Thursday, August 19, 2010

Searching For Signal: #156 - “Big Brother” - Season 12, Episode 18

We start with a quick review of the mayhem from the last episode (people crying in the swamp room, Lane playing “brother” and tossing about “sister” Britney like a rag doll as they both giggle and pretend that this has nothing to do with lust, and some revealing documentary footage that Kathy is unable to close her eyes at night after 40 years of mascara abuse). Oh, and the Announcer guy says “The Brigade got hit with a grenade” (Lane’s nomination), meaning even the BB producers are using that dumb-ass Brigade slogan. Blech.

Then we get to the new stuff, right after Ragan and Lane were put on the block, and we have a round of Diary Room confessions.

Ragan: “I am devastated. I am having a full-blown meltdown.” (Girl, you have those with simple things like people not putting the toothpaste cap back on tight enough.)

Lane: “I don’t know why I’m up.” (This does not surprise me, Lane. You’re confused by breakfast cereals.)

Brendon: “Lane is a pawn, Ragan is the target. But neither of them has had to fight to stay in this game.” (Which is totally stupid, making it personal instead of strategic. Say, Brendon, do you often have breakfast with Lane?)

Britney: “I think Brendon has a bigger plan. He’s not after Ragan or Lane.” (This would be an interesting thought if we weren’t talking about Brendon. After all, he hasn’t been thinking clearly since he was first caressed by the billowing synthetic fibers in Rachel’s hair extensions.)

Then we have Ragan in the Swamp Room, crying and talking to himself. “This is my opportunity to shine.” Then he blows his nose with enough force to create a tsunami, which is now headed to a poor Far Eastern country where nobody has flood insurance and the houses are made out of wax paper.

Brendon and Lane, chatting. Brendon: “You’re not the target. And if Ragan wins Power of Veto, Matt or Britney goes home.”

Time to pick players for the Power of Veto Competition. Brendon draws Enzo, Ragan gets Kathy (cue laugh track), and Lane, with a “Houseguest’s Choice” draw, picks Hayden. (Enzo in the Diary Room: “If I win, I’m safe.” Then I guess you’ll have to go with Plan B, because you seem unable to win squat.)

Quick scene with Ragan pouting in the Diary Room, because it’s just not FAIR that he might get sent home before he can finish his two weeks as The Saboteur. Interesting that you should bring that up, Ragan. Because really, all we’re seeing is Darth Vader videos, and nothing where you have to actually sneak about the house and do actual work. Explain to me again why you even deserve the $20,000? Just wondering.

Then we have some weird robot thing coming out of the Diary Room and telling the slumbering houseguests to “wake up”, and then making fun of them, because he’s the “Zingbot 3000” or some such. It’s pretty stupid, and this is one of those shame-filled moments when I realize that my life could be better spent doing anything other than watching this mess.

Oh, but the robot is also going to host the Veto Competition, so I guess he does serve some obscure purpose. Everybody tromps out to the courtyard, and we learn that this game involves carrying puzzle pieces across a balance beam and a spinning disc thing, and then assembling 4 puzzles that spell out “VETO”. And if you fall off at any point, you’re eliminated. Ready, go!

Right away, Kathy: “I’m taking my time on this one.”

Britney in the Diary Room: “You’re taking your time on this one? Oh, on THIS one. Okay. Because it’s not a race or anything.” Britney really is funny, when she’s not spending her time lacerating everyone around her with negative whining. And Monet getting the boot has actually calmed Britney down a little bit.

Diary Room moments for both Ragan and Lane, both of them doing the “gotta win” spiel and crossing their fingers. Yes, we know you need to win. But we don’t need to hear you say that 46 times in one episode.

Kathy in the Diary Room, complaining about the spinning disc part of the competition, accompanied by shots of her gingerly maneuvering across the disc without any urgency at all: “I don’t even ride the Ferris wheels at the carnival.” Well, it may not have been the Ferris wheel, but you’ve clearly ridden something. For a very long time.

Shots of Brendon obviously looking at Ragan doing the puzzles, and thereby cheating. He’s such a good sport.

Kathy is the first to fall and is eliminated. This is a total surprise and everyone is stunned. Not.

