Take a trip down memory lane with a filler... sorry, clip show, before the finale.

By Jonathon Dornbush
Updated September 21, 2015 at 03:03 AM EDT

Big Brother

S17 E39
  • TV Show

The pre-finale Big Brother clip show is nothing new, but its timing against the Emmys couldn’t be more perfect. It’s as if the producers knew just about everyone would be busy finding out that you were instead watching whether Jon Hamm would ever win an Emmy or if any other show could stop Modern Family’s historic run.

BUT if you were one of the lucky few who tuned into the penultimate Big Brother of the season, you were treated to more of the crying, showmances, and Clay babbling you never asked for. The show also treats us to the first leg of the three-part Head of Household competition that leads into finale night. But don’t get your hopes up too high — even that is more of a tease than an actual segment of the show.

Instead, it’s all about a clip show padding out the hour, reminding us of all of the awkward and boring moments that filled the summer, along with plenty of evidence as to why Steve, Liz, and Vanessa have not pursued careers in acting.

After a champagne toast to their win, the three are treated to a dinner filled with conversation that, surprisingly, touches on every major moment of the season. It almost sounds as if they had talking points given to them while cordoned off in the HoH room.

As the three descend to the feast laid out before them, they’re all in high spirits. Everyone seems to think they’re sitting pretty and ready to sail his or her way through to the finale. Steve and Vanessa have a hilariously tense discussion about who’s made what deals with whom and whether she intends on actually bringing him to the final two. Vanessa believes she’s telling Steve everything he needs to hear, while Liz thinks she’s in good with Vanessa to go to the final two.

At the heart of it all is, unsurprisingly, Vanessa, who is deep into her role as puppeteer whenever she talks to her final two opponents. The role she’s not quite as adept at? The role the producers have in mind for her as she unconvincingly brings the dinner conversation onto the subject of the twin twist. Yes, I’m sure on one of her final nights in the house, Vanessa wants nothing more than to relive the twist that started out the summer and was more quickly uncovered than Liz or Julia (or producers probably) would have hoped.

Conversation segues to a few of the other major moments, including a montage of every Vanessa blow-up in the house. Watching it was like reliving the last three months of my life in slow, excruciating detail, each tear from Vanessa’s eyes just another in a series of reactions to her reactions in the house I wish I could forget.

The highlight of the montages is not Vanessa’s tears, or Clay’s gibberish that, again, I cannot stress enough could be a sign of something he should go mention to a doctor, but James’ pranks. James by the bed, James in the closet, James underneath a trash bag — the episode had it all and frankly could have used another few minutes of his scare tactics and a little less of his attempted showmance with Meg.

But beyond the showmances that never were like James and Meg, the showmances that awkwardly were like Austin and Liz, or the nerdmance of Johnny Mac and Steve, the episode is really just a primer to hold everyone over until the final three compete to dwindle down to a final two.

And compete they do… for about an entire minute. The first leg of the three-part HoH competition begins with “How ‘Bout Them Apples,” another endurance competition that will allow the winner to proceed directly to the third leg that will be shown on finale night.

In the meantime, we simply see the opening moments as Vanessa, Liz, and Steve mount their apples and settle in for the long haul.

Other than the finale, that’s a wrap on the traditional episodes of Big Brother’s 17th season. Did the montages capture your favorite moments or leave them out? Did you have favorite moments? Sound off in the comments and join me back here on Wednesday night/Thursday morning as we find out whether Steve’s lifelong dream comes true, if Vanessa takes home another major jackpot to add to her poker winnings, or if Liz wins enough money to go on vacation with Austin… and hire him a proper barber.

Episode Recaps

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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