The blended families of Big Love are girded with the belief that when everyone lives the principle, generational differences and sexual tension are subsumed to spirituality. Not so much. Mothers and fathers, and lines crossed thereof, haunted this week's episode.
Sarah's savior complex with an Indian woman she and Barb accidentally hit with their car has now transformed into something more specifically tied to her history: She can't let go of the woman's baby, having suffered a miscarriage herself. Unfortunately, she's walking into a minefield of history, and about to screw things up even more for the Hendricksons' casino investments.
With Roman dead, this season needs a new villain, and as Alby's character gets more sympathetic with his ill-fated romance, looks like J.J.'s it. Their strategic interests ally for the first time with the reassignment of Adaleen (Alby and Nicki's mother) to J.J., which appears to be intended to just mess with both women and possibly get Adaleen off the compound and over to Texas. Adaleen's initial anguish gives way to creepy acceptance. "Perfect obedience?" So that's how she coped over the decades of being married to Roman and pawning off her daughters. But hey, now she chooses her choice. There's just enough mischief here — a good match? — to make me think Adaleen is just slightly happy to mess with Nicky herself. And what is it about the word demented that gets to her?
Speaking of which, Nicky may lack scruples at times, but there is a definite line drawn in the sand here when she realizes anew just how unhinged Wanda is. Lack of genetic diversity on the compound has not been a good thing for anyone, it seems.
As Richard over at Gawker pointed out, the show excels at getting you to root for essentially terrible people — such as stalker-esque Alby and his ex-gay trustee lover. The ghost of his father — and his father's commercial interests — is one of many, many factors standing in the way of their happiness.
When Barb had a quickie with Bill in the basemen, it was a stress reliever, but also a reassertion of the generational order as the Margene-Ben attraction unsettles all of them. This conveniently skin-baring and one-one-one scene with Ben and Margene was flawlessly choreographed. And it's hard not to root for them. Ben seems to have given up having his own life to be a peon in his father's empire for his father's values. With Margene's growing independence combined with Bill's fracturing attention span, it's no wonder that the two of them would be drawn to each other, taboos and all.
I can't quite figure out why they keep wasting valuable screen time on Lois and Frank, who caterwaul more than the birds they're smuggling in from Mexico. They're certainly the least compelling scenes, although it seems clear they are setting up Jodene to some day wreak awesome revenge on a compoundite for all the wrongs committed against her and her family. It also seems odd that Bill would want Lois around for his big speech — not because she's going to "muff it," but because she's still very much associated with Juniper Creek. Still, it's nice to see Frank be rankled by her prominent role.
How great was it to watch Scott look Bill in the eye and tell him that he doesn't have the kind of marriage where he dictates to Sarah? Sarah is certainly out of line and it's too late for Barb's marriage to change, but Scott's emotional support was a satisfying contrast to Barb and Bill standing by.
Once again, Bill squeezes through at the last minute by getting Don to take the fall for him, only to find out that he doesn't have it all under control. How much of a custody case will Don have now that he's been fired for cause? Andrew Young, anyone? I hope he's getting paid amply for this, though Lord knows the payment paper trail could be a scandal in itself.
This was Ginnifer Goodwin's episode to shine, but it seems like a cruel acting-class game to make her deliver her most crucial speech while wearing a fuzzy elephant's suit.
Bill is constantly making unreasonable demands on everyone around him, and mostly continues to command their loyalty. But the shots of everyone listening to his speech seem to hint that with this quixotic state senate run, it won't necessarily last forever. With Sarah out of the fold and Ben's exit at the end — under Bill's hardened, jealous gaze, repeating what happened to him on the compound — it's already starting to unravel.