It’s Knot Over Til The Fat Boy Sings
THE SHOWCASE AND TRIAL ACTIVITIES YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WERE ALL DESIGNED AND SUPERVISED BY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS.
Episode Five of Mad Mad House opens with the following viewer warning:
THE ACTIVITIES ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED BY ANYONE, ANYWHERE, AT ANYTIME.
Which means, I guess, that my summary should begin with a similar warning:THE SUMMARY YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ WAS DESIGNED AND WRITTEN BY A SOULESS IDIOT WHO WOULD DENY A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE BY ANYONE, ANYWHERE, AT ANY TIME—EVEN IF IT BIT HER ON THE ASS.
(Back off, Don!)
Last week, the popular contestant Bonnie was voted out, and the show begins as the remaining six TOPs (what we call the Ten Ordinary People—in case you are new to these summaries) express their shock to each other. They are gathered around the sofa, drinking bottles of wine as they whine.
Meanwhile, in the Witch’s Room, Art and Fiona recline on the bed, discussing the remaining TOPs. Fiona is still wearing what I_Am_He calls her ‘Wiccans Gone Wild’ costume. That is, over-the-knee black leather boots, black stripy-patterned panty hose, tightie-whitey hot pants and a black bustier. Art is in his usual batik skirt with color-coordinated ear & nose plugs and silver nipple rings. Say what you want about the premise of this show—the Alts fashion sense is lovely to behold!
Fiona says: “Nichole did not like getting a necklace.”
Scene switch to Noel, who is in confessional: “She. Was. Pissed. Off. For the first time I saw the true Nichole coming out.”
Thus is the theme for episode 5 established—Nichole sucks and everyone hates her. In case anyone has missed this theme, we are next shown Noel and Eric in a whispered conversation on the patio.
Noel: “Let Nichole do her own thing! We can just ease back a bit now.”
Eric: “Phase One of ‘get Nichole off’ is complete.
As I watch them on the patio-cam I wonder if they really know the camera is there. I don’t think so. They go on to agree that the way to win this show is to not change too quickly, but also to convince the Alts that they are capable of change. It needs to be a “happy medium”.
Eric continues to work Fiona, telling her how happy he was that she gave Phoney Nichole a necklace. When he is talking to the Alts, Eric always wears the same calculated, poker-face expression. I mean, you can see the wheels turning while he decides what to say next, but somehow the Alts don’t see that!
Then Eric delivers my 2nd favorite Reality TV Show lin, in a confessional: “I am the Puppet Master.” Oh—I love when players say that! Usually it means that soon they are going to knot their lines, trip over the darn, tangled strings and fall flat on their face. We can only hope…
Nichole, of course, realizes that there is a target on her back and sets about trying to save herself by “reasoning” with the Alts. Evidently she has forgotten that the Alts live in an Alternate Reality where reason is a very ephemeral thing.
The Game of Life
The Alts and TOPs sit by the fireplace playing Jenga, that game where you build a tower by adding and removing wooden pegs. Fiona points out that “Jenga is a metaphor for life. See how the balance changes every time you add and remove pegs”.
Okay. Maybe for Fiona people are interchangeable pegs that you pile up and jerk around. But I know how this game ends—eventually, everything collapses.
Anyway, even after hearing Fiona explain how life works, Nichole joins the game and babbles on, trying to find the right words to save herself.
Fiona: “Prove to me that this isn’t just a game to you.”
Doomed Nichole: “Well, I guess that I’m confused trying to find a balance between the two things we are supposed to be doing here!” I assume she means playing a game while not actually playing any games. Of course, with her next move Nichole misjudges where to remove a peg and the whole tower comes crashing down. Are you paying attention Nichole? Metaphor.For.Life. At least in the Mad Mad House.
Fiona tries once more to explain the game (Mad Mad House, not Jenga) to Doomed Nichole: “It’s not about balance—it’s about chaos. It’s about finding freedom through challenging yourself.”
Me, yelling at my TV screen: “But you just said everything was about balance! Now it’s about chaos? Make up your mind for Pete’s sake!” I so want to insert a blonde joke here…
We go to commercial, then return to yet another Viewer Warning Message:The Following Segment Includes Material Which May Be Disturbing to Some Viewers.
Parental Discretion is Advised.
The Suspension Ritual.
First we see a close-up of several metal hooks sitting on a tray. They are shiny! They are sharp! They are BIG!
