Big Brother, July 15: The Great Unravelingby Brian James -- 07/16/2003
You know what I just realized? Since I’m covering the Tuesday episodes of Big Brother, I don’t get to recap Julie Chen! No DRAMATIC PIVOTS! No “spontaneous” teleprompter readings! Oh, that Julie. When the season first starts, she pops up at the drop of a hat to bash key points over our head with a sledgehammer. Then she completely abandons us save for the weekly eviction episodes. It’s inconsistent nurturing is what it is, and I’m sending her my therapy bills. Meanwhile, I realize that basically what I’ll be covering is the veto competition, continued grudges and gripes, and WACKY VIGNETTES.
After Stock Booming Melodramatic Announcer #38 takes us back to the invention of the wheel, Nathan nominates Amanda and Jee for eviction again, and this time we know he means business because he does it in black-and-white. Amanda tells us she had a feeling she was going to be nominated, but it upset her that he said he couldn’t trust her; it seemed a little harsh for the first week. She and Jee hug in the backyard. Jee tells us he was surprised that he told Amanda that and that Jee was only nominated just to have someone fill the slot against her. In the Diary Room, Scott says he found it to be bullsh*t and tells us what he thinks the real issue is in a mock of Nathan’s drawl: “Ah don’t truuuuuust yew! I haiven’t had the chance to git to know yew, but yew obviously don’t wanna sleep with me, so yer outta here!” Amanda tells us she thinks three girls fawning over Nathan is quite enough. Nathan reiterates the reasons he gave at the nomination ceremony. Jack hugs Amanda out on the patio as she’s having a cigarette and tells us he would not have given the same speech. While he doesn’t presume to know what it’s like to be in Nathan’s shoes, he wouldn’t have brought the issue of trust into it.
“Former Restaurant Manager” Robert is practically drooling as he tells us how great it was to see ex Erika so nervous about her fate at the ceremony that she was shaking. Erika confesses to us that that was all a strategic act and she really couldn’t care less. As an illustration, we see her daub a crocodile tear in the bathroom in front of Jun, who tells Erika to stop or she’ll make her cry. Turns out there’s a lot of acting going on in this production of Ship of Fools, House of Idiots: Jun confesses she’s faking feeling sorry for Erika! She doesn’t buy Erika’s claim that she hates seeing people be hurt: they all signed up for the same reasons. Jun sits with Amanda on the patio and tells her that everyone’s probably staying away from her because they feel bad and don’t know what to say.
Yeah, right. Lord knows there’s no acting going on in the kitchen, where Nathan, Dana, Alison, and a couple others are practically handing out noisemakers and hats. Jun tells us perhaps having cookies and ice cream and laughing two seconds after a nomination ceremony isn’t the wisest choice. YA THINK?!?
Scott comes out and joins Jun and Amanda. Jun notes to him that they of all people should be feeling somewhat happy. Scott assures them he doesn’t. He says Amanda hates him but he loves her. Amanda looks embarrassed. Scott offers to lend an ear if she needs to talk. Amanda confesses to us that Scott was very sweet and seemed upset at how Nathan treated her. Scott tells her he feels a lot worse than he thought he would and she should fight to stay in. Amanda says it’s quite obvious who Nathan wants gone… but she’ll see.
In the Hammock of Exes Whose Names Begin With “J,” Jee tells Justin he intends to win the veto competition, saying it really brought out his “game side.” Jee sounds about as convincing at saying he has a “game side” as Julie Chen does at saying, “Let’s get this party started.” In any event, he tells us he’s now speaking to people here and there and trying to gain people’s trust. Justin tells Jee he doesn’t need the Power of Veto: right now he has the votes and he doesn’t think they’ll change all that much. Jee thinks he’s solid with Justin, Alison, and Robert, but he’s slightly iffy on Dana. Justin tells Jee Michelle wants to vote to keep Amanda because she feels bad, but Nathan’s been working on her. The only people he could see voting to keep Amanda would be Scott, Erika, Jack, and David. Jee’s worried about the wildcards like Michelle and David, who he says is a “floater.” It dawns on me that “I Think I’m Paranoid” by Garbage would be the perfect theme song for this show.
