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Big Love Recap: Next Ticket Out

Big_love_henricksons I'm concerned. There's only one episode of Big Love left and someone has already lost their arm to a machete. What can we expect for the season finale? Tarring and feathering? Disembowelment? A musical number? The horrific possibilities are endless.

At home, the older Henrickson kids are setting the table for dinner and catching up on the various dumb things that their parents have done in the last few days: stand off in Mexico, becoming a polyandrist, you know, the usual. In the background, Bill's radio ad is playing and it's...awful. Anyway, it's time for dinner and everyone gathers around the table and up walks Nicki in a short skirt and a relatively revealing top and a really, really pretty hairstyle. Everyone is agog but as she takes her place at the table, she doesn't see what the big deal is and says that she can dress like Margene and Barb if she wants to. Eh, I don't know, Nicki. True, Barb and Margene aren't prone to prairie garb but I've never seen them looking like they stepped out of Contempo Casuals circa 1994. Awkward silence ensues for a second until Bill asks Sarah how she and Scott liked Portland. "Don't I have the right to be normal?" interjects Nicki. Yes, Nicki, of course you do, you just don't seem to have any idea what normal is. "Portland. Please?" begs Bill. Sarah reports that it was great. So great, in fact, that she and Scott are moving there. Everyone is shocked and wants to know if they have jobs. Turns out they went there partly because Scott had an interview. Teeny wants to know if they'll be leaving before her birthday party, but Sarah promises that they won't be. However, they are leaving soon. This pisses Teeny right off and she stomps inside the house. Really, Teeny, of all things, Sarah moving puts you over the top?

Big_love_barb_bill Barb and Bill are in the kitchen bickering about Sarah's surprise move, but Barb has more pressing matters to discuss about the casino. "More bomb scares?" asks Bill, half sarcastically. "Sort of," replies Barb. She explains to Bill that she and Tommy figured out that Marilyn is behind all of the recent snafus because she's in bed with the Evangelicals, hiring them to cause problems so that the Henricksons would pay her to see them out of it. Bill is in shock and what's worse, Barb informs him that it worked because she hired Marilyn a few weeks ago. "We're in the home stretch of the campaign and you dump this in my lap?" squawks Bill. He fires Barb on the spot and adds, "You defied me. And I still have to tell Nicki that my brother killed her father." Bill's daily to-do list is so perverse.

Bill goes to Nicki's and tells her that they need to talk. Nicki comes out of the bathroom and declares that she's not going to stop changing just because people can't deal with it, then takes off her shirt to reveal a negligee. "Remember this?" she asks. "What did you want to do to me in it?" "Lots," replies Bill, but he's distracted by the weightier matters on his mind and sits her down on the bed. "I understand that you're dealing with a lot," he says, and Nicki replies that she just wants to be the woman that he wants her to be. "You already are," protests Bill. But Nicki says that he doesn't understand and blurts out that she's having difficulty conceiving but that she's seeing a new specialist and trying really hard. Bill holds her and tells her that whatever it is, they'll get through it. 

Barb is at the Eagle Forum and gets up to speak about how amazing Utahan women are, how they never stop serving their religion, their families, their communities, and how they're not always comfortable admitting that they're overwhelmed and it's alright to admit to making mistakes instead of running to the medicine cabinet for Prozac and Xanax and Benadryl. "We've all been there, right?" Barb's sister's face slowly melts off and in the back, Pam, the Henricksons' neighbor and former friend of Margene looks deeply hurt.

Nicki is at the doctor's office for her shots when Adaleen and JJ show up. She hears them bickering about Toby and when they see her there, JJ looks unnerved. Hmm...

Margene is in Bill's office at the casino trying to rationalize her marriage to Goran and, like many of Margene's attempts to apply logic to things, it's not going well. However, she just can't see what the big deal is since it's only a paper marriage and only temporary. She silences Bill's protests with a kiss, just in time for Marilyn to walk by. She's there for a meeting and Bill is upset that Barb is, too. But, Barb points out that she's on the board of directors, so she re-hired herself. The meeting gets underway and Tommy awkwardly excuses himself. Marilyn huffs that it's like a revolving door around here. Mr. Reed is there and he and Marilyn "meet" and shake hands and it's way too obvious that they're stifling giggles. Bill announces that they're going to drop the pretense and Marilyn and Reed should acknowledge that they're in cahoots and were on the junket to Scotland together. "I like bagpipes," explains Marilyn. Bill lays out their suspicions about Marilyn's extortion activities and Marilyn snaps back that she will sue him, since no state senate wannabe or a made-up tribe is going to insult her like that. She gathers up her assistant and says that they're getting the hell out of this fucking pup-tent. Tommy comes back in after she's gone and apparently he was recording her from the other room or something.

