Sometimes before I start writing these recaps, I shake my head in astonishment and — with my best Julie Chen eyebrow raised to the heavens — I purr, “Expect the unexpected, houseguests.” Things are getting crazy, guys. Ornery. Weird. On Wednesday night’s POV episode, we spent another day with Aaryn as HOH, and that sucks because I’d prefer she be HON (Head Of Nothing). The mental instability in the house is deepening, and that brings me to today’s topic: 5 occasions of insanity that worried the hell out of me. Bring out the padded walls, because these five moments are chilling me to the core.
1. Spencer’s D.R. confessional: “I don’t buy anything this lying pizza boy has to tell me. The only reason Howard is on the block is because Howard is not controllable by [McCrae] or Amanda.”
Gulp. Suddenly Spencer is one of the few voices of reason in the house. That is some straight-up, life-unaffirming insanity. He has his head on straighter than even the Svengalis of the house like Helen and Amanda, who are ruthlessly manipulative and drunk with power and mouthbreathing heavily these days. I’m not saying Spencer’s smarter than Helen or Amanda, but his gameplay is feeling more and more thoughtful to me as the weeks roll on. He’s lucky he got to remove himself from the block this week (after that embarrassing POV competition where Candice and Jessie’s brains cracked in half as they tried to put together a child’s foam jigsaw puzzle), but at this point it’s looking likely that he’ll last much longer than any of us expected. Yukon Cornelius, I fear you now more than ever.
2. Howard’s “speech”: “I think I’ve had enough conversations outside the game with you guys to know that’s not me at all. Please don’t believe it. If somebody does say something and it doesn’t hurt your game, just say, ’That is not what Howard would do.'”
The houseguests made it seem like Howard’s sit-down speech was uselessly cryptic — and they’re not totally wrong — but what’s weirder is the point Howard was actually trying to make. He sat down everyone in the house, “Look out for my sterling reputation, please. Just be sure to step up and represent me whenever you can. Thank you.” In other words: “Stop playing Big Brother and start announcing to your competition this lie I’ve invented about myself.” Howard seems like a kind and thoughtful-ish person, but I’m coming to grips with the fact that he is one of the dumbest people in this pretty-arguably-super-dumb house. He’s not GinaMarie, but he is sub-Jessie. Poor us. Poor society!
3. Elissa’s new theory: “Andy won’t tell anybody, but I think he get [MVP] this week. He seems, like, excited.”
Oh, Elissa. Essay question: When has Andy not seemed excited? He’s been quaking with frayed nerves like a Kristen Wiig caricature since Day 1, beaming at nothing and gawking like a Precious Moment figurine for weeks on end. He’s a ball of friendly fire. He’s chronically excited. He’s impossibly excited. God, I remember trusting Elissa’s judgment back in the early days of this game. Now I’m educating her about fundamental Andy characteristics as she jogs around a 50-sq. ft. patio for entertainment. Heartbreaking.
4. This exchange between Amanda and Howard:
Amanda: “When you speak and people speak to you, it seems as though you’re metaphorically speaking. You’re speaking in circles and no one thinks you’re a straight shooter because no one knows what you’re talking about.”
Howard: “Either that, or because I’m shooting straight, and you think that I’m in the game, you think I’m not shooting straight.”
To recap: Howard took what Amanda said and responded by reciting it backwards. This is serious nonsense, and now I don’t even know what “shooting straight” means. It’s like he’s talking about Scientology or a homicide he secretly committed. Shame on Amanda for even trying to penetrate Howard’s aural wordsearch. Bring a highlighter, find the big nouns, then move on to a Sudoku.
5. Andy’s meditative moment: “I took some Me Time, went out in the hammock for a little bit, and was at peace for myself. The hammock is the place where I get my deepest thinking done, I reminisce about home, I strategize about my place in this game. It is a place of Zen.”
I don’t know how much I’ve established this so far, but although Andy is always caught up in a huffy zeal, he really does seem like someone we’d all love in real life. His jokes are on point and his attitude is never self-righteous or weird. He’s sensible and clearly enjoys the game’s machinations the way we do.
This is why his little monologue about Transcendental Meditation freaked me out, because it could be the beginning of a Madonna-like descent into red string bracelets, Mehndi, and cropped jean jackets. (God, I remember that jean jacket looking so-effing-amazing the first time I saw “Ray of Light.” Anyway.) Andy, you’re the sanest gay guy in the history of Big Brother! We can’t lose you to introverted isolation and electronic balladry! Come back to us!
What’d you think of Wednesday’s episode? I’m stunned that we’re looking at Howard, Amanda, and Candice on the block. Is Howard the surest bet to go? If you ask me, it’s his time. Or as Howard would say, “Time his it’s. Straight-shooting. Go.”