September 10, 2017 at 10:59 PM EDT

Big Brother

TV Show
Reality TV
Julie Chen
Current Status
In Season

We’re getting down to the final stretch of Big Brother 19, and it appears an unlikely Clark Kent has emerged from the shadows. In the remaining pack of Big Brother superheroes and villains, Paul has been the mastermind, taking people out one by one under the guise of “friendship.” But it seems an anti-hero, in the form of Josh, is on to the BB18 vet’s insidious ways, realizing the only “ship” Paul’s been captaining is dictatorship.

Josh is suited up in his metaphorical superhero suit and his Spidey sense is on high. To use some current slang, Josh is a “woke” man. Grab your cape, shield, or superhero power of choice, and let’s join him in this house of lies.

“Back to the Future”

In the words of the late Dr. Carl Sagan: “You have to know the past to understand the present.” We kick off the episode with just that. Here we learn the details that we missed during Thursday’s live double-eviction episode, and boy are they juicy. It’s clear the ramifications of the Jason and Raven evictions have set the emotional and strategic tone for the remainder of the game.

“Tonight had to be easily the craziest night of my BB experience ever,” Paul tells us. “All my plans worked perfectly.” While it’s no surprise that Paul was able to manipulate his allies to keep the blood off his hands and do his dirty work, the moves weren’t made without some potential issues down the line for Paul.

The Jason eviction went off for Paul as planned when he got in a fight with Josh post vote-out to convince Alex that he, Christmas, and Josh aren’t working together. “That’s how you get away with BB murder,” Paul tells us. Still on good terms with Alex, Paul convinces her it’s not the time to go after Christmas and Josh. Alex, feeling she has nobody else in the house on her side, puts up Kevin and Raven to comply with Paul’s request when she’s HOH.

While Josh is one of Paul’s top allies, he’s on to what the BB18 vet is doing. “[Paul] has his plans, but they only protect Paul’s game and expose mine…Right now, I’m afraid I have all the blood on my hands with Jason’s eviction,” he continues. With that in mind, Josh decides not to use the veto after he wins the POV, and he casts a “rogue” vote against Kevin the night Raven goes home in order to build trust with Alex. 

The move, however, makes Christmas “really freaked out” that Josh is playing too emotionally. She tells Josh not to plant “seeds of doubt” against Paul and to never “talk against him.” Paul also tells Josh to get over his emotions and comes up with a plan on how the next HOH is going to go — it’s going to be a throw to Josh.

The first minutes of tonight’s episode are incredible evidence of the danger of telling people what to do and dismissing their emotions on a competition reality show. Josh (1) doesn’t like the way the CrossFit champ protects the BB18 vet and (2) hates the way Paul makes all decisions to further his game with no consideration for Josh’s game.

Paul fails to realize that dictating and telling people what to do can be dangerous. There’s only so long you can balance forcing people to make moves to the detriment of their own games while simultaneously quelling their emotions. You’ve got to show people you mean what you say by following up on your word every once in a while.

The BB18 vet might have all the remaining houseguests in his web, but what he’s doing is like telling a boyfriend or girlfriend, “I love you. I’d do anything for you,” while slapping them in the face at the same time. While Kevin and Alex are still somewhat oblivious to that sting, Josh is well aware that he’s been hit, and he’s having none of it.

The MVP moment of the episode — and, in my opinion, the whole season — comes from Josh in a moment of realization that Paul’s emotions are nothing more than crocodile tears: robotic, manipulative tools of psychological warfare.

Paul cries to Alex in front of Josh and breaks out into a maniacal grin to Josh the moment she leaves the room. When Josh sees this abrupt change of emotions from Paul, his eyes open wider than Scrooge when he meets the Ghost of Christmas Past (no pun intended). “I felt like I just saw the devil or something,” he tells us. Josh, I’m not convinced you’re wrong. (Recap continues on page 2)

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