A spelling competition pushes the contestants to their intellectual limits. Meanwhile, the Bomb Squad has some suspicions about Donny.
Big Brother Recap
Credit: CBS
S16 E4

Caltoru. Caltoru. Caltoru. Say it. Sing it. It sounds like the name of a mystical dragon with furry ears and eyes that glimmer green-blue in the dusk. It sounds like the name of a faraway land where flowers sprout rainbows and grizzly bears dance with land sharks. Caltoru. Caltoru. Caltoru. PowPow tried to spell calculator, but she couldn’t find a second C, and she was missing an L, and there was a voice in her head that could not be denied. Caltoru. Caltoru. Caltoru.

Perhaps–and admittedly, this is a big perhaps–PowPow thought of the word “Caltoru” because of a memory, buried deep inside her brain, underneath lots of beats and breaks and cues and other words DJs know. Perhaps, in the days before time, PowPow was a beautiful fairy princess, buzzing on gossamer wings around the Kingdom of Caltoru. Maybe Caltoru is all around us. Maybe Caltoru is a state of mind. Maybe, if you live a good life, then after you die, Zach Rance appears to you, wearing a sweater tied around his shoulders and with a sweatshirt tied around his cargo shorts, and says: “Bro. You’re in Caltoru.”

There was a lot riding on the veto competition that produced “Caltoru.” The Bomb Squad saw enemies everywhere. Devin’s madness had spread to his teammates. I’m still not entirely clear what happened to Devin. Night One, he vibed like a player, a general commanding his troops; ever since then, he’s been a paranoiac given to indulging his most insane impulses. It’s like he went from being the Rock in Fast Five to being the Rock in Pain & Gain.

In his madness, Devin focused on Donny. Donny the bearded one has spent his time in the Big Brother house completely devoted to Devin. Sample lines:

“You’re a good guy, Devin.”

“I hope you sleep wonderful. We’ll have a great day tomorrow.”

“If you don’t trust me, I’m gonna still trust you. You’re all I got, Devin. I trust ya.”

“I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is. And I love you, Devin.”

“I really liked The Scorpion King.”

“Tell me about the rabbits, Devin.”

And so Devin decided that Donny was secretly an agent of espionage. Caleb joined him in his madness. “He’s ex-military for sure,” said Caleb. “I knew it from the moment he pulled his socks up.” Frankie couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Now Devin’s convinced Donny is a secret super soldier. Is he Justin Bieber in a beard? Is he Ariana Grande’s brother?” (DRINK). Donny was a killing machine. Donny was Navy SEAL. Donny is Jason Bourne. Donny is Richard Chamberlain’s Jason Bourne. “He’s gotta go,” concluded Devin.

But ho! A new enemy on the horizon. Remember way back in the season premiere, when the first four women in the house swore a bond of sisterhood? They declared themselves El Quatro, even though secretly they were calling themselves Michelle Quadriguez and just hadn’t realized it yet. Well, Joey sought to rebuild those bonds. “I think there’s an all-guy alliance,” she said. “We have to secure an all-girl alliance.”

Joey held out her hand in friendship. She preached about Susan B. Anthony and Betty Friedan and Katniss Everdeen, and she explained why Sex and the City was much better in its first season when it was more of a philosophical essay and less of a soap opera, and she told her sisters that someday science will eliminate men from mankind. “Sisters! Let us rise up together against the patriarchy! Let us not fall victim to infighting, as so many have before us! The men are stupid! We are less stupid! In this moment, we have the numbers!”

If I may sum up the response from the women of the house in a direct quote and an out-of-context but symbolically rich image:

No one would stand with Joey. Not Amber, who is a member of the Bomb Squad—and whose loyalty could imply that Devin is crazy like a fox. Not Jocasta, who declared that her only alliance is with God. Not The Girls With Glasses, who would have clearly made a great power trio with Joey if only Joey wore her glasses more often.

Because Joey decided to stage her secret meeting in one of the most public areas of the house, it took about three seconds for everyone to realize she was trying to form a massive secret alliance. And it took Benedict Amber a mere three seconds more to walk upstairs and confide in Caleb that Joey was plotting revolution.

NEXT: The Men Strike Back

Joey believed in transparency. She wanted to come clean. So she walked upstairs and asked to speak to Devin. She told Devin the following:

“Well, Devin. I’ll be honest with you. I was just, five minutes ago, downstairs trying to rally the women of the house in a gender uprising against you and your male-chauvinist-pig alliance. I was rebuffed on all sides. And now I just want to come upstairs and say that, well, I’m a feminist in real life. And I would completely understand why you guys have an all-guy alliance. And if you do, that’s okay! I won’t come at you, even though I’m telling you specifically that my plan five minutes ago was to come at you with all the power of the Amazons! Anyhow, good talk, and I really hope we can be friends and that you don’t act on this information.”

Devin kept his best poker face.

This week’s Veto Competition was a particularly fine outing for the nefarious Finnish parapsychologists who design the Big Brother competitions. They dressed up the minister Jocasta as an insect–a clear reference to Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly, wherein God appears as a spider. The challenge was called Miami Lice, in honor of the great 1980s drama. Donny was dressed all in yellow and looked like a president from the mid-1800s who fell through a wormhole and became a cocaine-baron bad guy in a Fast & Furious sequel.

The contestants had to stare at a pool which contained a gigantic head that was infested with ice—kind of like America, maaaan. Victoria was unimpressed. “This is nothing like Miami!” she said in reference to a soapy pool containing a gigantic head infested with lice. “Miami’s all about glamour, and fashion, and TV shows about well-dressed detectives, and bath salts! Not bugs! Ew!”

The players had to jump into the tub and grab little insect-lice-things, each of which contained a letter. They had to spell a word: Longest word would win. This was a spelling challenge in the grand tradition that gave us “technotronics.” Could anyone live up to the Big Brother legacy?

Almost everyone made the curious decision to have one specific word in mind, which meant that almost everyone fell victim to a basic inability to find that one single letter. PowPow wanted to spell “calculators,” and Caleb wanted to spell “Specialize,” and Zach Rance wanted to spell “Zach Rance.” In the end, Cody spelled “competively,” and Victoria spelled “pharmaist,” and Caleb spelled “secialize,” which means I will henceforth refer to him as The Secialist until something better comes along.

But then.


Spelled “Caltoru.”

Caltoru. Caltoru. Caltoru.

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, EW is excited to share with you an exclusive look at the Flag of the Noble Kingdom of Caltoru, with the historic Caltoru colors of Amaranthine, Paolinium, and Yellow:

And so Donny triumphed, thanks to his incredibly ability to spell “Splitters.” Donny declared it Hashtag Beard Day. In the process, he seemed to seal the fate of Joey, who once again proved that the Big Brother Twist Curse is even more real than the ghosts that torment poor Nicole. Joey was the first member of Team America; now, she might be the first person to go home.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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