We then transition to Barb getting ready. She interrupts briefly to tell all the kids to be ready in five, then goes back to fretting about her face.
Teeny bolts up the stairs, absolutely adorable in a empire-waist yellow dress. As she goes, Bill's on the phone, saying, "That's great, Joey. Alby's still alive. There's been no retribution." No, but there may be an awkward scene or two at Wayne's sixth birthday party if it's a potluck and both sides of his family are there. Bill raps on the banister as he says, "We just might get out of this alive. If we're lucky, it'll work out okay." And if we're unlucky, we're in for a season two storyline wherein Nicki has to donate a kidney to Alby and the web of lies linking the Grants and Henricksons thickens.
Barb heads down and Bill showers her with compliments. She preens for him a little, then nervously hands him the tickets. Margene then comes in, looking a lot like Barb Junior in a poufy updo and a royal blue dress that adds 10 years to her age. Bill kisses her on the forehead as he tells her she's lovely. The doorbell rings and it's JoJo and Verna. They gush, "Hi! The baby-sitters have landed!" and Margene's face splits into this beautiful, radiant smile. Barb's confused: "Baby-sitters?" Margene asks Barb to close her eyes, and Barb looks back at the brides of Don -- who are also giggly with anticipation -- before complying. Margene scampers back into the kitchen, and brings out...Nicki, like we've never seen her before. She's wearing a beautiful lavender dress, very simple and very evocative of Diane Von Furstenberg's styles. Shockingly, it's got tank top-style straps, and her wrap isn't covering her shoulders. Even more shockingly, Nicki's hair is down. This is basically the prairie equivalent of going out in your underwear.
Nicki stops, looking both pleased at how nice she looks and somewhat abashed. For the second time this episode, Bill looks absolutely gobsmacked. I suspect that for him, Nicki's get-up is the equivalent of Barb or Margene going to a restaurant in a bikini. Margene tells Barb to open her eyes, and when she does, she is just floored.
We switch back to Margene and Nicki. Margene is positively glowing with how well this worked out, and Nicki is standing there trying to act like it's no big deal, while her shoulders -- hunched protectively -- broadcast just what this means to her. Barb is in tears, she's so moved, and when she goes to Nicki, the other woman hugs her without hesitation. These two have the most interesting relationship on the show. In a lot of ways, I think Nicki and Barb are more truly married to each other than they are to Bill. Sarah comes downstairs and checks out Nicki appreciatively. Bill mutely heads over there, and goes to hand Nicki her ticket.