Margie and Luke hold onto their lead and end up alone on the first flight out of Bangkok, but flight delays land Kisha and Jen in Guilin, China first. At a clue box, what should have been a mild contretemps between Jen and Luke gets blown all out of proportion with slo-mo replays and bitch-calling and everything. The situation repeats itself both directly at the next clue box, and by proxy at the Road Block as Racers have to get birds to retrieve fish for them, and the birds end up fighting each other for the fish, to the point where one bites Luke's hand. Mark and Michael's Speed Bump has them washing and drying locals' hair, which Mark thinks they did awesomely, of course. The Speed Bump is a choice between choreography and calligraphy, and they're just what they sound like. The cheerleaders go with the dancing option, obviously, while the other three non-Speed Bumped teams follow along with Chinese-speaking Tammy and Victor through a challenge of painting Chinese characters. It's a close finish at the Pit Stop, with Kisha and Jen beating Tammy|Victor and Margie|Luke to the mat by seconds. And then poor Phil has to mediate a blow-up between the black and the half-deaf teams that spills over into race and deafness issues. Can't wait to recap that. Cara and Jaime come in a distant fourth after communication problems with the dancing judges, and Michael and Mark finally drag themselves in and get an elegiac Philimination montage about how awesome they are. I am not buying what you're selling, elegiac Philimination montage.
What would The Amazing Race have looked like back in the olden days. Our vlogger investigates.
Déjà vu, folks -- guess who I got to watch this episode with? That's right, my predecessor, Miss Alli herself. I could say something here about the apprentice having become the master, but we all know that would be horseshit.
Phil tells us something about Bangkok, Thailand: "Built amid a vast system of canals and rivers, it is known as the Venice of the East." Which, if more people had known that during the last leg, maybe they wouldn't have abandoned their belongings at the beginning of a boat trip across the city. One more thing about Bangkok: it includes a former royal palace that just happened to be the eighth Pit Stop in a race around the world.
Margie and Luke are leaving at 9:36 AM, although once again we have no idea at what time they arrived. They rip open their clue, and both Margie and Phil tell us that they're going to be flying to Guilin, China. Phil continues that from the airport, they'll cab it to a street called Qing Xiu Li, and find their next clue outside a storefront hair salon. Margie and Luke run for a cab from the Pit Stop, and borrow their driver's cell phone to call about airline tickets. In an interview, Margie translates for Luke as he says that it's nice to be in a country where everyone has similar language barriers to his. Enjoy it while you can, Luke. "It's kind of eye-opening for me," Margie agrees. "Good," Luke says. In the cab, Margie isn't getting through to anyone on the phone, so she says they'll just find a travel agent at the airport. Which they do. They go straight to a counter, where we also learn about an apparent requirement to transfer through Guangzhou. The agent sets them up with a flight that leaves Guangzhou at 8:30 PM, but first they have to catch the flight out of Bangkok an hour from now. "I don't think any other team has any chance of making this flight," Margie happily jinxes herself as they run for the gate.
Jaime and Cara are leaving at 10:30, more than an hour behind the leaders. Jaime looks annoyed the moment she learns they're going to China, probably because she was hoping they'd go to Australia or New Zealand or the U.S. or any other place where people speak English. Oh, now we see them in a cab as Jaime says the only thing she knows about China is that it's "Very populated." Really? That's all she knows? I mean, I wouldn't expect her to know the ins and outs of the Yuan Dynasty, but it seems like it would be harder not to know at least, say a dozen other facts about China, give or take. Of course, China has the largest amount of something Jaime hates, which is people. In a joint interview, Cara shows off some diplomatic skills that will one day serve her well in the U.N. "It would be easier if we did not yell at the taxicab drivers, but that is how Jaime communicates. If it were up to me, we would have a more calm tone with the drivers." So why doesn't Cara intervene? "I know that if I get in the middle of it, it's not going to do anything except drive her to be even more upset." Plus the one she'll be more upset at is Cara, so why buy that kind of trouble? What's hilarious is that Jaime's sitting right next to her, so she's trying to be all careful not to provoke her partner's now-internationally-famous temper, when of course Jaime really couldn't give a shit. There are lots of people who claim not to care what people think of them, as Jaime did in the season premiere, but she may actually be the rarest specimen of that breed: the kind that actually means it. Otherwise she probably might have noticed that Cara is becoming increasingly embarrassed by her behavior. In the cab, Cara is trying an affirmation on her partner: "We are going to be positive and have good attitudes." Miss Alli: "And by 'we,' I mean 'you.'"