By Kyle Fowle
July 11, 2021 at 10:07 PM EDT
S23 E2

As with every season of Big Brother, the 90-minute live move-in was largely dull. Lots of introductions, a few challenges, but not much to give us a sense of how this season will play out or an understanding of the overall dynamic of the house. Now, though, with the houseguests divided into four teams and the first HOH getting ready to nominate the first two people to go on the block, things are starting to heat up.

At first, everyone is just super happy to be here. They're touring the house, giggling, yelling, and Kyland, in particular, is losing his mind entering every new room, yelling over and over that he can't believe he's actually in the Big Brother house. After getting the lay of the land, everyone sits in a circle in the living room and introduces themselves, talking about their jobs, home towns, and families. It's all very cordial, and there's palpable excitement in the air, but underneath all of that, there's already some scheming going on. Sarah Beth is lying about being a voice actress because she thinks revealing her real job as a forensic scientist could make her seem more threatening. Xavier is already worrying about "temptation" in the house and how a showmance could ruin his game. Frenchie, of course, is trying to get a read on everyone so he can make smart choices in terms of who goes on the block.

It doesn't take long before Frenchie has his nomination criteria. "I don't like meatheads," he says. He has an idea about the type of guys Christian, Xavier, Travis, and Brent are, and he wants to get the alpha males out of the house early. As an extension of that, he promises the women in the house that he won't be nominating them; he's aware of the game's history and wants to "shake things up," saying it's his "personal preference" to not put a woman on the block in the first week. Now, is Frenchie just saying the right things? Or is he being sincere? We all know he's a superfan with journals full of notes on past seasons, so there's always a chance he's able to read the current temperature of the show and react accordingly. No matter what his motivation, though, he has a lot of people trusting him early on, and while that's useful, it also means he'll have to betray someone's trust at some point.

Eventually, Frenchie decides that Brent is one of his targets because he's a "meathead" and never approached him to talk. So, Frenchie initiates a private conversation, fully assuming the chat will confirm all his suspicions about Brent. But when they actually start talking about the importance of family, and Brent opens up about losing his father to suicide, the two start to bond. Frenchie admits that he made some assumptions about Brent, leading him to target Christian instead.

But of course, plans don't come together so quickly. The Wild Card Competitions start this week, and each team that isn't already safe must nominate someone to compete for their own safety (the rest of the team remains vulnerable). Every team must decide who will play, or they'll get chosen randomly. Kyland volunteers, the Aces leave their nomination to fate, and Christian is down to compete knowing that Frenchie is probably targeting him. And sure enough, Christian wins the competition.

On top of that, he gets a unique reward. He spins a wheel and learns he gets to keep one other person safe. Both Alyssa and Sarah Beth told Christian that Frenchie talked to them and said he'd keep them safe, so Christian decides to keep his only other team member, Xavier, safe for the week.

So now Frenchie has to pivot. His main target is now safe, but you know what? He sees Christian and Alyssa getting close and thinks a showmance is developing. If he can't get Christian out, he can at least go after his budding romantic partner. Then, without any apparent understanding of how this will look to every woman in the house who believed him when he said he didn't want to nominate any women in the first week, he puts Alyssa and Kyland on the block.

That's the beauty of this episode. It sets up Frenchie to completely fall on his face, and it's wonderful to watch. I don't even have any strong opinions about Frenchie at the moment! But it's definitely entertaining to watch him botch an easy layup and piss off the friends he thought he was making early in the game. Between his nominations and his constant spying on people, always lingering around their conversations, Frenchie is positioning himself as a player very few will trust. Now we wait for this week's veto and see if that further pushes Frenchie to alienate himself and blow up his game.

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Big Brother

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

  • TV Show
  • 22
  • TV-14
  • CBS
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