This week's Amazing Race begins in Bali, which Phil says is known as "the last paradise on Earth." The last one? That's disappointing. Let's get the racers out of there before they screw it up.
2000 miles from paradise is Hanoi, Vietnam and the next leg of The Amazing Race.
Upon landing in Hanoi, teams have to find the Rap Cong Nhan Theater to get their next clue. BEWARE! warns the clue. Somewhere is Hanoi lurks the DOUBLE U-TURN! Everyone is appropriately terrified.
Everyone except David and Connor, that is. David explains that his "orthopedic surgeon back home" recommended surgery for David's leg within seven days. So they're checking in with Phil in Hanoi to officially withdraw from the race.
Meanwhile, the teams discuss the impending U-Turn. Max says he's "looking forward" to using it. His target? John and Jessica. Get with the program, Max.
Pam and Winnie, Max and Katie and David and Connor end up at the same travel agency. David and Connor tell them they're going home. Katie and Max agree with Pam and Winnie not to U-Turn each other. They agree to target Team You Tube, the roller derby moms and John and Jessica. Is no one even curious about who went home last time? We're making a lot of assumptions here guys.
They probably figured Team You Tube was still around because they could hear Joey squealing at the Pit Start. No wonder Bali wanted them to leave.
The teams are on a couple different flights, but it doesn't matter because the theater doesn't open until the next morning.
Wynona tells us she and Chuck have been together for 24 years. They've grown apart over the last year, however, due to conflicting work schedules. The Amazing Race is their chance to "reconnect." That may not have been the most efficient choice.
Pam and Winnie spend the night on a hotel lobby floor with Max and Katie. They decide Max and Katie are "really cool" despite not liking them at first. Not only is Katie's hair nice, but Max's tan is "totally cool."
Joey is surprised to discover Hanoi is a city with buildings and modern power sources. He was expecting "the jungle."
The teams eventually congregate at the hotel lobby, where they learn that John and Jessica were eliminated while still holding onto their Express Pass. "That's overconfidence," says Max.
Joey and Meghan make mad faces at him. They don't like Max. How dare he state the obvious about their friend. Max's cool tan doesn't impress them at all.
The next day, David and Connor meet Phil at the Vietnam National Museum of History, which is the Pit Stop for this leg of the race. No one explains why they didn't fly straight home from Bali. Our guess? Showboating.
They say their goodbyes, and both David and Connor cry. It threatens to turn into a big, messy weepfest, but Phil manages to keep his wits about him and gets them on their way. You should be proud of the way you ran this race, Phil says. The crying was kind of embarrassing, but otherwise you did great.
The teams gather in front of the museum, waiting for its 9AM opening. Team You Tube and the roller derby moms are the last two teams in their alliance. The other teams plan to target them with the Double U-Turn.
Roadblock time! One member from each team watches a patriotic Vietnamese song performed. At the end of the song, the performers hold up a quote in Vietnamese. The players then have five minutes to look through hundreds of political posters to find one with that same quote on it.
The song, which the show has kindly subtitled for us, tells us "Socialism is growing more beautiful with time" and "the Vietnamese Communist Party is glorious." So it looks like we really did lose that war.
The quote translates to "glory to our young generation," which is nice. We were worried it would be something like "go home capitalist pigs."
Pam is the only one to get the right poster in the first five minutes. Everyone else heads back into the theater to hear more about the warm embrace of the Communist Party.
Wynona makes Chuck do this Roadblock too. Wynona is saving her energy for the Roadblocks that don't require movement. She's pretty sure they have those on The Amazing Race. Or maybe that's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? She's always getting Phil Keoghan and Regis Philbin mixed up.
Chuck manages to get the right poster, and he and Wynona leave the theater in second place.
Beth and Meghan decide to team up, with each of them memorizing half of the quote. Meghan finds the right posters, but stays behind until Beth finds a poster too. They end up sitting through another rendition of "It's Awesome To Be A Communist."
Katie and Max finish in third, with the singers right behind them. Joey and Meghan and the roller derby moms leave in fifth and sixth place.
Meanwhile, Pam and Winnie travel to Cong Vien Thong Nhat park, where they have to complete a Vietnamese bamboo dance. The dance involves hopping over bamboo poles in sync with your partner and – this is the important part – holding hands.
Pam and Winnie finish it quickly and move on. Chuck and Wynona fail to notice the requisite hand holding aspect of the dance, and fail repeatedly.
Katie and Max finish the bamboo dance in second place, with Joey and Meghan finishing in third. The hockey players and roller derby moms finish the dance as Chuck and Wynona continue to dance their way out of second place and into the back of the pack.
The singers have bad taxi luck and are the last team to arrive at the park. Chuck and Wynona finally figure out the hand-holding thing, and leave Caroline and Jennifer to finish the dance in last place.
This week's Detour is a choice between a favorite Vietnamese game and a favorite Vietnamese food.
In "Make Your Move," teams set up a life-sized Chinese chess game using people and colored staffs as game pieces. In "Make Your Meal," teams make pho, a Vietnamese noodle dish. They have to purchase the ingredients and then prepare two bowls of reasonably edible pho.
