Recap: The Amazing Race 3, Episode 4 – “Did You See How I Stopped It? With My Face!”
To start the 4th Leg of the Race, armed with $150, teams must walk almost two miles to Stonehaven Harbor and search for the next clue on a bottle.
The Twins and Oh Brothers have agreed to “collaborate.” Zach and Heather, meanwhile, try to accommodate their respective partner’s struggles so far on the Race.
Flo & Zach, Aaron & Arianne and Heather & Eve form an alliance to find the first Route Marker as they try to catch up to the brothers. But Zach manages to find a dirt path to the harbor that gets the Twin Hunters to the clue first.
On the bottle is an address for their next destination: Porto, Portugal.
The teams use payphones to book flights out of Aberdeen.
Michael & Kathy find a local young man who uses a cell phone. Kathy prepares some money to pay him for his troubles, but the young man says it’s okay since it’s his mom’s phone anyway.
All the leading teams make the same flight to London for a direct flight to Porto. But the brothers will take a connecting flight through Cologne to get to Porto earlier. The Twin Hunters decide against it.
Andre & Damon and Teri & Ian, meanwhile, are bringing up the rear. Ian calls their taxi driver from yesterday to ask for his help. Both teams catch up to the Twin Hunters group, much to Aaron’s annoyance.
In Cologne, the Brotherhood’s 30-minute connection time is now down to five minutes and they must run to check-in. The ticket agent initially says it’s too late for them, but they manage to make it anyway.
Upon arrival in Porto, teams must find the Calem Port Lodge.
At the Porto airport, Aaron & Arianne are absolutely disgusted about Ian yelling for a taxi inside the terminal. They vow to end Teri & Ian’s Race.
At Calem Port Lodge, the Brotherhood finds a Detour: Old School or New School. In Old School, teams must load one 90-lb barrel of port wine onto a traditional Portuguese boat and help the oarsman row across river to the town of Porto. It is a physically demanding task, but teams will only have to deliver to one nearby restaurant. In New School, teams must load crates of port wine on trucks and drive into Porto. They must deliver three crates to each of three different restaurants.
The Brotherhood chooses the boat and quickly finish. They must now take a train to Lisbon and find Gate F at the Estadio do Restelo.
Meanwhile, the other teams arrive and start the Detour. Aaron & Arianne think it’s gross that Teri & Ian have chosen the boat like they did. The other teams choose the crates and trucks.
Aaron & Arianne and Teri & Ian finish the Detour as the other teams are only just making their first deliveries.
Andre & Damon, who had been making good progress, are now trapped between Heather & Eve and Flo & Zach’s truck. Damon gets out and carries two of Heather & Eve’s crates to speed up the process.
On the way to the third restaurant, Eve struggles with driving the manual truck. Andre & Damon are very annoyed. Eve ends up crashing the car.
Michael & Kathy, who had been in last, are able to jump up to 4th by choosing the boat as well.
But none of this chaos matters as every single team gets on the same 7:10pm train to Lisbon.
As soon as they arrive in Lisbon, it’s every team for themselves. At the stadium, teams open the next clue which reveals the Road Block. For this Road Block, teams must block one penalty kick from a teenage Portuguese soccer player.
Michael is able to block a kick on his second attempt and he and Kathy can now walk to the Pit Stop at Torre de Belem.
Ken, Damon, Drew, John Vito, Zach and Heather are next. Ian and Arianne are last in the goals. But Ian is able to block a kick, leaving Aaron & Arianne in last.
It’s more chaos as the teams make their way on foot to the Pit Stop. Except Heather & Eve who hop into a taxi. They re-read their clue and realize they might be making a mistake. They ask their driver to stop, but then decide the clue refers to them just walking in to the Pit Stop.
Heather & Eve say they don’t see any other teams walking on the road. They arrive at the Torre de Belem and carefully walk inside the tower and step on the Mat.
Phil welcomes them as the first team to arrive. Heather & Eve are absolutely shocked.
The teams arrive one after the other: Ken & Gerard, Flo & Zach, Derek & Drew, Andrew & Damon, Teri & Ian, John Vito & Jill and Michael & Kathy.
Aaron & Arianne finally arrive at the Mat. HOWEVER…
Phil welcomes a visibly upset Heather & Eve and a confused Aaron & Arianne to take a seat on the monobloc chairs.
Phil says Aaron & Arianne were the last team to arrive. However, Heather & Eve admitted they did not follow the directions to walk to the Pit Stop. Phil explains that “walk” means traveling by foot instead of by car. And by taking the taxi, Heather & Eve gained seven minutes. Adding that time to the standard penalty, they now have a 37-minute penalty.
Phil says that wouldn’t matter on other Legs. But in this Leg, teams arrived within a span of 31 minutes. That means with the 37-minute penalty, Heather & Eve are last and eliminated.
