LAST EDITED ON 03-27-04 AT 03:34 PM (EST)Official Mad Mad House Episode 4 Summary
She Has To Grow AND Go
Previously on Mad Mad House:
Eight little TOPs in over their heads
Tim’s silence made the others fed
Up. Bonnie stole immunity and the Alts said
“No more Brent jumping on the bed.”
Seven little SOPs (or should I say Seven Average People, or SAPs) are left. How many more must die before I stop this moronic rhyme? (How’d you like that enjambment though – pretty good, huh?)
Welcome to Mad Mad House, the show that explores to what depths of depravity Ten Ordinary People will sink to when confined in the same living space as Five Freaks Of Nature. Now, I know what you’re saying: “How does that make this any different from any other reality TV show?” The answer’s pretty simple, actually. That 2 to 1 ratio of “normal” to “not normal” people? Way higher than average.
Everyone is shocked by Brent’s departure. Jamie says it was terribly hard because he’s a really, really good person (she obviously hasn’t watched enough reality TV if she doesn’t realize being a good person is the kiss of death on these shows). Loana laments the loss of “My Texas.” Yeehaw! I’d much rather see this Love Connection than Rawb and Ambuh. The one thing I’m sure of is that at the End of Days (or at least the End of Reality TV, may it never come) the child of the Virgin Loana will do battle with the Spawn of Rawb for our immortal souls. Or at least our remotes.
Bonnie begins to share the information she gleaned from the Alts’ deliberations. There comes a time in every culture when the old, perhaps sensing their own mortality, pass on their knowledge to the young. This is it. She says Art stuck up the most for Brent, but they eventually decided he was the one that showed the least exploring. I mean, there was that one time in college, but that’s just not enough for these people. She tells Loana that the Alts’ want her to be louder. Loana knows right away that came from Ta’Shia. “That b!tch can talk! More than Kelly or Nichole. Not as bad as Tim though. Even when he shuts up he won’t shut up.”
Bonnie tells Nichole she’s golden. She says there’s got to be something the Alts don’t like. Maybe her modesty. Bonnie says they think she’s a terrific, strong woman, and I wonder when Paula Abdul was invited to offer her thoughts in deliberation.
Eric is perturbed at the discussion of Nichole, because he sees her as his biggest competition.
The Alts enter the living room and pick new roommates. Fiona selects Eric, who says she’s a “Sexy Witch, yeah Baby!” Avocado chooses Noel, who looks not to care one way or the other. Art picks Jamie, who smiles broadly. Don selects Tim saying their going to have a “good ol’ time,” which between Don’s constant “embraces” of Brent with his necklaces, and Tim’s questionable sexuality (I mean, really, have you seen those outfits? Okay, you might say a gay guy should have better fashion sense, and I know you don’t want him batting for your team either, so I’m sorry) makes me think that Fiona and Eric may not be the only pair with sparks flying. Ta’Shia says Loana is ready, and grants her the privilege of being her roommate. That makes Nichole and Bonnie roommates in the dorm.
Nichole is worried about not being selected, and so begins Operation Blatant Suck Up To Fiona, in which she says she thinks she and her sister are witches and have magical powers. Fiona falls for it and says she thinks Nichole is GREAT! But they’ll have to talk about it later because she has to go settle Eric in <boomchickabowwow>
As they are lying in bed (yes, yes, they were separate beds), Eric and Fiona have a heart-to-heart.
Eric: You’re intimidating.
Fiona: How so?
Eric: You remind me of the babe.
Fiona: What babe?
Eric: The babe with the power.
Fiona: What power?
Eric: The power of voodoo.
Fiona: No, that’s Ta’Shia.
Fiona: Honestly, Eric, you’ve been living with us for how long now? And you can’t remember that Ta’Shia is the Voodoo Priestess and I’m the witch? I’m starting to suspect you’ve just been looking at my boobs this whole time.
Eric: Uhhh…I hate Nichole.
