The Drive to Rehab – The season begins with an hour-long drive from a parking garage in St. Catharines, Ontario to Dunnville Airport, site of the Driver Rehabilitation Centre for the second year in a row. Shirley is first to leave due to her unfamiliarity with city driving. Shirley is followed by Ben, Afiya (who departs so fast she hits an object even before leaving the parking garage), Sly (who would rather use his cell phone GPS than the written directions given to him), Tab, Aaron, Lauri, and Jon (whose car does not have a backseat, and thus cannot fit both his nominator Elise and a camera crew member). Afiya is the first to be pulled over by the camera crew for going 50 km/h over the speed limit. At the Driver Rehabilitation Centre, Ben is the first to arrive, followed by Shirley, Sly, Tab, Aaron, Afiya (given a ride the rest of the way to rehab), Jon (who would have been pulled over had there been a camera crew member), and Lauri.
Basic Assessment – This year's featured car is a used 2009 Dodge Challenger RT (painted in a flag-inspired livery), to be used in one challenge per episode. Contestants will first turn the car around in a cross, before going down a short maneuvering course in reverse, turning the car around, and performing a slalom at 50 km/h. Afiya – who prefers to drive barefoot for this challenge – is the first to scratch the car, and quickly loses control in the slalom. Sly gets the left side of the car pinned, so the cross must be widened for his benefit; nevertheless, he still hits many things and goes through the slalom far too quickly. Lauri goes through the cross with minimal incident without her pets, but when Andrew introduces four stuffed animals to her car (representing her pets) it causes her performance to degrade considerably; she also goes through the slalom too fast. Ben nearly knocks down the entire course, including the obstacles in the slalom. Tab initially refuses to do the slalom at 50 km/h, but she is persuaded to do the challenge. However, after 45 minutes, she has still not cleared the cross. She gives up on the reverse, and hits three of the obstacles doing the slalom. Jon goes too fast throughout the course, which all result in hits. Shirley forgets to turn around in the cross, but she still hits things going forward through the reverse sections. At the slalom, she hits all of the obstacles. Aaron is the last to take the challenge, and he nearly gives up on the cross. Extensive coaching by his father, Lee, is needed to get through the reverse. He ends the challenge by hitting the second obstacle in the slalom.
When the experts interview the contestants, the experts question Tab on her nerves, Ben on his relationship, Jon on humility, and Shirley on confidence. Lauri, who has seen past seasons on the show, is quietly confident; while Sly admits to confidence issues. Afiya is ignorant as to why she was nominated, while Aaron breaks down when talking to the experts. He admits that maybe if he can share his pain to the world, he will be able to recover. Since it's the end of the first episode, no one is leaving, and the lessons will begin in earnest.
The Alan Nursall Experience: Daily Planet correspondent Alan Nursall takes on the Trough, a challenge that has been featured in past years, which will also be used later on this season.