Season 22: Episode 3 - Like James Bond Again
Posted on Mar 4, 2013 11:15am

With the help of an Express Pass and a walking boot, Dave managed to overcome a Race-threatening injury to win the leg in beautiful New Zealand with his son Connor. But now, Dave must decide whether he can continue racing.

After being injured on a run to the Pit Stop in the previous leg, Dave underwent an examination by a doctor to determine the extent of his damage. A simple touch of Dave's leg was enough for the doctor to declare that Dave had torn his Achilles tendon. However, Dave would need to see a specialist in Papeete who could perform a sonography to measure the severity of the tear. After getting crutches from the doctor, Dave hugged his son, crying, and said, "It's a crappy way to go out." However, he went on to say that, being a cancer survivor like his son, he wasn't a quitter, adding, "It's not over "˜til it's over."

Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 8:54am, hockey brothers Bates & Anthony ripped open their clue instructing them to fly 3,000 miles via Papeete, Tahiti and Auckland, New Zealand to Phil's hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand. When they landed, they would drive a Ford Focus to the Rakaia River Gorge where they had to pull a number to reserve a jet boat that they would drive upriver to their next clue. After taking a quick water taxi ride to airport on the island of Bora Bora, Bates & Anthony and dating couple Jessica & John stood at adjacent ticket counters trying to get the earliest flight to Papeete, Tahiti. The agent helping Bates & Anthony began booking seats on a flight leaving immediately just as the agent helping Jessica & John did the same. Trying to slow the hockey brothers, John started a conversation and became evasive when Anthony asked if John had booked anything beyond Papeete. After John walked away, Bates called John's move "aggressive." Bates later called John a "sniveler" saying that Jessica & John "are the shadiest team in this whole thing. "

Before boarding the first flight to Papeete with Bates & Anthony, Jessica & John had one more important piece of business to tend. The dating couple honored their agreement from the first leg and handed the second Express Pass over to father and son Dave & Connor who finished in second place from their alliance. Now holding the Express Pass with an uncertain future, Dave said, "This could be a game changer for us." Noticing the exchange in the distance, Bates joked, "Nobody's going to be kissing their [Jessica & John's] asses anymore." Landing in Papeete, Tahiti, Jessica & John and Bates & Anthony ran into the terminal discovering rows of empty ticket counters. Walking up to an information desk, the two teams asked for the next available flight to New Zealand, learning that one wouldn't leave until 8:00am the next morning. This allowed the other seven teams to catch flights from Bora Bora and catch up to them.

In Papeete, while the other teams lounged at the airport, father and son Dave & Connor went to see the specialist at a downtown hospital who performed a sonograph on Dave's injured leg. Looking at the monitor, the doctor, through a translator, told Dave that his Achilles tendon had a small tear in it. Prompted by a follow up question from Dave, the doctor also determined that the muscle attached to the tendon had a tear as well. Initially devastated by the news, Dave used his crutches to walk from the hospital to a pharmacy where he was fitted with a walking boot to stabilize his leg. Heading back to the airport to reunite with the other teams, Dave said, "At this point, we're sunk and so we're determined to win this leg." At the airport, the father and son were greeted by applause as the teams asked about Dave's condition. A concerned Caroline told Dave, "We're really sorry this happened to you. That sucks."

Later that night before teams fell asleep in the airport, dating couple Jessica & John decided to enlist some help in battling against the team they considered their biggest competition − Bates & Anthony. Roller derby moms Mona & Beth and Youtube hosts Joey & Meghan agreed to form an information-sharing alliance with the dating couple, hoping to advance all three teams further. Jessica called the two teams "people we could trust and work with together. " Happy with the agreement, Beth smiled, "Yay, friends. This is good." The next morning, with no connecting flights booked from Auckland to Christchurch, the nine teams boarded the flight together from Papeete, Tahiti to Auckland, New Zealand. When they landed in Auckland, the teams scrambled to get seats on the first available connection to Christchurch. Only best friends Pam & Winnie secured tickets on a 5:00pm departure putting them alone in first place. The new alliance of Jessica & John, Mona & Beth, and Joey & Meghan got onto the 5:30pm flight along with newlyweds Max & Katie and father and son Dave & Connor. Hockey brother Bates & Anthony and country singers Caroline & Jennifer took the 6:00pm flight.