But now it’s time to shift from plotting and paranoia to a WACKY VIGNETTE! In the Big Brother 4 Players’ version of Bernice Bobs Her Hair, gullible Jee buys Scott’s claim that he’s a skilled haircutter. Why he would believe that claim coming from someone who wears a knit cap to cover his own sparse scraggly hair 99% of the time is anyone’s guess. We get a dash of The Emperor’s New Clothes as Jun points out that Scott is no hairdresser - he’s a “freaking waiter”! See - who said reality television couldn’t be literary? Sure enough, Jee has a huge gouge in the back as well as a severe weightline. Alison happens on the scene and offers to fix it up, and actually does a fairly decent job. “I was about to do that before she rudely took over,” deadpans Scott. Then Jee pipes up from the Makeshift Barber Stool of Not Leaving Well Enough Alone that he thinks the sides are sticking out too straight and he’d like them to angle more. “You know what I mean, right?” he asks Alison. Well, clearly she doesn’t, because Jee now looks like the lead of Attack of the Killer Flowbee. Sympathetic Jun bursts into hysterics and tells him to shave it all off. Amanda steps up to the razor next and starts to do just that. “So am I going up or down?” she asks as she just kind of randomly runs the razor over the back of Jee’s head the way a child would a crayon in a coloring book. Jee yelps. “Isn’t there anyone who knows what haircutting is all about?” he cries. OK, so no, but he should have. Finally, a military drumroll sounds (sometimes I really love the editors) and “Former Army Ranger” Dave saves the day by offering Jee a “high and tight.” Oh, get your mind out of the slash fanfic: it’s a military hairstyle. Dave explains to us that it’s the only hairstyle he knows how to do. “I basically butchered him,” he shrugs. Jee is basically bald except for a bush of hair on the very top of his head. “Good job!” praises Jun in the bathroom, then promptly tells us it looks horrible. Jee, however, raves to us about his stylin’ new do from the Diary Room Couch of Cluelessness.
Out in the backyard, Scott sings a song about a “mantroll” as Amanda giggles and Dave performs choreography. Scott tells us Dana is a mantroll - she’s dangerous, not very stable (later in the episode we shall see why he singlehandedly wins the 2003 Pot/Kettle Derby with this remark), and you’ve gotta watch out for her! To illustrate his point, Dana screams, “I’m gonna blow this whole house up!” to Jun in the kitchen. “She’s a superhero for the new millennium!” Scott continues. “Is she a man? Is she a troll?” Amanda says she doesn’t know if Dana knows. She does, however, make sure that Jun knows, explaining that it’s “a man who looks like a troll” as Jun paints her nails. Jun laughs and says that’s the most f**ked up thing she’s ever heard, then promptly runs and tells Dana, who then bitches about it to Jack and Erika, who tell the turtles, who tell the Powerpuff Girls, who tell… In any event, as Scott wanders around the backyard braying, “Mantroll! Come in, mantroll!”, Dana tells us she’s still a girl even if she’s not trying to be a girly girl, and that if you mess with her you gotta go! She rages to Jun and Nathan in the hammock that if she wins head of household next week, he’s the first one out! The Anvil of Foreshadowing politely waves hello from the corner.
More WACKY VIGNETTES! Jack and Erika wake up early and Jack notes that he was surprised to see Erika turn into a one-woman cleaning dynamo. Sure enough, she dons a tiny red polka dotted bikini and shades and cleans the toilet! The counter! The table! The sink! The bathtub! The backyard! In fast-mo! All to music that sounds suspiciously close to “Simply Irresistible” by Robert Palmer. “If you’re gonna have a maid, you ain’t gonna have a better maid than Erika!” notes an appreciative Jack.
We get a quick cut montage of Jack showering and drying his hair for no apparent reason, then he tells us that from his thirty years in the FBI, he basically views this as a three month surveillance. (“Like, that is the most interesting job I think ever!” chirps Michelle.) He tells us that the people in this house are sophisticated but he thinks he has a make on them! What follows is a bit of editing genius where as Jack talks to us about a person, their appropriate Name: Mock Criminal Description pops up on the screen.
