Big Love
Pilot

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Not tonight, honey, I have exposition

Bill and Don are busy signing all the papers to begin the process of franchising all their stores. Bill's phone rings Ah, it's Melora Walters, playing the a ramblin' wreck of a woman role. Quelle surprise. Here, she's Bill's daffy sister-in-law Wanda, and she's calling to let him know his father's taken sick, his mother's acting crazy, and his brother Joey's about as useful as tits on a boar. Good to see that she married someone she had a lot in common with. Bill is all, "All I want to do is sign my papers and check out the view of the Tabernacle from the window."

Back at Nicki's house of commerce, she's locked in her bedroom, listening to some saleslady on the phone carry on about curtains. Then her card fails to go through. Nicki rattles off another card number, and one $3696 charge later, some new curtains and liners are hers. Nicki seems a little taken aback by the amount, and gasps, "Perfect." When the call ends, she breaks down into tears. What was especially interesting about this scene: she's not in her usual Just Settled The Prairie Garb, but is in a bathrobe with her hair down. Semioticians, that's your cue!

And now, Bill uses the power of the internet to deal with his impotence. Amazingly, none of the hits on Google start with "Take a night off from servicing your harem, hoss."

While Bill showers later, Barb's in bed watching a TV-news puff piece about the new store and how it's bringing 80 new jobs to the Wasatch Valley. Bill shows up for bed in pajamas, which seems like a huge cue that he's not up for anything, but Barb's oblivious. She's putting the moves on him as he makes small talk over the house across the street selling, but that comes to an end the minute he says, "Barb, I want you to sign your check over to me when it comes in, so I can put it in the family account. Just this once. We all need to pull together. Things will be better once the new store opens."

Well. That kills the mood. Then Bill plays dumb with, "What? Why are you looking at me like that?" Barb tells him she resents it when he tells her what to do, as opposed to asking. They have what sounds like a familiar squabble, then Barb really gets to what's bothering her: "Nicki put you up to this." Bill claims that Nicki has nothing to do with this and his pants promptly burst into flame. (It's the most action they've gotten all week.)

In the middle of the night, Joey calls from the compound: their dad's really sick and their mom's in denial. Bill's long, skeptical pause speaks volumes, and Joey says resignedly, "Look. Bill, I wouldn't have called if it wasn't bad. This wasn't how I wanted to get back in touch with you." The upshot: their father Frank is throwing up blood, drifting in and out of unconsciousness, and enduring a lot of pain. He needs to see a doctor, and since their mother only listens to Bill, Joey was hoping Bill would come out and persuade her to let them take Frank to the hospital. There's another long pause. On one end of the phone, Barb's watching him with a worried expression. On the other, Joey's slumped in defeat. Bill finally says he'll be at the compound sometime after ten the next morning.

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Big Love

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