***Please welcome your winner of this year’s Auditiongasm, Flo!
After much anticipation, everyone’s favorite polygamists are back and they’re not wasting any time puttering around in the season premier of Big Love. They’ve got some thick Mormon drama cooking for us from the jump.
The show opens with Bill playing with new baby Nell, who 3rd wife Margene (the cute and lovable one) finally gave birth to. Margene’s pregnancy felt like the longest in the history of pregnancies, and I would have thought that after how much time they had to think about it names, they could have come up with something better than Nell. Does anyone else think immediately of a weird Jodie Foster speaking in secret languages?
2nd wife, Nikki (the evil but pious one), enters to whine a little bit about having taken a job to pay off the enormous credit card debt she accrued in the first two seasons. Like a doting mother should, 1st wife Barb enters to pacify Nikki and tell her how proud she is of her for taking responsibility. Unbelievably, Nicki is dressed like a woman from this century, instead of donning her usual turn of last century garb, but she’s not doing it smiling. Barb stares off into space when she is finally left alone, and then we cut to her in a CAT scan tube. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume she’s distracted by this sudden testing, and that she’s not concerned about her dinner casserole or whether Bill likes her best in the sack.
Cut to Bill in his mini van, chanting along to a positive affirmation disc, a special not-so-spiritual one about confidence and money. Bill has a meeting with the head of Weber gaming and pitches his Mormon dream idea of a no-smoking, no-drinking casino, but he isn’t convinced. I can’t see why not, that sounds like a really good time. Who goes to a casino to drink and smoke and get wrapped up in debauchery anyway? Bill feels his indecision, and makes plans to play the wife #3 card, who is so cute and charming, no one can resist.
This is all you will see at the Mormon casino.
Roman Grant, the self assumed Prophet of the compound, is in prison behind thick glass with two lawyers and his 1st wife Adaleen after being arrested last year in the season finale on statutory rape charges. Roman is denying all of the charges, natch, and pitches a fit at the mention of the word “rape”. Adaleen tries to reason with Roman. “These men are good lawyers, honey, these men have worked for Ronald Reagan.” Roman asks, “Why has everyone forsaken me?” Didn’t somebody else say that? Who was it again, ooh, I know, it was Jesus Christ, while he was hanging from the cross. Face it, Roman, you’re no Christ. If Roman were to ask himself “what would Jesus do?” before kicking it to a slew of fifteen year old girls, I’m sure bushes would burn and trees would shake out a resounding “Not that, perv!” Adaleen tries to squash the forsaken idea, but then remembers to tell him that their turncoat son Alby, who had Roman arrested, has moved into the main house and gotten rid of all of their stuff. The Prophet declares, “The heavenly father will crush that bastard usurper of a son.” And to this, Adaleen chimes, “Amen.” Amen is right, sister, Alby is so creepy.
Ronald Reagan? That sinning actor? How dare you speak his name to me, woman?
Bill is fixing Ana, potential 4th wife’s, sink. She’s grateful, they make out a little. The strumpet Ana asks Bill, “Let’s make love,” to which of course, Bill says no, they have to be married first, because this man is all about his principles. She says, oh fine, “then let’s just have sex.” No, no, no Ana! Bill huffs out, looking a little bit offended. Ana stretches her neck in a movement that screams sexual tension. The girl needs to get laid, and soon.
Alby is in the main house on the Juniper Creek compound, and just as Adaleen said, he’s clearing out all of his parent’s crap. The new first lady of the compound is trying on her new power to see how it fits, barking out ridiculous commands to sister wives beneath her, with creepy Alby backing her. Alby is self consumed and not really paying attention, reveling in his new position, “I’m feeling a great potency,” blah, blah, blah. Summation: Alby’s stoked to be in power.
Barb is on the phone with a doctor, who tells her we’re not going to worry about this until the tests all come back. The obnoxious neighbors across the street bust in, while the kids watch Alice in Wonderland and Margene marches around the house listening to a “learn how to speak Native American” cd, reciting along. The neighbors have a new color-coded map of the neighborhood with everyone’s name on it. Barb and Margene’s house are a different color because they are inactive in the Church of LDS, but Nikki’s is “grayed out”, because she is Roman Grant’s daughter.
The meddling neighbors ask if they’ll be attending the block party, since everyone looks down on them and all. Nobody thought they’d want to come. Someone even offered to take over Bill’s post on the hot dog cart. Barb is indignant, “But Bill is the hot dog man!” No kidding, Barb. Nikki responds poorly to the new map and refuses to go to the block party. She blames Barb for exposing them to the new neighbors. Bickering ensues between the 1st and 2nd wives, Nikki attempts to drag Margene in by making a crack about her wardrobe, but Margene wasn’t really paying attention. Bill takes charge and squashes the argument.
Barb has a soliloquy about her cancer, rocking back and forth like an autistic child. “I give you no sanctuary!” You tell that cancer, Barb!
