So it looks like Nicki's big talk about "bringing another soul into the family" was just a ploy to stop Bill and Barb from meeting clandestinely -- we learn this week that she's secretly popping her birth control pills. She has not yet learned that her announcement didn't put a dent in Bill and Barb's extracurriculars. Neither has the condemnation of Peg Embry, who is all, "I'd hate it if my spouse was having an affair with one of my co-wives." No word on how Peg will feel if she learns that her co-wives are having an affair with each other.
Also on the Henrickson's homes plus front: although it is quite awesome that Nicki has the chops to replace a trash disposal, it is not at all awesome that she can't use a family discount at Henrickson's Home Plus, or that her credit card gets confiscated. Barb has to bail her out, an experience that illustrates the yawning gulf of privilege between the first wife and the second.
That chasm is also illuminated on the compound. The decrepit Roberta dies, leaving Frank short a first wife. Just to spite Lois, he tells her he's reneging on a promise to make her first wife, and spends Roberta's funeral making sure Lois is clear on her second-class status even among his wives. However, Bill soon buys a guarantee from Frank that he'll make things with Lois nice and legal. Since Frank spends the entire episode being an appalling dickhead to everyone, when Lois casually says he's not long for this world, it's hard to get exercised over the possibility that she may kill him.
Previously on Once and Again and Again and Again: sensing she was in danger of experiencing authentic feelings of concern for another human being, Nicki hastily schemed to make the Alby confrontation All About Her.
When we begin the episode, Nicki and Bill are in the middle of having sex. Nicki's idea of dirty talk is, "Give me a boy! Give me a boy!" That's a lot of pressure to put on someone mid-orgasm. Bill finishes, gives her a peck on the cheek, then bounces out of bed. So much for basking in the afterglow. And going by the look on Nicki's face, Bill's hasty exit is pretty much consistent with the rest of the Henrickson Baby-Makin' Process.
She asks what Bill thinks of the name "Newell," and I don't care what Bill thinks, it makes me think of banisters. Nicki commands Bill to think of boy names, then adds, "We should name him after you." Bill hastily says he'll come up with a list.
In walks Margene. She's startled to see Bill. He's taking it all in stride. Margene pops out again, then shouts to Nicki through the closed door that her sink disposal is broken again. Nicki rolls her eyes and asks, "What do you put down there?" and I realize that the only valley Nicki grew up in was in the mountains of Utah, but danged if she doesn't sound like a San Fernando kind of gal with that delivery. Through the door, Margene says, "Nothing?" Nicki mouths to an amused Bill, "Why do I always have to fix everything?" Because you can? And because the family is squandering that gift by not letting you go out and teach how-to workshops at Henrickson's Home Plus? Bill tells Margene that Ben will take a look at it, then instructs her not to call a plumber.
Margene eavesdrops as Bill makes his departure. Nicki tells him, "Thanks for coming by on such short notice," and Bill says, "Nicki! You don't have to thank me." But whatever warm fuzzies Nicki gets from that evaporate the minute Bill steps out the door, since Bill quickly begins sucking face with Margene. It's nice to know that Margene's gotten over the whole "You had sex in my bedroom!" mentality; otherwise, that might have cut into her enjoyment of necking in Nicki's hall.
We then see Lois applying lipstick in her car; she's using the rearview mirror to make sure it's on straight. Then she picks up a plate of cornbread and heads inside a meeting hall. You can tell it's packed with Juniper Creekers because all the women are dressed in long, dowdy jumpers and many of them are pregnant. Lois comes in and the crowd parts like the Red Sea. Wonder of wonders, she's wearing a long skirt. However, compared to everyone else, she's looking quite chic -- olive military-style blazer, black turtleneck, and pumps. She walks over to where Frank is sitting with his other three wives -- really, they're just an indistinguishable mass of calico and braids -- and Frank quips, "Look who it is. The prodigal wife returns. Come back to take your rightful place with us, did you?" Lois says dryly, "There's nothing sadder than the passing of a beloved sister-wife, is there?" All the other wives seem inexplicably terrified by this. Frank asks what Lois has. She rolls her eyes and says, "Cornbread." As she stalks off to put it on the table, Frank calls out, "Sweet? Savory? Or strychnine?" The wife to his right, Nita, makes a mock-shocked face and smacks his hand, but she so obviously loves that he's insulting Lois. That lady rolls her eyes, then walks over and says with obviously false calm, "May we converse in private?" "There ought not be secrets between sister-wives," Nita clucks. Lois blows her off and glares at Frank. He then orders his three other wives to fix him a plate.