Thus, Eric oh so smoothly begins planting the seeds of doubt about Nichole’s worthiness to be in the house. He says she likes to brag, always has a story about everything, and won’t shut up. He’s trying to make it seem like she’s there for all the wrong reasons. Unlike himself. Fiona doesn’t know how to take this. She wonders if Nichole is just playing her, or if Eric is lying. Here’s a hint Fiona: yes.
The sun comes up and Noel’s pants go down. Really. Avocado and he get naked and run through the house waking everyone up for a nature walk. Thankfully not a naked nature walk. At least not yet. Eric says he didn’t appreciate being woken up at the asscrack of dawn by Noel and Avocado in the nude, but I think he should look on the bright side: at least Tim wasn’t Avocado’s roommate. Jamie gives Avocado’s naked rear a friendly pat when he wakes her up.
The SAPs pile into a couple caravans. Bonnie must have drawn the short straw, because she’s stuck with Tim and Nichole in one, while Avocado, Noel, Eric, Jamie and Loana ride in the other. Eric reveals that the four of them have an alliance and are starting Operation Let’s Get Nichole Off Now, with Jamie and Loana on Special Task Force Come Up With A More Creative Name For Operation Let’s Get Nichole Off Now. They begin with the “she doesn’t need the money” attack. Eric says the positives about Nichole are that she promised to lend him some money at 15% interest and that she knows a good BMW dealer.
Noel confesses Nichole definitely fits the stereotype of a rich girl from Malibu: fake, overly agreeable, banker boyfriend, and would name her kid Tanner.
Loana and Jamie begin talking about how Nichole is so fake and is just kissing up to the Alts. Avocado astutely realizes that they may think she’s the frontrunner and are trying to knock her down a peg.
They reach their destination and pile out of the caravans for Avocado’s ambiguous explanation that they are going to “find out what a naturist does” and that they are going to pick wild foods and must eat them. Just a brief aside here – You know who Tim looks like? Hoggle!
And off they go down the trail! Someone obviously forgot to give Hoggle his ritalin, because he’s picking up horse poop, trying (quite unsuccessfully) to climb rock faces, jumping off the trail all over the place, peeing in the bushes, dancing like a chicken, and otherwise acting like an idiot. I think Avocado should have slipped him one of those toxic herbs.
They come to a stream, and Avocado takes off his shirt and wades across. Jamie follows him, and Nichole takes off her shirt and follows suit, prompting Eric to ask if it is easier for her to jump without her shirt. Avocado then takes off all his clothes and dances in the stream. Nichole is about to do likewise (damn the girl will take off her clothes for nothing) when a park ranger comes upon the group and tells them they can’t do that. A chastised Avocado covers his nakedness with his shorts, and Eric offers him a fig leaf. A very small fig leaf.
Back at the Mad Mad House, Fiona is doing her morning meditation and gets the feeling things are not what they seem. At the surface, she says, things seem so harmonious and wonderful but what if that is actually hiding a rotten core? Gee, Tim Fiona, I Tim wonder what Tim that could be Tim? She thinks a time of darkness is descending on the house. Ooh, spooky.
The Alts hold a joint conference/meditation. Ta’Shia informs us this is to discover whether the SAPs are sincere or if they’re just saying what they think they want to hear so they can hear the money. Imagine that!
Fiona informs the other Alts of Eric’s disclosure that Nichole is driving the others up the wall and is a big phony, and that she is no longer sure that he is the great guy she thought he was. She says his behavior has been appalling. She says that they’re not here to hang out and be friends, and that this is more than just a game. They have to tear them apart.
Art: I cannot be happy with myself going to that level.
Fiona: We’re not here on summer camp, Art. This is a challenge.
Don takes command!
Don: What is our job?
Avocado: Sir, our job is to decide who stays and who goes, Sir!
Don: What is their job?
Avocado: Sir, to stay at all costs, Sir!
Don: And for what?
Avocado: Sir, one hundred thousand dollars, Sir!
Don: At ease. This is not ‘We Are The World.’
I’m sorry, but the sight and sound of some pasty white guy quoting Michael Jackson lyrics? Is creepy. Especially if that pasty white guy is Don. Or Michael Jackson himself.
