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Big Love Recap: The Mighty and the Strong

Big_love_2 Bill has thrown himself into this whole politicking thing. He's doing radio shows, elaborate public events, hiding his family scandals, and throwing his lifelong friends under the bus. He's a born poltician!

Big_love_2 Bill is on a morning radio talk show explaining his campaign hopes of adding more jobs and how his real-world business experience will help him to accomplish that. The host takes a call from his opposition, Roy Colburn, who wants to talk about those "illegals" who are the real problem. Bill calmly says that it's easy to point fingers, but he would rather offer solutions.

Barb is talking to Margene about this Mr. Margene Heffman stuff and is trying hard not to lose her shit. Margene tries to dismiss it as a blooper, which would be a totally reasonable explanation if Margene didn't have the worst poker face in the world and if Barb didn't long ago begin operating under the assumption that if her family is involved, chances are there is stupid shit going on. Margene admits to a misfired kiss and Barb does a few Kegels and tells her to straighten it out before Bill finds out because then the sugar will hit the fan. Nicki bustles in carrying a vacuum cleaner and orders Barb to bring gloves because they might have to carry lumber.

Sarah and Scott are having legally sanctioned sex when a baby starts crying. Um...what? Sarah throws some pants on and comes back in with Layla's baby and a note saying that she ran out for eggs. I see Sarah gets her Bad Idea Jeans from Bill.

Barb and Bill are on a conference call with, I think, Nicki discussing their plans for the big campaign announcement. Don stumbles in and says that there's a fiasco currently underway. Of course there is. The INS is in the house, harassing the dock workers. Bill realizes that Colburn baited him on the radio when Bill didn't join in with his, "WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PRESS 1 FOR ENGLISH??!?!" foaming at the mouth. Don sighs that Bill's campaign has opened them up to public scrutiny.

JJ is in Alby's office asking him what he's planning to do with Roman's wives. The two use a lot of interesting terms to describe the women: flock, jewels. Anything but "people." Alby asks him if he has a burning in his bosom for any one in particular. Well, not exactly my bosom, Alby. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. As a matter of fact, JJ's interested in Adaleen, who has long caught his eye as she is a handsome, proven woman. Hot. Alby kind of scrunches up his face and asks if this marriage would be for eternity or time. Just for time, explains JJ, because it would be cruel to separate her and Roman in eternity. I can practically hear God weep at that thought. Alby asks for time to reflect.

Bill calls Lois, who is busy hiding wads of cash in an Aqua Net can (natch), to tell her about his campaign and he wants her to introduce him at his announcement in a few days. Lois says she doesn't know if she'll be back from, uh, running errands. Bill says that they'll prepare everything and it would mean a lot to him. "You and me have always made a good team!" says Lois and immediately hangs up the phone. Frank and Jodean have successfully fixed the lock on a car. Lois wants to leave Jodean behind because all she does is mope. Jodean gets this look on her face like, "Why God? Why am I married to the two most irritating people on the planet?"

Margene tentatively tells Bill about the snafu with Ben and Bill firmly tells her that it can't stand uncorrected. Margene understands but adds that it's embarrassing not to have a public husband, as though that is a perfectly good reason to slot your son in for the job. Bill explains that Ben isn't a sales tool, but Margene protests that her audience really liked it. Bill orders her to fix it.

Barb stops at Sarah's to give her a to-do list for the announcement and is surprised to hear a baby crying. Sarah says that she's babysitting for one of Scott's friends. Barb, too distracted with campaigns and whatnot, accepts this and asks Sarah if she knows of any nice girls for Ben to date.

Big_love_4 Joey and Wanda are daydreaming in bed and Joey asks her what she dreams of. "A yellow house with rocking chairs where we'd sit and hold all our children and grandchildren," she says. Joey says that they're in the clear because Joey apparently has not met neither himself nor his wife. Wanda tells him that her life began with him and that nothing that came before matters.

Ben is floating in the pool and Teeny is glaring at him, telling him about someone at camp that they called the reaper, who takes ladies' clothes off. What? Bill sends her inside and has purposely vague conversation about the Margene snafu. They leave it uncomfortably settle and Bill reminds him to wear sunscreen. You know, so his back doesn't sting when Margene passionately embraces him.

