The Race is staying in Thailand, but moving from Phuket to Bangkok. After attaching propellers to boats at a dock, they have to navigate the canals to find their next clue. But to varying degrees, several of the teams leave their stuff back at the dock, assuming they'll eventually return. Which is correct -- for the teams who left their bags.
The Detour is a choice between singing karaoke in a party taxi and doing some punk dentistry. But for Michael|Mark and Kisha|Jen, a third option is going back for their luggage. The sisters proceed, passportless and half-barefoot, while Mark and Michael nearly come to blows over Michael's insistence on retrieving their stuff. Margie and Luke chew through the second Detour option and win yet another leg. The cheerleaders post a second-place finish, and then Kisha and Jen beat Tammy and Victor to the mat by a whisker. But since the sisters still don't have their Amazing Purse, they have to go back and get it before Phil will check them in. At least they've finished the Detour, unlike the Stuntmen, and they have cash to pay their taxi fare, unlike the Stuntmen. Mark and Michael reach the mat first, but two violations of the barter rule result in a four-hour penalty. The sisters arrive when more than three hours of that are left on the clock, but they've dodged yet another bullet, because it's a non-elimination leg. I don't know about you, but next week I'm going to be rooting for the rest of their penalty and their Speed Bump.
How would this show have worked 60 years ago? Our vlogger has some theories.
"Welcome to Phuket," says the big sign at the airport, and Phil reminds us that that is in fact where we are. "Rising out of the Andaman Sea," he narrates over an unfortunately timed shot of an enormous phallic vertical rock outcropping, "this island has been inhabited since 100 B.C. And though it was devastated by the tsunami of 2004, it has rebuilt itself into a major commercial center." Good to know. But more importantly, it's the home of a Buddhist temple that was the seventh Pit Stop in a race around the world. The arrival clips from the last episode show Luke hooting and celebrating on the mat rather than his mom crumpling, which would have been kind of a buzzkill. We're down to five teams, which means no more room for rookie mistakes. Or so you'd think.
Tammy and Victor arrived at 9:27 PM, which tells me they burned through that last leg like nobody's business. Now they get to leave the Pit Stop at 9:27 AM, after an increasingly rare 12-hour rest period. Victor rips their clue and reads that they're flying to Bangkok. Phil narrates that this is a flight of over 400 miles. Goodness, so much traveling! Once they arrive, they'll take a taxi to a boatyard on the outskirts of town and find their next clue. In an interview, Tammy says she and Victor are taking it one leg at a time. Sounds like a solid strategy, not just for Racing but for walking and running in general; otherwise you end up in some kind of weird hop. "Leg Three showed us you can still go from first to last so easily," she says. This is demonstrated with a black-and-white flashback of their sojourn in the Transylvanian mountains, which of course they only survived because Brad and Victoria were spending most of that leg in Amsterdam. She adds that they want to stay focused. We see them running for a cab outside the temple and piling inside.
Jaime and Cara are leaving at 12:31 AM, according to the subtitle, which can't be right. They were practically on the mat at the same time as the siblings. As they head out to the street to find a cab, Jaime finds a way to be obnoxious even during this relatively simple transaction. After Cara asks a cabbie if the unmarked car he's driving is "an official taxi," she says, "It's a BMW, I doubt it." Come to Thailand, and bring your Western cultural assumptions with you! They go over to ask a cop for corroboration, and Jaime gets all yelly when the cop wants to talk to someone else. "Stop talking to him! Listen! Listen, stop talking!" Alas, she is not arrested on the spot. In an interview, she says that she's so frustrated by the language barrier that "I become a lunatic. And there's nothing I can do to stop it. It's like Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Nothing? Learning another language might help. Or, hey, I've got an even better idea for avoiding problems with language barriers: don't go on The Amazing Race. My God, at this point, people complaining about language problems on The Amazing Race is like people going on Survivor or Big Brother and complaining about personal betrayal. Oh, and one other thing: when do we get to meet the Dr. Jekyll version of Jaime?