7:59 p.m. ET Thursday (Sept. 3) night's "Big Brother" has yet to begin, but I'm already feeling dread at the inevitable separation of Jeff and Jordan. I'm not sure how she'd live without him and I'm not sure I much care how he'd live without her. It's always tragic when showmances come to an end. Well, maybe not "tragic." Or even really "sad." But it's definitely a reason to tune in.
[Full minute-by-minute recap, with spoilers, after the break...]
8:00 p.m. "The 'Big Brother' house brought Jeff and Jordan together. Tonight, the game will tear them apart," Julie Chen declares, starting Thursday's episode. That's just cold, Julie. It's true love! I'm just a showmance softie.
8:03 p.m. I know I've had weeks to get used to it, but the excessively covered and maternal Julie Chen still freaks me out. Nearly as much as a clean-shaven Jeff. Amusingly, Julie is wearing a much smaller person's capri pants. They're flood pants for people expecting a rather dramatic flood. Somehow, a canoe might be more effective.
8:04 p.m. In the past, Kevin tells us that Jeff is his real target. Jeff is pissed off at Kevin and vows to come after him if he somehow survives.
8:05 p.m. "I never imagined me and Jeff coming up against each other," says Jordan, who previously had never imagined nectarines, the existence of Jeremy Piven and, I'm just guessing here, evolution.
8:06 p.m. Natalie gloats that she has no blood on her hands and that everybody still likes her. Well, everybody except for viewers at home. Misinterpreting karma, Natalie says sending Jeff to the Jury House will be her present to Jessie. Really, he'd prefer some creatine.
8:07 p.m. Sensing his own mortality, Jeff decides his best strategy is to build Jordan up so that she can play in his absence. He says that his destiny wasn't to win the show, but merely to meet her. A CBS summer reality show is a long way for destiny to go to have Jeff meet a bubble-headed Southern waitress.
8:09 p.m. Seconds later, though, Jeff has put aside his fatalism and return to strategizing, attempting to lobby Natalie to turn her back on Kevin, who's cloistered in the Head of Household review going through possible scenarios, like a more hygienically-inclined Howard Hughes. Kevin's still annoyed that Natalie chose to get money before setting him free in the Mystery Twist. Does anybody think Kevin wouldn't have done the same?
8:11 p.m. With the end coming, Jeff and Jordan are having semi-cute conversation about how their good-bye kiss is going to go tonight. Jeff proposes they get nasty on the live show. Jordan giggles and tells him he'd better not.
8:13 p.m. Michele and Jeff have an idea: Guarantee they'll throw the HoH and let Natalie win in exchange for her vote tonight. They think she'd be an idiot to say "No."
8:14 p.m. Natalie, who hasn't won anything all season, is intrigued. And confused.
8:18 p.m. We're off to Pasadena to beat Michele's husband Tim, who calls his wife a nerd, but also says it was "love at first sight." We learn that Michele is clumsy, has a poor memory and that she wasn't popular in high school. I'm shocked. Tim is very skinny. He says that a win for Michele would be a triumph for nerds across the country. FINALLY.
8:22 p.m. Kevin offends Julie's sensibility by joking about other circumstances in which he'd have enjoyed being handcuffed and bent over, beyond the Mystery Twist. Natalie, meanwhile, tries to plead her case for not being a Greedy Gus. She can't keep a straight face.
8:23 p.m. The "falling down" montage is not set to Yakety Sax and therefore isn't nearly as funny as it should be.
8:24 p.m. Natalie's dragonfly freakout also isn't set to Yakety Sax and also isn't nearly as funny as it should be.
8:27 p.m. What's up in the Jury House? Well, Lydia has darkened her hair. But otherwise, all is just flirtatious fun, especially for Lydia, whose crush on Jessie has only grown. But clouds are building in the form of Russell, who enters yelling, "Technotronics!" Jessie tears off his shirt in misery. I wonder how many shirts he ruins per day.
8:30 p.m. Lydia and Jessie are outraged by the knowledge that Natalie is actually 24. This is hurting her cause. Because these are strange people.
8:31 p.m. Lydia is shocked that Russell and Jessie say they'd vote for Jeff if he's in the Top Two.
8:32 p.m. Julie and Kevin are now having the dullest HoH conversation ever, though Kevin correctly observes that Natalie has the word "lie" right there in her name.
8:36 p.m. Time for last statements from Jeff and Jordan. Jordan says she didn't prepare a speech and just tells folks to vote for the people they think will further them in this game. Jeff says that an 18-year-old stands in the way of his destiny, reminding Natalie that she has guaranteed HoH if she keeps him in the game. Jordan looks confused. Kevin looks worried.
8:39 p.m. Stupid Natalie. She votes to evict Jeff. How much do I hope this blows up in her face? Oh, a lot.
8:39 p.m. Michele votes to evict Jordan. Guess that means it comes down to Kevin?
8:40 p.m. Indeed. Kevin sends Jeff home adding, "Nice desperate try."
8:41 p.m. That much-discussed final kiss for Jordan and Jeff? A chaste peck on the cheek. Bah. Natalie natters on about how she only had her word as Jeff enters the studio to a standing ovation.
8:42 p.m. Jeff, sitting with Julie, defends his decision to backdoor Russell. The host grills Jeff on allying with Natalie and Kevin, even implying that he betrayed America after we gave him the Coup d'Etat.
8:44 p.m. Jeff's explanation for the lack of a big good-bye kiss? He got distracted in the moment.
8:48 p.m. The power is up for grabs in an HoH competition titled "Fact or Fiction." The only thing I care about is Natalie losing. Can that be arranged, please?
8:49 p.m. Casey's selling banana merchandise online? Jordan takes a lead by correctly guessing this new business venture.
8:50 p.m. Michele moves into a tie by knowing that Chima issued an apology after her eviction.
8:51 p.m. Natalie guesses Ronnie didn't go to a sci-fi convention dressed like a space princess. It's a three-way tie.
8:52 p.m. The tie-breaker requires the players guess the number of cans in the tubes at the end of the "Can Do" competition.
8:52 p.m. Natalie comes closest and is the new HoH. Bah. She vows vengeance for Chima. Really? It's not like Chima was a noble fallen soldier. She threw a hissy fit on national TV.
8:55 p.m. Pandora's Box is going to offer another temptation. And Julie promises this one might really impact the game. Sure it will.
Were you happy to see Jeff go home? Were you happy to see Natalie win HoH?