One sitting duck gets shot, but it's all in the name of friendship

By Marc Snetiker
September 14, 2016 at 01:17 AM EDT
S18 E39
  • TV Show

Our three-month-long national nightmare is almost over. But first!

The night kicks off with a surprise eviction — it’s only Tuesday, after all, and CBS has to speed through the tail end of this fizzling season to make precious room on the airwaves for Kevin Can Wait, Life in Pieces, and Life in Pieces 2: Wiest World.

As it stands heading into the grand surprise, Nicole and Corey have flipped their game yet again by putting Paul and Victor on the block, marking their final chance to split up the Two Best Friends Anyone Could Have. Meanwhile, they’ve managed to keep James safe and snug in their back pocket (which James has reportedly called “too spacious”).

James has sworn not to use the veto in case he wins, and essentially, James has solidified his spot in the final three. Next week’s inevitable revenge from Paul will be directed at Corey and Nicole — it could go either way — but James will duck-hunt his way into the finale. Since he’s played a consistent game of integrity, put my money on him for the victory. Now he can buy a new camouflage pashmina!

On the other side of happiness, Paul and Victor are tramping about the house like disgruntled baby elephants cut from the live-action Jungle Book. Victor is more crestfallen than anything. As Nicole says, it’s the final five, and what did they expect? Bloodshed was inevitable, and one week ahead of schedule shouldn’t be the most shocking news. But Victor is taking it like a sad breakup — “I thought this was a thing,” he says, and you can almost pinpoint the moment his heart rips in large-nippled half. But whereas Vic is shooting himself in the foot by vocalizing his impending revenge against Corey and Nicole, Paul is opting for the non-confrontational route. He still has vengeance in his eyes (or beard, or something in that vicinity) but his coy silence is what’ll ultimately keep his residence intact.

Veto rolls around, and it’s everyone’s favorite comic-book-cover memory challenge. (The puns this year are all over the place: Bridgette is The Killer Cabbage; Da’Vonne is Day-Struction!; Tiffany is The Emotional Wrecking Ball; Jozea is The Hot Mess-Iah; and then there’s Big Meech, who is literally just a massive Meech.)

The veto winner is Nicole, and she has every intention of keeping her nominations the same. Vic, at least, immediately tries to make amends for all his outrage by performing this season’s patent tribal ritual: the Unwarranted Male Kiss. Gotta love a motif.

Paul, to his credit, doesn’t do much campaigning against Victor (at least not until his Zingbot audition speech), and vice versa. The decision is up to Corey and Nicole, who don’t quite realize it doesn’t really matter which guy they evict — they’re not getting that jury vote either way. James seems to know that, though, as evidenced by his endlessly soothing calmness. It’s Victor who ends up going, right after his super-awkward speech about labeling knives.

In a thrilling, nail-biting, and downright filthy HOH competition, it’s down to a Paul and Nicole showdown…when Paul pulls out a narrow triumph and locks in his spot in the top three. It means enthusiasm! It means joy! And it means revenge is on the way for the citizens of Big Brother 18. Paul’s sewing his mask. He’s weaponizing his razors. He’s engaging in a very sweaty training montage. Paul is bloodthirsty and preparing for life as a vigilante of justice, as long as he can hide the beard inside a bodysuit. But who will he bring with him to the finale?!

Episode Recaps

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
  • TV Show
  • 21
  • TV-14
  • 07/05/00
Complete Coverage
Available For Streaming On