And Then There Were Five

Big Brother: All Stars | CBS | Week 9 Eviction

Will Christmas (jingle, jingle) be evicted, or will Tyler be headed off to jury?

Cody says he’s now gunning for Tyler; Nicole, Enzo and Cody talk in the HoH room, and they agree that Tyler has to go – even though Christmas is acting “too happy.”

Memphis tells Tyler he’s leaning towards evicting him because he’s a big threat in competitions. Tyler tells Cody this, and they discuss what would happen if Christmas stayed in the game…

Later, Memphis and Cody chat and they think they would both have a hard time competing against Tyler; Memphis says if he wins HoH, Christmas will go up on the block. In the DR, Cody says he knows Memphis is lying because he knows (thanks to Enzo) that Memphis created a separate Wise Guys alliance with Christmas.

Memphis talks to Enzo to try to keep the Wise Guy alliance going, and tells him if he wins HoH he’s going to go after Christmas and Nicole. Enzo runs to Cody and tells him all of this, and they discuss Memphis playing all sides of the house. So again the target moves to Christmas, since evicting her would mean there would be one less person on Memphis’ side in the house.

Over in the jury house, Ian welcomes Da’Vonne and they talk about their various alliances; Ian realizes Dani was basically running things in the house. Day discusses Nicole and how she flipped the vote and then lied to her; she says Janelle was right about Nicole – don’t ever doubt Janelle, people!

On triple eviction night, Kevin joins the jury house, followed by David and then a very bitter and upset Dani. The next day the jury members watch the events leading up to, and including, the triple eviction (with Otev’s groovy veto, where David took the $10,000); they realize Enzo flipped and voted out David instead of Nicole. Dani says she feels more betrayed than she ever did in the game, and that she’s heartbroken; she thinks Cody is playing the best game all around, even though she feels the most betrayed by him.

At the current eviction, only Enzo, Nicole and Memphis are voting, and they all vote to evict Tyler. In his exit interview, Tyler says ultimately everyone just saw him as a threat, and he thinks Nicole is Cody’s #1. They discuss David and how he told Da’Vonne about his alliance with Tyler, as well as how when Tyler got stressed and upset in the game, he made some errors that ultimately led to his eviction. His final thoughts are how there were so many alliances going on; he’s right! I don’t know how the players even keep the alliances straight because everyone is seemingly in an alliance with everyone else.

Get the balls in the… baskets?

This week’s HoH competition is called “Stashing Pumpkins”, and the houseguests have to transfer all their pumpkins (aka orange dodge balls), to baskets on the other side of balance beams. If any pumpkins fall out of the basket, or if they fall off the beam, they’ll have to reset and start over again.

And this looks like torture, since the “baskets” are quite flat, and not at all basket shaped!

So the final five is set: Memphis, Christmas, Cody, Enzo and Nicole. I can’t say I’m rooting for any of these people, since Tyler was the last person I was hoping would make it to the end of the game. If Memphis or Christmas win HoH, I think Cody and Nicole are in trouble. If Nicole or Enzo win, Memphis and Christmas are in trouble. All in all, though, the Meow Meow is actually looking to be safe no matter what. Expect the unexpected?! M

Photo Finish

Big Brother: All Stars | CBS | Week 9 POV

Time for another veto competition in the Big Brother house! Tyler and Christmas have done well in comps, so it’s entirely possible that Cody will have to nominate a third person.

Nicole is happy with Cody’s nominations, since Tyler and Christmas tried to evict her. She talks to Cody, who tells her if someone comes down, Memphis will go up in that person’s place; he’s leaning towards Christmas being his ultimate target.

Tyler and Christmas talk; as Christmas says, they swung and missed, so now she has to do whatever she can to salvage her game – even if that means turning on Tyler. He’s said the same, so they will definitely turn on each other to stay in the house.

In the DR, Enzo says he’s too good at this game, since he flipped on Tyler and Christmas and got them on the block. Later, he talks to Tyler, and tries to make him think he’s still on his side.

Christmas talks to Cody, and says she’s not taking the nomination personally (even though she starts to cry while talking to him). In the DR, she says maybe if she cries Cody will see Tyler as a bigger target. Odd logic? In the DR Cody says her crying changes nothing.

Memphis and Tyler talk about their respective parents and how their fathers both passed away; Memphis says he processed the grief from losing his father when he had a son. He tells Tyler he wonders what his dad would think of Big Brother; Tyler says he watched the show with his father. Tyler gets emotional in the DR thinking about his connection to his father and Big Brother; it seems to motivate him to play harder to stay in the house.

Christmas asks Memphis what the odds are of Enzo going up on the block as a replacement; she says she thinks Cody will put Memphis up next to her if Tyler comes down. In the DR Memphis says he’s sure he’s not going up because of his deal with Cody…

In the DR, Tyler says Enzo is his only option for someone to turn to; he tells Enzo about The Committee, and says they wanted Enzo evicted during the triple eviction. Tyler says he didn’t target Enzo and that’s why he’s still in the game; but in the DR, Enzo says he already knew about The Committee because Cody told him about it. Twist!! Tyler does his best, but Enzo isn’t buying it.

Enzo was baffled… but he wasn’t the only one

Everyone competes in the veto competition – “Snapshot Shuffle.” In the backyard, each player has to take big photos of evicted houseguests and put them in chronological order, with a maximum time of 25 minutes. They have to look at each picture and look for clues as to which came earlier in a fictional day at a baseball game: Bayleigh has a hot dog in various states of being eaten, Keesha has a glass of beer in various states of being drunk, Da’Vonne has a box of popcorn that’s all over the place, etc.

All the houseguests have trouble, but Cody and Christmas seem to be better than the others. When the results are revealed, Christmas put the photos in order in about 12 minutes, Tyler and Enzo timed out, Cody finished in about 5 minutes (!), Nicole in about 7 minutes, and Memphis in about 8 minutes. So Cody wins the golden power of veto!

In the HoH room after the comp, Enzo tells Cody that Tyler told him about The Committee; Cody says he wasn’t targeting Tyler, but after that, he may have to rethink things. Later, Cody and Enzo have a conversation about the origins of certain phrases (I didn’t catch the nonsense they were talking, personally), much to Nicole’s delight.

Tyler talks to Cody and tries to convince him to take him off the block and replace him with Memphis; Tyler basically says if he goes, Cody is the next biggest target.

