Skip to main content

The Happiest Girl: Secrets and Lies on "Big Love"

I cannot believe that there are only two episodes left of Big Love but I also can't believe that, given those parameters, HBO would shift the drama back to Sundays beginning next week. Then again, maybe there's a reason I'm not a network programmer.

In this week's episode of Big Love ("The Happiest Girl"), things definitely built to a head not just for the Henrickson clan but for all of the disparate characters and the multiple secrets they've been hiding from one another. What other series could wring such drama out of a gaming convention or the preparation for a party? (Answer: none.) And that's the beauty of Big Love, that it derives such pleasure from the mundane and ordinary and manages to create a taut drama with an added dose of unexpected humor.

Barb. I wouldn't be surprised if Barb decides to break free from the Henrickson clan by the end of the season. Given her distaste of Weber Gaming and her frustration with Bill and her sister wives, I could see Barb attempting to pull away and try and form her own life. (She's already attempting to do so with her return to school.) Does she have the courage to go it alone? And was she ever cut out for a life of polygamy in the first place? I thought she played her part astoundingly well when Bill summoned her to the convention to be his "public wife," though like Margene I was surprised that she came a'running as quickly as she did; that said, if there's one thing that Barb respects, it's responsibility. Still, I want to see Barb lose her sad martyr's smile and find some level of happiness for herself.

Nicki. Once again, Nicki is going to sink all of them in serious trouble with the compound. I cannot believe that she stole $60,000 from Juniper Creek and was throwing a lavish party for Joey, Wanda, and Kathy's announcement ceremony as though it were no big deal. With a sign that read "Hosted by Nicolette Grant," ice sculptures, and a chocolate fountain, no less! (That's how you know that the chocolate fountain craze is finally over: if a compound-raised polygamist wants one for a party, the trend has reached over-saturation.) Still, that was child's play compared to what happened when Alby tried to stop the party and then showed up at the Henrickson homes to demand she cease her activities. Alby knows that Nicki stole that cash from the UEB and that she was on the compound but didn't come to his testimony meeting, but he didn't know anything about Bill's involvement with Weber Gaming until Nicki told him! Grr argh! This will not end well and Alby will use the full force of Juniper Creek to rain down hell upon Bill and his wives. Nicolette Grant, I'd like to slap you now please.

Alby. Alby is dangerous, pure and simple. While Roman was a creepy old man, Alby is a sociopathic nutcase with no compunctions about using whatever means necessary to enact revenge and steal his place at the head of the table. Even if that means keeping his own mother from seeing Old Roman on his deathbed and inciting his creepy first wife Lura to inject his father with enough morphine to send the old man into an eternal slumber. "Sleep papa," Alby says as the morphine reaches its mark. "I will avenge you." Um, those shivers that ran up my spine? They're not going anymore. Kudos to for setting the murder scene against that of Rhonda appearing on television, singing to Roman to "wake up, you sleepyhead." Classic.

Heather. Yay, Mac (Tina Majorino) is back! Or, well, Heather Tuttle, anyway. I was so happy to see Heather return to the show as Sarah definitely needs a confidante but I really hope that the reason Heather was whispering to her overbearing LSD mother was that she was finally telling her that Rhonda was blackmailing her about her "feelings" for Sarah. Please let Rhonda get the comeuppance she so richly deserves. That said, was Rhonda on to something? Does Heather have feelings for Sarah that go beyond their friendship? And is that why she's so edgy around Sarah's boyfriend Scott? Hmmm, curious.

Margene. I really did feel bad for poor Margene, who got majorly shafted this week. I had no idea that her and Bill's honeymoon was cut short (though I don't think Barb was lying when she said Tiny had a fever) and wished that these two could finally get the alone time they need. Still, Margene was not totally equipped to play the part of the public wife initially, instantly revealing her status as third wife to a complete stranger. Still, she fits into the world of Weber Gaming better than Barb and proved her worth that evening; Barb is all about dinner parties and company functions but it's Margene that can steer Bill through this world. Who else cheered when Bill came clean about Barb and Margene being his wives? I thought it was one of the best payoffs of this season and got the poker players to view Bill as one of their own. In the end, I do think the the happiest girl in the world was Margene, after all.

Next week on Big Love ("Take Me as I Am"), the drama moves to Sundays as Bill makes Alby an offer, Barb reaches out to her estranged family (including mother Ellen Burstyn) while alienating her sister wives, and Sarah and Scott's relationship is tested.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I think I would cry if it was true but I could totally see Alby killing Barb to get back at Bill. Now wouldn't that be a totally depressing end to the season? Poor Barb. She always gets the short straw and has to make do with the little of Bill she is able to keep for herself.
I'm not sure who is more evil - Rhonda, Frank, or Alby. These three are truly eeevil and I would not want to cross paths with any of them!

This was such a good episode. I can't believe there are only two left!
Anonymous said…
re: Chocolate fountains - there is ALWAYS room for a chocolate fountain!! They will never go out of style. We are having a chocolate fountain at work today - hooray!

Moving on....

I had the same thought, re: Barb splitting at the end of the season.

Argh - Nikki!

I can't believe there are only two eps left. I am so sad. This season has been so good.

Rhonda is pure evil.

Popular posts from this blog

Pilot Inspektor: CBS' "Smith"

I may just have to change my original "What I'll Be Watching This Fall" post, as I sat down and finally watched CBS' new crime drama Smith this weekend. (What? It's taken me a long time to make my way through the stack of pilot DVDs.) While it's on following Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars on Tuesday nights (10 pm ET/PT, to be exact), I'm going to be sure to leave enough room on my TiVo to make sure that I catch this compelling, amoral drama. While one can't help but be impressed by what might just be the most marquee-friendly cast in primetime--Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, Amy Smart, Simon Baker, and Franky G all star and Shohreh Aghdashloo has a recurring role--the pilot's premise alone earned major points in my book: it's a crime drama from the point of view of the criminals, who engage in high-stakes heists. But don't be alarmed; it's nothing like NBC's short-lived Heist . Instead, think of it as The Italian

The Daily Beast: "How The Killing Went Wrong"

While the uproar over the U.S. version of The Killing has quieted, the show is still a pale imitation of the Danish series on which it is based. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "How The Killing Went Wrong," in which I look at how The Killing has handled itself during its second season, and compare it to the stunning and electrifying original Danish series, Forbrydelsen , on which it is based. (I recently watched all 20 episodes of Forbrydelsen over a few evenings.) The original is a mind-blowing and gut-wrenching work of genius. It’s not necessary to rehash the anger that followed in the wake of the conclusion last June of the first season of AMC’s mystery drama The Killing, based on Søren Sveistrup’s landmark Danish show Forbrydelsen, which follows the murder of a schoolgirl and its impact on the people whose lives the investigation touches upon. What followed were irate reviews, burnished with the “burning intensity of 10,000 white-hot suns

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous season