Big Brother 4, September 19: I Remember Nauseaby Brian James -- 09/21/2003
OK. So Mary was upset that Jack punched Johnny after Johnny took a swing at him, so she decided to stay with Jill to collect her thoughts, where Jack tracked her down and gave her an engagement ring on the advice of Jumbo Marino. She accepted and they broke the news to Maeve, then prepared to tell Johnny. Meanwhile, Jill was livid when Seneca -
What? Sigh. You’re sure I can’t just recap Ryan’s Hope instead? I can guarantee you it’s more interesting than a recap of this episode.
Sigh. OK. “Paradise Hotel is full of surprises! HALLO, LOS ANGELEEEEEEES!” So while Amy was being the screeching harpy from hell, Charla -
Crap - you’re paying attention. No, huh? Sigh. It’s just that basically, this episode is a glorified clip show designed to stall and kill time because CBS ordered an extra week of this show a while back. (That’s also why lately there have only been two episodes a week.) So not only am I going to be recapping things that have already happened, but in most cases I’m going to be recapping things I personally have already recapped - and it’s a nice day outside and I have more pressing things to do. Like watching paint peel.
On the other hand, it’s my last recap of the season and it’s not like you’ve never done anything to me, so I’ll endure the tedium so you don’t have to. Don’t say I never did anything for you.
OK. One last time into the abyss!
“Alison CUT A DEAL with ROBERT!” thunders Stock Booming Melodramatic Announcer #38. Yeah. That worked out well. “Robert tried to THREATEN the girls!” he booms. Substitute “throttle” for “threaten” in that sentence and most of America would have been cheering him on. “HOW will Jun and Alison GET ALONG ON THEIR OWN?” he wonders. Judging by the way they start dancing around and singing, “It’s our house! It’s our house!” I think they’ll do just fine. “What are the jury members THINKING?” he demands. Good question.
Tonight, we’re back to the original credits with David and Michelle placed at the beginning instead of at the end and everyone’s name and picture displayed. Except for Scott - the producers apparently think that if they don’t acknowledge he existed, why then, we’ll forget he existed too! Scott Weintraub: the Snuffleupagus of Big Brother 4.
Alison evicts Robert again and tells us she thinks she was a little too harsh on him with her eviction speech and feels bad as she was basically sending him home with nothing. That’s interesting. I wonder if she started getting paranoid that people would see her Diary Room interviews? Jun, however, has no such qualms, telling us that the hardest thing for her was refraining from skipping and singing. Which, on the one hand, is displaying more of that storied compassion and empathy we’ve come to expect from her, but on the other hand, if Robert didn’t go, she would have, so that no doubt plays into it as well. She goes on to say that he wasn’t a man and that a real man wouldn’t have weaseled through the way he did. She, of course, has every right to display such disdain, being that she’s been completely forthright and loyal in this game. SMASH! go the windows of Jun’s glass house.
Literally the second Robert exits the house, Jun and Alison start hugging and giggling as some song that sounds an awful lot like “Best Of My Love” by the Emotions but has just enough differences to avoid paying royalty fees plays jubilantly in the background. Yup, Alison’s clearly torn up inside, the poor dear. “As soon as he walked out the door, it was the most amazing feeling EVER!” she gloats to us. OK, Sybil. They shriek in horror as they note that he apparently never washed his sheets, then go running around the house, bouncing on the beds, etc. “I know my parents are going CRAZY right now!” Alison shrieks. The same ones that were practically BEAMING as they were like, “Yeah, she's an old pro at lying, scheming, misleading, and backstabbing - that's our little girl!” in the last episode? Probably so. Jun brings up the jury members and Alison says she’s worried about what they’re thinking. As she should be, quite frankly. She goes on to say that she has no idea where they’re being sequestered.
