Big Love
Circle The Wagons

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Full Houses

Welcome to the testimony meeting, which is not only SRO, but features overflow people watching through the front door. Alby stands at the front of the room holding Roman's hat in his hand, brim up. "Jared and Josiah together smote the Lord," Alby intones, and pokes his face into Roman's hat as though it's an oxygen mask. Can't question his commitment, at least. "Roman and Romulus in a time of restoration," he adds. Okay, enough Darmok-speak; after another whiff of stale old-man dandruff, Alby's third pronunciation is, "Albert Grant will act as interceder for the one, the mighty, and the strong." Everyone there is watching raptly, except for Bill, who looks around the room in impotent disgust that people are actually buying this crap. A guy in the front row asks, "During, before, or after?" Alby dips his face back in the hat and answers, "During and after. What did I say?" A woman taking notes repeats his words. Adaleen stands up, saying it's true. In fact, she had a testimony of her own earlier: "One moment it was my son…and then it turned into the prophet…and then into the face of Joseph Smith himself!" Alby asks for a witness, and the gullible guy in the front row jumps up to oblige. Alby tells the assembled Creekers, "I am not mighty. I am not worthy." But he "humbly" "accepts" the "call," and smiles around the room. But that smile gets a lot less humble when it's pointed in Bill's direction.

Meanwhile, as everyone is distracted with this nonsense, Nicki lets herself into the UEB office. It's only the work of a few moments to find a big cardboard box full of bundles of cash. To the tune of some heavy-metal guitar from a very deep recess of David Byrne's record collection, she starts loading it into a sack she brought with her. Christmas came early this year.

That night, the spouses sit around Barb's kitchen table. The atmosphere is formal and serious; they're about to vote. Bill makes his closing argument: "We need this company. And we need it now." He turns to Barb, who quietly but firmly says, "No." She thinks the company is corrupt, and will corrupt them in turn. "Find something else," she says. Nicki's turn. Her vote is still yes, but since they're all giving speeches, Nicki adds that Weber Gaming won't corrupt them any more than the ambient sin of the culture they're already steeped in. "Someone else will profit from it. Why not us?" It's Margene's turn, and she's now taking the swing vote thing very seriously. Speaking haltingly while looking down at the table, she agrees with Barb that it's about the kids. So…she's voting for it. For the kids. She says that Barb's kids are almost all grown up, but she's got two little ones with a third on the way, and she needs the financial security that Bill is promising. Well played, Barb. You know I've been looking forward to the time when underestimating Margene was going to bite her in the ass. This is a good start. Margene tells Barb she's sorry. Barb tells her that she doesn't need to apologize, but she's looking pretty pointy right now. "We're not going to let this divide us," Bill tells Barb. Barb agrees, because this week she's all about pretending to be better than she actually is, and besides, "divide us" in this case would mean "isolate Barb."

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Big Love




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