It's been two weeks since Barb got outed as a polygamist, and everyone's trying to deal with it in his or her own way. Bill is determined to find out who the tattletale is, Barb's totally out of it, Nicki's itching to step in as first wife, Margene is trying to be strong and responsible, Sarah's quietly miserable, and so on. At the same time, they're all trying to figure out to what extent other people know or indeed care about their secret.
First on Bill's list of suspects is Carl and Pam, the neighbors across the street, but when he insists that he and Barb have dinner with them for a bit of social interrogation, Barb snaps and leaves. Bill also suspects his bookkeeper Wendy, and things get ugly at the office when Wendy catches Don eavesdropping on her phone conversations. And then they get even uglier when an anonymous person in a giant black Humvee intimidates Wendy into eating her car's airbag in the parking lot (I say anonymous, but we all know that an oblique conversation between Nicki and her mother was somehow connected).
While Bill's junior wives try to convince Barb to come home, Bill has a meeting with a guy from the state Attorney General's office, who says they aren't coming after Bill but advises him to drop his investigation. And speaking of investigations, things aren't going well for Wanda down at Juniper Creek. Alby's up and around after his poisoning, howling for revenge and yammering about witnesses. Bill responds by sending in the Staties to make Roman shut up, and Roman in turn responds to that by winning Joey over to his evil side. I’m still not sure how he did it. It's complicated. And evil.
Bill shows up alone for a luau at Carl and Pam's and flounders until Barb comes to the rescue. Carl and Pam are pretty much in the clear, but this whole crisis has brought up years' worth of Barb's suppressed resentment of Bill for pushing her into plural marriage. After the luau, Bill sincerely apologizes, and Barb agrees to come back home. All better? Doubtful. Especially with this background subplot about a fugitive polygamist who keeps turning up on the news. Something tells me it won't be in the background for long.
I'm starting off by thanking Sobell for her first season of recaps of this show, because reading them saved me a lot of time prepping for this gig. She's smarter than I am, though, so y'all are going to have some adjusting to do.
After the outing of the Henricksons' polygamist lifestyle that concluded the first season, anyone who expected this second season to open in jail is disappointed. Instead, the camera pans down from a tile-blue sky to the mountains of Utah to that idyllic street, a good thirty percent of which the Henricksons call home. Inside Barb's house, Nicki and Margene are sitting across from each other near the head of the dining room table, going over chores and errands for the day. Margene keeps brightly offering to take more on, but Nicki's not letting her for some reason. Marge doesn't get why, but she's not going to argue for more work for herself.
In the kitchen, Bill's already at work before he goes to work, doing some deal on the phone while the radio news is going on about some kind of polygamy-related summit that recently happened at the University of Utah. Bill looks out the back window, where Barb is doing laps in the pool. Given the size of that pool, it's more like a hamster doing laps in a wheel, which is almost certainly part of the point. Bill switches over to a call from his attorney. He wants Lawyer Lee to find a contact at the Utah First Lady's office who can tell him "who did this." By which he means not "who married three women," but "who told somebody that Bill married three women." Maybe Bill needs to look at the root causes for his problems.
Nicki's and Margene's to-do lists are getting ever more lopsided as Bill joins them in the dining room. Margene offers to take Teeny in for summer school registration, but Bill says that's Barb's job. He says that in the two weeks since Barb's humiliation, she hasn't left the house or done anything but crossword puzzles, and he's decided it's time for them all to stop "indulging" and "coddling" Barb. He leaves the room. Trying to be all casual, Nicki gets up and moves to the chair at the head of the table. Marge looks up at her, like, Did that just happen? She would probably protest if she didn't find Nicki's little power play completely ridiculous. Nicki just sits and hums to herself like she belongs there.
Upstairs, Barb is watching some craft show with Teeny, and she clearly has more than passing familiarity with the guy on the tube. "He always does this," she says. "Mirrors and mosaics, mosaics and mirrors." Illusions, reflections, small broken pieces creating the impression of a larger whole. Hey, when does the symbolism start? Bill comes in, and for all his big talk downstairs about getting tough on Barb, he's pretty gentle about reminding her of Teeny's summer school registration. He's about to leave it at that, but seeing Barb's persistent sadness, he can't exit without one little proclamation: "The world can go to hell in a handbasket, but as long as we stick together, we'll be all right." Barb doesn't look away from the TV, even to faint in shock that her husband just said the actual H word without mentioning a single hockey stick.