On that note, the Jury House is finally identified as being in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; or at least if it’s been identified as having been there previously I’ve missed it. The jury members, except for Robert, troop in on cue and file around the kitchen table for dinner. “Last one, guys,” says Jack. “Can you believe it?” asks Dana. Gee, this doesn’t seem staged. On cue, we get the obligatory Pre-Clip Show What This Experience Has Meant To Me confessional essays. Jack tells us this has been the experience of a lifetime. Nathan tells us there was a lot of wacky stuff that happened - more than he can count on his fingers and toes! Which, I have no doubt, is his customary counting method. Erika tells us you can’t understand how emotional it was - especially with the X-Factor thrown at them. Dana will never, ever, ever forget this experience and it’s changed her fer shure! Like, how totally bitchin’! Justin says that they made it to sequester and have a say in who wins the game, so they haven’t lost anything! Except their dignity, perhaps.
Oh God, here comes the Contrived And Forced Reminiscences portion. Basically, if you’ve ever seen a sitcom retrospective, you know how this goes. Everyone sits around the main set, there’s often some kind of photo album involved, and the dialogue is all of the ilk of, “Say! Remember when Blah Blah did blee blee; it all started when CLIP?” “I’ll never forget that - and speaking of things I’ll never forget, what about when Bluh Bluh did bloo bloo, CLIP?” In any case, Justin is the first to have the producers point a gun at his head just out of camera range - er, gets the ball rolling - by reading, “Remember the first night?” off the cue cards. “I remember your face when you saw the exes coming in - you didn’t look too happy!” reads Erika to Nathan from hers. We see a clip of everyone wildly overreacting when Julie announced their exes would be joining them, although thankfully we’re spared the “In a SHOCKING TWIST KNOWN AS THE X-FACTOR” commentary. Various jury members to us: Yak yak shocked surprised and/or relieved theirs didn’t show up. Here’s Jee fretting to us about what His Girl Carmen (I think that’s her legal name based on him continually referring to her as such) might think about him being there with Jun; here’s Jun telling us she felt sick, then pissed off, then announcing she was leaving the room to go vomit. Justin tells us he wondered if it was just a coincidence. Clip of everyone milling around and trying to figure out whose ex is whose. Aha! Scott sighting! Here’s Jun and Erika hugging and commiserating, here’s Robert telling us Erika isn’t being the bitch she can be, and - oh, good God, here’s Alison sobbing and wailing to the high heavens about what her poor boyfriend at home will think! Yeah. THAT inhibited her for all of five nanoseconds. Want to laugh even more hysterically? Let’s revisit Alison’s official preshow interview:
How do you plan to win BIG BROTHER?
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That ranks right up there with “I am not a crook!”
Anyway, moving along, Jack’s talking about the general youth of the house brings us to a clip show of how people ran around half-naked, complete with drooling commentary from Nathan, Dana saying it was practically a nudist colony, and Jack sharing that he spent the summer counting the polka dots on Erika’s teeny red bikini. Oh eek - they HAD to revisit Jun’s mesh top, didn’t they? Thank God that thing got burned. Justin shares that there were a couple “sexy moments” in the house and relives a “sweet and sour” moment for him (as opposed to a “hot mustard” moment?!?): Alison and Michelle wearing the lettuce bikinis. It was sweet seeing Michelle in next to nothing, but seeing Alison wearing next to nothing right next to her made him want to puke! Heh. Jack shares that they wanted to kill David for ripping Michelle’s bikini off and forcing her to cover up. Next, we see some unseen footage of the HouseGuests playing “Pass the Potato” at Jun’s suggestion; Dana chimes in that Jun was very creative and came up with all kinds of games. Basically, the object is to pass the potato from one person’s neck to the other without dropping it and with no hands, making for some rather intimate contact in the process. Odd pairings abound: David and Jun, Jack and Michelle, etc.
