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Big Love Recap: Sins of the Father

Big_love_barb_bill I was watching Big Love last night while waiting to hear whether or not my snow-buried city would be functional today (it wasn't) and wondered if seasons of Big Love always take place during the summer. That seems to be the case, doesn't it?

Big_love_barb_bill Bill and Barb are going door to door for campaign contributions. Barb warns Bill to slow down a little because he hasn't slept in a week. But Bill apparently is on a steady diet of ambition, Jesus, and meth because he barks, "LET'S GO WE HAVE A LOT TO DO!" I start examining Bill's face for signs of what Miss Banshee would call, "meth mouth."

At home, Margene and Nicki are working on campaign-related gift bags. Margene asks Nicki if she thinks Bill could win and Nicki nervously replies that experience has taught her not to ask big picture questions. Ha! Good call, Nicki. Changing the subject, Nicki asks Margene if she can borrow a few nights with Bill for baby-making purposes, a project that Nicki has renewed interest in and vigor for. Besides, she points out, it's not like Margene's using him for anything useful. Burn!

Big_love_marilyn_bill Marilyn calls Bill while he's knee-deep in kids and Teeny is squawking at him about what kind of Jell-O pudding pie he wants chocolate or vanilla and what kind of crust and DadDadDadDad and JESUS CHRIST TEENY. You go to "camp" for two years and now you're all up in everyone's grill about reapers and righteousness and pie. Anyway, Marilyn wants to represent Bill's casino but Bill isn't too keen on Marilyn anymore and brushes her off, saying he'll call her in a week. I wouldn't piss her off, Bill. Come election night, you could find yourself covered in pig's blood as your constituents stare at you in shock and horror. He walks in on Margene and Nicki working on the gift bags and awkwardness ensues because he's still not talking to Margene. She begs him to please stop ignoring her. More importantly, they haven't had sex in a week and she's starting to twitch. Bill points out that she confessed that she had feelings for his son and, frankly, it was kind of a boner killer. Barb overhears their conversation as she tiptoes in and reminds Bill that they have a home teaching appointment soon. "Cripes, I don't have time for this," mutters Bill as he stomps off. Barb tells Margene that she'll keep working on him.

At their home teaching appointment, Barb tells the guy that they're working with (named, funnily enough, President Kennedy) that she and Bill have been fighting. She thinly veils the Ben/Margene incident as something that happened between her and some other young guy and isn't it silly that Bill would still be upset about that. Bill, irritated, says, "Yes, but you said you had feelings for him, that it wasn't an accidental kiss." And Barb, realizing that she didn't know the whole story before she went to bat for Margene, says, "I said that? I meant it? I'm going to choke myself?" Oops.

Big_love_nicki_bill Nicki is at the Colburn headquarters and calls Bill to let him know that he should call Congressman Paley. Colburn just screwed up with him big time. Bill tells Nicki that she's "such a good girl." EW. Look, I'm willing to tolerate a little cutesy-wutesy talk between adults in love but that was downright creepy and REALLY smacked of something that Roman would say.

At the school where the party convention will be held, Barb is busy inflating balloons. Margene shows up with the gift bags. Barb's not really keen to talk but Margene tries to get a smile out of her by inhaling some helium and reciting part of the Gettysburg Address. But not even chipmunk voices will convince your sister wife that your makeout session with her teenage son wasn't a big deal. Margene must have missed that portion of the Book of Mormon. Barb coolly informs her that she knows everything and that Margene should be ashamed of herself.

Sarah is vacuuming while Ben sulks on the couch. Margene shows up and tells Ben that he needs to come home before something happens that they can't take back. Ben points out that it's too late and Margene leaves, dejected. Sarah just kind of scowls at him.

At the pre-convention party that Bill is throwing, Teeny is bumping hips with an older guy and the whole thing makes me uncomfortable. She is getting lost in the shuffle and I don't see things ending particularly well. Congressman Paley shows up and Bill welcomes him to their Ronald Reagan dance party and offers him a nacho. "They were big in the 80s," he explains. The party is simultaneously adorable and depressing. Paley is good on nachos but wants to let Bill know that he's decided to endorse him. Bill and Barb stare at each other in shock. "Our lives are going to be completely different," he says.

