Luke Cage

Who is Luke Cage?

Posted by michaelj | Comics

WARNING: There is a wee bit of nudity down the page. You have been warned. -mf

Luke Cage is one of the most badass heroes in the Marvel Universe, and probably my favorite Avenger. All of this is remarkable because prior to the early- to mid-aughts he was kind of a cliche-ridden goofball born of the 1970s in a ridiculous disco superhero “uniform” ejaculating SWEET CHRISTMAS each issue as his catch phrase.

Luckily I don’t know anything about any of that. Despite his first appearance in 1972 my serious concept of Luke is the thoroughly modern one… 2001 at the earliest. If you go through these Top 8 Badass moments I hope you learn to like him as much as I do (and just in time for his Netflix debut, tomorrow). He really is something else.

Luke Cage’s Top 8 Badass Moments (according to Mike):

VIII. Luke Cage makes the All-Star Team
Luke Cage makes the All-Star Team

Little of the rest of this list would be possible without Luke’s improbable ascent to Avengers All-Star in Brian Michael Bendis’s “Breakout” story.

To give you some context if your concept of the Avengers is all billion dollar summer blockbusters with Chrisses Hemsworth and Evans staring each other down in shirtless blonde Greek* god pose-offs, when I was growing up the team was like Namor’s fish-eyed green ex plus a fat, bald, Stephen Strange wannabe named Dr. Druid; or, right after, the Eternal duo of Sersei and — I shit you not — “the Forgotten One”. Nothing supreme; utterly forgettable.

Legend has it the baby version of Mark Millar liked Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman all, but didn’t have enough pocket money for all their books. Luckily DC’s Justice League of America let him read about all the top heroes with just one title! This — some thirty years later — was a revelation for Marvel decision makers, and the concept of an Avengers All-Star team was born. For the first time iconic Avengers Captain America and Iron Man adventured alongside Marvel’s unquestioned ace Peter Parker and most popular berserker, X-Man Wolverine…

… And Luke Cage.

Bendis’s affection for Cage was apparent to anyone who had read his street-level superhero books Daredevil and Alias [aka Jessica Jones], but given the shot on the larger stage, Luke stepped up.

Never again would he be a trope; he became not just an Avenger, but THE Avenger. A leader of men, gods, women, and squirrels.

VII. Luke Cage Beats Up the Wrecker, Everyone Else, with the Wrecker’s Crowbar
Luke Cage Beats Up the Wrecker, Everyone Else, with the Wrecker's Crowbar

Hold on… Luke Cage is an Avenger?

THE Avenger, actually. Get with the program already.

What’s this about a crowbar?

Uru weapons in the Marvel Universe are super special and super powerful… Rare, but not unique. Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer, is the must famous Uru weapon but even in the cinematic universe you get the feeling Odin has a whole basement full of hand-held WMDs behind the Rainbow Bridge. Beta Ray Bill carries Stormbreaker (essentially the exact same hammer as Mjolnir, but yellow instead of gray), and in the climax of “Fear Itself” seemingly the entire MU from Iron Fist to Red She-Hulk are transformed into godlike versions of themselves, armed with Uru swords, claw extensions, or Stark-brand power suits. Uru is stronger than vibranium or adamantium, such that when Cap’s shield cracked, a little Uru glue was said to make it even stronger.

Cage taking an Uru weapon (crowbar here instead of hammer in the pantheon of magical construction equipment) from its owner and then using it to pound an entire [Dark] Avengers team is roughly the equivalent of beating up Hemsworth, somehow lifting his toy, and then going to town on the bad guy equivalents of Renner, Jackman, and Maguire Garfield whoever is playing Spidey these days, ultimately to spit in Willem Dafoe’s eye**.

Bad

Ass

VI. That Time Luke Cage Bought the Avengers Mansion for $1
That Time Luke Cage Bought the Avengers Mansion for $1

Tony Stark sold Luke his ancestral home — and that of his team — to Luke, allowing Cage complete autonomy over his own Avengers squad.

Neither Luke nor wife Jessica Jones carry cash, though, so Cage had to borrow the buck from longtime partner Iron Fist. LOL

V. That Other Time Luke Cage Sold the Avengers Mansion Back to Stark for $5
That Other Time Luke Cage Sold the Avengers Mansion Back to Stark for $5

Wanting to focus on family (and get his daughter Danielle out of the line of fire) Luke briefly retired from the Avenging business, so sold the mansion back to Tony… At a 400% profit.

