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Year-End Climax for "Big Love"

One of the biggest surprises of this past season was how much I grew to love HBO's polygamy-minded drama Big Love. And last night's slam-dunk finale reminded me of how much our relationship had only strengthened and grown over the past few months. While the season finale may have answered a few questions, it also raised a few new ones and left all of the characters in some sort of jeopardy, enough that the anticipation for new episodes (really, HBO, next year?) will be killing me.

So what burning questions did Big Love resolve? And which ones are still smoldering in the back of my head? Let's check in with the Henricksons and find out.

Who was poisoning Bill's dad Frank?

While all signs initially pointed to Roman Grant, I loved the reveal that it was Bill's quietly simmering sister-in-law Wanda who was the one cribbing from The Young Poisoner's Handbook. While Wanda was slowly killing the old man with arsenic to punish him for harping on Joey all the time, it turns out that both Lois and Joey knew about it and were hoping that she wouldn't go back to her old ways. (I especially loved Lois' cackle that no one would believe her when she said that she wasn't poisoning him.)

Joey seemed especially heartbroken to discover that Wanda had given Roman's dangerous son Alby some rather potent antifreeze to drink. As the three of them tried to figure out what to do with Alby as he lay on Joey and Wanda's couch slowly dying, Joey panicked and involved Bill, who came up with a (flimsy) cover story and instructed them to leave Alby at the hospital (a rather handy note tied to his body read "Drank Antifreeze") and leave his truck someplace. But Wanda's a rather ineffectual poisoner--last time she called Bill to "save" Frank so he could say his goodbyes to his estranged father--and this time she was trying to save her baby and family from Alby's threats, but so far no one's ended up dead... so far, anyway.

What's up with Alby?

A question I've been asking for a while now since we saw him pick up a male hustler, take him back to his motel, and then start banging his own head against the wall before eating a sandwich. Alby's kookiness will have to remain a mystery for a while now. After threatening Wanda's baby and drinking a glass of Wanda's home-brewed anti-freeze/iced tea concoction, he's unconscious at the hospital. It's not sure if he'll regain consciousness, much remember how he got there, but if he does, the Henricksons are in for a whole heap of trouble. And not even anti-freeze or arsenic will fix this one.

Will feisty teenage bride-to-be Rhonda actually marry Roman?

All signs point to yes. While Barb tried to come up with a plan that would allow the iPod-stealing Rhonda to remain with the Henrickson clan and finish up school rather than return to the compound, Roman's first wife Adeleen (who's also Nicki's mother) showed up and hustled Rhonda on her way, after finding out that she had lied about the drama competition. Barb's hands were tied and Rhonda gets back at her when she happily watched as Roman shattered Barb's dreams of receiving the very public Mother of the Year award.

Will the Henricksons be outed as polygamists?

Yes, but not by whom I thought would sell them out. I figured that Bill's nervous employee Wendy would sink them--she even showed up at the governor's mansion to "talk" some reason into Barb, who was up for the Beehive Mother of the Year Award (don't ask me how she got into the event when they turned down Barb's request for extra tickets for Nicki and Margene), but it was a vengeful Roman who placed a call to someone close to the governor. My heart nearly broke as Barb was bluntly led offstage, through the back exit, to a darkened parking lot.

Bill quickly calls Don Embry and tells him that they've been exposed. After arriving home, a hysterical Nicki quickly closes the curtains around the house, terrified that Bill will be arrested or an angry mob will burn down their houses. The wives soon gather upstairs in Barb's bedroom, as Bill watches from the doorway. Barb believes that she got what she deserves, but--for once--Nicki reaches out to her. "Oh, Boss Lady," Nicki says, as she too begins to cry. Meanwhile, across the street, an ominous-looking neighbor watches from his darkened porch...

Will the Henricksons be forced to flee their quiet tree-lined street? How will this bombshell affect Bill's standing in the community and the continued success of his Home Plus businesses?And better yet: how will this affect Bill and Joey's bid for a seat on the UEB council? I imagine that now that Bill's been publicly outed, he can sit rather than poor Joey.

The battle that has been building between the Henricksons and the Grants is going to come to an explosive head... and I can't wait to see the sparks fly. I just hope that the long wait for a new batch of Big Love episodes goes by quickly.


Anonymous said…
The season finale of "Big Love" was incredible. Thanks to HBO for yet another amazing program. I just wish we didn't have to wait so long for new episodes! But if the second season is anything like the first, it will be worth the wait.
Anonymous said…
Agreed. I loved the Big Love finale as much as I hated the Sopranos finale (we waited all season for, uh, that?). I doubt I'll even bother to watch the last few eps of the Sopranos next year, but looking forward to Big Love's second season.
Anonymous said…
Damn - I don't wanna wait!!

It was so, so good. And I agree w/anon - sopranos was so disappointing.

That look on Nikki's face when she realized she wasn't going to be able to go. Barb's walk of shame. So heartbreaking.

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