Aaron calls the fishing trip "bizarre." I don't know about that, but the fishing method does turn out to be, at least to me, completely fascinating. I will be the first to admit I've never seen this before. There are birds (cormorants, I believe) that are tied to the boat, and then you tie strings around their necks so they can't swallow anything all the way, and then you toss them into the water. They duck down and get fish, and you pull them back into the boat and squeeze intact fish from their throats. It seems a little mean, but they don't seem to be suffering, and the method is utterly ingenious. It makes perfect sense -- you know what's good at catching fish? Birds -- but I've never seen it done, and it's completely cool. Denise is just happy that they didn't have to eat the birds. Hee.
Meanwhile, back at camp, J-R is passing along instructions from the mom, essentially, about how to work with the vegetables and things that they're all getting ready for dinner. James decides to take umbrage at J-R's bossy...translating. Or something. But James immediately admits that J-R did great and really just translated what the lady said, so I really don't know what the point of that was. There wasn't even a brawl!
Aaron and Denise are next trained in using a giant net to catch fish, which Denise is sure will be great. They head back to camp with fish, and everyone gets fed a lot of delicious food. Denise tells us that "flav-ah has never tasted so good." She goes on to tease herself for being "a lunch lady" who mostly thaws out frozen chicken nuggets, so it's not like her food-service job means she knows anything about food. This was "the delicatest thing that [she's] ever put in [her] mouth." Heh. Amanda interviews that the combination of the food and the culture can't be beat, and she thinks her team will have the upper hand in future challenges. Amanda is the Invisible Woman, I swear -- I have no sense of her whatsoever.
When we return, it's immunity challenge time! Dave returns to Zhan Hu, which pleases...only Fei Long, really. The immunity challenge calls for everyone to don helmets and other traditional fighting garb in a "gladiator arena" and use traditional Chinese throwing weapons to knock jars off of posts. They work in pairs against each other, because you can play offense as well as defending the jars the other team is trying to hit, which are behind you. The tribe that breaks the most vases in three rounds will win. If you remember last week, when they started doing that weird freeze-frame-y sound effect whenever anyone swung the machete to cut the final rope, you'll love this week, where they have an equally stupid bionic-like effect whenever anyone's shot is going to successfully hit a jar. Which kind of ruins the suspense, as you can imagine, since all successful hits are telegraphed so thoroughly that you might as well stop watching everything but the ch-ch-ch-ch-chhhhh. You can just tell this was some particular person's idea -- "After fifteen seasons of success, you guys really need to change up the show by using more stupid-looking visual effects, because we have editing software that we paid good money for, and we should be taking advantage of it!" You betcha. Count me as one vote against the visual effects.