Big Brother recap: King of Hearts

Team America dissolves after the heart of the game gets ripped out. Plus, genuine emotion!
Ep. 29 | Aired Aug 28, 2014

ICE ICE BABY A carefree Caleb strikes a happy facial expression as some dude tries to put water into his head.

CBS

DON'T MAKE DONNY CRY. Because when Donny cries, everyone cries. It’s just the simple truth. Even Julie looked like, maybe, just maybe, there might have been one last water droplet lodged in the circuitry from last week’s ice bucket shenanigans. Oh, Donny. Poor, sweet, future soap opera star Donny.

With the eviction of Donny goes the real heart of Big Brother, as evidenced by his genuine emotional reaction during his exit interview. We should have expected such a display of tears, as everyone else who cried in their exit interview only did it because of Donny. I’ll give to the guy: He lasted a lot longer than I expected him to. It’s largely because Donny did that rare thing that happens on shows like Big Brother and Survivor, when a person in dire jeopardy brings out the guns and scores a victory in the challenges that just happen to be the absolute most important ones to their livelihood. (I will say, Donny did manage to win challenges that were also important to the house, à la when he schooled Devon in that dice nightmare.)

Unfortunately, being such a good person put a target on Donny’s back from day one, so it’s a miracle he lasted as long as he did, but I’m confident he’ll be invited back for an all-star season because, hell, how could he not be!? And double-unfortunately, Donny’s eviction means that basically nobody interesting is left.

It’s been an awfully boring week in the Big Brother house. Almost all of my usual texting/tweeting/viewing friends—you know, those who receive my reactionary emoji in real-time—have essentially lost interest in this season. And I don’t disagree. When Zack left seven days ago, he took with him the last shred of unpredictability left in a largely predictable season. (What is this, the 2014 Primetime Emmys!? #topicaljoke) Truly, the Detonators’ domination all summer long was exciting at first, then moderately interesting, then moderately less interesting, then blatantly boring. It’s like when you’re with a puppy that gets on your nerves after a while—you can still appreciate the fact that it’s a puppy and, sure, it’s great for what it is (a puppy), but after a long period of time, even a puppy can feel utterly unthrilling.

Anyway, that complacency continued on tonight’s episode, even as The Detonators came to an apparent standstill on whether Donny or Nicole was the bigger threat. Fresh on the block right after coming off the block (because, eviction), Nicole did her due diligence trying to rally up some support, and naturally Derrick was on hand to give her the bulls--- "I’m working with you, girl! But shh, don’t tell anyone, doll!" spiel that he loves to give every contestant ever. How the lid on Derrick has not been blown off yet is beyond my comprehension. He is a Big Brother social mastermind and has managed to elude scrutiny, but somehow that’s because he has this uncanny ability to look in a person’s eyes and make said person feel as if he or she is the only person who matters in the world (much like Jonathan Groff does, if you ask anyone who has interviewed him on a red carpet).

It’s also hilarious that this group of alpha males evades Nicole like she’s Jaws or Bellatrix or the "all veggie" options at Jamba Juice. They have the numbers and they’ll continue to have the numbers, so for them to spend so much time fretting about Nicole is kind of absurd. Tweedledetonator (Frankie) and Tweedledumbtonator (Caleb) seem particularly worried about which one is a bigger threat. Meanwhile, Derrick is doing the best thing he’s done all game: let other people think they’re making decisions while he sits back and strokes his cat and says things like "I’ll get you, Gadget!"

(On an unrelated note, Frankie is the worst. Frankie used to be the best. But Frankie is now the absolute worst. When did he become the worst? I think, deep down, he was always the worst, but we were so impressed with his social game earlier this season that his true terribleness was masked. Just the idea of Frankie drives me crazy, which is a real shame since Ariana’s new album has a lot of good things going for it.)

Save for Donny’s elimination, there are three other things to discuss tonight:

  1. The Christine and Cody home visits. Awkward, no? Her husband Tim—who I’m pretty sure used to be Williamsburg’s version of Shia LaBeouf in another life—is definitely not okay with the handholding between his wife and Cody "He-Man" Calafiore, but Tim seems a little more okay with it than, say, Christine’s father (who is disappointed) and mother (who WANTS HER EVICTED). Cody’s family, meanwhile, thinks it’s hilarious, because apparently Cody’s plan to flirt with anything—plants included—is just the Calafiore way. Still, his sister speaks sense: Cody needs to back off, lest Tim throw a perfectly brewed double soy skinny frappe on one of his abs.
  1. Family-vision. I didn’t really expect this to be a crying episode, but I was weeping alongside every single contestant as we were introduced to their various family members: Caleb’s look-alike brother; Victoria’s look-alike mother; Cody’s very reminiscent dad, who caused him to bawl almost immediately; Nicole’s not-identical sister; ARIANA GRANDE and the other more pequeño Grandes; Donny’s referee brother; Derrick's utterly precious wife, daughter, and dog; and Tim. Always Tim.
  1. The HoH competition. I’m sure this will be unnecessarily spoiled in the comments in about five minutes, but for what it’s worth, I thought the competition was utterly hysterical. If there isn’t a GIF of Victoria’s first steps onto the ice by morning, I’ll have lost faith in the Internet because that was hi-larious and deserves to be preserved in infinite loop.

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