The Summer of Secrets continues on Big Brother 6, and here’s a secret I bet you didn’t know: Eric is an idiot. Oh wait, that’s not really a secret. More of a given, right? Yes, the righteous fireman was up on his high horse again (which for him requires a rope ladder, given how high his horse is and, well, how short and trollish he is). Truth is that nothing gets me more riled up than a bombastic, sanctimonious player, but when cold-as-ice strategists like Kaysar, Janelle, and James are around, the resulting conflict is nothing less than transfixing television. Tonight was no exception as the household imploded in the wake of Kaysar’s shrewd nominations. Heck, I even thought we’d get Fight Night Part II.
Unfortunately, there were no fisticuffs tonight, but we had plenty of anger, spite, and backstabbing to keep us pacified — at least until Thursday when our bloodlust renews again. Three weeks in, and this is already turning into a mighty fine season. Who woulda thunk it?The episode began with the patented blue-and-white flashback sequence; this time highlighting Kaysar’s scandalous nomination ceremony. We got to relive all those golden moments: Maggie’s pure shock, Janelle’s triumphant glee, and Ivette’s creepy personification of The Grudge. Or was it more The Ring? Either way, she looked like the demon-child in a Japanese horror film, and I momentarily thought she might just kill all her roommates with one carefully executed snarl. (I also contemplated the thought that she might simply emerge from my TV and go all Samara on my ass.)
Most annoying Japanese horror ghost EVER
Anyway, past became present as the blue-and-white filter dissolved into full-blown color (during a hug, as usual). Question: Whatever happened to the nifty music they used to play prior to the “colorization”? You know what I’m talking about? The slowly building drumbeat, escalating synth sounds, and— okay, never mind. No one cares. Back to the show… So Eric was all pissed off about the nominations, saying that they came out of left field. “I think that the bubble was burst out of everybody’s overall game plan,” he said. I didn’t know everyone had a bubble in their game plan. I suppose their plans all had sails too, and guess what, Kaysar took the wind out of those also. Hey, did you guys go to the game plan parade? Because it got RAINED ON.
Heh. That’ll teach Eric not to incorrectly attach a metaphor to a literal phrase. Jerk.
As everyone reeled from the nominations, James bitterly sat on his bed, angry at Kaysar’s move. “He told me yesterday I was safe. To my face. In his room,” scowled James. Funny, ’cause at that same meeting, you lied and said you weren’t with Sarah. And you said that to his face. In his room. Just saying. Meanwhile, Maggie found a nice corner and cried Chloë Sevigny tears (they’re like normal tears, except with more indie cred). Yes, everyone was bawling and complaining, which was amusing because no one even attempted this show of histrionics when Michael and Janelle faced the firing squad last week. Up in the HOH room, however, Eric found Kaysar and did his best to kiss – nay, make love to – his ass: “Brother, look at me. This is a game. Are you okay, brother?” Because apparently they’re “brothers” now. Sure, Eric spent the lion’s share of the past ten days telling everyone how much he couldn’t trust Kaysar, but that shouldn’t preclude them from being “brothers,” or better yet, “brothas.” Eric then went on to say, “Hey, I respect you so much, I’m going to put on another piece of Las Vegas Fire Department clothing. Just for you, brother.”
While Eric may have been all smiles and pats on the back upstairs, his mood quickly changed in the backyard as he entertainingly ‘roid raged against Maggie. She accused him of not divulging his deal with Kaysar, causing Eric’s face to contort into a gnarled mess. “I told you that!” he growled with teeth clenched and enough rage to send Maggie’s purdy little ribbon flying from her hair.
The rare chaise-lounge ‘roid rage!
While the two of them shared notes, however, James paid a visit to Kaysar, who immediately apologized for putting him on the chopping block. “It’s just a game,” replied James happily. It should be noted, however, that in Big Brother-ese, “It’s just a game” means “I hate you, you motherf*cking asshole!”
Well, Kaysar let James know that Eric was actively campaigning against him, something that immediately incensed the security guard – I mean, “loss prevention manager.” James then went down to the gold room, which has since become Janelle’s de facto lair, and revved up his anti-Eric crusade, saying that he was the biggest liar in the house. As for Eric? Well, after having punched Maggie in the face (okay, okay, he merely growled some more), he had now moved onto bigger and badder things. Namely, coaster inventory. “Uh, they got rid of our coasters!” announced Eric, after having marched by the living room table. They got rid of the coasters?!?!?!? Summer of Secrets INDEED!
