The Henricksons' retreat from society continues apace: Bill turns down a lucrative social and networking opportunity with a local businessmen's group because it would be too high-profile. Barb tells him they have to live out of the public eye -- yet that doesn't really deter her from pursuing this mother-of-the-year thing, even after learning that she'd be giving speeches and whatnot as one of Utah's preeminent role models. So in their twisted little calculus: Bill networking in a way that could boost his business? Bad. Barb misrepresenting her family life to win an award? Good.
The wives also engage in a lot of sneaky nonsense when it's time to sign the wills. Nobody wants their kids going to Nicki because nobody wants to think about their kids at Juniper Creek. Nicki doesn't want the kids going anywhere but Juniper Creek. And nobody thinks letting Margene act as anyone's legal guardian is a good idea. It's okay to knock her up -- yes, Margene's pregnant again -- but having her responsible for five other kids is apparently unimaginable.
Then again, the way things are going, Sarah may well shake the dust of Henricksons' homes plus off her feet and never look back. After being told that she'll have to hang with Rhonda while the latest would-be Mrs. Roman Grant competes in a high school drama competition, Sarah's forced to listen to her conscience when Heather points out that there is nothing stopping the two of them from offering Rhonda a way off the compound. Sarah points out that she's being asked to choose between doing nothing for Rhonda and putting her family at risk while she helps the little ankle-kicker. Heather's all, "Yeah, well, nobody said having a conscience is easy." Sarah's clearly torn, and can't bring it up at home.
Finally, Bill maneuvers his way onto the Juniper Creek council with the kind of move Roman might have used once upon a time.
Previously on Party of Eleven…the "Free Margene!" campaign ground to a halt, as she let Bill baptize her; Barb's sister Cindy got the Hendrickson's thinking about who gets the kids in the event of an accident; Bill found a stooge on the UEB Council, thus laying the groundwork for his eventual coup attempt; Ben lost his virginity.
The episode begins noisily. It also begins with no fence around the pool, for those of you keeping track at home. Nicki marches the boys out and through the patch of sandy soil that Margene's working with a rototiller. In classic Margene format, she is doing major yard work while wearing a miniskirt.
Nicki bursts into Barb's kitchen and huffs, "Did you hear her? Rototilling at six o'clock on the morning? It sounds like a giant cavity being filled in the back yard." I'd be cranky too…if I hadn't turned into a house-owning pod person who is all, "Hmmm. I wonder if I could get away with doing that? The back yard needs it." Barb mockingly says, "When she's finished with her section, she wants to do ours?" Woman, someone is volunteering to do your landscaping! Take them up on it!
Margene comes in and brightly says, "Okay! That much closer to grass. No more dirt in diapers." Instead of, oh, praising her initiative, Barb carps about Margene needing to take off her clogs. Margene kicks them off and comes in, and Barb kicks off their meeting. The family lawyer, Lee Hatcher, sent over the new wills to sign. Since the will Barb has now gives Cindy custody, signing the new documents is especially important insofar as she is concerned.
Barb explains, "It's a 'my death plus two' formula: if one of us dies, the kids go to Bill. If one of us dies and Bill dies, the kids follow the rule and go to second wife, with the exception of second wife -- meaning you, Nicki -- if you die and Bill dies, you can't give you kids to second wife because that's you and you're already dead, so your kids go on to the first wife, me. Got it?" Barely. Can I have a chart please? What if you and Bill are dead because second wife did the killing? Does she still get custody then? Margene is still in the moony infatuation that beset her on the day of Teeny's baptism, so she smiles beatifically and says, "If anything happens, I know the kids will be taken care of."
And then Barb gives a little State of the Marriage talk: "This is a big day for us. We've come a long way together -- I am so proud of us." Nicki smiles, "Not that many people are this lucky." She's right. Most of us are luckier: not only are we not facing the dread prospect of seeing Bill Paxton's naked ass in the afterlife, we don't have three times the spousal headaches like the Henricksons do.