One houseguest drives off a cliff, only to be rescued against her will

By Marc Snetiker
August 12, 2016 at 05:58 AM EDT
S18 E24

It’s a double-eviction night, and the big-boy Big Brother pants have been put on — one leg at a time, but on nevertheless. With this new fashion come big changes in this summer manse as cracks splinter the ground, the soft heat of hellfire comes seeping through, and season 18 enters the early scenes of its third act.

Who will turn on each other? Which alliance will implode? Which will rise? And what happens when Custer doesn’t actually die in his last stand?!

This week’s Thursday episode delights me, as the only thing I love more than a double eviction is when it occurs in the wake of the IKEA-ian genocide of a Hide-and-Go Veto challenge, and the only thing I love more than that is when a double eviction lands on a week where two houseguests are almost equally dispensable.

That’s not to say I wanted either Zakiyah or Michelle out — heading into tonight’s episode, I considered Zakiyah the last bastion of hope left (besides James and, to an extent, Natalie) that someone consistently enjoyable in their personality and gameplay could win this season and save it from its own awfulness. But nevertheless, as the evening’s eviction began, it certainly seems as if all the waffling between Paul and Paulie over which chick to pluck would be rendered time wasted when one left right after the other.

Such was not the case, or at least not entirely. Yes, the Executives did steamroll their way through Zakiyah and half of Michelle, but it wasn’t on such easy terms as an Executive edict announced from the corner office. And for that, we can thank the bold heroics of America’s favorite slow-burn superhero: James.

Event No. 1: The revelation of James’ care-package power to scrap two votes. It sends Michelle scrambling to scoop up votes to get Zakiyah out and save her own Meech. Her key move is appealing to Natalie and James, which hinges on a very tempting thesis: Paulie is running the house with little to no checks. Fortunately, for both viewers and Michelle’s cause, that thesis is being felt even by Paulie’s Parent Trap counterpart Paul, who is beginning to see the tyranny of Paulie the Problematic.

When Bridgette (who’s been credited with exposing Paulie as a controlling maniac, as if that needed exposing) enters the room of Meech’s appeal to James and Natalie — and also lends her support to it — it would seem the tide is indeed going to turn for a new alliance between Michelle, James, Natalie, and Bridgette. Sadly, no alliance is directly formed, as the room grows too large for one, but it’s still only good news: Paul is brought into the fold, and he’s on board with the plan to oust Zakiyah and take Paulie down a notch, if not completely betray him.

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Event No. 2: I’m not quite sure what the hell happened on the live feed in the hours before eviction night, but Michelle uses her last-chance speech to call out Paulie for blowing up his game and to come at Natalie (?!?) with guns blazing for some reason. Commenters, please, fill us in.

NEXT: The house devolves into madness

Event No. 3: James openly blocks Corey and Paul’s votes, and the rest of the house votes to get rid of Zakiyah. Poor Zakiyah doesn’t get a round-trip ticket, so she’s sent over to the jury, where we can at least take solace in the fact that she and Da’Vonne are having the absolute best time together watching the rest of this season crumble without them.

Event No. 4: In a data-driven trivia challenge, Corey becomes the new Head of Household. It’s definitively a tragedy — he’s one of the most detestable people left in the house — and another swing in the direction of the Executives. Said swarm of obnoxious suits meet, and Corey shows he’s definitely on the bottom rung of the decision-making. They toss out names, and it’s obvious who’s going up (Bridgette and Michelle). I find it interesting James is still involved in the conversation, though, making it clear the Zakiyah ouster is going to be felt by Paulie on a personal level, but not on an alliance one.

Event No. 5: With little finesse, Corey brutally nominates Bridgette and Michelle, who surprisingly doesn’t burst into outrageous tears as she is wont to do.

Event No. 6: Corey wins the power of veto. Great. Another quick powwow with people who make his choices for him, and…

Event No. 7: …Corey doesn’t use the power of veto.

Event No. 8: Bridgette and Michelle head into their fates with little more than 20 minutes to prepare their final speeches. (Although, did this feel like the fastest, most commercial-loaded double eviction ever?) In their farewell pleas, Bridgette takes a light jab at Paulie, but Michelle drives her Cadillac straight off the cliff, resigning herself to eviction and dragging Nicole with her, outing her as a snake (which is technically a compliment now that Taylor Swift is a known Parselmouth) and essentially taking a suicide pill right in front of the whole house.

But the votes don’t swing that way, and IT. IS. MADNESS.

EVENT No. 9: Five votes move to evict Bridgette, and all hell breaks loose. Michelle bursts into her most hilarious “I just feel bad!” tears yet, supremely shocked she isn’t going home, but perhaps even more afraid of having to deal with the repercussions of her metaphorical middle-finger to the house. It’s like when you feel bold honking at a car in front of you, and the driver gets out with a golf club.

Julie has to tell Meech to take a breath so she can continue with the eviction, which primarily involves Nicole calling out the vote, Paul yelling about Michelle crying, and Bridgette’s exit: She says goodbye to a few people, calls out the boys for being disastrously “messed up,” and in her final breath, tells Natalie to stand up for herself.

The only crazier thing would have been if Bridgette had a round-trip ticket — which, for the purposes of this recap’s dramatic build, I totally wish happened. But instead, the round-trip ticket remains in the house, almost acting as a promise to us that next week, when Michelle likely goes right back up on the block, some outrageous sh-t will go down. Someone call Jared Leto’s Joker and tell them to add a spot in that Suicide Squad, because Meech is COMING FOR YOU!!!

Episode Recaps

Big Brother

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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