That left married couple Chuck & Wynona at the back of the pack. As other teams went up to the ticket counters, purchased seats, and boarded flights, Chuck & Wynona used a telephone to book their reservation on a 7:30pm flight to Christchurch. Believing they saved time by using a phone and not standing in a physical line, Wynona wondered, "Why isn't everybody doing that?" Wynona soon realized her mistake as she walked through the airport not seeing any other teams. Slowly the gravity of the situation hit Chuck and he told Wynona, "I think we're screwed." As they boarded the 7:30pm flight to Christchurch, Chuck added, "I got a sinking feeling in my gut we're last."

Landing in Christchurch, New Zealand first, best friends Pam & Winnie jumped into their car and began driving through green pastures dotted with sheep. Winnie exclaimed, "New Zealand is so pretty! I've never seen anything like this." The best friends' enthusiasm soon turned to confusion when they realized they were now lost on the winding countryside roads. This turn of events allowed most teams on the 5:30pm flight to reach the gorge ahead of them. Dave & Connor pulled the first number for the jet boat drive that would take place at 6am the next morning. Jessica & John took the second, followed by Joey & Meghan and Max & Katie. Pam & Winnie settled for the fifth jet boat departure ahead of Mona & Beth, Caroline & Jennifer and Bates & Anthony. Long after night fell, last place Chuck & Wynona pulled the ninth and last number at the gorge and joined the other eight teams sleeping in tents until sunrise.

Just before 6:00am, father and son Dave & Connor boarded their jet boat and stressed their desire to win the leg even if it meant using their Express Pass. Trailing close behind, the other teams all marveled at the beauty of their surroundings as they sped across the bright blue water of the Rakaia River. Dave called the boats "rocket ships on the water" while Meghan told Joey, "We're like James Bond again." Snaking through the rocky terrain of the gorge on the speedboat, Pam likened the experience to Miami Vice while Wynona pointed out a waterfall to Chuck. Reaching a rocky shore, Dave, with his walking boot wrapped in plastic, navigated through the rough terrain and water with his crutches and opened the next clue with Connor to find a Detour. First, teams had to drive themselves on all-terrain vehicles to the start of their Detour choice. Rev It Up required teams to put the pedal to the metal in a modified vintage car. Both team members had to get behind the wheel and navigate through a set of cones in less than 83 seconds combined. In Reel It In, each team member had to use a rod and reel to catch one fish 12 inches long.

Dave initially suggested trying to fish, but Connor insisted that they attempt driving the vintage car even with Dave's injured leg. With Jessica & John, Joey & Meghan, and Max & Katie closing in, Dave & Connor drove their ATV to Rev It Up where they saw the vintage cars racing around the course. When Dave realized the cars were manual transmission, he exclaimed, "I can't drive a clutch! I can't even tell where my foot is." Jumping back on the ATV to drive to Reel It In, a disappointed Connor said, "There go our chances." When Dave suggested using the Express Pass, Connor replied, "Let's give it five minutes fishing."

Reaching the dirt racing field with a chance to take the lead, John got behind the wheel of vintage cars with Jessica in the passenger's seat. From the start, John thought the old car was letting him down. As he shifted into 2nd gear, he couldn't get the car to move faster than a crawl. Then he looked down and noticed he had the parking brake on. After releasing the brake, John sped through the course, weaving past yellow cones and finishing in 40 seconds. In her turn behind the wheel, Jessica maneuvered through the cones with few problems, but she ended slightly slower, with 44 seconds, giving them a total of 84 seconds, one second above the time they needed. While Joey & Meghan's first attempt clocked in at 92 seconds, newlyweds Max & Katie jumped into their car with Max at the wheel first. As Max spun wildly around trying to control the car, Katie tried to offer advice and asked, "Why are you fishtailing?" Katie hoped that Max's time would be fast enough to make up for hers because she only just learned to drive stick shift. However, she was disappointed when Max clocked in at 55.28. Katie's first turn behind the wheel began badly as she teetered on the edge of stalling out, but she quickly found the right gear and roared to the finish line to beat Max's time. Unfortunately, their team total of 108 was well above what they needed.