Jack rather abruptly switches the focus to the erstwhile “Dream Team,” noting that the exes were originally “three strong players.” (Well, plus Amanda and Michelle, but they pretty much turned out to be ciphers in the grand scheme of things.) He reminds us they fought very hard to stay in the house, which is our cue to see Jee winning the second Head of Household competition. Nathan and Justin both share with us that that was the polarizing moment that made everyone have to choose a side. Once again, Jee assures Michelle that if he puts her up as a pawn against Erika, she’ll be safe. Bwah! Jee shares that all the other HouseGuests assured him they were all behind him in wanting to vote out Erika! Jee apparently has quite the selective memory, because I distinctly remember recapping that practically the entire house converged on Jee to try to talk him into letting Dave use the veto so they could put up Dana in Erika’s place. If Jee didn’t deduce from that that they perhaps weren’t enthusiastic about evicting Erika, then he’s a complete moron. Wait - why am I making that an “if/then” statement? Nathan shares that he couldn’t wait to turn the tables on Jee; we see Jack assuring Jee that Erika needs to be evicted. Hee! Jee once again assures Michelle she’s safe; Michelle chirps, “Of course! The Head of Household says something and everyone follows!” Proving once again that evicting Michelle was like evicting Bambi. And evicted again she is, giving us a chance to revisit the classic “D’oh!” expressions on the Stooges’ faces. Jee tells us he felt incredibly guilty because he honestly thought Michelle was safe; Justin says that was the biggest surprise he experienced in the Big Brother house, and Dana shares that it was tough to hold the truth back from the Stooges because she already felt kind of allied with them. Jee tells us he felt shocked and humbled. But apparently not enough to avoid making similarly stupid decisions his second go-round as Head of Household.
Back at the dinner table, Jack and Erika lead the table in reminiscing about Dave. Jack says he was definitely the funniest guy in the house and Erika points out that he may have played the goofball, but he definitely wasn’t stupid as he was the best at chess. Cue Dave’s Greatest Hits montage - hanging upside down off the punching bag, etc. While I’m happy to see him, I really didn’t need the reminder that at one point there were likeable people in the game. Ah well - at least the bulk of this episode is spent with the jury, who actually seem to all be getting along. Heck, even Dana seems a lot more bearable now - probably because she no longer has a reason to run around like a wild-eyed paranoiac. (The apparent regular - ahem - “cardio” probably doesn’t hurt either.) Justin points out that there were a lot of wacky moments in the house, which cues the General Wacky Moment Clip Montage, showing us things like Justin accidentally beaming Jee with a ping pong paddle, Nathan attempting to shake his booty, and Jun demonstrating “how Korean girls dance.”
Jack shares that he remembers Jee getting drunk one night because the Stooges deliberately gave him too much to drink; Jee elaborates that it was the night they were celebrating Justin winning Head of Household and he was coming off a week of PB&J so he didn’t have much in his stomach. We see Jee get all blurry and double-visioned as he downs his drink. Heh. Good one, editors. In general, while I had the usual gripes about some things being predictable, hamfisted, or distorted from what actually happened on the feeds, I have to say that the editors overall did a good job of creating an entertaining silk purse out of a sow’s ear with fun little moments like that. Tipsy Jee staggers around, falls into the bathtub, slurs he’s not drunk, apparently attempts to do the bunny hop, and snaps at Justin, “Shut up, you little hobbit!” Heh. Tipsy Jee is definitely a lot more entertaining than Regular Jee; why couldn’t he have stuck around?
Erika reminisces (to us, not the other jury members, you’ll note) that the funniest moment for her in the house was making the movie that lampooned Dana, Nathan, Justin, and Jack, saying that Robert’s Nathan was one of the funniest things she’s ever seen! I have to admit that both that and seeing Jee waddle around as Dana in that robe and wig still crack me up. On a more somber note, Jack tells us that Jee’s memorial for his father was the most touching moment in the house as we revisit it in clips. Among other things, we see Alison once again be supportive and ask Jee if he needs anything, even though according to the live feed updates she made fun of the whole thing behind his back.
