Fresh off Paul’s advice to choose her actions wisely, Jessica’s first stop is getting Matt to corroborate Paul’s bombshell that Cody kept Jason and Alex around to get rid of people like Jessica and Raven. When Matt senses the inevitable nightmare of a confrontation and shrinks into his turtle shell, Jessica goes directly to Cody to find out what happened. She asks a great question: “When my mom watches this show, is she going to love you or is she gonna hate you?” Truly, the best question I’ve ever heard.
Naturally, Cody vehemently denies what Paul said. And why shouldn’t he? It was a strategy floated on Day 13, long before Cody’s relationship with Jessica looked anything like it does now. I’ll happily play devil’s advocate and opine that it’s an outdated piece of information. But still, he lied about it, which I can’t support, nor can I support how his face starts twitching as he curses under his breath and sulks away, which is as close as a person can get to a confession of guilt.
In the meantime, Paul has done the legwork of passing Jessica’s no-hex demands to the rest of the house, including Mark and Elena (the only pair from whom he conveniently omits the incredibly crucial part about Alex being the one to go home next). The house seems on board with the demands — or at least, with pretending to accept them — and Paul tells Jessica the plan is in motion. She needs a minute.
Jess shares one last bedtime cuddle with Cody, presumably something of a sudden death round of “Where is this relationship going?” Lo and behold, they stand on the precipice of a break-up for, what, the 20th time this week? There’s some complicated language about whether he’s had it with the game or is just done with her, and when he doesn’t really answer either way, it looks likely that she’ll use the hex. In fact, she all but confirms the plan with a select few (the other couples, Christmas, and Paul) in the HOH room. But then, the veto meeting arrives. It’s fairly uneventful in and of itself, save for Paul using the veto on Jason and everyone getting grumpy that Jessica and Cody write soliloquies. But in its wake, new drama emerges. Actually, calling it “drama” negates the magnitude of the blow-out that encompasses the entire house and gives us our first true all-house dumpster fire fight of the season.
The meltdown begins with an actually innocuous conversation that Jessica overhears between Kevin, Raven, and Jason. They’re talking about what will happen if Jess doesn’t use her hex, and then literally contemplating the leaden weight of the veto necklace. Truly, it’s a 2.5 out of 10 on the grand scale of scandalous Big Brother conversations, but Jessica insists that the conversation and its sudden stop upon her entrance was, in a word, sketchy. Jessica targets Raven as her source of anger; one thing leads to another, and soon Raven is stuck in a room with Jessica and Cody, accused by the former of talking to people “she doesn’t usually talk to” (OMG, the scandal) and by the latter of gunning for him. It should be said, Raven has done next to nothing in this whole hubbub, but the little hiccup unlocks enough of Jessica’s anger that she’s now convinced herself she’ll be using the hex. Great.
It gets back to Paul that the deal is dead, and so he unbelts his hound-whistle and summons the dogs to descend upon Cody and Jessica. In a truly iconic moment, Paul tells Josh, his largest pug, “Turn it up to a 30. Pots, everything.” (Josh’s incredulous “A 30!?” better be making its GIF rounds by the end of this week, please.) It’s not just Josh, though. Alex gets in on the harassment, as does Raven, and once the conversation turns to WHO STOLE ALEX’S CAT EARS A FEW WEEKS AGO, it’s truly on another level. Jessica and Raven scream their heads off at one another before Jessica and Cody retire to the hammock outside…as if literally everyone isn’t about to follow them into the backyard and scream their e-mo-tions even louder.
Paul hoped that turning up the heat would unleash Cody’s rage and once again show Jessica why she’s making the same mistake over and over by pledging allegiance to him. It doesn’t, really. But it does unlock some real strange colors to the house — in Raven and Alex’s unexpected chastising, in Mark’s hulking moralizing, and in Matt’s hilariously, depressingly aloof, “I really wish we would have just tried a different tactic.” Easily, the funniest moment is Christmas wheeling herself out to see all the drama. It’s just such a disaster. The Titanic has struck the iceberg, King’s Landing has exploded, Katy Perry has released Witness. What a mess.
Unsurprisingly, by the time things cool down for the live eviction, there’s actually no drama left. Everyone’s spent, and it’s no surprise that Jess uses the Halting Hex. So, no one’s going home until next week. But boy, if you relished the intensity of this week, next week ought to be one hell of a ride. The spooky-themed zombie putting competition revealed our newest head of household — JOSH — and it’s the kind of cliffhanger that demands a close eye on the feeds just to see what insane power trip he embarks upon. When Josh wins, you can legitimately pinpoint the moment Jessica and Cody’s hearts sink, and mine, too, as I realize that we are doomed to repeat the same time loop of Jessica and Cody versus the world in perpetuity until the end of summer. Except this time, Josh has new pots and pans in his care package. Welcome to Horror Week.