December 2, 2023

Brick Lake

Welcome back to another year of quirky teams blowing models up at the behest of studio execs! And by that I of course mean welcome to a new season of LEGO®️ Masters USA. We’ve made it to season 4 if you can believe it. Twelve new teams of two will compete in weekly competitions to win the trophy, cash prize of $100,000 USD and an all-new secret prize. We already know going in that the winning team’s set will be made into an actual LEGO®️ set, but right from the start we are told the contestants won’t know that. That’s a fun twist and surely something that will blow their minds once they find out. For a recap of the contestants, you can click HERE.

The Challenge

So what’s the first episode all about? The title is Brick Lake, so we’ve got water involved – that’s a no brainer. It’s a really fun and fairly simple challenge. Each team gets a motorized pontoon boat base with a brick plate on top. The objective is to build a Party Boat and steer it on the small lake made for the challenge. They have 10 hours to finish their boat. Water-based challenges are usually a fun time. Last season had two of them – Pirate Ships Ahoy! and Water Works. Those pontoon bases are fairly wide with a decent area to build on. And as with every first challenge Amy wants all the builds to “tell us who you are”. Make it personal and representative of you.


Brick Lake provides introductions to all our contestants. Being the first episode (and only 40 odd mins long) we don’t get much in the way of background for most of the teams. As such first eps are quite light on personal details. But from the little we get, it’s clear there are some quirky personalities. We’ve got hip Grandmas. We have ukulele playing. There’s siblings and more grandpas. We even have ‘Tech Bros’ with one of them vying for the LEGO®️ set collection world record. This season has only one Canadian team. Neena & Sam are a mother and son duo from Alberta and they have a really strong showing right out the gate.

To The Dock

After going through the usual check-ins and false bits of drama, we make it to the beautiful lake model where the Party Boats take a harbour cruise. I sadly can’t say that any of them really WOWS or steals the show, but they are all nicely done. Everyone manages to get a lap done except for the Grandmas Karen & Aime – their boat gets the big cliffhanger commercial break. Soon as it touches water it literally tips right over. It is a big build too, so it’s not a surprise, but it is a shame – it’s an impressive design. The only other mishap is a literal crashing into shore by Kelly & Emilee’s ship. It did smash up quite impressively though. Overall it is quite fun to see these ‘vessels’ zipping around a nicely built lake and environs.

Top Spot & Elimination

The big winners of Brick Lake are Canadian team Neena & Sam! Amazing start for us Canucks – just like last year with the Stephens winning episode 1. Their model has all the hallmark elements that the judges look for: colour, story and personal meaning. It is really cool to see South-Asian culture represented as well. Everyone dancing the bhangra is just so fun! It’s not the biggest or most elaborate in the room, but I don’t disagree with it winning. My personal favourite is Jordan & Chris’ castle themed build complete with dragon. Great details overall.

Unlike some past seasons, an elimination happens in this first episode. While there is no top 2 this ep (just a winner), we do get a bottom 2. Mike & Brad and Emilee & Kelly are up for elimination. Mike & Brad struggled a lot in the challenge, with a lot of time spent trying to narrow down an idea. This really set them back and they just couldn’t pull together anything polished. The build was very simple, with minimal story or colour. Emilee & Kelly’s was far too big and also lacked much in the way finishing touches. Ultimately it was Mike & Brad who leave the competition. Great effort fellas, and keep buildin’!

Final Thoughts

Brick Lake was….fine. As far as premieres go, it wasn’t all that energetic. I loved the challenge but no one’s boat really brought the ‘WOW’. Not to discredit anyone’s work – still good stuff. I can’t judge at all since we spent barely any time with the teams aside the usual dad jokes, weird chatter and deceptive editing.

  • Brick Lake is such a cool model. Fairly sure those are the new A-Frame Cabin sets throughout
  • The opening teaser showed WAAAYYYY too much of the season
  • Christopher’s LEGO®️ collection is just wiiiiillllddd. Check out his socials for a full tour – it’s incredible
  • Speaking of the ‘Tech Bros’, the investor minifigs dancing with money was peak commentary
  • Emilee & Kelly’s boat is named Victory – automatic jinx
  • Sad to see the only LGBTQ+ team go home first
  • Mike & Brad’s ship is the Bear Shack? How’d that fly with the producers? And don’t put the initials on the front…BS isn’t a good look for a competition reality show. Or is it the best….? Hmmm.
  • After several seasons, how does Nealita not know much about Will Arnett?? does not compute
  • On that note, the Dairy Ferry? LOL
  • I’m good if the ukulele never shows up again, just FYI
  • The fake out with the golden brick was so frustrating. Yes I still dislike that thing


And that’s Brick Lake folks. It was an OK start. Next week we get kittens. Super cute kittens to build a home for. We’ve had dogs, it’s now time for cats. Although, how do you keep them in check? I guess we’ll find out. What did you think of the episode? Did you like the builds? Was the challenge interesting? What teams are you rooting for? Comment below and in all the usual places. Thanks as always for reading and until next time, keep on brickin’. 🧱

– Frank

LEGO® Masters USA airs Thursdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT on FOX in the US, and on CTV, CTV.CA and the CTV app in Canada.

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