— DryedMangoez (@dryedmangoez) September 11, 2020
So going back and recapping TAR3 like this has me with a more critical eye than when I’d just re-watch the episodes for fun over the years. And now I’m noticing how horrible the Leg design was back then! lolol
Like seriously. This Leg might as well have started at the Lisbon train station. Everything up to that point is negated by the train from Porto to Lisbon. The phone calls to airlines didn’t matter. The choice of Detour didn’t matter. Without Heather & Eve’s critical mistake, this Leg would’ve been decided on a taxi and one Road Block.
It’s crazy! And again, this Leg was only two walking Route Markers, a Detour and a Road Block. So simple. So barebones. It’s crazy to realize that today! lol!
But I’ve always pointed out, especially in recent seasons, that it isn’t only just one thing. A perfect season will have great Leg design, an interesting route, good tasks and great teams. If one of those things are lacking, one of the other things needs to pick up the slack. So a poorly designed route and tasks can be made up for with hilarious or competitive teams. And vice versa, a great route and amazing tasks can make up for horrible teams. At least, it’s possible.
With this Leg (and Leg 3), the teams definitely picked up the slack. Each one of these teams have distinct personalities. And they’re personalities that aren’t dictated by social media or the need to become “influencers.” These people don’t care about protecting their “brand.” None of them even had a brand to protect back then! lol
It was all about competing and enjoying the world. I definitely miss that!
Anyway! Going back to the start of this episode. The first 15 minutes of it was focused solely around teams figuring out flights to get out of Scotland! That would seem very tedious. But we were able to get a lot of team dynamics in that walk to the harbor and then the booking of flights as well.
Once in Porto, the Detour was able to provide a fun and frantic chaos to teams on boats and crashing trucks. It was a pretty good Detour, especially when the physically demanding side of the Detour was the faster option.
It really would’ve been better if the Leg took place completely in Porto.
Both the Detour and Road Block were good tasks, but the mid-Leg equalizer is just really annoying. I do understand back then, TAR was definitely focused on a more travelogue-type approach where they’d visit as many places as possible. These days, it’s how to get a Leg done in a little time as possible.
Anyway, I’m so blinded by my love for this season that I’m not that upset about the poor Leg design. Lol!
My Subjective Team Rankings
Finally some movement on this list!
Teri & Ian definitely gave us a taste of the intensity they would serve us the rest of the Race. I think this is probably the start of them coming into their own as well. One of Phil’s tease questions at the start was about Teri & Ian having finished next to last on the last two Legs. So I know there’s some foreshadowing there for their impending rise to the top.
Ken & Gerard were definitely quieter this Leg than last week’s wet shenanigans. But the biggest thing from them is the solidifying of their working relationship with the Wonder Twins which is really on the verge of a full-on alliance. They’ve already got a name and everything. (I forgot about The Brotherhood.)
Michael & Kathy move up for me just because they’re so fun. Their personalities are so different from each other and it’s amusing to watch. John Vito & Jill, meanwhile, felt too much like followers this Leg. Especially when they ran to hug Aaron at the airport. The big alliance/friendship kinda feels annoying since I definitely don’t care for those huge groups that gang up on another team. They didn’t do that this Leg. But it just felt a little like it at the airport.
A quiet Leg for Flo & Zach. Perhaps the quietest Leg for them all season. lol Next episode starts the consistent train of Flo-isms all the way to the end! Derek & Drew probably would’ve won the Leg again had it not been for the train. So I guess there’s a positive for the mid-Leg equalizer!
Andre & Damon had a good Leg. They messed up a little at the Detour. But they benefited from catching up to the teams in London. And then they probably would’ve finished the Detour earlier had it not been for Eve’s horrible driving. (lol!)
Aaron & Arianne annoyed me a little more this episode. I guess after three episodes of them being catty, it does get old. But I was definitely amused at their smug reactions to Heather & Eve’s mistake at the end. It was so obvious and so Aaron & Arianne.
Heather & Eve really could’ve had a good run. But yikes! Definitely one of the worst instances of misreading/misunderstanding a clue. If I were to guess, it was the moment that ensured “on foot” clues to be a staple for many seasons to come. Just so the show can catch teams and hand out penalties! But they were really the stars of this episode. Not only for the ending, but for Eve’s driving in Porto. They were a possibly strong team who were also very funny, especially Eve’s reactions. But oh well!
Aaron: “We’re hoping that if we can keep riding their asses, that we can overcome.”
Ian: “We’re no longer bringing up the rear end. Maybe we can get someone else to smell some rear end for a while.”
Ken: “It’s a big ass boat!”
Damon: “What do you expect from a Harvard girl?”