“OK, so I cried a lot! Go ahead - get it over with!” laughs Erika at the dinner table. Jack points out that all the girls cried a lot. This brings us to the Great Crying Montage - Alison, Erika, Jun, Michelle daintily dabbing her tears so as not to ruin her mascara, etc. More Alison overdramatic wailing. Dana tells us that Alison cries at the drop of a dime and she doesn’t get how people cry so easily. That doesn’t mean that the editors don’t have a clip of Dana herself with tears running down her cheek, mind you. MORE Alison wailing. “We had so many drama queens in the house it was unbelievable!” sniffs Nathan as if he’s somehow excluded from that statement. Alison in particular, he says, seemed to cry every few seconds, which is the cue for us to see the Alison Overreacts About Her Ring Cutting Her Montage. Apparently while participating in the food challenge in which they had to pair off in teams and dress up as the different food items, Alison’s ring got embedded in her skin. Jun sniffs to us that she was all ready to be “Banana of the Year” when everything had to stop because Alison got hurt; Nathan thought that she broke her finger from the way she was wailing about her hand. Erika calls for a medic. Alison sniffles that she’s sorry; they assure her it’s not her fault, but quite frankly, it is for not bothering to remove her jewelry. Injury risk aside, look at all the high drama and bother that ensued last year when Amy lost her ring during another competition. “Drama queen Ali strikes again!” Justin declares. Alison protests to us that she didn’t cry and that Erika is the one who called for medical attention, not her, but this would seem to be directly contradicted by shots of her running around the kitchen dabbing at her face and doing a remarkable imitation of a factory whistle. She tells us the medics cut the ring off and she could feel the metal snap underneath her skin. Justin says that when he saw her finger afterwards, as much as she protested that the ring went through her skin, the bottom line was that it was two tiny pricks that weren’t even bleeding, so the whole thing was a load of horsesh*t. Heh.
Jack points out that Robert also cried a lot, and we get the obligatory Robert Crying Montage. Justin feels that the most touching moment in the house was Robert getting the letter from his daughter Elena for winning America’s Choice. Once again, Elena reads her letter out loud simultaneously with a sobbing Robert as the footage jumps back and forth between the two. Erika tells us that Robert’s very emotional so his crying never surprised her; she truly believes he was miserable being separated from his daughter. Indeed, it seems like every time he cried was directly related to missing her. Nathan tells us he doesn’t blame Robert for letting his emotions show; in fact, he respects him for it. Jack was happy that Robert won the letter - not just for him, but because he felt it was important for Elena to be able to communicate with her dad as well. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - think what you will of Robert, but Elena is absolutely adorable, which is why I’m still kind of pissed that Alison and Jun were ripping on her and calling her a bitch on the live feeds. I mean, rip on Robert all you want, but leave the poor kid out of it. There are just some lines you don’t cross.
Dana tells us the competitions were much more than she expected, leading us to the Wacky Competition Montage. Here’s the food competition in which Jack was a strawberry, Robert a big wiener, and Nathan a big chicken; here’s the luxury competition with the spinning chair where Jee smacked into a wall and Jack fell and made his head bleed (it’s explained to us that Jack has a problem with spinning and can’t even handle merry-go-rounds); here’s the clambake FROM HELL in which we see Alison bitch about the octopus but thankfully are spared her braying, “EVERYBODY EATS GEFILTE FISH!”; and I realize I recapped almost all of these. Dana reminisces about the first luxury competition, “Shiny Hiney,” in which they had to get in a pool and rub gelatin all over each other, and I honestly am blanking on this one; it looks like it was the one to get access to the hot tub. OK - they did show it and I even saw the episode. I must be getting senile. Jee sums it up by saying that the competitions were what they all looked forward to the most.
Sign up for Big Brother 5 and you too could live with the likes of Alison and Jun! Don’t everybody run at once.