Avocado: It is only by being wounded that power grows and can become tremendous.
Fiona: And that’s what we have to do, we have to wound them.
Art: I’m not comfortable wounding anybody but myself.
Fiona: I am going to embody the Dark Goddess for a while.
What? I thought she’d been doing that the whole time! If Miss Flowers and Sunshine has been the embodiment of the Good Goddess up until now, I’m suddenly very scared to see the Dark Goddess.
The Alts hold hands and Fiona starts singing, and it ain’t Kumbaya kiddies.
Fiona walks into the kitchen and by Eric without saying a word, opening a drawer, and then walking past him again and opens another. I think she’s looking for a really big knife. Fiona turns to him and says “I know more than you think I know” and walks out of the kitchen. Eric wets his pants.
Eric follows after her, up the stairs and toward her bedroom.
Eric: Can we talk about this?
Eric: Did someone say something? Because I have no idea.
And that is probably the first truthful thing he’s said yet to the Alts.
Eric: Can I come in?
Eric, back in the dining room with the other SAPs is very unnerved and thinks he is going tonight if Fiona is this upset. The others reassure him that that surely isn’t the case.
As they head outside for the challenge, we get voice-overs of Jamie saying she is always worried about the next trial and of Loana saying she’s gonna have to win one of these. So of course they’re gonna be the first two out.
Art for the first time, in the fourth episode now, gets to host a trial or ritual of his own. He explains that as a modern primitive, he has trained his body to control the pain he feels. He tells them that they will have to use their minds to overcome their bodies’ discomfort and instructs them to enter The Tower. The Tower is constructed of four cages decreasing in size stacked upon one another. The SAPs must squeeze together in the bottom cage, and as people decide to drop out, they will ascend to the next highest cage until the final two are locked in the highest and smallest cage.
Noel says he feels like he’s on a crowded bus. Watch you wallets! Nichole brilliantly observes that this is a test to see how long they can stand each other. Jamie’s face says “not very long.” Hoggle starts bumping and grinding. Jamie says Hoggle’s tough to be trapped in a small space with. I’d say he’d probably be tough to be trapped in the same city with, but maybe that’s just me.
58 minutes in: the SAPs start discussing a strategy of simultaneous quittitude to get out of the trial. The Alts hear this, and Ta’Shia gets up and gives them what for. Circling the cage like a shark, she says “I’m really disappointed. Here I am, praying for you, and you’re sitting up here mapping out a way to sell out! You think you’re here by mistake? This isn’t about our test, this is about you testing yourself! This is about your own growth, your own transformation.” Properly subdued, the SAPs suck it up for about another hour.
2 hours, 10 minutes: Art tells them to reach deep inside themselves to find their strength. Hoggle (perhaps because he still hasn’t gotten his meds) decides he wants to employ the “The Hutch Strategy” (see Joe Schmo). I hate to tell him, but that strategy worked for an asshole on a fake reality show. The other SAPs warn him this isn’t a good idea, but he’s not having any of it.
Hoggle: I challenge you to a duel!
Art: WTF are you talking about?
Hoggle: Let’s take our clothes off!
Art: I repeat, WTF are you talking about?
Hoggle: Take those warm clothes off and I’ll challenge you to stand out here in the cold with me.
Good idea Hoggle, you can use the cold as an excuse.
Jamie confesses that Art never raises his voice but you could tell by his eyes that he was upset, and that she thinks Hoggle made a big mistake. Eric bites down on his sweatband, perhaps to keep from screaming hysterically at the thought of Hoggle in his skivvies.
Hoggle: We’ll see whose mind is more over matter. One on one, man to man, eye to eye.
Art: I’m not the one on trial here, Haggle.
Hoggle: That’s Hoggle!
Cue bewildered comments from the other SAPs to Hoggle’s behavior and confessionals from Alts and SAPs alike about Hoggle being a fool. Eric says he thinks Hoggle’s gone. Famous last words.
