Fans of the British Top Gear will remember an episode in which the hosts built a snowplow out of a combine harvester and then accidentally destroyed anything it touched. Now it's the American show's turn to tackle the cold weather - and it's actually even wilder than the first time around.
This episode is actually more like a play on last season's "Doomsday Drive," except with a prize at the end. The guys must build the best possible snow-clearing machine, and whoever makes the most worthy contribution to their effort gets to drive a supercar against a snowmobile. Tanner shows up in Maine with a heavy-duty dump truck, Rutledge in a gigantic snow-blower, and Adam...well, you know Adam. He's got a "snow tank," as he so gleefully - and accurately - puts it.
For "research" purposes, they have to race these beasts for a lap on the local track. Tanner can't go in the right direction, Adam has zero visibility, and Rutledge is just plain lost, though he doesn't seem to mind. After Tanner buries his truck, the other two guys decide to "help" him by piling on - more snow, that is. This makes it a two-man race, with Adam bearing down on Rutledge like the sociopath in a horror movie.
Rutledge: You don't know scary until you've seen a lunatic in a snow tank in your rear-view mirror.
Rutledge manages to outlast Adam, but it's a bittersweet victory. You see, the guys don't get to use any of these for their snowplow; they're saddled with a school bus. And it's not even a full-size bus; it's the short kind. Once the griping is done, Tanner declares that he'll be responsible for any driving modifications, while Rutledge volunteers to handle snow removal and Adam creates his own category of "snow elimination." We're just surprised nobody makes a reference to the "Mr. Plow" episode of The Simpsons, because that is totally what this feels like.
Tanner and Adam look absolutely depressed as the bus limps its way to the Top Gear Technology Center. But if you've forgotten, Tanner used to drive a bus once. And he got fired for doing donuts with said bus. So when his passengers tick him off, he channels his former disgruntled bus-driving self and makes the ride a little more uncomfortable.
Tanner: I'm going to beat the s--t out of you kids.
The next morning, the bus is no more and the snowplow has been born. (Too bad we don't get to see our guys attempting to do all their own handiwork; some of the best parts of the UK episodes are watching the hosts break things or light them on fire.) Tanner has, obviously, made the snowplow able to drift and also given it four-wheel drive. Rutledge has found a snowplow that every nerd would love and a sand spreader.
And Adam, rather than launching squid, is now throwing flames. He's also added a few other "need to know" options, but mostly, we're concerned about the flamethrower. So are his colleagues.
Rutledge: You put a flamethrower on a school bus. What is wrong with you?
It's time to get to work. Tanner's driving destroys Rutledge's sand spreader before the bus even reaches its first destination, which is a logging trail with a couple of creepy mannequins. It's up to our professional driver to drive an off-road course and get the mannequins out safely. He hits a tree and his passengers end up in a pile, with at least one of them missing a head. Whoops.