Big Love
The Baptism

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My Sister, My Enemy

Cindy's got loud, sappy new country music. She's singing along to it while she waits in the car for the kids, and while I am a big proponent of car-singing, I am no fan of car-singing-as-social-weapon. Neither is Nicki, who marches over to car and waves hello. She then dragoons Cindy into coming on into the place. As they walk through the place, Nicki's monologue shows exactly how much of her father's daughter she really is:

Wayne! Raymond! Stop jumping on the couch and say hello to your aunt Cindy… You should really come around more often. Family's so important -- don't you agree? It must be so hard to leave your kids when you travel…I can't imagine not raising my own kids. This is the backyard. Look how big! You should bring your boy out. He and Ben can toss a football -- without the fences, it's almost [a] regulation field. So it goes me, Margene and Barb at the far end. Three sister-wives in a row. No fences -- kind of a metaphor for sisterhood. Working together, bringing down the walls, acceptance, love. My goodness! [chuckle] Stop me, I sound like a greeting card. You know what I mean…well, of course you do? You're her real sister, right? Obviously.

Cindy can only stand there, trying to stay upright through Hurricane Nicki. It's going to be hard -- Nicki just pushed another one of her buttons by mentioning Margene with "number three is always such a dear blessing." Cindy flees to Barb's place, just in time to greet the kids. Nicki says, "Hi, Barb!" with an expression that suggests Cindy was merely a warm-up act for the main event. The two head into the living room, where Nicki correctly calls Barb on her lying-by-omission, then adds, "She'll try to put things in their heads! About us! If you think for one second I will sit idly by and let that woman walk all over you, and us, and them you're wrong!" Barb looks defeated, and it doesn't help that Sarah comes in and, having correctly sussed out the real reason for Aunt Cindy's visit in ten seconds, asks petulantly, "Do we really have to go?" Answer: yes. Cindy insists that she'll drive the kids both ways, lest the sight of Barb's polygamist station wagon send their mother into shrieking fits or something.

After Cindy takes off, Nicki chases Barb through the house, demanding that she assert herself. It's all very ironic, in that trying-too-hard, not-quite-certain-if-there-really-is-anything-ironic-about-flies-in-chardonnay sort of way.

Meanwhile, Margene has discovered that Goo-B-Gone is not what you'd call a friend to fragile fabrics. The slow meltdown begins. She heads upstairs, digs out a cigarette lighter from its hiding spot in the medicine cabinet, and lights up in the bathroom. She tells Aaron, "We're going to move away. We can't live here anymore. We're going to go far, far away. To a place where there's no neighborhood watches." Yes, Margene! Run! Run! Get out while you can! We'll explain the difference between ill-thought-out marital arrangements and the neighborhood watch later.

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Big Love




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