Let’s see if this thread can get at least two replies.
Overall, I thought this episode was so-so, sort of a filler, time waster. However, the scene at the end, with Ben and Rhonda, really gripped my heart, as cliched as that sounds. It’s because it just came out of nowhere, for the most part, yet was sort of telegraphed by the way they looked at each other after Ben dropped her off. I totally felt what Ben felt after his conversation with Heather; who hasn’t been in that situation? And who hasn’t fallen all over someone else to deal with it?
That was just a great scene. It was the first time in the entire run of the show that I felt any sympathy for Rhonda, and I also admit, there was definitely something erotic and appealing about her. Probably had to do with her vulnerability.
I loved that Bill couldn’t give a straight no to (Robert Patrick’s character)'s blunt “Do you want us to kill [Alby]?” question.
I totally thought Lois was going to waste Frank and was a little disappointed when she didn’t. He’s evil and she was nuts long before the dementia but that is a complex and intriguing relationship; he really does in his own seriously dysfunctional and thoroughly selfish and narcissistic crazy way care about her.
I enjoyed the episode, overall. The theme seemed to be relationships, and all their different permutations. So, we had: Bill/Barb/Nicki; Barb/Bill/his church; Cara Lynn & her teacher (:eek:); Vernon & Alby (looks like we called that one correctly); Ben/Heather/Rhonda; the Hendricksons vs. the State of Utah/LDS Church; Bill’s mom & dad; Barb & her mom/sister (again).
I loved how Barb’s mom & sister were WAY more worried that she might be a lesbian than her whole quest for the priesthood. Bill was at least perceptive enough (in his own obtuse way) to see that wasn’t an issue.
Nicki is sure reading more into the divorce than anyone else is. And yet, she still finds the energy to flirt with Cara Lynn’s teacher.
I liked this episode better although I could smack Ben for getting within 10 yards of Rhonda. The meeting with Barb and her mother/sister was great and believable as was Bill’s response to the doctrine. Both my SO and I laughed out loud at Nicki’s reaction to being asked to sign a pre-nup and her comment that she wanted to “smack Barb in the face.”
How old is Caralyn? It would be awesome if they go through with the D.I.V.O.R.C.E and adoption to have her elope with her math teacher a few days later ;)!
I don’t buy the Heather/Ben relationship but of course Ben is going to go after any tail that beckons his way. He’s learning from Bill on that one. I did like the Frank/Lois scene although I miss non-demented Lois as she was one of my favorite characters in a show that has lost too many of the good ones like Roman Grant, Sarah, etc.
Well, the thing about his conversation with Heather is that I get the feeling she probably would have quietly stopped writing to Mission Boy if Ben hadn’t made it clear he was totally Bill, Jr. and had no conception that a woman might need or want anything on this earth beyond a husband, any husband. Their discussion about Rhonda was the complete Bill/Barb conflict in microcosm; you could watch everything we’ve seen in Barb the whole run from “Wait, what, am I missing something here” straight through to “I cannot be with someone this nose-pickingly dense” flit across Tina Majorino’s face in about 5 seconds. It was a really nice bit of writing and acting, imo.
Overall, I thought it was a pretty good episode. Not a lot of action, but I don’t think you always need action to advance the story, especially when the story is about an inherently emotion-based thing like trying to hold a family together. Barb’s plotline alone advances that story a lot–between the divorce and her break with the church, I think she really is going to leave by the end, and stay gone this time. Which will be the death knell for the whole family, I think. She’s the den mother who keeps Nikki and Margie from tearing each other to shreds, the nice girl who grew up mainstream LDS and gives them what little veneer of respectability they have in the public eye, the one who will throw her body over the bomb to protect everyone else over and over and over and over. Without her, Bill’s career and the peace and smooth running of the houses might as well have a fork stuck in them.
Can I just pause for a second for a slightly tangental rant?
I hate. hate. hate. pole dancing in movies and on TV.
Because those chicks in the strip club were NOT pole dancing. They were writhing around while holding on to poles.
I’ve been pole dancing for nearly a year and dammit, I want to see some bitches break out some awesome pole tricks. Even in a movie about pole dancing strippers, the actresses still did not really do anything except dance around on the poles.
Just once, I’d like to see some really awesome tricks. Just once.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled commentary of Big Love. I’ll be back to make more relevant comments, but I just had to get that off my chest.