IV. When Luke Cage (and Thor) Literally Ripped Deadpool in Half
When Luke Cage (and Thor) Literally Ripped Deadpool in Half

Ew

Gross

Deadpool Annual #1 from 2013 is a hoot. Heroes lament how hard it is to beat “healing factor guys”, Thor reduces one to ash with an Uru-summoned lightning bolt, and multiple Avengers sip lattes while dancing on rooftops, surrounded by the corpses of a dozen failed ninja assassins. A hoot! I told you!

… Oh, and Luke and Thor rip Deadpool in half.

Don’t worry though. Healing factor guy, etc.

III. Luke Cage Eats Three Eggs
Luke Cage Eats Three Eggs

The 2002 Cage series by Brian Azzarello and Richard Corben is a real treat. Cage shows us a-list creators (one of which is the writer behind crime masterpiece 100 Bullets) lending their collective pencils and pens to a hood-based story of urban gentrification and warring ethnic groups years before Luke’s big graduation to punching Skrulls instead of street level gang bangers.

Cage has Cage depicted as tough, mercenary, and overwhelmingly charismatic (a quality he would carry into Alias). It opens on the universally accepted idea that “shit happens” … But for Harlem residents with “bank” Cage — operating out of a local strip club –can be their toilet paper.

I read Cage when it came out, and despite some truly classic one-liners, like “Bullshit. She inta BOYS she inta GANGS[.]” and “Yeah… Pull that trigger… SEE who dies[.]” plus a killer three-sentence summary of Luke’s secret origin*** — at least prior to writing this — had little specific recollection of the details.

Except the eggs scene.

What makes it badass? Memorable even?

Is three eggs even a large number of eggs to eat? (Does Azzarello think it is?) Is it because Luke just got done humping an at-this-point-still nameless Korean bartender? Both?

I think this scene is meant to highlight a combination of Luke’s appetites, masculinity, and cross-demographic appeal, none of which have eroded in the fifteen years since.

II. Luke Cage (and Jess) Pop Doc Ock and Kick Him Off Their Team
Luke Cage (and Jess) Pop Doc Ock and Kick Him Off Their Team

Doctor Octopus is a bad guy. Given some of the other escapades on this Top 8 list, cracking the spectacles of a b-lister might not seem like a big deal. But Doc Ock was possessing Peter Parker’s body at the time.

Luke even stood up to him with words before he rose up with fists. He didn’t know it was Doc Ock; he thought he was doing the right thing by getting up in the grill of the moral center of the MU.

Total Neville Longbottom moment, this.

I. The Ascent and Career of Doreen Green
The Ascent and Career of Doreen Green

We started with Luke making the Avengers All-Star team. I think that the appropriate closure is Luke’s paying it forward for another goofball character.

So Luke and Jessica — new parents of future Captain America Danielle Cage — found themselves in need of a nanny. And because they are the kind of people who might have terrorists, alien invaders, or angry / riled-up mutants attacking their mansion, they were in need of a super powered nanny. They ended up choosing Doreen Green, also known as Squirrel Girl.

Doreen’s ascent ultimately mirrored Luke’s. Squirrel Girl was an explicitly not-serious character, even joining joke superhero team the Great Lakes Avengers just so her squirrel sidekick could die in an arc satirizing comic book deaths. However as the nanny to Danielle Cage, Doreen was — like Luke — given a spotlight on New Avengers. She beat Wolverine one-on-one and got to flex a little heroism. Today, the onetime joke character is headlining her own title, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, is the darling of comics critics while helping to expand the genre’s audience, and even puts in time on Sunspot’s Avengers Idea Mechanics team.

Pay it forward, Luke Cage.

LOVE
MIKE

* Norse, fine; Norse.

** The Green Goblin (wearing StarkTech) at the time claimed to be in charge of the Avengers, but just had Bullseye dressed up as Hawkeye, Venom masquerading as Pete, etc.

*** When I was doin’ my big in the joint, a doctor made me an offer. / Said be my MONKEY. Let me experiment on your black ass. I’ll either KILL YOU, or SET YOU FREE. / I said hand me the BANANA.

**** You know, like YT.

Batman #47

comiXology summary:
Batman #47. While Jim Gordon is in the fight of his life against Mr. Bloom, Bruce Wayne discovers a shocking secret about his past that will change everything in Gotham City!