Art walks into the room. The TOPS are sitting in a row of chairs facing Art. The Alts are seated to one side—except for Avocado who is running back and forth behind the TOPs saging away the negative energy for all he’s worth.
Art explains the ritual, which involves “control of mind over body.” Then he lies face down on a table while two techs—one in blue gloves and one in buff gloves—ready the hooks. Avocado tells the camera that what Art is doing is “the most psychically, spiritually, emotionally and physically challenging thing that has been done in this house.”
The techs coat the hooks with gel and begin to insert them in Art’s back, one-by-one. Most of the TOPs (and Alts) close their eyes. Don leans forward and licks his lips—anticipating the sight of blood, I guess. Nichole doesn’t close her eyes. She has a pale & sweaty sheen to her face, but just leans back in her chair and goes into the experience.
There is no blood. While the techs are inserting the hooks we hear Art in a voice-over: “There is not already an opening there. There is always skin broken. It’s fresh insertions every time.” Eric comments on the sound the hooks made as they went through his skin. No blood.
After the hooks are in Art stands up and mounts a black, metal stand. The six hooks, three on the back of each shoulder, are attached to an overhead rail and Art slowly steps into the air. The mounting stand is pulled away—he’s hanging from hooks, folks!
Art keeps his hands clasped as the techs gently swing his body. The hooks distend his skin about 3 inches. Still no blood.
Nichole, in an aside filmed later but shown as Art hangs: “To see somebody in what at first glance seems like such a tortuous and painful state, and to see how they’re incredibly calm and almost sedate is a beautiful thing!”
Loana: “I just prayed for God to protect him and give him the strength and energy to get through it.”
Art, in a voiceover: “Sometimes, to reach an even higher level of enlightenment I add weight by holding another person.” He has previously chosen Nichole to be this person because he feels a special bond with her.
Nichole is called forward and climbs onto a smaller ladder in front of Art. With her back to him, Art wraps his arms around Nichole and tells her to step off the ladder. His back skin stretches even tauter. No blood. The techs sway them both. Nichole remains perfectly limp as Art carries her. Eventually, Art calls for the ladder again and Nichole gets down. Then Art himself dismounts to a ladder, steps down to the ground and thanks everyone there for helping him on his journey.
After the Suspension Ritual, Iya ta’Shia, who is in the kitchen, spots an incredible rainbow. She calls everyone, Alts and TOPs alike, into the kitchen to experience it. To most the rainbow is a potent spiritual symbol of what they have just experienced.
Fiona says: “The rainbow was enlightenment. When Art transcended the bonds of his physical body today his spirit flew free.” She makes flying motions with her hands.
Don is a bit more sanguine. “I did see a lot of metaphoric symbollogy and at the same time a lot of synchronicity of events inside that.” Which I think is Vampire for ‘what a bunch of spiritual claptrap. It was just coincidence.’
Noel debunks the whole thing. “We had a lot of rain and there was a rainbow. Hello? Dude was hangin’ in the living room and then a rainbow came out and they put it all together and they feel all happy.”
Voodoo Eye for the Smart Ass Guy.
The next time we see Noel he is sitting in front of Iya ta’Shia with a bunch of rags wrapped around his head. I surmise he is in the middle of some kind of voodoo ritual thing.
Ta’Shia tells Noel he must purify himself by “Ironing his shirt and pants so he can begin to heal.” He needs to present himself with pride, wash his face and hands and polish his self esteem. To help him along, she tells him that for the rest of the day he must greet everyone he sees by saying “namaste” clasping his hands in front of him and telling them what his gift is—which she says is writing. Ta’Shia calls ‘namaste’ a Buddhist greeting of love, which amazes almost a billion Hindus who have always thought it was a Hindu greeting. Whatever.
Noel irons his shirt and pants but still looks like a hobo who dressed in the dark. He wanders the House mispronouncing ‘namaste’ in a variety of ways. On the patio-cam he tells Eric (who could use a little Voodoo Eye intervention himself) that he feels “like a fuckin’ idiot.”
Tim Tries Strategy.
(cue the flying pigs)
Tim is very worried that his head is on the chopping block so he decides to seek out the Alts and win them over one-by-one. He tells Art that he was so inspired by the Suspension Ceremony that he, Tim, is willing to “do that” for $100,000. “If that’s what it takes.”