Except for Max and Katie and Chuck and Wynona, everyone chooses Make Your Move.
Pam and Winnie aggressively herd people around the chessboard. Once they figure out that they need to match the appropriate color clothing to the different pieces, they finish the task quickly.
The next stop is the B52 memorial site that holds the wreckage of a plane shot down during the Vietnam War. OK show, we get it. We lost. Let's move on.
At the site is the Double U-Turn of Doom. Dun dun dun DUN. Oh wait. U-Turners stay anonymous. That's not a Double U-Turn of Doom at all.
Pam and Winnie U-Turn Joey and Meghan, who wear sad faces in their U-Turn picture. Those two never turn it off, do they? Pam, or maybe Winnie, says, "They should be sad."
Sad doesn't begin to describe it. Meghan is so angry that she stops smiling. Joey is so depressed that he loses the will to draw attention to himself. Remember the solar eclipse over Asia last year? That must have been when this happened.
Joey and Meghan U-Turn Chuck and Wynona, because they're always a safe bet to come in last. Putting the U-Turn burden on Chuck and Wynona means they'll probably be able to keep at least one team behind them.
The Pit Stop for this leg of the race, as you may recall, is the Vietnam National Museum of History. Phil's still there, recovering from the emotional goodbye to Connor and David and David's Achilles tendon.
Now it's happy time, because Pam and Winnie are team number one. They win a ski trip to Whistler, Canada.
Phil asks if they're feeling "super-confident." No, they say. That's when you let your guard down. "You can ask John," says Pam. Or Winnie. If these two keep coming in first, we'll learn to tell which one is which.
Meanwhile, Max and Katie pick up two empty baskets along with two cages of live chickens. Holy cow, are these chickens going into the soup? This could get messy.
The list of supplies for the pho is in English, so they find someone to translate for them. At the check-in, they learn the weights of a couple ingredients are off so they go back to the market.
Max and Katie get their ingredient situation straightened out, and make the pho as they watch a demonstration. They give the taster their finished soup. "Made with love," says Max. "I hope you like it." He does.
Max and Katie finish the leg in second place. The hockey players are thrilled to learn they've come in third. The roller derby moms are equally happy with their fourth place finish.
The singers are baffled by the chessboard task. Apparently they've found the clue to be indecipherable, because they just start moving people around randomly. Eventually something clicks, and they make it to the Pit Stop in fifth place.
Meanwhile, Chuck and Wynona collect their baskets for the market. Chuck decides they don't need the chickens, and then starts wandering around Hanoi looking for pho ingredients.
Wynona complains that Chuck's not listening to her. She knows she's the weakest player in the race, but she's not stupid. She is a complainer though.
Joey squeals with delight upon receiving his chickens. He baby-talks to the poor animals, who begin hoping someone will butcher them so they don't have to listen to this guy anymore.
At the market, Team You Tube gets a vendor who recognizes them as belonging with those freaky Americans carrying around the chickens. She gives them their groceries.
Chuck and Wynona get to the weigh-in station at the same time as Team You Tube. Chuck now realizes they were supposed to take the chickens too. He'd assumed the dozens of chickens in cages set out next to their market baskets were just for ambiance.
Joey and Meghan learn they don't have the right groceries. The vendor just stuffed various ingredients into their baskets to get them out of her stall.
They get what they need and finish the task. It turns out Joey and Meghan make a great bowl of pho. The taster's eyes light up as he takes a sip. "MMMMM!" he says. That's as enthusiastic as we've seen anyone today. He's like the Vietnamese Joey.
Phil thinks it'll be funny to psyche out Joey and Meghan, so he acts like they're being eliminated. Haha! he says. Just kidding. You're in sixth place. Phil's kind of a sadist sometimes.
Meghan says, "No more Mr. and Mrs. Nice Guy." Now, she says, they will be huge balls of fiery righteousness. Or something like that. They show us their "mean" faces. If it means no more squealing, we're all for it.
Chuck's pho isn't greeted with much enthusiasm, but it's good enough. Chuck grabs a handful of noodles and says, "Muchas gracias."
Chuck's joy is short-lived though. "My feelings have been crushed," he says upon learning they've been U-Turned. The U-Turn board confuses him, and he thinks Joey and Meghan must have U-Turned them since their picture's on their as well. Don't you see how sad Joey and Meghan look in their pictures, Chuck? Those clearly aren't the faces of U-Turners. They're the faces of victims.
Fortunately we're spared from watching Chuck and Wynona figure out the chessboard task. We're simply assured that they finished it, and catch up with them at the Pit Stop.
"We may have bit off more than we can chew," Chuck tells Phil. He tells Wynona he's proud of her. They're both crying. Phil's like, "Good God, what is it with the criers today?"
Well, guess what crybabies? Since David and Connor took off, you can stay in the race. Phil's not sure if this is good news or bad news. Wynona says that running the race is torture, but in a good way.
We close out the show with another chorus from "Communism Rocks!" Now we'll never get it out of our heads.
Next time on The Amazing Race, we travel to Botswana and watch someone eat a scorpion.