At the veto meeting, Cody (of course) doesn’t use the veto, and either Tyler or Christmas will be the next all star to join the jury. I think Cody was right to target Christmas before Tyler, because at least Tyler has a good relationship with Cody, and Tyler will be a vote against Memphis. With so few people left in the house, though, one vote could flip things again – we’ll just have to see what Enzo decides to do on Thursday night! M

Anything But Zen

Big Brother: All Stars | CBS | Week 9 Nominations

After the first ever triple eviction from the Big Brother house, The Committee will finally have to start turning on each other, and maybe this game can finally kick into a higher gear.

Memphis starts things off by saying The Committee officially came to an end with Dani’s eviction. Nicole is extremely relieved but also scared about losing an ally in Dani. On the other end of the spectrum, Christmas is thrilled to have survived the triple eviction.

We then see what happened (quite a lot!) leading up to and in between all the competitions for the triple eviction: Memphis didn’t meet with anyone, and nominated Nicole and David. Later, after she wins the veto, he tells Christmas not to change the nominations.

Christmas talks to Tyler, who doesn’t want to vote out David; Tyler wants to take a shot at Nicole, but Christmas decides not to use the veto. Christmas, Enzo and Tyler discuss flipping the vote to evict Nicole, but don’t want to make Memphis angry; Christmas and Tyler vote for Nicole, but Enzo flips his flip and votes out David. Nicole gets angry about getting two votes and pulls Enzo aside to ask him if anyone tried to get him to vote her out; he immediately throws Christmas and Tyler under the bus and tells Nicole they voted for her.

In the DR, Enzo says he didn’t want to evict Nicole (because she is close with Cody) and now Nicole owes him, so it was the best move for his game. Ultimately, he might be right, but it’s terrible that he could have evicted her and didn’t, especially with all his “MAKE SOME MOVES” talk…

Dani tells Nicole that Christmas and Tyler have a final two deal, and Christmas realizes there’s now a target on her back. Tyler gets upset and in the DR says it’s the first time he’s ever been on the wrong side of a vote, so he needs to win HoH. When he does, nominates Dani and Nicole to get one of them out.

After Tyler wins the veto, he tells Nicole that Dani is his target. Cody tells Dani he’s voting to keep her, but he’s obviously closer to Nicole. Enzo says the same, and then schemes with Cody to get Tyler and Christmas on the block together.

After Dani is voted out, Tyler talks to Nicole again and apologizes; in the DR Nicole says she doesn’t believe anything Tyler says, and she has to win the next HoH competition.

Yoga has never been so stressful

Tyler hosts the competition – “Namaste Off the Block” – in the “BB Yoga Studio.” The 5 houseguests competing have to dress in costumes then press 3 buttons (and keep them pressed) as they undress out of the costumes. If they let go of 1 button, their clocks will run 10x as fast; letting go of 2 buttons will make the clock run 30x as fast, and letting go of all 3 will make it run 60x as fast. Whoever has the most time on their clock after each round will be eliminated.

Christmas is eliminated first, then Nicole, and then Enzo, leaving Cody and Memphis competing for the title. Cody pulls out the win, and Tyler and Christmas are (rightfully) worried that they’re going up on the block.

Later, Cody tells Enzo he’s going to put up Tyler and Christmas; if one of them wins the veto, he’ll put up Memphis. Memphis tells Christmas not to worry because Nicole is on everyone’s radar and Tyler is a real threat.

It’s like, you know

Christmas has an excruciating conversation with Cody, in which Cody says “like” 34 times (it’s Big Brother – you can bet there was a “Like” counter). In a later conversation, Christmas also says “like” a ton of times #JustSaying.

In the DR, Nicole says that there’s a clear line between the final six: Memphis, Christmas and Tyler vs. Nicole, Enzo and Cody. Later, in the DR and when talking to Cody, Enzo says he needs Nicole to do something in the game.

Tyler tries to smooth things over with Cody for flipping and voting for David; in the DR he says he’ll even flip and cut Christmas loose (!) to stay in the game. Cody tells Tyler he loves him and he won’t let Tyler go home on his HoH.

Christmas also talks to Cody, but this doesn’t do anything to dissuade Cody; he ultimately nominates Tyler and Christmas for eviction.

Three (or four) weeks too late, but now the players are working to break up some duos and alliances in the house. Since The Committee is over, things may start to get interesting. Tyler or Christmas could actually win the veto, and Cody would have to put up Memphis – and there’s a good argument for getting him out of the house before either Tyler or Christmas, because he’s arguably a bigger threat. It’s hard to root for any of these people at this point because the season’s been pretty boring, but I’m looking forward to seeing the jury members and their reactions Da’Vonne’s reactions to how these supposed all stars have been playing the game. M

Bringing the Ship Home

Below Deck Mediterranean | Bravo | Season 5 Episode 19: The Bali is in Your Court

Back with the crew of The Wellington on this last charter! Last we saw Jess, she was fuming about Aesha touching her boyfriend (Is that the right term for him? It’s what I’m going with!) Rob’s bum, and we pick up with an angry Jess cleaning cabins.

Rob and Aesha join the guests on their excursion ashore, and in an interview, Rob says he didn’t even notice Aesha touched him; and he would have – because he has a sensitive bum. Don’t we all? Once they get to land, Rob continues talking to charter guest Hannah, as Malia heads back to The Wellington from dropping everyone off.

Jess tells Bugsy about GrabGate, and she says she needs to just cool off; in an interview, Bugsy says she’s just speechless. Later, Bugsy tells Malia what happened and that she was afraid of Jess. Probably smart! Malia then tells basically everyone else on the boat.

Aesha and Rob share some ice cream, and Aesha says in an interview it’s nice to spend time with Rob away from Jess (on a friend level).

Back on the boat, Bugsy tells Jess she should probably talk to Aesha one on one, away from everyone and just sort it out. Bugsy is not only great at being a Chief Stew, but she just has the most common sense, and always tackles things head on.

In an interview, Jess says she doesn’t think she has anger issues (and she probably doesn’t – but she definitely has serious jealousy issues.)

Bugsy picks up a bunch of wireless headphones for the guests as they’re going to have a “DJ Party” (I think she means “Silent Disco” but we’ll see…)

In an interview, Tom says he’s not happy about how he’s been acting (ya think?!) and he’s worried Malia will see him negatively. Bugsy interrupts Tom’s break when the guests get back to the boat, because they’re hungy… Tom goes back to the galley from his cabin, curses under his breath and gets some snacks ready for the guests. I’m sorry, but he did he know when the guests were off the boat? Take a break when they leave! Work smarter, is the moral of the story.

