This entire episode is like an argument against polygamy. "Oh, it's so nice having sister-wives to share the housekeeping burdens!" Tell that to poor Teeny, who ends up completely embarrassed at a pageant because Barb passes off the costume-finishing to Nicki, who passes it off to Margene, who (of course) screws it up. "Oh, it's so nice having real companionship with your sister-wives." Tell that toâ¦well, any of the sister-wives. They spend the entire episode squabbling over everything from Barb working to Nicki's hateful behavior to Margene's hurt feelings over Barb identifying her as "the babysitter" to nosy neighbors. "Oh, it's so nice being taken care of in a family." Tell that to Nicki, who is now beginning to realize she's on the hook for $58,000 in credit-card debt because, legally speaking, she's a single mother. Or tell that to Margene, who gets stuck with four kids and a broken security alarm. And the final argument against polygamy here -- "And you know the man's got non-stop sex" -- is also punctured as we see Bill bounced from house to house, eventually ending up on the couch. After this episode, a quiet life of religious celibacy has never seemed so appealing.
Previously on Party of Five...and Forty: Nicki threw a grim birthday party for Wayne, then threw a tantrum about how she doesn't fit in with either family. She did, however, succeed in uniting the Henricksons and Juniper Creekers in mutual contempt for her.
When we begin this episode, Bill is driving home after what must have been a long day at work, singing softly along to the oldies on the radio. He pulls up in front of Barb's house; walks in and keys in a security code; walks out the back door to the yard and keys in the house alarm's activation code; heads over to Margene's and keys in the security code for her door; heads upstairs, undresses, and gets ready for bed (lunar forecast: full moon obscured by cloud cover, i.e. an old pair of tighty-whiteys); hops under the covers; and gets told by a sleepy Margene that he's actually supposed to be at Nicki's tonight.
Cut to the undressed Bill keying in the entry code for Nicki's house, heading into the bedroom...and getting greeted with "What are you doing here?" It turns out that Bill missed the Post-It Nicki left telling him that she traded nights with Barb. Then she adds pleadingly, "Will you get me the heating pad and the Midol before you go?" Bill's face slides from murderous rage to gallows humor in the time it takes him to sigh.
The whimsical music continues, and we see Bill eagerly scamper into Barb's bedroom, throw back the covers...and behold Teeny passed out in his spot. Bill sighs, shakes his head, then trundles downstairs to sack out on the couch. Oh, the situational comedy. How funny that a man who shares three beds is kicked out of all three.
So Bill sits on the couch, chugging milk and watching an old black-and-white cops-and-robbers movie on television. There really are few things sadder than being awake when you don't want to be in the wee small hours of the morning; even the television seems to be in on the conspiracy to make you feel out of step with the rhythm that runs the rest of the world. Bill eventually stretches out on the couch, and as the cool light from the TV bathes him in its ghostly glow, he twitches, chased in dreams by something that sounds like claws tapping on a hard surface.
By contrast, Ben is resting pretty upstairs. Except for that line of drool running down his cheek, that is. Sarah sticks her head in the door to tell him to get a move on, and when she leaves, Ben notices that the Nocturnal Emissions Fairy has left him a present between the sheets.