Wait, what? Richard Hammond's Crash Course
is over already?!? Sadly, yes - but the show goes out on a strong note, sending Richard to a salvage yard to see what he can do when he's not
He's at D&L Salvage in Louisiana, looking to master the three pieces of machinery they use. The first is a giant crane (but is there such a thing as a small crane?) that helps to unload scrap metal off barges. Once he gets behind the controls, Richard finds he's got a bit of a problem controlling the crane's momentum. "Operating a crane can go horribly wrong," he tells us by voiceover, while squirming a little.
Needing more practice if he has any hope of mastering the crane, Richard decides to stage his own giant version of the board game Operation, complete with a buzzer if he touches the sides of his setup. He'll have to be precise and efficient to succeed at his own game. He's okay removing the first "funny bone," but botches the second, as well as the removal of the "broken heart," and ends up going far over the six minutes he allotted for himself. Whoops.
On the second day, he starts working with the grapple, which is kind of like a giant version of that crane game you play at the arcade but never seem to win. Richard fares better with this than he did with the crane, and really enjoys it besides.
The next thing he gets to play with is a track hoe with a massive magnet head on it, which allows the salvagers to pick out the metal from the debris. This is where Richard's inability to understand what his trainer is saying comes into play. Even the captions can't figure out Todd's thick accent - we're stuck with question marks where words should be.
Starting day three, Richard meets the folks of the marine unit and gets to tour the barge they use while they're recovering things. This is no cruise ship, and the people who run it may have to spend months there, away from family and friends. They let Richard drive and learn that he can't park.
Now you may be asking yourself: where's the obligatory minivan? It's being used as fodder for Richard's practice with the grapple, which doesn't go perfect (as he yells at it to give him the steering wheel) but at least wipes another minivan off the planet for us.
Richard's final exam is complicated by inclement weather, but that doesn't cancel it. He's got 15 minutes to go through the whole process of salvaging, from pickup to processing. As with previous challenges this season, his needing to refamiliarize himself with the equipment makes time an issue at the beginning of the exam, but he gets more comfortable as he goes on. Never mind that he's trying to avoid lightning as well as the clock. With just seconds to spare, he passes his last exam of the season.
The final segment of the season is a recap of all the challenges Richard has attempted this season, including his struggles as a logger, the fun he had driving an Abrams tank, and all the minivans he destroyed. It's filler for sure, but watching it you also have to realize how much Richard really learned in just eighteen total days of work. I'm not sure any of us could master one
of those machines if you gave us all eighteen days, let alone the basic tools of six different professions, some of them with more than one machine to tackle.
That's it for the first season of Crash Course
. If the show comes back for season two, are there other machines you'd like to see Richard take on?For more from Brittany Frederick, visit my BuddyTV writer page, and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.
Image courtesy of USA