Arriving at edge of the pristine, calm waters adjacent to the Rakaia River, Dave & Connor began casting their rod and reel hoping for a quick bite. Being more realistic, Connor said, "This is going to be slow going, dad." After Connor got his line tangled in a bush, he asked his dad if this was time to cut their losses. Dave agreed, and he and Connor handed over their Express Pass opening their next clue which instructed them to drive to Mt. Hutt Station.

Jessica & John and Joey & Meghan earned their clues at the race course, coming in at 78 seconds and 82 seconds, respectively. Max & Katie, on the other hand, continued to struggle. On their third attempt, the newlyweds clocked in at 90 seconds with Katie once again having the better time. Katie joked to Max, "Who would've thought you're the albatross with this?" As the couple turned in a disastrous fourth attempt that included Max running over cones, Mona & Beth sped through the course on their first try in 81 seconds and Bates & Anthony earned their clue on their third attempt. Finally, on their sixth attempt, Max & Katie barely scraped by hitting 83 seconds locking them in at sixth place. As Pam & Winnie found the right gear, married couple Chuck & Wynona took their chances casting for fish. Having gone out on boats with Chuck, Wynona felt confident she could hook one herself. The married couple both got bites on their lines at nearly the same time, but Chuck reeled his in just a bit faster. Both fish measured longer than the required 12 inches giving the couple an eighth place finish at the Detour just ahead of last place Caroline & Jennifer who needed four attempts to complete the course.

Arriving at Mt. Hutt Station in first place, Dave & Connor ripped open their clue to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to race through a muddy obstacle course known in New Zealand as a shemozzle. First, they had to dress up in boots, shorts, and a burlap sack. After choosing a shepherd and his farm dog, they would race through the wild obstacle course where they would be covered in molasses and feathered while collecting chicken eggs as they went. Once they delivered 12 unbroken eggs to the finish line, a shepherd would hand them their next clue. After donning the boots, shorts, and burlap sack, Connor chose a furry new friend and shepherd to guide him through the crazy, messy course. In the first obstacle, Connor crawled into a giant dark box where molasses ropes hung, covering him in the sticky mess. After collecting an egg, he had to crawl back through another tunnel leading out of the box covering him with even more molasses. Then, Connor crawled through a tube lined with chicken feathers that stuck to the molasses on his body as he collected another egg. After a climb up and over a giant stack of hay bales, Connor sat on an inner tube and took a wild ride down a huge slip-n-slide, into a pond while trying not to break any of the eggs he held in his hands. In his first run, Connor collected 5 of the 12 unbroken eggs he needed. "I TOLD YOU" As Connor began a second pass, the teams behind struggled to locate Mt. Hutt Station. While Jessica & John drove north instead of south, newlyweds Max & Katie led hockey brothers Bates & Anthony on a road ascending Mt. Hutt. After ignoring Katie's request to turn around when she saw a sign for Mt. Hutt Station Road, Max continued onward and upward until their visibility diminished because of fog. After asking a local, they discovered they had to drive back down the hill to the main road. Katie, a 24-year old doctorate holding pharmacist, snapped at Max, "I told you. We just wasted so much time."

With no other teams arriving at Mt. Hutt, Connor continued the slimy course. After his third run, he collected the 12 eggs and ripped open the next clue sending them to the Pit Stop at Terrace Downs, a world renowned adventure retreat. As Dave & Connor drove to Terrace Downs, John, Winnie, Chuck, Jennifer, Meghan, and Mona all began their shepherd shemozzle. As John Wayne's granddaughter, Jennifer felt like she had good luck because her dog was named Duke. John led this group of racers throughout while Chuck gained ground on some slower ones. By the time John completed the course in second place, last place racers Anthony and Katie finally arrived at the Roadblock after their difficult journey to Mt. Hutt Station. Winnie collected her twelve eggs in third place while Jennifer took fourth.

Arriving at Terrace Downs, father and son Dave & Connor completed their lofty goal, stepp