Gary and Mallory open their clue at 9:29 PM, with her spazzing excitedly as always. Ron and Christina leave in 9:38, in third place. The Globetrotters, you recall, actually arrived ahead of Ron and Christina, but got a thirty-minute time penalty so they'll be leaving later. Ron and Christina are excited to be going to a country where they speak the language. In fact, they've even been to Li Jiang before. Seriously?
Jen and Kisha leave in fourth place, at 9:50 PM. Their excitement at going back to China is tempered by the fact that they ran three whole legs there during TAR14. Jen remembers, "I called a deaf guy a bitch." Flashback to that whole controversy, for which Jen apologizes, meaning I don't have to get into it again. Thanks, Jen!
Flight Time and Big Easy are leaving at 10:01 PM, meaning their non-penalty departure time would have been 9:31 PM. We don't hear them complain about their adjusted time, but they're kind of amazed to be going to China. Jet and Cord open their clue at 10:34. "Let's go to China!" Jet says on the mat. "See you there," Cord agrees, like they'll be traveling separately. Then Jet almost forgets to get into the left side of the car. "Everything's backwards here!" he gripes. Not as backwards as it became last week.
Kent and Vyxsin are leaving in seventh place, at 11:33 PM. They act all excited to be going to China, and we see in a pre-start interview that this is because their starting position of "lucky seven" (out of nine, which is not lucky) means they're going to be all about "PMA," or "Positive Mental Attitude." Now, what happens next is telling. The Amazing Race musical score has three moods -- Dramatic, Ominous, and Wacky -- but here is a rare instance of its fourth and least-heard mood, Silent. This way, we can hear all the various aural subtleties of Kent trying and failing to get into their car. "It's not ours," Vyxsin pronounces, and flounces off while Kent wonders, "Did somebody steal our car?" Maybe by accident, using a slim-jim and wire cutters.
Margie and Luke open their clue at 11:52 PM. Luke's pretty excited about a return to China. They get into their puke-green car. Meanwhile, the Goths are wandering around the darkened park Blair Witch-style, with Kent calling to Vyxsin to come back for some reason. "This is a race," she reminds him. But at least they've found their car, way over on the other side of the park. By pressing buttons on the remote, Kent succeeds in making the car's lights flash, but can't open the hatchback. Vyxsin stresses at him to get in through the front door and open it from inside. "Oh, I was pushing lock," he realizes as he switches to hitting the button to open the trunk. "Okay, well, don't do that," she snaps. They get into the car while Kent tells her, "Calm it down." "So much for PMA," she confesses. Yeah, I was going to say. Kent tries to get the car actually moving, she counts their cash for the leg, saying, "This is just the most stupid day ever and it just started." At this point I thought this was just a little ironic moment that the Amazing Editors dropped in there, perhaps a little meanly as a minor bit to juxtapose against their cheerful start. I don't think it's a spoiler to say I was wrong.