"Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Rob's karma." "Rob's karma who?" "Rob's karma THIS." Yes, this is the night when we learn that you can get away with a lot of grinning and tough talk about other teams until the moment when you egregiously screw up, at which point every self-satisfied thing you say -- and particularly every dismissive thing you say about people who are, unbeknownst to you, ahead of you -- takes on a delightfully ironic flavor. This lesson is driven home to one Rob Mariano after he makes one too many playful jabs to scare Meredith and Gretchen and Uchenna and Joyce, and winds up scaring them intoâ¦investigating a flight they never would have found without "help." When he gets entirely rotten information from a ticket agent, Rob concludes that he's in the clear, and he and Amber and Ron and Kelly have a brief moment of peace in Turkey before realizing that they're actually fighting for last place this time. Despite Gretchen's lengthy sojourn up the side of a tower and the trouble she and Meredith apparently have finding clue boxes in fairly unchallenging situations, they finish second behind a surging Uchenna and Joyce. Rob and Amber beat out Ron and Kelly for third place, and all of a sudden, it's a whole new ball game as the pageant queen and the POW lose all their loot. Oh, and Kelly basically does accuse Ron of using his POW status as a cheap way to avoid his commitment to the military. It's almost unbelievable, but her comment to this effect is actually more offensive than it looked in the preview. I know -- it seems impossible. It isn't. Oh, and -- did you know Travelocity was a sponsor of this show? I bet you do now.
Credits. It wasn't until I heard the theme song on headphones while working on the recap on my computer at Starbucks (thanks, computer with TiVo capabilities, and thanks, total lack of shame at appearing to be the kind of dork who does work at Starbucks!) that I truly came to appreciate all the drums, which I think are the secret weapon of that music. [BOMP.]
Commercials. It seems to me that if you have your husband on speaker phone while your colleagues are coming in for a business meeting, especially if you don't tell your husband he's on speaker phone, I really can't feel all that sorry for you.
We return to Jodhpur, India, where the introductory footage treats us to an actual apparent snake-charmer. Phil explains that this is the "agricultural center of northwest India," and that in the middle of the city is the eighth pit stop. On, of course, this "racearoundtheworld." He wonders whether working together will benefit Rob and Amber and Ron and Kelly, and whether Meredith and Gretchen will ever stop finishing last. I think you'll agree that the respective answers to those two questions will come as something of a shock to anyone viewing the episode.