Big Love
A Barbecue For Betty

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | Grade It Now!
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Burning Bosoms, Batty Bettys

Later that night, the rain has stopped. Bill's out back, digging a fire pit alone in the dark. Nicki walks out there and pleads with him to talk to her. Bill tells her, "This is about a lot more than money, Nicki. I'll take care of your debt. That's the honorable thing to do. After that -- I don't know."

Nicki flies into Barb's room, waking her up to say, in a panicky voice, "Wake up! He's going to throw me out. I'm serious! I didn't think it would happen, not really really, but --" Barb cuts off the rambling, but Nicki is undeterred. Barb turns on the light and repeats that Bill won't throw her out. Nicki hisses, "You're the first wife! You're protected! I've seen it hundreds of times -- drive an unwanted wife out to the edge of town and leave her out there like a sack full of unwanted kittens, and drive home without so much as a glance in the rearview!" ["Foreshadowing? Please?" -- Wing Chun] Barb tells Nicki, "That is the most vile, preposterous story I've ever heard of." Has she totally forgotten how Bill was kicked off the compound? If Juniper Creek disposes of its males so casually, how highly does she think women are valued? Nicki wildly says, "My father left a wife at a Conoco station in Elko, Nevada." So what happens to the kids in these situations? Barb tells Nicki, "You don't need to worry about that with Bill. And if he were to do that, I, I, I'd leave him." And then Margene could run off with Chad and this show could go into a whole new direction -- "He's an ex-polygamist turned single father of seven!" Ahem. Nicki asks if she can stay over with Barb, all, "Oh, Barb, you are such a comfort," but we soon see that this sweet little scene was more or less premeditated when the boys come in with their sleeping bags.

The next scene has one of Nicki's kids poking at the lobsters in fascination as Margene natters on again about who voted against her. Barb wants to shut down the conversation, and Margene stomps off. Bill and Ben come in with more lobsters -- Bill bought two dozen, which Barb thinks is a little much for nine adults and however many children. Margene sulks over on the couch. Okay, you know how it's Margene's thing never to let go of an issue? I'm thinking the writers should just let go of that running storyline.

Bill resumes fixing the pit and Nicki comes over, saying, "I know you don't like secrets. I know you don't like things hidden from you --" Bill asks her what she's trying to say, and Nicki says, "I'm going to put everything out on the table. Believe me, if I've learned anything from this, it's that honesty is the best policy." Amazingly enough, the same show that freely tossed around the thunder during earlier big symbolic moments fails to produce a lightning bolt to strike the big fat liar down where she stands. There's a tense look, and Nicki tells Bill that Roman's helped her out on the cards. Oh, so now the INCREDIBLY SUBTLE SYMBOLISM returns, because as Nicki explains Roman's involvement, Bill dumps the charcoal in the pit, soaks it with lighter fluid, and then lights the fire up. We don't see Bill explode -- we only see the other wives, and Sarah, watching him screaming at Nicki across the fire. Nicki runs off, and Bill barrels inside the house.

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Big Love

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