Jee’s back up with narration duty and tells us that there were some disagreements in the house, leading to the Fight Montage. “Spilling everything all over the f**cking place! What the f**k do I look like - the Chinese f**king cleaning lady?” bitches Jun as she cleans the refrigerator (if I remember correctly, Nathan and Alison were the culprits). Here’s Alison and Nathan boxing and Nathan chortling that he thinks there’s sexual tension involved. Here’s Michelle telling David he needs to walk away right now before she takes all this s**t and dumps it on his head because she’s so mad at him she can’t even finish the sentence without laughing! Here’s Justin calling Alison a liar and the ensuing screaming match. Here’s f**king Jun and f**king Jee f**king telling each other to f**king shut the f**k up, f**k it all to f**k in the Big Brother 4 Players’ version of Who’s F**king Afraid of F**king Virginia F**king Woolf? And here’s Nathan calling Jun a snake and clashing with Alison the week he was nominated.
Jack, saddled with the “Transition” cue card, points out that while there were a lot of fights, there was also a lot of love and romance; you put young attractive people in such close physical proximity and things are bound to happen! Such things as Justin and Alison horsing around in the bathroom, Amanda and David kissing in the storage room, Nathan and Alison cuddling in bed, Nathan and Michelle in bed (I’d forgotten Nathan had a little harem way back when the show first started), yadda yadda. “I’m tired of this camera!” declares Nathan as he pulls the covers completely over him and Alison. Jack tells us that initially, the strongest relationship was between David and Amanda, leading to a David And Amanda Montage. We see Nathan come outside where Amanda is telling David he’s nervous as hell and announce they have the Head of Household Room for the night and put the key around David’s neck. “Why aren’t you going to touch me? Can I touch you?” asks David of Amanda. Clearly the answer would seem to be “yes” as they grab their wine, head inside, and we see THE SEX clip for the 9,427th time. Erika tells us she thinks the biggest romance in the house was between Justin and Dana, prompting a Justin And Dana Montage. Erika tells us you could cut the sexual tension with a knife; Justin and Dana admit there was definite chemistry. Dana tells us once again that Justin is her “breath of fresh air in this house,” which is all the funnier because the accompanying clip shows him wearing THOSE shorts.
“Alison snuggled up with just about every man in the house!” declares Jee; he questions why, if she supposedly loves Donnie so much, is she jumping in bed with every guy in the house and giving them kisses? Donnie probably would like to hear that answer as well - if he’s even talking to her at all at this point. We see clips of Alison kissing Justin and snuggling in bed with David and Nathan. Jack tells us Alison had some “nice touchy feely smacky lippy spit swapping moments” with Nate. Heh. We see the two of them in bed together kissing (“Let’s hide!” he says as he pulls the covers over their head) and having dinner together in the backyard (I’m gonna git yew drunk!” he chortles). Justin calls Alison out on trying to seduce him as she crawls between his legs in the hot tub. You know what’s even squickier than the Alison: Black Widow Of Big Brother 4 Montage? Picturing her parents watching it and beaming, “Yup, she’s using her assets!” Jack gets the last word in by saying that Alison had fun with all the guys in the house - except him! I certainly hope he’s looking upon that as a positive thing.
Jack and Jee start yakking about twists and we once again see Jee illustrate Things Not To Do On Big Brother as he accepts the PB&J Condemning Golden Power of Veto. Jee tells us that that was the biggest twist in the game to him, although he refers to it as that he “had to take that deal from Julie.” Somehow, the other HouseGuests didn’t feel similarly obligated or pressured. Once again, the HouseGuests are disgusted at the news and Robert kicks cushions around. Jack tells us the feeling in the house was, “OK, Jee - you can take this veto now, but you’ll be gone in a week” - and sure enough, he was! Back around the kitchen table, Jee looks rather sheepish and Erika reads off her cue card that the veto changed everything this year. Dana, never one to pass up an opportunity to harp on the topic, shares that she almost shed a tear when she had to put David on the block because Nathan vetoed Alison. She’ll probably still be bitching about it in the nursing home. As the next stop on the Grinding The Ax With Dana Tour, she tells us, “Alison should have been out Week 3; the fact that Alison is still in the house - I truly, wholeheartedly blame that on Nathan.” On the one hand - Dana? Let. It. Go. On the other? Yeah - damn you, Nathan! What would this game have been like if Alison had gone that week and Dave had stayed? The mind reels.