Lura trims Alby's hair while he meets with Adaleen. He tells her that he has news. Adaleen guesses, "Am I staying in the Big House?" No. "Am I moving to a new abode with my sister wives?" No. "Am I warm?" she asks wearily. Alby explains that she is now the property of the priesthood and she'll be resealed. Adaleen wants to know to who and Alby teases, "And spoil the surprise on your wedding day?" He tells her though and the next thing we see is a frantic phone call from Adaleen to Nicki, who is busy building the stage for Bill. Adaleen is freaking right the fuck out which, really, is the only appropriate reaction.

Back at Home Plus, Don tells Bill that they're in the clear with the INS, but they checked the books and noticed that their wives were on the payroll for medical coverage. This is a problem for Bill's campaign, but more so for Don because it could seriously screw up his visitation rights with his kids. Bill tells him not to worry, but to get the wives off of the payroll immediately.

Wanda and Joey are puttering, doing chores, when JJ shows up. He nonchalantly tells Joey that he knows that he murdered the prophet, dug him up, and burned the body. He has pictures, in fact. Great! But! JJ insists that what he did was by God's perfect design and he wants to talk to Joey about Bill's political aspirations and prophet prospects.

At the casino, Tommy wants to know if Barb has seen or spoken to Layla lately. How about Barb's "assistant?" There's a rumor that the assistant helped Layla out of the hospital and bought her baby and that Layla used the money for drugs. Tommy explains that when they hear about whites taking Indian babies, it pushes historical buttons. Barb calls Sarah who admits that they baby is Layla's. Barb is concerned, especially since Layla's drug use could mean that she runs with people who are armed and crazy. Sarah assures her that everything is fine.

Nicki picks up Cara Lynn at JJ's but before letting them leave, he has Adaleen bring out Nicki's baking dish. He explains that they're to be sealed. Nicki does not, in fact, ask to be a bridesmaid and declares the whole thing to be demented. "It's not unusual for a child to resent a parent's remarriage," says Adaleen. "Not to your ex-husband!" screeches Nicki. She looks at JJ's other wife and tells her that Adaleen will chew her up and spit her out. Adaleen, exasperated, asks why it's always about Nicki and why can't she support her? Besides, Adaleen thinks she and JJ will be a good match. Something about this makes me think Adaleen has a few ideas up her puffy sleeve.

Nicki goes to Wanda's to freak out. While Wands mutilates her hands peeling potatoes, Nicki rages about killing them, which of course perks Wanda's ears up. That's not the plan. Yet.

Alby goes to Dale's (gorgeous) house. No one is home, so he sneaks into the backyard and into the house through the window in what has to be an homage to Ed Rooney's antics in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

The Henrickson spouses are working on campaign mailings as Nicki rants about her mom's upcoming nuptials. Bill, distracted, explains that they're both consenting adults and there's no law against being crazy. Ben comes in with pizza and Margene doesn't state her preference until Barb urges her. At which point, of course, she says, "I'll have the sausage." Brrrrump pum pum ching! Barb and Bill try to prevent their faces from melting off and Nicki demands to know what's with all of the looks. Margene announces that a story about the payroll controversy is online. Bill takes a phone call and Nicki demands to know why everyone is so tense. "I know it's not out of concern for me," she says. Bill says that they have to move their announcement up to keep up with speedy Roy Colburn, although Nicki says that she can't possibly finish the log cabin in time. "Sure you can," Bill assures her, noting that they have to stay ahead of the game. Barb storms down to the basement. Bill finds her sifting weevils as a stress-coping mechanism. She looks at Bill and starts unbuttoning her shirt. "What are you doing?" asks Bill. Barb says that this will make her feel better and will be very fast, grabbing Bill and pulling him down to the floor. That's my girl.

Lois, Frank, and Jodean are at the Mexican border waiting for their shipment of birds. They duck to avoid border patrol when Bill calls. She hastily agrees to be there for the announcement. The smugglers arrive and pass the crates of birds under the fence. Jodean gives one of them a weird look. Ooh, what's up with that?