Jack feels his greatest asset in the house is Nathan, whose charisma sets him apart. Nathan: Strongest Asset.
Erika is a smooth, cool person who’s under control. Erika: Smooth Operator.
Dave is smarter than he lets on, and Jack thinks he’ll kick anyone’s ass mentally in the house. David: Mental Ass Kicker.
Jun isn’t tough enough to stay around for long - unless they want to eat well. Jun: Liability.
Michelle is a “girl in a house full of women.” Michelle: Eye Candy.
Dana is committed to Justin and they’re beginning to question her loyalty. Dana: Double Agent.
Alison isn’t a strong player. Alison: Daddy’s Girl.
Scott’s personality could wear thin after awhile and weaken his survival. . Scott: Strong Personality. The Anvil of Foreshadowing does the Mashed Potato.
Justin is absolutely focused and in terms of mental and physical ability, there doesn’t seem to be anything he can’t do. Justin: Primary Threat.
In conclusion, Jack tells us that whatever environment you’re in, be it home, the office, or Big Brother, if you listen and don’t talk so much, you do a hell of a lot better. Jack, can I send you to preach this gospel to about 95% of the people I come in contact with on a daily basis?
Nathan gathers the HouseGuests together in the living room to announce the Power of Veto competition. This year, he informs them (and us) that every veto is the Golden Veto, which means that every week, the person who wins it will have the ability to take themselves off the nominating block if they’re up - or anyone else they so choose. (Not that that would ever happen. I mean, I can’t think of any rational, sane reason why anyone who was nominated wouldn’t use the Golden Veto to save themselves, can you?) Alison, laboring under the mistaken impression that I need the details of the Golden Veto translated into Self-Absorbed Twit, tells me this exact same thing. Incidentally, Nathan looks directly at his cue card his whole speech and delivers his lines quite stiffly and woodenly, which means the casting directors at Passions are probably drawing up a contract even as we speak. Every HouseGuest and the poolboy yaks to us about how they want to win the Golden Veto, and now all of a sudden I’m having images of the Golden Ticket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. By the end of this episode, I can think of a few HouseGuests I’d like to see get kicked down a chute by an Oompa Loompa.
In the backyard, Scott asks Amanda if she’s started working on people to stay. She confesses that she hasn’t yet because she’s not sure who to work; she thinks she’ll be leaving. Well, she’s just the poster child for The Power of Positive Thinking. Scott tells us it’s embarrassing to admit to the whole world on national television that he’s still in love with his ex-fiancée. He does some other things that are even more embarrassing to do on national television later, but I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s nothing more that he’d love in the whole world than a second chance with her. At this point, Dana leans forward and urgently tells us in hushed confessional tones that she has a bad feeling about Scott: he’s running around professing his love to Amanda when just a few days ago he was cursing her! OK, not that there isn’t some valid reason to be wary of Scott, as we’ll see, but gee, it’s not like since she’s running around proclaiming that he’s out of there she could be looking for ammunition to ensure his departure, could it? Nah - it must be entirely genuine concern. Alison pops up to tell us she thinks Scott would use the Golden Veto to save Amanda. And who asked you, exactly?
Scott tells Amanda that he has a pile of “her” in his closet - photos and things that were too painful to see when he’d open a drawer, but he couldn’t bear to throw away. Amanda looks uncomfortable and this is getting painful, and I was about to say more until I realized I once had a “Bag O’ Ex” in the back of my closet as well for the exact same reason. (I did wind up throwing it away eventually, which I think was a healthy decision, although to be honest, when I did it was because I was moving and had forgotten it was even there. But I suppose that in and of itself was a good sign.) Amanda tells us that she was done when they broke up, but she wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings or have him take something the wrong way and freak out. The Anvil of Foreshadowing performs the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.
