By jibrilgagale
July 25, 2018 at 10:15 PM EDT

The landscape of the Big Brother house is certainly topsy-turvy after this week’s nominations. While Sam’s nominations of Kaitlyn and Haleigh weren’t that surprising, the reasons she gave as to why definitely were. While it’s Sam’s right to feel how she does about their gameplay, it struck many viewers (myself included) as misogynistic and, to quote her, “the opposite of female empowerment.”

It’s with those words that we rejoin the houseguests in the aftermath of the nominations, and we continue to see a disappointing new side of Sam as she explains to the diary room further why she nominated Kaitlyn and Haleigh. “I’m old-fashioned and, to me, being a lady is what makes me empowered,” she says, explaining that while the Bonus Life power still gives either woman a chance to win her way back into the game, she thinks they’ll end up right back out the door. Kaitlyn and Haleigh, though teary, refuse to let Sam’s attacks get in their way as they each resolve to win the veto. As Faysal, Rockstar, and Kaycee speak of their reservations with the nature of Sam’s speech, the two nominees take it upon themselves to clear the air with the HoH, only to be abruptly shut down. Tyler meets with Sam to go over who the replacement nominee will be if the veto is used. They agree that Rockstar will probably be the replacement as she’s close to the nominees and seen as a target by the rest of the house after Brett’s eviction lies.

Kaitlyn meets with Sam in the HoH room in an attempt to clear the air, saying that her personality is the true her (oh dear), and if her affectionate personality is what’s going to take her out of the game, that’s the way it is. We then get a rough standoff between the two when Kaitlyn says that Sam’s words were especially hurtful since it came from another “empowered woman.” Sam, increasingly brusque, tells her that they have different definitions of what “empowered” means, as she tells the diary room that she receives respect from the men in the house because she gives it.

Faysal is caught in the crossfire this week as his two biggest allies are on the chopping block. He meets with Sam in the HoH room, who tells him that there’s a good chance he’ll be chosen for the veto and that he should do what he feels is right if he does win it.  Then we get a bizarre moment in the wake of this week as the two share a lingering missionary cuddle, while Sam showers compliments over him. Faysal tells the diary room that he’s doing all this to get him in Sam’s good graces so that he won’t be the replacement nominee if the veto is used. He also meets with Kaitlyn, who gets him to promise to use the veto on her if he wins it. Faysal tells the diary room that even though she stabbed him in the back by getting Swaggy C out, he wants her to stay in the house. He then moves onto Haleigh, who says she’s not sure he’d use the veto on her instead of Kaitlyn if it came to it. He tries to calm her concerns down by talking about their mutual feelings for each other and says that she’s his true #1. Doesn’t Faysal know never to lie to a woman with an active third eye?

Sonja Flemming/CBS

Soon after, it’s time for players to be picked for the Power of Veto competition. Sam picks her boy JC, Kaitlyn lands on Rockstar, and Haleigh chooses Faysal, which leads to concern from Kaitlyn that he’ll go back on his word. The doorbell rings and it’s season 12 icon/season 13 winner/Vegas personified Rachel Reilly, who’s here to host the PoV competition. But before we can get to that, we get a moment with Faysal and Kaitlyn, during which she agrees to throw the competition to him because that’s the only way they’ll both be safe. Faysal, as any man with a certain mind does, goes to Haleigh with this information. He tells her that he’s not following Kaitlyn’s plan and will instead save her if he wins. Forget about making it through this week, I don’t know if Fessy will even make it to the live show without turning into a frog.

Rachel hosts this week’s PoV competition: Chop! Bonk! Spank! Standing over a machine with a paddle, hammer, and hand, each competitor will have to answer questions on whether they’ve been chopped, bonked, or spanked; the person with the most correct answers wins the veto. While this game doesn’t seem like one for strategy, Kaitlyn makes a plan to follow her own musical notes in order to determine whether she’s been chopped, bonked, or spanked. Unfortunately, the strategy doesn’t pay off for her as Faysal wins the veto, his second of the season. But the celebration is short-lived as he gets choked up in the diary room, unsure who to use the veto on, saying he loves both women. We then get a cruelly genius montage of Kaitlyn and Haleigh (in their matching comp uniforms, no less) celebrating the veto they each think will get them off the block. The cringe is heavy, y’all.

Faysal continues to play both sides, romantically reassuring Haleigh one moment and commiserating with Kaitlyn the next. When Kaitlyn feels a “vibrational shift” in Faysal, she asks straight up if he also promised Haleigh he’d use the veto; he has no choice but to admit this and tells her that he feels as close to Haleigh as he does to her. Things quickly get tense as she reminds him that she threw the veto competition thinking he’d use the veto on her. When he refuses to commit, Kaitlyn stomps off in tears.

With Faysal holding the veto, Tyler meets with Sam to make sure they’re on the same page when it comes to putting up Rockstar as the replacement nominee. She refuses to tell him her plans, telling the diary room she doesn’t want to be manipulated into making any decision that isn’t hers. It’s then time for the veto meeting, where Faysal faces his two allies and decides to use the power of veto on Haleigh. But somehow, this is not the tensest moment of the meeting. A stressed Sam seems to announce that she’ll be putting her best friend up as the replacement nominee. JC, said best friend, immediately tells her that that’s the wrong thing to do, and just like that, Sam changes her mind and says Rockstar is going up. While the house processes that confusion, Sam reveals that she won the first power app, and that since she didn’t use it, whomever is voted out this week has the chance to get back in the game. JC is confused as to why Sam went for him, wisely bringing up that she has enough enemies as is. Meanwhile, Kaitlyn (over footage of her sobbing for the 86th time this week) promises that her wrath is coming, which will be bad news for Faysal. After all this craziness, I can’t even predict what tomorrow’s eviction(?) will look like. Guess we’ll just have to wait and watch.

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