“I walked past the living room table where we play Coaster Toss — it’s a little game we came up with,” explained Eric. And an exciting game too! You see, you toss the coasters onto the table. My pulse races just thinking about it. Alas, it looks like my plans to watch August’s “Coaster Toss Tournament of Champions” have been sidelined! What to do instead? I suppose there’s always the Breadcrumb Flick Summer Derby or the perennial favorite, Paperclip Bounce Celebrity Invitational. Sigh. They’re just not as good as Coaster Toss, dammit!
Nevertheless, in place of the coasters were several small tiles that mirrored the larger ones hanging on the bedroom wall. Sarah, who previously proved to be an expert with clues (she did unlock the gym, let’s not forget), managed to use these new tiles to find a secret compartment, inside of which was a blacklight flashlight. Additionally, there was a note saying that the houseguests should shine the flashlight everywhere for the next clue. Before we knew it, the lights were off and the flashlight scanning every surface of the house. Was I the only one expecting a giant mess of semen stains on Howie’s bed? Hmmm…probably shouldn’t have gone there.
Anyway, this little scavenger hunt led to the fish tank, and after the assembled group read the next clue with the awkward diction of a first-grader attempting “See Spot Run,” they were then sent to the gold room and told that the number of “seas” on the little world map hanging on the wall was the first number for the combination on one of the safes. Got that? Anyway, everyone crowded around the map and attempted to count all the seas, but since it was easier for them to blurt out random numbers, that’s what they did, eventually deciding that the final tally was either four or twelve. Actually, the real answer was seventeen, but hey, I’m not going to make fun of the house guests for screwing that up. I mean, counting is like really hard. Try it. 1… 2… 3… 4… 812… 74…shit! See what I mean?
Once the roomies were done with this silly numerical quest, Sarah had a heart-to-heart with Janelle about the game. Our blonde-haired super strategist asked her if she knew James, but again Sarah denied a connection. Ah, but all this lying was wearing on poor, emotionally vulnerable Sarah. With a guilty conscience, she ran to her boyfriend and confessed that she wanted to tell Janelle, and surprisingly, James said okay. After all, if he wanted to get off the chopping block, he knew he’d have to come clean with Kaysar. So Sarah went off to spill the beans with Janelle while James handled the HOH. Watching the two outcasts’ reactions was pretty entertaining. Upon learning of the secret relationship, Janelle hugged Sarah in a touchy-feely moment worthy of some Chubby Hubby and a VHS copy of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Kaysar, meanwhile, reacted with steely triumph. “I knew it!” he exclaimed. “Of course you knew it,” responded James. Kaysar then replied, “Of course you knew that I knew it.” To which James retorted, “Of course you knew that I knew that you knew.” They continued for hours.
Turns out that James’ risky play to unveil his secret alliance worked beautifully. By the end of the meeting, Kaysar had agreed to take him off the chopping block (if he could) and nominate Eric instead. All he needed to do now was bring Howie and Rachel on board. And so out went James and in came Rachel. Kaysar laid it all out on the table for her, saying that he knew she was working with Howie. He then commented that Michael was his partner and Ashlea was Janelle’s — at which point we saw possibly the most unflattering flashback image of Ashlea EVER.
To seal the deal, Kaysar then explained that James and Sarah were actually dating, causing Rachel’s bug-eyes to inflate larger than tennis balls. You see, Rachel had thought Sarah was James’ sister, a sentiment echoed by Janelle and, later, Howie. This means that a) James and Sarah seem vaguely incestuous, b) James is really pretty, or c) Sarah is really ugly. Eh, I suppose we can also throw in an option d) All of the above. (Don’t worry Sarah, I don’t think you’re ugly.)
Anyway, in the wake of this scheming, a new alliance formed: Kaysar, Janelle, James, Sarah, Howie, and Rachel. The three couples agreed that they’d be the final six, and then from that point on, may the best man win. Unfortunately, the next day, Kaysar had to pay lip service to Maggie by saying that she was a pawn to get rid of James. “I had to put my poker face on,” he said. Yes, he gave Maggie the “stoic, death-glare poker face,” which is not to be confused with his “stoic, death-glare sincere face.” Eric then popped his head in the room and said, “No need to raise your voice… brother.”
