Gotta start with big thanks to Ryan McGee, who's been filling in for me these past couple weeks while I've been covering Comic-Con and then the Television Critics Association press tour. While Ryan has been experiencing this season of "Big Brother" as a neophyte, I'm approaching Thursday (Aug. 4) night's episode from a different position of cluelessness, having missed two full weeks of episodes. In "Big Brother" land, two weeks is both a lifetime and the blink of an eye. I'm guessing that after I remember how to spell people's names, this won't be hard...

Click through for the minute-by-minute recap...

9:00 p.m. ET. This is one of those times I'm glad "Big Brother" is designed for people with limited short-term memory. After one three-minute recap, I feel pretty comfortable with my understanding of the shocking state of affairs that left us with Jordan sitting on the Eviction Block opposite Brendon.

9:02 p.m. I leave for two weeks and Julie Chen returns to her shoulder-baring ways, as she celebrates Brendon's act of Power of Veto chivalry. One of the game's Power Couples will be split up this week. It's very exciting. Right?

9:04 p.m. I wasn't there, but I don't understand why anybody was shocked that Brendon would use the PoV on Rachel. I wouldn't have expected anything less. He shaved his head for her. He'd kill for her. And not in an endearing way. He'd strangle all of the remaining houseguests before guilt got the best of him. But Daniele is confident that Brendon will be viewed as the bigger threat, at least when compared with pawn Jordan and Jordan agrees, at least to a point. "I bought an eviction dress and I'd be so mad if I wore something else and I got evicted and I didn't get to wear that dress," the adorable Jordan lisps. Perspective, kids! Rachel is a good deal less confident of her ability to play the game without Brendon, who she informs, point-blank, that he's going to be voted out. "It's not 100 percent I'm going anyways," Brendon tells Rachel, as they agree that they shocked the world that night. "He just makes me so proud. He really is my knight and I'll be sad if I go home. Who am I going to jump on if I win HoH?"  Rachel asks.

9:07 p.m. "If Brendon leaves, I do not know how I'm going to deal with Rachel," Jeff says, predicting a day when every piece of fruit and vegetable will remind her of her fiance. Daniele figures that she has Kalia, Lawon and Jeff for sure. She just needs a couple Newbies to join her cause. Brendon figures he has Rachel's vote and he needs basically all of the Newbies to join his cause. They start with Porsche, telling her that they'd protect her, but anybody else would target her. Porsche fears Rachel's wrath. Now on to Adam, who's dressed as an elf. I know there's a "Big Brother" reason for this, but I lack the context, which makes it even funnier. Elf-Adam is wavering and uber-floater Shelly is left as a possible swing vote. Daniele checks with Elf-Adam to see if he's still solid. "They're trying," Adam tells her. "How I'm gonna vote, I still don't know," Adam tells us, while admitting he doesn't know his plan himself.

9:10 p.m. Daniele figures she's lost Porsche's vote, but she decides to woo Porsche anyway, just to stick it to Brendon and Rachel. I really like Porsche's clingy, hooded black onesie-type-thing. Rachel decides to interrupt Daniele's wooing of Porsche, makes a pouting face and goes to rant to the camera. "Why doesn't she just take a knife right now and gut me?" Rachel asks this rhetorically, but viewers at home may think of this as wish-fulfillment. Porsche's best advice is that Rachel needs to stop being sad, because that will make everybody hate her more. She's not wrong. Rachel's having "Me against the world now" "Big Brother" deja vu to last summer, suggesting she'd be willing to self-evict. "I left you in this game so you could play, but you're screwing yourself," Brendon instructs Rachel, asking if he made a mistake in keeping her in the game. Rachel starts bawling about how she isn't worthy of Brendon's love, that she's a bad person, that she'll never get a job (as if these things are weirdly linked in her mind). "I'm not even that smart!" Rachel moans in an ultimate moment of crisis. Viewers at home are probably just nodding in not-malicious agreement. "I'm not as good as you are," Rachel tells Brendon, who responds, "No you're not. You're probably better." After I've cleaned the vomit from my keyboard, I'll return to this recap.

9:20 p.m. In a live interview, Adam does a traditional elf dance and explains that Ronnie James Dio was in a band called Elf, so this is all good for his heavy metal reputation. After that whole "Donna Martin Graduates" thing, did Adam have much heavy metal credibility anyway? Rachel tells Julie that her love with Brendon is "a once-in-a-lifetime love" and that it's priceless. Jeff tells Julie that he's never spent a minute in the House without Jordan. I can't tell if Jordan is wearing her Eviction dress. It doesn't appear so. Presumably she knows something.