Tom makes a salad that has bacon, and one of the guests sends is back, because she doesn’t eat bacon; the rest of the snacks seem to go over well. Tom goes for a break again, and they take Sandy’s advice and write on a whiteboard in the galley that Tom is on a break.

Jess goes into the galley when Aesha is there, and Aesha tries talking to her, but Jess just kind of ignores her… until she says she has to get something off her chest…

Jess says Aesha’s hand went to “grabbing [Rob’s] ass”, and Aesha says she didn’t even realize she did it; he was wearing a backpack so she just put his arm where it could go. Aesha also says if someone touched her boyfriend’s ass, she wouldn’t even care; but she does apologize to Jess because Jess obviously does care.

Aesha’s energy is so positive, and Jess’ is so negative – it’s really a crazy polar opposite situation. Bugsy says she’s exhausted with Jess, and I can’t even believe she’s tolerated this situation for this long!

Jess and Rob spend some time on deck (while Jess should have been clearing plates, apparently), and they talk about Jess’ reaction to GrabGate. Rob asks her what she would do if they were out somewhere and someone approached him (a valid question!). He asks her if he’s allowed to be friendly towards Aesha, and she tells him he can (but basically she’s going to feel how she feels). He tells her he can’t do jealousy, and that it’s too much… as they are talking some guests walk by as Bugsy is searching for Jess and calling her on the radio.

Rob says he wants “fun and free”, and Jess says he and Aesha would be a great match. Bugsy continues to call Jess on the radio as she has a little breakdown and heads to her cabin. She finally tracks Jess down and talks to her about not checking out for the final charter. It’s obvious, but in an interview, Jess says all she cares about is Rob.

Meanwhile, Rob talks to Sandy in her office, about what’s going on with Jess. He says he wants to pursue a career in yachting, and he should talk to first mate David. In an interview, Sandy says she’s seen this type of thing before and she’s there to be supportive. Later, Rob does talk to David about learning more about yachting and how he can join him for more experience.

After his chat with Sandy, Malia talks to Rob about Jess and basically warns him about her. She says if she’s acting this way on a yacht full of people (with cameras rolling), how will she act when it’s just the two of them?

Tom actually smiles in an interview, because he’s happy it’s the last dinner of the season. At the last dinner, Malia is once again in the galley with Bugsy and Aesha running food. Everything starts out well enough… until the main dish is served, and one of the guests doesn’t eat beef. Aesha brings the dish back to Tom, and he seemingly has to scramble to come up with a replacement protein. He finds a piece of chicken, quickly prepares it, and asks Aesha to apologize profusely; she does, and the guest jokes about Tom getting his act together. Crisis averted!

The guests change into pajamas and head up to their party; Bugsy and Aesha follow in their PJs. The guests all get their headphones and the party is indeed a silent disco – which looks super weird. Fun, but odd. The guests all have a great time, at least.

Rob and Jess are frosty to each other, as he helps her clean cabins; the next morning they flat out argue. Jess says Rob is blowing things out of proportion; she says she’s ‘scared to love him anymore’, and he says that’s on her. He walks over to David’s cabin and tells him “he’s in” for going with him for more yachting experience, essentially ditching Jess and Bali.

Next week is the season finale (Already! But at the same time it’s been a long season…). The saga of Jess and Rob will come to its conclusion, and I can only hope we get some forward momentum with Bugsy and Alex (and Malia and Tom just go away, but something tells me there will be much more PDAs instead). There was so much drama this season, and it will be nice to tie it up in a bow and send it down the river Med. M

Captain’s Log

– Aesha calls her friend and talks about the Jess situation; her friends says Jess is a weirdo, and that basically sums things up.

– Malia and Alex take the guests on a tender cruise, and they all joke about Alex has been courting Bugsy all season. #Awkward!

– Rob runs into Aesha and apologizes for “what happened,” while Aesha apologizes too… and neither of them did anything wrong!

Hold On to Your Heads

The Boys | Amazon Prime Video | Season 2 Episode 7:
Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

Can the penultimate episode of The Boys season 2 top last week’s crazy, over the top, exposition and fight heavy spectacle?

The Supes

We see through the eyes of college student Tommy Patterson how the public is receiving the constant barrage of news about Vought, Supes, and potential Supe terrorists, with Stormfront at the forefront. Tommy is reading articles, listening to newscasts, and taking in every word; he gets paranoid that a local shop owner who he regularly interacts with, named Kuldeep Singh, is a Supe terrorist and shoots him dead.

Stormfront and Homelander addressing the crowd

Homelander and Stormfront address a rally and say they don’t condone what happened to Kuldeep; they say they need more Supes to deal with the threat of Supe terrorists. Homelander calls out Starlight for being a mole within The Seven; he says she’s been apprehended and can’t hurt anyone else.

After the rally, Homelander tells Stormfront it’s a mistake keeping Starlight alive; he says he underestimated her once and won’t again. Stormfront says she’s a common enemy that can unite their cause; she watches a baby in the crowd and says it reminds her of her daughter, 80 years ago.

The two Supes visit Becca and Ryan, and Homelander introduces Stormfront to his son. Stormfront says Ryan is special, as he is the first natural born super hero. Homelander tells them he wants them all to be family, and will be visiting more, since he wants Ryan to get to know Stormfront.

Later, Ryan shows Stormfront a video of his Lego reenactment of “The Blind Side,” and says he’s also done “Dances With Wolves” and “Terms of Endearment.” Stormfront asks Ryan if he’s into anything that other kids are into, like Pewdiepie. She tells him he’s old enough to have sleepovers and go to baseball games and go to Voughtland, where Homelander has his own roller coaster. Becca gets annoyed and talks to Homelander outside; he tells her he was raised the same way and that Ryan needs to see the outside world in order not to panic and mess him up. Becca says Ryan is different because he has a mother; she says what’s best for him is to be with her – she begs him to let her raise Ryan and he reluctantly agrees.

Becca is making dinner and goes to look for Ryan; he’s outside with Homelander and Stormfront and when he sees her, Ryan calls her a liar. He says they flew him up to see the neighborhood and it’s all fake; Homelander says he deserved to know the truth. Ryan gets angry and says he hates Becca; he runs to Homelander and with Stormfront they fly off, leaving Becca.