Art is visably nonplussed and tells the other Alts that “Tim obviously didn’t understand. He’s really not getting it.”
Way to plead your case, Tim!
Nichole Sucks And Everyone Hates Her.
At snack time Iya ta’Shia challenges Nichole. But first a few words on snack time. These people are always eating and or drinking! Why do they not weigh 200 lbs each? That is the real mystery of Mad Mad House if you ask me. How can they eat all the time and not gain any weight?
Ta’Shia lays into her and says various people have said she is a phony. “So, are you just frontin’ as they say?”
Loana babbles at her. Eric says she “is always smiling and trying to say the correct thing.” He questions whether she is being genuine or not. This is one of those pot/kettle/black situations, of course.
Nichole: “I’m always smiling because I’m a freakin’ well adjusted person! Go fvck yourself!”
They keep piling on and eventually Nichole starts crying. Ta’Shia takes her off to mediatate. Eric is so happy! He tells the camera that “ta’Shia is being swayed in her opinion of Nichole just like Fiona was.” “I am such a fine Puppet Master!”
Loana, sweet little Christian back-stabber that she is, runs straight to Fiona and ever so smoothly sticks a knife in Nichole’s back. “Nichole doesn’t want to be a voodooist, a witch or even a Buddlist! She was just playing you when she said she might become a witch!”
Fiona is shocked. Someone was playing her for $100,000! How incredible! I’m thinking—how can a witch be so non-intuitive? Everybody is playing you, idiot! It’s a game! People want to win the money! I decide Fiona’s problem is that she has been a blonde much longer than she has been a witch.
All Tied Up In Knots.
Finally it is challenge time once again. The Alts are all seated on their usual open-air thrones, enjoying a sunny afternoon. Well, except for the vampire. Don is all wrapped in black silk and under a black umbrella looking pissed. The damn freaks are making him stay up all day again!
Fiona conducts the Trial in a brief black bra-top and low rider black camo jeans. She gives the usual speel. Whoever wins is safe from elimination, gets to sit in on the Alts’ deliberations, and will cast the tie-breaking vote is needed.
She explains that witches cast spells by tying knots into rope. “Each knot allows us to focus our energy and set the spell into action. The spell continues to work until the knots are undone.”
The TOPs are told to find a partner. Loana jumps away from Nichole and Tim to pair herself up with Eric. These are the pairs:
Loana and Eric.
Nichole and Tim.
Jamie and Noel.
There are six long, long ropes tied into three sets of three knots each. Each pair of TOPs has to tie one end of a knotted rope set around their bodies then untie the knots by moving their bodies through the loops of the knots. Once they are free they have to grab a witch’s dagger from a pedestal and race back across the lawn to place the dagger onto Fiona’s altar. But only one person can win immunity. Each pair must decide for themselves who gets the immunity.
Erik and Loana get off to a great start with the knots. Tim and Nichole struggle a bit. Noel and Jamie are complete screw-ups. They never do succeed in releasing even one knot but somehow bunch all three knots together into one giant Gordian Knot.
As soon as they untie all their knots Loana grabs the knife so she and Eric can race to the altar. Once there they do Rock Paper Scissors to decide which of them places the knife on the pentagram and wins immunity. Loana wins.
Fiona looks very pleased that they allowed “fate” in the guise of chance to decide which of them gets immunity. But then she gets all blonde witchy/bitchy again and proclaims that “Loana is probably the only one who didn’t need to be safe from elimination tonight!”
Tim Tries Strategy, Part II
Pigs fly. The sun rises at midnight. Water flows uphill
Tim decides he will be safe from Elimination is he can just sell the Alts on what great plans he has for spending all that prize money!
First he whispers his plan to Iya ta’Shia. “I’ll have a big barbeque! All the greasy fried chicken you can eat, baby! Even greasy fried okra!! You guys like that stuff, right?”
He tells Avocado “I’ll have a big reunion barbeque, with free pony rides all weekend!” Avocado just nods, speechless. Pony rides?
For Don, he ups the ante. “I’ll buy you all the booze you wanna drink! All the whisky you wanna drink!” Don actually seems interested and tells him “That would be cool. If you kept your word.” Tim promises he would.
He tells Fiona he will have a Big Barbeque for all ten houseguests—not just the smart ones who are still there. Fiona lips says “Isn’t that sweet,” but her face says “You stupid idiot! What are you thinking!”
