The house is wondering what the next big moves are gonna be now that Ryan Lochte, the big fish in the Big Brother pond, is gone. Joey, sensing that he’ll be the next target, meets with Kato after the eviction and tells him that he’ll have to break up some of the other alliances before they start cannibalizing each other.
Lolo is in tears about having to evict her fellow Olympic compadre, telling Natalie that she feels like a traitor because of how Ryan stuck by her during her athletic setbacks. Ultimately, Lolo stands by her vote, telling the diary room that Ryan left her out to dry. Joey goes and makes his pitch to Dina, Tamar, and Kandi about going after the foursome of Tom, Kato, Lolo, and Natalie. In the diary room, Tamar says she’s not falling for it: “You wanna have an alliance with you, me, Kandi (who don’t like to do nothing physical) and Dina? Against the bootleg superhero? No, that’s not finna work, we’re gonna lose!” Lolo and Natalie meet in the game/tweet room and are set on winning HoH, believing that no one else in the house besides Dina and Joey see them as targets. Kandi and Ricky join in and he, being the chaos agent that he is, immediately fills them in on Joey saying that they’re far too comfortable in the game. Neither are amused and Natalie tells the diary room Joey is for sure going home if she wins HoH.
The HoH competition, Slaughter House, sees the houseguests enter one at a time into a ’70s horror-style haunted house, where they have to make their way through the scares to find a set of car keys that’ll start a sweet-looking Honda. The person who does all this the fastest becomes the new Head of Household. Over the course of the competition we see our cast members duck, hide, crawl, run, and, of course, scream their way through the house. Best in show goes to Tamar, who tells us, “I don’t do haunted houses, I don’t do no Halloween honey, I don’t do clowns, I don’t do snakes, I don’t do caterpillars, I don’t do birds, I don’t do none of that stuff that’s going to scare me, no, none of that,” before strolling into the haunted house, shrieking in place, and walking out without finding the keys. But since she can’t win, it’s Tom who completes the haunted chase the fastest, making him the new HoH. Tamar now believes she’ll be on the block for giving up on the challenge, but again, “I don’t do haunted houses”.
After the challenge, Kandi straight up asks Tom if he’s in an alliance with anyone else. Tom turns it around and asks her the same thing, which she quickly answers no. Kandi then asks if Tom already has his mind made up on nominations, which causes him to become evasive and monosyllabic, making Kandi even more suspicious. Tom and Kato are in the bedroom discussing what to call their final four alliance when Lolo and Ricky (the unofficial Fifth Beatle of the alliance) walk in. Tom invites a reluctant Ricky into their alliance, but when the topic turns back to an alliance name (their idea: Team Fun) Ricky’s not feeling it. “No name,” he says, which causes awkward glances among everyone in the room. With Namegate behind us, Ricky, Tom, and Kato meet in the HoH room to talk strategy. Ricky directly asks who Tom plans to put up, but finds some dissension amongst the alliance-mates. Tom suggests Tamar and Joey, only to be interrupted by Kato, who instead throws out Tamar and Kandi. Ricky splits the difference and suggests nominating Tamar and Kandi, then backdooring Joey post-veto. Both listen to Ricky’s ideas but find it a bit too tricky since veto could go any which way. Tom tells the diary room that despite Ricky being the newfound squeaky wheel in their alliance, he may actually be the biggest threat in the house post-Ryan.
Because we have an hour to fill, we get a weird moment of Tom pretending a large gold dish is a UFO, only to have it “teleport” him to another room. Editing! But after that, we see Tom and Kato meet in the game room, where Tom shares his misgivings about whether to trust Ricky. Kato insists they have a solid numbers game with Ricky and tells Tom to stick with it, but Tom’s thinking long-term, wondering whether keeping a competitive wildcard is good for their final two deal. “Don’t we want to keep the weakest player, not the strongest?” Tom asks. The end of Monday’s episode gave the public the chance to vote on who would receive the “Power of the Publicist,” which would give one houseguest safety from the chopping block at one of the next two nomination or veto ceremonies. As the Entertainment Tonight theme beckons the houseguests into the living room for their latest breaking news report (I really want Tamar’s cover of the theme as a single at this point), Kevin Frazier reveals the existence of this power and that it would save one houseguest from “a really sticky situation.” The house wonders who America granted this power to and what exactly it stands for, but it’s Tamar who wins the Power of the Publicist…and what perfect timing it is for her. With her name on everyone’s lips as a potential nominee, Tamar is giddy and thanks America for giving her the much-needed power.
Ricky once again meets with Tom and Kato to snuff out who they think won the power. With their main guesses being Joey, Tamar, or Kandi, the three talk about putting up the two most likely to have the power. Tom tells the diary room that though this power has messed with his HoH, he still wants to make a big move (*cough*Ricky*cough). When the nomination ceremony comes, Tom goes the safe route and nominates Joey and Kandi for eviction. “No more fried chicken!” Kandi says in jest. Tom tells the nominees that he nominated them because he thought one of them had the power (they don’t). Tom walks out of the meeting with egg on his face as his big plan to out the power-holder was a big fail, but he says there’s still a veto meeting left to possibly carry out his biggest plan: backdooring Ricky. We leave the episode with a joyous Tamar giddy at not even having to use her newfound power, but promising the public she’ll put it to good use.
Will Joey or Kandi be able to win their way off the block with the veto? Will Tamar make it through the whole week without having to touch her power? Who’ll be the third houseguest evicted? We’ll have to wait til…Saturday (?!) to find out all this. Until then, stay warm.