The Boys

Lamplighter meets with Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (in Grace’s house?) about his role in Sage Grove while The Boys hang out, with Mallory. Victoria tells Mallory that Lamplighter will be a good witness for the Vought hearings, but he’s not enough. She says she’s going to need more info about what was going on at the facility, and Mallory says they might know someone who can provide that – and that they’ll have to trust each other.

The Boys watch Victoria leave, and Mallory tells Frenchie to keep Victoria alive – and not to abandon his post this time. He responds with a “Oui, madame.”

Hughie tells Butcher he’s going with them, but Butcher tells him to stay and watch Lamplighter; as they’re getting ready to leave, Butcher gets a phone call – from his mother, Connie (Lesley Nicol). After declining the first call, he answers the phone and she says she’s in New York. He said she shouldn’t have spent the money, and as he’s talking Connie tells him his father is dead. She says she needs to see him “right now.”

Hughie joins Lamplighter, who is watching some Supe XXX DVDs, and Lamplighter says he’s dead if he goes and testifies; he says he was a prodigy and now he feels useless. Hughie tells him he thought he found what he was meant to do with Butcher and The Boys, but he’s terrible at his new job.

Star-witness Jonah

MM and Mallory drive to a gated estate; when they pull up Mallory asks for “Jonah”, and someone on an intercom says he’s not taking visitors. When she says who she is, the gates open and they drive through to the house. They are led inside and meet Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman). MM asks him what he knows about Sage Grove, but he says he doesn’t know anything. Grace says Vought f***ed him, and now he can do the same to them… if he testifies. Ultimately, he says some things are “more important than the right thing” and MM and Grace leave. She tells him to go back to his wife and daughter – she can get them all to Nicaragua; she tells him to go and never look back, and that she wishes she had.

Frenchie and Kimiko are keeping watch over Victoria, and he recounts cooking with his mama; he again asks her to teach him her sign language so they can talk, and she teaches him how to sign “gun.”

Starlight

Donna meets Starlight at a coffee shop, and tells her she never left town. Starlight tells her mom that she feels stupid; the good guys don’t win, and it’s all for money. She gets upset that she’s in the middle of it all, alone. Donna tells her she’s not alone and they could take a vacation; she says she already cleared it with Ashley, not knowing Starlight was hiding from Vought. As they talk, a smoke grenade comes flying through the shop’s window, and Black Noir comes through and attacks and knocks Starlight out.

Starlight wakes up in a dark, secure room, where she’s obviously being held.

Hughie and Lamplighter

Hughie sees Homelander’s rally and learns that Starlight has been captured; he tries to call Butcher but can’t get through. Lamplighter says she’s probably in “42-D”, a Supe proof cell in Vought Tower. Hughie asks Lamplighter to show him how to get in and help Starlight and Lamplighter agrees.

Lamplighter shows Hughie a secret entrance in which he used to sneak college girls into Vought Tower; at an elevator, he uses a hand-scanning panel, and he still has security access to the building.

They arrive at 42-D, and go through the halls; they’re actually at the conference room in front of which are the statues of The Seven. Lamplighter sees his statue has been replaced (with Starlight), and in the conference room, he sets himself ablaze, killing him. Hughie (grossly) severs Lamplighter’s hand for the security panels.

Lamplighter’s fire sets off the fire alarm and the sprinklers come on; an emergency light in Starlight’s cell gives her the juice she needs to regain some of her powers, so she blasts open the door to her cell. As she’s walking down the hallway, Black Noir grabs her and throws her through the conference room wall, where she sees Lamplighter’s body. The two fight; he beats her up and is strangling her when Maeve grabs him off of her and stuffs an Almond Joy in his mouth. She tells Starlight he has a tree nut allergy, and kicks away his Epi-pen, leaving him gasping on the floor.

Starlight tells Maeve to come with her, but Maeve shakes her head and leaves.

Hughie runs back the way he came and hears someone asking for help so he unlocks a door with Lamplighter’s hand and Donna comes out and joins him. They meet up with Starlight; she asks him what he’s doing there and he smiles. Awwww. Severed hand in, well, hand, he says he knows the way out…

Butcher

Butcher meets Connie at her hotel, and she leads him out to a terrace where his father, Sam (oh, hi, John Noble!) is waiting. He turns to leave but Connie convinces him to stay. Sam says he just wants to talk, and Butcher says he’ll give him 2 minutes. Sam says he knows he hasn’t been the perfect father; he says he never got a chance to say goodbye to Lenny, but Butcher says he’s the reason Lenny is dead.

Papa Butcher

Sam says you have to choose to sink or swim, and Lenny chose to sink. He said he was hard on his sons but it just made Butcher fearless and tough. We learn Lenny committed suicide, and Butcher ran off to join the special forces. When Sam says Butcher abandoned Lenny, he attacks his father; Connie breaks them up and Butcher leaves.

Butcher is in a bar drinking when MM calls him and tells him about Vogelbaum; he says he’ll “take care of it.”

Butcher shows up at Jonah’s house and the two men chat about Homelander when he was a boy; Jonah says when he was around 5 or 6 he was very sweet. Butcher says Jonah kept Becca away from him for all those years, and for that he’s going to kill Jonah’s daughter, his sons and their families, unless he helps him.

Mama Butcher

The Boys (and Starlight) go back to Grace’s house; she is on the phone with Butcher and says Hughie let their star witness burn himself, and Starlight thanks him. Butcher says he has it sorted, and goes to meet him mom at a coffee shop. She says Sam is at the airport, and she didn’t mean for it to go so badly. She says he only has a few months to live, so Butcher won’t have to see him again. She thought when Butcher saw how helpless his father was, he would let his anger go. Butcher hugs his mother and she leaves.

Back in the underground lair, The Boys, Starlight (and Donna) watch the hearings. Jonah is introduced, and comes into the courtroom, as Maeve, Stormfront and Homelander look on.

As soon as he is sworn in, the speaker conducting the hearing head explodes; as everyone is in shock, Jonah’s head explodes, followed by several others. The court is in pandemonium and Hughie asks “What do we do now?”

Elsewhere

Elena tells Maeve she’s going to stay with her sister; she gets upset about the plane footage, and says she wonders what else Maeve has done. She says she’s not blaming Maeve, but she needs time; Maeve flips the dining room table and sends it flying. She tells Elena “this is the real [her]”, and Elena says she knows, and she’s sorry.

