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Big Brother Recap: Hitting the Debt Ceiling

Congratulations to commenter iginlafire for correctly guessing the Nardwuar interview referred to in last week’s recap. (For the record, it’s this one with N.E.R.D., which is inspiring on multiple levels.) Per iginlafire’s request, I will revert to my habit of calling Brendan “Booky.”

Sunday Night’s Episode
We pick up where last Thursday’s episode left off: with everybody balancing on fake skis while getting blasted with synthetic snow. Why is this happening? To determine HOH. No, I mean: Really, why is this happening?

Jeff is struggling on his skis; his triceps are sore. That’s not to say they aren’t glorious, glistening in the chemical-snow mix being blasted at them. Mama mia, that’s a spicy tricep, as they say in Southern Italy, where “tricep” means “meatball.”

Porsche says she’s feeling pain in her “shoulder” and points to her elbow. (Was she coached to do that by a producer? Or did she do that of her own initiative?)

Jeff falls off his skis. Actually, lots of people fall off their skis, but my notes are a bit incomplete because I was distracted by the fact that … well, here I wish I could say something interesting like, “I was distracted by the fact that Glenn Danzig was making me an omelette,” or “I was distracted by the fact that I finally built a time machine,” but the truth is I was distracted by the fact that this show is fucking boring as all get-out. How long can you watch a bunch of people balance on skis that don’t even have the decency to be real skis?

Anyway, yeah, everybody falls off their dumb skis in some particular dumb-ass order until only Daniele remains. She wins HOH. She’s “back in this game; you better be scared of me now.” Everybody hates her except Kalia.

Which means, of course, that everybody must now hate Kalia. I love science!

Kalia runs into Rachel in the kitchen and tells her she has “no beef,” which is a funny thing to say in the kitchen, because kitchens are where you keep beef for making burgers and meatloaf. But I think Kalia is talking about all of last week’s drama (which I can’t even remember, it all feels so long ago).

Needless to say, Kalia’s overture is an opportunity for Rachel to call her crazy and take umbrage and sulk. Booky attacks Kalia for speaking to his fiancée: “You never shut your mouth, Kalia!”

After tracking Rachel down in the purple-bed-thing room, Booky reassures her there’s no reason to listen to Kalia: “She’s a nobody; she’s a loser … Outside of here, she’s a nobody. Inside of here, she’s a nobody.” This makes me sad because it’s a horrible thing to say about somebody, but also, I catch myself drafting a joke about how Booky is a loser and a nobody. I’m just perpetuating all this negative energy swirling around the dumb-ass Big Brother house, when really … we’re all losers and nobodies. You see, the American middle class is dying. And it’s never coming back. Our nation is at the dawn of a perpetual age of ruin.

Anyhoo, the two old-timer power couples commiserate in the padded room. They all hate Daniele. During her grand tour of the (increasingly forlorn) HOH room, they scowl and mope like children. Or, who knows? Maybe the editors just cut the footage to make it look that way. Sometimes I think this entire show is a propaganda film made by space aliens to turn me against my own species. If so: MARTIAN ACCOMPLISHED.

After the tour, Jeff and Jordan return to the HOH room to check in with Daniele. Jeff’s still pissed about last week’s back-doorage. Jeff thought it was a “personal attack” and his “feelings were hurt.” I don’t know if my memory is going, or I need to drink more Vitaminwater, or what, but I honestly have no idea what Jeff is talking about.

Daniele needs room to operate: She asks for a one-week truce with Jeff and Jordan. They agree. But Jeff is still worried about getting back-doored.

Suddenly, Big Brother is preempted by a SPECIAL REPORT: President Obama makes a statement about the debt-ceiling deal. Obama, as Head of Household, announces an agreement that will “reduce the deficit and avoid default.” The deal cuts one trillion dollars of spending over the next ten years; Obama brags of the “lowest level of annual domestic spending since Eisenhower.” In spite of this, Obama says he’ll still be able to “create jobs.” (Oh, I’m sorry, did you not hear about the 50,000 gallon wishing well he’s installing in the Rose Garden?) Our president then thanks the American people for “their tweets,” which have “compelled Washington to act.”

And there it is: The one thing on TV that actually made me more depressed than Big Brother.

