"Big Love" 8/20/07 (Spoilers)

Disturbing ending, that. Was it Alby, for sure, who was responsible for the snakes or could it have been Hollis Green and his people?

Ben dating those twins…ugh. I shuddered during that scene when they showed up again.

They’re really doing their best to make Bill completely unsympathetic this season, aren’t they?

Hell, I’m losing sympathy for all of them.

First thing Bill needs to do is take away everybody’s cell phones.

I was disappointed in tonight’s episode, especially after the real drama we saw last week.

I was sure that all three wives would end up at the wedding reception, but I wasn’t sure how the writers would manage it. It was pretty sloppy, I think. Nicki shows up just to keep Margene from going inside? And they all stand there talking about Weber Gaming? Clumsily done. Did they even remember to get all of the kids in the cars?

I did like Ned though – he’s just as devious as Bill. And Ellen Burstyn is aging beautifully.

That was Ellen Burstyn?! Ahh.

Who exactly was Ned? It seems like he and Bill sort of knew each other.

I agree, it was executed clumsily–the wives at the reception. And everyone’s getting worse. I used to really like Lois and Margene…Lois is getting too manipulative. And Margene…I liked her before when she was questioning her place in the family. Now her whole family first mentality and loving the Principle…it all rubs me the wrong way. I’m feeling really bad for Barb, though.

I feel bad for Barb, though considering the level of familial disapproval she’s suffering, it’s hard for me to imagine how she ever got to this point. Why did she ever consent to Bill marrying Nicki? Now, it’s too late for her to go back on it and she’s committed, but it’s hard to picture how, during her illness, her mom and sister wouldn’t have been around and influenced her against allowing the whole thing to happen.

Barb’s mom is quite a hypocrite, with her unsealing and resealing. Seems like she’d know what it was like to compromise values for a man she loves. Barb’s sister is quite a bitch.

I also feel bad for Sarah, who seems like a smart girl with a lot of potential. I loved it when she told Bill he now has no credibility as a role model whatsoever. I don’t want to see her demean herself to be with a guy who is not as interested in her as she is in him. Scott, not worth all that grief-- something most girls have to go through in high school, but despite telling off Bill, Sarah really is using him and her mother’s relationship as role models for her own, to her own detriment.

Bill is an ass. Should have stayed away from her mom’s wedding. Shouldn’t be strong-arming his daughter’s boyfriend, since he looked like a complete hypocrite doing it. Leaving Margene in the car like a dog wasn’t very nice either.

Ben has turned into quite Daddy’s little boy. I mean that in the worst way possible.

When is Alby going to kill Roman already?

Is Frank getting Cathy or what? I guess Wanda isn’t OK with it after all, since she was going to put sink cleaner on the bundt cake. They’re relly making Melora Walters look like shit, aren’t they?

It was nice to see Teeny for 2 seconds.

Barb’s mom’s new husband. Yeah, it looks like Ned and Bill do know each other. Ned was comfortable enough with Bill to sort of unburden himself a bit, although right now I can’t remember exactly what they talked about. Wasn’t it something about the church’s stance on gambling? So the men in this religion are pragmatists and it’s left to the women to uphold the values?

We need more back story on these people. On Barb and Bill anyway.

I hate Bill. You just know that Barb was at a weak point in her life when she agreed to the marriage with Nicki. And if she agreed to one sister wife, she’d be a hypocrite not to agree with another, if Bill felt the celestial rise in his pants.

I think it was gambling, you’re right. I’m getting the feeling that the women tend to take a lot of this stuff really seriously (look at the thought Margene put into taking on a fourth wife and into accepting Weber Gaming), whereas the men tend to do what’s convenient.

Yeah…well, she was recovering from cancer. Nicki is the one who nursed her. So her husband basically said, “Honey, we have to marry Nicki”–ugh. It just feels so, so wrong.

Seeing Wanda reach for the Ajax was funny. (And her subsequent “freak-out,” for lack of a better term, was a bit frightening.)

And seeing Sarah go back to Scott was sad. It felt realistic, but also sad. Shades of her mother there, too (Barb accepting the second wives as Sarah accepted Scott screwing around with other girls).

