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Big Brother recap: Super-veto competition

New alliances form. Old alliances splinter. And also, Victoria.

Posted on

Big Brother Recap

Big Brother

TV Show
Reality TV
Julie Chen
Current Status:
In Season

Big Brother went Biblical this week, and I’m not just talking about the “Adam and Eve” punishment. But let’s start there. As part of their ongoing effort to drive the houseguests insane, the half-man half-squid Swedish parapsychologists who secretly rule Big Brother forced Caleb and Victoria to dress like they were in the Garden of Eden. This meant leaves, leaves, and more leaves! Caleb reacted to this punishment the same way he reacts to everything: with loud, angry confusion. Victoria reacted to this punishment the same way she reacts to everything: by looking up into the sky and screaming, “Guys, oh my god, there’s an ocean up in space! Oh, never mind, I guess the ceiling of the earth is just blueberry-flavored today!”

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Now we know what it would look like if Jeremy Renner ever starred in a “Garden of Eden” movie! These two, they’re the original odd couple. Is it weird that I’m rooting for them? I realize that they come from different worlds. Caleb is a down-home boy raised in a heretofore-undiscovered corner of the western frontier where everyone wears American Apparel and takes a bath in hair gel. Victoria is from the corner of Venus where people communicate by smiling and doing nothing. But you could sense Caleb slowly warming up to his former block ally. He called her a nincompoop. She complained that he never lets her do anything that she wants to do. He told her that he was still in love with Amber, and she said: “Oh, I love Amber, too! She’s the butterfly who whispers secrets in my ear when no one is around, right?”

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Imagine trying to explain this image to George Washington. Imagine trying to explain this image to the first fish that ever crawled out of the sea.

But the Biblical allusions went deeper. The Big Brother squid-people forced Caleb to shave his beautiful head of hair. “With a bald head I look dumb,” Caleb said, unnecessarily adding in those first four words. And so it was that Victoria of House Space Cadet shaved Caleb’s head bare.

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The Philistines look along, delighted. Fun fact: If you open up your Picture Bible to the book of Genesis, you can actually see the moment when God cursed Zach to crawl on his belly and eat dust all the days of his life.

It was like Samson and Delilah all over again. Without his hair, Samson lost all his strength. And without his hair, Caleb… became a strangely less creepy human being? Maybe I’m giving him too much credit. Maybe “strangely less creepy” is a backhanded compliment. But after a fortnight-plus of playing Mark Wahlberg in Fear, Amber’s exit has suddenly transformed Caleb into a far more amenable Mark Wahlberg in The Big Hit. I mean like, look at this human being:

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 5.23.59 PMThat is a man with a shaved head and bicep tattoos that look like the graffiti your stoner friend painted all over his dad’s garage door, and he is plucking off leaves from his leaf-loincloth. And the man is wearing a crown. Serious question: Could Caleb be a more serious threat than any of us are giving him credit for? Strategically, he’s a total wash: He still thinks that he’s in an alliance, and he doesn’t realize that his alliance has transformed into a different alliance that is already forming new alliances against one another. But he’s an undeniably steady presence. He doesn’t stab anyone in the back; it’s unclear if he even has opposable thumbs. When the war comes, when the hallways of the Big Brother house run red with backstab blood, could Caleb look like the lesser of two evils?

Perhaps the answer lies in the Good Book.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 5.06.10 PMPause to imagine Zach, suddenly reading the Bible for the first time. “Yo, bro, do unto others, bro. And that’s the Zach Attack style, Golden Rule baby! [Vertical Clap].”


In other news, Nicole is killing it this week. If you’re like me, you dismissed The Girl From Ubly as a likable lightweight early on. She was friends with Christine, but that friendship didn’t seem to extend to Christine actually doing anything whatsoever to help Nicole’s game play. She was in a flirtmance with Hayden, but Hayden’s whole approach to the game seems derived from long hours rewatching The Big Lebowski and taking notes on how to do nothing.

But now Nicole’s the Head of Household—the first Empress to retain her crown all summer. She had a plan: backdoor Frankie. But she also took the opportunity to stare down upon the various shenanigans inside of the Big Brother house… and she did not like what she saw. Zach whispered in her ear that Christine was lying to her. And Christine immediately followed through on Zach’s implications. She was worried that she was drifting from Nicole. So she tried to drive a wedge into the Nicole-Hayden showmance. She told Nicole that Hayden has been spotted smooching with Victoria, and she told Nicole that Hayden was a solid Zach supporter.

Nicole didn’t buy it, not a word of it. “She’s not very smart with her game,” said Nicole. “She thinks she can manipulate me like that?” The same day, Nicole and Hayden followed through on their plan to form a genuine alliance. They called Derrick and Cody up to the HoH thronebed. “No one’s gonna expect us to work together,” said Derrick. Cody seemed like an agreeable accomplice, noting that—without Frankie—Zach’s game would also crumble.

The twist, of course, is that Derrick and Cody are already double-allianced: First with the Detonators, an incredibly powerful five-person alliance that has more or less run the house this past month, and then with each other in the Hitmen. So it was not initially clear just how seriously they were taking this new alliance. The lack of a good name didn’t help. Hayden floated “Quadropolis,” which I liked a little bit only because it recalled my dear all-female alliance “Michelle Quadriguez” from that beautiful moment on Night One when it seemed like the women of Big Brother would rise up in a feminist revolution. They agreed on “The Rationale,” which sounds like the name of your friend’s garage band that you always secretly hated.


To make things even more confusing, though: Christine. What kind of game is she playing? Does she even know? Here’s a player who has had a few different powerful alliances handed to her on a plate, for no apparent reason beyond the sudden vogue for People With Glasses in the Big Brother house. She’s played a careful game; she’s been a quiet but devoted member of her alliances. This week, she’s on a vengeance kick, hoping to take down Zach—but it’s not clear how that move actually helps her game. Meanwhile, she advised Nicole to put either Derrick or Cody up on the block as replacement nominees. She only ever imagined them as pawns… but then Nicole spread that word to Derrick and Cody, and now Derrick and Cody seem to think that Christine is working with someone on something.


Photo evidence that Hayden is gradually transforming into a wannabe pop star-turned-cocaine dealer from 1982 named Stephanie:

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NEXT: Froot Loop Dingus Busta-fooligan