Big Love
Damage Control

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Cross Words

Barb drives Sarah home, and just the effort of this little outing seems to have left her drained. Sarah offers that she doesn't think everybody knows, or even cares, about their family's little secret. They're about to get out of the car, but Barb's on what counts as a roll for her these days, and she wants to have a little talk first. She says how much it hurts when she remembers Sarah's face at the ceremony. Hey, it could have been worse: the other wives and the rest of the kids could have been there as well. Sarah blows it off: "I already get called 'pliggy' every day at work." Ouch. She gives a rueful little smile that does little to lighten the moment. Barb insists that she doesn't want her own choices to ruin Sarah's life. She starts going on about Sarah's options, and college, and the future, and blah blah blah let's fix this right now so I can have one thing under control again, but Sarah tells Barb not to worry about her. "You need to do what you need to do." Barb nods determinedly, taking those words to heart. But not as much as she will later.

Margene is doing the Home Plus shopping when she spots a familiar figure pushing a shopping cart with two blond moppets in tow. And speaking of which, where are Margene's kids? Margene catches up with Nicki and asks what she's doing. They argue about who said she would do the shopping, and Margene's irritated that Nicki doesn't think Margene can do anything. As always, Nicki's several planes above whatever level Margene is operating at, and even goes so far as to misquote Yeats at her: "There has to be a strong center or things will not hold." She says she's doing this for the whole family. Margene is just about up to here with Nicki's latest flavor of power-tripping bullshit, but the discussion is put off for now when they spot a common enemy across the store: Wendy. Nicki looks like she wants to go right over there and commence hair-pulling, but Margene nervously yet insistently shepherds Nicki along, just as Wendy happens to glance up in their direction. Major scene avoided, for now.

Upstairs in his office, Bill's on the phone with Barb, saying he talked to Carl and Pam that morning about dinner plans. He says it's because he doesn't like the way the Martins have been looking at them, but Barb's not up for entertaining guests right now, least of all for such a nebulous reason. Bill says it's the only way they can find out who told on them. "And if they know everything, then what, are we moving again?" Barb snaps into the phone. Everyone in the room with Barb -- Margene, Sarah, Nicki's kids -- suddenly starts paying a lot more attention to Barb's side of the call. Margene's kids? Still nowhere to be seen. I wish my toddler would nap that long once in a while. Barb asks Bill if she has a choice, and Bill assures her that she does. "But it would sure please me if you just said, 'on it.'" Lots of things would sure please me, too, Bill, but that doesn't mean they're going to happen. And Barb as much as says she's not up to it, even when Bill tries to flatter her by pointing out that she's the charmer in the family. "I can't," Barb finally says, and she hangs up without saying goodbye. She goes back to her crossword puzzle, attending to it like it's a much-needed asthma inhaler.

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Big Love

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