August 11, 2017 at 02:31 AM EDT

Big Brother

TV Show
Reality TV
Julie Chen
Current Status
In Season

What a summer for a person to live through! Besotted with love, betrayed by friends, beset on all sides by an omnipresent madman chanting circus tunes while bashing pots and pans together: This has not been the Big Brother season that Jessica was hoping for.

Days away from her eviction, her fate sealed, Jessica seems to accept her lot. She speaks to Kevin, making plans for her lovemate Cody, who will be so lonely without her. Kevin makes promises. “I will never lie to him,” he says. “I’ll look out for him, if you want.” Kevin is done laying low. Kevin wants to make some big moves. He sees Cody as a weapon and figures he can point him in the right direction. Cody is rarely cognizant of other non-Jessica human beings in his immediate proximity, but he doesn’t like being used, and he doesn’t like making deals. “I’m always gonna be a target,” Cody confides to us, “so I’m gonna take out whoever I want.”

It’s a suicide run, a familiar tactic for a houseguest in the throes of cabin fever and love madness. In fairness, Kevin’s handshake means nothing; his attempt at a big move is a point of irritation for his pals. And speaking of irritation: At the best or worst possible moment, Jessica asks Josh if he can spell “drought.”

Some irony here. All Josh has wanted to do all week is evict Elena. Elena, Elena, Elena: She torments his thoughts, confounds his nightmares. Everyone else in the house is ready to send Jessica home, but all Josh can think of is Elena. And it’s at the precise moment that he’s decided to start campaigning against Elena that Jessica says, “Josh, can you spell DROUGHT?”

He sure can. He has a college degree. He has a business. He steps outside, preparing to let bygones go by. Then someone gives him a hilarious idea, and he walks inside to ask Jessica, “Can you spell EVICTED?”

“Today’s not the day,” says Jessica. Cody says nothing, his eyes twin exploding supernovae of crazed rage. “You’re the dumbest person we’ve ever met, Josh,” Cody finally responds. “You guys are making it real personal,” says poor Joshy, ever misunderstood; this was him trying not to get Jessica thrown out. (Josh’s next brilliant plan should be to not win $500,000; with his luck, he’ll be the first-ever Big Brother victor to win a million.)

Josh laughs, he cries, he grabs the pots and pans and sing-sing-sings his heart out. He tells Jessica, “You gave up your game for Cody!”

Like she doesn’t already know! At the eviction ceremony, Jessica stands up and gives the kind of memorable speech that only comes from a person who has made peace with her exit. She thanks CBS, sounding like somebody applying for a return trip. She thanks Cody, saying he made the whole game worth it. (“We’re a package deal” was the subtle messaging around her eviction; surely someone at CBS sees visions of Rachel and Brendon dancing in their heads, a less wild Rachel, a vastly dumber Brendon.)

Then she shifted into burn-the-house-down mode. “It took 15 of you and half of the season to get one of two targets out of the house,” she said, spiteful but accurate. She promised her former friends that the real enemy was in their midst. “It’s not Forrest Gump over there,” she said, pointing at the man who can spell. “It’s actually Mr. Friendship,” she said, pointing at the beard that swallowed Tarzana. And if the remaining competitors don’t strike against him? They’re even dumber than Jessica always thought they were. “Bring me home, Julie,” said Jessica, dropping the mic down Josh’s throat.

Okay, so: Could Jessica have stayed in the house this week? Yes. Unequivocally. She told Julie that she didn’t trust Josh’s whole “You’re not my target” line, but there were moves Jessica could’ve made, and there were things she could’ve saved saying for a less tumultuous week. She’s been one of the more interesting players this season, strategic and besieged and mean and sometimes too careful and sometimes just wrong. (Also, this, whatever this is.) The show’s back half will be less fun without her for at least one person: Cody whispers, “I love you” in her ear as she walks out the door.

That left Josh at the end of his reign, a magician who managed to trick himself. His nemesis Elena remains in the house, walking around in her inimitably Elena way, doing all those Elena-ish things she does that taunt Josh so. See The Great Josherino, plotting his next move:

And see the Head of Household competition, a dance magic show involving costume changes and at least one hair-color swap. Predictably, most of the dudes didn’t notice when the female dancer’s hair changed from dark to light, and the field quickly folded down to just two competitors. Alex won Head of Household, and she rejoiced by jumping into glittering silver confetti, and her fellow houseguests followed her, so happy together. That left poor Cody, lost and alone.

Will he leave the house next week for a lonely stay in the Jury House?

Cody’s shown that he doesn’t want to work with anyone else, and there’s no “I” in “team.”

But there is a “me” in “comeback.”

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