Later, Ashley goes to Maeve’s apartment looking for her and finds her in bed with two men. Ashley says they need Elena to proudly sit behind Maeve at the hearings, but Maeve tells her Elena is gone.

At a party, The Deep is having fun with wife Cassandra. A-Train shows up and gives him a goldfish as a gift, and apology for being mean to him. We learn it’s a birthday party for Alastair Adana, who comes over and talks to them. He says he has a meeting with Stan Edgar, and Vought “needs” A-Train and The Deep. He asks what they think of Eagle the Archer, who The Deep likes, but turns on him when Alastair says he’s persona non grata.

The Deep and A-Train watch a news report on Eagle, who says he wouldn’t cut his mom out of his life; when he refused the church leaked a video of his partner dressed as a deer, that Eagle hunted and mounted…

The Wrap Up

So one episode to go in the season (how time flies!) and this literal head-popping episode surely sets up a battle between The Boys and The Supes. Who’s popping all these heads, and how? And why?! What’s Homelander going to do with Ryan now that he’s Super Dad? What’s Stormfront’s real interest in Ryan? Is Black Noir dead? Hopefully we’ll get some answers and an epic showdown to cap off a crazy, super, second season. M

Cookie Lover’s Dream

The Great British Baking Show | Netflix | W2: Biscuit Week

It’s cookie time in the tent as biscuit week kicks off (with a snap!).

Signature Challenge

The bakers have 2 hours to create Florentines, which must be dipped, decorated and/or coated in chocolate. Prue explains that Florentines usually have nuts and dried fruit bound together with caramel. #Mouthwatering!

Fun fact: in the UK, raisins made from green grapes are called “sultanas.” I call all raisins “disgusting.” Moving on…

Several bakers use mango in their Florentines; there are square cookies, cookies with edible flowers, lots of raisins, and even some airbrushed decorations.

Prue worried about Mark’s very large nuts (I really don’t think she meant the double entendre, but that’s how it was received, with a laugh from everyone). Here’s how some turned out:

Much to Lottie’s surprise

Paul and Prue were happy with most of the Florentines, though some didn’t have enough cookie-snap. Lottie’s cookies impressed Paul – who said he couldn’t find a fault with them – earning Lottie the first Hollywood Handshake TM of the season!

Technical Challenge

Prue sets the challenge, in which the bakers must make 12 hand-shaped coconut macaroons – six of which must be drizzled and filled with chocolate, and six must be piped with mango curd. They have 1 hour and 45 minutes to do so.

Prue says macaroons are trickier than they sound, because there are a lot of things that could go wrong, and the bakers must be precise to get the right textures all around.

How they should turn out

The bakers start making their mango curds with their pared down instructions, and most seem to get it right. They move on to processing the coconut to shape their cookies; they pipe the coconut onto six rounds on rice paper (for the six mango cookies), and flatten some more coconut onto six more rounds, for the chocolate ones.

As the instructions just say to “bake”, the bakers wing it and chuck their cookies into their ovens. Don’t you just love these technical challenges? They’re supposed to be golden brown, but most of the bakers seem to have trouble getting them completely baked.

How they did turn out

The judges critique the macaroons and ultimately most were under baked. When they are ranked, Mak came in third, Mark came in second, and Dave came in first. This was a struggle for most, and Rowan came in last place.

Showstopper Challenge

The final challenge is to create a 3D cookie table setting from a memorable meal each baker has had. What does that even mean? As Matt says, they need to use cookie dough in order to make cookies that “deceive the eye into thinking they’re teapots, or cups or knives, etc.” They have 4 hours to complete the challenge, and this sounds near impossible (even though they do get to practice).

Prue says she wants the bakers to use their dough “as a clay” to mold their creations. Even with actual clay, this would be incredibly difficult. Adding in the fact they need to make these sculptures taste good and actually keep their shape? Good luck!

Indeed, each baker has a ton of work to do. Some bakers struggle to get their cookies out of their molds, and even Paul admits this is a tricky challenge. Some bakers come up with some amazing designs, others aren’t so successful. Delightfully British Prue tells Rowan “it’s not [his] best,” and she knows he can do more. On the flip side, she and Paul both love Peter’s Scottish cranachan – a mix of oatmeal, whiskey (!) raspberries, honey and cream. We know Prue loves boozy desserts!

Here’s are some of the finished products:

After some deliberation, Noel announces Dave is the Star Baker for the week! Matt then announces the baker going home for their biscuits is Mak (to Rowan’s relief).

Noel being Noel

So after week 2, Dave and Peter seem to be leading the pack, while Rowan is having a hard time of things. More importantly, everyone seems to having such a great time on this show – the contestants seem happier and more giggly, and I think that’s because of Matt Lucas’ jokey energy. He certainly makes Noel laugh, and they seem to be getting along quite well and feeding off each other’s goofiness.

Truly, how can you not smile at an adult man wearing a knitted sweater with a giant smiley face? M

Triple the Expected

Big Brother: All Stars | CBS | Week 8 Eviction(s)

It’s time for a super-sized 2 hour episode of Big Brother: All Stars. Tonight, for the first time, there will be a triple eviction – and hopefully these players will make some big moves.

Cody doesn’t use the veto, so Floater A or Floater B will be evicted. David says he needs to mend fences after he took the $10K in the veto comp. He talks to Cody, and says he was just thinking he wouldn’t still be in the house this week, so he went after the money. Cody says he wants David to stay because Kevin is his target.

Later, Kevin talks to Cody again (bad idea?), and in the DR says he needs to go on an apology tour. He tells Cody he’s not coming after him, and he’s desperate for a teammate in the game. In the DR, Cody says he wanted Kevin out, but maybe getting David out wouldn’t be the worst idea…

Like a good neighbor, Dr. Will is there

The houseguests get a video message from Dr. Will and gather in the living room. He tells the houseguests he was so good at the game because he thought not one, not two, but three steps ahead. With a wink the video ends, and the houseguests freak out at what this could mean… David and Memphis correctly guess it’s a triple eviction; basically the rest of the houseguests hop on board and realize a triple eviction is a possibility.

Enzo and Cody talk about who they need to go after, and Christmas and Tyler are at the top of their list.

