It's time to wrap up another decent season of "Big Brother." I'm not sure that I'm rooting for any of the three finalists, but that doesn't mean that there haven't been a few fun moments along the way.
OK. Fine. I'll admit it: I'm rooting for Enzo. I'm not enthusiastically rooting for him, but if you figure that The Brigade was the season's dominant force -- and it'd be folly to say otherwise -- how can you not figure that makes The Meow-Meow the season's pivotal player? The problem? As we begin Wednesday's (Sept. 15) finale, Enzo's the only hamster with no chance of winning HoH. Uh-oh.
Full minute-by-minute recap of the festivities after the break...
9:00 p.m. ET It's The Animal, The Beast and The Meow-Meow teases Julie Chen as the episode commences.
9:02 p.m. Ah, full-season recap. Just what I needed to finish and post my "Survivor" premiere recap. It still annoys me how big an impact the Diamond Veto had on the sway of the season. And it still annoys me how much of an ass Enzo was when they told poor Britney about The Brigade. Poor Britney. I'm glad we didn't have much of a season without her.
9:06 p.m. Love the quick montage of people sniffling, ending with Ragan's sock puppet saying, "Rough day." Boy, I'm gonna be able to skip a lot of this episode, won't I?
9:07 p.m. Interestingly groomed facial hair, Lane. That's probably a little more "evil" than you want to give off in a voting episode.
9:08 p.m. Brigade scrambling. All three agree that the final Head of Household win is important. Enzo, out of the HoH running, is especially irked, saying that he was The Godfather of The Brigade and "now it looks like I made a hit on myself." Lane and Hayden had a previous agreement that they were going to the Final Two together, but neither of them trusts the other.
9:11 p.m. Enzo is going a bit crazy with his "I made the Brigade" muttering. He vows to brainwash one of the other two "like I'm the leader of a Satanic cult." Interesting, Enzo.
9:14 p.m. No seriously, is there anything worse than watching dumb people attempt to talk through their strategic possibilities out-loud? I applaud Enzo for making the effort, but surely he should know that Lane is perfectly capable of confusing himself, without the planting of any seeds. Is there any baseball that I can watch?
9:15 p.m. Whew. Red Sox 5, Mariners 1. I know the game doesn't matter, but it's something to watch.
9:16 p.m. Nuts. The game's in the 9th already.
9:18 p.m. Live in the Hamster Living Room. Banal blather. Hayden came into the game uncertain and now he feels like he can do anything. More banal blather.
9:20 p.m. Poor Britney. Off to the Jury House, where there's nothing to do other than play poker with Rachel. Ragan is working on forgiving Matt. Awww. Ragan and Matt are both anticipating Britney's arrival and, indeed, she sashays in. She instantly confronts Matt with the identity of The Brigade. Everybody seems shocked and saddened. Why does this alliance make everybody so miserable? Do they not understand how these games are played? People make alliances. If you don't know about alliances that work, that's a sign of an alliance well-played. Of course, this is just another stake in the heart of Matt and Ragan's bromance.
9:24 p.m. Brendon doesn't say a word. He's like, "Hmmm... There was an Alpha Male Alliance and I chose to make out with Rachel as my top priority? Ooops. This is why I can't have nice things."
9:25 p.m. Time for Matt to tell Britney that his wife is healthy. "That's horrible," Britney coos with an adorably wrinkled nose. She didn't like Matt much anyway. Britney then stirs the pot by asking if Rachel is pregnant yet.
9:29 p.m. Random Jury debate? I don't want to hear Rachel talk, much less debate. Rachel tries argue that The Brigade got lucky because they flew under the radar. She's not very smart. She's kinda stupid, in fact. Britney and Ragan explain very clearly how the Brigade operated and a vacancy sign just goes up in Rachel's eyes, as Brendon pats her on the head. Matt wants to make it clear that he was the brains of The Brigade, which isn't exactly the case, but isn't exactly not the case. Britney advocates on Enzo's behalf and, eventually, finds an unlikely ally in Rachel. Matt, though, represents for Hayden, who swayed him with his tan and his flowing locks and Kathy agrees, going so far as to call him "brilliant." Rachel speaks up for Lane's niceness, but Ragan points out that this is "Big Brother" not "Big Clergyman." Hearing negative words, suddenly Britney comes to Lane's defense. MAKE THIS END!!!
9:37 p.m. Ragan closes by making a great point that because of the power of The Brigade, nobody in the Final Three ever had to squirm over elimination and that their job will be to make them sweat a little, if nothing else.
9:41 p.m. YAY! Actual competition! Hayden vs. Lane for the final HoH. It's a six-question test on how well they know the Jury members. Though six questions, Lane and Hayden are both tied, bringing us to a tiebreaker question: In the first part of the Rumble in the "Big Brother' Jungle, how many times were they slammed into the walls? Wow. *That* was a $500,000 question? Laaaaaaame. Hayden comes closest, though his answer isn't even slightly close. He's the final HoH.
9:52 p.m. Final pleas. Enzo tells Hayden to do whatever's he's gotta do. Lane says no hard feelings.
9:54 p.m. Naturally, this is where my Slingbox conks out.
10:00 p.m. My connection returns.
10:03 p.m. The jury enters the live show. Nobody boos Rachel. Based on audience applause, it seems like Britney is in line to win the audience vote. Britney's rooting for Lane to be in the Final Two. Matt thinks Enzo just got evicted, though he doesn't care.
10:05 p.m. Apparently while I was down, Enzo got evicted. Oh well. Whatever.
