIME/BIG EASY

Sling: BRIAN/ERICKA, GARY/MATT

Speed Bump: A Speed Bump is a task that only father and son Gary & Matt had to complete because they came in last place on the previous leg. In this Speed Bump, the father and son had to find a saunabuss parked nearby, strip down, and take a five-minute sauna with a group of locals. Once they sweated it out, they could continue on the race in hope of making up for lost time.

Order of Finish

1. Meghan & Cheyne