'Big Brother' recap: Heeeeere's Johnny (Mac) | EW.com

TV Recaps | Big Brother

Heeeeere's Johnny (Mac)

All pawn and no play makes John a big threat. As if anyone actually noticed.

(CBS)

Big Brother

Season 17, Ep. 12 | Aired Jul 19

Welcome back to another installment of Popular Clique-House Camera-Show! It’s a Shelli-Liz-Julia world this week, just like basically every other week, and we’re all just living in it. Actually, it’s a John the Dentist world, and the slow-burn of that glorious rapture is my new summer religion.

Under the HoH regime of dear old Shliz, Audrey thinks she’s made a comeback and is sitting safe; Jackie feels like she could be a target in Jeff’s absence, but it would require her to still be in the house and it’s a 100 percent true fact that she hasn’t been seen in the BB halls since early October; Steve is absolutely beating himself up over losing HoH and full-on monologuing in the bedroom like Hamlet stuck in a Crate & Barrel (has anyone fallen further from nerd grace than Steve?!); and Jason fully believes he’s screwed over and on the block, which turns out to be a fine display of self-aware intuition. It’s because of predictability, you see, and since we’re in the third straight week of Shelli Power (whether de jure or de facto), we know what to expect when the popular clique cuddles above the rest.

Jackie, to her credit, makes a triumphant return to civilization and tries to pull intel from Austin about where she stands this week. Austin tells Jackie that Liz might put her up on the block, and Jackie relays it to Shelli, who relays it to Vanessa, who tells her beanie, and together they decide that even though it’s true, Austin’s loose lips may sink these ships moving forward.

Shelli doesn’t want Liz to stay in control. Shelli wants to get Jason out. Shelli wants to take her relationship with her puppy to the next level but isn’t sure how to broach the subject. To the first two points, Shelli Frankenstein and her abs monster Clay decide their best, predictable option is to once again recruit townsperson John to play the pawn and throw the competition. It seems like a sick joke, but no, it’s not—the cheerleader and the jock think they’re She’s All That-ing John, but they don’t know what’s really going on in his diary room. Clay’s third proposal to John is only as outrageous as the idea that they have no clue what kind of player they think they’re using week after week.

Johnny Mac isn’t actively playing the fool, but Sixth Sense is certainly typecasting him in the role. Rather, the good dentist is actually the most astute player in this whole house. He is the BoB Rain Man, the Houdini of Keys, the Childhood Tooth Placement Whisperer. When Liz reads her HoH letter from her mother, John reads between the lines of the Twin Mother. “This letter is lacking heartfelt emotional content directed at one person,” says John, “and it’s just supporting the twin theory even more.” At this point I’m convinced John is both going to win this game AND go down as one of the greatest players in Big Brother history, for flying under the radar with a dashing combination of dental dexterity and hoodie flair game. The true joy of BB17 will be seeing the public reconciliation of Diary Room John with Pawn John.

Nominations roll around and it’s no surprise: Liz throws up James and Jackie, and Shelli puts up Jason and John. Liz makes good with Jackie and promises, no, totally promises, yes, definitely promises, absolutely promises, that Jackie is not her target—and then decides that because Jackie had the audacity to ask, she now actually is one. Jason (who knows that John has been throwing BoB competitions) pretends to make nice with Shelli, and they decide that Audrey is the real threat—a truth Jason has always known and Shelli only decides to know when it’s convenient for her.

And guess what? Reformed Audrey decides to run her mouth again, much like how you finish a big burrito and groan “I’m never eating again” and find yourself at Chipotle 16 hours later. Audrey simply can’t help stirring the pot, and Shelli is now getting too nervous to keep bailing her out. Shelli won’t commit to the thought that Audrey has to go—she needs Clay’s power ring to activate and unify a full thought between the two of them—but she’s “mulling it over.”

The Battle of the Block continues with the ’90s music theme (was literally nobody available for a takeover? Lou Ferrigno? Kim Fields?). The challenge involves finding keys and opening padlocks to the theme of grunge. Unfortunately for fans of the dentist, James and Jackie find a way to overcome Jackie’s irrelevance and fly off the block. That leaves Liz dethroned and Shelli Silverstone still in charge, eager to ponder whether Audrey is a bigger target than Jason … although we all know that lovely John is the biggest threat of all.

Other things that happened:
—Liz’s voice dropped from baritone to bass.
—Shelli cried over her dog and then read a letter ostensibly written by him, although I would wager that the dog did not actually write it and the Big Brother producers are trying to pull one over on us. Dogs are not wont to write prose.
—Shelli, Audrey, Meg, and Jason sang, and it was awful.
—Steve couldn’t fold an iron.
—While the Sixth Sense alliance struggled to decide who to put on the block, they also expressed interest in cracking the mystery of the four voters who opted to oust James instead of Jeff. They’re Steve, John, and Jackie—three innocuous people, and certainly nothing worth worrying about after this week—but the fourth is Liz, whose independent vote against the alliance’s plan is the kind of low-key secret that could stay quiet all season long until it explodes in a flash of husky-voiced fireworks with a crown #9.