A Basement Affair Recap – Episode 5 – Hell Is From Children

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This episode is infested.

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Positively infested.

We begin with the aftershocks of Jenny’s elimination. Felicia poses with a coffee pot and says that it just goes to show that Frank will dig up secrets if they exist. Indeed, he’s the 21st century equivalent of Scooby Doo, if Scooby Doo were a gym bunny instead of whatever the hell kind of dog he is.

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Felicia wonders who’s hiding something. She asks Kerry which famous guy Cathy recently dated. In an interview, Kerry explains that she, Cathy and Felicia have been the tightest, so this digging may mark a sea change for their trinity.

And then, the sea changes for real.

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Like, really, a typhoon has hit their alliance:

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As Kerry and Cathy whisper about Felicia, what do you know, Felicia comes knocking on the door.

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Kerry and Cathy then continue their conversation…

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…which would be fine if they then somehow segued into a discussion on household poisons or how not to get a disease on VH1, but after Kerry tells Cathy to be careful, they just kind of stare and stammer at each other awkwardly. Felicia leaves because she really has to pee. Her two soon-to-be former friends mock her.

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For today’s challenge, these women will be put through hell, and even more so than usual. They have to take care of a pack of kids dressed as Frank…

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Christi refers to them as “little Franks.” They are cocktail Franks, if you will. They all have name tags designating them as “Frank [Real Name],” similar to the way some nuns of the same convent will be called “Sister Mary [Real Name or Whatever].” At least, that’s how it was in Sister Act.

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This one’s eyebrows give a sense of foreboding…

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…which is realized as soon as the Marescas leave the house and the kids start jumping on the couch.

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Susan has left a list of instructions detailing how to care for these hellcats.

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Cut to Renee feeding them ice cream before lunch…

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What a sin. Renee is helping these kids spoil their appetite for the boxed macaroni and cheese they’re supposed to eat first. They’ll be deprived of nutrients. Specifically, the nutrient of neon orange. Renee explains that she was motivated to break the rules because she wanted the kids to be like, “Renee’s awesome, she’s so nice.” Renee just wants to be loved. It’s kind of heartbreaking, really.

Felicia’s strategy involves taking the kids behind a curtain…

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…and telling them, “I’ll let you guys do whatever you want, if you tell everyone how I was the best babysitter.” Yeah, I’m sure they’ll do that once they get over being creeped out enough to form sentences again.

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Whatever little boy she’s taken behind the curtain then hollers, “Hey guys, she’s the worst babysitter here!” Curses, foiled again! And she would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for these kids that have been put up to meddling!

While Kerry tosses around a football and gives dance instructions…

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…Annie, this quarter’s resident VH1 performance artist, comes up against a particularly brutal one named Will.

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Their exchange here goes:

Annie: Will, I’m not playing this game with you, you need to go downstairs right now.
Will: I know you are but what am I?

Will, you’re somebody who doesn’t know how to use the phrase, “I know you are but what am I?” properly. That’s what.

Will seems to have arrived with an arsenal of phrases to toss out. Things like…

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…”Talk to the hand!” And…well, maybe that’s it. I wouldn’t be surprised if a “Is that your final answer?” or “Don’t go there!” was somewhere lying on the cutting-room floor right now, though.

Everyone seems to have a problem with Will…

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He openly mocks Christi when she tries to discipline him…

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…Christi interviews that Will is demonic and will probably flash before her eyes when she dies. This makes me love Christi so much that I don’t want her to go to the demons! Walk into the light, Christi!

(That one goes out to Zelda Rubenstein. RIP, you brave, brave lady.)

Melody gently takes Will aside (I’m so sick of typing this kid’s name, btw), and tells him that she understands that everyone wants to have fun, but he’s being disrespectful.

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And then all of a sudden, he’s good. He eats his extremely healthy mac and cheese without a peep. Hmmm, I’m not buying it. Plant! Plant!

Then Melissa introduces the idea of having an egg race, which one of the kids misinterprets as…

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…and then everyone else just bombs the ground, anyway, because that’s what happens during an egg race.