In the Head of Household Room, Alison, who’s lounging on the bed with Robert, informs Justin that he needs to thank her because if he wasn’t her ex, he wouldn’t be there! He tells her that he wouldn’t have even came [sic] on the show had he known she was going to be there, so what in the f**k does she want him to thank her for? She says that she wouldn’t have came [sic]! No, he wouldn’t have came [sic]! No, she wouldn’t have came [sic]! I boot them both for poor grammar. In confessional, Justin tells us that Alison is the only girl in the house he’s not attracted to; he’s seen a side of her he doesn’t like. Alison declares that he shouldn’t be there because she shouldn’t have dated him! “We didn’t date; we were just f**kbuddies, remember?” he laughs. “In your dreams,” she mutters. Apparently under the mistaken impression that she’s posing for a centerfold, Alison reclines sideways on the Diary Room sofa and tells us that Justin is her ex and will remain her ex! Justin calls her on feeling sorry for herself and she counters that she doesn’t feel sorry for herself; she feels sorry for him ! “I feel sorry for me too,” Justin smiles. She left herself wide open for that one. We see a flashback of Nathan asking her, presumably in a game of Truth or Dare, if she had one more chance to have sex with Justin, would she? Reclining Centerfold Manqué Confessional Alison tells us having sex with Justin wasn’t bad, per se, and it has been awhile… so why not? You really have nothing to gain or lose…except for maybe a boyfriend back home. Oh, yeah. That guy. Boy, it’s sure a good thing she didn’t spend a good portion of the first episode weeping and wailing about how much she cared about him and was worried that Justin being there might hurt him or she’d look awfully hypocritical, wouldn’t she?
By now I think you know that I like to give my recaps as much detail as possible. So when I tell you that the Power of Veto competition is called “Feeling Knotty,” involves untying knots, and Dana just barely squeaks ahead of Nathan, just trust me that you’re not missing anything, OK? Well, except for Jun telling us that she cried foul because she saw Scott touching his knot when he wasn’t supposed to be. Ahem. She also tells us that by now it’s no secret they have a running tiff. Various players chomp on various sour grapes in various confessionals. Jee and Amanda both express uncertainty about what will happen now.
Back in the Head of Household Room, Alison tells Nathan that peasant shirt that he wears that makes him look like a long-lost extra from the cover of Heart’s Little Queen album looks hot, then Reclining Centerfold Manqué Confessional Alison tells us Nathan is just someone she’s flirting with to manipulate to get ahead in the game and win $500,000. “Yup, she wants me,” chortles Nathan smugly in the Diary Room on the Couch of Cluelessness. “Nathan may be the biggest meathead I’ve ever met in my life,” declares Reclining Centerfold Manqué Confessional Alison. She says he doesn’t know what the hell’s going on, and he’s messing up his game, but hey - all the better for her! It’s heartening to see, though, that she draws the line at climbing into bed with him and snuggling against his bare chest - and that the live feed recappers certainly could never report that she was having a makeout session with him in said bed. Because again, that might upset that boyfriend back home that she wailed to the high heavens how much she cares about. “Nathan’s a good looking guy, but definitely not weekend or longterm material,” sniffs Reclining Centerfold Manqué Confessional Alison.
Remember those old ads for Scoundrel perfume - “‘How to Build a Fire’ by Joan Collins”? Well, Joan was a wee bit out of their budget, but the Big Brother 4 Players are pleased as punch to present their equivalent, “‘How to Shatter a Glass House’ by Jun, Dana, and Alison. Jun and Dana yammer to us about how the three of them like to have “girl talk,” which is apparently a euphemism for “rip on everyone and everything.” First up is Nathan. Alison bitches that he always brings up church! Dana wants to know if he’s a Mormon - “or what are they in Oklahoma?” Oh, I bet they’re readying the welcome wagon in Enid for her even as we speak. Jun says Nathan’s a Greek god and adorable - every teenage girl’s wet dream! The editors, on the ball tonight, accompany this with a shot of Michelle salivating over Nathan. Alison bitches that Justin wasn’t good in bed (but apparently not bad, per se, either) and makes ugly faces when he climaxes (accompanied by an unflattering shot of Justin wincing) - she had to close her eyes! They then bitch about his cauliflower ear. Dana finds it a turnoff. Alison says lots of girls won’t date him because of it. Oh, well, no, don’t date a guy who might be perfect in all other aspects if his one ear might be a little misshapen. By all means he should chop it off like Van Gogh and fling it into the sea. Ugh - I just know people like that where they won’t date someone if they’re wearing the wrong shoes. I’m not kidding. How shallow can you get?! “You can’t even tell me Jee was decent,” Alison sniffs to Jun. Jun claims he was a freak in bed. “Really?!” says Alison in amazement. Dana tells them she’s starting to get horny and it’s going to be a problem. Oh great - I’m going to have to spray my brain with bleach to get that image out of my mind.
