There comes a moment every September when you decide to wear a short-sleeved shirt to work and you exit your front door and realize that it's too cold to be walking around without long sleeves. But still, you suffer through the day, determined that summer is not over. You will not give in to fall's chill. You will not give up on summer, you just won't let it go, but you refuse to admit that trying to live in the past sort of sucks.
There is a moment in every season of Big Brother, the consummate summer show, where that happens too. When the season begins there are so many players, so many possibilities, so many alliances and configurations that anything can happen. We expect the unexpected, as we have been trained to. But when the show rolls past Labor Day, it's losing a bit of its heat. There are no longer so many players that interesting things can happen. Sure there will be a surprise or two, but we just all kind of want to get this thing over with and give Dan or Ian the million dollar prize and call it a summer so we can do the whole fall thing and wear flannels and watch new shows like Elementary and The New Normal. You know, things that don't have any yahoos on them at all (except for maybe Johnny Lee Miller). After all, Dan's coup was the big move of the summer (possibly of all time) and there is going to be no topping that.
I reached that point last night, after a rather predictable hour of television. Ian put Frank and this nasty ghost up on the block. There was some talk about taking them off and how that is best for everyone's strategy. There was a veto competition, the yearly one where they take some figure – an Aztec god, a Giant talking sculpture, a Rock Lobster – crown him Otev, and make everyone pray to him. This year it was an alien who crash-landed in the back yard and the remaining house guests had to answer questions about the game and bring the answers to Otev (which is "veto" backwards for those of you who didn't figure it out and for the dyslexic people out there who already thought he was named "vetO"). Sidebar: Shouldn't they just name him Vito? Couldn't he be Italian? I mean, Vito is a name. No one wants to say Otev out loud. No one.
The competition comes down to Dan and Frank, but you can't even recognize Frank because he's wearing a do-rag. Yes, it's like seeing Felicity without her curls, Kate Gosselin without her signature wedge, or Gayle without Oprah: you have no idea who you are looking at, even thought it is vaguely familiar. That is a very off-putting feeling. I thought it was ridiculous when he was in a carrot suit, but Frank without his Bozo wig is a whole different animal.
Speaking of Frank, he has finally started playing the game badly. Frank would have been my pick to win up until this week. He didn't trust anyone but Boogie (remember him?), he fought hard to get himself off the block and win HoH, and he was well-liked by the rest of the house, even though they wanted him out more than Lindsay Lohan's hotel wants her to pay her bill. All along, Frank was paranoid about Dan trying to get him out of the house, and Dan was never really working that hard to get him out. Now, after one week of being in an alliance, Frank trusts Dan and Dan's finally trying to get him out of the house. Frank, you did it all backwards! Frank trusted Dan so much, he even thought about throwing the Veto competition so that he could stay in the game. I'm not exactly sure how that would work, but Frank had it worked out in that curly little brain of his, so that's all that really matters.
Frank decides not to throw the competition, but Dan still beats him, making this the first thing that he's won this whole season. This thing really has turned into the Dan show. All we saw last night was who Dan was talking smack about (everybody), who Dan has a final two deal with (everybody), who is going to lose to Dan (everybody except maybe Ian). And I have to give Dan mad credit. He is the only coach who came in and played a different game than the one they played the time before, and that is why he is the only one who is still in the house. Dan is also a master at getting other people to do what he wants without strong-arming them or making them think they're doing what he wants. He's a master influencer. He should be in marketing rather than coaching.
Dan decides to take Jenn off the block knowing that Ian will put up Joe. He makes both Ian and Frank think that this was their idea (I don't know why Frank would want to have Jenn off the block, because he stand zero chance against her or Joe, but whatever). He also ingratiates himself to Jenn, who saved him last week. She was in no danger of going home anyway, so Dan did it only to curry favor with that evil red-headed ghost that has been haunting the game all season.
Yes, it is Dan's game at this point, as it limps slowly toward the finish. Time to pack away those short-sleeved shirts and finish this thing up for another year.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: CBS]