Tyler and David compare notes, and Tyler says they need to target Nicole and Dani; Tyler still wants to use David as a number for his benefit. Later, Tyler to talks to Dani and tells her he’s loyal to their alliance, and he wouldn’t come after her. And he’s lying through his teeth.

At the first eviction ceremony, Kevin is unanimously evicted (and there will be a lot less crying in the house). Kevin talks to Julie and says the last time he played he skated through to the final 3, so this was a very different experience. She asks him about his conversation with Cody in which he basically threatened the HoH before nominations, and Kevin says he’s just “weird,” and he didn’t mean for it to go down that way. Kevin listens to his goodbye messages, and cries. A fitting end, since that’s all he did all season. Moving on…

So much Dr. Will

The Dr. Will themed HoH competition – “It’s All About Will” – is another one using the infuriating question block. I hear the Chen-bot saying “Reset” in my BB nightmares. Anyway… Julie asks questions about Dr. Will’s appearances from the BB neighbor house. Dani, Tyler and David are quickly eliminated in the first round.

Nicole is eliminated next, and then Enzo and Christmas – making Memphis the new HoH. And once again a member of The Committee wins. Who will Memphis nominate? David again? Probably.

Memphis indeed nominates David (and Nicole!) for eviction.

Flipping ice to fire

At the first veto competition, Christmas, Tyler (again!) and Dani are chosen by random draw to compete with Memphis, David and Nicole. The players have to run across a balance beam and take a puzzle and flip it around to make another one – a picture of veto and ice into a picture of veto and fire. Christmas finishes first and rings in, but her puzzle is wrong; she fixes the puzzle and runs back to win the veto.

Nicole frantically tells Christmas to pull her off the block, and Christmas listens but goes to talk to Memphis to see what his plan is…

At the veto meeting, Christmas (somewhat surprisingly) decides not to use the veto.

At the eviction, as the houseguests are getting ready to vote, Julie comes on the screen in the living room and a “Triple Eviction” graphic behind her was visible to the houseguests, so they were instantly clued into what was about to happen.

“Triple Eviction” was scrolling behind Julie when she went live. D’oh!

The houseguests vote, and by a vote of 3 to 2, David is the second houseguest evicted. Enzo, despite all his talk, voted to evict David, while Christmas and Tyler voted to evict Nicole. In his exit interview, David says he doesn’t regret taking the $10K, and he’s proud and vindicated from being voted off first last season.

Julie then confirms the triple eviction twist to the remaining 7 houseguests, and they go out to the backyard for the next competition.

So the anti-climactic reveal of the triple eviction twist was kinda on par with this anti-climactic season of Big Brother, wasn’t it?

The infuriating question block is back for the second HoH comp: “It’s All About You.” Enzo, Dani and Nicole and eliminated first. Christmas and Cody and eliminated, and Tyler becomes the new HoH! Dani immediately pulls him aside and says she thinks he’s going to put her up. She says she’s not coming after him and he knows where she stands. Dani leaves and Nicole comes in, and Tyler apologizes to her for voting to evict her (he says he thought Memphis wanted to evict Nicole and it was a mistake…#interesting!).

Tired yet?! At the nomination ceremony, Tyler nominates Dani and Nicole for eviction. A MOVE IS MADE!

Cody, Enzo and Christmas were chosen to play in the second veto comp – “Feet to the Fire.” This uses the puzzle from the first comp, but the players need to take the puzzle pieces from one end of the yard to the other, crossing 2 balance beams, and reconstruct the veto + fire picture. Christmas is eliminated first, and Nicole falls and is eliminated next. Tyler completes the puzzle and rings in to win the power of veto! Good night for Tyler – or he just put a HUGE target on his back!

At the veto meeting, Tyler decides not to use the power of veto, so either Nicole or Dani will be the third person evicted.

Nicole and Dani give their speeches, and Dani calls out Tyler and Christmas for their alliance (and Christmas’ BB basement power which she didn’t use). The votes are cast, and the houseguests unanimously vote out Dani. She reluctantly hugs everyone as she leaves, except for Tyler and Christmas. Christmas says something along the lines of “I guess it’s personal now” and Dani says “guess it is.”

In her exit interview, Dani says she doesn’t like Christmas, and is shocked that Cody didn’t vote for her to stay. Regarding Tyler, Dani says staying loyal to The Committee was probably her downfall; she never felt good with Tyler and Christmas. She says if she had to redo anything, it would be to get Tyler out instead of Ian (good call – Dani does really get the game). Dani says this season has been the most fun she’s had on Big Brother and she’s really sad.

So the big super sized Big Brother: All Stars comes to a close. Kevin, David and Dani are headed to the jury house, and next week we start the cycle all over again! Julie talks to the houseguests, and tells them that no one that has been evicted will be coming back into the game – probably for the better. Because of the COVID of it all, CBS is choosing to air movies on Sunday nights, pushing Big Brother: All Stars over to Monday nights for the rest of the season.

Was this historic eviction all it was cracked up to be? No, but it did speed up the game significantly. The 2 biggest floaters were evicted and Tyler taking out Dani set up The Committee to start turning on each other probably earlier than expected. Will this make for a better game going forward? No, since there’s no one to really root for now – though I guess Tyler is the best option? I appreciate Big Brother for being Big Brother, but things have got to get really good for this “all-stars” season to make any impact whatsoever. Psychedelic salamanders aside. M

Otev’s Groovy Veto

Big Brother: All Stars | CBS | Week 8 Veto

The nominations were predictable, but it’s finally time for Otev! Will the POV shake things up?

After Kevin somehow made himself a bigger nuisance to Cody, Cody put him up for eviction – for the 5th time!

Dani tells Nicole she wants to play in the veto for the prizes; but if she managed to throw it to Kevin or David, she wouldn’t be upset if Christmas was the replacement nominee. In the DR, Nicole says she doesn’t want Christmas to go home, and doesn’t want to go along with plans that will help Dani but hurt her. Logical!

Christmas and Memphis are chatting, and Memphis says no amount of money will keep him from winning the game; Christmas says the same. She says if the veto is used, she could go up. In the DR, she says even though she and Cody are in The Committee, she’s not especially close to Cody.

Kevin tells David that he thinks David’s safe, and they chat. Enzo comes in as Kevin leaves, and tells David that the house is going to get crazy; he says he’s “with” him and Kevin. In the DR, Enzo says he doesn’t want to get rid of either nominee, and it’s time to make some moves. You think? This is All Stars – do something!