Dave is praised for having a great body, but when Dana suggests Alison get with him, Alison snaps he’s a f**king idiot! Reclining Centerfold Manqué Confessional Alison declares him a nutcase. This is accompanied by footage of David charging the punching bag over and over to attempt to straddle it upside down and falling until he’s finally successful. It’s official. I want a pet Dave around the apartment. Are they easily housebroken, I wonder? “Can you imagine the faces he would make?” dishes Jun. This is accompanied by footage of Dave idly sticking his tongue out in an attempt to amuse himself.
Now it’s onto the girls. Jun notes that Erika’s ass is fine when clothed, but looks awful in a bikini. “It sags,” concurs Dana. “Yeah!” avers Alison. Amanda, Alison says, is only beautiful to an extent. Jun tells us that she’s too skinny and her legs are unattractive. Alison doesn’t think Michelle’s face is all that pretty, while Jun doesn’t think a virgin should go prancing around in tiny bikinis because “if you’re not going to be giving it up you shouldn’t be flashing it that way.” Oh no, of course not - virgins all have to wear Puritanical garb and never be seen in public without a veil. The hell?!?
“As far as Alison goes,” begins Jun as they bring in a dolly crane to get a complete shot of the high horse, “I don’t think she has the prettiest face.” She thinks Alison needs a nosejob while Dana has huge saucer eyes (OK, so she has a point there) and she definitely wouldn’t want her hair - it’s a little frizzy. “Not that I think I’m perfect,” clarifies Helen of Troy. She’s soft and jiggly, but she’s a real woman that kind of way! And I’m sure that’s what everyone else says too - no one would ever think her “jiggly” ass sagged or anything. “Mom, you’re not hearing this at home!” they laugh. Oh, but she is. And I’ll bet she’s beaming with pride instead of looking into ways to go grocery shopping incognito, too. “It’s girl tawk!” concludes Dana; then the three pore over their many modeling offers. Elle or Vogue this month? Decisions, decisions…
Now we get the Montage of Scott Sliding Down The Slippery Slope to Insanity. We’re faced with an onslaught of Inappropriate Scott Quotes from “Enough with the breadcrumbs - can you put the macaroni and cheese in the goddamn oven?” to “I wanna play ‘Chicks Get Naked and ******’!” Jun tells us she can’t stand to be in the same room with him right now. “Scott’s repulsive!” says Alison, the very picture of appealing with her hair completely ratty and unkempt. On the back porch, Dana, Jun, and Robert excitedly talk about using the veto to pull Jee of the block and put Scott up in his place; they think they can get the rest of the Original Eight to go along. Dana stops Jun from going to talk to Nathan about it, saying they’ll “tell him in bed latuh.” Sure enough, we see Nathan’s harem of Dana, Alison, and Jun flanking him in the Head of Household Room. “I’ll show you my sexy pajamas,” threatens Dana. I thought the whole point of this was to attract Nathan to the idea, not repel him. Nathan says he wants Scott out of there too - he doesn’t know how much more of him he can take. He goes to talk to Erika and Jack about the matter, saying that Scott’s gotten worse to the point where the girls feel threatened. Jack wonders if perhaps he could be “rehabilitated” if they talk to him. Nathan thinks that Scott’s just a loose wire waiting to explode. Jack agrees that Scott’s been behaving badly and being disruptive; he and Erika have been trying to talk to him about it. Nathan asks Erika if Scott called her a f**king bitch, then apologizes ten seconds later, would she put up with that if he kept doing it over and over? Erica supposes not. Nathan admits that he could probably put up with the guy, but he’s sick of everyone else coming up to him and bitching and griping about him. “We look to you as our leader,” Jack tells him, making Nathan sound like some kind of Martian. “Scott’s day is definitely numbered,” smiles Nathan in the Diary Room. Aren’t they all? It was Day 5 at the top of the episode. Elsewhere, the Anvil of Foreshadowing gets a mosh pit going and starts slamdancing.
