Recap: This episode opens with footage of an international auto race in the desert..and we learn that a 500-mile auto race through the fictional Middle Eastern country of Taftan is about to take place.
In the fictional Middle Eastern town of Ariram...
A skittish looking man slips into a bar and hands the bartender a small cassette, along with a wad of cash. The bartender takes a break from drying a drinking glass to count the money...and while he's doing that, a military siren can be heard in the background. The skittish man is all, "Ack!" and flees the bar.
At OSI headquarters in Washington, D.C...
Oscar tells the Secretary of State that his undercover agent was barely able to escape capture from the Taftanian military after dropping off the cassette at the bar, then says he sent for their bionic woman - just as Jaime enters the office and rolls her eyes in annoyance. After Oscar quickly ends the call, she irritably asks whassup with him pulling her out of algebra class (she's teaching those tiny kids algebra??), then thrown onto a plane and flown to D.C. without so much as an explanation. Oscar tells her he needs to send her to the fictional country of Taftan, like pronto, then explains that a military group has just taken over control of the government. They've sealed the borders and invaded the American embassy, where an OSI agent secretly worked as a diplomat. This diplomat was in possession of a cassette tape that has six months worth of top secret intel on it, and luckily he was able to evade the military police long enough to stash it at a secret drop-off location. Oscar tells Jaime that her mission - should she choose to accept it, which she has to 'cause she's forever beholden to the OSI for making her into a cyborg spy - is to extract the cassette before anyone else gets a chance to snatch it. As luck would have it, the military police is continuing the country's tradition of hosting its annual auto race through the desert...and by scripted coincidence the course runs past the town of Ariram. Oscar tells Jaime that his plan will be to sneak her into Taftan under the guise of being the navigator of a two person car racing team. Jaime makes a face and mutters, "Oy.." and does not look thrilled by being strong-armed into yet another secret spy mission she has no interest or desire to carry out.
Fourteen hours later, Jaime and Oscar arrive in Taftan. Oscar is "incognito" in a mustache and is going by the alias Oscar Bartholomew. He tells Jaime another piece of the story he held back while they were in D.C.: a former OSI agent, who used to work in their communications center, was recently outed as a double agent and it was learned that he/she sold information about the whereabouts of the cassette. Oscar emphasizes how crucial it is for her to win the auto race, 'cause he's pretty sure that another spy is among the competitors and will make an attempt to acquire the cassette. To ensure that Jaime reaches Ariram first, he's sponsored famous Grand Prix racer Tim Sanders to be her driver. He then warns her to not blab to Tim about this race being a government mission, 'cause he has no idea that she's a cyborg spy. [Considering that she routinely blabs about her government missions and makes no attempt to hide her bionic abilities from whoever happens to be standing nearby, if she actually refrained from doing so during this mission, it would be a first.]
Tim is entranced when he's introduced to Jaime...but less so with the car that Oscar has arranged for him to drive. Oscar's like whatever and suggests that the three of them go out for a drink - but Jaime says she was hoping they could go to dinner 'cause she's very hungry. Tim gazes at her in smitten adoration and says he's definitely up for a candle-lit dinner...and as the three head out, the Russian team stares over at them, then nod all suspicious-like at each other.
At the dinner table, Oscar lays out a map of the race course and instructs Tim to take the shortcut through Ariram. Tim tells him that that's crazy talk 'cause of how mountainous the route is - but Oscar argues that it's their best chance to get ahead of the competition. Tim thinks it would be too easy to get stranded and urges Jaime to set Oscar straight...but naturally she sides with Oscar and says she thinks the shortcut is a super idea. Oscar smugly barks, "Two against one!", orders the two to get a good night's rest, and heads upstairs to his hotel room. As Tim and Jaime stay behind for an after dinner coffee, a competitor in the race, Carlos Scappini, struts over to flirt with Jaime. He invites her to have a drink with him...and when she points out that she's with Tim, he laughs and says in an exaggerated Italian accent, "You're not with him if you're with me!" Tim warns Carlos to leave Jaime alone, but Carlos laughs and taunts him about how he drives and fights like a woman. Tim growls, "Don't push me", then calmly pours a drink down the front of Carlos' shirt. As Carlos lifts his arm to take a swing at Tim, Jaime bionically shoves him toward a table, which causes him to fall face-down in a large bowl of vanilla pudding. An enraged Carlos shrieks, "I'll get you for this, Sanders!" and Tim and Jaime chuckle at his funny pudding covered face and hastily exit the room. The two Russians, who are also having dinner in the restaurant, stare over at them curiously and once again nod all suspicious-like at each other.
