Well, at least evil didn't triumph.
As in Jaime & Cara.
After winning like five legs of the Race, overachieving siblings Tammy & Victor proved that being fit and smart and nice and mindful of bringing shame to your parents is the path to victory. So they're a little boring. When you win a million dollars (or whatever you get after taxes), being vanilla matters little.
We left off at the bird's nest in Beijing with the three remaining teams. It's back to the States, and Tammy & Victor leave first for the trip to Maui, where they have to get to Beach Access 118.
As the Race ends, it's time for some introspection. The Race's first deaf contestant Luke, with Momma Margie translating, signs that they were considered the underdog team and they are now proving those haters wrong. From what I remember, the person who most considered brought up the idea of them being underdogs was Luke.
Former NFL cheerleaders Jaime & Cara note that they don't know why in 14 seasons an all-female team has yet to win. Please, the viewers pray, in the name of all that is right, don't let them be the first.
As it turns out, Tammy & Victor's lead doesn't matter; they can't make flight reservations until the next morning, so all the teams meet up at the airport and catch the same flight. We're gearing up for a tight race.
Flight lands and Tammy & Victor get in the cab first; Jaime & Cara are second. Jaime seems nicer to the American cab driver. Margie takes over Jaime's role, ordering her driver to go fast. "That's illegal, ma'am" is the stunned driver's response. This is, after all, Hawaii where they have a gesture for 'hang loose.'
The teams' first task is to prep a pig for a luau. They must season it, then carry it over to a pit and cover it properly to get the clue. And they must be wearing provided swimsuits.
Tammy & Victor set off first, with Jaime & Cara right behind them. Jaime tells Cara that they can past the overachieving sibs because Tammy is a weakling. She quickly learns that Tammy isn't the only weakling; Cara is having trouble holding on to the pig too. As she's proven time and time again, Momma Margie is the strongest. Perhaps it's because she's still carrying her grown son.
Jaime keeps insisting that she and Cara are stronger than Tammy and can beat her. But the more she says that, the weaker Cara seems to get. Tammy struggles too; Victor gets impatient, and starts coaching her though each step. Tammy, who has been pretty zen during most endurance activities, finally breaks a sweat and even yells as she makes the effort to lift the big pig.
Jaime begins to treat Cara like she's been treating the world's cab drivers, as Cara keeps dropping the pig. Good thing these pigs are going over fire, or someone would be biting into some sandy, grass porkchops.
While the younger women continue to struggle, Momma Margie & her boy Luke finish and get the clue which sends them to McGregor Point Beach where they are to drive a watercraft to an area to search among 100 buoys to find the attached clue.
Meanwhile, Tammy & Victor finally make it to the pit. The Hawaiian natives begin to laugh at them for covering the pig incorrectly. They figure things out, remove the leafy prongs and get the clue. Jaime & Cara follow closely behind.
At the beach, Margie drives, and like a true mom, slaps her boy's hand to make sure he holds on to her. Like a true son, Luke mostly ignores her order and plays backseat driver yelling "mom" and "go", repeatedly. Margie told him last week she was tired of that, but Luke keeps it up and now she can't even feign annoyance. Luckily, they find the clue fairly quickly.
That next clue sends them to a fence made of surfboards, and the clue box has a roadblock.
In this roadblock, one team member with a good memory, has to search through a pile of 300 vintage surfboards to find those with images related to 11 tasks they've done during the race, then put those boards in the correct order.
Luke, his momma says, has a great memory and has been prepping for this kind of task the whole race, so if he can keep his swim trunks from falling off (either he's lost weight or the Race folks aren't good at sizing), he should do well. And he does indeed start off nailing it.
Jaime & Cara finish the watercraft activity first but Jaime's crimes against cab humanity are coming back to bite them at just the right time. Their cabbie doesn't know where the surfboard fence is, and they are sitting on the side of the road as he tries to find out. His dispatcher has this message for Jaime: Tell that heifer that I speak English and let me say this clearly: I'm not her personal concierge and I have don't have time to track her route, so figure it out yourself, Red! Or something along those lines. At any rate, it was the perfect 'Karma is a bee-yotch' moment.
Still, Jaime doesn't give up. She actually gets the cabbie to dial the police and tells them she is in a very important race and needs directions. And the police actually help. The team can get on their way. Except now the cabbie needs gas. Get her Karma, get her!
Tammy & Victor are stuck behind a slow car so by the time they get to the surfboard roadblock, Luke has two boards left to place. By now he's taken off his loose trunks and is working in his Speedos. A little later, Victor has to take his off too as he looks for boards. The show's PG ratings stays in tact.
Victor picks out the boards and piles them up before he begins placing them. Luke finishes, but his last two boards are wrong.
Jaime & Cara arrive and Jaime does the memory game. She's dumbfounded at first; she doesn't seem to get that some of the boards don't apply to their activities.
Victor stays focused; Luke stays flummoxed. Victor catches up. Luke's giving up. At this point, he thinks only the last board is wrong. Wait till he figures out its the last two.
Jaime finally gets one board.
Luke just starts picking up boards and trying them. No. No. No. No. He shifts the last board into the tenth slot, and finds out that's right.
Victor has one more; he gets it right and they get the clue. They're off to the finish line and a million dollars.
Luke is still getting it wrong. Jaime catches up, she just needs one more. Margie tells Luke that they should help each other. Luke helps Jaime and she finishes first; then she helps Luke.
Jaime & Cara get in the cab; she's bummed that she forgot about Jesus, the image from the church from the first task. She blames herself for what certainly seems like their loss. One is tempted to note that it's soooo appropriate that what brought them down was "forgetting about Jesus" as in the whole love thy neighbor/we are all children of God/Golden Rule principle. But this is a reality show, so let's not get all theological, OK?
Luke too, is crushed. He blames himself for his memory lapse (he forgot the bug eating in China) and he knows too that unless Tammy & Victor get in a car crash, the overachieving sibs will win.
And that's what happens. After they cross the line, Victor gets weepy. Phil points out that he's cried on the mat a few times. Victor says he's been just trying to be true to his emotions, which sounds just like someone raised in the Oprah era. Tammy notes that she has no pants on and that Victor has pushed her her whole life and that now he knows that the way she thinks is valuable and describes herself as a "nutty little Asian girl." We scan our brain and can't remember a single nutty moment.
Inexplicably Jaime & Cara run to second place, aka losers, and Jaime cries again about missing one of the clues, but Cara says second place isn't too shabby, considering the competition.
The first deaf contestant Luke & momma Margie come in third aka, last or bigger loser, and Luke hopes his mom is proud of him. Because, you know, it's all about him. Phil calls Margie the bionic woman, which he stole from me. (He reads this blog regularly, you know.) Luke gets weepy because he says a lot of deaf people don't have parents who sign, so he feels lucky to have a mother who does.
He is proud to be the first deaf person on the show and to have shown that deaf people can lose The Amazing Race just like hearing people.
It's a message we should all embrace.