Alby is at a hearing about Dale's death and getting grilled about the apartment. He denies knowing anything about it, but the committee wants to know why his demeanor suggests otherwise. He really is doing a piss poor job of lying. I bet he has his fingers crossed behind his back.

Big_love_pam Bill pulls up at home and sees Pam stuffing his campaign sign in the trash. He cheerily offers to give her a new one but she snaps back that some people struggle mightily with prescription drugs and don't appreciate comments that belittle them. Bill is lost. Inside, Sarah is putting away groceries and Bill asks her why she is leaving. She repeats that Scott got a job but Bill accuses her of bailing on the vision of this family. "Maybe I am," replies Sarah, but adds that she doesn't want to be a part of what happens next. Bill lodges his head further up his ass and huffs off.

At the casino, Barb apologizes to Tommy for the mess with Marilyn because she lashed out at Billy by hiring her and is ashamed of what's happened because of it. Tommy assures her that she's done a really good job and shouldn't beat herself up. Barb tears up and worries that she put everything at risk because of her pride. Tommy hugs her and she thanks him. Mark my words: next episode, those two make out.

Bill is at Ana's and they're arguing over Margene and Goran's marriage. "I can't share Margene with you and Goran. It's unnatural. A man has to know a woman is his and a woman can't have two husbands," he says. "Ana stares at him in disbelief and shouts, "You're crazy!" Bill counters that he explained his religion to her, as though that makes it all sound reasonable. This whole time, Ana is making toast and the camera keeps focusing on the toast and/or her belly. Eh?

Sarah has been invited to sit on one of the wives' meetings and wants to know what they'll be discussing. Shocking no one, they'll be discussing her and Scott and Portland. "I'm not going through this again," she says and gets up to leave. "Sit!" orders Nicki and adds, "What do you really know about this Portland place? I looked it up. There's heroin everywhere." Sarah counters that she thought they would all understand since she knows none of them want to go public either, noting that Barb resents Bill, Margene got married, and Nicki...is on board. "I'm on board because I love Bill. It's true. I love Bill," she announces. O...kay.

Bill is at his debate with his opponent, who says that Barb has attacked Utah women. Bill protests but she continues that perhaps it's because Barb spends so much time out of state running the casino and, in fact, "our women devote their lives to the creation of strong families." This gets a rousing cheer from the audience and Bill, surprisingly, does not continue his cross-argument of "Nuh-uh!"

Bill storms home and interrupts Barb, who is mopping the kitchen floor, and demands to know what she said about Utah women being drug addicts. Barb clarifies but Bill says that she must retract. Barb says that this issue should be addressed and that she made a statement and is standing by it. Bill, disgusted, says that he's arranged for an interview so that Barb can publicly state that she doesn't actually have any ideas of her own and doesn't know the ugly truth of women who feel pressured to do too much. She hisses that she can't wait for this to be over and done with. Unfortunately, there's no over and done with when it comes to Bill. I'm willing to bet that if he loses the senate race, he's just going to want to do something else harebrained and time-consuming, like buy a Cold Stone Creamery franchise or something.

Marilyn shows up at Margene's office and prattles about Paley being interested in Margene and wanting her phone number. Margene notes that she's taken and Marilyn says, "Oh, right. Bill Henrickson." Margene insists that he's just an investor. "But didn't you two just meet at the convention?" asks Marilyn. Er. Uhm. Hmm...

Teeny and Ben are at Sarah's helping her pack. Teeny does not want Sarah to leave and Ben wants Sarah to go to the interview. Sarah asks Ben when he'll stop defending Bill but Ben counters that Bill saved his life in Mexico. He has a point. Most dads just play catch with you or build you a treehouse and call it a day.

At JJ's house, he's giving a toast to his new wife and their miraculous pregnancy, then turns the floor over to his dad who says something about Jesus mentioning his mom before dying on the cross and winks at Adaleen and calls her "baby doll." Shudder. I run to the shower, but in the meantime, JJ's mother says something about Adaleen being a spotless woman in a shameless world.

Bill, Barb, and Cindy are watching an ad that Bill's opponent is about to start running that completely blasts Bill AND Barb. Bill tells Barb that she HAS to make this right and Barb, fed up, tells him to just write out what he wants her to do. Bill is like, "I thought you'd never ask!"

