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July 11, 2013 at 04:42 AM EDT

Aaryn has dominated the media chatter around Big Brother the last two weeks. But the noise makes it easy to overlook one essential truth: Even though she’s the Head of Household, and even though she’s rallied the hot-person demographic in the house around her vengeful crusade, the hatemongering new-unemployed model has arguably made herself utterly irrelevant. Last night’s episode foregrounded the fascinating conflicts building in the house, and in all of those conflicts, Aaryn is essentially a clueless bystander. She’s taking marching orders from Jeremy, the frontman for an all-male alliance that plans to excommunicate anyone without Y chromosomes. She’s surrounded herself with vapid yeswomen who all seem to think that Elissa is the biggest threat in the house. Two of those yeswomen — Kaitlin and GinaMarie — have thrown themselves at Moving Company dudes. Aaryn’s closest ally in the house isn’t even in the house anymore. The ghost of Dudebro haunts her; she spends her long leisurely bikini afternoons staring into the cold unfeeling eye of the Big Brother camera, promising her beloved that she is doing everything for him. “It’s all for you, David,” she says, still wearing her wedding dress and staring into the dying fire while maggots devour the uneaten wedding cake, “All for you, David.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the house descends into quiet warfare. Helen and Elissa formed the Mom Squad out of necessity. They both landed on the block this week. Helen vibes like someone who could be a serious player. She walked into the HoH room and told Aaryn she made the right move. They’re both grown-ups. They know Helen’s not the target. Helen once again offered Aaryn a Criss-Cross deal. Nobody would ever imagine Aaryn and Helen together; they could take out each other’s allies, one by one. It’s a smart play. Aaryn likes the sound of it. But Helen tried to sell her this idea before the nominations, and got nowhere. Returning with the same offer, from a position of even less strength, is a downward-spiral play.

Elissa won the MVP again. The first week, it seemed unfair — the clear result of Elissa’s favorable bloodline. This time around, it made just as little sense, gameplay-wise. Elissa came into the house making noise about an all-female alliance, but she lost the trust of more than half the house by keeping her BB lineage a secret. But the difference is that, since last week, Elissa has revealed herself as one of the most by-default likable people in the house. She plotted with Helen. There was a brief notion of backdooring Jeremy: Nominating Kaitlin, throwing the Veto, hoping that Kaitlin left the block. But Helen decided it was too risky. Nominating Jeremy made more sense; they would just have to fight for the veto. I admire the gusto of their play, but again, you can see them operating from a position of weakness. When you’re playing Big Brother right, you don’t need to depend on the veto competition going one way or another.

Truthfully, Elissa and Helen were in a bad position. Right now, the Moving Company looks nigh invincible. GinaMarie is throwing herself at Nick. Literally, throwing herself: She jumped into his arms and nibbled on his neck, while he looked around embarrassed, like a man who picked up a cute little chihuahua and realized too late it was actually an oversized sewer rat. We saw a lovesick montage. “He’s from New York, he’s super cool, super smart,” she gushed. She told him, straight up: “If I ever kiss you, it’s gonna be amazing. I can’t wait for that day to come. It’s gonna be good. I’m excited.” Nick, responding: “I’m excited for you being excited.” (This is the second woman to throw herself at Nick, getting nothing in return. See also: Jessie, who already looks like this season’s reigning floater.)

Meanwhile, Jeremy made the ultimate goal of the Moving Company clear. Nick pointed out that all the chicks were going crazy. “I just can’t wait to send them all home,” he said. “I can’t wait until this is a house full of champions.” The Aaryn Hottie Coalition is a puppet government this week for the Moving Company, and all their scopes are turned towards Elissa. When Elissa shadow-nominated Jeremy for the veto competition, he positively leapt with joy. He turned to Kaitlin and explained, “Babe, I’m about to go into Beast Mode.” He’s a caged animal. A manimal. The guy has spent two weeks having alliances thrown at him, winning competitions, getting an extremely close look at Kaitlin’s eyebrows. He will never be a Have-Not. The universe is bending to the will of Jeremy, according to Jeremy. It’s early days yet, and you could argue he’s peaking too early, like the high school quarterback who doesn’t make the cut on his college team. But it’s fun to be the high school quarterback.

NEXT: The Fembot Bitch

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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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