After avoiding showing any racism all season, CBS finally opts to show a different -ism as one HouseGuest's behavior has both men and women thinking sexist.
In the absence of most of the non-white people in the house (Jessica is the only one left), it looks like "Big Brother" is going to shine the spotlight on some gentle misogyny for a change.
The change isn't that they're showing sexism over racism, but that they're showing an -ism at all. The racism was kept exclusively to the live feeds, so you had to read between the lines and see the first four evictions made up of four of the five people of color in the house to get a sense for what was going on before the editors had their way with the footage.
Remarkably, production has even decided to take off some of that "hero" shine on the Jacks ... well, one of them at least. The bulk of this Head of Household episode focused on reactions in the house to Michie's alpha-male behavior, and particularly the controlling, aggressive, manipulative and dismissive way he talks to and about women.
Remarkably, he is absolutely bold enough to dress down women verbally directly to their faces like they're children. Tonight, we got a montage of him treating Kathryn like a child on more than one occasion, and we're told he snaps and loses his cool at the drop of a dime.
There were also disparaging comments about how he treats women from Analyse and Christie, with the other even lamenting how much he attempts to control Holly. She goes so far as to suggest that Holly is effectively "under his thumb." Even if she wanted to break away and play her own game, he might not let her.
It was an endurance comp, and we saw Jessica and Nicole quickly fall even before Thursday night's live broadcast began. One by one the HouseGuests fell until it was Michie and three women: Kathryn, Analyse and Holly.
He tried to bro himself with pep talks, but had to ultimately settle for fourth place. Hilariously, as soon as he dropped, Kat was happy to follow suit. She really only wanted to beat him to prove to him (and herself) that she could. If he is as sexist as some of the women perceive him to be, than that loss probably stung.
That said he'd already justified and preface his loss by saying it was better designed for the lighter weight of the women in the competition. There may be something to that, but it clearly also took incredibly core strength, mental strength and overall strength, too. Maybe, Michie, you just got beat by three girls. It happens.
Kat has been one of the season's most endearing contestants since the beginning. She says some of the goofiest things and seems to be generally having a good time. But seeing her "conspiracy theory" side fully exposed for the other HouseGuests was an absolute joy. In particular, Cliff seemed to enjoy playing devil's advocate to them.
She subscribed -- or at least was intrigued -- by all the major conspiracy theories including the fake moon landing, aliens in Area 51, Tupack still being alive and even the one where Avril Lavigne died and was replaced by a body double.
There is apparently no theory to wack for Kat to at least consider it, and we could spend hours watching her hold court over one theory or another. Of course we'd need Counter Cliff on hand to offer the opposing viewpoint. Maybe this could be a new show for the live feeds.
Cliff really screwed up the long-term plans of anyone in the game who's not a Six Shooter by doing their dirty work for them in enabling them to backdoor Bella when he had a shot to whittle their numbers down. Instead, they've got full control for another week with Holly in the driver's seat.
Honestly, it doesn't really matter which one of them is in charge for now, as they're all focused on the same two targets. And so, despite Sam's best efforts, it was no surprise at all to see Sam and Nick nominated. If one of them win's POV, we'd expect to see Nicole up as a replacement.
There is a pecking order on the other side of the house and it goes Nick, Sam, Nicole, Cliff, Kathryn and Jessica. That's the order in which they are seen as a threat. Also worth noting, there are six names on that list and yet they continue to refuse to solidify a counter-six to the Six Shooters. Instead, they're hoping the Shooters crumble and they can infiltrate at that point.
Michie is proving a weak point right now, with Christie and Tommy bristling under him. Analyse isn't thrilled with him either, but her showmance Jack is, so that situation is more complicated. Nevertheless, they see the value in keeping their six strong for now until they have a clear numbers advantage, so their total dominance of the game remains rock solid.