Alby is barefoot and clinging to the picture that he took of himself and Dale in bed, stomping around and blasting "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." Oh, girl. Been there. Lura bangs on the door and when he opens it she begs him not to turn her away and to forgive her. "For what?" he asks. Lura stumbles over her mistake and quietly tells him that his sister is there. Way to be specific, Lura. It would have been great if Alby had run down all of the 50 possible people it could have been before guessing the correct sibling. Nicki walks in wearing one of her new outfits and has a pair of jeans for Alby. She tells him that she wants him to leave this place and come away with her and make a new life. Alby thinks it's too late but Nicki doesn't, pointing to the new life that she's creating for herself. They hug and Alby cries and Ghostly Roman appears. "Don't listen to her poison," he hisses. Nicki tells Alby that there's hope for them but Alby thinks that Nicki has just lost her way. "Look at yourself. Look at how you're dressed," he yells. "Get rid of the whiny bitch!" orders Roman. Alby calls Nicki a common indecent whore as she runs out of the room. Thanks for the visit! Let's do this again some time!

Big_love_goran Margene and Goran are at a meeting with an immigration official, who is clearly not buying the sack of bullshit that they're trying to sell her, even though Goran molests Margene's thigh and insists that the marriage isn't fraudulent. Margene suddenly realizes that she made a huge mistake. I bang my head on a brick wall.

At home, Barb is helping Nicki with a quilt that she's working on and notes that Nicki is back in her modest clothing and French braid. I guess when your gay brother calls you an indecent whore, you take that shit to heart. Nicki, sullen, acknowledges that she has a lot of painful feelings and Barb gently says that she wishes Nicki would talk to her. Nicki tells her that the first quilt she made had birds all over it and she gave it to Roman, who always kept it at the end of his bed. Barb, somehow seeing this anecdote as the perfect segue, says that it's pretty hard to believe that Joey would be capable of taking a life. Nicki doesn't follow at first until Barb, pale, says, "Didn't Bill tell you?"

Nicki bursts into Wanda's house demanding to know where Joey is. "Tell me it's not true," she begs. Wanda just keeps furiously knitting and Nicki asks her what's happened to her. JJ bursts in and breathlessly announces that he's here to see Wanda since he's been keeping an eye on her since Joey's been in Mexico, adding that she hasn't been right. Also, the sky is blue and the earth is round. Nicki informs him that Joey murdered Roman and JJ informs HER that Joey made her do terrible things. Eh, maybe so, but I get the feeling that anything that JJ has ever made Wanda do is 10,000 times worse. Nicki says that she has to get Wanda and Joey Jr. out of there. JJ grabs Wanda by the waist and says that she needs to be with her family, but Nicki screams that she wants Wanda out of there.

Barb and Bill are fighting at the casino when Marilyn walks in and wants to speak to Bill. Barb refuses to leave and Marilyn calmly states that Bill is having an affair, that she saw him kissing Margene in this office. Bill insists that it was just a friendly peck but Marilyn insists that it wasn't and she has more than enough evidence and if gets out, he's done for. She insincerely apologizes to Barb and calls Bill a hypocrite on her way out.

Back home, Bill tells Margene that he wants her marriage to stand, which is too bad since Margene has just realized that she was acting out of self-interest. "Oh. You're not the only one," cracks Barb to Bill. They fill her in on Marilyn's accusations but Barb adds that they DID have an affair before they were married. Bill repeats that the marriage will stand because the Henricksons WILL come together to support Bill's blind ambition, no matter the cost. Nicki storms out and demands to know how he could not tell her about Roman and SMACKS Bill across the face, adding that she finally gave him her heart and he betrayed her. Hey, at least she didn't slice your arm off, Bill.

Big_love_jj_adaleen Adaleen is at the doctor's office at night, "cleaning" and snooping. She pokes around in some files and reads something shocking but is interrupted by JJ who wants to know what she's doing. I mean, Adaleen couldn't think of a better way to go about snooping than this? Dusting in the middle of the night? JJ grabs her and pulls her up and Adaleen reveals that Roman was trying to get Cara Lynn away from him and this twisted operation. "I was just trying to make your dreams come true," snarls JJ and he smothers Adaleen's mouth with a handkerchief, perhaps containing some kind of sedative?

Bill and Nicki are talking in a more calm manner and Nicki tells him that everything's changing and that she doesn't want another wife. Bill, puzzled, says that the thought of another wife never bothered her before, but Nicki explains that that was before she loved him. She was told it was selfish to have a man all to herself but she doesn't want to share him anymore. Bill, concerned, says that Barb, Margene, and the children are the fabric of who they are, that the Principle is his faith and he thought it was hers, too. "It is," says Nicki, "But I want you to feel the same way about me." They hug and Nicki assures him that they would never leave Barb...or Margene.