Later, Bill is at Nicki's watching the news, which reports that a lost boy from Juniper Creek was shot and killed while robbing a convenience store. Bill gets a little sad and calls Ben, leaving him a voicemail asking him to get in touch. Nicki enters and Bill thanks her for the heads up on Paley. Nicki pauses for a second and then asks, "How come I'm always called upon to do the morally ambiguous things?" Bill states the obvious that Barb and Margene wouldn't be any good at it and, uh, you know...Nicki is morally ambiguous and to each according to their gifts and blah blah blah. Nicki mumbles that it hurts her feelings sometimes. Also, she's not pregnant. Bill isn't concerned and says that they're just getting back into the groove. They immediately commence Operation Let's Add Another Life to this Clusterfuck. I guess since Margene screwed up so bad, Bill and Nicki were able to make up pretty quickly and completely.

Big_love_bill_joey The convention is getting ready to begin and Barb's sister, Cindy, and her husband have come out to show their support. Margene is also there and has set up a little table to sell her jewelry. Bill goes over and hisses at her to please leave but Margene states that she plans to stay there until he gets over it. But there's a bigger problem than Margene and her sterling silver: Colburn is outside talking shit to the press. He doesn't think that we should call exiled boys from Juniper Creek "lost boys" because they're just common criminals and should be tried as adults. He points at Bill and calls him out and doesn't he agree? Bill can't quite come up with a coherent answer because Barb's just found out from Ben that Bill banished him. Marilyn shows up and Nicki, er, Daphne is able to remove the Colburn hat from her head just in time to greet her. Teeny apologizes for anything that she did to cause this as Ben and Bill fight and blah and this whole scene is a total mess. Marilyn pops up in Bill's face and starts lobbying to lobby for Tommy and those guys in Washington. Bill tries to nicely explain that he just doesn't want to get in bed with her. Marilyn's offended but Bill says that he'll get her her pound of flesh and then tells her, literally, to scat.

Barb storms up to Margene and tells her that her actions cost Ben his home. Nicki marches up and joins in the public shaming of Margene before asking what they're talking about. Barb calls Margene a flirt, just like her floozy mother, to which Margene responds, "EFF YOU!" Dang! Nicki urges Barb to slap Margene but at that moment a fan of Margene walks up and starts prattling about her inspiring struggles as a single mother. Barb turns to leave but not before kicking one of the legs out from under Margene's table, sending the jewelry to the floor. Congressman Paley stoops down to help her and she cries.

Inside the auditorium, Bill talks to a reporter who's grilling him about whether or not he opposes Colburn's stance on lost boys. Distracted, Bill says that he does, one hundred percent. Barb questions Bill about who Marilyn is and how he met her and Bill, fed up, tells Barb to get a hold of her emotions. Barb leaves.

Ben calls Lois while she's trying to salvage her bird shipment and tells her that Bill threw him out. Lois can't believe it at first, but Ben asks her to give him a call if she has any work for him. Lois starts to cry and says that Bill knows better than that, that Ben is young and defenseless. Ben sadly hangs up. Cara Lynn (I'm not real sure where they are at this point...JJ's?) asks him if he's leaving for good and tells him that she has two exiled brothers living in Las Vegas if he needs a place to stay. Ben asks why they got kicked out and Cara Lynn vaguely explains that, "They're just bad." Ben tells Cara Lynn that she looks really nice (and she does, having toned down the compound look) and her face lights up. Ben REALLY needs to find a nice girl that he's not technically related to.