Scott tells us he went to sleep because he was feeling a little depressed over how he let his feelings show for Amanda; it left him feeling weak and vulnerable and he hates feeling that way. Dana tells us he’s been disappearing in the middle of the day for five hour naps for some time now. Michelle notes that you can tell he’s miserable because he sleeps all the time. Scott tells us he feels like he’s trapped in a bad nightmare. He’s sitting on the back porch with Jack and Erika when he starts screaming that he feels like a f**king circus animal for the show: “Turn around! Let the cameras get you from this angle! Let me see the crack of your ass!” Then he continues in an odd cartoony voice, “I’m not an animal - I am a human being.”
Dana’s in the bathroom with Justin, Robert, Jee, and Alison when she starts hearing loud thumps. She tells us she ran to the kitchen and Scott is throwing the kitchen chairs all over. Big Brother orders him to the Diary Room but he shouts, “You come in and get me! You can’t f**king handle me - it’d take three of you!” and runs out to the backyard. Jack and Erika try to talk to him on the human chess court; he tells them he’s just blowing off steam. Inside, Amanda and Dave tell Dana they think Scott was just kidding; Dana snaps that kidding or not, she’s scared and storms off. She tells us that no one felt safe. Outside, Scott tells Jack and Erika he can’t deal with “this whole thing” right now and tells them he wants to throw one of the chess pieces at the window. He picks up the king (which looks to be a good three feet tall) and starts swinging it as they tell him to put it down in alarm. He tells them he was just kidding and puts it back down. Erika tells us it’s a very difficult position to be in for all of them. Amanda tells us he was saying hostile things, but he was grinning or smirking so she didn’t think he was serious. He goes to talk to Amanda and tells her he’s just blowing off steam. Amanda tells us she assumes it all stemmed from his frustrations about her. Amanda tells him she doesn’t get the whole back and forth thing - he loves her, he hates her. He tells her he loves her and the rest is just kidding. Amanda tells him everyone else is freaking out and see him as a threat and he might have to leave. “Good!” he snaps. She asks him why he wants to leave. He tells her he hasn’t been able to deal with her being there. He says he wants to get back together, but obviously she doesn’t want to, so he’ll go on with his life even though it’ll be emptier without her. She says then obviously when he said he enjoyed spending time with her, that was a lie. He says no, it’s mixed emotions - he loves spending time with her but hates it at the same time and he’s freaking out. She doesn’t want him to feel that way and tells him not to throw away his chances because she’ll be leaving soon, and she knows how important this game is to him. He tells her it doesn’t matter to him anymore. In the Diary Room, he tells us he no longer gives a sh*t about the game and in some ways it would be good if he left soon. He shakes Amanda’s hand and thanks her for talking to him.
Nathan then tells us Scott asked him to call a HouseGuest meeting in the living room, so he did. Scott tells them that seeing Amanda has put him into overload because she’s been able to go on with her life but he hasn’t been able to go on with his. Jun’s eating a sandwich and not even paying attention. He says this has been the worst year and a half of his life, but he wants to stay and truly apologizes to each of them. Nathan tells him that a lot of them think this is absolutely the worst environment for him to be in right now, and some of them now feel uncomfortable and threatened by him. For his own well being, it might not be a healthy place for him right now, and he should think about that. I would say those are all valid points. Scott says he’s never raised a hand to anybody. Jun points out that the chair could have bounced off the wall and his somebody. Scott says it didn’t. “But what if,” she asks. He says it also could have hit him. “But there was a chance,” she keeps saying, as he gets more and more agitated and snaps that he’s apologized but he’s not going to stick his head up her ass. What Jun is saying is true on paper, but the thing that got me was that she wasn’t even looking at him or stopping eating while she was talking and it was clearly coming out of a place of self-righteousness and rubbing his nose in it rather than an attempt at discussion. Justin brings up the valid point that Scott keeps apologizing over and over, but it doesn’t stop him from doing the things he needs to apologize for. With that, the meeting ends.
