Zingbot for President, Paulie for nobody

By Darren Franich
August 18, 2016 at 01:39 AM EDT
CBS

Big Brother

S18 E26
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How has Paulie faded so utterly, so completely, and so quickly into awful ruin? We always knew it was going to be messy when one Paul struck against another, and perhaps we should have guessed all along that it would be Beardo Paul launching the first broadside against Blondo Paulie. But the sheer totality of Paulie’s fall is still shocking. Up on the block next to reputed human Corey, Paulie declares a strike back. “I’m a born-bred competitor, a champion,” he explains, before promising to go “full-on beast mode.”

Question: Which is the beast who cries like a baby? Is it the brown bear? The feral tiger? The permissive hoot owl? Bigfoot? Paulie cries all alone in the confessional. He confronts his former bros, despondent, betrayed. “Don’t get mad at my strategy!” declares Victor. (Hard to get mad at vapor, Victor).

Paulie asks Paul if he knew, what he knew, when he knew. Paul has no answers for him; Paul pretends to be offended by Paulie’s offense. I’ve turned around completely on Paul: From passive disdain to active dislike to hard-won respect to abiding love. (I want to see Paul in the final two, delivering a speech to the jury, because I assume that speech will be 50 minutes long.) With the rest of his current alliance — can we call them the Anti-Paulie Antibodies? — he launches a mission of emotional torture. In the kitchen, he castigates Paulie for being a bad friend, Natalie hurls accusations of sexism, and Big Meech delivers the final punchline: “You’re never gonna be Cody and Derrick.”

No, he will not. But at least Paulie stuck around long enough to meet Zingbot. Our favorite humor-borg has launched a political career since last we saw him; he’s running for President, which frankly makes as much sense as anything else happening in the actual presidential race. The zings he hurls at the houseguests might be an all-time great run for Zingbot.

Hey Corey, what do you call the man who sweeps Nicole off her feet, sends her heart aflutter, and makes her hear wedding bells? HAYDEN!

James, you love to scare people in the house. However, this summer, the people you’ve scared the most…ARE NATALIE’S PARENTS!

Paulie, anyone who says that you’re a less attractive, less charming, and all-around lesser version of Cody…IS CORRECT!

Nicole, watching you on BB16 was a little tough. You threw your game away for a showmance, you were terrible in comps, and ultimately had no chance of winning it all. Oh, wait…that’s THIS SEASON!

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If you’re keeping track, that’s two gags about Nicole, since even Zingbot couldn’t figure out anything to say about Corey. Most scientists who have studied the matter agree that the entity we know as “Corey” is, in fact, four pillows shaped like rectangles piled on top of each other.

NEXT: “Inappropriate Zinging of an Intern”

Nicole, Nicole, Nicole, Nicole. Lovely person! Sweet person! Nice person! Nothing bad to say about her — except why why why why why WHY did she return this season? Usually, veteran players come back into the house with renewed clarity and the promise of fixing old mistakes. Nicole seems dead set on repeating her old mistakes precisely, like a perfect computer program designed for floating. And America loves her for it! What a country. We deserve President Zingbot.

But, like all politicians, Zingbot has some dirty laundry. Deleting zings from a private zing server. Embezzling zings. Plagiarizing zings from another candidate’s speech. Soliciting a zing in a bathroom stall. Inappropriate zinging of an intern. Accepting millions of zings from the fat cats on Zing Street. Pushing an illegitimate bill through Zingress for a Bridge to Zingwhere. Accepting illegal zing as part of the infamous Teapot Zing Scandal. Hiring agents to break into Demzingcratic Headquarters at the Waterzing hotel. Colluding to create traffic zings on the George Washzington Bridge. Whatever Whitewater was, except with “zing.”

For the veto competition, the houseguests try to get Zingbot electoral votes using a rotating launcher, which makes about as much sense as the actual Electoral College system. Corey loses quickly, because someone forgot to replace his batteries. Paulie loses, too; the supposed “champion” can’t even get on the board in his last round. James comes in second place, for which he is rewarded $5,000. Victor wins first place and grabs the veto.

Is this the end of Paulie? Yes. It absolutely, completely is. Paulie knows it. “I tried to play this game as best I could,” he says. “I feel like it brought out the worst sides of me.” Paulie will go out tomorrow, there is no doubt. He will return home to see his brother Cody, and they will go on, grow up, start families, raise children; they will tell those children it is their birthright, their destiny, their fate, their purpose to redeem their family’s honor — by going on Big Brother and bringing victory home at long last.

Episode Recaps

Of course, this is Big Brother. Maybe the end of Paulie’s game is just the beginning. Or should I say…the beginZING?

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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