Joey asks Bill how his new church is going and Bill admits that it's on hold. Thanks for touching back on that plot point for us! The votes are in. Bill came in second, but no one got plurality, so there will be a debate tomorrow. Bill's main problem now is that he's been pegged soft on crime because he doesn't share Colburn's enthusiasm for jailing homeless minors who have been probably abused by their fucked up parents and then literally kicked out of their families. Consequently, Paley has sort of weakened his endorsement. Bill talks to Marilyn alone for a few minutes. She agrees to talk to Paley if Bill will introduce her to the Seminoles. "You and I will talk while Daphne drives," she says. Bill rolls his eyes as "Daphne" pulls up with Margene and Joey in the back with Paley. Margene squeals that it's good to see him. "Bill's the Home Plus guy! Everybody knows the Home Plus guy!" Through clenched teeth, she quietly tells Bill that it's not going to be her fault that he kicked Ben out.

Lois, Frank, and Jodean are driving...somewhere. Jodean is sitting between the two of them and trying not to barf as Frank spits peanut shells practically into her lap. They drive past a sign for Bill's casino and Frank rants about how Bill didn't even invite him to the opening. "You'd think he was raised by a single mother! I took him skating!" he says, as Lois bites her tongue. Frank is such an unimaginable douche.

Big_love_bill_barb Bill shows up at the casino and introduces Barb to "Daphne" and Margene as Paley, Marilyn, and Joey take off for the poker tables. "Do I even want to know why the circus just rolled into town?" asks Barb. No, Barb. No, you do not. It's best just to not ask any questions and see what loophole in the church doctrine will allow you to take gulps of whiskey for medicinal purposes. Then, I have a note here that says, "Don't you ever question my love for our son." If I remember correctly, Bill said this to Barb. But Barb and I both got distracted by the fact that Frank was cruising up to a card table right next to the one Paley is seated at and bragging about how his son owned the place. Bill begs Barb to get Frank away from Paley and then goes to address Lois who is pouting at the slot machines.

Barb comes upon Nicki, who is hiding in the office and scarfing down a sundae. Barb wants to talk about Margene but Nicki's not really in the mood. Besides, Margene is standing right outside the office and bursts in, saying, "I made a huge mistake. I'm not a flirt, I'm just very social...with your teenage sons." Margene punctuates her defense by adding that she makes way more money than either of them and is willing to buy some of their nights with Bill.

Big_love_bill_frank_joey_lois Joey sits down by Jodean and they grin sadly at each other. She asks how Wanda is doing and Joey replies, "Fine." I mean, all things considered, I guess Wanda is doing okay. But she's still, you know, screaming hysterically and accidentally peeling the skin off of her fingers and hoping that Nicki seriously wants to kill JJ. But, yeah, she's cool. Jodean admits that she has felt such since Roman passed and however it happened, she's grateful, shooting Joey a pointed look. Yikes. How might she know? Frank comes over and starts talking shit on Joey, who responds by tossing him against a slot machine. Bill physically throws Frank out. Lois runs to Frank's aid and hisses at Bill, "I hope you're proud of yourself. You threw your son out and now your father, too. You don't deserve that boy and you can't blame me for this. Not this time." They leave and Joey demands to know what Lois means by, "You threw Ben out?" "How could you do that?" he asks, reminding Bill that they were never the same after Frank threw Bill out and that he's on the wrong path.

Inside, Marilyn is trying to get Tommy's ear but Tommy tells her that at the moment, they don't want any external assistance. Bill promises to talk some sense into Tommy and follows him into his office. "Daphne" pops in and tells Marilyn that the car is out front.

Barb is in her office, tapping out a tune on her little Casio. Tommy comes in and urges her to go home, but Barb tearfully tells him that this is the most restful place she knows. He very kindly tells her that she's doing a good job here and that perhaps she needs a good sweat. We cut to Barb and Tommy in his sweat lodge, with Barb fully realizing that they weren't joking about the whole sweat thing. Tommy explains that the silence of the lodge allows one to contemplate what they want to accomplish. Barb sighs that she has a very complicated family and adds that she'd like to meet Tommy's wife. He tells her that his wife died, along with their two sons, when they were hit by a drunk driver. Barb tells him that she is so sorry. He assures her that it's alright, but Barb breaks down and leaves.

