While we have been made aware of many Amazing Race rules (only one player can complete a Roadblock; teams must follow every clue to the letter, etc.), there are apparently many that we viewers never learn, but which are written up in the Amazing Race Bill of Rights that are only spelled out to players. We were taught two of them tonight: You can not check in without your passport, and you can not barter your personal belongings for goods and services. Bertram Van Munster holds these truths to be self-evident (even if they're not to viewers), and players must accept them as easily as they accept the rules that benefit them. For example, did you know that all Racers are promised a two-to-one tranny-to-player ratio in all matters karaoke? That's a great deal!
Before we get into the penalties under debate, let's back up to the beginning, when the teams found themselves off to Bangkok. When last night's show was over, I turned on my computer only to be faced with this headline: Calls for revolution: Tourists warned to stay away as violent protesters take to Bangkok's streets forcing Prime Minister to flee. Wow, it's a good thing the Race wasn't happening now. I imagine Jaime's browbeating would not have gone over quite as well during a coup.
There was an odd moment at the beginning that left me utterly confused for a few minutes. Phil said that Tammy and Victor left at 9:27 p.m., while Jaime and Cara departed at 12:31 a.m., and Mark and Michael at 12:46 a.m. This made no sense at all, since Mark and Michael actually arrived at the pit stop before Tammy and Victor, and were only given a one-hour penalty. I spent far too much time drawing graphs and charts figuring out how this could be (had the time-shifting on Lost extended all the way to the Amazing Race?), only to realize that the producers had just made a mistake, and Tammy and Victor had left at 12:27 a.m., not 9:27. (Especially because they and the cheerleaders arrived at the pit stop at nearly the same amount of time.) There: now I've devoted far too much space dissecting this error, thereby wasting not just my own time, but yours as well. Is there a penalty for that, too? Do I now have to sit at my desk for four hours before I can start recapping again?
Anyway, the race resumed in Bangkok just as it had ended in Phuket: with Jaime yelling at cab drivers. When looking for verification that their cab was ''official,'' Jaime asked someone else on the street and, when he consulted with someone else, she shouted at him, ''Listen! Listen! Stop talking to him!'' Boy, her behavior really makes you want to invite Jaime over to your house for dinner, doesn’t it? Jaime said that language barriers turn her into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but does that analogy still hold when she's never Dr. Jekyll? That'd be like if a prostitute said, ''I'm just like the main character in the movie Angel, where she was a high school honor student by day, and Hollywood hooker at night, except I'm not a high school honor student by day. Anyway, that'll be twenty bucks.''
The teams are clearly getting more competitive. As they all took off in their cabs for their first destination—a boatyard—they mercilessly jockeyed for position as none of their cabbies knew where to go. When Kisha and Jen and Margie and Luke both pulled over, it seemed like Margie got her cabbie to give the sisters' wrong directions, sending them off on a goose chase. You know someone's truly bounced back from heatstroke when they have the presence of mind to screw someone over.
NEXT: The case of the disappearing nipple