Someone dressed in black is skulking around the garage. The skulker walks over to Tim's/Jaime's race car, loosens the steering linkage bolt, then quietly sneaks out.
The next morning, Jaime enters the garage decked out in a smart looking brown jumpsuit. She and Tim climb into their race car, and Oscar wishes them Godspeed and tells them he'll meet them at the finish line. When Jaime holds up a vomit bag she found inside the car and stares questioningly at Tim, he wryly says, "You're going to need it."
And they're off! As Tim and Jaime race along with the other competitors, the camera pans in on the loosening bolt of their car. The Russian team gets aggressive and side-swipes them and forces them off the course...and Tim grumbles about what a "dog" their car is.
Carlos Scappini is in the lead, while the Hong Kong team (who's driving the only pickup truck in the race) is close behind. We then get grainy, disjointed looking footage of what looks like an actual auto race...and that goes on for a looooong time.
After the first hundred miles, Tim and Jaime make their first pit stop...and Tim gets annoyed when he can't find their spare tires, or any of the equipment that's supposed to be waiting for them. He bitches about how it's all Oscar's fault, mutters, "I'll find them myself", and ambles off somewhere. Jaime climbs out of the car and notices the Russian team working on their car a few feet away. The female member of the team smirkily asks Jaime if she lost something, then tauntingly says, "Zee early bird gets zee verm. Zee you in Ariram!" before she and her partner climb into their car and squeal off. Jaime spots the spare tires for their car and bionically transports them over and changes them with her bare hands. The task is finished by the time Tim returns...and when he's all, "Wha-a?" Jaime tells him that a couple of guys just happened to walk by and offered to help. He's like, "OK - I guess I can buy that" then says they should quickly gas up and get back in the race.
Tim and Jaime manage to overtake the Russian team - but suddenly the loosened bolt falls off, and Tim loses control of the steering wheel, which causes the car to crash and land on one side. He and Jaime look dangerously close to death as the scene fades out for a commercial break.
Jaime regains consciousness - phew! - and climbs out of the car. She bionically turns it in order to set it upright...and her bionic hearing kicks in just in time to hear the Russian woman tell her teammate, "Zo much vor zee Americans. Faster!" I find it interesting that she's speaking in broken English to another Russian. When Tim regains consciousness, he grumbles again about what a piece of shit the car is...but upon further inspection, he deduces that someone tampered with the steering linkage. He says he can fix it with his toolkit, then has a flashback of a pudding-faced Carlos Scappini threatening to get back at him. He reminds Jaime of the incident, and she stares contemplatively into space.
Oscar notes that Jaime and Tim are stinking it up so badly that they're not even on the scoreboard. The Hong Kong team cruises past Jaime and Tim, and the female driver stares intently ahead and steers in that funny, exaggerated way we often see on bad '70s TV. Carlos Scappini, meanwhile, drives past a "This way to Ariram" sign and approaches what looks like a perilous tunnel.
Jaime and Tim make another pit stop to refuel. Tim bitches about how the Ariram route is too dangerous, but Jaime argues that it's the only way they can win. Tim snaps, "Noooo!!", reminds her that he's a world class car racer, and snarls, "No half-baked sponsor and his female navigator are going to tell me how to drive my race!" He blames Oscar for putting him in "this turkey rig" and not arranging for their pit stops to have the equipment they need. Jaime chides him for being a whiny little bitch, and showing zero gratitude to Oscar for sponsoring him and giving him the opportunity to compete in this international race. Tim finally shuts up, looks suitably sheepish, and agrees to go the Ariram route.
The scoreboard indicates that Jaime and Tim are in last place, and Oscar strokes his fake mustache and puts on his extra concerned face.
Tim barrels ahead, doing his best to catch up to the Russians on a winding mountain trail...and we get a looooong and tedious montage of all the various vehicles in the race. As Tim and Jaime drive neck-and-neck with the Russians, Tim flashes back to when Carlos told him that he acts and drives like a woman...and also recalls a horrible crash he suffered in the Grand Prix a few years ago. He pulls over, looking visibly freaked out. Jaime asks him why he did that, and he wails, "'Cause I drive like a woman!" LOL. He then whines in a stereotypically womanly fashion about all the pressure he's under...blah blah...and Jaime somehow refrains from blurting out, "We don't have time for a mental breakdown! We're in an auto race in the middle of the fucking Sahara!!" Instead, she coos at him about needlessly psyching himself out, then urges him to get back in the race and do his best to cross the finish line - after he unwittingly helps her complete her secret spy mission, that is. Tim smiles at her gratefully, puts his helmet back on, and pulls back onto the race course.
