'Richard Hammond's Crash Course' Recap: 'Rocket Scientist/Bike Messenger' (Season Finale)
After a long night and some adjustments it's time for a third attempt. With fingers crossed, Richard flips the switch again, and it seems like another failure - before the rocket sputters to life and finally ignites. The bad news is that it's headed down about as quickly as it went up. Richard and the rocket scientists head off to try and find their rocket. In the vast expanse of the Mojave Desert, they can't locate it, and lament that they probably won't have any useful data from their failed experiment.
In voice-over, Richard tells the audience that the Stellar team eventually recovers the rocket three days later and "badly damaged." Chalk that one up as a loss in his win-loss column.
His next and final 'crash course' sends him to King Courier in San Francisco, where he has to pick up and deliver packages on three separate trips as a bike messenger. His mentor for this challenge is company owner Andrew Brady, who hands him a uniform and then sends him out onto the streets. Given how well Richard did as a bicyclist in Top Gear's London race, this is not confidence-inspiring.
Richard's first task as a messenger is to make it across town to pick up his custom bag - a required piece of equipment for any courier - before it's made, or he'll eat the full $120 bill for it. While he pedals along behind Andrew (who might be the only person to ever call Richard 'Ricky'), he contemplates whether or not he'll be killed. Thankfully, he lives, but he loses the challenge.
Andrew passes Richard off to a veteran who goes by the nickname of 'Shark' for further training. Shark takes Richard into San Francisco traffic, complete with one of Richard's least favorite things: city buses. Their first pick-up location is a nondescript office building, and they retrieve a package for drop-off not too far away. The easy delivery gives Richard some time to ask Shark about his bicycle - which he's had since 1985 and named 'Enterprise' - and his career. "Why do you do it?" Richard asks, and Shark tells him that it's preferable to an office job, explaining that "There's a certain amount of freedom that you do not get anywhere else."
Shark deems Richard ready to ride solo, while Andrew believes "he's doomed," and Richard himself falls somewhere between the two. The following day, Andrew sends him to the headquarters of social media giant Twitter for a pick-up. Richard meets Twitter engineer Greg James in the office lobby, and Greg offers to give him a brief tour of the place before handing him the package he's to deliver. At least Richard gets a good tweet in before he leaves.
After dropping off the envelope from Greg, our hero is sent to BMW for another pickup which is easily delivered. That leaves only one assignment left for him, and it's something different: it involves taking out a special cargo bike to pick up a beer keg for King Courier's office fundraiser that evening. Expletives follow as Richard declares his new ride "a deathtrap," and that's before he's picked up the keg. With the added weight, his journey back is even more difficult. He gets the keg back to King Courier and manages to stay alive, so 'crash course' number two is a resounding success. He even gets to stay for the fundraiser party.
Richard and his team have clearly saved two interesting gigs for last, as it's interesting to see the beloved TV host tackle two things we've seen him have some prior - if not great - experience with. He clearly broadens his horizons and the audience is duly entertained The only disappointment with this episode of Richard Hammond's Crash Course is that it's the finale.
For more on the second season of Richard Hammond's Crash Course, you can read my season-finale interview with Richard Hammond. And if you're already hoping for season three, you can check out my list of occupations that Richard should try in the third series.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.