The first season, I felt defensive when people would say, “Oh, a show about polygamists? How weird and bizarre.” The Juniper Creek people, sure, they’re weird…but not Bill & co. Now, the Henrick situation seems to have its own particular brand of scariness going on. When I watched “The Sopranos,” they obviously had their own issues, but in spite of it, I actually liked most of the characters. Nearly everyone is rubbing me the wrong way this season.

Bill has developed quite the “Midas Touch” - except everything is turning to crap and he doesn’t realize how bad things are because all he hears from anybody is partial truths. If he had full disclosure from everyone his head might explode.

I’m not excusing his assness, cause he certainly has become a large one this season. He must have to park his ego outside, cause it sure wouldn’t fit inside anywhere.

Nicki…How much trouble can this conniving little … cause? I guess I have to give Bill credit for not throwing her out. Hell, I would have been tempted to last season.

Ben & Sarah - Sarah would like to escape while Ben is fantasizing his wedding night with the twins.

Alby & the Greens - bad combination

Didn’t Lois say something to Alby about how she knew his true nature? Was that a reference to Alby’s closeted homosexuality? I’ve been wondering when this aspect of his character will become a plot point, given that we first learned about it during the first season.

I thought it was a reference to his homosexuality, though then I was wondering, how would Lois know about it? Nicki also seemed to know about it in a previous ep. Also, how creepy was the “I’ve got your nose!” thing he did to Lois? He likes to touch women’s faces while he’s intimidating them.

That was the greatest scene this whole season. That one little gesture had my falling off the couch laughing.

I, for one, am finding myself becoming more interested in the Compound drama than the Henrickson clan. I want to know if Roman will recover and kick Alby’s ass or not. And apparently Yours Truly Hollis Green is not in jail. I guess he got away when the ATF was chasing them.

I guess I’m the lone wolf here on a number of issues.

For one thing, I’m glad things are falling apart. Things fall apart in real life, and it’s hard to trace it all back to a single event. There’s usually just some gestalt, and suddenly everybody’s going off on everybody else. We had a whole season-and-a-half of happy twists and cute funnies. It’s time for some living hell.

Second, I don’t think Bill was hypocritical with the boyfriend. Scott isn’t telling his girlfriends about each other. And when he dates someone, he has no intention of bringing her into a home of people committed to one another. They really are not the same. The differences may be a bit subtle on the surface, but morally they’re from very different places.

Third, I liked the way the wedding was handled and the way everyone came to be there. The most poignant scene in the season, to me, was when Sarah asked Ben if he remembered their childhood trip with Grandma, and he answered, “No.” This implies so many possible things from his just not recalling to his intention to distance himself from his sister. This leaves the writers a lot to work with.

Finally, I have a lot of faith in these writers. They’ve earned the benefit of the doubt, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have any doubts about them pulling all of this together into a coherent moment of “Oh, wow.”

One thing I DO agree on, though. Ellen Burstyn is one of my favorite actors. :slight_smile:

Count me in as an outsider, too.

I liked this episode a lot, what with seeing more of Barb’s family and the dynamic going on there-- nothing is a simple as you might suspect.

Yeah, that was my take, as well. I don’t think Nikki knows, or else she would’ve used it as a trump card already-- she’s to reactive to keep something like that for a strategic purpose. Maybe that’s the “in” for Bill to take over when Roman goes to the big compound in the sky. I’m a little suspicious, though, that the writers are lead us on (especially with the previews). If Bill does take over the sect, I suspect we won’t know for sure until next season.

Can’t wait for the finale, though. It should be good.

Nikki does know. There was a scene at the compound where she was sitting on the grass with Alby and made a comment to him to the effect that she knew. And there’ve been other, more subtle things, like the time Alby was touching Ben’s neck and Nikki ran over to rescue him.

You’re right – sad but realistic.

On another very shallow note, what does Sarah see in him? His haircut is awful, and he always looks like he needs a shower. The little bit (yet too much) I saw of his lower belly before he put a shirt on had me going ew.

