Hey all, and thanks for tagging along as I experience my first season of “Big Brother.” Yes, I’m a newbie to the franchise, the novice of the HitFix hydra covering this latest season of the CBS reality stalwart. Liane and Dan will be offering their expertise on Sundays and Thursdays, respectively, while I will sit between them wondering things like, “Do people really spend the entire season whispering to each other?” and “Dear God, will every challenge be as sexually explicit as that Banana Grab debacle?”

So if you’re looking for me to apply advice learned over the past dozen seasons, well, you might be disappointed. But if you want to see the show through untrained eyes, hopefully this will provide either some insight or at least amusement. Think of it this way: I’m like Jane Goodall, peeling past the brush for the first time to study chimpanzees. Although that analogy probably does a great disservice to Jane. Also, a great disservice to the chimps.

Onto tonight’s episode!

We start off with a lengthy recap of what’s happened so far. Apparently, the first two episodes had James Joycian levels of complexity, given the amount of regurgitated footage here. Every time Dominic screams, “Regulators!” Nate Dogg dies a little. Again. RIP.

Keith and Porsche are on the chopping block tonight. This surprises Rhodes Scholar Porsche, who walks into the HoH room with her tail between her legs. She doesn’t understand what’s going on, and here come the tears. The Veterans have this, “Oh God, she’s literally the dumbest person to ever live” look on their faces. They realize they can’t trust her, not because she’s evil so much as unable to understand strategy on a rudimentary level. C’mon, Porsche: even I understand what’s going on, and I only started watching the show last week.

In the Have Not Room Of Vaguely Uncomfortable Sleep, Keith talks about planning to throw the Veto Competition. Good God. Both sides are trying to lose it. It’s like watching two sports teams sit their starters near the end of a season in order to secure the first pick in next year’s draft.

Over the loudspeaker, Big Brother asks Dick to go to the Diary Room. Hmmm. Here we go. Outside, time passes by, with the other members going about their day as normal. Jeff goes into the room eventually to see what’s going on, realizes he’s gone, and then the World’s Least Urgent Manhunt begins. My guess? The Doctor showed up, asked Dick to be his new Companion, and whisked him away in the TARDIS. (Come on, that’s much cooler than whatever this will actually turn out to be. Unless someone he knows died. Then I’ll feel like a jerk for joking about it.)

Rachel gets called into the Diary Room next, and comes back with a message from Big Brother. The official word? “Personal reasons.” Well, that clears things up! Because of his departure, Daniele gets the first Golden Key by default. She’s upset, claiming that “Big Brother” was her father’s life (thus meaning his departure must be something serious), and bemoans the fact that she won’t get to play for four weeks. Brendon is straight up mad that the newbies are happy about their increased strategic advantage. “Why are we here anymore?” he asks. (Because you’re unwilling to hold down a real job? How’s that for a reason?) Jeff’s ultimate strategy: win every competition. It’s like an underdog sports movie, only I hate everyone on the team. Win!

Keith’s celebration is annoying Shelly and other members of the newbies. Given how he’s outwardly preening to the various cameras, I can’t blame them. He then seeks to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by calling out Porsche and Kalia as conspirators, which further alienates him from the REGULATORS. My new theory: “Evel” Dick obtained the power of invisibility in the Diary Room, and spiked Keith’s drink with a heaping helping of Crazy Juice. Madness. Just madness.

Rachel announces the start of the Veto Competition. I had the sound down while she did so, but four kittens in my neighborhood keeled over and died anyways. Daniele now seems much more at ease with her three weeks of game vacation, glad to work on her social skills and go under the radar of the newbies during that time. Keith and Porsche are competing against Jeff/Jordan and Rachel/Brendon in the competition, with Adam as host. Looks like another Golden Key is still in play, even with Daniele getting one earlier.

The Veterans bring Porsche into the HoH to ensure that she’s playing for them. “It’s not rocket science,” says Brendon. Well, no, but this is still Porsche we’re talking about. Adam walks in with in a cop outfit to start the competition. Oh God, it’s a Village People-themed contest, isn’t it? Nope, it’s a superhero-themed one, in which each team has to gather pieces and place them against the “skyscraper” in order to fill in the missing image on the building. A rope tying both together means that while one player runs to grab the piece, the other flies into the air to place it. EVERYONE GOT THAT? Good. Because I’m not sure I do.

Boy, nothing says “televised drama” like a bunch of sub-humans trying to throw a competition, yet failing to do so. It reminds of a time my friend was so drunk, she couldn’t think of a fake number to give the guy at the bar that wanted to call her later. So she gave him her real number. Why? It was the only one she could think of! That’s what this contest is like. Rachel and Brendon win Golden Power of Veto for the week. Um, yay? I read up on the Golden Power of Veto this past week, and it made my nose bleed from trying to figure out its various permutations. Maybe I should stop making fun of Porsche’s intelligence.

Post-competition, Rachel, Brendon, and Jeff talk voting strategy in order to overcome their numbers problem. Rachel debates changing the duo up for eviction as a possible play. Brendon and Rachel run through the newbies, trying to gauge which of them is the dumbest for later manipulation. When Shelly and Cassi appear onscreen, I thought, “Oh right, they’re on this show, aren’t they?” Cassi makes logical points about not wanting an alliance, which of course makes her a huge target for Rachel. HONESTY WILL NOT STAND. All of these scenes boil down to this basic script:

 

Veteran to Newbie: Side with us!

Newbie to Veteran: Totally!

Newbie in Audience: I totally lied! 

 

So, like, that was awesome and non-redundant.

Rachel and Brendon stand before the wall, trying to decide which duo they will ultimately put on the chopping block. At the Veto Meeting, they decide not to use the power on Keith and Porsche. Rachel once again claims it’s “purely strategic.” (Each time she says that this season, do a shot. Actually, don’t.) Keith and Porsche are both thrilled with the decision. My prediction: Keith overplayed his hand, Porsche will give the Veterans the toehold they need going forth, and a bloodbath will ensue. Then again, I’m just a newbie. What do I know? Be sure to come back here tomorrow night as Dan recaps the vote!

Who do you think will go home? Did you buy “personal reasons” for Dick’s departure? Sound off below!