Jun tells us that then Scott was called into the Diary Room and they were told he wasn’t coming back. Amanda, seeming extremely choked up, tells us he really is a good guy, but he really needs to take the time to focus on himself and find out who he is and what he wants and realize that some of the things he shuts down over aren’t the end of the world, and life does go on, and I think she’s right on the money with all of her points.
Dana, Alison, Jun, and Erika regroup in the Head of Household Room and talk about how things will be a lot less pressured from now on. Tomorrow, we’ll find out if Dana uses the Power of Veto and who will be the first regular eviction from the house.
OK. I actually have a lot of thoughts about what happened. First of all, there’s more to the story than the episode let on. When Scott told the others he couldn’t get on with his life, it was because he had genital warts. He didn’t have an outbreak now, he told them, so he wasn’t contagious, but he wasn’t able to bring himself to have sex knowing he had them. Alison flipped out and was convinced she was going to get them and it finally took Amanda, who had actually had intimate contact with Scott while he was contagious, and who certainly had her own issues to deal with what with her ex having fallen apart right before her very eyes, to calm her down and explain that she simply couldn’t get them. Plus, going by the live feed update boards, it may have been that some of the people who claimed to feel the most threatened didn’t feel quite as threatened as they would have us believe. I think that that’s the thing that kind of got to me about this episode: the people who were the most vocal about feeling threatened - Dana, Alison, Jun - were also the people who wanted him gone the most in the first place. So it’s not that there wasn’t any validity to what they were saying, but it did seem a little disingenuous at the same time.
Scott absolutely should have had to leave the house. Primarily, as Nathan said, for his own well-being. It simply was not a healthy environment for him. Which begs the question - how was he even greenlighted to be on the show in the first place? If he was that unstable that he could unravel almost completely within the first week, how could this not have been obvious? I swear, it’s only the first week and already we’ve had two people booted - one before the show even began! Boy, they really had a team of crackerjack experts doing the screening, didn’t they? Ones who got their licenses from CrackerJack boxes, perhaps…
The main thing with Scott is that he clearly needs some major therapy. This is beyond him just being annoying or an a**hole: he’s out of control. He’s not in a healthy frame of mind, his coping mechanisms are nonexistent or shot to hell, and he’s idealizing Amanda to an unhealthy degree. I think it was telling when he told Amanda in this episode that he felt overwhelmed, and the only way he knew how to deal with that was by being an a**hole. A good therapist can teach him other options. And while he may have been right in that he never directly tried to physically harm anybody, Jun was also right in that it could have happened accidentally, even if she was being a self-righteous harpy about it. And in his frame of mind, any promises that things wouldn’t happen again certainly couldn’t be very convincing because he didn’t seem to have any ability to control it. So clearly, for the sake of everyone, he needed to go.
But how the others reacted also spoke volumes about them. You had those who tried to help him and seemed concerned for his well-being: Jack, Erika, and Amanda herself, who would have had every reason in the world not to care. You had those who at least tried to see it from all angles, like Nathan. And you had those who only saw it in terms of how it affected them, like Dana, Alison, and Jun. My respect and rooting value for these people rose and plummeted accordingly. I was particularly impressed with Amanda, who unfortunately more than likely will be rewarded for her efforts with a one-way ticket home. Perhaps it’s just as well though: she really doesn’t seem very into playing the game.
In any event, I hope Scott gets the help he desperately needs, and we’ll see what repercussions this will have in the game.
Brian James is an actor/writer/singer in New York City and the Assistant Editor of RealityNewsOnline. An avid reality show, Passions, early Ryan’s Hope, retro music, and Internet discussion board junkie, he can be found holding up "Will Snark For Food" signs in subway stations as he continues to search for that elusive "day job." Brian would like to stress that his writings are based solely on what he sees in each episode of each show, and realizes that there may sometimes be more to the story and that people may behave quite differently under normal circumstances. Comments and cybertomatoes accepted at BrianJamesRNO@earthlink.net.
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