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Annie gives herself the task of cleaning up Melissa’s bright idea. And speaking of cleaning, not enough of it is done by the time the Marescas return. They note holes in the love seat, too…

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“What happened here?” asks Frank. Uh, your hired Gremlin hands did their job? Christi says that she assumes Will did the cushion-tearing because “he’s a little piece of s*** and I hate him.” That’s the spirit!

Frank takes his troop of mini-mes down to the basement to get their report on who was the best babysitter.

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Renee was good. “She gave us ice cream, it was amazing,” says one kid sounding as prepubescent as humanly possible. Cathy was very nice and is a sexy mamacita. Kerry was very nice, and Frank would look best with her, per his query. Whenever I want advice on what would make me look best, I turn to 10-year-olds, obviously. Christi yelled the most. The mention of her name elicits a chorus of boos. When it comes to brats like this, that means she did her job right. Will admits to being the worst-behaved kid, and that Melody did the best keeping him under control. That’s an extremely mature observation. Are we really sure that there isn’t an Ewok under that Will costume?

Anyway, the kids picked Kerry and Melody as the best babysitters so they will share a bowling/dinner (and by “dinner,” I mean “bowling alley food”) date with Frank and his parents. The rest of the girls will eat with Brother Sal. Mmmmm, Sal.

Before Frank departs for his bowling date, Renee interviews that Frank told her he needs constant assurance so she writes him a note telling him he looked nice today. If he’s that insecure, he probably won’t be OK with her spilling the beans on the “constant assurance” bit. Girl, you know it’s true. Anyway, she writes this note in the closet, rather hilariously.

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Melissa reports to the girls regarding what Renee is doing and then explains it to us in an interview: “Little Miss Weirdo is writing one of her infanous [sic] love notes to Frank in the closet.” After hearing her say that, I’m really curious how one of Melissa’s infanous love notes would read. Probably hilariously.

For some reason, Felicia decides that she needs to know the contents of Renee’s note, so she sticks tape on a knife and attempts to retrieve it from under the basement door, where Renee slid it…

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Almost immediately, Frank pops out of his room to find Felicia on the floor with a knife. Foiled again! It’s hard out there for an underminer. Frank asks her if she’s cleaning. “Kind of!” she says, which actually is more or less the truth.

Frank takes his parents and two winners bowling. Melody is good, Kerry is not.

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As Frank bowls, his mom says, “There goes a lunatic!” There’s been going a lunatic, lady. We’re already on Episode 5! She also notes, “Frankie’s been playing with balls for a long time,” which…wha?

At one point Frank rather impressively bowls between his legs to land a strike. I guess he really does have practice playing with balls, and also perhaps retracting them.

The time comes for one-on-ones. First up is Kerry, with whom Frank eats French fries.

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“You’re such, like, a likable person,” she tells him. She sounds sarcastic. They talk about Frank’s sexual attraction to her, which is apparently great. Great.

Meanwhile, the Marescas and Melody talk about the state of the bathroom in the bowling alley.

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You don’t need me to tell you that it’s absolutely riveting, riveting stuff.

When it’s Melody’s turn for her one-on-one, she explains that there was a “nice little photobooth” in the alley where they did some “funny faces.”

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Tammy would be mortified.

But there’s nothing funny about the faces that follow…

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…unless you find tongues touching tongues funny, which actually I mostly do.

Then, Sal brings over some yumminess to the girls who didn’t win the challenge…

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He also brings food and beer.

As he grills for the girls…

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…Melissa tosses some related double entendres at him like, “I want sausage,” and “I’m not gonna be satisfied with just once piece of meat.” She’s flirting with Sal, but can you really blame her?

Sal gathers the girls for a toast…

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…”To a great barbecue…and my mother’s hairdo.” Sah-woooooon!

