Big Love
Home Invasion

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | Grade It Now!
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The Donner Party worked out better

In fact, Barbara is so creeped out, it's escaped her attention that she's just sent Sarah right into the path of the old man with the little habit of marrying teenagers. Roman neatly intercepts Sarah, and she introduces herself. We see Rhonda's head whip around. Roman coos, "Ohhh. You're all grown up now." Rhonda is over there like a shot. Sarah quickly realizes that Rhonda's now settled down with Roman, and she looked visibly spooked. You would too: that whole moment is like that bastard offspring of It's a Wonderful Life and Under the Banner of Heaven.

Barb's fussing around Wayne's big, pioneer-themed sheet cake. The boy himself comes over, dressed for a board meeting. He tugs on Barb's skirt and asks plaintively, "Barbara? Did Mother invite any children to my party?" Barb flounders for a good answer. She walks off, and Wayne settles down to ponder his cake, or perhaps Initech's worrisome three-quarter slump in domestic revenues. We then see Barb saying sotto voce to Nicki, "Bill's under so much pressure…" and Nicki says, "He's my father."

As Barb flounces off, Wanda wafts in. Nicki greets her warmly. Adaleen comes in and announces her general need for baking soda, as her stomach's a bit sour. So is Lois's face -- you think the baking soda will work on that too? Adaleen brightly tells Bill, "I would never, ever tell you how to run your own affairs. She's your wife. But she's always needed a firm hand. She takes well to a good smacking." Adaleen turns and expansively gestures to Barb, saying, "You too, Barb. Just give her a nice little swat." If Adaleen is advocating intra-spousal smackdowns, I can't wait to see how she deals with Rhonda later. Because that's a pay-per-view match: Rhonda has the advantage of youth and resilience, but Adaleen seems like she'd fight dirty. Adaleen says cheerfully, "That's all she'll listen to sometimes."

Cut to a sad little scene: Wayne riding the pony in the backyard, obviously not very happy at all, while Nicki runs along beside him and says desperately, "Wayne, isn't this fun? Wayne, isn't this fun?"

Roman's watching this from a doorway. Over by the swing set, Barb looks at him, then turns back to Joey and says, "I can't stand that Bill had to ask him for help because of me." Joey says, "Thank God he did. You guys have done real well, Barb." Barb replies, for what seems like the umpteenth time, "Bill's worked hard." Joey gets up off the swing and comes over to tell her, "He couldn't have done it without you." I personally think Joey may be carrying a bit of a torch -- a tea light, really -- for his sister-in-law. Joey says, "You've sacrificed a lot." Barb looks extremely pleased that someone has finally noticed. Then Ben comes over. After some desultory small talk about sports, Joe whips out his old Superbowl ring and tells Ben, "I always kind of wanted you to have it, so…" He trails off before delivering one of the saddest lines of the night: "There's still a couple of diamonds left in there." That Joey's not hanging on to this for his own kids speaks volumes about how he sees Bill and Barb's family relative to the one he's starting with Wanda. Ben gushes, "I love it! Thank you so much!" and when Joe steps forward to hug him, it seems like he's trying to get through to Bill or Barb as well.

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Big Love

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