The end of the episode is a festival of self-awareness and Paul skepticism, an entertaining sight we haven’t seen in 34 episodes prior. It’s glorious to see.
Paul gloats to us that he “pulled off the impossible” by manipulating a competition win once again. Josh, however, while impressed with the BB18 vet’s game, isn’t so excited. “I don’t need somebody telling me what I’m going to do,” Josh says. “[Paul is] kind of a mastermind, and he’s turning into a monster.”
Josh does ultimately follow his alliance’s plan, putting up Kevin and Alex, but only for now. What’s exciting is what we’ll get the rest of the week with the Power of Veto yet to be played and a “surprise eviction” on the way. Speaking to the camera directly, Josh is fully awake: “I gotta separate personal. I gotta play the game,” he tells us, acknowledging Paul would beat him in the end. “I’m going to take the shot this week, but they don’t know which way I’m aiming,” he says.
I’m concerned it may be too late for Josh. With his HOH win, he’s relinquished his vote to make good on the stuff he sees in the house. Nonetheless, props to Josh, my superhero in this episode. He may be emotional, but he has the intuitive chops to play Big Brother. In a way, I’m rooting for him to succeed, but if he doesn’t, better luck next time. Though he might not win, that doesn’t mean rogue Josh can’t stir up some trouble that could ultimately dictate the outcome of this game.
And finally, to Paul, I say this — you’re screaming integrity and friendship way too much. Your entire game relies on these core tenets, and I’m having flashbacks to the Survivor: South Pacific Final Tribal Council. You’re underestimating Josh. Beware of leaving any more phony messages to departing houseguests like you did to Jason, Paul. If they’re stacked up next to a few more exit-message truth bombs from Josh, you may sabotage yourself right out of this game with a big fat second place for a second time.