Nicki snots that she had to see her father and flounces off, and Barb follows her to ask why she could fit in some shopping, but not, say, "your responsibilities here." Nicki disclaims all responsibility, and attempts to blame Margene for screwing everything up. Barbara hisses, "Margene doesn't know how to take care of these little things." Well, she's not likely to learn if nobody shows her, but I suppose that's beside the point. Margene barrels into the argument sideways with her issues about being referred to as the babysitter, because apparently she never got the memo that THEY LIE TO THE NEIGHBORS.
Anyway, the fight gets progressively nastier. After Nicki huffs that she doesn't answer to Barb and she has responsibilities in the world, Barb seizes the opportunity to snap that the neighbors are asking questions, no doubt because of that fiasco of a birthday party. She utters a sentence that Margene would do well to note: "It draws attention to us at a time when discretion is the most important value that we hold." And then she sets Nicki off: "From here on out, no one comes to these houses in prairie outfits." All fashionistas watching applaud enthusiastically. Nicki decides that so long as wives are issuing edicts, hers will be that Barb doesn't get to take jobs on a whim. Although her issue is ostensibly about taking on Barb's chores, I totally think she's lashing out because she's jealous of Barb's ability to earn a living and gain some degree of financial independence. Margene goes perpendicular to the conversation (again) and says her rule is that Nicki can't have sex with Bill in Margene's bed. Blessed are the non sequiturs, for they shall throw a nasty, focused discussion into a total uproar. Barb tries to resolve things and goes to take everyone's hands, but Nicki storms off. It is a little heartbreaking that the one person who's lost the most with this whole my-husband-has-three-wives business is the one who's trying her darnedest to make it work.
Bill's prepping for the hunting trip in Barb's kitchen when Ben comes down and drops the ring on the counter, saying, "Tell him I don't mind, Dad." Bill says, "You're a good boy, Benny. Never kick a man when he's down." In that spirit, he tells the still-steaming Barb, "I cannot bear what Roman's doing to Joey." I am enough of a jerk to think that Roman's not doing anything to Joey without Joey's consent on some level. Barb is apparently with me; she turns around and interrupts Bill's nascent tirade with, "Nothing you can do about it. At the end of the day everyone has to live with their own decisions." Hands up, all you who think Barb is also reminding herself. Bill tries to rant some more, but Barb is just not having it.