2 hours, 53 minutes: Jeff jumps into the water for a spoonful of peanut butter. Oh wait, that’s Jamie. And there wasn’t really any peanut butter, but she did get to go back in the house, where we discover that the Alts’ alleged desire to see the interactions of the SAPs isn’t really that strong, as Fiona has been inside not observing. She discovers that Jamie was the first quitter. Jamie says all the negativity (read: Hoggle) wasn’t doing any good, but Fiona is surprised and tells her maybe she should have stayed. She tells her to think about it, but it’s a little late now, isn’t it?
Nichole confesses that she thinks that Jamie has shown she lacks the determination to stay in the house because it is the second trial she hasn’t tried at.
Art instructs the six remaining SAPs to climb the ladder to the next cage.
4 hours, 10 minutes: Loana calls the Quit Boat. She says she’s disappointed in herself, but she got to the point where she was freezing and couldn’t keep her focus. Give her credit (or call her stupid) for staying out so long in her shorts. Art tells them that they will not move up to the next cage until another person quits. Inside, Jamie discuss her altercation with Fiona with Loana.
5 hours, 7 minutes: Bonnie is holding group therapy, trying to discover why after a week trying to build up trust and unity, the Alts have suddenly flipped. Eric is still scared of Fiona and says he may just sleep on the couch tonight. Bonnie says he shouldn’t just do it, he should ask her first, and Eric quits so he can talk to Fiona before she goes to bed. Art instructs them to move up to the next level.
Eric discovers that his comments about Nichole the night before are what made Fiona upset, but he says he was just being honest and isn’t going to apologize for being honest. Fiona angrily and unconvincingly says she’s not asking him to apologize, but is just trying to get to the bottom of it.
6 hours, 30 minutes: Bonnie says every day she does something she never in a MILLION years would have imagined herself doing and it’s cool. She decides she’s in a comfortable position, has shown the Alts she’s giving TWO HUNDRED percent, and could come down. Exaggerate much there, Bonnie?
6 hours, 58 minutes: Nichole asks Hoggle if he feels he has to win because he challenged Art. Noel says he thinks Hoggle is going, and wonders if he should let Hoggle win and put himself at risk. Hoggle promises him that if there’s a tie involving Noel, he won’t vote for him. After securing the same promise from Nichole, Noel signals Art to let him out.
Nichole and Hoggle move into the final cage, in which they are barely able to fit pressed butt to butt.
8 hours, 12 minutes: Hoggle confesses to Nichole that he’s been missing something: it’s been a long time since he’s been this close to a woman.
Nichole is understandably disgusted at him perving on her, but he assures her he means it in a very upstanding, respectable way. As disgusted as I also am, I’m really quite impressed! Nichole really does have magical powers! She’s turned Tim straight!
Nichole decides that Hoggle is going to stay there until the sun comes up, and so she becomes the final quitter. At 8 hours and 22 minutes, Hoggle is the last person remaining in The Tower, and he begins to scream and shake the cage in elation (“Yeehaw! Ride ‘em cowboy!”). Fiona confesses that she’s never seen something so grotesque. I’m more disappointed that they built The Tower too sturdy. Art unhappily announces that Hoggle is the winner of the Trial and will be safe from elimination.
The next morning, Fiona does a Tarot reading for Eric. The first card represented yesterday’s spat, and she is impressed that he didn’t get aggressive back at her, which he could have done because she was treating him horribly. She confesses she’s developed quite an affection for him. Wait? That’s it? What happened to the Dark Goddess? What happened to the wounding? This is so lame!
The next card represents a girlfriend in his future. She’s blonde, a queen, and maybe a little bit older than him. They look at each other and Eric giggles and hides his blushing cheeks in his hands. The Final card is The Star which indicates that he has a very good chance of winning the game and that he will become the star of the show. Isn’t this sweet.
Meanwhile, Art and Jamie meditate, and he instructs her in what he wants her to do when he pierces her belly button. Art goes and invites everyone to the Piercing Ceremony (everything is so Deep and Meaningful in this House, it seems they need Capital Letters, doesn’t it?) Cue to Coffin Cam and Don sleeping like the dead before Art rudely awakens him. Don, who goes to sleep at dawn, obviously thinks little of Art’s Piercing Ceremony, and compares his actions to him waking someone up at 4 in the morning because he wanted to show them a new dance.