We’re hitting the Wrapping It Up Final Summarizing Thoughts segment as Dana tells the group that being a big fan of the show and having watched the previous seasons, you underestimate just how difficult the game is and what a mental and psychological game it is. Jack says he thinks they’d all do it again. “NO!” Erika quickly laughs. Justin provides us with some unintentional guffaws when he tells the group that he thinks that even the final two would agree that what’s even more important than the $500,000 is the connections and friendships they’ve made. Er - he does know who the final two are, right? The editors, on the ball as usual, show slo-mo footage of Alison and Jun cackling, dancing, and gloating throughout Justin’s whole little epiphany. The jury members all toast to their experience.
A series of shots of the jury members packing follows. Jury members to us: Yak yak difficult decision handing over $500,000 want right person to win considering everything not letting emotions interfere can’t forget final two made it further than them. They file out of the jury house and Jee, as the last one, closes the door and chirps, “Later!” Er… where are they going, exactly, this early? And does this mean Robert never made it down there? Oh, I give up.
Alison squeals as she enters the storage room and sees her Head of Household goodies (they apparently didn’t bother putting them in the actual room, although whether that’s because it’s the final Head of Household in general or because it’s Alison specifically is anyone’s guess); among other things she gets elephant slippers and a photo of her parents. She starts up with the melodramatic sobs as she reads a letter from her mom that says that she talks to Donnie all the time and he’s doing fine. Jun tells us that she feels like she has a better than 50/50 chance of winning because she thinks she has an advantage over Alison. Alison says that she and Jun both have exes, friends, and enemies on the jury, so it’s a tough call. Jun feels good about leaving it in the jury’s hands; Alison knows she’s guaranteed $50,000 but she’s wishing and hoping and thinking and praying that it’s $500,000! Jun tells us the best move she ever made was making an alliance with Alison because now they’re both in the final two and it’s their house! Alison and Jun both agree, however, that they’d gladly give up any amount of money for the wonderful experiences they’ve had and friendships they’ve made there.
Whoa! I was just kidding about that last part! Didn’t mean to make you choke on your Coke, there!
Stock Booming Melodramatic Announcer #38 promises that Wednesday’s final live episode will be ONE INCREDIBLE NIGHT OF LIVE, HEARTSTOPPING THRILLS! Oh, cram it - unless they’ve decided to go all The Most Dangerous Game and give the jury guns with which to hunt Jun and Alison down in the backyard, it’s just basically going to be a bunch of people sitting and yakking. First, the jury returns to confront the final two and cast their votes! Then they’ll watch “THE ENTIRE SEASON!” and call each other out in a “NO HOLDS BARRED FREE-FOR-ALL!” Then, the jury’s votes and the winner of Big Brother 4 are revealed! All this is supposedly happening in one hour of live television, mind you.
So who do I want to win? It’s probably not much of a shock to you, but at this point, I’m hoping it will be…
I explain my reasoning in detail in our upcoming RNO Big Brother 4 roundtable article.
Like I said, this is my last recap of the season, and honestly, I’ve spent the bulk of the summer recapping two shows and doing Assistant Editor duties here and having a full-time job on top of it. Therefore, at this point, while I may contribute an occasional column here and there, I’m taking a lengthy and well-deserved break from having a regular column or covering a show. Thanks to everyone who wrote in with compliments and your views on the season - I greatly appreciated it. In the meantime, while I may not be writing regularly for a while, you can still email me if you have any questions for me or want to know my take on any of these shows. And always remember - if you read the phrase “Jun/Alison” aloud, it sounds like you’re invoking the name of the spokeswoman for Depends Undergarments.
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, Brian would like to stress that his writings are based solely on what he sees in each episode of each show and he realizes 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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