The most predictable elimination, the least impactful loss

By Marc Snetiker
July 29, 2016 at 02:16 AM EDT
CBS
S18 E18
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Let me be frank.

We’ve reached this season’s golden episode — season 18, episode 18 — and unlike last year’s Meg-o-mania and key narrative flashback to the former life of The Good Dentist Johnny Mac, this season’s golden episode is but a cripplingly superfluous designation. That is to say: This year’s golden egg is spoiled.

The outcome of this week’s eviction was largely predictable from the get-go and, like a June outfit at a November dinner party, offered little wiggle room. Frank and Bridgette are up on the block, and with no Roadkill twist left to throw a wrench into the proceedings, the vote returns us to a classic BB two-seater. It does seem fitting that on a historic night in American politics, Big Brother does its part to restore its own government that had made such painstaking strides to deconstruct over the years — but now, the BB bipartisan system has returned! Long live a bicameral legislature of millennials spending their summer on a reality show!

The variable in this week’s BB election is mere whim, resting on whether the house would opt to get rid of harmless jean-jacket enthusiast Bridgette or problematic hot-take Frank, who sits further on the extreme end of the evil spectrum. Neither will campaign against the other, so it’s an entirely boring question of which necessarily disposable candidate will go home. The answer: Frank, obviously.

But the episode itself knows how predictable and uneventful the eviction will be, and the result is a whole lot of filled screen time before the eviction.

Time Waster No. 1: Michelle is unhinged. She’s tearfully regretful she didn’t take Frank off the block, since she’s realizing Frank is likely to go home and her awkward-turned-offensive tiff with Bridgette is going to come back to haunt her next week. Truth: The drama between Bridgette and Michelle is like watching two ants fight over a breadcrumb before a more interesting shoe steps on both of them.

Time Waster No. 2: A pre-taped package about loyalty and partnerships, featuring a return from seafood restaurateur Mike Boogie, gregarious grocer Jason, Toy Story featured actress Meg, and something called Hayden. Fans, eat your heart out, maybe.

Time Waster No. 3: This week’s twisty #ButFirst, which actually has some relevance to the eviction at hand. As is always the case when a particularly despised houseguest is about to exit for the season, Julie introduces a twist that could bring them back. This time, it’s the Secret Room — a challenge that involves the houseguests trying to crack a code of global landmarks popping up all over the house. Skinny-Hagrid Paul is the man who cracks the code and gains access to the Secret Room, which is through a trapdoor in the upstairs phone booth. Inside the knock-off Shangri-La, a dozen envelopes await, one of which bears a round-trip ticket back into the house. Paul can only pick one and he can’t open it just yet — and despite his worst efforts to keep the secret a secret, it’s only a matter of time before everyone grabs an envelope for themselves.

After his eviction, Frank’s envelope is opened live on-air and it’s a sad, withered one-way ticket. So it’s official — Frank’s outie. (The rest of the potentially life-saving envelopes expire Aug. 18, by the way.)

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In his exit interview, Frank isn’t sure why he got eliminated, which is always the most telling thing about an evicted houseguest. He has no sense of how the rest of his personality has contributed to his demise, but lo, maybe he’ll glean some insight in reruns.

Quote of the Week: “I at least wanted to hang out with you on jury!” —Michelle weeping to Frank/the unfeeling gods of Otevs past

Second-Best Quote of the Week: “A cootie tah.” —Frank, trying to pronounce coup d’état

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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