I agree it was both a nice slice of writing and acting, but I can’t quite reconcile what you’re saying. Both Heather and Ben have been conditioned since birth to only value women for their reproductive capacity. Heather in particular was conditioned to find only marrying a returned missionary (RM) to be the acceptable choice. In my experience (watching other mormon girls go through this; I had no interest in returned missionaries) the typical TBM girl (True Believing Mormon) would most certainly NOT have stopped writing to her missionary because she knows Ben is not ever going on a mission. Her only goal in life is supposed to be to get married and make babies under the temple covenants. She could not have that with Ben and never will. Neither one of them have any idea that a woman might want or need anything other than a righteous RM.
I’ve been to a fair share of strip clubs over the years and, honestly, at the vast majority of them, the girls are doing like you saw on Big Love last night-- wiggling around, but certainly not pole dancing in a literal sense. So, while they certainly aren’t “pole dancing.” I’d say it’s a moderately accurate representation of a certain kind of titty bar.
Anywho, I liked the episode, if nothing else for the Alby kiss. That was a good moment and totally surprising, even though everybody here guessed it weeks ago.
The teacher thing was totally shocking- apparently, I missed their first kiss last time? Oh well, either way! Ick. I thought she is supposed to be 15, but maybe if she is 16 or 17, she’ll run away with him. Still, it’s a bit awful that this girl was “saved” from being married off to some old man. . .to the arms of some old man. Aye aye aye. And how dumb is the teacher? He knows she’s more or less a Senator’s daughter and is kissing her outside his house? Damn.
In the main marriage story line, I feel worst for Marg. She just seems the most genuine and honest-- her face when Barb’s friend was talking about maternal, natural instincts was so sincere. . . Oh, well. I really hate Nicki. Like a lot. I used to love her, but I just cannot deal with how selfish and manipulating she is lately. Barb. . .Barb just needs to run away, far away. Marry a nice, normal Morman dude and live out her days.
I see this Ben and Rhonda thing not ending well. Either Vernon is going to find out and it’s going to turn him do the dark side permanently or Ben’s going to get his heart broken in a major way.
Ugh ugh ugh. I hate all these women who need “saving” and the men who swoon over that. I’m talking about Caralynn and the disgusting Rhonda, and even Marge and her juice pal who obviously would like to save her from polygamy.
Oh yeah I also forgot to yell about Bill and the scene where he is one-upping Don. Bill is all “My family doesn’t like me” and Don is all “Well someone tried to KILL me!” and Bill says, in a totally dismissive way, “I just found out I married an underaged girl.”
Well boo-fucking-hoo, Bill. DON ALMOST DIED. It was your fault! Sorry your little suburban compound is crumbling. At least someone out there - Alby - realizes how important Don is to your well-being.
I am going to miss hating Bill when this show is over.
I thought this was a great episode, myself…maybe the best of the season.
Something about the scene in Bill’s church when he was passing out the sacrament brought to mind some Jim Jones imagery…and Barb was the one who “refused to drink the Kool-Aid”, I wonder if the writers had that subtext in mind.
And perhaps my favorite line of the whole series ( paraphrased cause I can’t get to the DVR )
between Barb and her Mom
“You can’t seriously think that I’ve become a lesbian?”
“Why not? You’ve done everything else you could possibly think of to complicate your life.”
and I thought the Cara Lynn / Mr. Ivey hook-up and the Ben / Rhonda hook-up made this an eventful episode. I think there will end up being of the Rhondaesque compound bad girl in Cara Lynn than I suspected and her teacher may live to really regret this.
And I think Ben walking away from Heather and going to Rhonda was the moment he made his final life choice to follow in the family footsteps.
I agree. The unraveling of Bill and Barb was good, and the scene between Frank and Lois on the beach was one of the best of the series. I’m trying to ignore the herpes thing and just move on. There’s been too much wacky stuff in the series, but Frank and Lois have often worked very well as a twisted version of what Bill and Barb could turn into. They did that here, and it even looks like their marriage could outlast Bill and Barb. We also got to see Nicki say something nice about Barb (although she was self-centeredly misunderstanding the reason for the divorce), and take an interest in Cara Lynn without doing anything crazy (although she doesn’t see she’s crushing hard on her math teacher).
I don’t think they showed it, which is really a cheat.
Of course it’s only an assumption, albeit a logical one, that Frank picked up herpes from some sordid gal somewhere and gave it to Lois. It could be the other way around (it wouldn’t be totally surprising to learn she’d cheated on him), or he could have gotten it from one of his other wives and passed it on.
So the review on The Onion AV Club says “Barb’s moved out to live with her mother”. Did this actually happen? Explicitly? We missed a few seconds from the closing montage that our DVR cut off.
Definitely a good episode. Ben kissing Rhonda was horrifying. Don’t stick your tongue in the crazy, Ben!