If, by chance, you’re a bookie, you might be in line for a huge “Challenge” payoff.
On tonight’s “Bloodlines” episode -- the first installment of a two-part finale -- the final mission’s first leg proved to be an unexpected equalizer. The season’s odds-on favorites struggled, the seemingly frailest athletes steamrolled over their competition and, for once, the “it’s anyone’s game” bromide sincerely rang true.
At the start of the final mission -- the first ever to course through a major city -- TJ informed the final three teams that they’d have to complete five separate challenges across Berlin. The first challenge involved successful completion of four mini-tasks performed inside an abandoned CIA complex -- jobs punctuated by some long-distance running under the weight of some seriously heavy bags. Though Cory and Mitch took the early lead, they soon buckled under the weight of their cargo, and while Cara Maria and Jamie finished the first mini-task -- a barrel roll -- ahead of the pack, they soon befell a similar fate, giving Jenna and Brianna a decisive edge through Checkpoint No. 2, a non-alcoholic beer-catapulting/chugging contest.
“We are so shocked right now but crazy happy,” Brianna said. “[Jamie and Cara are] definitely the team that we have to beat. So we’re like, ‘OK, we could do this.’”
Not only did Jamie and Cara’s lengthy struggle to go bottoms-up put them at a serious deficit, their floundering shot a hole through their morale too. Eventually, they completed the contest just before Cory and Mitch but were left totally shaken.
“I’m worried that the training that I’ve done for endurance, for running, for strength, is not gonna come into play this season, and it’s gonna come down to some janky carnival games,” Cara said between sobs.
The teams maintained their positions through the third mini-task, a round of three-dimensional Tetris, and though Jenna and Brianna stumbled through the first pass at the fourth -- an unnerving trek around the building’s rooftop atop two movable tires -- they ultimately secured a critical first place.
“We did not stop once -- we kept going, we didn’t drop the bag,” Jenna said as she and Brianna glowed in their unexpected first-round victory. “Who would have thought, the girl-girl team coming in first so far?”
Cara blamed her team’s subsequent second-place finish on the games’ arbitrariness, but Jamie was quick to correct what he saw as her cop-out.
“Cara’s weakness is sometimes she gives up on herself,” he said.
And though Cory and Mitch came in last, they weren’t any less heartened to keep shooting for first. The final mission was more a marathon than a sprint, they said.
“We know we’re behind by a good hour,” Cory said. “We’re not gonna be happy with third place, so at this point, I just know we have to push it.”
Though the three teams looked close to death by the day’s end, Jamie pointed out that they still had miles to go before they’d sleep. And while the “Bloodlines” finale is far from over, are you surprised by how it began and in which order the last three teams finished? Share your thoughts, and be sure to see which pair of cousins is finally named the game’s winner next Wednesday night at 10/9c!