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When they sit around to eat, Sal asks them about their worst breakups. Christi comes around to talking about her ex, whom she stopped hooking up with in March/May (I guess April saw a relapse?). She says they’re still friends. Sal draws the conclusion that they’re friends with benefits. What a boner killer. Ya had me Sal. All you had to do was keep it on the straight and narrow. He also asks them about their futures, and Felicia talks about wanting to be a CFO of a Fortune 500. Sal notes that Felicia’s dreams don’t involve Frank. That is because Felicia is smart.

And crafty! When Frank comes back from bowling, she makes a beeline for his lips.

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Cathy then resolves to steal Frank away from “shady” Felicia.

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“Can we talk?” asks Cathy. “Just you and I,” Frank asks back. No, Frank, you, Cathy and Joan Rivers.

Alone, Cathy tells Frank about Felicia’s smack-talk re: her dating a famous guy when she came to the house. She says she hasn’t had a relationship in over a yea. Frank asks about her dalliances with famous men. Cathy denies dating anyone/celebrity when she got there. I feel like “when she got there” will turn out to be the operative phrase in that sentence. Frank invites her to the basement to have sex in order to prove that she’s there for the right reasons. He’s kidding, he adds, but I bet he’d turn serious if she took him up on the offer. She does not.

Sal gives frank the rundown of the night’s events. He tells Frank about Felicia’s future not involving him and the fact that Christi is still best friends with her ex. “Friends with benefits? You know, who knows?” he concludes. Ugh, Sal. Didn’t we almost have it all? Even without Sal’s editorializing, I get the feeling that Frank would still be suspicious of Christi’s enduring connection with her ex. He reports that he had sex with exes he remained friends with. Lots of sex.

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Since Frank sets the standard for the way all humans live their lives (if he did it, everyone does it!), he might be onto something.

Frank talks to Felicia, who confirms that she can see herself with Frank in five years. Whew! What a relief. Then, he talks to Christi.

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Christi admits that she sees her ex, Evan, a lot, but that “best friend” probably wasn’t the right way to put it. Frank asks her to call Evan so that Frank can know exactly what’s going on. Evan promptly tells Frank that he and Christi fooled around just weeks before she went on the show, which who cares? If Frank’s going to use that against her, he should at least reveal when he fooled around before the show.

Anyway, Christi gets back on the phone, and asks Evan what he said. Evan admits to talking about fooling around a few weeks before the start of filming.

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“Why would you lie? Why would you do that to me?” asks Christi. Yeah, why would he? She has more of a reason to lie than he does, obviously, but she seems genuinely upset. It’s really hard to get a handle on exactly who’s lying.

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Wouldn’t you agree, eavesdroppers?

There’s no time to answer because it’s time for elimination. Kerry is called first. Upon calling Cathy up, Frank says, “Today I actually found myself missing this girl today. I missed her talking.” So that’s cute. Also, when Frank asks Annie if she’ll accept the key to his basement, she says, “Obvi.” So that’s cuter. Anyway, it comes down to Felicia and Christi. Frank doesn’t trust Christi. He has her step forward.

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She says that Evan was lying. Frank asks why he’d lie. Christi wonders why she’d call him if they’d just hooked up. Because Frank asked you to? Anyway, Susan agrees with Christi’s logic and comforts her…

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…which is probably about as soothing as snuggling with steel wool. Christi goes back to the group, and Felicia comes forward. “When are you gonna start talking about me and thinking about me more?” Frank asks her. As if she doesn’t talk about him enough! These girls spend their days talking about Frank. What does he want to just consume her so he can eventually kick her off for being obsessed with him? She’s staying, so I guess we’ll see how it pans out!

Christi is at this point sobbing.

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Frank explains that she wasn’t good with the kids and has some “serious baggage.” “Bottom line, she just wasn’t the one for me,” he says. OK, so that’s a lot more reasonable than this friends-with-benefits conjecture. Maybe he’s not such a lunatic after all.

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Outside, a still-weeping Christi says it’s not fair that she didn’t get a chance to explain herself. If she took the chance to do so after this, we’ll never know because soon after, she’s cut off by the merciless scissors of editing.

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