Jack continues to sit at the top of the Six Shooter alliance, and it sometimes seems like the rest of the house is just ready to give him the money already. CBS continues to give him the "hero" edit, too, so they're clearly thinking we're all stuck with him for awhile, too, if not all the way to the end. Grade: A
Christie is playing a brilliant game. Socially she has relationships throughout the house, and she talks just enough game with everyone to keep herself highly informed. She also still has her power, and appears to be flexible enough to be ready to make a move when she needs to. Plus, she has her plus one in Tommy, and since no one worries about power couples on this show anymore, that's a voting bloc she can count on. Grade: A
Holly emerged with some serious cred after taking that epic endurance HOH, and she's managing to make a big move without seeming to make a move at all, considering Nick and Sam are the obvious targets. She gets to build her case at the end without really making any enemies in the house and she's in the power alliance. Her only weak link could be Michie, should the house turn on him. Grade: B+
Analyse continues to play a very quiet game, but she lasted almost as long as Holly did up there. Both women have proven themselves incredible competitors, and there's something to be said for playing in the shadow of your big old target showmance. Analyse has yet to step out in a major way, but for now, that may be alright, so long as she can justify it to the jury. Grade: B
Jessica is floating through the middle of this game and absolutely everyone has forgotten about her. For now, this is a good place to be. She is a number if anyone needs it and as she has no public allegiances, she can promise herself to anyone at any time. At some point, she'll need to step up and do something in the game, but she's certainly positioned solid enough for now. Grade: B-
Kathryn is another player largely being ignored by the house, though she's proven she can win a competition. Mostly, it looks like she's still being underestimated, which she could well use to her advantage. She is also on the outs of the power alliance, which could prove useful when they decide to turn one one another. Grade: B-
Michie is slowly dropping to the bottom of the Six Shooters based on his own behavior in the house. Jack and Holly may be his only true allies left, which means when they do finally turn on one another, he'll be the biggest target in the house. Especially as the other half dislikes him as well. It's a bed he's made for himself, so we'll see how long before he has to lie in it. Grade: C
Cliff bought himself two weeks, but he's kidding himself if it'll be much longer. We haven't lost faith that he can pull something off as he's a wily player, but he may have blown his game by choosing to honor his deal with Christie and keeping the Six Shooters six strong. Please explain how couples and power alliances are allowed to run unchecked in this game these past several seasons? Grade: C
Nicole is seen as a much bigger threat than she is, which isn't good at all for her game. All of her alliances have failed thus far and she's not won anything. That said, she is savvy and clever, so if there is a way to exploit a weakness, she may well find it. But she'll have to move before they decide to just get rid of her as the epic game threat she isn't. Grade: D+
Sam is a great strategic thinker and competitor, but he got on the wrong side of friendships. He was never in Gr8ful, so his days were numbered, and this is a group that takes things very personally. Eliminating Isabella won't be done for them until both Nick and Sam are gone and there is no sign of her at all on anyone's faces. It's a scorched earth mentality that could backfire if the one doing it are on the bottom of that six-person totem pole (you know someone is). Grade: D-
Nick is the easy target, and even the bottom side of the house is so afraid of the Six Shooters, they won't step up to try and change his fate. A POV win is the only thing that could save him this week, but he's going to need to go on a run long enough for the Shooters to forget Isabella, or do some smooth talking, if he doesn't want to head straight back for the block.
"My HOH didn't go necessarily as planned. Even though I didn't get Jack out, the silver lining is I do think I've gotten some inroads with that group." -Cliff (they used you, dude!)
"The way I see it, there's the big group in the house that quite frankly are acting like tyrants. I feel that Nick or Sam would take a shot at them, and that's great for my game." -Nicole (rooting for HOH victors)
"I don't want to sound like a thousand percent petty, but i am." -Kat (wanting to target Michie for being awful to women and her)
"I don't need anybody. Nobody else can win this one for me." -Michie (alpha male bro-couragement)
"Jackson if it means anything, if you keep hanging out here long enough, I mean by the time we're done, you'll be able to talk." -Jack"Don't talk. Don't talk." -Michie
"Michie goes down, so I know that I beat him, which means that I basically won the game ... at least the game that I was playing with myself. So, I'm out bitches." -Kathryn
"Michie literally has an opinion about everything. And poor Holly, she's just like under his thumb. Like if she won HOH, I feel like it would just be Michie's HOH. This is Michie's world and we're all just living in it." -Christie
"I'm trying to get a conversation going with Holly about dropping but Michie keeps interrupting. Shut up, Michie!" -Analyse
"Holly, don't budge." -Michie"I'm not budging, I'm just thinking." -Holly"Nooo. Keep on hanging in there." -Michie"Holly, you do whatever you want." -Analyse
"Attagirl." -Michie (after Holly wins)
"I've been trying so hard to play it low-key and fly under the radar, but at the same time I knew at some point I wanted to show my own strength. So I just did that." -Holly (after HOH win)
"Holly and I are extremely close and I want to give her food for thought and just help her look at things." -Michie (after Holly's HOH win)
"I'm f----d!" -Nick (after Holly's HOH win)
"Michie has to, like, watch what he says to people." -Holly"And how he talks to women." -Tommy
"We're not allowed to shower for four days." -Christie (Poison ivy punishment with Tommy)"God, your pheromones are going to be popping." -Nick"Oh my god, I hate you!" -Christie