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Spoilers from Thursday night's live episode of Big Brother ahead!
Things were headed in a direction this week, and no amount of gaming seemed to be able to derail its course. Still, Big Brother did introduce another twist to the season, which played out earlier this week on the feeds, and gave us one small piece of unpredictability in an otherwise standard eviction episode.
The house has been gunning for Frank for a few weeks, and the team twist kept the Big Brother veteran safe for longer than he might've been otherwise. Alas, that twist ended last week, and the houseguests wasted no time sending Frank the Tank packing. He was evicted unanimously after humorously telling the houseguests he doesn't wish them well.
We'll get to the Paris twist in a minute. First, let's talk about Frank's game. I admit, I wasn't a big fan of Frank in Season 14. I have a hard time getting behind any houseguest who needs to win competitions in order to stick around. This game is far too unpredictable to back that kind of horse. On the social side, Frank's boldness may make for good TV, but it doesn't necessarily serve him well in the game. Focusing solely on this season, he did manage to warm up to some people, and seemed to be trying to plan ahead earlier in the season, however his loose lips made him too much of a risky bet as an alliance member. That, added to his early competition wins, painted too big of a target with him for him to avoid the block.
But I don't want to blame Frank entirely for things falling apart for him this year. Yes, he could've played better. He probably needed someone to team up with him, and handle the strategy side of things while he handled the competition wins. But there are layers to this game, and this season there seems to be a lot of odd factors that played against him. Among them, personal feelings (about him and people associated with him, like Bridgette and Tiffany), strategic lies (Nicole's involvement and denial as one example) and less-than-strategic lies (eg. I'm not convinced Paul even knows if he's telling the truth or not half the time he's talking). All of that worked against Frank in a house that seems keen on picking one target and blaming them for everything.
If the house continues to follow course in pinning everything on one person, and then chasing them out of the house, Bridgette will go next. Or she'll be branded the designated pawn while the house aims for bigger targets. Time will tell.
Back to the Paris twist. Big Brother seemed to want to push that twist along, because they tipped the houseguests off on the monitor this week, sending them into a flurry throughout the house, seeking out clues that would lead them to the secret room. This happened after the Veto ceremony. If we want to call shenanigans, we could say that they were hoping to give Frank his best shot at a round-trip ticket. But I'm more inclined to believe this is simply a show and game that relies heavily on its schedule, and since the twist is only in play for the next four weeks, they needed to ensure it kicked off this week.
Paul was the first to find the "Call Paris" message on the side of the decorative plane, and dial the payphone to unlock the secret door, which led to a tunnel and a secret Paris-themed room. Inside the room were various sealed envelopes, each containing a "plane ticket." All but one are one-way tickets. One ticket is round-trip, giving the holder the opportunity to return to the game if they're evicted. As mentioned, this twist is only in play for the next four weeks, which means it's possible whoever has the round-trip ticket won't actually get to use it.
From what we saw on the feeds, it seems like Paul was told by production that he couldn't outright lie to the houseguests about whether or not they too could make a play for one of the tickets waiting in that room, which explains the awkwardness of his explanation about the cards when he first retrieved his. In the end, all of the houseguests figured out how to get in, ether on their own or by being told by someone else. So everyone has a ticket.
Regardless of whether or not it was to stay on schedule or to help Frank, I really wish Big Brother would've sat back and let the houseguests figure this out on their own. One of them would've seen "Call Paris" on that plane eventually. And this would've been far more interesting if one houseguest or a small alliance discovered the twist and kept quiet about it, so that only a few of them had these tickets. Now it's just a random draw.
Frank's ticket was one-way, revealed by Julie shortly after his eviction. He left the house to applause and said good things about his "cabbage patch kid" Bridgette. I didn't expect to be rooting for him this season, and I won't argue that he was playing the best game. But given how things have been playing out in this house, I would've liked to see him tear things up for a few more weeks, at least. And I wouldn't hate it if Bridgette won Head of Household this week, if only to watch the rest of the house squirm and scramble.
The HoH competition (a ball throwing thing) was still going when the episode cut out.
In other news, some random observations about the rest of the episode.
It was great to see Hayden, Meg, Jason and Boogie. I'm especially fond of Jason, the adorable Big Brother superfan from last season, who's naturally pulling for his pal, Da'Vonne. And though i wasn't a major fan of his game play, Mike Boogie is classic Big Brother, so it was great to see him show up and share some support (and game critique) for Frank. Great to see Hayden and Meg doing well, also.
On the more random side, we got to see Michelle cry over not using the Veto, which is kind of confusing, since I got the sense that she was pretty unapologetic about her decision previously. I'm wondering if maybe the tears we saw tonight, and the ones we saw during her confrontation with Bridgette are evidence that this game is starting to get to her. Or if this is just her default reaction to confrontation.