This Alex Ross cover was actually an alternate for a relatively recent* issue of Batman. Because it wasn’t the main cover I wouldn’t consider Batman #47 a “bait and switch” on characters in the same way I criticized All-New Inhumans. This is beside the fact that Batman isn’t even Batman in this issue (a moustache-less Jim Gordon was filling in for an amnesiac Bruce Wayne at the time).

But what makes this a noteworthy cover? I mean, there are alternate covers to some book or other essentially every week, right?

The first reason is just that this is an Alex Ross, and any mainstream Alex Ross is probably worth a second look, even if we don’t end up lingering on it. That’s not the real reason, though; at least not for me.

This Batman #47 alternate, with it’s “Harley’s Little Black Book” titling, is a sequel of sorts. One of the best — or at least most famous — depictions of Harley Quinn was done by Ross back in 1999 for Batman: Harley Quinn #1. Though Harley’s entire character arc had essentially been played out between her first appearance on Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 and its last episode (months earlier in 1999) she had never — never — appeared in a mainstream DC Universe comic before Batman: Harley Quinn #1!

So bringing Harley (who would ultimately become one of DC’s most famous and popular characters) to comics was kind of a big deal. DC tapped Ross for this classic:

Batman: Harley Quinn #1

When I first started working, and first figured out how to change the desktop background on my PC, this is what I chose.

So what did I love about Batman #47? Check the white flower over Mr. J’s left breast; the tux… all of it. This is the direct sequel to the classic.

LOVE
MIKE

* “Relatively recent” being about Christmas last year, given a stated print release date of December 9, 2015. With DC’s “Rebirth” event Batman has since been renumbered at #1 under The Vision scribe Tom King.

September 21st is Finale Night

James

James admits he didn’t throw one of them

First things first for the finale; cool cat, Paul wins the first part of the final HOH competition. Meanwhile James is a real puss talking bout how it’s hard even from the beginning. He complains about milk and kitty litter on his shoes… yeah, cause clean shoes matter a TON when you’re competing for $500K. After he wins, Paul says now he can take a long catnap while the other two battle it out in part two. Meow.

Nicole

Nicole expresses confusion about F2

Next we see the BB amusement park competition for part two. There’s a roller coaster and the whole thing seems really challenging and precise. The houseguests have to place correct houseguest faces in a coaster car and then time the car going down the coaster so that a pic taken of it captures the houseguests as they pass. Nicole works hard and runs the whole time, pushing herself to get the best time possible. She does well. James, on the other hand, spends the comp bein’ clueless and blaming the houseguest faces for failing him in the challenge. You know, like how a winner competes. He doesn’t even run for most of the competition and thus, Nicole wins. But we already knew that.

Meech

Meech dabs her last BB18 tears

Then we see Dr. Will lead the jury discussion. The talk of James is annoying until Da’Vonne says “Ewwww,” to sum up his gameplay and we all sigh with relief that the jury’s not all blind. The jurors seems to be fans of Paul’s game and we’re LOVING it. Victor doesn’t even have to say anything until the very end. They all seem to respect Paul’s game even though they didn’t always like how he spoke to them. Nicole on the other hand, doesn’t get much in the way of props. Corey defends her valiantly but nobody else appears to buy into it. Michelle, of course, bursts into tears at the mere mention of Nicole.

James

Bye Bye, James!

In the final part of the last HOH competition Paul and Nicole balance on the “Scales of Just Us” and are tied awhile at the start. But soon Paul takes the lead with a question about Paulie and then gets another leading point with a Natalie question. When he wins the final HOH, we feel like all’s right in the world! It’s Paul’s decision time back inside the house then and he quickly evicts James. HOORAY! Finally, finally, finally, finally. James makes a joke about taking the new tiny version of Pablo (like Meech did on her way out) and we’re so happy James is leaving that we laugh out loud.  Julie immediately confronts James about not winning much and he puffs up his chest real big and says he threw it all, baby. It was on purpose! Of course.

Nicole

Nicole’s speech

Now it’s jury interrogation time and we’re so excited we can hardly wait. James joins the jury and Da’Vonne laughs her ass off right along with us about his eviction. They ask Paul about his crass talk and Nicole what her big move was in the game. Nicole talks a lot but doesn’t say much at first. Then she stands up for herself pretty well in the end of the question/answer part. Paul probably should have apologized rather than just pulling the “You guys knew I was crazy,” card. But then it seems OK because Paul nails his speech. He kills it. When they break for the jurors to vote Paul and Nicole are happily giggling together and nervous. It’s sort of adorable… even on mute.

