A lot of ground is covered in this episode of Big Brother 18. Two major twists come to an end, as a juror returns to the game and the last Care Package is delivered. In a house of only seven people, a second final four deal is hatched. Throughout all this turmoil, Michelle doesn’t even cry once. Still, the most shocking thing about this episode is that for the first time ever on Big Brother 18, Nicole finally starts playing the game. Sadly, this doesn’t stop her whining any more than usual, but it is baby steps in the right direction.

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A Victorious Victor and a Silly Deal

It’s the most important Head of Household competition so far as Big Brother 18 gives evicted houseguests yet another chance to come back into the house. Unfortunately, the jurors (and Victor) don’t make much of their second (or third) chance. Barely 15 minutes into the competition, Da’Vonne and Zakiyah decide to go all Thelma and Louise on us. They grasp hands and jump off the wall knowing that they can’t win. This is probably true, but they could have tried longer than the length of a Julie Chen exit interview to get another chance at the prize. Bridgette is a similar disappointment, but she doesn’t commit Big Brother suicide by exiting; she just naturally slips.

It is all down to Paulie and Victor. In true Paulie fashion, he thinks he has this competition in the bag, but he’s sadly mistaken. Paulie’s arms and legs are shaking like he is doing the Riverdance on the wall, and it tells a very different story from his bragging. Paulie, mercifully, ends up finally slipping. This leaves Victor as the last juror standing. Victor enters the house for a second time after being evicted! Though Victor quickly follows Paulie off the ledge and out of the running for Head of Household, he has made Big Brother history, for whatever that is worth. 

As you would expect from this competition, though, the last two remaining are the two shortest houseguests (competing), James and Nicole. James has been many things on Big Brother 18, and most of them have been annoying. The one thing James hasn’t been is especially smart. James, for whatever reason, decides that Nicole is trustworthy. James makes a deal with Nicole to ensure that Natalie and him are safe for the week. If James drops, Nicole will keep them safe. Nicole agrees, so James bows out and Nicole wins Head of Household. Seconds after it is over, Nicole is already sharpening her knife to plunge deep into James’ back. 

Another Week, Another Alliance for Nicole

This isn’t just the standard Nicole disloyalty, though. It is in the sense that Nicole has not kept an alliance for more than a week’s worth of episodes, but she has actual cause to break her deal now. Before Victor’s eviction, James moronically spilled that Natalie was considering keeping Victor over Corey … right in front of Corey and Nicole. Knowing that her final four deal with James, Natalie and Corey is built on a house of lies, Nicole worries about keeping James and Natalie safe.

Paul and Victor come to Nicole and Corey and propose an alternate solution. They strike a deal saying that the trio of James, Michelle and Natalie cannot be trusted and they need to be evicted. Victor and Paul are only too happy to help. Nicole, in her obsessive desire to have final four deals with nearly everyone in the house, agrees to a final four plan with Paul and Victor. Nicole is on a steady regiment of endgame alliances and high-pitched whining in the Big Brother 18 house. If it’s working for her, though, who am I to judge?

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A Useless Care Package for a Useless Player

Paul and Victor make the deal with Nicole and Corey to save themselves, but they are also assuming that one of them will get the last America’s Care Package. They think they will have leverage and power. They are stone-cold wrong. Corey wins the Care Package and the (useless) power that comes with it. The only possible explanation is that all the sensible fans split their votes between Paul and Victor. This allowed the truly deranged ones to sneak in and give Corey the power. 

Fittingly, though, the last Care Package is just as boring as Corey. Corey is given $5,000 by America that he can use to bribe someone to do anything in the house. To be clear, the chosen houseguest doesn’t have to do what Corey wants them to do; they are just persuaded by the money. So Corey’s power is like what’s in between his ears — virtually nothing.

While Corey wants to use this power for dumb things like pranks, Nicole tries to keep him focused on gameplay. I assume this is an impossible task because I’m reasonably sure Corey’s mind is a revolving door of aimless thoughts concerning Christmas, baseball, dogs and how Paulie looked in his short shorts. 

The Final Four

Though Paul and Victor don’t get the Care Package, Nicole is still willing to work with them. She wants Michelle out of the house, and she wants to keep her deals with James and Natalie intact. She would also like to keep Victor and Paul’s loyalty. In a stunning move, Nicole actually starts to think for the first time on Big Brother 18. She strikes a pawn deal with Paul to go up against Michelle, which keeps everyone happy. 

Paul agrees, and the final four deal is solidified. Nicole wants to come up with a clever name for the alliance, but Paul is tired of the nicknames. He just wants to be the Final Four and leave it at that. Nicole and Corey agree, but that’s mostly because Corey is amazed that anyone can count as high as four. 

At the nomination ceremony, Paul and Michelle are nominated and no one is surprised. Nicole is ecstatic that her plan is working so far, but she is already contemplating back-dooring either James or Natalie after the Veto. I never thought I’d anticipate Nicole going back on her word, but just in terms of sheer drama value, I’d love to see that happen. 

Big Brother 18 airs Sundays and Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 9pm on CBS.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.