An announcer who sounds a lot like Peter Cullen voices the following intro:
“It’s out there… somewhere. A hidden treasure worth millions. It’s secret is protected by history, it’s most powerful figures and it’s most familiar icons. It’s location is guarded by an ancient secret society that still exists today. The clues are hidden in plain sight right before our eyes.
Just miles from the Arctic Circle five teams of treasure hunters from every walk of life and every part of America are about to embark on a treasure hunt of a lifetime. But what they don’t know is… they are not alone.
3000 miles away, in the South Pacific five more teams have gathered together to begin their search for the treasure. Each group believes that they are the only five teams competing. Their journey will test them like never before.
Getting there first means nothing unless you have the mental power to solve the clues that hide the treasure. Only then can they find the key and the treasure.”
Independence Mine, Alaska. The starting point for five teams. Host Laird Macintosh greets the five teams via a television and tells them that they’re about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
In Maui, Hawaii, aboard the USS Jefferson, the other five teams are getting a similar TV feed. On this leg, one team (which I suppose means one for each group) will be eliminated. Each team has a bag containing three items: a cell phone through which Laird will talk to the teams, a laptop computer (with access to a search/info website) and a credit card with special features which “just might unlock an opportunity down the road”.
Aboard the Jefferson, the first test is to find the next destination. Teams will not be allowed to leave their location until they have the correct location. The clue is given in Morse code, and there are books aboard the ship to help them out. Matt of team Air Force felt pressure since he figured that they should know how to translate Morse code. Unfortunately, none of them do. Brooke wants to call the Navy.
Teams start looking around the ship for books to help them. Team Geniuses find the ticker tape spitting out the code, but of course they don’t have anything to decode with. They find the book and head up to the deck as the Grads head into the room. They head up and use the book as the Geniuses finish. Geniuses bring their solution to the Boat Coordinator and they’re correct! The solution? “Dive Hana Bay, 26.74N, 56.872W”.
They jump off the Jefferson and head to their boat. Grads solve the puzzle and head out as well.
Meanwhile, in Alaska, the teams will also need to decipher Morse code to find their next destination. But no stripping to bikinis to get to your boat here! Drew of the Young Professionals didn’t realize that people still used Morse Code as the team hunts around the camp looking for a clue. They find a book to help them out. Southie Boys find a Morse Code manual and hook up with the Young Professionals to get a leg up on the other three teams. However Matthew of the Southie Boys figures that street smarts will take them further in the game.
Meanwhile, the Wild Hanlons are looking around outside. Pat realizes the beeping isn’t Looney Tunes. Josh thinks his dad and uncle are “kick ass”.
The ex-CIA team find a manual and quickly decipher the code. They’re told to “Search glacier, 61.44N, 447.39W”. They’re off. Team Miss USA are still looking for a book. Young Professionals and Southie Boys also get the clue. Three teams are off in their helicopters now.
Maui. Kayte Fogal is feeling sick. Brad’s a pastor but doesn’t see a problem with lying with respect to the game. And good on him, I guess. Meanwhile, the Browns are hard at work deciphering the code. Fogals and Air Force work together to get their clue. They’re off! Browns are the last team to get the clue, and Keith has apparently never been swimming for only three weeks. And now he’s gonna jump in the ocean with only a life vest to prevent him from drowning. His brother thinks that that won’t help. Keith dives nicely, but soon the swimming gets to him and he’s now calling for help.
Fortunately for Keith, there are some safety divers in the ocean, and with their help, Keith rolls aboard the boat. They’re off.
Matanuska Glacier, Alaska. Three helicopters fly over and are enjoying the view. They land and their cell phones ring. Laird tells them that the next clue is buried somewhere in the glacier. They’re told to follow the cairns (rock markers) to get to the frozen clues.
Meanwhile, back at the camp, Kristen thinks that Pat Hanlon’s mullet is sexy. To each their own, I guess. They’re off to the glacier.