Later, Kevin talks about his background to David; he is half black and Japanese, so he doesn’t identify with either group. David tells him to just be “Kevin Campbell.” Great advice! However, this segment seemed oddly placed to me – it seemed like were just trying to shoehorn “an issue” into the episode. #Shrug.

Nicole and Christmas chat, and Nicole says she has Christmas’ back; this gets Christmas thinking… she asks Nicole “is it Dani?” and Nicole confirms. In the DR, Nicole says she needs to start looking after herself, like Dani is. Christmas says she has Nicole’s back, and in the DR she says she’s not afraid to take a shot at Dani.

In the HoH room, Dani, Christmas, Memphis and Cody discuss what people from different states are called. Cody has never heard of any of this, apparently. He didn’t know people from Florida were called Floridians, apparently? The point it, Zingbot was correct. Trust the Zing.

Choosing players for the veto, Cody chooses Nicole, and Kevin chooses Tyler (who legit always gets picked). David wants to pick Enzo, and gets Houseguest Choice, so he chooses Enzo. Christmas gets annoyed at not being picked and says “Call me if I’m a replacement nominee,” tipping her hand that she knows that’s a possibility…

In the HoH room, Enzo talks to Cody and Memphis and they “agree” that Kevin needs to go home. But Enzo’s plan is to put a bigger threat on the block. In the DR he says he can’t even remember the names of all the alliances he’s in!

Otev threw a rave over at Dr. Will’s next door. Really!

It’s Otev time, and this year he’s a … stoner psychedelic salamander! As per usual, Otev asks the houseguests questions, and they have to run through the backyard and find the correct answer; whoever answers last is eliminated in each round, musical chairs style. This year, the answers to the questions are on tie-dye T-shirts, and one shirt is worth $10,000! If the houseguest chooses the money, he/she will be ineligible for the veto.

In the first round (!), David finds the money shirt and takes the $10,000 – confounding all the houseguests (and me!) – and is eliminated.

Tyler is eliminated in round 2, but manages to find and keep an inflatable cow which he names Moo-lan. You can’t make this stuff up, people.

Kevin and Cody race for the finish in round 3, but Kevin is eliminated. Nicole is eliminated next, then Enzo, so Cody wins the Golden Power of Veto!

David’s just happy he won the money, since Cody said Kevin’s his target. But the houseguests’ feathers are all ruffled that David took the money, and Enzo tells Cody they may just have to send David home. Cody asks David what his deal is and tells him to lay low, because he really wants Kevin evicted.

At the veto meeting, Cody decides not to use the power of veto, so Kevin and David remain on the block and someone’s game will come to an end.

But that’s not all – there will also be two other people going home in a TRIPLE eviction! Though this season has been a bit of a snooze, maybe tomorrow’s extra evictions will force these “all-stars” to take some risky shots at some high profile targets. M

A Link to the Past

Weakest Link | NBC | S1 E1: Weakest Link Premiere

The Weakest Link is back! The first U.S. version of this British game show aired on NBC from 2001 – 2003 and was hosted by Anne Robinson, the host of the original version across the pond. Much like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, the show was a phenomenon when it first aired, and its catchphrase, “You are the weakest link. Goodbye!” became iconic. Tonight, the trivia game show returned with Jane Lynch in the host role.

The premise is this: eight contestants answer trivia questions that are read aloud by the host. Each correct answer earns increasing amounts of money that the contestants need to ‘bank’ in order for the amount earned to carry over into the next round. If a contestant answers incorrectly, the dollar amount goes back down to the lowest amount.

After every round, the contestants vote out the person who they think – for whatever reason – is the ‘weakest link’. Maybe it’s the person who answered the fewest questions correctly; maybe it’s a person who didn’t know the answer to a simple question. Maybe it’s a person someone just doesn’t like!

A narrator lets us know statistically who was the strongest link – most questions answered correctly – and who was the weakest. The contestants vote, and whoever gets the most votes is eliminated. In the event of a tie, the strongest link casts the deciding vote.

The final 2 contestants in the game answer 5 trivia questions each; whoever gets the most correct wins the total amount banked.

While waiting for the vote, the host discusses the questions the contestants got wrong; mean snark usually ensued. Anne Robinson was a steely taskmaster who seemed to make the contestants feel like complete idiots, no matter how well (or not) they did in the competition. She was stone-faced and robot-like, and very rarely (if ever?) showed any emotion at all; the British accent most definitely helped add to her stern character.

Anyone who’s ever watched Glee knows that Jane Lynch can do mean. Her Coach Sue Sylvester, was in fact, extremely mean, biting, and insulting. Unfortunately, Ms. Lynch doesn’t quite get to Sylvester-ian levels of mean with her comments. Here are a few examples of her insults before contestants were voted off:

  • “Who’s rap name could be ‘Lil IQ’?”
  • “Who swims in the shallow end of the gene pool?”
  • “Who thinks Fauci is a type of pasta?”
  • “Who think Quentin Tarantino is an entree at Olive Garden?”

Jane Lynch does a fine job as host, but her shtick seems to be that she’s playfully mean, where Anne was just legitimately mean. I’m not saying Lynch should try to insult and eviscerate every contestant, but her “insults” were really tame, even when making fun of people for not knowing answers. It’s a kinder, gentler Weakest Link. Speaking of which…

Lynch repeatedly calls the show The Weakest Link but the title card and listing in the viewing guide just say Weakest Link. It’s just noticeable enough to make me wonder why they didn’t just call it The Weakest Link everywhere… maybe this will change down the road. #TooMuchTimeOnMyHands.

The first episode was a pretty standard affair, and very reminiscent of the previous version of the show; same blue/black and dark color scheme, same rhythm to the game. The trivia questions spanned an extremely wide range of topics, and were all fairly easy and interesting. The rounds went as such:

Round 1: Total Possible Amount: $25K. Total Banked: $8,000
Round 2: Total Possible Amount: $50K. Total Banked: $0
Round 3: Total Possible Amount: $75K. Total Banked: $9,500
Round 4: Total Possible Amount: $100K. Total Banked: $12,500
Round 5: Total Possible Amount: $250K. Total Banked: $17,500
Round 6: Total Possible Amount: $500K. Total Banked: $15,000

The last 2 contestants, Angel and Jay, competed for the total bank of $62,500, and Angel took home the bank. Not bad for answering some questions!