Then the houseguests vote one at a time, giving little to no indication for how they’re voting. James is the one we wonder about the most while they’re voting but turns out it’s a real stumper as Julie reads the keys, to find so many of them vote for Nicole.

James – Paul
Corey – Nicole
Victor – Paul
Natalie – Nicole
Michelle – Paul
Paulie – Nicole
Bridgette – Paul
Zakiyah – Nicole
Da’Vonne – Nicole

Da’Vonne? Really? It wasn’t what we expected. Nicole wins. We’re happy for her but sad for truth, justice, and the American way – which continue to evade us.

Winner

Victor wins America’s Favorite Player and THAT feels right. We’ll take our crumbs and go now because the season usually ends this way – disappointing on the whole but we had fun anyway. On to the next installation of Big Brother. This one’s called OTT: Over the Top and it’s all online all the time. Who’s brewing the coffee? We’re ready to roll.

Sittin’ Ducks For Life!

– Katherine Recap

Final Three: Nicole – Paul – James

Part One Final HOH winner: Paul
Part Two Final HOH winner:
Nicole

Part Three between Paul & Nicole: live on Wednesday night

Paul to Nicole on September 20th, You and I are the same, except you’re a girl and I’m crazy. 

Paul-Nicole

Chatting about the other houseguests

In the afternoon of September 20th, Paul and Nicole talk about Victor and it’s super cute. She tells Paul about how when Vic came back into the house he immediately asked Nicole if her and Corey’s “relationship flourished” like some kind of grandpa inquiry. Paula and Nicole also analyze and criticize Victor’s social game. It just wasn’t good enough for the game, they think. Vic was starting to lose it at the end with how messy people are in the house and got harder for him to hide his annoyance. We can see how this is true… though we still adore our Puerto Rican Sensation.

James

James playing mind games

They have yet another conversation and Nicole explains to Paul that Corey and James were really close. This was why Corey was so surprised when James voted him out over Nicole. It was the whole Texas bro bond the duo had… but they kept it kinda quiet from everyone else. Nicole said she ONLY knew because she was uber tight with Corey. After they’ve talked a long time Nicole gets quiet and decides to try on her potential show outfits, one of which is our feature photo above. It’s vintage and fits Nicole’s whole “grandma chic. But Nicole isn’t happy with how it fits her body. She’s probably just focused on this because clothes are something she can control unlike everything else ahead in the next day or so… but, of course, James chalks it up to “bein a girl,” because misogyny.

Paul

Paul puts on his paranoid pants

Speaking of James, he gets under Nicole’s skin on September 20th simply by acting uber cheerful. “What’s he so happy about?” Nicole worries aloud. She starts to wonder if James is so confident and chipper because Paul said he’ll take him to final two. The paranoia is strong in this one. So Nicole tells Paul she needs some alone time and talks to herself about if she’s making the right choice taking Paul. Thus, we’re at the finish line and this one’s undecided. Oh well, at least it gets the tension up a bit. Lack of certainty can be fun – right? Paul doesn’t think so.  He senses Nicole’s seismic shift and ponders it long after the other two are asleep. Thus, the lights dim on a terrified trio, destined to wake up and spend their very last day playing Big Brother season 18. Finale night lies directly ahead and we don’t care what anybody wears… we just want Paul to win it all.

– Katherine Recap

Chapter 1

FX summary:
Chapter 1. The FX limited series, American Horror Story, returns for a sixth installment. An FX Original Series Wednesdays 10PM ET/PT on FX.

The sixth season of American Horror Story brings with it a new format for the series. This year the show is being presented as a kind of “play within a play” — complete with DRAMATIC RE-ENACTMENT subtitles — as “My Roanoke Nightmare”.

We meet Matt and Shelby, played by Andre Holland and Lily Rabe. Matt, a pharmaceutical salesman, wins a free yoga class at a work raffle. Matt pulls a hamstring and never does another downward dog… But does walk away from the class with Shelby, the teacher, to be his bride.

Matt is promoted. Shelby is pregnant. The two go out to celebrate…

It is the worst night of their lives.

Matt and Shelby are attacked during a gang initiation. Matt is concussed while Shelby loses her baby to the stress of seeing her beloved knocked out. The pair flee the dangerous city of LA for a country life.

