Barb heads out to the car to get the rest of her groceries, and Pam comes up, cheerily burbling about the specific market and how great the produce looks. Pam scoops up a bag to bring into Barb's house and says, "I was just next door. Isn't it terrible what happened to Margene's husband? The Gulf War. Too many lives. Such a shame." Barb's rolls her eyes, all, Can FIVE MINUTES go by without one of those women making trouble?
Whoosh! Barb's over there reading the riot act to Margene: "You can't just run around saying whatever it is that pops into your head!" Margene shouts back, "No!" then rears back, startled. She continues resolutely, "I've thought about it a lot, and I don't like that unwed mother story you tell about me." Barb splits hairs by pointing out that she always refers to Margene as "presently single." Margene protests that A) that's just as insulting, and B) she's getting a life, as previously ordered by Barb. The older woman protests, "You are putting your family at risk!" Margene says quietly, "I don't have any friends anymore." Barb offers cold comfort by pointing out it's the sacrifice they make. And then it's all about Barb. She's not even looking at Margene as she says, "We have to stick with it no matter how lonely it can be, because…there isn't anything else that can bring us these rewards. This is, um…this is it." Margene looks over, realizing that Barb's practically near tears and doesn't believe the hooey she's spouting anymore than Margene does. Barb delivers a zinger -- "the Gulf War was 15 years ago" -- and hustles out before Margene can protest that she meant Gulf War II: The Quagmire.
Then follows a sequence where we see that all three wives are lonely. Barb and Nicki have to settle for sulking. Margene pulls her boys on the couch and reads to them from the decorating books Pam's lent her. As Nicki folds laundry upstairs, Bill stalks around downstairs in her house. He calls Barb -- she's got the phone right by the pile of laundry she is doing. Bill tells her, "I can't stop thinking about you." Barb confirms that this is mutual. Bill asks her to meet him in half an hour at the usual place, and Barb tells him she can't do this. Bill protests, "I need you! I feel like I'm drowning. Like I can't catch my breath." And you should have thought about that before resuming The Principle, boy-o. Nicki comes down just as Bill is promising to meet Barb in half an hour. For all her chatter about the thrills of a fourth wife, she's not too keen on the presumed wife-to-be cutting in on her time. Bill lies to her about needing to go to the office, gives her a peck, then heads out. Nicki quickly hits *69 to see who Bill called, and when Sarah picks up, Nicki realizes exactly what's been going on.