We join the HoH competition already in progress, and while we see everyone hanging from their individual chains, Matt explains the two factions in the house: himself, Ryan, Natalie, Sheila, and Adam; with James, Chelsia, Joshuah, and Sharon on the other side. James is still pissy about being voted out, and is determined to win the competition to win back his dignity. Because if you're feeling short on dignity, the best place in the world to get a fresh one would naturally be the Big Brother house. Chelsia DRs post-eviction that you can't trust anyone else in the game, and she feels very alone now. She has nothing left of James but the pink streak she put in her hair. Flash to the moment when Julie announced James's eviction, as we see James telling everyone to stay seated. Josh and Adam and Sharon DR about how bad they felt, while Ryan and Matt say they were glad to see him go.
And now let's rehash the fact that three people -- Sheila, Ryan, and Matt -- voted for the mystery houseguest to return instead of James. Adam says he voted to bring James back because he felt bad about voting him out in the first place, and Natalie says it was a way to give her word back to Matt. Out on the dangling chains that make up the HoH competition, Matt has the nerve to remind that they voted James back in, but James feels like he's got to stay in it to avoid going right back on the block. Adam drops off after 15 minutes of dangling, placing the blame squarely on his "fat ass." Josh lets go some time later, similarly attributing his failure to the "junk in [his] trunk." After 40 minutes, Matt's starting to feel the pain, and he drops out, relying on Natalie and Sheila to hang in there and represent their alliance. After some more dangling, Sheila comes clean with James and tells him that she voted for the mystery houseguest because she thought it might be Alex, who Sheila thought deserved another chance. You and America, Sheila, for all the good it did America. After an hour, Sheila starts feeling sick and bails. So now Matt sees Natalie up against three people he is sure would nominate him if they win HoH: Chelsia, Sharon, and James.
With 1:35 on the clock, the pressure's on Natalie to hang on, and she's very conscious of everyone in her alliance staring at her. Joshuah goes out to try to offer Natalie a deal, but he can't outbid Matt's massage, which he still owes her anyway. Natalie's been jabbering incessantly this whole time, making everyone crazy. And sometime after dark, with two and a half hours down, Sharon's down too. She heads over to talk to Adam, while Matt and Ryan worry that Adam's about to switch sides on them. So it's still down to Natalie, trying to outlast James and Chelsia. "She'll stay up there for years [for you]," Ryan assures Matt. See girls, this is why it's to your advantage to not have any respect for yourself when you're after a guy. After three hours, Natalie tells James and Chelsia that they're not her targets this week. They don't care, and they're still hanging on. But then Chelsia suddenly slips and drops off at 3:19, so now it's a very uncomfortable-looking James vs. a very relaxed-looking Natalie. With almost four hours down, James offers Natalie a deal: he'll let her be HoH if she'll nominate Ryan for what he did to James. Ryan gets pissed at James, pointing out that James voted Ryan out too. "It doesn't matter! I'm back!" James snaps. Uh, news flash, James: Ryan's back too. But James changes his mind, deciding to do it himself. He's got all this martyr momentum built up; he might as well use it.