Dressed in black silk pajamas, knee-high boots and sunglasses, Don brushes past Art with an Evil Laugh (which, although significantly improved, still needs a lot of work) and breaks into his best Joe Pesci impersonation:
Don: Do I amuse you? Am I a clown?
Art: Well, you’re sure as heck not a vampire.
Don: Bring it forward.
Art: Is there negative energy on your part?
Don: Well, duh!
Art: Then I don’t want you to participate in this beautiful and uplifting ceremony of goodness and light.
Don (confessional): I find it very cowardly when someone just ignores the problem and runs away and cries to their momma like “I’m a little baby! Waah waah waah!” Bygones are bygones…for now. But I can be a very spiteful person.
That’s great tough guy, but maybe you forgot it’s supposed to be Alts vs. SAPs, not Alt vs. Alt? On the other hand, maybe we’ll get a battle to the death, since we certainly didn’t get our promised wounding yet. Maybe I have some latent vampirism, because my sleeping patterns certainly seem to resemble Don’s more than a normal person’s and I am unusually thirsty for the blood of some DAWs.
Outside, Jamie lays down on a table while Art prepares to do the piercing. So nice of the modern primitive to be sanitary and use latex gloves. Fiona chants, Art lights candles, and then I assume he pierced her belly button, but I had to look away cause belly button piercings give me the willies. Apparently Jamie is made of sterner stuff than I though, because she didn’t even flinch.
Art praises her, Fiona kisses her feet, Noel throws up at the over the top sugary spirituality. Avocado says it’s great that she will have that to remind her of her experience in this house, but he doesn’t know if it will save her from elimination yet.
While the others prepare for dinner, Bonnie advises Hoggle that he better be careful because he’s insulted a lot of people, and she used to trust him and think he was who he was, but not anymore. Hoggle asks what he’s done to make her think different. Ummm, how about your accosting Kelly, your moronic game of charades, your ADD induced behavior on the nature walk, your challenge to Art, or your dry humping the cage after your victory?
Bonnie says she thinks a lot of the moves he’s made have been very calculated. Hoggle says her problem is that she’s never met anyone as honest as him. In the other room, Eric gapes in disbelief. Hoggle thanks her for filling him in on all the back-talking she’s been doing. Bonnie begins to deny it but then says all of them have.
Hoggle chases her into the next room where Eric, Noel and Nichole come to her aid. Eric confesses that Hoggle was ganging up on Bonnie. All by himself. Eric goes Bruce Banner on Hoggle and says “Why did you act the way you did in the cage? We TOLD you not to do it, you went and did it, it made Art angry, and it made US ANGRY!!!”
At dinner, Fiona asks Bonnie what happened between her and Hoggle that evening. Bonnie says that she thinks he’s been very antagonistic and confrontational lately and that it’s made her question her former opinion of him. Hoggle says he’s very genuine and that he doesn’t appreciate people accusing him of trying to be manipulative. Avocado says that’s a cop out. Fiona says she’s sick of listening to his crap. Guess the Good Goddess got put back in the closet awful quick there. Loana says he’s been acting strange and that she’s been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he keeps doing things and trying to find forgiveness after the fact. She says he needs to listen to what other people say and think before he acts, like when they said what he did to Art was rude. Avocado and Fiona smile and nod at each other during this exchange. Art confesses that he was very impressed with her. Hoggle confesses that Loana’s manipulative like a black widow spider.
With dinner ruined, Don announces that they are going to excuse themselves for deliberations, which Hoggle can join them for (did I detect an unspoken “but we don’t want you to” ala Fiona there?) Nichole says that no one is safe, because the Alts can’t eliminate the person they wanted to.
Don begins the deliberation with Jamie. Art says she’s been his roommate for the past two nights and that he doesn’t want to see her go. Avocado expresses unhappiness that she hasn’t given it her all for two challenges in a row.
