When is $5,000 more than $500,000? When you’re Porsche and you’re Head of Household in the home stretch of “Big Brother,” that’s when. Had anyone but Porsche been HoH, I’m not sure the game would have slipped Pandora’s Box into the room. Because who else would be silly enough to open it at this stage in the game? Doing so netted her a cool 5K, but also opened the door for Rachel and Jordan to stave off elimination, as the Duo Twist is back in effect now for one week. It’s Rachel/Jordan vs. Kalia/Porsche vs. Shelly/Adam. Just as we all predicted when this started a few months ago. Cough.

Onto tonight’s recap!

“I 100% regret taking Pandora’s Box,” says Porsche. No kidding. Rachel is so happy, I’m worried that Brendon has somehow snuck back into the house. Jordan, however, is upset that she didn’t win HoH. Odd. Girl’s gone loco since Jeff left. Are there are any sharp objects in the house? Maybe CBS should remove them before Jordan literally stabs Shelly in the back. Over in the sanitarium, the newbies try to regroup after Porsche’s tactical error. “She’s got more stuffing in her chest than in her head,” Shelly moans. I honestly can’t tell if that’s a compliment.

At the nomination ceremony, there are only two sets of keys: one for Kalia, and one for Adam/Shelly. No surprise there. Porsche attributes the decision to them not speaking to her over the last few days. Look, Porsche, it’s tough for them to talk when they are sobbing all the time. Cut them some slack! Given Porsche’s recent history, I’m pretty sure she just made the wrong decision here. But here’s the weird thing: there are very few strong game players left, so I suppose Porsche’s playing the odds at this point. Or some of her stuffing has started to spring a leak.

Weirdly enough, Rachel sans Brendon is almost human-like at this point. It’s like a junkie who went cold turkey, had the shakes for a while, but then emerged in a better place. Post-meltdown, she’s the stronger and saner of the remaining vets, keeping Jordan on point for the upcoming competition. It’s amazing what “not talking in a pitch only dogs can hear” will do for one’s likeability. “There’s nothing we can do about the past, but we can change the future,” Rachel says. Did they redecorate the house with inspirational posters when I wasn’t looking?

The pair enter the HoH room while Shelly and Adam are having a nicotine break in the yard. Jordan prays that Rachel keeps her trap shut as she appeals to those each of them has lost over the course of the game. Then, Jordan backhandedly compliments her partner, selling her as not quite the horrible inhumane witch everyone thinks she is. Rachel has this great, “Wait, huh?” look on her face during all this. The deal would be mutual immunity over the next two weeks should the four form an alliance. Porsche thinks she can game the pair, but I’m not sure she could game “Chutes and Ladders” at this point. The overall lesson here: DON’T SMOKE, KIDS. It’s bad not only for your health, but your chance at half a million dollars.

Later on, at YET ANOTHER smoke break, Shelly commiserates with Adam that she’s being unfairly punished for Jeff’s eviction. Even if Shelly was actively lying at the outset about her role in all this, I think she’s essentially convinced herself of the righteousness of her cause. Couching every devious move under the guise of “doing it for my family” has made her a bit delusion in the late part of the game, never mind given her daughter ample ammo if/when she starts deceiving her mother later in life. “This game is about making big moves,” she cries to the man who probably hasn’t made big one move aside from creating a oversized collage for Jeff made out of magazine clippings and bits of his shaved beard. Adam’s thrilled to be partnered with Shelly now, and he’s got a good reason: he’s still the safest person in the house this week with everyone gunning for her.

Competition Time! The six walk out to see dummies hanging from faux parachutes, each with the faces of their late, not-so-great partners. Rachel gets in a dig at Dominic, for old time’s sake. Ah, there’s the Rachel I know and loathe. The title: “The Duo Do Over.” Pretty simple rules: hang onto the dummy as it hangs in the air, and the last person still hanging on wins. It plays out about as riveting as it sounds. I know this will come as a shock, but Adam slips off first. I know. Guess all those workout sessions with Jeff didn’t pay off this summer. Next off: Jordan. Next up: a montage of Kalia farting. I kid you not. Sigh. Can we just make this week a five-way elimination and start watching “2 Broke Girls” already?

Next to go: Shelly. Wow. Adios, Mamacita. After that, Rachel starts using psychological warfare on the remaining pair. It works on Porsche, who falls soon after Rachel starts whispering in her ear. It’s down to Rachel and Kalia, both of whom are now struggling. In the end, the power of love (or psychosis) holds out, as Rachel hangs on to the end and wins the Power of Veto. “My HoH is a definite bummer,” says Porsche, who can engrave that phrase on a $5,000 piece of metal when she gets voted out of the house in a few weeks.

Rachel bounces up and down for joy in the kitchen, and I’m seriously worried about a fault line cracking in the nearby vicinity. Jordan psychologically segues into Ninja Assasin mode, turning all business about voting Shelly out. Elsewhere, Adam questions his manhood, wondering how he could have been the first to bow out of veto competition. (Psst: smoking six packs a day probably didn’t help.) Kalia passive aggressively disses Porsche’s decision to open Pandora’s Box, and plans to try and separate Jordan from Rachel into the final stretch. It seems like she’s read “The Art of War,” recently, but only the Cliff Notes version. Then again, that could go for everyone right now: there’s really not one true strategist left. There are just floaters and survivors. Oh, and smokers.

In the Sanitarium, Shelly finally gets a word in with Jordan to attempt to make amends before her imminent departure. Almost instantly, the waterworks and the “my family” start flowing from Shelly. But luckily, she tones it down to the point of getting through a bit to Jordan. They have a tentative hug, but it’s more a hug that says “see you in the next life” versus “see you in the kitchen for cocoa.” Her final pitch to both Jordan and Rachel: “Let me play to third place,” stating that she’d prefer to help those two win over the remaining newbies. I think Rachel is dubious, but I can’t tell: she’s wearing sunglasses indoors. Naturally, Shelly’s lying again in order to stay above water in the game. Will the veterans figure it out?

Veto Time, y’all. Everyone’s casually dressed, except for Rachel. She is wearing a skintight dress that I’m worried might explode at any moment. She takes herself and Jordan off the block, which automatically puts Shelly and Adam up for eviction. I’m guessing Adam will survive this, just as he has survived the other 167 times he’s seemingly been up for eviction this year. He’s like a cockroach that way. A bald cockroach that can’t hang in the air for more than five minutes.

 

Are Shelly’s days numbered? Have Porsche and Kalia overplayed their hands? And how long before Rachel realizes going into the final two with Jordan guarantees her loss? Sound off below!