Big Brother recap: Live and Let Cry
Big Brother recap: Live and Let Cry

I like to imagine Paul in mid-May, several months deep into a marathon planning session. An entire wall of his home is covered in an elaborate webbed decision tree, a choose-your-own-bearded-adventure guide to winning Big Brother. This Paul is a more careful Paul than the man who came in second in Big Brother 18. This Paul has spent fall, winter, and spring planning for every eventuality, has mapped out several dozen clear paths to victory.

But while Paul patiently tattoos every step of this 972-point plan on his body, just like the dude from Prison Break, a thought occurs to him.

“What if,” Paul thinks to himself, “anyone this season has half a brain?”

Or, maybe, never. For here we are, coming down to the final two weeks of Big Brother. Everyone inside the house trusts Paul, and everyone inside the house knows Paul would never betray them. “It doesn’t get much better than to have a team like Paul or Alex,” says Jason, the cowboy fool on the block, walking patiently into his own eviction. “I don’t feel like it could be a better scenario for myself.”

Paul can imagine a better scenario. He doesn’t just want Jason out. He wants the blame spread around, so there’s no blood on his hands. Fortunately, Christmas thirsts for blood, lives for the heat. She says she doesn’t mind sending Jason out of the house after a tiebreaker vote — a tiebreaker that is specifically designed to protect Paul.

“I have my doubts about this plan!” poor Josh confides to us. Josh isn’t taking it too well. Casually hot-tubbing with his friend Jason, he begins to cry, imagining how it will feel to hold the knife mid-backstab. Jason shrugs, probably assuming that Josh is crying because the water is too hot, or too cold, or maybe Josh just thought about that scene from Toy Story 3. “Don’t tell nobody I had a moment,” says Josh. The poor man’s stuck in a moment he can’t get out of, just like the lonesome kicker in that U2 song about football.

Josh is sad about blindsiding Jason. And this is a true blindside, totally unforeseen by either blockhead. For his final speech, Jason cracks wise, while Kevin bashfully thanks Julie for being a gracious host. They both think the writing is on the wall. But the writing is in invisible ink. And the wall…is an attacking demon-dragon wall! Josh and Raven cast votes against Jason, leading Christmas to send Jason home.

Jason storms out, not even bothering to say goodbye to anyone. He can’t even grasp how it happened; he tells Julie, somewhat incoherently, that he assumed Alex and/or Paul had turned against him. He seems to glimpse the possibility of Paul being the ultimate source of his anguish. (It doesn’t help that Josh tearfully declares that Paul “came up with an elaborate plan.”)

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