While Holland and Rabe give voiceover — talking directly to us — about their traumatic experiences, their same characters are played out by Academy Award Winner (and OJ Simpson darling) Cuba Gooding Jr. and American Horror Story mainstay Sarah Paulson. So there are two Matts, and two Shelbys; one pair of talking heads, and the other acting out scenes, simultaneously. All four of them are meant to be on a different show, “My Roanoke Nightmare” and not American Horror Story ostensibly.

It’s an interesting presentation style that — in addition to Cuba’s post-coital buttocks — gives us one substantially un-American Horror Story foothold: There is little real threat of danger. We aren’t watching American Horror Story proper… We’re watching “My Roanoke Nightmare”. Sarah Paulson isn’t just an actress playing a part… She’s playing Lily Rabe’s Shelby Miller; since Rabe is talking to us about her traumatic experience, we can assume she survived to sell her story to “My Roanoke Nightmare”. So even though there are scary hillbillies, colonials bearing torches, pig-headed monsters, and weird traffic coincidences there is less a threat of seeing either Shelby dismembered like Chloe Sevigny’s patient in American Horror Story: Asylum or burned alive like Frances Conroy’s witch in American Horror Story: Coven.

One thing I’ll give it: Roanoke is creepy. It highlights racial tensions, and the visceral fear a black man — or a mixed couple — might fear from less enlightened neighbors. It reminds us of real violence as a catalyst for the show’s trademark supernatural events. And of course, if you blink, you can find yourself blanketed by fingerlike string fetishes hanging from every which wall (or every tree in the forest), depending on where you are when you run afoul of the mysterious.

“Chapter 1” is a proper introduction to the new season, and as the name implies, only the first chapter. It ends on cliffhanger. We will learn more tonight!

LOVE
MIKE

Final Three: Nicole – Paul – James

Part One Final HOH winner: Paul
Part Two Final HOH winner:
Nicole

Part Three between Paul & Nicole: live on Wednesday night

Although slow, the September 19th feeds are still felt pretty satisfying. That’s mainly because James eavesdrops on Paul and Nicole while they discuss how lame he is in the backyard. Thus, his suspicions of yesterday fully distill down into his worst nightmare made real. The guy literally can’t win. James now knows Nicole and Paul don’t respect his game and won’t take him to final two… and they’re out of Budweiser.

James

James eavesdrops

Nicole and Paul practice their speeches a lot and both include the other’s name. That means they both expect to be sitting next to each other on finale night. Yay! Paul might actually win this thing. It’s funny when he also has this realization. Paul recounts how in his intro interview he said that if he won Big Brother, he’d get a BB tattoo on his butt. Oh my God, he exclaims, I might actually have to get that thing! Then James recommends a Power of Veto tattoo and we gotta give him props… good tattoo idea. We wanna see that to fruition.

Paul

Paul’s got all the moves

Paul’s speech works and he has a pretty good chance of winning the whole shebang. Right from the start he gets hearts cranking when his speech starts out. We’ll paraphrase his intro for you a bit; When you guys all met me you probably saw a crazy, loud, obnoxious guy and immediately assumed I’d be the first one evicted out of this house. Hell, yeah they did! And we absolutely love that Paul IS that guy and still here he is with a chance to win the $500,000.

Paul-Nicole

Nicole expresses her speech woes to Paul

Nicole works on her speech but it’s much less convincing than Paul’s. She talks to Paul about it later in the hammock and says, “What if I pass out, have a heart attack and die?” which is funny but also understandable. As she points out, nine million or so people could be watching and Nicole can’t figure out what they’re going to ask her. She doesn’t know what she did to anyone that might upset them… just that they’re upset with her. So, Paul tells her to just talk to the camera like she’s talking to a TV because, hey, that’s basically what they’ve been doing all summer. It’s great advice and does seem to ease Nicole’s anxiety.

Paul- Nicole

Paul and Nicole work on his finale shirt

Then Big Brother tells them about OTT: Over the Top, their new show that starts right away on CBS: All Access online and the trio are a bit thrown by it. Another set of houseguests? Right away? Well, they can’t be nearly as cool… right? Luckily BB also gives them a call to action in form of a framed chalkboard and colorful pens with instruction to write tips for the next set of BB contestants. You can see the results in our Fetchland featured photo above. Paul writes, “Be yourself… unless you suck,” and similar gems. James writes less useful advice; like, “Throw 75% of competitions,” and other fartballs of mediocrity. Paul and Nicole laugh about his tips later but Nicole’s aren’t that much better. One of hers is to “Play,” meaning the game and we all see the irony since she didn’t do that much till toward the end.

