Friday, August 31, 2012

CBS's Big Brother 14 - TV Review

Wow.  It's been a pretty good season so far, but Wednesday night's episode may have been one of the greatest performances ever on that show.  Ever.  You can argue who the best player is in BB history.  They had the All-Stars season, and they've had past guests creep back in for this reason or that.  Some winners lucked into it; some earned it big time.  Dan earned his the first time around when he won it.  And what Dan did this week put him at the top of the pantheon of BB players.

Dan and three other past players (Mike Boogie, Janelle, Britney) came in as coaches, picking a team from the houseguests and helping them get to the end.  Dan's team was narrowed quickly to just Danielle, but then a twist came where the coaches were allowed to join as players.  Dan was in an alliance of five on one level (Britney, Shane, Ian) and an alliance of six on another.  Janelle was blindsided.  After the alliance of six blew up to send Mike Boogie home, the next target was Frank, but Frank won HoH.  He nominates Dan and Danielle.

There are two vetoes available, and Ian won the first one.  So if Britney or Shane can win the veto, both alliance members can be pulled off.  Trouble is, Frank's ally Jenn won the veto.  Dan's toast.

The veto competition had punishments tied to points.  Frank racked up a lot, but one of Dan's was to be in solitary confinement for 24 hours.  Dan had a full day to be by himself and plot.

When Dan came out, he dressed in black, and he welcomed everyone to Dan's funeral.  He generated tears from a few people, as Dan's a very likeable guy.  He said he knew he was going home but had nice things to say about everyone.  He left Frank and Danielle for last. He said he'd said some things about Frank he wasn't proud of and he wanted to explain and apologize in private later.  For Danielle, he said he knew she betrayed him and she was dead to him.  Dan and Frank left, and Danielle sobbed.  If Dan had kicked a puppy, it would have come off as less cruel.

Dan confesses everything about the alliance of five to Frank, and he makes sure Frank knows that Ian is the one who betrayed him last week.  He gets Frank to agree to a new alliance of four if Jenn would use her veto to save Dan and vote out Britney.  Michael Corleone and Walter White would marvel. Machiavelli would make some new notes to the special edition of The Prince.

Now Dan pulls Danielle aside.  She says "You broke my heart" but he explains it was all an act.  He lets her know the plan, and that Britney has to be the new target.  Instead of an alliance of five, he saved them both and now has them in an alliance of four.  "Couldn't you give me a heads-up?" "No because the tears had to be real."  "You would use my emotions to advance in this game?" "To get you to the end of this game, yes." And you could see the newfound respect for his means-justified ends wash across her face.  It took a few minutes, but in the end, Danielle was smiles.

And so, Ian didn't use his veto, but Jenn did, and now Britney's on the block with Danielle, her spirit broken.  Britney is the casualty, and as nice as Dan can be...

...don't ever back Dan into a corner.

Thursday's live show was almost anticlimactic.  We got to see Ian not fold at all but be determined and angry.  We saw Danielle doing a good job of pretending she and Dan were still on the outs.  And we saw Britney get in her digs before she was voted out.  And at this point, I don't think it matters who wins HoH.  I know Dan will always find a way to survive.

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