‘The Traitors’: How Did This ‘Big Brother’ Winner’s Game Go So Wrong?

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Traitors Season 2, Episode 6.)Dan Gheesling might’ve won Big Brother Season 10 and come close again in Season 14, but his run on The Traitors has been a completely different story. Players have suspected him pretty much since the game began, and it’s mostly been his own fault;

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(Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Traitors Season 2, Episode 6.)

Dan Gheesling might’ve won Big Brother Season 10 and come close again in Season 14, but his run on The Traitors has been a completely different story. Players have suspected him pretty much since the game began, and it’s mostly been his own fault; his conspicuous silence at roundtable after roundtable is more than a little suspicious. This week, the Faithfuls finally cut him loose after he walked right into former Bachelor Peter Weber’s trap. But will this one-time rose lover fall for the Traitors’ first attempt at seduction?

For the uninitiated, The Traitors is an addictive social strategy game in which 21 players gather in a Scottish castle for a chance to split a $250,000 cash prize. Among them, however, are three “Traitors,” each of whom will take all of the money if they make it to the end. Each night, the players vote to “banish” a suspected Traitor, and afterward, the Traitors meet in a secluded tower to “murder” one unfortunate Faithful.

Last week, Peter—who was previously best known for being a pilot, having sex in a windmill on The Bachelorette, and pissing off many of the women who competed for his heart during The Bachelor Season 24—played a brilliant little trick on our Traitors. Because he rightfully suspected that both Dan and Survivor legend Parvati Shallow were Traitors, he told both of them that he and a teammate had won Shields during a challenge when, in fact, two other players were protected from elimination. And because Dan desperately wanted Love Island USA star Carsten “Bergie” Bergersen out of the game, he insisted that the Traitors try and murder him despite the risk that he might have a Shield.

As we all know, that was a bad choice, and as soon as Bergie shows up for breakfast this week, you can tell that Dan knows his fate is pretty much sealed. Still, like any good gamer, he remains optimistic.

“I’ve had my back against the wall before,” he says. “This is not new to me. So let’s see what I can pull off.”

Peter only shared his little lie with three people—Dan, Parvati, and The Challenge alum Chris “C.T.” Tamburello. (Peter really doesn’t think C.T. is a Traitor, so it’s unclear why he included him in this little gambit in the first place, but whatever.) Naturally, both Dan and Parvati go into damage control mode as soon as they realize their mistake. Unfortunately, they both come off shady as hell.

Parvati’s best move is to tell Peter that she thinks he’s the Traitor now, because he’s “gaming really hard,” which comes off about as unconvincing aloud as it does in writing. Dan, meanwhile, plays the good guy and tells Peter he doesn’t take the accusation personally. All he wants is for the group to hear him out when he finally makes an accusation at the roundtable. Fair enough!

Dan Gheesling in The Traitors.

Dan Gheesling.

Peacock

But first, our forever immaculate host Alan Cumming has another grueling challenge for the group—this time, valued at $20,000. They must run around the castle grounds and locate several pieces of a giant catapult. Then, once they’ve hauled those pieces on a sled to the spot where Cumming is sitting patiently on a pile of hay, it’s time to build the catapult and fire a golden ball onto a faraway target. Oh—and of course, all of this is timed. Also scattered around are five ammo boxes that represent the chance to compete for a Shield.

Sandra, Shereé, Peter, Trishelle, and Parvati all grab shield boxes. At the last minute, our recently returned Traitors Season 1 villain Kate Chastain threatens to steal Peter’s crate, but she thinks better of it after she decides that fighting over immunity seems “desperate.” Cumming—clad this week in a bright blue beret, cerulean glasses frames, and a red kilt with matching plaid gloves—oversees the proceedings comfortably from afar. The group does manage to win the $20,000, and Shereé secures her safety with a Shield by firing the catapult closest to the target.

Then and only then is it time for the dreaded roundtable, where Dan attempts a very misguided Hail Mary: throwing former Real Housewife and lawyer Phaedra Parks under the bus.

Of this season’s three Traitors, Phaedra is the only one who has so far managed to evade any suspicion. Dan and Parvati, meanwhile, are looking untrustworthy as hell. The smart move for Dan would have been to throw Parvati under the bus, given that she’s the other person Peter tricked with his little lie. He also could have pointed out that it was her who went from room to room with the poison chalice a couple weeks ago before Love Island winner Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu died her slow death. Instead, and for no discernible reason at all, he comes at Phaedra with the flimsiest talking points imaginable.

First, Dan goes around the table and points out everyone who has evaded suspicion so far. Then, he points out those who’ve had strange, unexplained voting patterns. According to him, that leaves only Phaedra. And then, he says she over-acted at the breakfast table each morning when the group found out who’d been murdered the night before. That last point really does not work for anyone—and it doesn’t help that Phaedra has the perfect comeback for Dan’s comment that her responses are a little “extra”: “I do too much,” she chides, “because you do too little.”

Game, set, match. While Dan votes for Phaedra to go home in the end, everyone but Peter votes for him—and Peter only votes for Parvati because he’s confident there are enough votes to send Dan home already. If it’s his last night in the castle, he reasons, he wants to make sure people remember Parvati’s name, too.

Like everyone who goes home in this game, Dan is a good sport about it—and the group is absolutely ecstatic to have finally caught a Traitor. “I can see why not many people have gone toe to toe with Phaedra and won,” Dan tells producers on his way out. “Man, she shredded me at the roundtable.”

Parvati, however, is out for blood. She knows her days are numbered as long as Peter is in the castle, especially because he sits at the center of the game’s strongest clique. Still, this woman did not win Survivor by giving up easily. “I’m gonna take that Bachelor down,” she says with a grin—and she might soon have her chance.

Per the rules of the game, the Traitors now have a choice to make. They can either murder as usual, or they can attempt to replenish their ranks by recruiting a Faithful to join them in their treachery. Phaedra leaves the choice up to Parvati, since she’s pretty convinced that for now, at least, Parvati is the only one players suspect. Parvati’s choice is swift and obvious: If she can’t beat Peter, she wants him to join their team.

“I think it would be so fun to recruit him and turn the most blue blood faithful detective against his own posse and watch him murder his friends,” Parvati tells Phaedra in the tower. “… Let’s just light this place on fire.”

Phaedra doesn’t seem convinced this will work, but just like Dan’s choice to murder Bergie, she’s perfectly happy to let her fellow Traitor make a questionable decision as long as it won’t backfire on her personally. But because this is the most diabolical reality show of all time, we will of course have to wait until next week to learn if Pilot Pete takes the bait.

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