The second Leg of the Race begins as teams must now make their way to Trampolino Olimpico with $7. Here, they must take a van to the top of the ski jump and then hop on a raft to slide down the snowy hill to the next clue.
Millie & Chuck, Amanda & Chris and Steve & Josh maintain their alliance as they walk to the ski jump together and wait for each other at the bottom.
They open the next clue telling teams to make their way to the Ponte Della Guglia Bridge in Venice. To get there, they must catch a train at one of two stations. The Calalzo Station is closer, but the farther Alpi Station has an earlier train.
The Top 3 Alliance head to a hotel to ask for information and are told to head to the Calalzo Station.
Steve & Dave plan on stealing the next team’s taxi after the rafting. But Kelly & Jon’s driver takes them all the way to the top and they decide to slide down the hill on their butts. Team ATC thinks they’re stupid.
Kelly & Jon decide to take a bus to the train station to save money while the other teams all head to the Calalzo Station by taxi or on foot to wait until it opens.
At the station, Monica & Sheree inform Reichen & Chip that the Top 3 Alliance is out to get them and David & Jeff out of the Race. Reichen & Chip had inquired about whether there was a line at the door, but they decide with the gloves off, there are no lines on the Race. Reichen & Chip decide to stand right at the doors. Father Steve, having his backpack first in line, decide to join them at the door handles.
ATC Dave and Reichen argue over the line cutting, but no one budges.
While waiting, a bus arrives at Calalzo and Al inquiries about trains to Venice. The driver tells them about the earlier train at Alpi and Al immediately notifies everyone else. So all the teams hop onto the bus to the other station to catch the early train.
Tian & Jaree arrive at the bus station where Kelly & Jon are still waiting before they both head to Calalzo to find no other teams there. So they are now tied for last.
On the train ride, Cindy is increasingly growing frustrated by Russell treating her like crap. She confronts him about it and he proceeds to talk down to her. She is no longer so sure about romance between them.
In Venice, the Alpi teams find the clue which reveals the Detour: Waterway or Pathway. In Waterway, teams will travel by gondola using only a map to guide their gondolier along the canals to a small plaza. In Pathway, teams must travel by foot to the plaza. But they can ask locals for directions.
Seeing all the teams choose the gondolas, Millie & Chuck decide to walk instead and lucky for them, they find a kind lady who brings them right to the cluebox.
Teams must now make their way to Palazzo Da Mosto. But HOURS OF OPERATION! Teams must wait until 5pm.
Back on the Calalzo Train, Tian and Jaree are arguing over whether or not Jaree can keep up with Kelly & Jon. They arrive in Venice about an hour and ten minutes after the first train.
Tian & Jaree choose the gondola while Kelly & Jon decide to walk.
None of anything that’s happened so far matters because of the Hours of Operation. Teams have all day to explore Venice. But already exhausted from the morning, Steve & Dave decide to go for the Fast Forward.
For this Fast Forward, Steve & Dave must find the Commedia Dell’arte and watch a performance to receive the clue. And that clue points Team ATC to the Pit Stop at the Citta di Padova Boat where the officially check in as Team #1.
Steve & Josh had gone sightseeing and Jon & Al had gone performing clown tricks in town, not knowing everyone else has gotten in line.
At 5pm, teams are able to open the next clue which reveals the first Road Block. For this Road Block, teams must take a photo of a mask from a doorman and then search the mysterious party inside for a person wearing that mask. If teams get the wrong person, they must go to the back of the line as only four people are allowed in at a time.
Chip, Russell and Tian are the first to finish the Road Block after Josh and Monica fail their first attempts. Jeff and Jon are close behind, but Chris also fails. Josh gets it right on his second attempt as does Monica.
Reichen & Chip check in as Team #2 followed by Kelly & Jon, Tian & Jaree, David & Jeff, Jon & Al, Russell & Cindy, Millie & Chuck and Steve & Josh.
That leaves Monica and Chris back at the Road Block. But it is Monica that gets the right mask first. She and Sheree head to the Pit Stop as Team #10.
That means Chris & Amanda are last and unfortunately eliminated.
Certainly a better episode than the premiere. But the Leg itself was pretty blah. It reminds me now of TAR3’s mid-Leg train rides and plane rides. Like, the Hours of Operation was essentially that. A complete halt of the Race in the middle of the Leg. That’s not very appealing or exciting.
They should’ve had teams take the same train to Venice and then have the whole Leg in Venice during the day. An iconic city and that’s all they did? At the very least, let teams arrive midday and then have the Leg proceed uninterrupted into the evening to make the masquerade ball happen.
The idea behind having two different trains looks good on paper. It’s like a pseudo Detour. But it ended up not having an effect when teams have multiple hours of free time in Venice.
The Detour itself was okay. But it looked bad as a part of this barebones leg. Then that lame Fast Forward. Watch a performance? Uh… okay. Having teams perform with the troupe would’ve been a better task. Maybe a Detour choice or an extra Route Info task.
But is this really how early TAR was? Do I have to eat my words about classic TAR being so much better than HD Era TAR? lolol
Nah, I’ll never do that. But again, the teams save the day. You can have horrible Legs. But if the teams deliver, then all can be redeemed.
One thing though is this historic moment in the franchise. This is the Road Block that would get recycled many times over the next 28 seasons. lol One of TAR’s staple tasks. It’s interesting to watch the original again for the first time in a long time.
Overall, the teams were able to carry the slack to make this a reasonably fun episode despite the poor Leg design.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Not much change to the rankings this week as all the teams delivered as much as they did last episode.
It really is a shame Amanda & Chris didn’t last longer on the Race. It would’ve been a lot of fun to watch their dynamic more. But really the possibility of them clashing with other teams. And maybe even having their alliance with Millie & Chuck collapse as well.
Tian & Jaree were far at the back of the pack most of the Leg until the equalizer. But it was great to see them know what they needed to do to work out their differences from last Leg. And they didn’t give up either. The same for Kelly & Jon. They miscalculated with the train. But they, Kelly especially, had the urgency to try and catch up. Both teams were lucky this Leg.
Steve & Dave going for the Fast Forward made more sense than Monica & Sheree going for it last week. Teams had nothing to do for hours, so they might as well. Too bad they didn’t get a prize for winning the Leg. Monica & Sheree were much quieter this Leg even though they were in danger of getting eliminated. But they did stir the pot a little when the teams were waiting for the train.
Reichen & Chip blocking the door might have annoyed me back then. But considering the line cutting from last Leg, I think it’s a pretty reasonable reaction this time. It’s funny how they say they planned to run an honorable Race. But thanks to the LAX Incident, they decided to take the gloves off.
Jon & Al are settling into their position as the comic relief. Russell & Cindy‘s tense relationship really deteriorated this Leg. Steve & Josh‘s mastermind-like edit in the first Leg pretty much disappeared here. Millie & Chuck, over these two Legs, definitely remind me too much of Hung & Chee. Yikes. lol And David & Jeff were almost invisible.
Kelly: “My butt’s a little sore. Arrivederci!”
Russell: “I wasn’t traveling 30,000 miles for sex.”
Cindy: “It’s amazing I even got through the world without you.”
Russell: “It is, actually.”