Monday, August 30, 2010

Searching For Signal: #162 - “Big Brother” - Season 12, Episode 23

We start with the typical review of the last few episodes (Ragan figures out that The Brigade exists and who the members are, Matt runs to tell The Brigade, and they all freak out and can’t concentrate on their weight-lifting, which is probably the most difficult thing they’ve ever encountered in their limited lives). And the Announcer Guy is asking “Who is going to win HOH!?!” Well, how are WE supposed to know that? Aren’t you tight with Julie, even though you apparently don’t have a physical body?

Diary Room confessions, some of which take place during the last hectic episode, where they crammed a full week of activities into one hour, so things get a bit confusing. Just ride the wave:

Hayden, about the surprise HOH Competition on Eviction Night: “I’m all tingly with stress!” Are you sure that’s stress? Because it could be crabs. Did you and Kristen have “the talk” before you played Doctor?

Enzo: “I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer.” Well, good. The first step to recovery is accepting that you have a problem.

Britney: “Matt did it to himself.” Well, we know this. Because his hand is/was always in his pants. But thanks for the news flash. You can go back to your room now and organize your hair dryers.

Then, inexplicably, the BB producers decide to go back through all of the events that we watched in the last episode. Sure, they throw in a few snippets of houseguests plotting in between the frenetic activity, but we don’t really see anything new. This is just lazy.

The single interesting thing, to me, concerns The Brigade members, mainly Hayden, telling Brendon that he’s just a pawn, the target is Ragan. (Hayden confirms this in the Diary Room: He’s fine with Brendon. Ragan should leave. Oh?)

Cut to Enzo in the Diary Room: He’s more than ready for Brendon to leave. “You and Rachel go make ugly babies.” (But I bet they won’t be prematurely bald, Enzo. Just sayin.)

Ragan in the Diary Room: “I have mad respect for Brendon,” making it this far despite all the odds. Then Ragan does a high-kick, which sort of dilutes the impact of his respectful statement.

Anyway, we finally get around to seeing new things.

Britney and Ragan in some room, with a quick confab that one of them has GOT to win HOH. (Britney in the Diary Room: “I’m definitely nervous.” Then she gets very upset with one of her hair curls that didn’t look totally stunning on camera. Ragan in the Diary Room: “I’m certain I’m going up on the block.”)

We have The Brigade in the Swamp Room, being very cocky, because this is all they really know how to do. Hayden: “Back-to-back Brigade wins!” Then he high-fives someone who isn’t really there. Enzo is all about putting Britney and Ragan on the block. Lane is all about not wanting to be a part of this conversation, with a smidge of not wanting to stand too close to Hayden and end up with facial lacerations from Hayden’s out-of-control hair.

Lane in the Diary Room: If I win HOH, I would have to choose between Britney and The Brigade. I hope Enzo wins and has to make that decision. Then Lane high-fives one of his biceps.

Time for the HOH Competition.

Basically, it’s a twisted version of Blackjack, where Hayden shows the players two face cards totaling 21, then the players have to roll balls down this flip-ramp thing and try to make the balls land on the selected cards. You get a total of five tries per round, and the person who sucks the most each round is eliminated.

Enzo in the Diary Room: “I have to win this thing. If you go home now, it’s your own fault.” NOW it’s your own fault? As opposed to the two months before this where you didn’t win a damn thing and you’re still here? What do you not understand about “winning”?

Britney drops out in the first round.

Enzo drops out in the second round.

Lane in the Diary Room: He’s mad because he wanted to throw the competition so he wouldn’t have to decide between Britney and his bottom-shelf buddies.

Hayden in the Diary Room: “Enzo is terrible!”

Enzo in the Diary Room: “The more I stay in this house, the more embarrassing it gets.” Exactly. Meow-Meow should have been sent home with some consolation catnip a long time ago.

We get down to the very last ball roll, where Ragan MUST hit the target in order to stay in the game with the surprisingly adept Lane, and they cut to commercials.

Seriously? This episode has totally hit the failblog in keeping my attention.

We finally come back from learning that Viagra can totally improve your life, unless you have a heart attack, check with your doctor. Ragan in the Diary Room: “I’ve got to win!” Lane in the Diary Room: “I’ve got to win!” Hayden in the Diary Room: “Is it possible for me and my hair to get any hotter? Really, touch me, you will sizzle with delight”

And Lane wins HOH.

Lane in the Diary Room: “Now I’m stuck with a difficult decision.” Damn those people from New Jersey who can’t win squat, despite their unshakeable belief that their mere presence in the room is somehow akin to loaves and fishes appearing magically at just the right mass picnic moment.

Britney in the Diary Room: “I am SO happy. This is the best-case scenario.” Because Lane tosses me through the air at random, so surely he’s going to keep me around.

Ragan in the Diary Room: “Of course I’m going up.” Then he drops to his knees and prays to Liza for some form of redemption.