Back to Big Brother:

Booky and Rachel talk to Daniele. Booky apologizes for losing his temper, then accuses Daniele of losing her temper first. He and Rachel were “hurt on a personal level.” Why do the old-timers get so offended when other people play the game? Stop taking it personally, dude!

There’s more gobbledygook about working together and "Can we trust each other?" and all that stuff, but now I’m hearing it all in the context of the stupid debt-ceiling deal and it’s making me depressed.

Daniele, on choosing people for elimination, says she’s “not afraid to get blood on my hands in this game,” before nominating Rachel and Booky.

Rachel is offended, of course, and barks: “Daniele and I will be at full-fledged war!” Somebody accuses somebody else of “drawing the first sword,” and for a second I think I’m watching that Game of Thorns that everyone’s always yammering about. That’s the one with swords, right? With the guys fighting with swords?

WEDNESDAY’S EPISODE:
Daniele announces: “I am ready to turn this house upside-down … I’m like Robin Hood.” Would this lady hurry up and run for president? We’re running out of time.

Booky and Rachel cower and cuddle in the padded room. Some of their murmurings are subtitled, and we learn that the correct spelling of their term of endearment is “Bukie!”

Furthermore, the term applies to both of them.

Male-Bukie, in tearful cutaway, vows to protect Female-Bukie. They cry. Male-Bukie brags about his Ph.D. via using some Latin body-part name for Female-Bukie’s torso. The Bukies engage in a sexual hug. Male-Bukie announces his life strategy: He’s going to cure cancer, patent the cure, and then “they’ll make money for the rest of their lives.”

My faith in America is restored.

Meanwhile, lost in his personal corn maze of paranoia, Jeff is “still expecting a backdoor.” From Daniele. Or any other sentient being in the universe. Jeff will honestly not shut up about getting backdoored.

Daniele tells Rachel not to take things personally. Rachel: “I don’t understand you saying ‘it’s not personal’ and then you come after me and my fiancée … you’re getting revenge by tearing my heart out.”

You know what, guys? I’m starting to think Rachel isn’t just annoying; she’s psychologically unwell. This leaves me in a tricky spot vis-à-vis making fun of her. What should I do?

This week’s POV competition is a hybrid of all the previous competitions. Recapping it in any detail would bring up too many ghosts; too many painful images. Suffice it to say Bukie (XY Chromosome Edition) wins and Daniele’s plan is officially fuxx0red.

Jeff is pissed he lost the POV because now somebody could backdoor him. I’m not making this up.

Jeff and Jordan visit with Daniele, who says she’s counting on Brendon playing the “martyr card” by staying on the block. Jordan consents to Daniele replacing Rachel with her, since nobody would vote to evict Jordan over Penis-Having-Bukie.

Aggro-Bukie tells Daniele that if Rachel goes home, he’ll be upset and “go to war.” Ladies and gentlemen, what separates Man from Monkey? Sometimes I wonder.

At the Veto Meeting, Bicep-Bukie uses his power of veto to save Emotionally-Damaged-Bukie. He’s still on the block. Daniele must nominate a new victim. She chooses … Jordan. Her backup plan is in full effect. Lachrymose-Bukie starts crying again. She feels like a “fairy-tale princess” who’s just been saved by “her knight in shining armor.”

Oh, Naive-Bukie, there are no knights in shining armor! Obama can “pivot to jobs” all he wants; he’ll look like a sprinter with one foot nailed to the floor in an empty room. We are doomed.

(I just realized that I’ve been listening to Electric Wizard and Sleep, two doom-metal bands, all week. Could that be what’s affecting my mood? Or is my pessimism a rational response to the debt-ceiling debate? Feel free to discuss in the comments section ... pie charts are a MUST.)

THURSDAY’S EPISODE:
Greetings from Brooklyn!!! I’m watching tonight’s episode on my friends’ wide-screen TV! And it’s on DVR, which means we can literally stop the flow of time if we want to discuss the BB goings-on! I feel much better, thank you! I think I was depressed earlier in the week because my TV is too small.

My friends haven’t been watching this season of BB, so I told them to ask me any question they wanted, whenever they wanted.

Friend: How does the Head of Household eviction work?
Me: I don’t [expletive] know.

