Previously on Caviar Emptor ("Let The Buyer Throw Up Fish Eggs For A Week"): A remarkably long leg started with a punishing bus ride and another chapter in Mirna's continuing efforts to alienate as many people-o as possible. The complexities of reconciling the concept of racing with the desire to politely refrain from letting on that you were impolite enough to butt in line were unconvincingly addressed. God was invoked, and did not appreciate it. Bolting vodka off a sword proved to be easy, swallowing two pounds of caviar proved to be difficult, and a lot of very nauseated people pulled up to the pit stop and immediately ran into the bushes to share a private moment with an open patch of dirt. Seven teams are left. "Who will be eliminated...next?"
Credits. Dear Chip and Kim: Can I live in your house? [BOMP.]
Commercials. I just really don't understand the Philip Morris information about how smoking gives you cancer. They aren't even allowed to advertise allergy medications unless they warn you that you might get swollen ankles. I doubt they would let you run ads that say, "This pill has no beneficial effects, and will make you die." I'm aware that incongruity and the tobacco industry often do the watusi until the wee hours of the morning, but...still.
Snow! Vastness! Decorative uses of gold, everywhere! Phil reminds us that we are at Catherine's Palace, which he calls "a luxurious country estate" outside St. Petersburg. It turns out that in the great tradition of boys showing off, Peter the Great built it for his wife Catherine, most likely after forgetting her birthday. (And you thought the Russian winter was cold! Hotcha!) This was the fourth pit stop, and there was eating, sleeping, and mingling. I am almost certain that there was also agonized stomach-clutching and the belching of salty air, but they don't tell you that. By the way, during the "eating" segment, there appears to be one empty seat, and would you like to know where it is located? Between Mirna and the Twinkies. Yeah, I wouldn't sit there either. Because when your radio is involuntarily tuned to K-TWIT, the least you can hope for is that you won't receive it in stereo. Phil wonders briefly whether Chip and Kim will hold on to their lead, but the pondering is kept to a minimum as we hop directly into pit stop departures.
9:11 AM. Chip and Kim are getting ready to go. The clue instructs them to go to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, which Phil explains is a train ride away, and is "one of the world's largest museums." Their task when they arrive will be to walk around, followed by a curator, until they find a Rembrandt painting called The Return of the Prodigal Son. Number of works at the Hermitage: three million. So you probably won't want to stop and point at all of them, although if anyone were ever going to try it, this would be the season. Once they find the painting, they'll get their clue. And incidentally, they're getting $123 for the leg. As Chip and Kim leave, he voices over that they "feel awesome" about leaving in first place for once. Yeah, go bottom-feeders! They go to get a cab, and you get your first glimpse of one of the episode's best running jokes as they ask for the train station and Kim gives a hearty "Choo-choooooo!"