Dale comes home and is surprised to find Alby sitting on the couch and demands to know how he got in. "It was unlocked," says Alby. "The door?" "No, the window. I brought you some grape jelly!" Dale longs for the days when his illicit gay affairs would stand outside blaring "In Your Eyes" on their boomboxes. Alby has made dinner for them and asks if he can stay, in this total puppy-dog way. Dale relents but says that he can never do this again. Alby says that he's made turkey tetrazzini and cole slaw. Aww! Dale goes upstairs to change. Roman's ghost appears and grins as Alby notices some statements about the UEB being redistributed. Alby storms out.

Margene goes to Barb's and is reaching for cocoa mix in a cabinet when Ben comes down and sadly ogles her legs for a second. He asks her if it really was just a goof. Margene says that the day was so crazy and he was so nice and she's sorry he misunderstood. He goes to leave when Margene stops him and admits that it did mean something. He walks over to her, and reaches the cocoa as Margene notices his abs. Instead of going any further, he hands her the cocoa and goes back upstairs.

Lois, Frank, and Jodean are eating sandwiches on their drive back, giddy about their successful run. Frank wants to splurge and stay the night at a Holiday Inn Express, but Lois insists on driving straight through. "I thought Jodean and I could have a honeymoon," says Frank, which causes Jodean to put her sandwich down as nausea spreads over her face. Lois tells him about Bill's campaign and the announcement, which Frank, of course, thinks is the dumbest fucking thing he's ever heard. Lois calls him a little, petty man for not supporting their son.

Sarah is giving the baby a bath in the sink and singing to her (him?). She looks blissful.

Big_love_1 Bill brings Don some cinnamon rolls and wants to make amends with him for the way his actions have affected him. Don explains that he dreams about doing things like this, too, but Bill is the guy who makes it happen and he's been wrestling with envy. He's done with that, though, and is all in with support for Bill. They hug and grin. I guess the cinnamon rolls did the trick.

Lois and Frank nap in the car while the birds squawk in the trunk. Jodean gets out and releases the bird, then grins as Lois and Frank freak out. Now we know Jodean's secret: she's a PETA activist. Next, we'll find her naked and chained to some marginally animal-related business.

Tommy shows up at Barb's house, furious after finding out that her assistant is her daughter and that apparently the two of them took an Indian baby. That's what Layla is telling the police since they picked her up. He rants that they're obnoxious Mormons trying to save their souls when Bill walks in. Tommy explains that Sarah stole the baby of a woman that she and Barb ran over on the reservation. Bill suddenly questions his decision to let Barb manage the casino, now that she has apparently gone totally John Wayne on the place. Tommy leaves and Bill demands to know what's going on. Barb swears that she was going to tell him. Jump him, Barb! Take your shirt off! Boobs cure all transgressions!

Bill and Barb go to Sarah's house and demand that she take the baby to Tribal Services. Barb, sensing that some of this has to do with Sarah's miscarriage, tells her that she can never legitimately be the baby's mother. Scott comes home and pulls Sarah aside, saying that they never really dealt with losing their baby, but they'll take this step by step in whatever direction they want. Huh?

Margene is taping a segment when she stops and says that she needs to set the record straight. She nervously explains that Ben is not her husband, that was a mistake. That's great, Margene. Well done. These things happ--...oh no. Oh, she's still talking. Someone make her stop! Margene has a nervous breakdown saying that her husband abandoned her and now she's a single mother trying to sell shiny things. A guy in a suit groans but I bet her sales go through the roof.

Alby returns to Dale's and yells that he can't let him destroy the compound. Dale swears that he would never betray him. Alby calmly explains that he believes in the Principle and wants to undo his father's misdeeds. Dale says that they can do that together. Alby gets up and sweetly says, "I think you're the answer to my prayers," and rests his head on Dale's shoulder. It's quite possibly the most human that Alby has ever been.

Bill and Barb are getting ready to leave when Teeny drops the bomb on them: Ben isn't righteous. He's in love with Margene and wrote her a love letter during their pilgrimage. Barb finally tells Bill that they had an accidental kiss.

Big_love_5 Bill confronts Ben and Margene. Ben owns up to everything before Margene can say anything. He's sorry. It was out of line. He'll quit the campaign and do whatever Bill wants. Margene is shocked. Bill tells him that he needs to talk to Margene but that he should apologize first. Ugh. Nicki, who is working at Colburn's campaign headquarters, calls and tells Bill that they're about to be exposed, that Colburn is sending reporters to Home Plus. Nicki may be a pain in the ass, but she built the log cabin stage AND infiltrated the other campaign? She gets a gold star and should really become a professional campaign manager.

