‘Big Brother’ Recap: Can We Speak Frankly?

ALTHave you ever written something really long like a term paper or a business proposal or a reality television program recap and you forget to save it and your computer goes on the fritz and you lose the whole thing and have to start over again from the beginning? That always sucks. Writing it the second time is never as good or as interesting as the first time. That’s what I felt when we started the most recent episode of Big Brother, which rehashed the fast-forward episode and the HoH competition, nominations, veto, and voting. We already know what happened! It just couldn’t be as good. Boy, was I wrong!

First we have Frank cussing out everyone because they just kicked out his man lover Boogie. He’s going after Ian, asking how Boogie didn’t buy his loyalty with the $3,000 he gave Ian when he won a coachs’ competition. If you remember, Frank, the only reason Ian even got the money was because you told Boogie to give it to Ian and that other girl on your team, so it’s not like Boogie even wanted to give it to Ian in the first place.

Then Ian goes and wins HoH. He says he was trying to throw it so he wouldn’t have to make any decisions and make Frank mad at him by kicking him out. Then he’s all frazzled and taking everyone in to the ball machine room one at a time. He’s all serious with Britney and Dan. “Shane and Joe or Frank and Ashley?” he shouts, knowing that the way to get Frank out is to backdoor him, not to give him a chance to play Veto. Britney doesn’t think that is wise. Then he takes Frank in the room and they have an intense confrontation. Then the same with Shane and Danielle. Then it’s Ashley turn. “Congratulations,” she says. “I don’t really have anything to say.” God, I love Ashley. Why did they have to kick this girl out? Couldn’t they just keep her around to not play the game and say stupid things and keep us all amused?

Then Frank wins Veto and takes himself off the block and Ashley’s portrait goes grey (which is the one shade that this professional spray tan technician has never actually been). Ian is pissed at Britney for making him put up Frank instead of backdooring him. And he should be, since that probably would have been a smarter move. To Britney’s credit, she tries to make it better when a rampaging Frank tells Ian that he’s a bad person for voting out blond bombshells Boogs and Ashley. She’s about to shed tears for poor Ian while he’s roaming around the house like a junkie looking for a $20 bill that he dreamed was somewhere in his house but doesn’t actually exist. That’s the funny thing is that Ian does feel like a bad person. He says he’s going to hell for getting people voted out. Um, sorry, Ian, but did you think you were going to go on this show and Julie Chen was going to say, “The twist this year is that you all get to live in the house all summer and no one is voted out. You’re all going to heaven!”

Frank doesn’t waste a second and pulls Shane and Danielle into a room to talk strategy. This was the best scene all night, because it was something out of an existential French drama. There’s Frank talking about how life isn’t fair. Shane doesn’t know what to think because Britney isn’t there to tell him. He’s just an empty cypher trying to figure life out while not fully engaging in it. Then there’s Danielle, who is crying for no apparent reason whatsoever. She’s just stricken by grief, the great emotional weight of taking breath after breath after breath and trying to make it through the day. Then there’s Britney, who is saying not to be mean to the common man (Ian) because he can’t handle it and doesn’t know what he did. If Sartre ever stooped so low as to imagine what reality television would be like, this is exactly it.

Frank is trying to scare people into thinking about what is going to happen if he wins HoH, which he is going to because the producers love him so much that they have saved him from the block multiple times in order to continue to make the season more exciting. Frank tells Shane that he’ll be up on the block if Shane and Britney don’t make a deal with him. Britney goes to Frank alone (because Shane, at this point, is only good for winning challenges and then carrying out Britney’s orders like her prematurely balding pool boy) and makes a deal that she will help him get Dan out of the house and work with him as far as she can.

