Previously, six teams left from a random bed & breakfast near Savannah, Georgia, to board a flight to Paris. Along the way they made stops in Dover, England, and London. The Geniuses got lost at the Dover Castle, but it was a battle between Team Air Force and the Fogal Family for last place honors. The Fogals won (or lost, depending on your perspective) and were eliminated.
Five teams remained. Who would be eliminated... tonight?
Camp for the teams was Eastwell Manor in Kent, England. I presume it more resembled an American bed & breakfast than something like Lanzerac Manor from TAR2. Three teams - The Southies, Miss America, and ex-CIA were already there. We didn't see them eat or sleep, but they greeted the last teams as they walked in. The Geniuses were fourth, followed by Air Force. No one was pleased that the fly guys were still around.
Laird eventually interrupted them for his usual message sponsored by a cell phone company that I refuse to name. He told everyone to find clues to a secret society by first taking a flight to Nice, France; and then going by car to Peille.
In less time than it takes to draw a yellow line, some of the teams reached Peille. Laird interrupted them again to say, "A detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. In HARD CLIMB, the teams walk along a series of suspension bridges and do some climbing in between to get their next clue. It's very hard work, but those teams that are physically fit can finish quickly. In SLOW RIDE, the teams go to Saint Tropez and find this statue of somebody or other. It's not physically demanding, but it could take a long time to complete." OK, he didn't say those exact words, but that's what he meant.
Oh, by the way, Laird said, the team that finds the special upside down rose symbol will find a treasure containing 50,000 DVDs of "Lost", as narrated by Al Trautwig. Ha ha, it's just $50,000.
So which teams went where? Air Force & the Southies chose to climb and shake. Miss USA went to St. Tropez. The smart guys went climbing and had more than a few moments of regret. Sam's asthma kicked in and he had to pause on several occasions to catch his breath.
Ex-CIA had some navigation difficulties and were the last to arrive in Peille. They also chose to climb.
Air Force reached their destination first and got their next set of clues - a set of keys and a crude picture of a castle. They saw the target off in the distance and headed there.
Miss USA found their statue and the message that went along with it. They were sent back to Peille to look for the same Castle AF was looking for.
CIA seemed to be catching up with the Geniuses, who were slowed by Sam's troubles.
A little later, Air Force found the castle. They figured out that those loose rocks scattered around meant something... perhaps their next clue was behind one of them? It was, and they skedaddled toward La Turbie.
Some distance away, the Southies spotted the castle. But they had trouble once they got there. Ex-CIA and the Geniuses eventually caught them and they kinda sort of worked together, because they were there. They drifted generally away from the castle. Yes, yes, I'm sure of it - that's the music of doom I heard.
Miss USA arrived from another direction and figured things out relatively quickly, so that made them #2.
The Genius/Southie/CIA alliance was still having trouble. They were being very thorough, they thought. Eventually they headed toward the castle and figured things out. Now they were worried about the beauty queens, since none of them had seen them since the beginning of this "leg",.
Elsewhere, Air Force finds the rose! And nearby, the treausre!! This made them quite happy. Laird then ordered them to Paris and asked them to use the map provided to find the next location.
AF was followed by the beauty queens, who got the same clue but no treasure. Shucks.
Then the back three teams found it. What they didn't find was one of those cryptic clues from Genworth - "Wipe out the colour".
Air Force hit Paris and headed toward Champ de Mars, near the Eiffel Tower. When they got there, Laird had another message for them: go to the 2nd level of the Tower and look west. Find a symbol of American freedom. Go there. AF found their symbol - a mini-Statue of Liberty - and took exactly three seconds to enjoy the sight (this is a race after all, kinda sort of).
Meanwhile, Miss USA arrived in Paris. They didn't know where any of the other teams were.
The fly guys got to the mini-Statue to find some buckets of water and a cryptic message from Laird - "Clean the streets to find your path". They soon figured out they needed to clean off their map with the water. After they did so, Laird told them that this was the symbol of the Rosicrucian Order, and cars nearby would take them to their headquarters.
Meanwhile, the other three have hit Paris and while on the subway, they cleverly used water on their map.
It took awhile, but Miss USA found where they needed to go.
At the headquarters - the Chateau d'Omonville - Laird gave them another message. It's artifact search time; four artifacts for five teams. They had to find one of the boxes that contained their artifact.
Since the three of them had figured out their clue early, they didn't have to climb up the Eiffel Tower and Laird sent them directly to the mini-Statue to get their ride to the Chateau.
Air Force, not surprisingly, found their artifact first. It was a cryptex. Laird told them to go to camp and wait for further instructions.
Miss USA couldn't figure out their clue at the mini-Statue and were getting quite frustrated.
Meanwhile the other teams arrived at the chateau and got their cryptexes - Geniuses, CIA, Southies. That left our beauty queens with the short straw.
Next week, teams go out on the edge to find out who the final three teams will be.