Outside, Ben and Goran are playing tetherball. Bill approaches Margene, who is watching and embroidering. Interesting focus on fabric arts this episode, with Nicki quilting and Wanda knitting. The point, I think, being that while the men just talk about the fabric of their families, the women are the ones who actually make said fabric. "Who is that?" asks Bill. "My new husband," explains Margene, perkily, adding that they need to establish a relationship with him. Bill offers to play a round with Goran and then totally Napolean Dynamites that shit, smacking Goran in the face and getting all hardcore and sweaty. Barb watches, puzzled, and tells Margene that she's playing with fire.

Marilyn calls Barb while watching Margene's slip up about Ben being Mr. Margene Heffman on her computer. "You lied," she says. And tells Barb all that she's found out about Margene, how she's the Henricksons' neighbor and whatnot. "What kind of a woman are you to cave into his appetites? I feel sorry for you, the compromises you've made with your life and how you've turned the sails of your conscience. I've had to do that, too." Barb growls that there's nothing about them that's the same and that Marilyn knows nothing about her. "Oh, I'm just getting started," threatens Marilyn. Barb insists that there's no affair, that Margene is married to a lovely man and they're good friends. "Say whatever you want. We'll deny it."

Bill goes to Sarah's apartment bearing pizza and offering to help pack. Sarah guesses that that's not why he came over. In fact, it's not. He wanted to give her a check for $5,000 to help her and Scott get started and wishes that it could be more. Then rolls up his sleeves and starts packing some books. Sarah realizes that, idiotic though he may be, her dad's kind of a swell guy. 

Big_love_henricksons Tommy meets Bill at the TV studio where they're doing their interview and tells Bill about all of the juicy stuff that he dug up on Marilyn's laptop. In addition to lots of crooked politics and pitting the various tribes against each other, she's out to personally destroy Bill. It's time for the interview, though, and Teeny kicks things off with a really awkward tap dance routine. The host gets right to it and asks if Barb is prepared to make an official apology. Bill stops her and says that they do, in fact, ask a lot of women in Utah. This is nice and all, but would have sounded less douchey if Barb had been allowed to open her mouth. Sarah approaches and joins her family on stage. The host comments that Bill has a lovely family and he thanks him, noting that he is blessed. And, hey, there's like 20 more people where this came from!

Big_love_sarah_barb At Teeny's birthday party, everything seems fairly calm. The last present is, in fact, for Sarah and it was the quilt that Nicki was working on earlier and includes patches from one of Nicki's old dresses, Teeny's recital costume, and Bill's "World's Greatest Dad" apron. Sarah is overwhelmed and goes to get the cake. She pauses in the kitchen and looks out at her goofy family and tears up.

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I would really like for Barb and Tommy to have an affair, if only to keep yummy Adam Beach around for a while.


Was this not the shortest season of a television show in the history of tv? How can there only be 1 episode left?

I'm so glad they have finally put Nicki in real clothes, not the usual drapes that she wears. Her character could definitely use some spicing up and I think they are finally heading in that direction.

Sarah S

There is no way they can resolve all of this crazy shit in an hour. JJ drugging? Campaign? Fake marriage? JJ's weird brother/doctor? Marilyn? And you mean you can just cut a fucking arm off and no one wants to get you back for that shit? Please let Barb make out with that hottie. She has been putting up with Bill's crazy ideas forever, and I'm so glad to see her standing up for herself.


Only recently having cable again, I still haven't seen the first few episodes. Really? Only one left? Didn't the season just start less than two months ago?

Re: the crazy plotlines. The way this season has been going sort of reminds me of the last season of Six Feet Under. Just throw all kinds of craziness out there and go out with a bang.

Suzy Q

"The horrific possibilities are endless." You say that like it's a BAD thing.

Wow, this episode was chock-full of The Crazy! I found it interesting that you saw the fabric focus in this episode and sussed out the meaning. I missed that, and you're so right. Then again, you almost always manage to point out something I've missed. Great recap, kididdy.

I totally teared up when I saw that quilt. What can I say? I'm a softie.

cindy w

So... Is Nicki maybe suddenly all head-over-heels in love with Bill because of all the hormones she's been shot up with?

I was really hoping that at some point, Barb would tell Marilyn to go f*ck herself. Alas, no such luck. Sigh. (And yeah, Barb & Tommy are totally gonna get it on soon.)


Speaking of cutting off Hollis VTY arm a few episodes ago, why did Selma fall for Bill's either / or option ("It's your choice Selma, either deal with us or get Hollis to the hospital".) Selma had like 100 armed men at her disposal and probably could have handled doing both at once.

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