‘Ice Road Truckers’ races toward season finale on thin ice

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Todd Dewey traverses Hudson Bay on Sunday’s episode of “Ice Road Truckers”

Sunday night’s episode of “Ice Road Truckers” set the stage for the upcoming season finale by appearing to put all of the drivers in dangerous positions, especially Todd Dewey and Lisa Kelly.

As has happened several times on the History Channel’s reality (?) show this season, the episode opened with Polar Enterprises owner Mark Kohaykewych suggesting to Todd that the upcoming load is as dangerous as any trucker has ever faced. And, as always, he tells Todd he can say no if he thinks it’s too risky.

Almost before Mark can explain the details, Dewey jumps at the chance.

The load: delivering a track hoe and building supplies to Seal River Lodge on the shores of Hudson Bay.

The catch: No trucks can be used so the two will make the trek across the bay in a vintage Bombardier track vehicles.

Catch No. II: Turns out there are two loads and not one, but Polar has only open driver. So Mark does the only reasonable thing, and asks Lisa, who left Polar to form a new company with Darrell Ward, to drive the second one.

Oh, and Catch No. III: there are no roads to follow. Mark says Todd and Lisa will get “GPS coordinates and you have to figure out how to get there.”

What could go wrong?

Both Todd and Lisa tackle the trip with a bit too much enthusiasm, and it’s not long before Todd finds it slow going over some inclines on a peninsula in the bay. As the episode ends, Todd’s dealing with water where ice is meant to be.

Odd Couple On the Road Again

The ever-irascible Art Burke and newcomer Mike Simmons are making their last trips of the season together. Art leads the way, makes his drop and quickly heads home, leaving Mike on the road alone as a heavy snow falls.

In a hurry to get off the rapidly deteriorating private trail, Mike slides off the side of the road and into the ditch.

Like Todd and Darrell before him this season, Mike uses straps and roadside tree to winch himself out of the jam and head get back on the road to Winnipeg. (Unlike the other two drivers, Mike topples the first tree he uses for leverage and has to begin again.)

Darrell On What Passes for Ice

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On the way to Big Trout Lake with 20 tons of building materials, Darrell is wrapping up his season. All that lies between him and success is a two-mile ice crossing over a rapidly melting lake.

Before driving onto the water-covered ice, Darrell questions his sanity: “Sometimes it takes crazy to get the job done.”

Saying, he’s “never seen anything like this,” Darrel edges onto the lake and eventually reaches solid ground on the other side, but not without more than a few tense moments.

“Nothing can keep the young company down,” intones narrator Thom Beers.

The Season 9 finale airs at 9 p.m. Eastern Sunday, Oct. 18 on the History Channel.