By now, Jaime and Cara are arriving, and they're glad to see that both of the other teams' taxis are still there. Cara says that Jaime has a better memory, so she's doing this one for them. Cara joins Tammy and Margie at the watching area, looking like she's at her maximum stress level, which must be roughly equivalent to Jaime's when she's asleep.
Luke now seems to be just trying boards at random, and still getting nowhere. Jaime is overwhelmed at what she sees, wading into what is now a field of scattered boards. "These don't look like anything we've encountered, Cara," she says worriedly. Well, the good news is you don't have to worry about those. Do try to think positive once in a while, Jaime. As Victor starts racking up boards, Jaime is still not processing the idea that most of the boards are duds. "Clowns? An alligator? A lion? When the hell did we do these things?" Heh. Victor's got three boards up on his fence, while Jaime is feeling the need to comment on every board design she sees." Donkey? We didn't have a donkey. Or the kiwi? No kiwi, these are so weird. Never saw kangaroos..." Cara just calls out vague encouragement from the sidelines. Tammy is periodically calling, "Good job, Victor." And right there is Tammy and Victor's arc, in a nutshell. The first time I remember her saying "Good job, Victor" was when they limped to the mat in second-to-last in Romania, when there was no way she could have meant it. Over time, that rote utterance has somehow become not only sincere, but correct. He's up to five boards, and Luke is literally flailing, red-faced and frustrated as yet another attempt gets shaken off. That cute blonde surfer girl is hard as nails, y'all. Margie tells him to check his other boards, which he does as Victor continues to close the gap and Margie gets more and more nervous. The surfer girl is starting to experiment with new ways to shake her head by the time the commercial arrives. By the end of the hour, she'll be saying "No" in Klingon.
"Hey, Victor, did you see the alligator? Take that one," Jaime cracks, nearly dropping a board on his foot. She seems to be in a better mood now that she's figured out the hitch, even if she's no less dangerous to be around. He wisely ignores her and runs for his fence, and now he's missing only boards 5 and 8. Luke's frustration continues to grow, possibly because the editing suggests that he's retrying boards he's already tried. I'd be pissed too -- he's having enough trouble by himself without the editing adding to his problems. This is the Chekhov thing all over again. Jaime seems to have really gotten the hang of it during the ads, as by now, out of nowhere, she has a whopping seven boards in place. Victor reminds himself of Bangkok. "We did the party taxi," he whispers. "What was the Road Block in Bangkok? The boat." Back to the pile.
Luke is going limp with defeat, but when he desultorily slides a board from the eleventh slot to the tenth, suddenly he's got ten right. Not that he knows it. Jaime's only got two left. Victor has ten right as well. This is turning into a squeaker. Luke attempts another board, and is nearly in tears when it comes up wrong. And Victor puts up his Lada board, and he's done. There's a suspenseful pause while his surfer girl judge examines his work and everyone else stops to watch. "Congratulations, here's you clue," his surfer girl finally says. He and Tammy are already running for the cabs, his shorts in hand, as he reads the clue: "Travel to the King Kamehameha Golf Club and run to the Finish Line. This is it, go, go, go!" Jaime and Luke are both frustrated at being left behind as Team Family Law jumps into their cab for the last time. On the way, the siblings talk about how that was just what they needed. Victor says he thought Luke was almost done. "He's frustrated now," Tammy says with finality, as though that right there means it's the end of it for Luke. And the hell of it is, she's right.
Luke now has his number-ten board wrong again as Jaime goes back to the pile to search for the board for her first slot. From the sidelines, Cara remarks to Margie that all you can ask for is that they keep trying. "Luke, too," she remembers to add.
Tammy and Victor try not to lose their shit on the way to the finish line.
Margie suggests to Luke that he work with Jaime. Which is not generally something you see on the final task of The Amazing Race. They call each other over, and they just happen to meet over a board from the Church of San Antonio. "I don't remember seeing Jesus on the first one," Jaime says as she brings it back, but then remembers, "Oh, God, we did see Jesus on the first one, at the church!" For all the good it did her. And since that was the only one she still had missing, she's done. As she's handed her clue, Cara calls out for her to wait, and Jaime replies, "I know, I'm going to! I will, because I never would have remembered Jesus." Well, clearly. She runs back to her fence, and one at a time, flips her boards around so Luke can see them. The final one, the skewered scorpions, tell him what he's looking for. Their work here finished, the cheerleaders run to their van, Jaime berating herself for forgetting Jesus. I think that's kind of her theme for the whole Race, right there.
Luke finishes, and they're out of there. "Congratulations, here's your clue!" says Luke's surfer girl as though she hasn't been tormenting him for the last nine hours. It's lucky that his is the cutest one, since she was the one who got the most screen time out of all three of them. In the cab, with the task over, Luke breaks down, but Margie tells him to think positive. He just looks like he's positive they're about to lose.
"I'm sorry I forgot the church," Jaime says tearfully to Cara in the seat behind her. Cara's not having that. "I am not anything but proud of you and us," she insists firmly. They're like The Odd Couple, attitude-wise. Margie hugs Luke and tells him he did his best, and to be proud of himself. Good luck with that.
Ocean. Beachfront hotels. A single white taxi-van cruising down the highway, with Team Family Law inside, Tammy biting her thumbs in barely contained excitement. And then we're on the golf course with the ocean in the background, with a giant mat, and Phil, and eight other teams waiting and applauding: Brad and Victoria. Amanda and Kris. Mark and Michael. Tammy and Victor come running into view over the embankment surrounding the parking lot and down the steep, paved path onto the course. Linda|Steve. Mel|Mike. Still coming. Jodi|Christie. Jen|Kisha, all clapping and cheering, and Tammy and Victor run onto the mat and hug each other tightly. Phil puts a hand on Tammy's shoulder and recites his litany over the din: "Three continents, nine countries, forty thousand miles, Tammy and Victor, you are the official winners of the Amazing Race. Congratulations, you have won the one million dollars!" More hugging, now with crying. Speaking of which, Phil talks to Victor about his emotional involvement in the Race. "You've cried here on the mat, you know, a number of times. What does it mean to you?" Victor says he just tried to enjoy the race and be true to his emotions. He just can't believe that they're here now. Phil turns to Tammy, who he correctly observes is "Standing here, like, shaking your head, looking around, going, where am I, what just happened?" Tammy sums up her complicated feelings at this incredibly significant moment in her life: "I have no pants on!" Big laugh, both around the mat and in the bar where I'm watching this. "You can afford to buy some new ones, don't worry," Phil says. She says that Victor has "pushed me my whole life and...in this race, and I'm just so thankful to be here with him." In a post-Race interview, she says she doesn't think this changed 26 years of their relationship, "but it has helped