10:05 p.m. They've agreed on six questions for the finalists and then Enzo will get to add one. The "Why the heck am I supposed to care?" expression on Enzo's face is priceless.
10:06 p.m. Rachel asks how the Final Two can justify their presence given their lack of challenge wins. Lane says he played a different kind of game. Brendon asks which two non-Brigade members he'd want to see in the Final Two. Hayden, ever the diplomat, answers Brendon and Britney, but also throws in nice words for Rachel. Matt asks Lane if he'd have chosen Britney or a Brigade member to go to the Final Two. Lane doesn't answer the question and Julie Chen is forced to to pen him down and he finally says, "A Brigade member." Britney smiles cutely. Kathy gets Hayden to say that he and Lane played basically the exact same social game as Lane, though he smartly adds that what separated them was his performance in the competitions. I believe that was a $500,000 answer for Hayden, because Lane says that his biggest contribution to The Brigade was "making them laugh and watching over them." REALLY, LANE? Lane tells Ragan that he maybe regrets a few things that he said behind Jury members' backs, but he won't say anything specific. This is AWFUL.
10:11 p.m. Technology fails me again, depriving me of Enzo's question and the sure-to-be-banal answer. Maybe my Slingbox just HATES Enzo?
10:15 p.m. Time for last arguments. Hayden feels blessed and he tells the jury that their job is to pick the winner and that the winner is the one who played the best. Hayden's argument, well put, is that he won five competitions to Lane's one and that he was particularly dominant in Head of Household competitions. What does Lane have to counter that? Lane's argument is... that even though he didn't win very often he "played it to every aspect." This is the dumbest, most incoherent argument ever, with Lane even trying to count his half-win HoH win as a full win. Anybody who votes for Lane is gonna have to work hard to justify their choice.
10:19 p.m. Voting time!!! Rachel says she's voting for the best social player. Kathy says this was hard. Matt tells them that he'd have won if he was in the Final Four and that his vote is for the person he holds responsible for stabbing him in the back. Brendon says he's voting for the person Rachel told him to vote for. Ragan thinks they're both spectacular human beings, but that one is here to win the money and the other to give it way. Britney loves them both. Ragan says that his decision is between who needs and haircut and who needs a shave. The audience is amused.
10:25 p.m. This show desperately needs a musical performance. Or a celebrity appearance. Or to be only an hour long...
10:27 p.m. Annie, Monet, Andrew and Kristen weren't good enough to make the Jury, but now we're going to give them a pulpit, not because they're interesting, but because we need to fill time.
10:28 p.m. Who cares what Rachel thinks about what Monet thought about her in Week Two? "I don't think I'm skanky," Rachel replies. Monet says that her words were based on context, but they weren't necessarily undeserved. And now it's time to celebrate Hayden and Kristen's short-lived showmance. Hayden looks beyond embarrassed. Kristen, though, proudly says that she's "happily single" and says that her relationship with Hayden is "open-ended," but that she's open to it. Hayden squirms and finally asks her out for pizza.
10:34 p.m. Andrew corrects Matt's pronunciation of Matt's wife's fake disease (as if that small pronunciation distinction was the reason he thought it was a fake disease). Ha! Because they weren't in the Jury House, this is the first that Lane and Hayden have heard about this. Finally an honest, unscripted and human moment in this finale.
10:38 p.m. Will this ever end?
10:40 p.m. Annie thinks Enzo deserves to be inside the house and tells the Jury that Enzo manipulated ever single vote. Rachel shrugs idiotically.
10:41 p.m. Poor Britney having to watch herself getting crushed by the Brigade. She still thinks Lane is a good guy. Julie Chen thinks she's found conclusive proof that Lane would have taken Britney to the Final Two, but I still don't think there's any way of knowing what he would have done if push came to shove.
10:43 p.m. How are things going with the showmance? Brendon is still wooing Rachel to Los Angeles. Rachel loves Vegas, but she loves Brendon more. She says she'll probably move to UCLA, as Britney rolls her eyes and grimaces. Britney thinks it would be a big mistake for Rachel to leave Vegas for Brendon. "I think that Rachel will make a beautiful bride," Ragan says.
10:44 p.m. Nobody knew each other in the house, Annie says. That confirms that the lie everybody assumed was a lie was actually a lie.
10:45 p.m. Now we have to out the second Saboteur. Everybody guesses that it was Kathy or Matt, but nobody much cares, because the second Saboteur didn't do anything notable. Everybody is amusingly astounded to discover that it's Ragan. But he didn't do anything! Laaaaaaame. "Suckers, I got $20,000" Ragan tells everybody.
10:47 p.m. Lane and Hayden fist-bump because they're assuming that nobody's ever going to learn (or care) who won.
10:52 p.m. Oh God. I'm out of baseball games that I feel like co-watching. END! END! END! END!
10:53 p.m. Winner time!!! Please. Now. PLEASE?
10:53 p.m. Key pull: Rachel voted for Lane. Kathy voted for Hayden. Matt voted for Hayden. Brendon voted for Lane (SHOCKING!). Ragan votes for Hayden. Britney voted for Lane.
10:55 p.m. It's all down to Enzo, which is actually nicely appropriate. I doubt the show could have planned for this, but it's the way it should be. Enzo's vote went to Hayden, winner of "Big Brother."
10:56 p.m. Confetti falls on Hayden.
10:58 p.m. Britney wins $25,000 as America's Most Popular Houseguest. Finally being adorable and blond pays off for her. YAY! Now she can rebuild her house.
Did the right person win? And, most importantly, what other things did you do to avoid having to pay attention to that two-hour debacle?
Everything: Big Brother
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