'Big Brother' recap: Another Pandora's Box and a new HOH rules
So, it’s time to replace Frank as HOH, but let’s face it – no matter what, I think the house really belongs to Dan. Not something I thought I’d be saying two weeks ago, but that stupid funeral speech seems to have worked a hella lot of magic (and Danielle’s tears were quite a bonus). I would think his miraculous save would only create a target on his back -- this guy can talk his way out of ANYTHING -- but that's probably expecting too much of our remaining hamsters, who seem all to willing to be played like fleshy violins. In other news, Pandora’s Box is back again! And to quote Shane, where did Jenn come from?
We return to where we left off on Thursday -- the never-ending HOH competition. As this is about dangling from a rope, it's less about physical strength than lightness. That means our 98 pound weakling Ian has an edge, and we know he wants it. Ian winning, of course, is Frank's greatest fear. His most loyal (read: only) defender Jenn is actually trying to win HOH, but come on. Jenn only recently seemed to notice or care that she was in the Big Brother house at all. Ian is fueled by revenge, which should make him pretty near invincible.
Ian's only real threat is Shane, who thinks Danielle will take him to the final two. She might, but she might also screw him over and opt for her Svengali, Dan. I have to say, I'm amazed that no one is plotting Dan's demise, just because he won the game before. And speaking of Dan, he'd also like to win HOH, as he'll take any opportunity he can get to stab someone in the back. Who that is doesn't matter; he just likes the stabbing.
Back to the swinging on ropes. Joe is the first to fall, and takes an opportunity to yell at his kids in the interview room for possibly making fun of him. Increasingly, when Joe is on the screen I only hear the sound adults make on "Peanuts" cartoons -- whaaa whaaa whaaaaaaa wa-wa-wa. Except it's VERY LOUD. As we remember from Thursday, the first hamster eliminated gets a punishment, and Joe will be doing Hula Hoop Boot Camp for 24 hours. I still think that's probably less horrible than being spun around on a rope and spray tanned.
But wait! There's a twist! In addition to being spun around and spray tanned, the hamsters are smacked by a "comet," which does not look like a comet. Instead, it looks like a bulbous growth or a highly suggestive body part. Jenn is the first hamsters knocked out by the "comet." Frank shrivels into his carrot costume.
We now discover something truly horrifying -- before the HOH competition, Ian went to Dan to suggest they keep the Quack Pack together. He can trust Dan! Dan nods sagely. He will try to convince Shane that they should keep their alliance. Ian is so grateful to that trustworthy mensch Dan! Dan, of course, is thrilled to have the Quack Pack reunited, as he'll now be part of not one, but two alliances! But really, he's only loyal to one person -- himself.
I'm half expecting Ian to blithely flop onto the ground, confident that if Dan should win, he'd never be targeted. But, fortunately, Ian isn't a total idiot and knows he can only trust Dan so far. I would suggest "far" is no further than he can throw him. Anyway, Danielle is feeling like puking and is next to drop. Now Jenn is nervous, as she was rooting for Danielle to win.
Dan, who has nothing to worry about anyone ever, falls. It's down to Ian and Shane. I think they should just start negotiating, as neither one of them is targeting the other. But still, they hold on. Possibly so the editors have extra material to work with.
After an hour, Shane has an ankle cramp, and Ian is boring the crap out of everyone by starts babbling science trivia like Bill Nye. Finally, Shane asks for privacy so that he can strike a deal with Ian. After feeling assured neither he nor Danielle will be targeted, Shane drops. Ian is the new HOH.
Frank isn’t thrilled, but man, he's so used to fighting for his life he'd be bored if he didn't. Meanwhile, Dan decides he's going to join his former team to stab Frank in the back. Has anyone NOT stabbed Frank in the back this season?
Danielle talks to Shane as he showers. This isn't a sexy showmance moment, as Danielle wants to talk strategy. She is so happy Shane is her knight in shining armor! As showmances go, though, I've seen G-rated cartoons with more action.
Joe, who for some reason is still in the house, tells Frank he thinks it’s going to be Dan and Jenn. But Frank refuses to throw Dan under the bus to Ian. Oh, Frank – Dan’s already tossed you under a moving semi, tied you to a train track, and is calling Amtrak to request a rerouting of all traffic to the West Coast.
As if reading my mind about the G-rated showmance, Jenn broaches the topic with Danielle. She wants Danielle and Shane to get busy! She's bored! It would either be a romcom or "Fatal Attraction," but either one is a movie. Danielle reveals that Shane hasn't kissed her since the pirate challenge -- and that was in front of everyone. But Jenn tells Danielle that Shane referred to her as his girlfriend! Danielle's eyes light up like a stalker whose restraining order has just been lifted. She needs more kisses! Watch out, Shane!
