Roman survived his shooting last week, but he's in and out of surgery, and his fate remains uncertain. Bill tells his wives about the acquisition he's working on. Nicki's for it, Barb's against, and Margene decides to enjoy her status as the swing vote. But then Ben nearly queers the whole deal by reacting badly to the news that a Home Plus coworker used to date Margene. It's complicated. Lois is playing the whole family trying to get back into favor -- and, more importantly, back into her money -- and after learning that Frank is secretly loaded (not even counting the bribe Bill paid him to make Lois first wife), she decides she wants a divorce. On the compound, Adaleen is still shutting Nicki out, and Joey's "trying out" the Principle, which is not entirely to Bill's approval. And of course Roman's state has left a power vacuum at the head of the UEB. Bill tries to step in with a suggestion to bring in an outside trustee who totally won't be Bill's puppet at all. How gullible can that board be? Pretty gullible, because Bill's finesse and corporate-speak are no match for Alby's shameless claim to having received a testimony naming him as Roman's proxy. Especially when Adaleen and a gullible Creeker back Alby. They won't be so happy about their little coup when they get back to the office and find that someone (Nicki) has made off with all the fat bricks of cash they had lying around. When the Henrickson spouses vote on Weber Gaming, Barb is outvoted as the lone dissenter. She pretends to take it gracefully, but she's not any better at pretending than she was at winning the other wives over to her side. And will Nicki find something to fill the void left by her former shopping addiction? Bingo!
This episode wastes no time letting us know whether Roman lived or died after his shooting last week; the answer is neither. It's four days later, according to Keith Olbermann, and Roman's repeated surgeries and the Grants' repeated public reassurances have made number 3 on Countdown with the headline "Patriarchy Games." Leave it to us pros, Keith. Nicki's the one watching the morning rerun of the show from her bed, while her boys cavort around the room in their pajamas. Nicki's also in her sleepytime clothes, and hasn't bothered to do a thing with her hair. It's weird, seeing it just hanging down like that. It's pretty much the equivalent of seeing Barb coiffed like Tina Turner. As Bill comes into the room with a cup of something for Nicki, Adaleen appears on the TV screen, replacing a graphic with the caption "Roman Empire" (that's better). Nicki sits up and tells the kids to watch their grandma, who tells reporters in front of the hospital that someone wanted Roman dead, but clearly someone else more powerful wants him alive. The forums? Nicki complains to Bill that she's still getting shut out of the family even now, and barely pauses to hear Keith give a shout-out to Rhonda Volmer. Bill sits down on the bed to encourage Nicki that Roman is strong, and to promise to make them all safe. No mention of the fact that he all but set Roman's shooters on him in the first place, or even a flicker of guilt in his eyes in connection to the incident. Speaking of protection, Bill takes this moment to tell Nicki about the company he plans to buy; it "involves gambling," he says nervously. Nicki looks surprised for a moment, then agrees like it's a complete non-issue. Bill says he worries that Barb won't be on board, and would appreciate Nicki's help with that. And with Margene, while she's at it. They turn back to the screen, which tells us that Roman's shooters are in custody, but Hollis and Selma Greene made it to Mexico. Nice work, ATF. We'll be looking forward to Hollis and Selma's return in the season finale.
Things are tense at work, and Bill finds out that it's because Don told Peg about Weber Gaming. Sure enough, she's storming around and treating all the file cabinets as though they've personally offended her. Of course, the last thing Bill wants is for Barb to find out about this deal from Peg. His cell phone rings, and he answers it, telling his mom, "This better be an emergency." Lois responds that holding anger causes cancer. Uh, I don't think holding it is Bill's problem, as he now demonstrates by yelling at Lois for selling him out to Frank. Lois says she got screwed too. And indeed, her "spicy new furniture" is all gone, leaving her sitting in the middle of her nearly bare living room on a folding lawn chair, her feet on a braided entryway rug while one lonely floor lamp stands guard over the barren brown wasteland. It looks like the work of a chronically depressed version of Vern Yip (how's that for a current pop-cultural reference?). Lois says that with Roman shot and the compound "in peril," the two of them need to talk. Bill disagrees, and hangs up on her.