9:22 p.m. We're off to Denver where Evel Dick has been watching the season. He's unimpressed with the game that Daniele has been playing in his absence. "Daniele is trying to come out of the shadow that I cast on her... she's playing so hard, so fast. Her gameplay has been terrible," Dick says. He thinks Daniele just replaced Nick (from her season) with Dominic. And the editing makes a convincing case that he's correct. "Daniele really isn't that good strategically," Dick says, taking his daughter to task for her attempts to take Jeff out. "She screwed up in a really big way," Dick says, watching the show. But there's hope. "She's a competitor. She'll fight. And she won't stop," Dick says. 

9:28 p.m. We're off to the HoH bedroom to chat with Daniele. "The only thing I regret is probably making the move about two weeks too soon," Daniele says, apologizing mostly to Dominic. Daniele correctly guesses that Dick would think she's insane, though she incorrectly gauges her dad's support for her. Could Daniele mend fences with Rachel? "Absolutely not," says Daniele, who thinks Rachel is going to take this decision personally and that Rachel will spend the rest of the game trying to get rid of her and possibly kill her after the show.

9:30 p.m. Final Statements. Brendon tells his family and Rachel's family that they love them very much. He vows not to cry and mutters something about how being Rachel's "Big Brother" husband was "honoring." He must know he's done. "This has been a long week," Jordan sighs. "I love you all. I think this is a great cast. Vote who you think will get you further in the game," Jordan concludes.

9:32 p.m. We begin our voting with Jeff, who votes to evict Brendon. Next up is Rachel, who equally obviously blubbers to evict Jordan. There's laughter in the studio audience. The Newbies are up next.

9:36 p.m. Kalia supports Daniele and votes to evict Brendon. The Elf votes to evict Brendon. As he leaves, he instigates a cute little dance that brings out the best in Porsche. But the VIP waitress votes to evict Jordan. Lawon, however, votes to evict Brendon, ending all suspense. The final vote is Shelly's and like any good floater, she goes with the majority and votes Brendon out.

9:38 p.m. Julie announces the results. Brendon is going home. He isn't bitter or angry and tells everybody he loves them before pulling his sobbing ball-and-chain aside for one last lip-lock and cuddle.

9:39 p.m. The audience is happy to see Brendon, while back in the house, The Elf and Jordan console Rachel. Why did Brendon do what he did? "Love. It's a crazy thing. Sorry. I'm a bit of a baby at times," Brendon cries. Was it only love or was it gameplay, Julie asks. "I think I had a little better chance to stay in this game. Not much, but a little better," Brendon says. "I think she's still living in her dad's shadow," Brendon says of Daniele, who he predicts will be taken out in a couple weeks. 

9:42 p.m. Kalia is malevolent, calling Brendon arrogant and telling him that certain things are, in fact, easier than rocket science, things like voting him out of the game. Zing! Jordan asks for an invite to their wedding and promises them a good wedding gift. Daniele makes it sound like this was retribution for Dominic. "Our babies will always see our love story on DVD," Rachel tells Brendon. God, I hope their babies prefer to watch "Say Anything" or any of thousands of less nauseating love stories already available on DVD.

9:43 p.m. Oooh. Here comes a new Twist! Julie summons the hamsters into the living room. The next Houseguest to be evicted will have a chance to get back in the game. That's all Julie tells them. The first four evictees have been in isolation and one of them will battle next week's winner for a chance to re-enter. America has to vote from Keith, Cassi, Dominic and Brendon. The winner of that vote will go against next week's bootee. Sigh. America's going to vote for Brendon and Brendon will beat whoever's going out next. This will make Rachel happy and it'll make me want to cry.

9:49 p.m. Head of Household competition time. It's called "Check Mate" and forces contestants to answer questions about the first three evicted hamsters (Keith, Cassi and Dominic). Jordan and Kalia go head-to-head first, with Kalia answering correctly first. Lawon and Rachel go next , with Rachel winning. Kalia beats Dominic. [Weird cut to fish.] Porsche eliminates Rachel, who swears and gets dunning words from Julie Chen. Shelly beats Jeff. Kalia beats Porsche and then Shelly and becomes the new Head of Household. Kalia's overjoyed. Daniele hands the HoH key to Kalia with a look that says, "I think I'm happy with this, but I'm not exactly sure of anything anymore."

9:56 p.m. Let's check in on our hamsters! As usually, they're not doing anything interesting, though Rachel's already extra-pout-y. With Adam spinning madly around, the episode ends.

 

Are you pleased with this week's eviction? Are you concerned about next week's Redemption Island twist?