I thought Scott was cute when she first met him, but I don’t really like him that much either. Then again, as someone else mentioned, I think this is something that a lot of girls go through in high school. Being totally devoted to someone who doesn’t even deserve them. (And…um, in college, too…for…uh…some of us.)

I thought Lois was alluding to Alby’s homosexuality, and I think that Nicki did that at some point, too. I get the feeling that it’s something of an open secret among the compound people. I don’t think that Bill or anyone else knows, though.

When Bill dictated to Barb that she was going to call those Weber gaming people, I thought for sure she’d leave him all over again. He’s getting worse and worse.

See, I don’t think Bill is bad at all. I mean, from our perspective I guess he is, but from his perspective, he’s just following the principle — part of which is that he is the conduit between each of his wives and God. He honestly believes that when he speaks to them, God is speaking to them which is why he constantly misses the small signs of rebellion, like facial expressions or choice phrases. In his mind, when he has spoken, the law has been laid down.

I think Nicki understands that, although she’s sufficiently self-absorbed that she goes off on all these tangents that are antithetical to Bill’s wishes. Even so, she rationalizes them even to the point of lying to herself. Barb, on the other hand, really doesn’t get Bill’s worldview. Neither does Margene. For Margene, it’s all about love. None of them is really submissive in the sense that Bill thinks they are.

Despite how he comes across, he is honestly doing everything he does as a provider and shepherd for his family. Does he ignore the kids? Yes, but from his perspective, mothering the children isn’t his job and fathering the children means providing for their material needs. So I really don’t hate Bill. Given the principle that guides him — the same principle that guides Roman and Sincerely Yours Hollis — his actions are practically saintly.

I think it may be an open secret to the women on the compound at least. Alby has children right? We know he has at least a few wives.

Speaking of open secrets… who DOESN’T know the Hendrickson’s are polygamists?
Seriously, the police know, the state government knows, I’m sure a lot of the Home Plus employees know, Barb’s family’s entire congregation knows, April Blessing and her group know, the school system knows (right? That’s why Barb had to give upbeing a substitute teacher.)-Other than the neighbors, who is still in the dark about this?

The only note that didn’t ring true, for me, was when Margene said she had been a baby factory for Barb. That’s never seemed like the case. Especially not with Margene. That might have been true for Nicki–in fact in one of the flash back shorts they’ve aired when Barb visits Nicki in the hospital after Nicki’s first baby, there’s a real look from Barb at that baby that really shows how much Barb loves children… but in the show itself we’ve hardly seen Barb interact with the other children. Now if Barb had been shown as taking an active role in the lives of Bill’s other children then I could Margene’s point, but as is, it rang hollow.

Alby said to Nikki something like: You’re not daddy’s little girl anymore.
To which she responding something like: No, you are.

But that could mean something other than: You’re gay.

So as long as people think they’re doing the right thing, it’s okay? I don’t buy that. If Bill’s Principle leads him to do bad things, then he should be held accountable. And yes, I think dictating to his wives as though they’re submissive to him does make him a bad person.

I’m not even sure Bill really believes all that. He spends his whole life trying to get away from Juniper Creek and thinking how evil those creepy old men (i.e., Roman, his father) were…and all of a sudden his wife gets sick and he strikes a deal with Roman, and now the celestial kingdom seems like it could be true? Blech.

Push You Down–This season, it seems like everyone knows. And nothing bad has happened. I also think you’re right about the baby factory remark. Barb doesn’t seem to have taken that much of an interest in the kids, but she seems to be a way better mother than either Margie or Nicki. Just how many kids do they need, though? They really are pumping them out. And it annoys me how all the wives can drop everything to run to Henrickson’s Home Plus or the compound, leaving four tiny kids unaccounted for.

ETA: Seeing Nicki’s kids scrubbing the toilet was hilarious, though. Following in mom’s footsteps.

Keep in mind that Margene is highly emotional, and given to blurting out things that she hasn’t really thought through. That can lead to profound truths or it can lead to nasty little swipes. In this case, I think it was just a case of the latter.