Mike wins a silly HoH competition, and with it a ticket to F3. Erika actually thinks that he's going to nominate Will in addition to Janelle, in part because being nominated will make her feel like it was a "ho-mance." Mike says that he cares about her far too much for that, which he doesn't at all. He admits that he's going to hell for what he's doing to her, as if that somehow makes it less disgusting. Which it doesn't. While Janelle is just playing around with Will and knows he has a girlfriend, Erika appears to actually like Mike, and he specifically talks to her about how great it's going to be when they get out of there and so forth. He is coming off like the biggest piece of crap ever, and it's only getting worse. Anyway, everyone knows that what really matters this week is PoV, so it's all kind of inconsequential, which is why we have to watch a lot of footage of stuff like Erika and Mike talking about having babies. Gross. But Mike puts the two women up anyway, and it's not clear, but it looks like the plan is to evict Erika. Why Mike would go along with that I do not know, but it looks like Will has the reins as usual.
Erika and Janelle are on the block, but after Janelle wins again, Will goes up. Seeing her fate begin to look grim, and somehow disillusioned by her relationship with Mike (hard to imagine), Erika decides to take matters into her own hands. She approaches Janelle and pounds on her for a while, trying to get the message across that they're both being played by Mike and Will. Shockingly enough, it actually works, especially after the women finally compare notes and find that they've been told exactly the same things about being secret Chill Town ninjas. Once they start to talk, Will very quickly catches on that he's in trouble, although Mike is sure that "those bitches" won't steal the show. But steal it they do, as Janelle boots Will, a development that Will takes pretty much in stride, but that leaves Mike literally slack-jawed on the living room couch. (Looks good on you, punk.) In the HoH competition that follows, which would normally be about endurance, Mike immediately steps down, taunting Erika and Janelle about how they both have to take him to F2, so he doesn't need to compete. He is really, really pissed off, which is awesome. Unfortunately for her, Janelle is so surprised when Mike drops out that she takes her hand off the key she's supposed to be holding, and Erika immediately wins, making it not very much of an "endurance" competition. Oh, and at the jury house, Howie is emerging as a villainous bully, because he is precisely the kind of person who is only a fun guy when things are going his way. So your F3 are Janelle, Erika, and Mike. He's convinced he goes to F2 no matter what -- we'll see.
One of the things that makes reality television completely freaking fascinating is the tragedy-of-the-commons aspect, in which people gradually pick off everyone who could beat them late in the game -- meaning everyone likable -- in order to improve their individual chances of winning. The result tends to be an end-game combination of people who were able to stay in through brute strength by winning competitions (see: repeat immunity winners on Survivor), people who were able to stay in because they were considered so unlikable that no one would vote for them, and people who were able to stay in because they did so little that they were never considered to be threats. None of these people are necessarily the ones who anyone thinks should win. It's a show in which theoretically, the players choose the winner -- not only at the end, but week after week throughout the season. Nevertheless, they almost always wind up putting themselves in a position where they are choosing between two potential winners they don't want. Because, see, the final two are Erika and Mike, because Janelle biffs the final competitions and Mike doesn't think he can beat her in a final, so he takes Erika. Erika, who is embarrassing herself and everyone else by appearing to have forgotten everything she knew three days ago about how revolting, deceptive, dishonest, and unsanitary Mike is and putting her mouth on him voluntarily. Mike, who sits right down and tells us -- without irony -- that he has used this "ho" for all she was "good for," and now he's done with her. It's tempting to look at this final two in terms of who deserves more emphatically to be cursed with the loss, especially because it's hard to accept the idea that Mike will do this and there will be no punishment. But of course, the fact of the matter is that whether he does or doesn't win half a million dollars -- he probably will -- being himself is his punishment. The punishment for being empty is emptiness, not poverty. The punishment for inability to feel the things that normal people feel is numbness, not losing at this or any other game. The punishment for antisocial behavior is your alienation from all social structure, not the experience of shame. Enjoy that convertible, though. I'm sure it will make the harm you've knowingly done a lot easier for your mother to stomach.
What I love about Big Brother is that it's almost over.
Previously: Janelle won lots of competitions, was twirled, was called a princess, and pretty much did as she was told. Erika convinced herself that the world was so short of available men in their thirties that it was necessary to put her mouth on Mike's mouth, and somewhere, a single guy in his thirties was like, "Hello? How about a little love for the flatulent, rabies-stricken cockroach fetishist?" But alas, Erika had already settled.
Danielle's eviction in blue and white is accompanied by both the weirdly slasher-movie-like piano music we've come to expect and Will's DR explanation that nobody should have been surprised at what happened to Danielle after the same thing happened to so many other people before her. Janelle says that the eviction was "emotional" because Danielle is such a good player. That's why, of course, Janelle once said of Danielle, "That great player has to go." Oh, wait. She didn't. Mike says he was "proud and happy for her" that Danielle went out "with her head held high." I'm sure that knowing she didn't let Mike down in terms of class and dignity means everything to her. You always want to hear the warthog tell you that you look pretty. And then we slide to color, and Erika talks about how it was so tough to evict Danielle, and she just hopes Danielle, who declared her intention to vote for "the strongest player," might think that she's the strongest player and give her a vote. I do not think that's going to happen. I think to Danielle, part of being "the best player" involves being "not the person most directly responsible for evicting Danielle." And then, of course, we relive the quick eviction of George. Janelle initially thought of nominating Mike, of course, but she didn't, because Will told her not to. Apparently, the most impartial source Janelle could think of for wisdom about whether to nominate Mike was Mike's closest ally and best bud. Hilariously, in the DR, Janelle says that she lies in bed and thinks about former houseguests. She refers to this as "studying." That is awesome. If I could reclassify my daydreaming as "studying," I would have several additional degrees by now.
Erika says that she was rooting for Will or Mike, because she was so sure they wouldn't put her up. Will tells us that the whole overdrive thing was terrible for his game, which is typically slow and methodical. That's completely true, too, which makes one "completely true" for Will this season, I think. He's right that one of the things that makes him good is that he often doesn't expect to convince people the first time he brings something up. He's perfectly happy to wait and raise an issue again later, which I think is how he helps them feel like they're not being handled. I mean, in the "overdrive" show, Will wound up having to pretty much just order Janelle to do what he wanted, even though he punctuated it with compliments and twirling, and even Janelle would have caught on if he had to do that every week. "Janelle listens to me because she's in love with me," Will says plainly, which is kind of sad, but true. She's not in love like Erika is, with the visions of long-term happiness, but she's in love like high-school girls are, all swoony and out of her mind. It's particularly unfortunate because her reason for being "in love" with him is that he says things to her like, "Who's the hottest girl in the Big Brother house?" So she's not so much in love with Will as in love with the concept of an endless stream of uninterrupted flattery.