Ex-CIA are the first team to the rappel site. Mark heads down, swims through the water to get the clue encased in a block of ice. You can clearly see “Stillwater, Washington” on the block. Mark is back up, and the ex-CIA break open the block to find a map, but no coordinates. The map also says “dig” on the back. At this point we’re told that Stillwater, Washington is a clue. The ex-CIA, however, get a phone call from Laird telling them they have everything they need to determine the next location – just tell their pilot where to go when they figure it out.
Wild Hanlons and Miss USA are all worn out and they take a break.
Southie Boys and Young Professionals get their clues. Ex-CIA guess Lake George and it turns out they’re correct – a lake can be still water and George is the first name of President Washington. They’re off. They think the Young Professionals will slow down the Southie Boys, but they do get the clue correct and they’re off.
Miss USA are now ahead of the Wild Hanlons. Kristen decides to chisel out the clue down at the bottom. Both teams get their clues and head up to the top of the cliff.
Meanwhile, 58 miles away, the ex-CIA arrive at Lake George and Laird tells them that they will need to dig somewhere in this huge expanse of land to find their next (and most important) clue. Southie Boys and Young Professionals arrive and everyone is digging.
Back at the glacier, the Wild Hanlons figure out the clue as the girls are having a lot of trouble deciphering it. Meanwhile, the ex-CIA find a cylinder with code on it, and Laird calls them telling them to hang onto the clue and head to their next destination – the State Capitol Building in Lincoln, Nebraska, south entrance. They’re off, although presumably not by helicopter the entire way.
Southie Boys find their cylinder and head off. Young Professionals are still looking through piles as the Wild Hanlons and Miss USA arrive. Finally, the Young Professionals get a cylinder and are off. Wild Hanlons find a cylinder, and Kristen wonders if it’s over.
Back in Maui, teams are all heading to the dive site. The Grads think that whatever they find will send them up into the mountains. The Geniuses get a message telling them to retrieve one of five steel boxes on the ocean floor containing a pilot’s log and the coordinates to their next destination. Charles dives, and Kat dives once the Grads arrive. Apparently it’s pretty easy to find as Charles is quick to get a clue. However, Kat is having trouble opening a box. Matt gets it for her but as Kat is reaching for her clue preacher Brad snatches it!
Black Sand Beach, Maui. The Geniuses get a call telling them to find the plane called the Monticello and look in the cargo hold to find their next clue. Air Force is close behind. Shockingly, they’re more fit than the Geniuses and pass them. The Geniuses miss some plane wreckage and head the wrong way. Air Force find the plane first Laird tells us that the teams will have to open a locked chest using items found inside a Jeffersonian cane. They find the chest and the cane, but can’t put it all together.
The Fogals, meanwhile, have landed and found their way to the crash site. Meanwhile, Air Force finds what they’re looking for – a coded map. They’re now told to head to the State Capitol Building in Lincoln, Nebraska, north entrance. They must now follow the trail until they reach a plane waiting to take them to Nebraska. Or at least the main airport in Maui.
The Grads are now hiking to the crash site and pass the Geniuses. Browns reach the landing point and Keith is drained. He gets help to get to shore. After a pep talk, they start hiking.
Fogals arrive at the crash site and Kayte hurts her thumb. Grads and Geniuses arrive. Fogals open the box and fly out as the Grads think they’ve just been screwed. The Fogals are, quite frankly, beginning to piss me off.
At the crash site, the Geniuses manage to open the girls’ box and they’re off as the girls are frustrated. Meanwhile, the Browns arrive at the crash site. And it’s around this time that the Grads actually open the box and are off. The Browns find the key and are told that they are the last team to find the clue but are not eliminated, as they are only halfway through this stage of the hunt. This seems to instill a lot of confidence in Keith and he’s thinking ahead to the rest of the stage.
In Alaska, the Wild Hanlons help the girls find a cylinder and the two teams are off to Nebraska.
Lincoln, Nebraska, 24 hours later. Teams arrive at their designated points. Once all teams arrive, they’re told to meet Laird at the Lincoln statue on the west side of the building. They run over and are shocked as all ten teams meet for the first time.