Yeah, you’re gonna be spoiled if you keep reading.
We actually learned a lot tonight, considering absolutely nobody made it to the next checkpoint. In the A-plot, we found out the mysterious cannonball run is a lot like "The Amazing Race." One car gets what is essentially a Detour in that a special competition allows them to jump ahead. In the B-plot, we learned that despite the presence of an atrophysicist, the racers aren’t exactly MENSA material.
Let’s start with the Detour: Alex (Nathan Fillion) and Corinna (Kristin Lehman) were given the jump-start presumably because they won last week’s leg of the race. In reality, the task is tailor-made for Alex, the former wheelman who now must rob a bank. That’s a tall order for just two people, but luckily — and in a nice nod to their previous strategy — Winston (Kevin Alejandro) and Sean (J.D. Pardo) followed our heroes instead of running the normal leg of the race.
The Apple Dumpling Gang pulls off the job, but not before Sean kills the world’s angriest rent-a-cop. He’s shot in the process, though, so the contents of a certain mysterious safety deposit box will have to remain, well, a mystery.
As for the others, Wendy (Melanie Lynskey) and Rob (Riley Smith) were forcefully reminded that the real world still exists. Wendy’s newborn son is being stalked by shadowy men, and Rob learns he’s AWOL. Like, what did these brain scientists think might happen if they took time off for a cross-country race? Yet both are shocked, shocked that this jaunt took longer than a weekend, and now they want out.
Getting out doesn’t seem easy, though. The Katrina survivors, despite a subplot right out of "The Blues Brothers" (hey, suddenly they’re on a mission from God), were rather forcefully thwarted in an attempt to come back from elimination. What’s up with that? Is it because they dared keep racing? Mr. Bright sure seemed content to just let them go at first, but that rammy truck — so like the one that killed Corinna’s parents — was less forgiving.
Here’s a crazy thought: Maybe Tim Minear and Ben Queen imported the evil truck-driving villain from the old cartoon "Turbo Teen." The race would be a lot more interesting with someone trying to win at all costs.