Enzo in the Diary Room: “Blondie’s gotta go up.” And he earned the right to call the shots when?

Brief shot of Ragan sprawled in the Daybed Room, looking anguished and hoping that someone at home is taping all the episodes of “Design Star”.

Lane, Hayden and Britney, sitting somewhere. Lane: “Who wants the pawn spot?” Of course, neither of the other two does, looking everywhere but at Lane. Then Hayden feebly offers: “Enzo?”

The Brigade is such a joke. All three of them would sell each other out to win. Or for a free shot of tequila. Same thing.

Time to see Lane’s HOH digs.

Everyone runs up the spiral staircase, gushing with false love and fake excitement. Once the fawning court is assembled, Lane stupidly explains that his “oil company” job is really not about actual physical labor. It’s more about schmoozing clients with golf-playing and dinner dates.

Cut to Britney and Hayden swinging in the hammock. Britney basically says that, although she thinks Lane is the bee’s knees (He makes me airborne in a totally non-sexual way!), he doesn’t really need the money. Hayden and his hair perk up, sensing an opportunity.

Hayden and Enzo in the Pantry, celebrating their standing in the game, with Hayden hollering “Final Four!” Then Enzo has a moment of angst. “What if Ragan gets POV?” Hayden just kind of stands there, because having to think about too many things at one time is not really his specialty.

Then we have a series of scenes with Enzo, in his penguin outfit, losing his mind while straddling one of the weight benches in the courtyard. It’s supposed to be funny, something about so many days in the house causing temporary insanity, but it really comes across as “are we making up crap, AGAIN, just to fill this hour out?”

Lane wanders into the HOH Room, and there’s that Pandora’s thing again. His teaser video shows “money growing on trees”. There’s over $10K supposedly hanging on said tree. “I’m gonna do it!” He squat-thrusts his way into the special Pandora room for another explanatory note.

It seems that he can pick up to three envelopes off the sparkly tree, but each envelope equals one punishment for the house, including himself. His first pick yields $79, the second offers $12, and the final choice gets him 17 cents. Whoops.

Lane in the Diary Room: Now I have to go downstairs and tell everybody I was a dumb-ass.

So he does. “We’re gonna get three punishments. So sorry.” (Hayden in the Diary Room: “For all we know, he WON the $10K.”) Turns out the first punishment is that no silverware or cups are allowed in the house for 1 week. This is followed by shots of sad houseguests drinking cola out of bowls and spreading mayo on their sandwiches with a flapjack flipper. Diary Room whining ensues.

Britney and Lane, discussing. Britney: Who you gonna put up? Lane: Ragan for sure. Maybe Enzo? Britney: Ragan could win the Veto. And it would be more fair to put Hayden up, since Enzo was just on the block. Lane: “I’m not putting Hayden up.”

Oh? Britney has some choice words to share about this statement. So you like Hayden more than you like me? Fine. You are SO not throwing me in the air today. Hate you.

Lane, Hayden and Enzo, sitting around in their Mutual Admiration Society. Enzo: Are you gonna put those two up? Lane: Hey Hayden, wanna go up? It’s been a while. Hayden most definitely does not care for this plan. (In the Diary Room, Hayden: “No way!” Enzo: Lane and Britney have something going on!)

Cut to Lane doing the “who will I nominate” thing, staring at the now-puny Houseguest Wall and scratching his head. This cues more Diary Room business.

Ragan: “I will be shocked if I don’t go up.” (Ragan has said variations on this same line at least 46 times in this episode. Gee, do you think he’s worried?)

Hayden: “The pawn could be anybody!” (Um… duh?)

Enzo: Better not be anybody from The Brigade. (Then he fondles himself through the penguin outfit, thus sending an entire generation of youngsters running to their parents with uncomfortable questions.)

Britney: “I’m gonna be pissed if it’s me.” (Which would then cause you to do… what?)

Lane: “I don’t like hurting people.” (Then don’t win things, Lane. Done.)

Time for the Nomination Ceremony.

Britney’s key is the first one out, which is something of a political statement. The next and final key is Hayden, also a statement, but much more mystifying. This leaves Ragan and Enzo on the block. Lane to Ragan: “It’s all strategy.” Lane to Enzo: “The POV is the real deal.”

And we end back in the Diary Room.

Ragan: “I’m completely by myself in this house.” (Then he whips out his Broadway Cast Recordings collection and searches for a mournful tune that can be warbled on a dimly-lit stage.)

Enzo: “That was such a baby move!” (Then he uses some colorful language that is bleeped. My guess is that he feels Lane does not understand Enzo’s firm belief that he has been anointed by God to save the human race.)

Lane: “Enzo hasn’t won anything. Maybe Britney should stay and YOU should go.” (Then Lane shoves his already overly-large head at the camera, and people in Tokyo scream. Not again!)

Roll end credits.

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