Well, with the alliances going haywire, it was finally time for the veto competition. Here’s how it broke down: Kaysar chose Howie, Maggie chose Ivette, and James chose Janelle. This, of course, pissed James’ old alliance off royally. After all, had he chosen Eric, there would have been the possibility that both he AND Cappy would be safe. Alas, the bitter nominee knew better than that as he elected the one person the rest of his former alliance hated the most. “James picks Janelle. I think I crapped my pants!” snapped Ivette in an interview. To be fair, she says that about everything. “It’s partially cloudy today with high humidity. I think I crapped my pants!”
Just how shocked was Ivette about James’ pick? Well, gastro-intestinal incontinence was just the tip of the Spicy Latina iceberg. “I was more in shock today than my mother was the day she found out I like girls,” she said. Uh, yeah, I’m pretty sure your mom would disagree. I’ll tell you what will be shocking though: the day that Ivette finally SHUTS UP!
Anyway, after picking, the teams headed out to the backyard where an oversized chess board awaited them. I of course thought this would be Janelle’s specialty, but then here came Kaysar, announcing that he loved chess. Okay, cool. Anyone else like chess? Oh, James has something to say. “Chess: there’s no one that can beat me in this house,” he boasted. Great. Let’s start playing.
“I was the chess champion…OF MY CITY,” noted Maggie in her interview. Okay, seriously, what the hell is going on here? Is this the big twist: everyone was the president of a chess club? Hey, maybe April is the secret mistress of Bobby Fisher. Or better yet, I’d place money that The Chenbot’s dad is Deep Blue. It’s a SUMMER OF SECRETS!
Nevertheless, tonight’s veto competition had the players all serving as veritable knights. They each could chose a starting place on the chess board and would have thirty seconds to make a move. Players could only move in a knight-like pattern, and upon landing on a square, it had to be removed, thus taking the spot out of play for the others. Once someone had no more moves, he or she would be eliminated. Anyway, Ivette kicked things off by choosing a random square near a corner. This of course limited her moves. Why not start in the center? I’ll let Janelle explain: “Ivette’s a complete moron.” Yeah, that seems about right. Meanwhile, Maggie took a square directly in the corner, thus cutting away 75% of her possible moves. Exactly which city was she the chess champion of? Dumbassville? San FranIdiotsco? HonoDumblu? I could go on for hours.
Anyway, everyone pretty much targeted Ivette and Maggie by taking squares that would reduce their potential moves. As fun as it was to watch them and Eric squirm (and believe me, it was fun), my favorite parts of this whole challenge were the plodding sound effects and cheesy white puff illustrations the producers added every time someone moved. I so wish my footsteps were accompanied by an imposing drum and a little cloud. How awesome would that be?
Well, the first victim of this nouveau chess game was Ivette, who balked, “These piranhas come after me, corner me, think two steps ahead of me, and I’m out!” Yeah, who do you people think you are? Thinking two steps ahead of Ivette! You know that she’s not capable of “applying” “logic.” That’s totally unfair! It’s like comparing SAT scores with a mentally challenged kid. By the way, I didn’t know that piranhas were known for their ability to corner. Actually, come to think of it, I didn’t know piranhas were known for their ability to think two steps ahead of Ivette. Either that’s pretty impressive on the piranha’s part, or Ivette just admitted that she’s dumber than a fish.
With Ivette out of the way, everyone could focus on Maggie, and it wasn’t long before the nurse found herself cornered like many a piranha victim. Some nifty, zippy sound effects denoted that she indeed had nowhere else to turn, and a shocked Maggie stepped out of the competition. The rest of the event sped by in a series of cross-dissolves, and as Eric caught on to what was happening, he became increasingly irate. “Kaysar doesn’t know how to throw a game,” he sneered. “Howie was a part of what I call the evil empire,” he also commented. Eric then charged the chess board, yelling “I HAVE A NORMAL SIZED PENIS!”