It was definitely fun to see this show back on TV, and I think I’ll let a few pile up before watching again. If the casting department did its job properly, there will hopefully be some much bigger personalities as the show continues. Something tells me this won’t be the game show reboot everyone’s been waiting for (that would have to be ABC’s Supermarket Sweep), but Link could handily fill the COVID related void until scripted shows come back; if it does well, I think they should keep it – but move it to summer and bump up the snark! M

Tantrums At Sea

Below Deck Mediterranean | Bravo | Season 5 Episode 18: A Real Handful

When we last saw the crew of The Wellington, Chef Tom was mid tantrum about his provisions, and Sandy was telling Malia to stay out of Tom’s business (and his galley). Rob and Jess were blissfully copulating, and the rest of the crew was preparing for the last charter of the season. How time flies!

Tom goes to his cabin, and Malia follows him; he continues his meltdown, and tells Malia “Everything is f***ed.” Malia talks him down, and he goes back to the galley.

In an interview, Sandy says that if the chef is having issues, he should come to her, and not Malia. And she’s not wrong! The problem is Malia is Tom’s girlfriend, and one of the only people on the boat that Tom really knows.

Sandy calls Malia over the radio for a chat. Sandy tells her that she hopes Malia won’t leave the boat if Tom does, and that any issues Tom has with Sandy (or vice versa) shouldn’t affect Sandy and Malia’s relationship. Malia isn’t really okay with that, and tells her Tom isn’t going to leave, but he is her life partner and she basically needs to side with him, no matter what; ultimately though they agree to get the last charter done as best as possible.

Jess radios Bugsy and asks her if she’s expecting more provisions because the provisioner just pulled up on the dock; they deliver oysters, and halibut and scallops on ice. Bugsy takes the delivery and puts the box in the walk-in fridge as Tom goes to talk to Malia, who complains about her meeting with Sandy. Sandy sees Bugsy in the galley and asks her what’s going on, and Tom returns; Bugsy tell him she put the frozen fish away and he gives her an attitude, in front of Sandy. It was really uncalled for, and Sandy gets annoyed.

Sandy and Tom then get into it, as Malia and Bugsy watch; he tells her he’s busy and hasn’t had time to check on things. She asks him questions and he gets agitated and gives her attitude; she walks away from the situation before getting angrier. She calls the crew to the main salon for a meeting, muttering to herself “he can leave,” and she’s the “wrong person to piss off.”

At the meeting, she addresses the provision situation, and tells the crew she wants every one of them to feel supported by their captain; however, she won’t be spoken to the way Tom spoke to her. She gets emotional, and says sometimes it won’t be “the best.” She again tells them to make it a great charter, and they break.

In the galley, Tom asks Bugsy if he was out of order (yep!), but she says she didn’t hear their exchange. In an interview, Tom says again it’s a reputation thing, and he worked in whoever’s 50 Michelin star ultra super fancy restaurant. I mean, who cares, dude? Will you never get a job as a chef again, in any restaurant in the world, if some rich people say they don’t like your food? Sandy is right – things aren’t always going to be perfect, and you have to roll with the punches instead of throwing fits for every issue.

The all-female guests arrive, and the charter gets underway. Malia later gets her team together – including Pete (remember him?) – and tells them she’s going to name a lead deckhand, and as expected, it’s Alex. She thanks them for being a great team and they return the thanks.

Tom looks at the provisions that Bugsy put away, and again throws a tantrum; things still aren’t right, and he pulls Malia into the fridge and they get into an argument. Bugsy is running around trying to see what she can do to help, and runs into Sandy; Sandy tells her to calm down and that Tom’s energy is rubbing off on her. Sandy says Tom has provisions and he can cook, so Bugsy shouldn’t get swept up in his drama.

Tom gets through preparing lunch, with Malia again in the galley; Bugsy delivers everything and the guests seem happy. In an interview, Aesha calls him a spoiled British brat, and she’s not sure how Malia can find that attractive. He loses his mind (again) and stomps down to his cabin, where Malia again follows. Sandy asks the guests how lunch is, and they say everything is amazing.

The guests use the slide and water toys, and are having a great time. One of the guests, Hannah, falls off a jet ski and Malia tells Rob to go check on her; he gets on another jet ski and goes out to her – she’s fine. But as they are chatting, she gets stung by a jellyfish, on her arm. Rob takes her back to the boat and puts vinegar on the area (who knew?), while Jess glares at them from above. In an interview, Jess gets mad and says Rob’s “flirting again.”

Later, Bugsy asks Tom how he’s feeling about dinner, and he says he doesn’t know – and lunch was “just s***”. He says even if the guests are happy, he doesn’t want to give an “inferior” product. Mmmkay.

The guests are sitting around talking and one mentions she’s hungry; Sandy overhears and offers to have the guests start dinner, so they all go up to the table. Later, Bugsy starts delivering all the food and the guests are happy; she tells Tom as much. Tom calls Malia over the radio and asks her for help, and she comes to the galley (again).

The guests are having their own drama as two split off from the group and go to a cabin and complain about the others; later, two other guests do the same! #Drama! Later, guest Hannah runs into Rob and asks him to be in a group photo; he obliges, and Bugsy takes the picture. He stays and chats with the guests for a while, and they are all blatantly flirting with him. Good thing Jess was nowhere to be found!

The next day, Bugsy tells Jess that Aesha and Rob will be going ashore with the guests, and this does not make Jess happy. Before they leave, Jess tells Rob she’s jealous he’ll be with “all the girls,” and he tells her not to be jealous. Before they head out, the guests want to take a group picture with Rob and Aesha; they do, as Jess watches – and Jess sees Aesha touch Rob’s behind when the picture is taken, sending her into a jealous rage… she tells Rob she’ll “punch Aesha in the f***ing face if she touches [his] ass again.”

So the episode can really be summed up by “Tom throws tantrums,” and “Jess is jealous.” Alliteration aside, there was a lot of drama above and below deck in this episode, but most of it came from the galley, with a little Jealous Jess thrown in. She’s a fierce one, isn’t she? Poor Rob can’t even talk to another female without Jess getting batty. It’s almost like they don’t really know and/or trust each other. Go figure!

Next week: Tom gets mad, again! Jess confronts Aesha about GrabGate, and the guests get really picky, leading one of the crew members to call them “high maintenance.” On a super yacht? On Below Deck? Imagine that! M