Big Love
A Barbecue For Betty

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

Bill is not. He brings in a galvanized tub full of cooked bugs and mourns, "Two thousand dollars' worth of lobsters down the drain, and half not even cooked." Why the hell not? Freeze it for later, I say. At least they're packing up the lobsters that were cooked. Barb finally smacks him around a little: "Don's heartbroken over a doe-eyed Moonie. And there are greater tragedies than a credit-card debt of $60,000, too. Poor Nicki. Who knows what she's seen in that world, women and kittens thrown out like sacks of old potatoes." Bill gives a sly look away, and now I am wondering: has he been lying to Barb all these years about how he left the compound? Anyway, Sarah's watching all this, vaguely disgusted by the whole affair.

Barb stalks off, and Sarah comes over. Bill asks if she'd like to go get something to eat (with all that lobster there?), but Sarah tells him she wants to talk: "I was thinking about Betty, and how it's too bad she couldn't tell people who she really was. I lied to you before." To his credit, Bill doesn't explode. He only asks, "About what?" Sarah says, "The pancake breakfast. I didn't tell you about it because I didn't want you to go." Bill's face is stricken, but Sarah plows on: "You would have introduced yourself to all the other dads as Bill Henrickson, father of three, with one wife, with one house." Bill's eyes drop; it's not clear whether he's ashamed of the lying or ashamed of his child calling him out on it. Sarah continues: "It hurts to see you lie, Dad. I hate that about this life -- watching you and Mom lie, all of us having to hide..." Bill looks deeply ashamed. But before he can say anything, one of Nicki's kids comes in and adenoidally asks, "Dad, when's Mom coming home?"

The short answer would seem to be "When the mall kicks her out." Nicki looks around at all the things in the mall, searching for some sort of meaning in them. A security guard finally explains to her that the store's closing, so she'll have to go.

The next morning, as Bill's getting ready to leave, he's putting the trash bags with the lobster in his car so that he can get rid of the trash. He sees a black cat; it yowls at him and runs off, because it's just another OH SO SUBTLE SYMBOL. When Bill gets to the parking lot of the store, we see that Don's slept in his SUV all night. (And by the way, Bill can't dump the lobster refuse because his dumpster's locked. What, there aren't any bolt-cutters in the store?) Don says, "The wives ganged up on me. They're blaming me for not doing enough research on Betty. They were really attached to her, and it's all my fault. But what could I have done differently?" (Answer: Quit after wife #1? Problem averted.) Bill tells Don that this is but one more of God's constant tests, and that Betty just wasn't part of God's plan.

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Big Love

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