Last time, twins Liz and Marie just barely scraped by into eighth place, and Cathi fell down, but it was showgirls Kaylani and Lisa who were out. The Amazing Race teams are headed for Phuket, Thailand, which is pronounced poo-KET, even though it looks like it could be something naughty. Laurence pronounces it “Pucket,” which is charming on him.

Andy and Tommy find out that there’s no direct flight to Phuket, so they go to Jakarta first, with Laurence and Zac in tow. I hope they’re right. Are you drinking along tonight? Because the twins are already talking in unison, Andy and Tommy are extraordinarily relaxed, and Bill and Cathi are talking about their age!

It appears that the other six teams are also going to Phuket via Jakarta. Even though they arrived in Jakarta earlier, Andy and Tommy and Laurence and Zac get on a flight that arrives in Phuket at 7:40, an hour later than the other teams! Oh god, Cathi had better fall down a ton again if we still want the snowboarders in this!

Fortunately for fans of Laurence and Zac and Andy and Tommy, the twins didn’t exchange their Indonesian currency for Thai money. Bill and Cathi got a lead-footed cab driver, who passes the rest of the teams with nothing but a thumbs up. The snowboarders and the sailors (what else can we call them?) arrive and a woman tells them, “I know, I know! Four cars!” Meaning that four cars full of anxious Americans already went that way about an hour ago. At least they know they’re behind.

All the teams arrive at the marina, where the dock opens at 8:00 am. Looks like we’re all tied up and the snowboarders and sailors are saved. At 8 am, the teams all rush for the clues at the end of a wobbly dock, led by the snowboarders of course! Time for the Detour! Teams must choose between “Coral Reconstruction” and “Beach Preparation” to help rebuild Thailand’s tourist industry as quickly as possible.

For “Coral,” the teams will construct a coral nursery and paddle out to put baby coral in their nursery underwater. For “Beach,” the teams have to set beach chairs and umbrellas up to the exact standards of the beach club. I have a feeling that the beach one seems deceptively easy. It seems like some of the other teams sense that as well, choosing “Coral Reconstruction.”

I would still choose Beach because I’m useless underwater. The teams speedboat across the water, yelling phrases that will also help rebuild Thailand’s tourist industry. It really is beautiful.

It’s still anyone’s game, as all the teams hit the beach right around the same time. Justin and Jennifer continue to bicker as they hammer together a coral nursery. Liz and Marie have trouble finding the proper chairs and lifting the heavy umbrellas. Jeremy and Sandy are still exhibiting very little personality as a team.

Andy and Tommy, who are also surfers, understand the power of a strong current. They expertly tie their kayak down and weight their nursery with rocks. They are rolling this game up and smoking it. Their clue/medallion points them north toward Soap Island to collect a clue and (I hope!) participate in a Goonies reenactment.

Liz and Marie barely have the strength to open the beach chairs, and Jeremy and Sandy are finally carving out a name for themselves by fighting.

“We picked the wrong challenge,” Sandy says, to which Jeremy responds, “stop complaining.” Whoa, buddy! Their coral nursery is falling apart, though. Bill and Cathi have the same problem, and opt for the other Detour. Oh boy, this is a disaster. Three teams choose the other challenge, but fighting against the current has exhausted Marcus. If the professional football player is tired, there is little hope for the rest of us.

Are you loving Bill’s partial-mesh sleeveless tee? I am. I also kind of like Jeremy’s terrible attitude because now we can dislike them for a reason. Is that so awful? Liz and Marie are pushed to the point of tears as their beach umbrellas fall in the wind and the locals laugh at them. These guys know good TV when they see it.

Andy and Tommy get their next clue, which sends them on a climb to fetch a clue in a bird’s nest (no joke!). Justin and Jennifer know a Goonies reference when they see one, so they happily shout, “Goonies never say die!” on their way to Soap Island. Slick shoes!

Andy scales the rock wall with great success, of course, and they’re on their way to the Pit Stop at the floating village in Koh Panyi. First Goonies, now Waterworld.

Ernie and Cindy finish the Beach Detour from hell, followed by Laurence and Zac. God, this challenge is depressing. Marcus offers some encouragement and advice to Liz and Marie on his way out, and Jeremy and Sandy finally have something new to fight about.

Andy and Tommy come in first AGAIN and they win $5,000 each. They deserve it, they’re nice guys and they’re running a great race. Justin and Jennifer check in second and Phil had a little fun with Jennifer! He’s working hard for the Emmy this time.

Bill and Cathi leave Liz and Marie struggling in the sand, but Ernie and Cindy might not be headed North. Oh no, they’re definitely not. Now the movie they’re caught in is Open Water. Not good!

The twins are starting to turn on each other, just as the prophecy foretold. Ernie and Cindy finally find Soap Island, and Liz and Marie dig their way out of the Detour. At least Cindy had them practice rock climbing before the Race!

Laurence and Zac might be overcomplicating the map from their clue. They’re used to reading maps for boats and stuff because that’s what they do, but they somehow get lost on the way to the Pit Stop. Bill and Cathi are delighted just to be in this, and Laurence and Zac follow their speedboat out. “What a bunch of useless sailors we are,” Laurence says.

Jeremy and Sandy check in third at the Pit Stop, STILL fighting every last step. Is it mean to say I don’t like Jeremy’s face? Yeah, it is. Laurence and Zac check in fourth, and exhausted Amani and Marcus struggle to find Phil. Ernie and Cindy check in fifth, Amani and Marcus in sixth. Bill and Cathi arrive seventh.

Liz and Marie know they’ll be eliminated, so they enjoy the scenery, “it’s like riding to our death.” Of course, Phil tells the twins that it’s their lucky day. It’s a non-elimination round! We’re stuck with them for another episode. I feel like it’s always a non-elimination round when you see the last team reflecting on their journey before they even check in (“well, it’s been a great ride, at least we got to see places we’ve never seen before!”).

(images courtesy of CBS)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).