Every once in a while, you get an episode of Big Brother where precisely one interesting thing happens. Welcome to that episode.
Matt and Raven are in disarmingly good spirits up on the block, taking a fair amount of solace in the whispers around town — most notably, from HOH Jason himself — that Raven will get pulled off the block. Jason gave her his word, and if there’s anyone left in the house who looks like he’d move hell or high water to honor the genteel antebellum value of a gentleman’s word, it’s probably the man in the cowboy hat. It turns out the chivalrous gentleman here is Matt, and Jason is just the houseguest most likely to miscalculate the math of jury votes.
It begins when Jason starts hearing criticism that his buddy, Totally Normal Person Kevin, has been angering the house. Alex informs her ride-or-die that Kevin is mean to her, Paul, and Josh, and that nobody particularly enjoys his company. Now, this comes as a shock to Jason. He can’t really believe people wouldn’t like Kevin, which is its own surprise because Jason has obviously done nothing but prove his vast powers of perception. But really, there should be no surprise here that he’s dumbfounded by the news. American history for hundreds of years has been built on the backs of Jasons who can’t understand why people don’t like Kevins.
And so, Jason’s buddy is now a target of mild concern in his eyes when the veto competition begins. At the very least, it’s a good competition because everyone’s got skin in the game, and it’s always far more fun to watch people fight for a purpose: Josh and Jason, wanting to keep noms the same; Matt and Raven, wanting to remove Raven from the block (a move of unconditional chivalry on Matt’s part, which is the purest little thing to happen all season); Paul, wanting to win so he can weigh the merits of both; and Kevin, who wants to win the veto just ’cause. I’m not quite sure what Kevin’s ever really thinking, or whether he knows he’s not wanted in the house much longer, but at the moment, he’s going for the veto because it’s the only way to guarantee safety and also it’s the Cool Thing to Do.
The competition is a classic hide-and-go-veto, wherein everyone tears the house apart. Kevin is crestfallen at the mess. Josh goes his absolute Joshiest. And Jason, who stored his veto card in the couch cushion, somehow miraculously wins, no doubt serving a more damaging blow to the integrity of hide-and-go-veto strategy than to the actual house itself.
In the fallout, Jason is fully aware of what he has to do. He tells Kevin that he has to put him on the block, and his argument is fair — it sends Matt home, establishes goodwill with Raven, and alleviates some of the pressure on Kevin as one of the only houseguests to have never been on the block. Kevin, understandably, is…displeased. “It’s not logical,” he claims, and you can see Kevin revert into let’s-make-a-deal fight-or-flight mode in a matter of seconds. And in that same matter of seconds, Jason decides that if Kevin’s not comfortable going on the block, then he’s not comfortable putting him there.
Alex and Paul enter the room, with Kevin still there, and Jason puts his foot down and asks one of them to be a pawn. It’s only when Alex and Paul exchange looks that Jason even begins to realize that maybe these people actually do want to get rid of Kevin. A few scenes later, the conversation shifts to just Jason, Alex, Paul, and Christmas, who tries to point out the very simple logic that booting Kevin loses him one vote, while not following through on his promise to Matt and Raven loses him two votes AND the cooperation of everyone he’s worked with thus far.
Jason, of course, is still not satisfied. Does he sacrifice his sweet pal Kevin to save his future in the game? Or does he toss it all away for a man who tapes himself up with plastic wrap to lose weight in the year 2017?
“Whenever I have tough decisions to make,” begins Jason at the ceremony, “I always find that coming back to my core beliefs and my core thoughts will work the best in high-intensity situations…” So, ahh, yeah, there it is. It’s done. Jason’s not going to use the power of veto. Matt and Raven stay put, because Jason honored one word, but not the other. And now no one wants to talk to him. He threw away his votes. He threw away his alliance. He threw away his game. And eeeeveryone just saw this rodeo clown get horned.