I’m going to go way out on a limb here and say that Kaitlin seemed like a reasonably cool person. I use the word “cool” loosely and the word “reasonably” very generously. She made mistakes. After the first week, she had three close friends in the house: Jeremy, a tall man who lives in a small boat, possessed of a forehead that appeared designed specifically to crush beer cans on and arm muscles that appeared specifically designed to lift nerds up and stuff their heads into toilets; Aaryn, who before she appeared on this season of Big Brother was last seen transforming into a dragon outside of Cinderella’s castle; and GinaMarie, who graciously donated her brain to science and forgot to die first.
Kaitlin had poor judgment, is what I’m saying here. But she knew that. She was self-aware. “I definitely picked the wrong side of the house,” she said on last night’s episode, by way of post-mortem. She did some cruel things with her cruel allies, but in the psychological contest of the Big Brother house – which is basically the Stanford Prison Experiment with bikinis and worse food – you can believe that she allowed herself to be carried along by bad people. She was situationally evil, but perhaps not totally evil. (Like, in Spider-Man Villain Terms, Aaryn is the first Green Goblin – pure evil, power-obsessed – but Kaitlin is the second Green Goblin – cursed with bad influences. In this metaphor, GinaMarie is the Rhino.) In the first week post-Jeremy, she vibed like a player. If Aaryn went home, you could see her rising.
“If Aaryn went home.” That was the problem. Aaryn has spent the last two weeks in the Big Brother house beset on all sides, fighting for her life while essentially living on the block. She had a target on her back. She had a target on her head. Aaryn’s whole body had quite literally transformed into a giant walking target. It was easy to count her out. Most people in the house did. Aaryn had dug a very deep hole for herself. She made racist comments. She made homophobic comments. She got into shouting matches with her fellow contestants. She clubbed baby seals to death with cricket bats. She sabotaged the Apollo 13 Moon Landing. She rigged the votes so that poor Ben Affleck couldn’t get a Best Director nod for Argo. She stole the Eiffel Tower. (She framed Carmen Sandiego.) Aaryn had played such a singularly toxic game that everyone in the house decided to keep her around, because it was unthinkable that she could ever actually win this thing.
This had the curious effect of giving Aaryn an amazingly strong position in the house. And Aaryn knew this. Aaryn walked up to the HoH thronebed and whispered into Judd’s ear. “Kaitlin is a big threat,” said Aaryn. “Kaitlin is a big threat!” said Judd. “Kaitlin’s the strongest player,” Aaryn continued. “Kaitlin is the strongest player!” Judd affirmed. “Your clothes. Give them to me,” said Aaryn. “Here ya go! M’clothes!” said Judd. She mind-tricked him. Jessie was there, too. (I suspect when we close the book on this season, many exciting things will have happened, and as an addendum, we will note: “Jessie was there, too!”)
Aaryn departed the room, and let Judd talk to Helen and Elissa. “Say, guys, don’t you think Kaitlin is a big threat? She is the strongest player,” he explained. “Judd, why are you naked?” asked Helen. “And why is there tiny devil on your shoulder with Aaryn’s face?” asked Elissa. Judd, getting nervous from all the questions, went to go spread the new anti-Kaitlin Gospel. He told Candice and Howard that he was thinking of keeping Aaryn. “I think maybe it’s smarter to keep Aaryn, even though it’s kind of disgusting to keep her,” he said. Howard nodded; the man came here to play the game. Remember, kids: Keep your friends close, but keep your grasshoppers closer, so the ants can kill the grasshoppers.
Everyone came around to this new way of thinking. Helen told Elissa: “I’m a minority. I get it. But…she’s always going to be a bigger target in the house than you or me.” Aaryn had made promises to Helen. If Aaryn won HoH, she would not put Helen or her allies up on the block. The inherent problem with all of this, of course, is that Helen is treating Aaryn as if she is a typical player in the Big Brother house, and not the demonspawn of a thousand satans created by Robo-Frankenstein in a zero-gravity space lab with the express purpose of spreading chaos inside of the Big Brother house.
Elissa tried to tell people this. But the tide was turning against Kaitlin. The final blow came when Judd told people about the incipient alliance forming between Howard/Spencer and Kaitlin/GinaMarie. In that moment, Judd seemed to decisively choose his side of the house, with Jessie, Helen, and Andy. (ASIDE: In the process, Judd also helped to outline the current grouping of the house. In one corner, the remnants of the Moving Company and the Mean Girl Brigade; in another corner, Helen’s legion, mostly composed of people who were burned by Aaryn; and, in the middle, McCrae and Amanda, which I’m going to refer to as “McCramda” until you give me a better idea. END OF ASIDE.)
But Elissa was not finished.
NEXT: Elissa seeks vengeance