Bill and Nikki are in bed watching the polygamy crackdown on the news. Bill asks Nikki to promise not to get involved with her father’s case, to which she does indeed promise that she will not. This just means that Nikki is actually already involved in her father’s case. You can bank on anything that she promises, she’s going to do the opposite because she is that evil, but pious. Nikki throws herself on her sword and says that she will just stay home alone while everyone is having a good time without her at the block party, because she wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt her family.
Barb goes to see Ana, and tells her she wants to formally date her, as a family. The last word we had from Barb on this matter was “I do not want a 4th”. But Barb was only sold on this whole polygamy bit because of her last bout of cancer, not wanting her family to be left motherless should the cancer lead to her untimely demise. So the pattern is when Barb has cancer, it’s open season for Bill. Anyhoo, back to Ana, who tells Barb point blank that she has no interest in marrying anyone, thank you very much, and Bill is well aware of that. This really rubs Barb the wrong way. She goes home and takes it out on the windows, washing with a fury. She calls Bill and gives him an ultimatum: she will be involved in his dating life or there will be no dating at all!
We’re going on a quadruple date or this is gonna really awkward, buddy!
Nikki is at her office job, chatting it up on the slick with some other polygamist traveling incognito like a woman from the late 80′s. Predictably, Nikki took a job at the lawyer’s office prosecuting Roman, and the two sly women exchange information about it. The other girl tells her “these people are not so bad. For heathens.”
Ana calls Margene to tell her about her run in with Barb. Margene is ecstatic to hear that Barb is coming around. She wants Ana to be her sister wife something fierce.
At Home Plus, Bill gets into his mini van to find Frankie, his half brother, in the van. Bill’s father, Frank threw him off the compound for speaking to a girl, and Frankie begs Bill to reason with him. Bill goes home to tell wives 1 and 2 that he’s off to Juniper Creek, and Ben marches Teeny in to tell her many parents that the neighbors, the O’Hare’s won’t let her play with their kids anymore because she is a bad influence. Ben is afraid that the Martins, the obnoxious neighbors, told the O’Hare’s about their lifestyle. Bill and Barb head straight to the neighbors, who do not answer the door.
The wives have a meeting where Barb makes two points. For one, Nikki’s roofing project is cancelled. Tough break, Nikki. She’s pissed, declares that she’ll do it herself. Second, Barb brings to the table the possibility of their new dating schedules. Nikki doesn’t know why she can’t get a new roof when a new wife would be so much more expensive. Margene looks like she won’t be able to contain her excitement, and asks to give the potential 4th wife more time than 3 days to warm up to the idea. No go from Barb. Barb and Nikki get into it a little bit because, shockingly, Nikki thinks this is all about her. An exasperated Barb says “Hector, protector, this is not about you Nikki!” What the hell does that mean? Moving on, Nikki concedes that they could use another wife anyway, another crack at Margene, who picks up on it this time. Sarah, who just wanted to use the car, overhears the whole conversation and goes ballistic. She can’t stand the freak show that her family has become, and storms out.
Lois returns a bird to Wanda, an animal she clearly detests. She asks Wanda why she would hang on to such a thing, and Wanda tells her that the bird is worth a lot of money, about $1800, upwards of $2000 in some circles. Wanda coos at the bird while Lois’s face contorts into a pained grimace as the cogs in her brain start to turn, until she looks out the window and sees Bill talking to Joey and Cathy, his 2nd wife. She saunters out to spit insults at Bill, who ignores her to catch up on compound gossip.
She’s still pissed about Bill turning away from his chance to run the UEB. He rants about feeling a kinship to Frankie, another boy turned off the compound to live on his own. Bill returns Frankie to his mother and has a run in with his own father. He asks what Bill thinks of his new honey, who “sits, and fetches and rolls over”, and then sends the new wifey to help some of the others dig out a new sewer line. Ew. He claims he won’t take back Frankie, who begs and pleads. He’s just afraid that Frankie is going to make a play for his hot new wife, so he shipped him off. Bill calls him subhuman; Frank uses a colorful analogy of a three-legged dog that’s trying to hump in retaliation. Everyone thinks the way they practice multiple marriages is the best way. It’s a toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe situation. Bill drives away with Frankie, and tells him it’s going to be ok and offers him help, but as soon as they hit a stop sign, Frankie jumps out of the minivan and takes off.
That night, Nikki is home sewing and hears people running around her house in a menacing fashion. She goes outside and looks around in horror. Bill pulls up to find Nikki outside cleaning up a seriously toilet papered house. He offers consolement and starts to help, but Nikki can “feel everyone watching”. She looks psychotic, and starts babbling about having to go away to keep the family safe from harm, like more toilet paper.
Of course he’s a bottom.
Alby is in a dark parking lot of a rest stop, rocking out to an Anne Murray song, flashing his head lights at another car. He gets responding flashing lights, and grins victoriously. Score for Alby! He goes into the public restroom, where a big Bear of man comes in, bends Alby over the sink and makes like he’s going to give it to him real good just where he likes it, but instead pulls a knife on him. There is a struggle and Alby is being drowned in the toilet until some kids enter the restroom,. The Bear runs away.