Nicole

Nicole practices her speech by the pool

We’re not going to be hard on Nicole for this, though because we’re guilty of it too. At the beginning of season 18 we planned to write only positive comments about the houseguests. Instead, we’ve been reaming James a new a-hole for at least half the summer. We get it, Nicole. You went into the house with high hopes, determined to play the game and avoid a showmance. Then summer hit, circumstances changed, and you did the best you could while drowning in your own hypocrisy. We relate.

Katherine Recap

Final Three: Nicole – Paul – James

Part One Final HOH winner: Paul
Part Two Final HOH winner:
Nicole

Part Three between Paul & Nicole: live on Wednesday night

September 18th feeds brought lots of interesting conversations. They do soliloquies in mirrors, talk to walls, and convince the stainless steel door of the fridge. We’re referring, of course, to Nicole and Paul as they prep their final two speeches. Paul’s seem more convincing but Nicole continues to work hard on her speech.

Paul

Paul convinces the fridge

Then at around 8:20PM in the kitchen, James asks Nicole what she plans to do if she wins the third part of the HOH competition and chooses the final two. Of course, he gets seriously bummed by her reply. Nicole tells him he has the jury votes that she can’t possibly get next to him. Paul, on the other hand, pretty much alienated the same people she did. It’s a valid point, especially since Paul did call Michelle the C-word. Also we finally get complete clarity that Nicole and James never had a pre-season alliance. Nicole makes this evident when she tells him, “I don’t owe you anything,” and we’re happily surprised at her candor. This Nicole-without-Corey is pretty darn refreshing. We like her.

James-Nicole

Nicole tells James the bad news

After they talk James hits rock bottom and tells the camera, “Shit. That’s not good,” to which all us live feeders respond, “You’re finally gettin’ it!” and it really seems like he does. James mopes around like a sad sack all day long. Only after drinking a few Budweisers in the backyard does he lighten up a bit. But then, of course, he slips into morose drunky poo when the beers are gone, like ya do.

Boozin

Even drunk, they won’t take you, James

Meanwhile Nicole and Paul drink too, beers first and then red wine that gives Nicole a purplish mouth. The booze also opens her up and Nicole’s more fun tonight than she’s been all summer. She and Paul have a friendly convo in the hammock after James goes inside. Paul tells her how James came to him and said his fate lies in Paul’s hands. That he could just say “screw James” and not take him. Instead of comforting him, Paul just basically said, Yeah I guess I could. Which is funny because Nicole didn’t really console him either. So, James has officially entered spiral-mode. He’s headed face first down the drain. James pours them giant glasses of wine and doesn’t drink it himself. Paul and Nicole make a joke about how he’s trying to get them drunk so he can pull out a contract for them to sign saying they’ll bring him to final two. Haha.

James

Sippy sadness hits

Truth is that it’s about damn time James faced the truth about his game. He didn’t do crap all summer. It took this long for him to realize he hasn’t been playing Derrick’s game. Funny thing is, James also probably thought he had a chance at America’s Favorite Player – thus, the infinite shoutouts.  Now it doesn’t look like that’s going to pan out either. But we’re not Nostradamus, so we don’t know fo sho. All we know is that this September 18th night it feels like karma came around for James and he’s not liking this delivery.

Nicole

Boozin with two days left

When Nicole and Paul talk on the hammock they further discuss James and how neither of them respects his game or wants to take him. Nicole also talks about how she wants to get a matching tattoo like Paul’s that says “Love sucks” with a heart and arrow through it. But hers will say, “Love stinks,” instead. Both of them are funny and silly because they’re no-holds-barred full of booze and at the end of the game together. It’s good times and we’re happy for them that they’ll sleep like babies for once this summer.

Only two more days, guys! It’s finale time, finally.

Katherine Recap

Daily BB House Stats:
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie #10 Victor #11 Michelle #12 Natalie #13 Victor #14 Corey

Final Three: Nicole – Paul – James

Part One Final HOH winner: Paul
Part Two Final HOH winner:
Nicole

Part Three between Paul & Nicole: live on Wednesday night

On the September 17th feeds snore season officially starts. The second part of the final HOH (our one chance at true excitement) occurs off-feeds. So we can merely report results. It’s late but you;d never know from the hyper houseguests. The trio wear cute, colorful competition-themed tees and our personal favorite to win, Paul has a big smile. Thus, we know right away James once again achieved EPIC FAIL status in a crucial competition. In fact, as soon as James leaves the kitchen Nicole and Paul run to each other for celebratory hugging and mugging for the camera. We’re cheering too because this is who we’d love to see in those final duo seats Wednesday night. James just makes Big Brother 18 feel so shameful and disappointing – the ultimate anti-climax.