So much for questions! On with the show!

Brendon is giddy that he gets to sacrifice himself for Rachel; his is the ecstasy of martyrdom. Meanwhile, the other houseguests contemplate a house with Rachel flying solo, without her beloved Brendon.

Daniele tries to lock up Porsche’s vote. Porsche is buddies with Rachel, so getting her to vote to evict Brendon would be a coup. Porsche “wants to be there as a friend for Rachel.” (I wonder about the friendships between women like Porsche and Rachel, because it’s hard for me to imagine being friends with either of them. I miss Cassi.)

Daniele works the strategic angle, telling Porsche the Bukies can’t be trusted … then Rachel walks in! (My friend suspects she was cued by an unseen producer.) Daniele: “Wanna talk girl talk?” Rachel announces she would rather spend time with Brendon, turns on her heel, and leaves.

Later Porsche calls Rachel out on her limitless capacity for sulky spectacles of self-regard: “You have to stop with the sad thing. It’s making people uncomfortable.” In turn, Rachel starts crying and runs to the hammock for more crying. Brendon comes over and she yells at him while doing a bit more crying. Brendon squeezes in some crying, too.

Here are some of the things Rachel says in the Hammock of Horror: “Brendon, you can’t marry me, I’m crazy … I’m not a bad person … I’m not as good as you are.” She said more stuff but at some point it felt ghoulish to keep transcribing it.

I have a serious question: Is there a psychologist on set? Rachel’s outbursts are increasing in duration and frequency as the summer (and the contestants’ isolation) progresses.

In a cutaway, we follow up with our friend and hero Evel Dick, who you’ll remember left the show under mysterious circumstances. He’s been watching the show, and thinks Daniele is playing a bad game. Evel Dick thinks his estranged daughter is too eager to come out from under his shadow. She’s “really not that good strategically,” says Evel Dick.

Evel Dick sits in his beige house wearing his Suicidal Tendencies shirt and watches his daughter on television, judging her.

Let us never speak of him again.

Julie Chen holds a private interview with Daniele: Why did she target Jeff after forming an alliance with the old-timers? Daniele regrets that she didn’t wait two more weeks for her big move (i.e., the backdooring that has scarred Jeff for life). Also, Daniele thinks Rachel will kill her after the show is over, but she’s “okay with that.”

Finally, it’s time for the big eviction climax. Everybody goes into the private video room and says hello to Julie Chen and casts their vote.

Ladies and gentlemen, Brendon a.k.a. Guy-Bukie, a.k.a. Dr. Ph.D. the Human Mind-Muscle, a.k.a. Fly Ricky the Wine Taster is evicted! Daniele’s plan worked after all.

Guess what happens when Brendon’s eviction is announced? I will give you 10,000 years to guess correctly; you never will.

(10,000 years pass.)

Okay, I’ll tell you: Rachel and Brendon hug and cry. They are spiritually and emotionally bereft. Rachel comforts herself (and all of America) by reminding Brendon: “Our babies will always see our love story on DVD.”

This is the kind of thing that leads to a screeching halt in the flow of TiVo time, so that all present can stare at each other with a mixture of wonder and fear.

After Brendon’s exit interview, which was notable only for the sarcastic contempt of Kalia’s and Daniele’s good-bye messages, Julie Chen announces a new twist: the next houseguest evicted will have a chance to get back into the house!

Furthermore, they will face-off against one of the previous evictees for the honor of reentry!

Julie Chen then turns to the viewers at home and says: “What the houseguests don’t know is that the first four evictees have not seen each other and have been completely isolated from the outside world!”

Friends, there is nothing I could add to this sentence to make it more interesting; more amusing; more astonishing; more confusing; more disturbing; or more ominous. So I will merely point out, again, for the record, that Julie Chen actually said that sentence, and I have no reason not to believe it’s true, and I hope it’s not one of those “put the lotion in the basket” types of being completely isolated from the outside world.

Kalia wins the HOH competition, which was interesting because it involved a completely oversize and completely gratuitous chessboard … as if the producers were mocking all the best-laid plans of our contestants, answering their protestations of strategy with the cold, immutable silence of an empire’s end.

See you next week!

Photo: CBS