Bill and Don are yucking it up about their wives, moving forward with their testimonies and such. Bill reveals to Don that even though Barb is on board for Ana, he’s not so sure about her anymore. She could really throw a wrench in the spokes of the 1st and 3rd wives’ salvation, which Bill has worked really hard for. Don reassures Bill that he can “break” Ana, he can show her the way, and she just doesn’t know what she wants yet.
Heather picks up Sarah for work, but Sarah wants to blow it off to go to the mall instead and celebrate getting into college. Heather is thrilled, but then buzz kill Sarah tells her she can’t go to that school, that she has to get out of Utah or she is going to die. Sarah’s so dramatic. She could handle this whole Dad taking multiple wives thing with a little more grace.
Margene and Bill are in a meeting with the head of Weber gaming, Jerry and his multi-cultural mouthy wife, Ladonna. She’s wearing tons of turquoise in tribute to her man’s heritage, but she’s French or Brazilian or something. It’s the accent of no specific origin. She needles Bill and Margene about their lifestyle, and Margene tells them how normal and kind of boring they are, just one big happy family. Bill tries to feel out Ladonna, but evidently the book of Mormons has some not so nice things to say about Indians, and Ladonna wants to know where these two stand on this. After all the practicing she’s done, Margene gets a chance to chime in and say something in Jerry’s native tongue, which does the trick. She’s so charming.
Alby calls Nikki and accuses her and Bill of attempting to have him killed. Nikki is clueless, and Alby is stumped.
Bill lays it on thick for Ana at her place, droning on and on about the heavenly father, and being together in the afterlife. So sexy, Bill. It freaks Ana out and she says she can’t do it anymore, that they have to stop seeing each other. Bill is baffled; he can’t understand why she isn’t into it. He tells her he’s in love with her, and she jumps him. Flash to Barb checking and rechecking a message on her voicemail about a scheduled biopsy. Flash back to Ana and Bill lying on the couch, post coital. Ana looks beat and happy, while Bill looks very disappointed. He storms out, disgusted.
Margene finds Barb rocking baby Nell in her room and having a moment. Bill comes home to find Barb and Margene waiting up for him. Margene feigns concern and tells him they know where he was, and a defeated Bill tells them it’s over with Ana.
Adaleen is in her trailer working on her book about being the wife of the Prophet. Nikki comes in to deliver some of the paperwork she swiped from the lawyer’s office. She frets to her mother about how dangerous the job is, but Adaleen is unaffected. Nikki also mentions that Alby thinks Bill tried to kill him. Adaleen is pleased; she goes off about how disgusting his lifestyle is and how he deserves it for behaving that way. Nikki looks stunned.
Bill confronts the neighbor, Rob O’Hare for shunning Teeny. Rob questions why Bill doesn’t go to church anymore and why he rents his house to the daughter of Roman Grant. Bill assumes that the whole neighborhood knows that they are polygamists. He vies to stand up to them all by going to the block party, that’ll show them all. Nikki refuses. The doorbell rings and Frankie comes in, beaten up badly.
Margene goes over to Ana’s and gives her the exciting gift of the Book of Mormon. Ana tries to tell Margene that it’s too late, but she won’t accept it. She insists that Ana is meant to be in their family.
Adaleen and Alby pass each other on a dusty compound road and exchange glances. Judging by Alby’s face, he might be aware that it was probably his mother and father that tried to have him killed. He could just have gas, that’s his usual look, but then he wouldn’t need to pull the car over and take a deep breath.
Hope you learned your lesson. That could be a giant herp.
Bill organizes the Henrikson’s to go to the block party. Teeny, Margene, Barb and Bill stand ostracized in front of their hot dog cart while all the other Mormon’s laugh and have a good time. Nikki goes to work on her roof; she’s such a martyr. Teeny runs home upset about something. Barb confronts one neighbor while Bill confronts another. As it turns out, Teeny was charging all the other kid’s to look at dirty magazines and she got caught. Barb says, “That’s it?” Please, this family is very accustomed to sexual deviance, that’s nothing compared to the exposure they all were so afraid of. Unfortunately, Bill is already ripping into the other neighbor, not knowing all the fuss is about these nudie pics and not his multiple marriages. Margene and Barb try to quell Bill, who’s getting a little crazy on the neighbors, to no avail.
Nikki interrupts to shout from the rooftop, literally, that she is the daughter of Roman Grant, and that she would do nothing to hurt the only people who have ever been nice to her. She also needed somebody to go and get her a ladder since the neighborhood rascals took it from her. She always has an angle. Barb, Bill and Margene rush over to tell Nikki how proud they are of her, and Ana comes on the scene to tell them all “she’s ready, on their terms.” I’m ready too, for a nap. That was a lot to take in…