The storm drain of madness that lurks in the corner of the Big Brother backyard is currently overflowing. If you squint a little bit, you can see a rising tide of insanity hovering around the contestant’s shins. Shelly — who just one week ago seemed like a no-bull gunslingstress with ice in her veins — initiated an all-out screaming war with Brenchel that turned into a three-way game of She-Said She-Said. Shelly cornered both Veteran Couples in the bedroom and demanded a reckoning. “The three-person deal is out,” she said. “Why Shelly,” said Rachel, “I simply have no idea what on earth you mean.”
Jordan could sense a showdown. She set the stage while Shelly fumed. “Kalia, you stay here,” said directed. “Somebody go get Porsche.” Now, I freely admit that I don’t entirely understand the fight that followed. At first, I thought Shelly was just annoyed that Rachel revealed a conversation that actually happened: We saw, in a flashback to the halcyon era of Late July, a conversation where Shelly talked about taking Brenchel to the final three. This seemed pretty cut and dried. But then Rachel started snowballing, insisting that Shelly had talked about voting out Jordan. “That is not what I told you,” said Shelly, “I never said I would vote out Jordan.” The conversation that followed looked something like this:
Rachel: “You did tell us that. Tell her, Brendon, tell her!”
Shelly: “I never said anything of the sort. I love Jordan like the daughter I left at home, except Jordan has a tougher time forming mouth words.”
Rachel: “You were going to betray everyone! Brendon, tell her! Say something! Brendon!”
Brendon: [mumbling] “I don’t…you say…well, we…that is, clearly, Shelly.”
Jordan: “You’re tearing me apart!!!“
At this point, I truly don’t know what to think about Shelly. My co-recapper Kate Ward is of the opinion that Shelly’s just bananas. That may be true — it’s still unclear to me whether she actually made a deal with Brenchel, but certainly, her reaction to this whole situation seems deliriously out of proportion. Like, she wasn’t just surprised to find out that Rachel backstabbed her; she was demoralized, chainsmoking in the backyard couch, wearing her sunglasses at night.
Then again, one of the intriguing things about this season of Big Brother is that it has turned out to be uncannily female-centric (especially compared to last season, which was dominated by the fratboy legion known as “The Bra-gade.”) The house is currently being run by a triumvirate of female archetypes: A catty diplomat (Kalia), a Queen Bee (Daniele), and a half-ditz with an uncanny sense for shifting alliances (Porsche.) One of the most powerful competitors in the house (Brendon) is beholden to his lady love — and I would argue that Rachel is the better player, anyways, even if her social game is so bad, she makes Calvin Coolidge look like Teddy Roosevelt. Another powerful competitor, Jeff, is only powerful because he has an adorable blonde pet Care Bear who follows him everywhere and makes his lunkheadedness seem charming.
In the midst of this female landscape — you could call it a sorority, although I prefer the term “Fempire” — Shelly still looks like a straight shooter to me. The fact that she managed to win Dani back to her side immediately after being put up on the block gives me hope that her Rachel breakdown was an aberration. But like I said, the storm drain of madness is overflowing…and even a straight shooter occasionally shoots themself straight in the foot. I’m pretty sure Hemingway said that.
NEXT: Brenchel 3D