Big Brother Recap: Rachel Getting Milky

It’s hard to predict the thirteenth season of Big Brother since we’re just beginning to understand the team-system voting, the “Golden Key” immunity loophole, and Shelly’s powerful face (half Geena Davis, half Fire Marshall Bill? I’m in love?). So much new data! But last night, the overlords and underdogs emerged as our six veterans rallied, the newbies buckled, and Rachel’s braying laugh billowed and billowed like fumes from a sewer stream overflowing with Clairol’s Magenta Minx #47. Run, townspeople.

As the episode starts, the pawns convene in separate rooms and strategize like Rugrats raring to overthrow Angelica. Evel Dick raises a shaky finger and announces he wants to “wipe out the strong ones and keep the weak ones” in the first couple weeks, hoping to fill the top 10 with useless plebes. It’s a slightly annoying segment given that Evel Dick’s limited future in the Big Brother house is no mystery to hardcore viewers (A.K.A. the only viewers), so I can’t even pretend to enjoy his machinations. Or his gnarled, jack-o’-lantern visage. Oh, Dick! You won’t be forgotten. Because you’re the lovechild of Tommy Lee and a scary tree. Motley Spruce forever.

Meanwhile, partnerships strengthen and weaken throughout the funhouse: Daniele assures us that her rocky relationship with Dick, her father, is all business when it comes to Big Brother. Hooray. Porsche confides in teammate Keith that she wants to befriend the veterans, but Keith takes us aside in confessional and calls her stupid. Jordan and Jeff make fart jokes in bed, just like Ozzie and Harriet. And Rachel, the HOH, opines about plastic surgery with Brendon, asking if he thinks Cassi’s had Botox. Or cheek implants. Or eyebrow calligraphy, a nose whittling, eye varnish, ear simplification, a mouth mulligan, or some other hacksaw procedure. Brendon shakes his head, ignores Rachel’s petty artificiality, and stares into her brick-hard breasts like a hypnotized seminarian. “He never complains about these!” Rachel caws at us, pointing at her rigid grapefruits. She’s like a hoarse, 1997 version of JWOWW who gets cast in an Oxygen ripoff called The Saucy Senoritas of Seaside. I respect her on those extreme terms.

While the veterans appear to wield power, some of the clamoring freshmen come up with their own defenses. Dominic, the stay-at-home model, calls together hokey Lawon, horny Keith, and catatonic Cassi (“because she’s hot”) to form a voting alliance against their partners should their duos receive eviction nominations. Everyone concurs, and Dominic calls their group “the Regulators.” He’s torqued about that name! After all, it sounds like a wimpy youth soccer team. CapriSuns and Koala Yummies for these champs!

An actual competition follows, pitting three teams of four (excluding Rachel and Brendon, the HOHs) in a race to wear big, spongy cow suits, soak up milk from a pool, and squeeze the milk into awaiting jars. The set for this challenge is a tin-foil, sci-fi tableau. Very Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?, but less educational. Yet again, a team of veterans (Dick, Daniele, Jeff, and Jordan) outpace the newbies, and Kalia, Lawon, Cassi, and Shelly are relegated to “have-not” status, meaning they’re forced to sleep in awful quarters with cold showers, slop dinners, and the knowledge that bedraggled ole Dick is their athletic superior. Four suicides coming right up.

After Dick cajoles a leery Adam — the 90210-loving metal god — into something of partnership, Rachel concludes the episode by coming down with the night’s nominations: Keith and Porsche. That’s an unlovable duo, so props to BRAYWOWW there. Thankfully for Keith, he’s made friends with people who will save him. Does this mean it’s lights-out for Porsche? Even though she’s a “VIP cocktail waitress” who thrives in darkened locales? We’ll see if the Power Of Veto competition helps save her on Wednesday.

What did you think of last night’s episode? Was it an intriguing jumpoff? Or did it feel like a boring b-plot on an Oxygen ripoff called Big Sister (Full of Botox)? And why didn’t we see more of Shelly, who recited a monologue about her sweet husband? Thrill me in the comments, read me regularly at Movieline.com, and find more of my vulgarities on Twitter at @louisvirtel.