Tim and Jaime come upon a smoldering car wreck - and one of the Russian racers is laying on the side of the road. Jaime notices that the female racer is trapped beneath the car, which is leaking gas, so she bionically rushes over and lifts the car off the woman and pulls her to safety moments before it bursts into flames. As that's happening, the female member of the Hong Kong team is spying on Jaime and Tim through binoculars...which I'll take as proof that the Hong Kong team (and not the Russians as we were led to believe) are the double agents. Tim tells Jaime that they need to get back in the race, and that he's A-OK with abandoning the injured Russians, since the rescue chopper will be by any minute to transport them to a hospital. Hopefully.
After consulting a map, Tim tells Jaime that a dried up river bed could prove to be a helpful shortcut...but then a few minutes later, he crashes into a log and gets his wheels stuck. Smooth, Tim. Jaime jumps into action and bionically lifts the car over the log as Tim stares at her and is all, "Wha-a?!" After that superfluous setback, Tim gets back into the race and somehow manages to beat the Hong Kong team to Ariram. Jaime tells Tim she needs to stop by the local bar for a few minutes - but when Tim is adamant about them continuing on in the race, since they now have a good shot at winning, Jaime spills the beans and tells him she's on an important government mission and needs to retrieve some intel. LOL. I wonder if Oscar ever gets wind of how indiscreet she is every time he sends her out on official OSI business. When she climbs out of the car and heads over to the bar, Tim's like, "Fuck it" and squeals off. Jaime's all, "Wuh?", cries, "Timmmmmm!" then decides that while she's here, she should probably just go ahead and carry out the OSI mission.
Jaime enters the bar and sees the bartender drying the same drinking glass he was drying at the beginning of the episode. She tells him she's here to pick up the cassette...and when he just stares at her mutely, she repeats herself, this time speaking more slowly. The Hong Kong team, meanwhile is rapidly approaching Ariram. Jaime is using hand gestures to describe the cassette tape, and the bartender derisively rolls his eyes and says, "Lady, I speak English...and I know what a tape cassette is." Bwahaha! He then reminds her that she's supposed to give him something first, and she's like, "Oh yeah!" and fishes out a small wad of cash from her pocket. The bartender counts it, frowns with disappointment, and asks her if she has a credit card. An exasperated Jaime cries, "Oh come on! Give me the tape!" just as the Hong Kong team arrives in Ariram. Eeeek! The bartender hands over the cassette, and Jaime puts it into her pocket just as the Hong Kong drivers enter the bar with their guns drawn. Jaime leaps onto the chandelier and swings around on it as she bionically kicks the two drivers, then leaps over to a second story window and jumps off the balcony...all while the bartender is staring at her in stunned disbelief. She bionically races away from the bar, and the Hong Kong team runs onto the street and opens fire on her...but when she somehow manages to dodge every bullet, the two rush over to their pickup truck and race after her.
Jaime bionically runs the course as Tim drives solo. The Hong Kong team looks visibly puzzled by Jaime's superhuman speed and frustrated that their pickup truck can't seem to catch up to her.
Tim has flashbacks of Jaime and looks like he feels bad for abandoning her in Ariram. He turns the car around and eventually comes upon Jaime as she's fleeing the Hong Kong drivers, who are still trying to shoot her. Jaime runs over to Tim's car, grabs a wrench and whips it at the pickup truck, which punctures one of their tires. She then climbs into the car with Tim and barks at him to haul ass to the finish line.
Carlos Scappini is still in the lead - but somehow Tim is able to quickly gain on him. The two vehicles approach a river road, which is wide enough for only one car. Carlos gets cocky, miscalculates, and ends up crashing into the river...and with only five miles to the finish line, Tim and Jaime take over the lead and win the race.
Hours later, Tim and Jaime relax together in the hotel bar. She blabs to him about the top secret cassette she smuggled out of the bar and tells him it's currently on its way to Washington, D.C. He asks her what will happen to the spies from Hong Kong, and she shrugs and says at the very least they'll be charged with car sabotage. The two then discuss their personal lives...and he tells her he'll probably go back to the Grand Prix circuit, while she wants to go back to Ojai to teach primary school - and keep her fingers crossed that Oscar will stop interrupting her peaceful life and make her carry out shitty OSI missions.
Oscar enters the bar to tell Tim that his driver is ready to take him to the airport. After the two men shake hands, Tim says goodbye to Jaime...then leans in and gives her a smooch. When she bids him a final farewell, he gives her a thumbs-up and leaves. Oscar joins Jaime at her table, pours more wine into her glass and toasts, "To the winner." Jaime has a flashback of the crazy auto race she just endured and stares wistfully into space as she clinks glasses with Oscar.
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