Fiona, discussing Bonnie, says that there are so many people that still need to do work, but Bonnie has evolved so much already and wonders if there is more for her to do in this house or if it is time to let her go. Art says she’s been a strong force for a lot of the SAPs, but it would be interesting to see if they sink or swim without her. This reasoning makes a whole lot of sense.
Bonnie, Jamie, and Loana are discussing the elimination and say it could be anyone. They say that if the Alts think you’ve gone as far as you can go and gotten the most out of it that you can, they might let you go.
Avocado says Loana saved herself by growing a spine and making her comments at dinner. Don says that was quite the opposite of how she had been doing things before, which had given them the wrong impression.
Fiona says she was impressed with Eric because he didn’t scream and yell or get insulting when she pushed his buttons. Avocado says he thought that how far he went in ripping on Nichole reflected negatively on him.
Eric and Noel are hoping that Nichole goes because it eliminates their competition and shows they can plant seeds and it will work. Oh, you know how much those reality TV producers love irony. Not looking good for the E-man.
Fiona says she’s most confused about Nichole, that she enjoys her presence but has heard she may not be sincere. Don says he’s noticed a lot of kissing up on her part. Fiona says she’s just been a yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-girl, and wonders if that’s what they want. Because this show certainly hasn’t become about validation for your fragile egos that were bruised by high school bullies or anything, now has it? I’m beginning to think Rupert would fit in great with the Alts.
In one of the most humorous scenes of the episode, Art brings it back on Eric, and Fiona jumps to Loverboy’s defense.
Art: I see that same thing out of Eric. I….
Fiona: Well I don’t see that out of Eric, I disagree.
Art: Well, I do. I…
Fiona: Well, that’s because you haven’t spent time with him.
The whole exchange reminds me of my friend explaining her crush on Michael Nesmith by saying “I like him because I love him” (or was that love because like…? I guess you had to be there).
Avocado asks if Hoggle has any final words. He asks that after tonight they look on him during the next forty-eight hours unlike the past forty-eight hours. Don paraphrases and asks if he is asking for them to see what he does with a second chance. Fiona says she is prepared to do that, and the Alts close their deliberations in a circle with Avocado asking the Hand of Destiny to guide them to make the best decision possible. In but a few moments, all of America is going to be wishing the Hand of Destiny had b!tchslapped them all.
The clock strikes midnight.
Fiona leads the Elimination Ceremony tonight, but unlike the others, she does not vote first. Ta’Shia gets that honor, dressed in a yellow gown that makes her look like a duck, and gives her necklace to Bonnie, saying “The time has come for you to play your music. Sing your life.” She gives her a wooden flute.
Avocado casts his vote for Jamie saying “May this necklace ground you, so that you may be a pillar of support for your daughter.”
Art casts his vote for Bonnie saying “I feel very fortunate that Fate has brought us here together, and I know we will cross paths again.” Or you could just not kick her out and not have to worry about the "again" part for a while?
Fiona decides it is her turn, and votes for Nichole saying “Prove to me this is more than just a game to you.”
Don casts the final vote for Bonnie saying “I will serve as the Death card, but not in a negative sense.” Except, you know, for the fact that we’re kicking you out of the house and ruining your chance at a hundred thousand dollars despite the fact that you’ve been open to us and done what we wanted you to do. “It is a card of change, and you know this.” He gives her a big hug. Who knew vampires were so touchy-feely?
Jamie is crying, Loana is crying, Fiona is crying as she asks Bonnie to step forward. She gives the necklaces to Hoggle, who gives her a hug. Who knew Hoggle was so touchy-feely? All the Alts hug her.
Bonnie’s final words: I’m surprised to be eliminated, but I think in a very lovely way tonight. They told me that I had made my transformation and that I could go back and start working on it, which I fully intend to do. (Except that 100 Gs sure would help in working on it). I know for my housemates and even for the Alts it was a sad elimination. I feel such love in this house. I wish I could have been here a little longer and experienced a little more, but I go out of here feeling like a good goddess. (Screw you guys, I’m going home).
- with apologies for the excessive length
- edit to fix a couple unclear pronouns