In the end, Ragan wins, meaning Brendon will have to name a replacement nominee. (Ragan in the Diary Room: This means, one, that I get to stay, and two, that I’m going to get the $20,000 for being The Saboteur. Yay! And three, I’m still wondering what Ragan really did that justifies that $20K. Maybe I’m just bitter.)

Brendon in the Diary Room: “I still have Britney and Matt” to put up. (Again, why are they your focus?)

Britney in the Diary Room: “Now I have to talk to the Neanderthal again.” (Again, sucking up is intrinsic to this game. I know you got the BB handbook. Use it.)

Lane: “We can’t have anyone in The Brigade going up against me.” (Well, since it’s quickly coming to the point where The Brigade will be the only people in the house, it’s bound to happen. Not happy that your little Brigade has slid under the radar so far, but it will be fun to watch you four tear at each other when it comes down to that.)

Cut to commercials. Can we get a moratorium on the BB advertisement where Monet (I think) screams “It’s party time. Yeah!” Sick of that.

Britney, Ragan and Matty in the Swamp Room. They basically agree that Kathy is the one that should go up on the block and then home. Then Matt wanders out to get some slop. Ragan turns to Britney and goes into full Bette Davis mode: Neither Matt nor I will ever screw you over. “I love you!” Then he starts sobbing. Britney, startled and not sure what to do, jabs herself in the eye with a finger so she can squeeze out a tear.

Hayden and Enzo, somewhere. Enzo: “If Matt goes home, it’s better for us.” Then they grip each other in places that you probably shouldn’t grip if you’re not in a relationship. Hayden in the Diary Room: He basically wants Matt out, because he wins stuff.

Brendon wanders into the HOH Room, where the Pandora’s box has been activated again, tempting him. He reads the letter about something good OR bad happening to the house if he accepts, but then he sees a video with Rachel splashing water on herself and he’s gone. “I choose most definitely” to open the box. (I’m thinking he’s already done that, but I digress.) Once he activates Pandora, he goes inside the secret chamber and finds another envelope.

“You get a 24-hour rest from the game,” shipped off to a nice vacation spot. “I get to see Rachel!” he proclaims, and wanders out a door on the other side of the chamber.

Back in the house, the doorbell rings. Everybody scampers to see who it is, and it’s Rachel. “I’m back, bitches!” (Britney in the Diary Room: “I wanted to throw up on myself.” Have you ever noticed how many things make Brit want to hurl? Perhaps she should see somebody about that.) Rachel: “Somebody opened Pandora’s box and I’m here for 24 hours.”

Then she immediately gets into a shouting match with Ragan. For the record, she started it. After they spar for a bit, Rachel runs up to the HOH Room, fully expecting to find her honey, Brendon. The door is locked. Hmmm.

Downstairs, Britney thinks that Brendon has been locked in Pandora’s box for an equal 24 hours. Good call, but not quite right. Rachel tromps back down the spiral staircase, and goes after Ragan again, with this round ending in Ragan spitting: “Count your friends in this house. Done already?”

And then they fight some more. Ragan asks “Ray-tress” to bring him a cocktail, then offers this: “You could have been decent, but you came in just like you left.”

This is not going to be a pleasant day in the life, just sayin’.

Then Rachel throws out this, which marks her for extinction in my book: “Do you have to be the biggest bitch because you’re gay?”

Oh, no she didn’t.

Ragan: “No, it’s because you’re a horrible person.”

And this goes on and on and ON. Ragan is actually very sharp and witty with his responses, while Rachel basically flips her hair and refuses to accept the fact that she might be out of line. (Rachel: “I’ll make every minute of the 24 hours miserable for you!”)

Now, the thing that bugs me the most about this extended confrontation? That nobody else in the house has Ragan’s back during the mess. Rachel is out of her mind with mean vindictiveness, yet they all look the other way. Because Rachel’s on the jury? Please. That girl ain’t votin’ for nobody except Brendon. She’s a lost cause. So you people not coming to Ragan’s defense are just pathetic.

Really don’t like the people in the house this season.

Later, Matt discovers that the HOH Room is now unlocked. So everybody thunders up there to see what’s going on. Close-up of Rachel pounding on the Pandora door and begging for Brendon to come out.

