Big Love
A Barbecue For Betty

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Burning Bosoms, Batty Bettys

Margene is sitting there with the four youngest boys, looking speculatively at the Duplo blocks as if wondering which one might work if she should want to end it all in seppuku. There's a knock at the door; it cuts through her dolor. Chad's there, soaking wet, with flowers. His milk-fed countenance shines with virtue and pure infatuation as he says, "I was in the neighborhood, and I thought I'd stop by." Margene is both charmed and appalled -- and horrified that she's got such mixed feelings. Chad holds out the flowers and asks, "Could I come in for a minute?" "Mpphlgh," Margene says. Chad eagerly looks around at Margene's place and blurts, "I knew you had kids. I just didn't know you had so many." Margene hustles the toddler into a playpen as Chad drops hints the size of Nicki's lobster pot about how much he loves kids and how great he is with them. Then he pitches sweet woo at Margene. It's a novel approach: "I couldn't sleep at all last night. I was thinking about meeting you. I know this sounds crazy, but I felt this kind of -- I don't know -- a burning in my bosom." Well, it beats a burning in your urethra when you urinate. Chad continues: "My mind was racing. I think I might have had a revelation. You're the one for me." Oh, this is...well, it's not that far off from the usual "We were meant to be" line, except for the whole hand-of-God part, which may or may not make it creepy. It all depends on how you feel about the Lord micromanaging your dating life, I guess. Anyway, Nicki's toddlers are watching this raptly, so I look forward to the inevitable awkward moment when this comes up at a family dinner. Chad says, "I'm going to kiss you now," which...again, it can be creepy in the wrong context and very Nora Ephron-style romantic in the right one, so I kind of feel for Chad because he was hoping for Sleepless In Seattle-style effects and overshot, landing in unsettling territory. Margene, to her credit, tries to let Chad down gently, telling him that she's got her eye on someone else. As she escorts him to the door, Chad politely says, "Forgive me for saying this, but perhaps you're looking in the wrong direction." He leaves with a smile. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of that young man. Frankly, I think he's an upgrade on Bill.

At the store, the roof's collapsed in the propane section. Bill's carping about that when Roman strolls over, an especially dour-looking wife hovering over his shoulder like the ghost of Rhonda Future. Roman makes all sorts of vague statements which suggest one of two things: he's either under the impression that he and Jesus are tight enough for him to drop a line to Son of God and get a few weather-related favors in return, or he's under the impression that, in this day and age, people are still all too willing to confuse coincidence with both correlation and causation. Anyway, this scene serves as notice that this conflict between Bill and Roman is nowhere near over. And to pass on some REALLY SUBTLE theme about bad luck signs and portents by having Roman snap open a black umbrella as he totally tips his hand on how he'll screw Bill next, commenting on how marvelous it is that Bill has an interest in historic sites.

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Big Love

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