Two things. First, Frank is unnaturally obsessed with getting Dan out of the house. Sure, he’s gunning for Frank, but so is everyone in the house right now. He’s too blind to see who the real danger is. It’s not Dan, who won’t ever win an HoH. It’s not Ian, who got rid of Boogie. It’s not Danielle, who spends all her time applying mascara so she can cry and let it run down her cheeks. It’s not pink tank top scion Shane, the competition king. It’s not even diary room shouter Joe or that other thing whose name I can’t really remember that is somehow still in the house. It is Britney. That is the other thing: Britney is running this game right now. Not only does she control Shane like a sock puppet, she also can sway the rest of the Quack Pack as easy as you can order pancakes at Denny’s (which you can do 24 hours a day as long as you have a Denny’s, $4.95, and no gluten allergy). Now she has a deal with Frank too. She is totally in charge of everything that is happening.

This makes me really happy because I am a huge Britney fan. “Slave 4 U” is one of my all time favorite jams. I also want Britney to win this game. The last time she played, she let another alliance take over the house without including her and they kicked her out when they didn’t need her anymore. She’s not making the same mistake twice, and she is running her entire alliance and Frank! This is the girl to watch out for.

Because the producers love Frank so much, they brought out their favorite “there’s an outsider that we love” HoH challenge. Everyone uses an elaborate pulley machine to hoist a ball to the top and is ranked on their performance. Then the people who were the worst at the machine square off against each other and the victor takes on the person who did better than them until the last person remaining is the HoH. This challenge is rigged so that the person who comes in last ends up running the whole game. (If I remember correctly, this kept Daniele Donato in the game last time she played, but it might have been another player with no friends.) The people who are in the first round have to use this crazy machine so many times to get to the top that they get to practice each time and get better and better. It allows the underdog to come from behind and take the prize. Getting a low seat in this challenge is actually a strategic benefit. Korean Olypmic badminton players would rule at this challenge.

Yes, Frank wins and he’s going to nominate Dan and Danielle. That makes sense if he really wants Dan out. Then he goes and opens Pandora’s Box. Now, I’m not saying BB shouldn’t have Pandora’s Box, but I think they should stop pretending like the HoH isn’t going to open it. That is like putting a bag of white powder in front of Lindsay Lohan and expecting it to be there when you get back. No, she’ll be in the bathroom stall faster than you can say, Herbie the Love Bug 2: Fully Unloaded.

Frank opens it and wins some money and is locked inside Pandora’s Box for an hour. Meanwhile the rest of the house guests find out that there’s another veto in the ball machine in the arcade and they just need quarters to operate it. Then balls start falling from heaven (which is just what happens every night at a gay strip club) with quarters in them and everyone rushes to win the Veto. Dan is kind of a jerk about it and keeps trying to get people to let him win. They’re annoyed, and so am I. Dan, you’re not good when you’re being a pain in the ass. Stick to your whole inspirational speeches and Successories posters schtick.

Eventually Ian wins the veto. Frank is threatening to put Ian up just so he has to use the veto on himself and not on someone else, which is probably the smartest thing Frank cold do at this point. However, Britney, who, like the Beyoncé song says, is running this mother, convinces Frank not to do that. She tells Ian that if he uses it on Dan, then she will go up. Britney’s brilliant plan is for Frank to put up Dan and Danielle (which he eventually does) and for her or Shane to win the regular Power of Veto. Then if Ian takes down Dan and Shane takes down Danielle (because, honestly, Britney has the same chance of winning a competition as you do leaving Lindsay with your eight ball), then all four of them will be safe. Even if Frank puts up Britney, he’ll also have to nominated either Joe or that other bag of hair that still fills up one of the beds in the house and that person will be the one to go home.

That’s kind of a genius plan, and I really hope it works out. However, since it would subvert what Frank is planning, the producers will never allow it to happen. The Veto Competition on Wednesday is probably going to be a challenge where you have to rub balloons against your hair to get enough status electricity to shock Julie Chen into showing an emotion. Of course those with curly red mop on their head will have an advantage in that competition. Yes, Britney is working to win this whole thing, but Frank seems like he’s a sure thing at this point.

Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan

[Photo credit: CBS]


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