Big Love
Eviction

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Blame It On the Bossa Nova

Ben sits down near Teeny and tells Margene he can't go to the mall after school because he has practice. Sarah brings up seminary and calls them his "fellow brainwashes," to which he reacts poorly. Again. He doesn't really have a reason beyond "not liking it," and Sarah's cool, very subtle and quiet and snarky: "Good; you still have an opinion." Bill enters and kisses his wives, and everybody smiles at everybody else, but Barb and Bill a little bit more, because while her mouth says, "Want some orange juice?" her body's saying, "Our romancin' is sanctioned by both the state and our Heavenly Father. That's twice the sex!" He flirts back, and Nicki tells Barb she'll take Sarah and Ben to school, in order to facilitate getting Barb the heck out of the house and away from Bill, with no loop-around back-tracking. Everybody says goodbye and leaves her, basically, abruptly alone. Margene asks the baby, "Will you go to the mall with Mommy?" Even the baby is like, "I've got group therapy today, sorry."

Bill and Don meet with some marketing guys about re-branding Home Plus, and he tells them -- very slick, very cute, very put-together, very "next wave of interactive marketing" -- that the time frame is store three this year, and a fourth in Season Three. (By which time I believe Heather will be married to Don and knockin' boots with Peg, Joey will be the new head of the UEB, Ben and Alby will be gay-married and have strangulation sex all the time, Roman will have had a stroke and Bill will have to tend to him and change his diapers, and Wanda will be crazier than Lois and that's what you call a "conditioned response" to watching too much HBO.) Don tells them they are "working the numbers" aggressively, but of course he means Peg is. The main talker guy, cutie by the name of Paul, gets so, so Biz Dev on them, all about "you asked for fresh" and how they want to move from Bill as the cowboy-hatted "face of Home Plus" and move towards making Home Plus "the face of Utah." Why not just pick Sarah? Nobody could argue with making her the face of Utah.

Paul hands off to Grace Ann, the coolest-ever character on this show if you love people like this as much as I do. She speaks in staccato copy. "Gentlemen. Bill. Your market is dominated by the big boys: Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart. Not a friendly group, no sir, not the warm and fuzzies. But you do have a potential edge: you're homegrown...based here, in Salt Lake. Bill says something Bill-like about how we at Home Plus try to "support our own," playing into her semiotics eugenic mind-trip perfectly. "Exactly. Message: 'You're one of us, they're not.' Now you need to let your customers know you're one of them. Nothing like feeling you belong. Paul?" Paul swoops in with two pictures of a blonde lady in a pink dress with a Peter Pan collar, Jell-O mold, I guess, just out of shot. Don's like, "Same woman?" And Grace Ann tells them to look closer. Paul points to the outline of her Temple garments in the same picture. "This is code," he says. "It says, 'I'm wearing my garments, I'm one of you.'" Bill looks askance at Grace Ann, and I thought at first it was because everybody's scared of scary old marketing semiotics, but I think really it's because: who better to understand the thin line of being in and out of a church, or a cult, or several of both. Poor Bill. "That's what Utah will see, even if they're not looking," says Paul. Grace Ann glossomarketingmemifies about "medium-saturation market-sensitive media campaign" to "brand Home Plus as Utah's family superstore." She describes using testimonials from Home Plus employees, "crammed with visual clues, subliminal. Home Plus, Family. Utah, Family. Family, Us. Home Plus, Us. Gentlemen?" Behind her, they unfurl a banner that says, "HOME PLUS IS US: Utah's Family Super Store." Don calls her a firecracker, which she totally is, and Don is overcome by their vision. They stare and smile. Don stares at the firecracker and wonders if she'd like to make out with his wives.

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Big Love

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