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Snakes, LD Sidekicks, and Peanut Butter Sandwiches: The "Big Love" Season Finale

Oh my god. I cannot believe we need to wait until next summer to find out what happens next.

I had a feeling just about everything would be resolved on last night's season finale of Big Love ("Oh, Pioneers"), but I can't even articulate the wrenching feeling in my gut as we say goodbye to the Henrickson clan for now. I've been saying for weeks now that I thought that the series' writers would kill someone off in this week's episode, but I am extremely glad to see that they didn't go that route. Though between a vengeful Alby, bed-loving snakes, and that poisoner Wanda (now armed with a fresh means of murder thanks to Lois), it's any wonder that someone didn't end up pushing up daisies by the end of the episode. Whew.

Best line of the night: "You're smothering me!" - Wanda to sister wife Kathy, after she's been told Kathy layed out fresh underwear for her on the bed.

Barb. I was blown away by the fact that Barb outed herself and the family as polygamists to their nosy neighbor Pam. Season One ended with Barb getting outed by Roman at the Beehive Award ceremony and basically withdrawing from everyone and everything around her: she fled the family, enrolled in school, and went deeper into hiding. This time around, she really did reclaim her life and took ownership over her own destiny. There's to be no more hiding, no more cowering in the shadows. It was a brave and bold move (and one, I'm sure, fraught with tons of consequences for Season Three) and one that Barb, as a character, absolutely had to make. As much as we would like to see otherwise, Barb has allied herself body and soul to Bill and his beliefs. So no more "sarcastic" Barb, methinks. I loved how she gripped Margene's hand after delivering the news to Pam, leaning on her sister wife for succor. But we'll see how well Barb takes it when she learns what Ana and Bill got up to in the pantry and how she reacts to the very real possibility that there could soon be a fourth wife...

Nicki. If there's one thing that Nicolette Grant can't do, it's keep her mouth shut. I could not believe that after everything that has happened, Nicki called Alby and alerted him to the fact that Roman was returning to the compound. But, sure enough, Nicki calls Alby to gloat and tell him, you know, that he's going to hell and all. Good lord, I never thought I'd want to see Roman restored to power, but he's a lightweight compared to the Machiavellian maneuvering of Alby.

And, thanks to Nicki, all of Bill's manipulations and plans come to naught. Roman would have let Bill have Weber Gaming and may have even left him alone after Bill kept him safe, but now? Alby's on the warpath and there's no way that Bill can keep Weber (even with Barb on the board of directors).

Roman. Who else thought the scene in which a bewildered Roman shows up in Barb's kitchen and demands Tiny make him a peanut butter sandwich (and some more for the guys at work) was absolutely heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time? I cannot believe that Roman survived (A) three slugs to the body and (B) slow poisoning by animal tranquilizer, only to get arrested the moment he steps onto the compound by his snake of a son for the very crimes that Alby was trying to get him off the hook for (transporting young girls across state lines, etc.). The scene in which he, Adeleen, and poor Joey are surrounded by cops and told to put their hands behind their backs will resonate with me the next year. Apparently, 30 pieces of silver is all it takes for an ambitious son to stab his father in the back...

Lois. If there was any doubt, Lois is pure, unadulterated EVIL. We finally learn that she was the one who coerced Wanda into poisoning Frank and her landlord at the laundromat! She also tried to get her to shoot the district attorney, but says that Wanda's poisoning of Alby was all her. Still, she brings a bottle of anti-freeze (Wanda's favorite!) and tries to get Wanda to kill Roman Grant once and for all. Oh, Lois, I get that the Grants kicked you out of the big house, but murder?

Sarah. She's really in a state of freefall at this point. She wants out of this life and she's trying to save Ben along the way, but he's so clouded by his need for Bill's approval that he doesn't see the forest for the trees. It's quite sad. She turns to Heather (yay, Tina Majorino!) for help in trying to get Ben to attend an LSD dance, but when that fails she cries solemnly in the parking lot before "following" Ben with the car. And she puts her own beliefs aside to then lose her virginity to Scott, despite everything she's thought and felt up until this point. Sarah is sadly slipping further and further away. That said, I thought the scene with her and her "LD sidekick" Heather in Roman's room was absolutely hysterical, even if Nicki didn't find it so funny.

Margene. I couldn't believe that Margene went ahead and agreed to carry Pam and Carl's baby without discussing this with any other member of the family. Margene's turned into quite the power-hungry sister wife all of the sudden and is desperate for what she perceives to be equality with Barb and Nicki. I loved how Nicki told her that she was all young and pretty and therefore couldn't have equality, but I was stunned that Margene turned around and casually told Nicki (and later Barb) about Bill and Ana. Glad to see that that storyline is finally paying off in dividends. Still, it was telling that Margene was positively beaming when Barb publically accepted her as her sister wife and grasped her hand in front of Pam. Aw, I love Margene again!

Ana. I was so surprised to see Ana return to the mix. I thought she handled Margene's deceit rather well but it's clear she still has feelings for Bill, even if he did make an idiot out of her by leaving her standing there by herself. Still, if that scene in the pantry is an indication, Ana's not going anywhere any time soon.

Just what that means for the rest of the Henrickson family, well, we'll have to wait until next summer to find out. And, if you're as obsessed with Big Love as I am, it's going to be one long wait...


Anonymous said…

I can't wait another year!!

Well, considering the sad state of HBO, maybe they will bring it back sooner.

Hope springs eternal.
Great season finale! I was shocked by Barb's decision to "out" them to the neighbors but I loved how it contrasted with the end of last season. (I also loved that Margene called her "Boss Lady" which they haven't for most of the season.)

I was also very surprised by the return of Ana and wonder what impact it will have on next season.

And what's going to happen to Roman and Adeleen and Joey?! Adeleen has turned out to be such a great character and is just as formidable as the men in her life. The scenes with her at the Henrickson house were so well done.

I can't wait for next season!

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