A 5,000-mile flight means a different world, as the six remaining trams travel en masse from the Kalahari Desert to the snow-covered Swiss Alps. After landing in Zurich, everyone takes a seemingly endless series of trains higher and higher into the mountains, even as Chuck & Wynona take their relationship deeper and deeper into the abyss of bickering. In what amounts to a long, complicated, highly scenic rail commute broken up by Saint Bernards and occasional breaths of fresh air, the teams finally end up inside the forbidding mountain known as the Eiger, whose sheer northern face is so high and vertical it's got windows cut into it. Of course the racers are all going to have to climb out of one of these and into another, snagging a Travelocity gnome along the way. Most teams manage it with little difficulty except, of course, Wynona, who's still trying to get her Roadblock total up closer to Chuck's. This was not the one to do that on, as they end up missing one of the umpteen trains everyone has to ride and end up at the back of the pack with Joey & Meghan.
As for the rest of the teams, Bates & Anthony hold onto their lead going into the leg's second task, a Switchback in which they have to transport four 50-pound wheels of cheese down a steep hill. Of course we all remember a similar task from TAR14 -- which Phil actually declares onscreen the most memorable challenge ever -- but this isn't nearly as entertaining, with a lot fewer teams and sleds instead of cheese racks and deep snow that prevents anything from getting too out of control. Bates & Anthony finish first and win their third leg in a row. Check out the hat trick for the hockey brothers.
The other teams in the middle of the pack are somewhat delayed by Katie temporarily blocking the only route up the hill, but they all make it in without much incident; Beth & Mona second, Max & Katie third, and Caroline & Jennifer fourth. As for the trailing two teams, Wynona's status as deadweight becomes almost literal as Chuck has to practically drag her up the hill for the cheese challenge. Joey's and Meghan are the fifth team to finish the Switchback, leaving Chuck & Wynona to give up on the provided sleds and roll their cheese downhill in last place. Again. It's not looking good for Team Mullet, until Joey & Meghan get some bum directions and end up walking to a Pit Stop that every other team took a cab to. That allows Team Mullet to reach the mat in fifth place. But since Chuck & Wynona forsook the sleds, they get a thirty-minute penalty, which is more than enough time for Joey and an exhausted Meghan to become the official team number five. So after Chuck managed to drag his wife three-quarters of the way around the world, coming in last or second-to-last more times than we care to count, what finally gets them Philiminated is their failure to follow directions. I don't even know if that's more embarrassing or less.
The sun rises over Africa as Phil narrates, "Botswana is a landlocked nation in southern Africa." How poetic. Over less prosaic shots of the scenery, wildlife and Bushmen, he continues, "70% of this country is covered by the Kalahari Desert, which serves as home to these indigenous Bushmen." Whom we haven't seen on the show for three weeks, but it's good to know they're still here. "And located on the southern edge of the Okavango Delta is the Royal Tree Lodge," Phil concludes. See? It's not so hard to get a verb in there after all. From an expansive deck out behind the lodge, Phil tells us that this is the start of the eighth leg in a race around the world. Hockey brothers Bates & Anthony won the previous leg, again, so they're the first to start this one, at 5:55 AM. Despite the early hour, it's full daylight as they read that they'll be flying from here to Zurich, Switzerland. Phil says that's nearly five thousand miles across Africa and into Europe. It's also, we'll soon see, the opposite of Botswana in almost as many ways as it's possible for a place to be. In the airport, they'll need to find a blonde, bespectacled train conductor who will hand them their next clue. Before the leg starts, both brothers interview that they've been having a great time racing together and don't want it to end. Not that there seems much danger of that happening any time soon. Getting into a taxi, they make what sounds like a highly unusual request of their cab driver: time travel. Which seems like it would call for a bigger tip than they could afford -- not to mention against the rules -- but soon they're getting dropped off at a local travel agency called Time Travel. The name of which proves not entirely inappropriate, as an agent fires up her dot-matrix printer. She can get them to Zurich by 2:00 the following afternoon, which they take, but only after getting her assurances that nobody else is going to get there faster. In other words, all six remaining teams are going to be on the same flight. At least people are rarely surprised about that any more.
So we cut to Maun International Airport, where all the teams have already arrived, without benefit of any starting times or rankings, let alone any further pre-leg interview clips. However, Chuck & Wynona interview that they're finally having fun and not yelling at each other so much. Yes, there have been a few tense moments like the Hanoi Detour and the goat-canoe (which the Amazing Editors helpfully flash back to), but there have been plenty of other times when they avoided criticizing each other even when it was justified. Those clips don't get the point across as well, though.