Big Love
Damage Control

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Having not gotten anywhere with Bill, Margene and Nicki have decided to go and double-team Barb on the front steps of Don's house. Barb's already working on a plan -- going back to school, getting a master's, and going into social work. "I'd like to be a marriage counselor," she says. Even Nicki knows enough to leave that one alone. She tries to dismiss Margene by sending her for more hot water, but Margene isn't playing that today. Nicki tells Barb that she didn't just marry Bill, but Bill and Barb, and she needs her back. "Listen to me carefully," Nicki says. "He is going to do this with you or without you." Barb realizes she has the answer to Sarah's earlier question.

Bill sits down in his attorney's conference room with Lee and a guy named Shields from the AG's office. Bill gets right to it, asking who tattled on them. Shields says that the First Lady's office either doesn't know or isn't telling. Like Lee, Shields advises Bill to let it go. He says the Attorney General doesn't want to open a can of Henrickson worms, what with their hands being full over Orlean Abbot and all. Shields admits that he's got polygamy in his family history, "like half the state," but that doesn't mean he approves. Bill just asks for the bottom line. "It's been an embarrassment for everybody," Shields says. "But you've paid your taxes. Just keep your nose clean, keep your hands off underage girls, don't commit welfare fraud, and we have no beef with you." Bill is not exactly grateful for Shields's stereotype-studded magnanimity, but he keeps cool. "You can judge me all you like...I just want to live peacefully with my family." "Then drop it," Shields repeats.

Bill drives out to the country and looks out over the mountains, the Book of Mormon in his hand and the Lincoln biography Team of Rivals sitting on his briefcase in the shotgun seat. Bill sets Mormon on the dash and clasps his hands on the steering wheel to pray. But the words don't come.

At least not until he's in Don's house, kneeling on the floor of Don's cavernous living room with Don's prayer group (which includes Jason and, today, Ben). It looks like he decided to accept Don's invitation after all. Bill says he believes in plural marriage, and he has accepted the challenge. "I believe it is my duty to keep my family together on this earth," he says, "and I pray for the guidance to do that. To hold my family together." Don smiles in satisfaction.

With the prayer meeting over, Bill heads upstairs to where the wives are -- including his own, he suspects. Don's first wife, Peg, intercepts him at the top of the stairs and tells him, "She says she can't see you." But she points at a closed bedroom door before rejoining her sister-wives in folding linens. Bill knocks on the door and tells Barb to open up, saying this has "gone on long enough. You can't keep blaming me for what you signed on for." Aw, how can Barb possibly resist such a sweet-talker? Without opening the door, Barb says she did it for Bill. Bill agrees, but says he's stopped blaming himself for it. This doesn't seem to impress Barb as much as Bill might have hoped. He petulantly asks her what she wants. Barb doesn't know, and she wonders if it hasn't all been a mistake. Bill protests that the entire litany of family members is not a mistake. "Don't you lecture me on my family," Barb says through the closed door. "I sacrificed our love for the love I have for this family." To be fair, that wasn't so much a lecture -- it only sounded like one because it was a really long list of names. Bill looks behind him, where Don is now standing with his wives. He closes the door so Bill and Barb can have a little privacy. A bit late now, with the scene over and all.

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Big Love

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