‘Big Brother’ Recap: On Comet, On Stupid

ALTTonight’s Big Brother urged viewers to ponder some of Earth’s greatest mysteries: Are we alone in the universe? (If we aren’t, we better hope they don’t discover Big Brother). What’s the meaning of life? (Screw it, we’ll let Shane answer that one). Is there a science to winning Big Brother? Now this one is tricky. 

Some may argue that there is a method to winning Big Brother. That it’s finding the delicate equation of brains, brawn, manipulation, keen strategy, making big power plays at crucial moments and staying under the radar when necessary. Others would argue it’s just a random assortment of dumb luck and good timing. It’s fitting that as Season 14 winds down that question is coming to the surface again, especially on such a science-friendly week. (Bill Nye would have been so proud. Or not.) 

Things kicked off where we left off on Thursday night, with the players orbiting in the “Soak Up the Sun” HoH competition. Joe fell first and received punishment from America, which was to hula hoop, at any given moment. Joe warned — sorry yelled at an entirely unreasonable volume — that if his kids watching at home were to make fun of him for falling off two minutes into the competition he would put his size 13 foot to use. Hey, you know what they say about guys with big feet. That they are loud, obnoxious, a**holes! 
Jenn quickly followed suit leaving Ian, Shane, Danielle, and Dan to compete in the high stakes HoH. It was a must-win for Ian if there ever was one. Not only did he acknowledge that his wishy-washy strategies ultimately cost Britney her place in the game, but with a disassembled Quack Pack he could very well be on his own. Frank, who is always in survival mode, was hanging on to that idea that if Dan hangs on he will keep their newfound alliance in tact if he becomes HoH. Now whether you’re a man or woman of faith or science could ultimately determine how you think this season will pan out. Science will tell you that Ian’s knowledge of the game and other bonus fun facts such as the laws of acceleration and the fact that comets are made of ice, yet the Big Brother comets are orange and fiery. Ya burnt, CBS!
But faith will tell you that maybe Dan — who has earned his stripes as the most cunning player in Big Brother history — really is Judas. After all, what mere mortal who isn’t a raging sociopath could reason that swearing on their loved one’s lives isn’t a bad thing because their intentions are for their mutual benefit. Back in the house Ian had previously said to Dan that he not only wanted to get the Quack Pack together, but that he was aiming to get Frank and Jenn on the block. Dan’s “allegiance” to Frank was all but shattered, as he explained that the only loyalty he had in the house was to himself. Ultimately it wouldn’t matter because both Dan and Danielle fell out of the HoH competition, leaving just Shane and Ian. It was no longer the intense faith vs. science match-up, but as Dan pointed out, “the prom king vs. the valedictorian.” And who always emerges from that battle? That’s right nerds, it’s nerds! 
Shane tried with all his handsome might to stay on, but acceleration and all that other science crap Ian was blathering on about proved to be too much or him. While Shane was the “safe” bet for everyone else in the house, Ian’s spritely physique and understanding of, you know, physics, made him the winner. But before Shane surrendered to Ian, he made him promise that neither he nor Danielle would be put on the block. Ian gave Shaners (?) his word that he wouldn’t backdoor him or Danielle. 
And it’s a good thing because without Danielle around, who would Shane have to whisper things to him while he’s in the shower and couldn’t possibly hear her from afar with running water pouring over him? Science! Shane assured Danielle that Ian would be gunning for Frank and Joe, not them, and Danielle gushed and batted her eyes that Shane is her “knight and shining armor” sent to protect her in the game. Somewhere, Zingbot and feminists everywhere were malfunctioning. It only got worse when Jenn told Danielle that Shane referred to her as his “girlfriend” which Danielle unconvincingly played off as annoyance that she doesn’t “know what to do with this boy.” Then Jenn spoke on behalf of everyone everywhere that’s ever had to listen to a girl feign annoyance about a boy she’s not so secretly crazy for: “You love it. ” 
While paranoia ran high (Joe thought Ian would put Dan and Jenn on the block to avenge Britney, while Dan was certain the Quack Pack would realign), there was only room for one theory in the house: scientific theory! In Ian’s HoH room, we find that not only does Ian know what’s on the periodic table of elements (presumably a Big Brother first) but he has a favorite element. For the record, it’s bismuth. You know, if Ian doesn’t win Big Brother, there’s another summer program he could do quite well on: Breaking Bad. Granted, he would be making Pepto Bismol instead of meth, but dammit if he wouldn’t be the best Pepto Bismol maker on the market! 
Ian seemed stalwart in his allegiance to the Quack Pack and looked to put Frank and Jenn on the block, something Frank seemed to have a hunch about. During a heart-to-heart (well, carrot-to-heart) chat, Frank promised Ian that not only would he and Boogie have taken him to the end, but he’s still willing to do that. Not only that, but with Frank’s punishment and inability to play in any competitions he wasn’t a real “threat” to Ian. (Of course, this being a double eviction week, anything goes.) Ian took Frank’s words into consideration and opted backdooring Joe, the other lone non-Quack Pack member. Ian had a lot of thinking to do about who to put on the block, but Pandora’s Box gave him something to think about. Now logic would tell Ian that the 50/50 odds of getting a “good” Pandora’s Box is awfully risky this late in the game but faith will tell you…OHMYGODCHRISTMASPRESENTS! C’mon, it’s Christmas presents every time. 
By Big Brother standards Ian would wind up on the good list rather than the naughty list. So if you believe in that kind of thing, that’s exactly why he got a ton of awesome gifts (including a telescope, Legos, and an extra $1000) while his housemates got a visit from a pec-tacular elf in a thong in the form of Big Brother alum Jesse who didn’t bring them presents, rather, took away all their glorious junk food. Young Ian clearly made the right decision when it came to Pandora’s Box, but how would he fare in the nomination ceremony? Frank opted to play nice with Ian on the off chance he wouldn’t be up for eviction and could try and restore his bond with him. Not to mention the fact that if Ian were to put anyone up to avenge Britney, it could literally be anyone else in the house as literally everyone else in the house voted her out. 
Still, Ian’s mind was made up, he put Jenn and Frank (now out of his carrot costume) back on the block. Neither were terribly surprised. In fact, the only person that was surprised was Dan who was stunned at how easy it was to worm his way back into the Quack Pack despite stabbing them all in the back last week. If Frank wins PoV this week (which, let’s face it, he probably will) he’ll officially have nine lives. Of course, if anyone in this game has shown how coming back from the dead is done, it’s Dan. Faith and science may keep you from believing in zombies, but damn if Big Brother hasn’t proven us otherwise. 
Did Ian make the right choice in putting Frank up again? Should he have put his faith back in Frank or are his instincts about Dan taking him to the end right? Will Frank walk away from being a dead man walking again and send Jenn packing? Or will Dan put an end to Frank once and for all? Oh, life’s unanswerable mysteries! Well, at least until Wednesday. In the meantime, share your theories in the comments section.
[Photo credit: CBS] 

Big Brother Recap: Pleas and Carrots