Bill goes to the coroner's office to inquire about the body of the lost boy from the robbery. The coroner tells him that he'll be buried in a potter's field, but Bill insists that he be allowed to give him a proper burial. The coroner asks Bill what his interest is in the kid, and Bill replies, "I would have wanted someone to do the same for me."

Big_love_bill_teeny_barb_sarah When the Henricksons show up at the school the next day for the debate, they find that someone from Colburn's camp snuck in and plastered the whole place with an old mug shot of Bill. Nicki apologizes and swears she didn't know (do we believe her?) and Barb starts tearing them down. Teeny cries and Sarah demands to know why he was arrested. Cindy's husband tells Bill that it's over, but Bill responds, "No. I want Ben here now."

Barb goes to Ben and shows him the mug shot. "Look what they're doing to your father." She explains that he was the same age as Ben, living on the streets, and that she doesn't think that Bill fully understands what he did to Ben. "Now is the time to rally around the man that your father has become. He's worthy of your forgiveness."

Margene shows up at Bill's dressing room and they apologize to each other before the big debate. Colburn smugly pokes Bill about his arrest and how that doesn't quite jive with thou shalt not lie and thou shalt not steal. Marilyn shows up as Bill holds up a copy of the mug shot for everyone to see. He explains that he neglected to acknowledge how troubled his past was and that he was thrown out of a truck as a kid and slept in a ditch that night. He used a baseball bat to break into stores for Fritos and doughnuts. "I was a common criminal, much like that boy, but I found love and support to help me reclaim the dignity that I'd bartered away. My opponent is right. Those boys aren't lost. They're thrown away like trash." It's an excellent speech.

Later, they wait to hear the final results and Teeny muses, "Why would anyone want to be a Democrat when we have all the fun?" The phone rings and Bill slowly announces that they've won the nomination. As Bill makes his way through the excited crowd (would this many people really care about a state senate race?) Marilyn stops him to congratulate him and tells him that she knows that the meeting with Tommy was a set up, that Bill had told Tommy that they had no plans to work with her (I must have missed that). Sarah tells Bill that Ben has gone off with Lois.

It seems to me that Bill is in danger of turning into some combination of Roman and his dad. He's angling to be the head honcho and has grand plans for his family and followers and he's doing stuff like kicking his kids out. In the immortal words of Ice Cube, check yourself before you wreck yourself, Bill.

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cindy w

I thought Ben & Cara Lynn were at Sarah's apartment?

I think this is the first episode in a LONG time (like, maybe since the 1st season) that gave Bill any sense of humanity at all. I've been hating him for so long because of his obsession with his own personal ambition & complete disregard for everyone else in his life, that I'd forgotten he's ostensibly supposed to be the "hero" of the show.

Oh, and WTF is up with Teeny? Isn't she supposed to be like 13 years old? But with the pigtails and her character's immaturity, she acts more like she's 7 or 8? I do not understand, but I wish that whiny little brat would go back to "camp."

Suzy Q

First of all, Bill did NOT exile Ben. Ben decided to go away for a few days, and Bill agreed with that plan. How is that exile? And, why doesn't Bill say so? Why does Ben think he was exiled when it was his own idea to go away?

Second, what tribe is backing this casino? It can't (or shouldn't be) the Seminoles; they're here in Florida. I heard something about the Blackfoot Indians, but they're more northwest. I'm confused.

Third, Nicki would have caught what was going on about Bill's mug shot, but she shushed the guy behind her who was arranging it because she was on her cell phone. Fail, Nicki!

Fourth, yeah, when did Bill tell Tommy he didn't like or trust Marilyn? Cuz I missed that, too.

Fifth, Evil Teeny is still Evil. And annoying. And I fear there's more to come. Those pigtails are hiding horns.

Sixth, why the hell were you watching this and not the Super Bowl? The Saints won, BTW.


So, I was way behind because of the snow. It's hard to get the tv to myself when my family is snowbound and at home. ugh. I watched the last 3 episodes today (yea!) and I will catch up in the comments on the most recent recap. But I did want to chime in here and say how much I *loved* your Carrie reference. Hilarious. Thanks for that.

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