Nicole

Let the lies take hold, Nicole. Believe in yourself!

The challenge ends after midnight. So, Nicole and Paul, pumped with adrenaline and joy, talk late into the morning after the challenge. Nicole says she can’t take James with her to final two, if it’s up to her. Her reasoning: because he doesn’t even deserve the $50K – second place prize. We couldn’t agree more with your lies to please Paul, Nicole! Also, she’ll die if James ends up beating her with his non-game, no strategy. Hopefully Nic’s claims penetrate her brain enough so that even if she’s just lying to Paul eventually she may just convince herself of their veracity. Funny thing about brains… often our neural cells believe what they hear even while allegedly “knowing” the words are lies. Sounds crazy but it’s true. That’s why people still do things they “know” are bad for them – like eating junk, drinking, and fun stuff like that.

BS

Paul kills at the game Bullshit – shocker

Finally the backyard opens for them and the trio gleeffully go outside to play the card game BS. Of course, Paul wins – like shooting fish in a barrel. Then they clean the house, each in their own way. These three are not big-time cleaners. So, it’s funny to hear Nicole muttering under her breath how she wishes Victor was there because he always cleanes. As an afterthought she says Corey was pretty good about cleaning too… but we all know who the master cleaner of #BB18 really was. No matter what CBS tries to convey on the TV show, Vic was truly the Puerto Rican CLEANING Sensation.

BB-Benga

BB Benga or Kit Kats?

Then another game arrives in the form of what appears to be Jenga but the threesome can only say “BB Benga” – likely due to licensing issues. It’s funny when James and Paul talk about eating the pieces because they look like Kit Kats and, OMG, they really do! Yeah, the laughs are gettin’ pretty thin these days, folks. The three of them debate the rules a bit. No, you CAN’T use your other hand to secure the tower, dumbass. Have you ever actually played? But it’s a fun way to pass the time for a bit and we’re grateful to Big Brother for trying when Nicole let’s it slip that. “I think they want us to talk game,” even if the feeds do go out because she’s “talking about production”.

Cookies

Eating the crappy cookies

After Nicole and James go to bed, Big Brother awakens them with a gift. Paul finds cookie dough, frosting, and owl-shape cutters in the storage room. The cookie-making process mystifies the sleepy trio; largely because the dough doesn’t seem to be the cookie cutter kind. It’s too thin and floppy. They keep at it anyway and end up with formless masses of “too sweet” brightly colored frosty confection but eat them anyway, like ya do.

Katherine Flores

Daily BB House Stats:
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie #10 Victor #11 Michelle #12 Natalie #13 Victor #14 Corey

Final Three: Nicole – Paul – James

Part One Final HOH winner: Paul

Final-two-deal

James and Paul in a final two deal

The September 16th special Big Brother episode begins with Paul saying he managed to make himself a “clear path to the end,” while Nicole’s, “here to win,” but also crying and scared and missing Corey. Surprise shocker, boo boo bear. Meanwhile James and Paul connive to seal their final two deal. Of course, Paul also has a final two deal with Nicole. He’s just telling them what they want to hear, though. James will stay loyal to Paul, he says in Diary Room. But Nicole is less certain. In her DR session, Nicole thinks she’ll more likely beat James. Although she’s completely right about that, we don’t like it one bit. Paul and Nicole would make a mighty fine and satisfying final two. But if James has to be in there, please let it be next to Paul.

Tiffany

Tiffany cries with a laughing Da’Vonne

Next we get a series of weeping flashbacks from the season, Meech, Tiffany, Paulie’s butterfly, Nicole, Meech again, Natalie, Tiffany, Paulie again, Meech again, Paulie again, and Meech yet again. The final trio then discuss emotional breakdowns and ultimately agree that Paulie became the biggest wreck of everyone in season 18. CBS also gives us a rundown of the many pranks houseguests played on each other. It’s silly fun and pretty much every one of them participates at some point. Our favorite part, though, is when Paul busts on James for wearing crocs. They are an abomination, in fact. Too bad James found where Natalie froze them in a ziploc bag buried in the back freezer. Flames to the sky work better than freezing when it comes to crocs.

homo-erotic

Wins most homo-erotic bromance award

Then we have some crazy Diary Room sessions, including a lot of tears. So many tears, in fact, that it ends up funny. This leads into a segment on showmances and we love that it focuses almost entirely on the Vaul bromance because that was the most entertaining and fun relationship in the house. For some reason they also narrow in on a fight between Nicorey even though most of their summer was spent canoodling. There’s also an amusing section about Michelle as a kitty cat and somehow it totally makes sense. That’s a perfect example of how Big Brother houseguests get creative in ways “real world” peeps rarely do these days… we’re too busy looking at our screens, after all.