Cut to Brendon at the “vacation house”, wandering around and calling Rachel’s name. Eventually he finds a card explaining that “Rachel’s enjoying her vacation somewhere else”. Brendon: At least she’s having a nice time wherever she is. Then his clueless ass jumps in the pool and splashes around.

Back at the BB house, Rachel stomps out to the courtyard and proceeds to torment Ragan about her making cookies, knowing full well (courtesy of Britney) that he’s a Have-Not and can’t eat the cookies. And here we go with another round of bitter screaming. This goes on forever, so I’ll just throw out some choice quotes.

Ragan: “The only thing honest about you is the pimples on your face.”

Ragan: “Get on your broom and fly back into the house.”

Rachel: “Nobody likes you!”

Ragan: “You are the most vile devil child in the world.”

Rachel: “You suck at being gay.”

Ragan: “You will get what is coming to you. Take it as a tip and learn from it.”

Ragan stomps into the house and slams the sliding glass door. Rachel just stands there, unable to comprehend what she has done wrong, while Britney pretends to play pool with… I don’t know, one of The Brigade Boys. Again, nobody defends Ragan.

Rachel marches up to the HOH Room and uses some pretzels to spell out Matt’s name. The she trounces back downstairs, finds Enzo and hugs him, them convinces Kathy to stagger back up to the HOH Room with her. (I’m impressed that Kathy can navigate the spiral staircase. Who knew she had it in her?) Once there, Rachel: I spelled Matt out on purpose. Make sure that nobody comes up here.

Then Rachel leaves the house, her stay finally ended, and blood pressures drop.

Kathy races to tell Hayden and Enzo that Rachel left Matt’s name upstairs. Based on the expressions the two guys have, I’m not really sure they know who Matt is.

Later still, back up to the HOH Room. Brendon wanders out of the Pandora room, freshly returned from his vacation in wherever. He spies the pretzel message from Rachel. (In the Diary Room: Matt? Done!) Then he moseys out on the upstairs balcony, where he learns that Rachel was here and he wasn’t. Surprisingly, he doesn’t take his own life.

Kathy: “It was pretty dramatic in here.”

Understatement. Of. The. Century.

Brendon drags Britney up to the HOH Room. Brendon: Just checking to make sure our agreement still holds. Britney: “100 percent.” (Britney in the Diary Room: Are you kidding? I will promise my first-born child.)

Brendon and Ragan in the HOH Room. Ragan: “People need to see you as you, not as Rachel and Brendon.” Then Ragan hints that Matt should go up, but cautions that if Britney is nominated, she’ll go home, but Matt may not.

And we have another Darth Vader video. “There’s a competition tomorrow that could change the course of the game. Get some sleep.” The houseguests scurry to get some shut-eye. But Darth keeps coming back on the monitor. All night long. So nobody gets any sleep, and Kathy in particular looks like we should just throw some dirt on her face and call it done. In the last Darth video, the bleary-eyed houseguests learn that there really isn’t a competition. Hee hee.

Ragan in the Diary Room: He’s very happy that his latest Saboteur prank has everybody in an uproar. Then Liza Minnelli walks in again, and asks him where he got his blouse.

Time for the Veto Meeting.

Ragan removes himself from the block. Natch.

Brendon nominates Matt as a replacement. Not so natch, but still.

Ragan slams the Veto box closed, triggering some final Diary Room moments.

Ragan: He’s really sad that Matt had to go up. But not so sad that he’s going to forfeit his $20K for being The Saboteur.

Enzo: The worst has finally happened. It might be time for Matt to go home. Then Enzo gets distracted by a mirror and some catnip.

Britney: I have a huge sense of relief. Does anybody have some hand lotion?

Lane: I’m gonna do what I gotta do. Lane, you have no idea what that might be.

Matt: I’m not worried. I’ve got the Madonna Veto. I can’t wait to see Brendon’s face when I use it.

Me: I can’t wait, either. Especially since I expected you to use the Diamond Veto as soon as you were put on the block, because isn’t this the Veto meeting? Why wait? Did I miss a memo? Probably.

So if Matt uses Madonna right before the actual vote, anything could happen. Oh boy.

Roll end credits.

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