|Episode 17.11 – I’m Surrounded by Ninjas
The penultimate leg of the 17th Race begins as Nat & Kat open their clue to shockingly find their next destination of be the Demilitarized Zone in Korea. Teams will fly to Seoul and then drive themselves north to find the Seungil Bridge for their next clue.
Nat & Kat and Jill & Thomas head straight to the airport, but Brook & Claire head to a nearby hotel to find a flight. They have to wait 30 minutes for their tickets to process so they sit and have some coffee. They all get on the same flight leaving at 12:25am.
At the airport, Nat & Kat charm a fellow passenger to buy them a Seoul travel guide.
As night falls, across town, Nick & Vicki set off from the Pit Stop with no time which really means they leave past the 12:25am departure for the Korean Air flight to Seoul. Sure enough, the first flight leaves and Nick & Vicki are left to take a Cathay Pacific flight at 9:30am.
The first three teams touch down at Incheon with cars waiting for them and they begin the long drive to the DMZ. Meanwhile Nick & Vicki just board their flight leaving Hong Kong.
The rain is pouring down as Jill & Thomas arrive at the Seungil Bridge and get their next clue. Teams will now choose a rafting guide and raft down the Hantan River, then board a humvee that will take them to the U.S. Army Base Camp Casey.
All three teams are on the water and get thrashed around the rapids before they get to the military humvees.
Jill & Thomas still in front get to the cluebox and find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will have to choose a headband with Korean letters and search among 200 soldiers practicing taekwondo for one matching the headband. Once they have identified the correct soldier, that soldier will break open a wooden board containing the next clue.
Thomas and Brook get started on the Road Block and while Brook gives her headband to the wrong guy, Thomas gets it first try and they are off. Teams will take the Seoul subway to Seoul World Cup Stadium. Kat starts the Road Block and Brook gets the right soldier. They’re off as well. Nat & Kat aren’t far behind.
Jill & Thomas catch the first train to the Stadium while Brook & Claire and Nat & Kat have to wait for the next.
At Seoul World Cup Stadium is the Detour.
In Full Throttle, teams head to Mokdong Ice Rink, dress up in state of the art Speed Skating gear and run a two person relay for a total of 24 laps.
In Full Bottle, teams head to Namdaemun Market, put on delivery uniforms and carry six bottles of ginseng roots to a holistic wellness center. When they make their deliveries and drink a bottle of ginseng tonic, they’ll get their next clue.The clue also states teams must take the subway or walk on foot.
Jill & Thomas are happily in front, but Brook & Claire get testy with each other because Claire doesn’t know how to ice skate. Not only that, but they take a taxi to the Detour.
They get to the ice rink and put on the suits just as Jill & Thomas arrive and wonder how they could be in 2nd now.
Meanwhile, Nick & Vicki arrive in Korea and meet a very nice man who offers to lead them to the where they need to go. They take a toilet break and he buys Vicki some food. Later they continue on and have fun with their very helpful Korean friend.
Brook & Claire and Jill & Thomas have a slow time getting through the speed skating Detour. But Jill & Thomas get a lap lead on the ladies and head off to Yeouido Hangang Park.
With Nat & Kat themselves getting a slow start at the Detour, Jill & Thomas and Brook & Claire taxi their way to the park. Jill & Thomas have trouble finding the cluebox (under an airplane) and Thomas adds the elderly to the list of people he looks down upon. Brook meanwhile has a new fan in the taxi driver who really has fallen in love with her. He asks for a kiss and B&C’s kiss count is up to 9.
The kiss brings good luck as Brook & Claire find the cluebox first and they get the clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop at Wongudan or the Temple of Heaven. They get to Phil, but he gives them the bad news. Brook & Claire head to the side to wait out their 30 minute penalty.
That lets Jill & Thomas waltz win for another win. Brook & Claire are fine in 2nd and Nat & Kat come in 3rd.
Back up north, Nick & Vicki go through their leg, including their Speed Bump which had them cleaning one of the tanks at the military base. They arrive at the Mat and they are officially eliminated.
This might have been the best episode of the season. It had everything. The exciting whitewater rafting, a nice tip of the hat to the armed forces, speed skating, Korea! There were also a lot of fun moments during the leg from all four teams.
I would’ve liked to have seen the teams use only the subway during the leg though. Seoul’s subway system can go anywhere, but it can be a maze. And rush hour in the Seoul Subway is almost as bad as riding a train in India.
Heading into the DMZ was great. I’ve read how beautiful it can be in the DMZ that it can offer a fascinating contrast to the tension around it.
The tasks were great, and the Detour was very appropriate to Korea. A great episode leading into next week’s finale.