Nicole

Enchanting Kitty Nicole

Next we see the beginning of the final HOH competition where the houseguest trio are kitties. They show how the challenge works, it’s an endurance comp where they follow the laser from one aspect of the challenge to another: a milk dish, a scratching post, or a litter box. We know Paul wins this competition but the show ends before it’s revealed. Cutest cat award definitely goes to Nicole – who’s an ultra glam, pretty kitty. We love that costume for Halloween because it’s not overly sexual like most are these days and yet, it’s 100% pusstacular.

Tune in tomorrow to Fetchland.com to find out who won the second round of the final HOH competition. Then we’re in the final stretch until finale night for season 18 of Big Brother. We can’t wait to see who finally wins it all!

Katherine Recap

Daily BB House Stats:
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie #10 Victor #11 Michelle #12 Natalie #13 Victor #14 Corey

Final Three: Nicole – Paul – James

Part One Final HOH winner: Paul

September 15th is naptastic in the Big Brother house. Nicole and Paul have sore muscles from the endurance portion of the final HOH competition. Of course, James feels nothing because he made no effort in the challenge. Shocker. He talks to the cameras (us) to say he feels like he’s in a good place. Well, we have some news for James: Feelings aren’t facts, bro. It’s just as likely a possibility that neither Nicole nor Paul will take him to the final two with them. Though he’s utterly convinced they will both do exactly that.

plotting

Plotting against James

As usually happens in the final three BB house, the trio all tell each other what they want to hear and slam whichever houseguest happens to be out of the room at the moment. Still, Paul and Nicole seem a tighter and more genuine twosome. It makes sense because both of them have watched James lose challenge after challenge and listened to him make idiotic comments all summer. Who wants to take the dumb dead horse with them to the final two? A real competitor wants to win an actual competition, not beat a wet mop. But it’s early still, so we’ll see how it all actually shakes out next week.

Tiny-Table

Tiny Table Trio at dinnertime

Luckily there are more shows to help ease us through this last Big Brother week starting with a Friday night “special edition” with season highlights (yawn). The first part of the Final HOH competition, blocked from live feeds, will be fun to watch, though. In the meantime, the feeds remain nappy and schemetacular. Nicole and Paul are plotting up a storm,  Meanwhile James makes brilliant comments like, “We should stay up all night so we can sleep all day because there’ll be nothing to do anyway”. Paul almost starts to say, “But if there’s nothing to do anyway…” what difference does it make if it’s night or day? But Paul restrains himself and we understand why. The “logic” in the answer James has would likely make all of our heads collectively explode.

James

James does his 873rd shout out

Interior design and prop news always excites in the final week of Big Brother and this season is no exception. A tiny table now holds the place of honor in the dining area. So, the threesome play cards and eat when they aren’t scheming twosomes. Orwell the late night BB owl from Pop TV joins them for dinner though the trio don’t seem to understand his significance of what “Pop After Dark” means. James gives it a shoutout anyway… like he does. The guys gives ham sandwiches a shoutout, so this one’s no surprise. After that Paul poured Snapple in his champagne… but we forgive because he’s fun tipsy..

Paul

Snapple in champagne? Please no…

Paul spends a nice long time staring at the houseguest wall, “lookin’ back at all these shitheads,” and boozin it up by himself while he talks to us feedsters. It’s why we feel so close to Paul. He’s more like a real person, less a BB character and, more importantly, Paul learned how to play Big Brother hardcore this summer. More than any other houseguest Paul flew by the seat of his pants and soared into the clouds when it came to gameplay. Look at him! He’s touching the stars now and may even become one himself soon, if we get our wish.

Stay tuned to Fetchland.com for a daily recap of the latest BB activity. It’s all over next Wednesday, September 21st. So, there’s less than a week to go!

– Katherine Recap