Monday, March 1, 2010

The Televangelist: 'Big Love' Season 4, Episode 8

Posted By on Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 10:47 PM

click to enlarge A typical disgruntled, drug-addled Utah housewife
  • A typical disgruntled, drug-addled Utah housewife

First off, some good news: HBO has ordered 10 more episodes for a fifth season of "Big Love"!

But what has been going on in this current mess of a season? Regular readers will know that I have an issue with "Big Love" adding so many new plots for the adults when there are already six or nine or some number of kids running around unnoticed.  Sure, we get a little of Ben and Sarah, and now Tansy (which makes me want to take back ever wanting the kids to included in the first place), but even if Wayne and Raymond are featured for a moment, we certainly never see hide nor hair of Lester and the other one.  Therefore, I found the opening scene with the kids discussing all of the twists and turns (the parts of them they know, anyway) as fun and interesting.  Yes, it's just Barb's kids (plus Cara Lynn), but it was a nice little look at the kids' perspective on things, from Margene marrying Goren to Joey killing Roman ... it's just another day at the Henrickson household!

The strangest thing in this episode (yes I'm including the Tetherball of Manhood Deathmatch here) was Nicki's sudden newfound love for Bill, and that she wants Bill all to herself?  What caused this?  I'm still not sure I buy it, but I do like the new and improved wardrobe.  Those two have never had even a moment of a functioning relationship.  Consider that the moment Nicki appears in the neglige Bill bought her in DC, Bill is unable to "get down to business" because he has other business to discuss - like the fact that his brother killed Nicki's father.

Still, Nicki remains the only wife that is moving towards Bill and not away from him. Barb, typically the family stronghold, is slowly losing her grasp on family and herself.  From her rambling, sudden speech about perfection and taking prescription meds as Mommy's Little Helpers, to defying Bill and hiring Marilyn (getting herself fired ... then rehiring herself because she's on the Board), and finally, talking out of turn with Bill in front of the family.  "You're not helping," he says to her, incredulous.  "I'm not trying to," she replies simply.  Atta girl!

But Barb did redeem herself to Bill by figuring out Marilyn's ploy; that  "Marilyn creates the problem then hires herself as the solution." From the phone call Marilyn has with Barb it might appear that Marilyn is attacking Barb as much as Bill ... but for personal reasons about herself?  To assuage her own possible self hatred and to destroy Bill as she might have liked to destroy an ex-hubby of hers?  It's clear Marilyn sees some of herself in Barb ... but how much, and to what end?

Next Week: The finale of one of the shortest non-canceled TV seasons on record.  There's so much to wrap up with the casino, the wives, Bill's campaign, not to mention the happenings on Juniper Creek (whatever horrors are about to be uncovered with JJ, as well as the repercussions of Joey killing Roman).  Has anyone else found this season seriously scattered and lacking?

Musings and Miscellanea:

  • Oh hey remember that neighbor lady?  Strange time to bring her back.
  • has an interview this week with the "Big Love" creators discussing the real stakes of the Tetherball scene.
  • There were a few mentions of the hypocrisy that Bill faces (yet denies) about how "unnatural" it is for a woman to have more than one husband.  The practice is called polyandry, if you were wondering.
  • When are they moving into the Big House?
  • Bill's campaign song = pure gold
  • Teeny was almost redeemed for me when she told Ben "sorry" about Margie getting married.
  • Sarah is moving to Portland!  The rumor has been around for awhile that she wanted off the show for her movie career, and I think this move does make sense within the storyline (it's not like, say, Mischa Barton's character's ill-timed and random death in the O.C.'s 3rd season for a movie career that never launched)
  • The family quilt - very cute.
  • What every woman wants to hear: "Just making your dreams come true" ... just before she's chloroformed.
  • Alby's photo of Dale was so heartbreaking ... but the juxtaposition with "These Boots Are Made for Walking" made it incredibly strange (especially with Alby's stomping around - that is though how I imagined he'd take it.  What will be the fall out when he realizes Lura was behind the outing?)

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