OK, I feel like LEGO®️ Masters Season 3 is trying to make me look like a liar. “Tune in next week – there’s no episode that week”. “Let’s see who goes home – no eliminations this week“. And “Let’s check out the semi-finals – nope, that’s next next week now.” Come on FOX, help a brother out LOL. This week’s episode turned out to NOT be the semi-finals after all. Start Your Engines is the Quarter-Finals then. I swear this is taking longer than the World Cup. This means we’ll get the last episodes just before Christmas. It may seem odd but if you recall the entire season was delayed from the Summer and has had the usual pauses and delayed airings because of other programs. Anyhoooo, let’s get recappin’.
In case this week’s title was too subtle, Start Your Engines was about racecars 😏. We opened the episode with a little off-site visit. Will found himself on a NASCAR track and thankfully Hall-of-Famer Jeff Gordon showed up to give him a lift. Sorta. They drove in a circle so really, Will went nowhere. Much like this bit LOL. But ya know what? I was sold thanks to Jeff Gordon’s sincere laughter at the goofiness of it all and at Will Arnett’s hamming it up. Jeff returned later on to actually help comment on the race which was pretty fun. Another NASCAR driver, William Byron, also made an appearance to talk to the builders and ya know….say hi and stuff.
And then seemingly unscripted, Will calls his friend Sean Hayes (of Will & Grace fame) while he’s driving around in the GO Kart. I actually loved this. It seemed legitimately random and even Sean Hayes seemed surprised: “You’re actually on set??” Will asked him to give them the remaining time to the builders wherein he screams some absurd number like 14 hours. It all just worked for me and I’m always here for random humour that’s not overly rehearsed. And it made sense knowing that Will Arnett, Sean Hayes and Jason Batemen host a podcast together called ‘Smartless’.
Start the car!!
Safely back in the studio, we got our mission brief. Time to build a race car! But instead of 4 different racecars, we got only 2. And that’s because the teams were paired up into teams of four for this challenge. They randomly selected a colour from the helmet to get paired up. Nick & Stacey matched up with Brandon & Greg, which left Dave & Emily went with The Stephens. The former were Team Blue with the latter Team Red. This pairing up of teams reminded me of Season 1, Episode 8’s Good Vs Evil challenge. In that case however, the teams were combined midway through the challenge. Here we got to see how much our contestants could collaborate together right away. They were given just 9 hours to build their new wheels.
Start Your Engines was pretty fun challenge. Each of the teams were given a lean, mean racing machine! Ok…fine, they got a GO Kart. Said GO Kart chassis was the base they needed to build their vehicle on. Right away Team Red decided that Emily, at 5″-1″ would be the driver as she is the teeniest and lightest. Definitely a good strategy. Team Blue chose the comparatively stratospheric 6′-1″ Brandon as their driver. Prior to beginning their builds, they took a friendly spin in the hot rods (GO Karts) wherein Brandon promptly crashed into some bins and caused some minor damage. Not a good start there buddy. Once the construction began though, things came together relatively smoothly for both teams.
Team Blue – “Electric Blue”
The blue team’s car was ‘Electric Blue’. Nick, Stacey, Brandon & Greg are all 90’s kids (as they put it) so they wanted to create a nostalgic homage to their childhood. Despite Brandon’s crash and smash, they didn’t seem to have too many issues in finishing up. The overall result was pretty good though. I loved their colour scheme. Incorporating the pops of pink, yellow and white did scream 90’s. Shapewise it read more like a soap box derby car. That heavier front made it look fairly bulky. Jamie mentioned that extra weight in his critique as well as the lack of sides. Leaving them open did allow Brandon to actually sit in the thing though.
Team Red – “Red Rocket”
At the midway point it was revealed that the best looking car would get an advantage. And that would be the pole position on the track – essentially the lead. Keeping the lead on a narrow track would pretty much assure a front spot and possibly the win. Not exactly much space to hug the inside and get ahead of someone.
The red team consisted of Dave, Emily and the Stephens. This all Canadian team made a nice nod to their Canuck roots with ‘Red Rocket’. Our Canadians won the advantage and I couldn’t have agreed more. Canadiana aside, it was just a really cohesive and smart build. Right from the start they built with Emily in mind. She sat in the car as she laid bricks down – which was a brilliant strategy. They also added sponsorship logos. Now that was genius. Great attention to detail too as it really added to the NASCAR feel. These logos referenced past challenges and builds, a very smart way to make it topical. Aside from an oddly too small spoiler on the back, it was a great bit of teamwork.
When it came time to finally ‘start your engines’ we got an adorably paced bit of racing. Team Red got that early lead. With Emily’s weight to her advantage she kept that lead and almost lapped Brandon. The midway point of the race was a ‘Pit Stop’. At first I wasn’t clear what they meant by tire change. Turns out the teams need to pause, disassemble a brick built wheel and replace the colours? I gotta admit I’m still not sure what actually needed to be done, but Team Blue did it better. All 3 members worked to do the pit stop. But oddly one of the Stephens (by consensus) on Team Red didn’t assist. What’s the deal there? It obviously hurt them enough to lose that lead as Brandon shot out in front and kept the lead to win the race. Congrats to the 90s kids.
And Once Again….
So. No eliminations once again this week. Will used a racing flag and, somewhat awkwardly, unrolled it to reveal ‘No One Goes Home’. Which I’m not mad at since I really like all these teams. And honestly it’s not a bad call as it would have been really hard to pick a team given it was a group challenge. With only one model to judge you couldn’t have really isolated who did ‘worse’. Frankly, I’m just happy Nick & Stacey finally broke their streak of being in the bottom 2. Now they’ve promised to do an elimination next week and actually make a semi-final haha. So while I don’t want to see anyone leave, we need to wrap things up at some point.
Start Your Engines was an alright episode. I’m not a NASCAR or racing fan so theme didn’t immediately grab me. Pairing the teams was fun though and added a new dynamic. No one fought, nothing was catastrophic. Well, aside from Brandon crashing early and Emily losing a big ol’ chunk of the car during one lap. But hey, they were still driveable and that’s what counts.
- I haven’t given a shout out to Amy’s outfit in a few eps – work that denim jumper girl!
- Will needs to randomly video call more celebrities. Can we get Henry Cavill on the line??
- Dave doesn’t have his license. I kinda wish he had driven just to see the result
- Stacey asking: “Emily should I be racing you?” “….no, that’s too heated.”
- Nick has all the shocked faces. Someone please make a collage
- Stacey really got the boys focused on aesthetics on Team Blue. And Emily was running Team Red on decoration like a boss. Nicely done ladies
- “Why have they waited this long to give me a megaphone?!”
- Will has named Bradon’s goatee Charlie
- That silent engine start was so funny. “…Vroom?”
OVERALL SCORE: 7 / 10
Congrats to Team Blue for winning the race. And congrats to, well, everyone for sticking around still. The last two eps are expected to be back-to-back so we’re in the final lap (so to speak). Or maybe they’ll throw another twist and bring back EVERYONE and start over. I dunno with this show anymore. It’s Mad Max. So what did you think of the episode? Which car would want to drive?? Did you understand the pit stop? Who’s your corporate sponsor of choice to festoon on your race car? Comment below and let me know. Thanks for reading and until next time, keep on brickin’.
LEGO® Masters USA airs Wednesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT on FOX in the US, and on CTV, CTV.CA and the CTV app in Canada. Follow our full coverage here.
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