Ian shows off his HOH room. He has a stuffed animal snake and Henley shirts! His mom is declared hot, which is disturbing for so many reasons. Alas, Frank cannot be happy for Ian, the backstabbing little cretin. No one else can be happy for Ian, because the boy won't stop nattering about the geeky stuff he got for his HOH room, like bismuth ingot! It’s 83 on the periodic table! Ian starts blathering about Pepto Bismol and elements and everyone tries very hard not to fall asleep. He knows who his audience is, right?
Ian bounces in his bed, then calls together the Quack Pack. This would probably be more like the superhero coalition he wants it to be if he was wearing pants. Still, Dan, Shane and Danielle agree that their bond is still strong. Ian then reveals he’s targeting Frank and Jenn. But he needs his pants in order to stand up and quack with his homies. I guess I should just be glad he wants his pants.
Hula Hoop Boot Camp begins, and Joe must swivel the mighty ring of fitness. And he’s not so good at it. Shane thinks watching a middle-aged, half-naked fat guy hula hoop at midnight is not fun. I think it's probably a little fun in a car accident kind of way. Sort of like watching people waddle around at the mall during the holidays.
It's that time of week again -- time to beg for the HOH to show mercy. Frank, who is getting used to this, is first up. Ian tells him to sweat a little bit. Frank doesn't blink, as he has a case to make. And really, it's not a bad one. He would have rolled to the final two with Ian! No harm no foul, we’re both still here! Ian nods, as if he's softening up on his vengeance plot. They’re both almost alone in the house! And, though Ian and Frank don't completely realize it, they really are -- as they both have alliances with Dan. Dan, who should be their real target. I am simply amazed this has not come up as a strategic move.
In other news, Frank removes his carrot costume and Ian discovers the Pandora’s Box. As a fan, he's really excited about it! There are presents under a Christmas tree. If he wants to enter, he could have the best Christmas ever… but there will be consequences. He decides to go for it. I can't remember -- has anyone decided NOT to go for it with Pandora's Box? I can just imagine all the poor production assistants having to haul back crap to Toys R Us or whatever to get refunds. Anyway, Ian gets milk and cookies – and everything under the tree is his to keep. It's just like Christmas was when he was ten!
The hamsters get… Jesse Claus. The wrestler from "Big Brother" past! Jesse Claus hands out crappy gifts of seaweed and organic tofu, then becomes Jesse Zingbot and declares that Frank traded in his carrot suit for a stick of butter suit. So, Jesse decides to get all the junk food out of the kitchen.
But hey, upstairs Ian got a telescope and a rock growing kit and dinosaur things! And stuff for the pool! He’s so happy! I suspect Ian is more excited than most grown-ass people would be about getting dinosaur toys on national television. He also gets Legos! And one thousand bucks! So he can buy even more dinosaur toys!
Shane gets grumpy when someone takes his food, and I think Shane is going to be really grumpy this week. Jesse Claus takes EVERYTHING out of the pantry. Jenn won't be the only have not, it seems
But amid all this Christmas merriment, there still has to be time for strategy. Frank talks to Dan. Frank can’t believe he’s been put up every time he hasn’t been HOH but once. I can. For whatever flaws the hamsters have shown, they've always been absolutely clear on what a threat Frank is -- how could you not vote for him if he made final two? Dan is nice to Frank's face, but (in his words) he has the knife sharpened and is ready to stab him in the back.
Dan then goes to Ian to do exactly that -- or rather, convince Ian to do the dirty work of stabbing Frank right in his chest. But Ian doesn’t want to target Frank. Dan disagrees. Frank is a meat shield, says Ian in a very colorful and slightly disgusting turn of phrase. Ian is thinking about putting Jenn and Joe on the block. I doubt Dan will let that happen without working his evil magic on Ian to get the kid to do his bidding.
Time for nominations. This is so hard for Ian! Where is Boogie when he needs him?
Shane is safe.
Danielle is safe.
Joe is safe.
Dan is safe.
That means Frank and Jenn are on the block, which is exactly what Dan wanted. Ian tells them both it’s just strategy, but Frank thinks he’s just holding a grudge. Still, he doesn’t mind. For Frank, fighting for his life is just another day at the office. Poor Frank.
Ian thinks it may take two shots to get Frank out of the game, so he might as well take a shot. Jenn thinks she’s been underestimated. Really? Meanwhile, Dan -- the real mastermind and the biggest threat in the game -- is thrilled. He still can't quite believe that he's come back from the dead to rule the house. I'm a little surprised, too, but I'm more than a little impressed. He may be pure evil, as Britney said, but he's certainly good at this.
Do you think Frank will go home? How long do you think Joe has? When do you think everyone will realize Dan is calling all the shots?