At Home Plus, Ben, Barb, and Joey work to get the log cabin facade set up, nearly dropping it in the process. It's a scene dripping with metaphor. Bill's running as the face of Utah Everyman, but behind the scenes, shit is all fucked up.

Bill goes to see Don and explains that they're cornered and he has to give them something. He asks Don if he'll take the bullet. We cut to Bill and Don talking to a reporter, with Don mechanically explaining that he engaged in polygamy and took advantage of Bill's good will and has tendered his resignation. Shit. Don is way too good for Bill and better be getting a whole goddamned cake coming to him. CINNAMON ROLLS AREN'T GOING TO CUT IT THIS TIME, BUDDY!

Big_love_3 The announcement gets underway. Bill finds Margene, wearing her elephant costume, backstage crying. She explains that Ben lied. That she kissed him and she meant it. "I wanted you to be there, but you weren't, and he was." Gah. I wonder if Don will admit to pushing Margene into Ben. Bill prances on stage and gives a speech about transformations. Like, your transformation into a slimy politician?

Afterward, Bill walks in on Ben packing his bags. "I just thought it would be best if I left for awhile," says Ben. Bill agrees. What a cockblocker.

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jive turkey

I just have to point out that the radio host was Biff from Back to the Future. McFly!

Also, I am starting to be actively annoyed with New Teeny. And what the fuck is "sifting weevils?"

I love these recaps.


The reason Jodean let the birds out was because of who sold them to Lois: Hollis Green's "sister" or whatever, who wears the man-suits. And Jodean knows that Hollis Green is responsible for the murder of her twin sister. So she lets the birds out to get even on Lois and Frank for doing business with the Greens. You go, girl.


Yes, someone please explain "sifting weevils." I thought Barb was panning for gold. That and the Teenie "reaper" comment confused me mightily.

I think the parents/Scott and Sarah/miscarriage scene was meant to show the different kind of marriage they had--with Bill telling Scott to order her to bring the baby back and Scott handling it a different way.


um, Teenie 2.0 is a total sham - telling on her brother, talking about taking her clothes off at summer camp. WHO'S THE NON-RIGHTEOUS ONE? TEENIE, THAT'S WHO!

my vote is for Margie to leave Bill, and shack up with Ben. "honey, your step-dad is really your uncle Bennie, but we don't talk about that at school, okay?!"


Suzy Q

"...and Barb does a few Kegels..."

"Dale longs for the days when his illicit gay affairs would stand outside blaring "In Your Eyes" on their boomboxes."

Those two lines? Comedy gold, right there.

Thank you, marlena, for clearing up the bird seller thing. Didn't catch that at all. I sure hope Jodean continues to rebel. I almost like her.

More than I like Bill these days, who's turned into a total douche.

I knew that Sarah had that baby and Layla at her place, rather than the other way around. A white person on the reservation would have stood out too much. Plus, where can Layla possibly live, besides a crack house? That whole "she stole our Indian baby" thing sounds so false, though.

The new Teeny is a bit evil, no? I totally didn't understand about the reaper thing, either, and I have no idea where she was supposed to have been all this time. Summer camp?

Since Don had to leave, could I have the rest of the cinnamon rolls?

Amy C

Loved the recap, as always. The scene with Ben floating face-down in the pool reminded me of The Graduate . . . maybe there was a little tribute there to another Oedipal story. And I think Scott's line "whatever direction we want" is code for letting Sarah know that if she really wants another baby, he's okay with it. I'm not rooting for Bill at all. The whole campaign is nothing but stress, and how could he let Benny leave when he knows all about the Lost Boys at the compound?


I think "reaper" = "Raper" & they're leading up to something sinister there. The taking off of woman's clothes makes me think so, anyway.


Thanks for the recap. I have decided I can't watch Big Love without reading the recap first. It's kind of like carrot cake without the cream cheese frosting... good, but not great.

I can't decide who rates higher on the creepster scale: JJ or Alby. Both are muy nasty.

Loved the kegels comment! Husband just peered over and said "what are you reading about kegels?!?". hee hee.

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