Roman cuts Alby loose from bothering Bill, and sends him on a mysterious "mission" involving a Bible, some rope and duct tape, and a great big knife. It does not, presumably, include picking up a total hottie hustler at a gas station, but Alby wings that part of the assignment. He takes the dude to his motel room and comes pretty close to hooking up with the guy -- not killing him dead as you might assume -- before giving himself a grand mal seizure and scaring the kid off. He then breaks into Home Plus apparently of his own volition, but Bill has to let him go, obviously, because Roman and poor Alby have Bill over the barrel called "plural marriage," and Bill's lost the leverage of the evil land deals as well: Roman somehow used the fish-farm scheme to con ex-NFL brother Joey into being the fall guy. Meanwhile, Nicki breaks down in front of Barb after Don's wife puts her on the trail of Nicki's debt, and admits she's in over her head to the tune of $58,000.
Besides keeping this secret, for now, Barb's also got to deal with the end of her affair with Bill, realizing that as things spiral further and further out of control, they're just adding to the chaos. Margene and Sarah continue to break the veil of secrecy: Margene by heading out to an LDS service with Neighbor Pam's family; and Sarah by bringing a lovably rubbernecking Heather to family dinner. Nicki is harassed by LDS missionaries and is convinced they were sent by Neighbor Pam, who gets a little pushier every single week. They somehow figure out she's a polygamist and wash their hands of her, further fueling her cracked-out rage. Something bizarre and penis-related happens with Ben, as usual: this week it involves a carload of repressed seminarians touching each other's erections and attempting to drive with them, resulting in a tiny accident and Ben at least recognizing the pervasive homosexual "vibe" in most of his storylines. And to wrap up, the entire clan still on Roman's property -- Bill's dad, Lois, Joey and Wanda, everybody -- are violently evicted from their property, ending up wagons circled at a crappy motel. All of them!
You should know that this is my favorite television show. I'm emotionally dependent on this show until Weeds comes back. Thanks to Sobell for letting me sub in. We open in Margene's house, watching Bill sleep in her bed, on his back, snoring. She stares and stares, her eyes eventually bugging out, and she eventually just flops back, talking about how they could go to this movie theatre that has "the big chairs that rock back and forth," how it's more expensive, but it's worth it, and they serve salads. She's very fidgety. It's a strong beginning, because while you generally see Margene in a vulnerable light, you don't often see her coming off like an actual teenager. I thought she had some creepy movie show sex in mind for a second, that's how out of the blue this is. Isn't that sad? I guess it's going to be one of those episodes. I love this show! They're all one of "those episodes." It's only in hindsight that we'll see how important this episode is, in terms of the season as a whole, but it's pretty powerful nonetheless.
Barb does her mascara using the reflection in her toaster, and Margene comes around looking for diapers, noting how pretty she looks. That's a danger sign for an affair: looking good. Because usually, Jeanne Tripplehorn's so unattractive and scary looking. Barb tells Margene that she used the shampoo sample from the newspaper. (Note: Don't ever do that. People put razor blades in those. Or something.) Teeny comes in screeching as usual, this time at Sarah, about how she can't find her jacket, which is terribly important because it's "Blue Day." Sarah lets her in on the little secret that there's no such thing, but it's Teeny, you can't figure her out. Margene crawls around on the floor changing a baby's diaper. (I cannot keep any of the kids apart. I always assume they're Nicki's, no matter who's got them. This is a policy which, I'm sorry to say, generally works out to be correct, because Nicki is an almost complete and total...darn fool. Sobell's right -- it feels weird to curse in a Big Love recap.) She asks Sarah if she'd like to go to the mall after school, as Teeny prays for divine aid to find her stupid jacket (God's like, "Trust me, you don't want it"), but Sarah's got work. Margene's quiet and just sits in the middle of the kitchen floor like a bump, emitting disappointment like radioactivity, as usual.
Nicki brings in Barb's juicer, which was on the blink thanks to its on/off switch. I can't hate Nicki because of stuff like that. I love that she knows machines, and real stuff, and that she's the Edmund and just wants nice food and clothes and to consume everything in the world. For all her dysfunction, she's closer to a lot of us, I think, than anyone else in the family. Eyes focused on the ground, measuring success by all the wrong rulers -- but she can still scare the hell out of Alby and fix your disposal, and that's cool. I think if she ever grows up, she'll be the coolest, because as even-tempered and beautiful as Barb's spirit is, I do believe that Nicki's the strong one. The smartest people are generally the craziest, because they tell the best lies to themselves. Point: Nicki tells Barb that she looks nice, "for a bunch of second graders," which she has to absorb and translate into a compliment before she can thank Nicki. Margene mumbles about the sample from the newspaper, and Nicki asks them if Bill's left for work yet. Barb runs around calling for Ben, who comes up from behind and scares her, and they have a cute moment. I love these frenzied morning scenes, because they're shot in enough storyline-combining tracking shots that you feel the craziness without feeling like the show's screwing with you or trying to overwhelm you with all the babies.