Actually, that didn’t happen, but afterwards, when James had won the veto, Eric tried to contain his rage by offering up his usual phony compliments: “Nice job dudes. That was awesome.” Let’s hear it for the brothers! Maggie, meanwhile, pulled Kaysar to a corner and asked him WTF was going on. “You sealed my fate,” she complained. “No. I sealed your partner’s fate. I caught the bigger fish,” replied Kaysar. I’m starting to believe Kaysar is simply a robot controlled by Hollywood screenwriters. Nearly everything he says seems to come directly from a political thriller or some police procedural. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy when he speaks. Quite the contrary. I love his dramatic comments, unlike Ivette’s, who seems to pull random words and phrases from the dictionary and string them into a barely coherent syntax.
Speaking of Ivette, she was unsurprisingly babbling away in the kitchen when Maggie returned in shock and awe. The nurse revealed that Kaysar had just “tanked” the challenge on purpose, causing an irate Eric to charged into the backyard (for real this time) and demand that the HOH look into his (beady, little) eyes and tell him he was safe. Kaysar full on admitted that he was going to put Eric up instead, and in response, the stumpy fireman tried his hand at some clunky passive aggression: “Hey. Thanks for keeping your deal. Appreciate that.” Nice sarcasm! Really effective. Maybe you should try some guilt though. Oooh, and maybe demean his religion too. “You swore your life on it. All right. I don’t think that’s in the Koran anywhere, but we’ll go with it,” said Eric, whose Bible CLEARLY condones character assassination, fighting, and of course swearing on one’s children for the sake of winning a reality show.
“You’re a dirty player,” responded Kaysar. FINALLY. I thought no one would ever say it to him. Granted, Eric isn’t the dirtiest player Big Brother has seen, but he’s that obnoxious mix of self-righteousness and hypocrisy that always gets the blood boiling. Well, all heated from his exchange with Kaysar, Eric returned to the house pretending to be cool — but not really. You know how that is: he’d fly off the handle but then add “but that’s cool!” or “but that’s okay!” at the end of every sentence. You’re a real tool, Eric, but that’s cool! Suddenly the bastion of levelheadedness, Ivette played referee by saying, “Let’s not get nasty.” She then added, “Hey, remember that time I made fun of Michael for having messed up teeth? Yeah, that was great. But seriously, let’s not get nasty.”
Despite Ivette’s admonitions, Eric was on a tear. He ripped his Las Vegas Fireman’s hat off of James, sneering, “And you can take that union hat off too!” Yeah, what an asshole James is. He had the nerve to “campaign” for “himself.” Jerk. Seriously, what exactly did James do wrong here? I can understand Eric being mad at Kaysar or even Howie, but James? Was it because James campaigned against Eric? Because as far as I can remember, it was Eric who had first campaigned to keep James on the chopping block. Oh, was it that James broke the all-guys alliance? No, because Eric broke that alliance last week. Hmmm… What could have made Eric so mad? Oh, duh. Steroids. I totally forgot.
Anyway, Eric’s baby-wants-his-bottle moment continued as he insisted, “I’m not upset.” Yes, he’s not upset at all, NOW GIVE ME MY HAT! Alas, he brought up the Koran again, and thankfully, Maggie reproached him by saying, “Leave religion out of this.” Eric was inconsolable though. “Why? He’s the one who brings it in all the time!” he responded. Yeah, Kaysar should really stop playing the religious card. Why does he have to rub it in everyone’s faces by “praying” and “being a Muslim” and “having a name like ‘Kaysar’?”
In case you thought this disaster was over, you’d be wrong. Cappy lashed out again, saying “No, I’ve said my piece. It’s over. And Sarah, don’t think I don’t know you’re with James either.” But yeah, he’s not upset. It’s over. He has nothing left to say… … … (crickets chirping)… OH AND ANOTHER THING!!!!
Looks like someone just got hit by the Karma Boomerang
Okay, finally Eric went to his time-out corner, and the next day was the Veto Ceremony. After a decent little speech, James announced, “I’m choosing to use the veto nomination on myself.” I’m not sure, but I think he just re-nominated himself. Actually no. What he meant to say was that he chose to use the power of veto (ahem, golden power of veto) on himself, which meant that Kaysar had to nominate Eric for eviction. And so ended a topsy-turvy episode which achieved every ounce of chaos we had hoped and prayed for. We knew Kaysar’s nominations would shake things up, but I had no idea to what extent. Seeing Eric stuck on the chopping block was a fantastic way to close out the episode, thus providing another wonderful hairpin turn in television’s twistiest series.
What did you think? Did Eric play his cards right? Did Kaysar play his cards right? And what about James?