What a glorious fool that Cody was! What a beautiful, silly soul he had! Some people are good at Big Brother because they see the game in a certain vivid way, and you imagine that Cody looked at Big Brother as a kind of battlefield. He was a man of honor. He was a warrior who wanted to fight other warriors. He was well-liked by all–so handsome, they all said, with pretty eyes and chiseled chin. His hair was perfect. He fought for 97 days with his truest ally at his side. He imagined himself as an equal partner in the alliance; perhaps he even thought he was the important one, the man who went out there and got information. (A fist gone mad might think itself a brain.) You imagine him at the end of a long quest, mere footsteps away from the Grail, turning around and grasping the hand of his best friend. “Come with me, brother!” he says. “We’ll go together to our final reward!”
Poor fool. Cody won the final Head of Household competition. He had two options: Bring Derrick, or bring Victoria. Derrick was his ally; Victoria was Victoria, a floating meatbag, a non-being. He sent Victoria out of the house: “This is my ride or die guy. I’m so sorry, Victoria.”
Was there any doubt, from that moment on? Did Cody ever have a chance at beating Derrick? He made a piddling attempt at arguing his case. When Frankie asked him, point blank, if he was the puppet, Cody got nervous, petulant even. Throughout the back half of this season, we have seen a cycle repeat: A player leaves the Big Brother house thinking Derrick was their best friend, and once outside the fog lifts, and they realize he was their executor. But Cody was still inside the Big Brother house; it’s possible that, as the curtain closed on Big Brother season 16, he was the one person left on the planet who didn’t realize how complete Derrick’s domination had become.
Let’s run a counter-factual, shall we? Derrick and Cody came down to a tiebreaker for the final Head of Household. They had to guess how long the first part of the HoH comp lasted, in seconds. Derrick guessed 3013; Cody guessed 3120. A mere 108 seconds more, and Derrick would have won. What does Derrick do, in a situation like that? Cody is his most truest ally. But… 97 days is a very long time to be trapped inside of a hellhouse, far away from your family, every day knowing you are one step closer to half a million dollars. Why take any chances, when the Grail is within sight? Derrick told us, in the diary room, that he considered Victoria a truly good friend. And he knew, the same way everyone knew, that Victoria would never win Big Brother. Derrick played maybe the most careful Big Brother game in history, never leaving anything to chance–would he have taken any chances at this, the final moment?
We’ll never know the answer, not really: Derrick will say, as he said during the finale, that it was always his intention to bring his fellow Hitman to the Final Two. Maybe he’s right; maybe he was confident enough in his jury votes. Or maybe Derrick doesn’t really know what he would’ve done; maybe he didn’t want to find out. Derrick threw so many competitions this season because he didn’t have to win them; is it possible, consciously or not, that he threw this final Head of Household competition? Or maybe he had a different purpose? Derrick’s whole strategy in Big Brother has been to let his enemies guide the knife into their own back: Turning allies against allies, convincing people that what was in Derrick’s best interest was in their best interest. Was this the plan, here at the end? Did he want Cody to choose his own death?
You imagine Cody entering the final throne room of some subterranean kingdom, let’s say ruled by a race of dwarves or maybe giant spiders, and seeing at the center of it all the shimmering Grail. He takes a step forward… and suddenly, the ghosts of all the warriors he has killed along the way appear in a beam of light. “Together we can defeat them!” Cody yells at his friend. But the ghosts only attack Cody… and as they attack, Derrick peacefully walks forward, touches the Grail, and disappears in a beam of light, leaving Cody in the depths.
NEXT: Derrick Rex