Nichole Sucks, Part II
They always have a formal dinner before they boot off one of the TOPs. Tonight, the main course is Nichole.
First Fiona tricks Nichole into offering up “the family prayer”, then she criticizes her for a lousy prayer. When Nichole says “Well, it was my prayer.” Fiona gives her the Evil Eye and attacks her every word again.
Eric is in heaven. “Fiona is the Spider and Nichole is the Fly. She just attacks her. I love it!!!”
When they finish eating and arguing, Avocado calls for the Alts to leave the table and begin deliberating on who to eliminate. Loana goes with, as immunity winner.
The Deliberation Ceremony.
The Deliberation Ceremony is a lot of pontificating and solemn nodding of heads. I wish they would show better camera shots of the furniture because, frankly, it is more dynamic than the stilted conversation. Pardon me as I give a bare bones summary.
Avocado on Jamie: “She can focus, but becomes flighty. Then focused, then flighty, then focused, then flighty!”
Ta’Shia on Jamie: “She is stagnated. I mean—how much farther is she willing to go?”
Avocado on Nichole: “She’s a strong contender.”
Fiona on Nichole: “I’m still wondering if she is deceptive.”
Don on Nichole: “Truthfully? Straight out? Fake! Fake! Fake! And (he speaks the next in a fakey falsetto) fake!. (Umm… it takes one to know one, buddy.)
Avocado asks Loana her opinion on Nichole. And it’s unanimous—Nichole is fake.
Avocado on Eric: “I would give him a necklace if I thought he would flip back to his old self when this is all over. He needs to show he is permanently changed.”
Art on Tim: “Is he missing the whole point of everything we’ve been working on?”
Fiona on Tim: “He just does what he’s told to do. If I told him to drink his own urine, would he do it?”
Don goes “Oooo” and gets all turned on. Uhh… dude? Vampires drink blood, not urine. At least that’s what I always thought. But now that you mention it—old vampires do have pretty yellow teeth.
Avocado on Tim: Tim is the child here.”
The Elimination Ceremony.
The clock strikes midnight, summoning the poor TOPs to another stupid Elimination Ceremony. Nichole covers her eyes. Tim sticks his fingers in his ears. And these are the more mature responses.
The Alts file out first.
Fiona is in a lovely outfit of over-the-knee black boots, tights, dark hot pants and a black bra top, all set off with a feather-trimmed, black cut-away coat.
Don, with a red Ascot at this throat, is dressed in a long black and gray coat made from recycled funeral home curtains. These can be purchased online at AnneRiceRocks.com. The other Alts aren’t worth mentioning, fashionwise.
The TOPs file out next and stand with their backs to the pool as always.
Noel looks like a bum.
Tim looks like an idiot.
Eric is smug.
Nichole looks SoCal cool.
Loana looks modest.
Jamie has her boobs hanging out and looks like a hooker. I dunno—I guess when you have paid as much for your boobs as she has you need to show them off every chance you get.
Don votes first, for Nichole. “I would eliminate a bit of the psychological cat fight between you and possible another guest.” Possibly? What’s he talking about? Does this guy ever say anything that doesn’t sound pretentious?
Art votes Tim. “If you leave tonight, I wish you the best for the rest of your journey.”
Ta’Shia votes Jamie and gives her a candle to “help you find and claim your fire.”
At this point, Don needlessly announces that it is a tie—one vote Nichole, one vote Tim and one vote Jamie.
Fiona teases Nichole, but finally votes Tim. “Your desire to please is based on a desire to win the money rather than improve yourself as a person.” Duh. Quick! Anyone! Name one sincere person still in the game! See?
And Avocado votes Tim. “I appreciated our time together. May God bless you on your journey.”
Fat Boy Sings the Bye-bye Blues
Tim blames his elimination on Fiona’s witchcraft.
“Fiona is on her high horse and has used a little of her potion on Art and Avocado so they will give her what she wants when she wants it. And you know what? It’s gonna be the pretty girl left standing. Bottom line. I didn’t get a fair shake.”
Don drinks blood.
Fiona is pissed at Don.
The houseguests get naked. (Yeah, I know. I say that every time because they show that naked clip every time. But this time they might really do it!
Voice Over: And there is a shocking twist.
Oh no!!! Not another Reality Show shocking twist! That’s twice this week!