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September 5, 2015

Big Love: Vision Thing

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Jul 10th 2007 10:52AM

Big Love(S02E05) The Wild Thyme Cafe & Bakery.

That's where this installment of Big Love started. With Bill Henrickson's right-hand man and confidant telling him not to keep his frustrations about his personal life all bottled up inside.

Then, as if on cue, a waitress named Ana, in a frilly pink and black uniform descended upon Bill's table and offered a sympathetic ear to listen to his troubles. And she also offered him a sweet piece of pie.

Maybe it was the pie. Maybe it was her uniform. Or her accent. Or maybe, perhaps, Bill was just feeling a bit randy and wanted a distraction. But it was clear that, despite all of the current troubles with which the Henrickson family is coping with its three wives, Bill is in the market for a fourth wife.

As with much of what Bill has been doing this season, he seems to be acting on emotion, not necessarily rational thought, like his pal Don Embry said when he declined to invest in the gaming company. Instead of attending to the emotional wounds of his wives, he's out hunting for a fresh, new wife. Bill's ignoring Nicki, who is clearly devastated by being shunned by her family. Bill also seems to have forgotten that his relationship with Barb is on shaky ground, given that she left him for a brief period of time not so long ago. And then there's Margie, who's pregnant, young and naive and, despite her baptism into the Mormon faith last season, seems to be wavering about that decision.

But Bill's never sticks around nearly long enough to actually see any of his wives' problems. It's easier, I suppose, for him to simply plow ahead and pretend as though those messy, complicated needs don't exist. The blinders that Bill wears also permit him to say such incongruous things such as complaining that, when his and Nicki's son Wayne was missing, he couldn't canvass his own neighborhood and refer to Wayne as his son. And when Nicki is having a crisis of faith -- in her own, bigoted, anti-Catholic fashion -- about whether Wayne should remain in summer parochial school at a Catholic Church, all Bill cared about was the fact that, because the school was so far away from their town that he could actually introduce himself as Wayne's dad in public. In a poignant moment, Barb also chimed in in favor of Wayne remaining in the parochial school by saying to Nicki, "All I want is some place where you and Bill can be public together."

Throw in the fact that Margie had to tell her neighbor that she's an unmarried mom who's pregnant again because she's serving as a surrogate for someone else's baby, and the writers have been doing a fabulous job of helping viewers see the enormous difficulties families such as this endure in trying to continue their masquerade. They can't tell the truth. The children of wives other than the first wife can't talk about who their dad is. Everyone lives in the shadows. And that's why it seems stunning from an outsider's perspective that, on the one hand, Bill complains about not being able to be public about being Wayne's dad, while on the other hand, he's trolling for wife number four.

This deftly written episode also offered a stark comparison to Bill's actions in his brother Joey, who's usually portrayed as weak. In a series of clandestine conversations with Barb, he told her he objected to the notion of taking on a second wife, even though his mother Lois (who had Wanda committed) was pushing a woman on him. "I think any man who lives The Principle is selfish," Joey told Barb in explaining why he wouldn't marry again.

Watching Margie, with her car full of kids, happen upon Bill flirting with Ana in the cafe, was heartbreaking. (One can only imagine how Barb looked and felt when she learned of Bill's courting of Nicki.) But in the final scene, Margie seemed happy, sitting at that same counter at the Wild Thyme Cafe & Bakery while Ana served her a piece of pie. Was it the prospect of no longer being the lowest ranking wife that brought a smile to Margie's lips?

Why was Margie smiling when Ana served her pie?
She was psyched about the prospect of no longer being at the bottom of the sister-wife totem pole.173 (66.0%)
She was craving pie.43 (16.4%)
46 (17.6%)

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agreed Dr. J!! WHERE is the latest update?! after everything that happened this past monday night I rushed to tvsquad to rehash with some fellow fans... it's now wednesday and still nothing!

July 18 2007 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. J

Why are we having to wait so long for the blog to be posted? It is now almost 24 hours since the last episode aired, and no blog. These last couple of weeks the blog has been tepid--a description of part of the episode with not much commentary. Bring back the formerly Mormon reviewer who got her blog out promptly!

July 17 2007 at 9:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was out of town on vacation for the last three weeks, so yesterday (Monday) I watched the last two episodes on tape before the new one. Wow.

There is so much going on.

One really neat thing, not really relating to the story. Wild Thyme Cafe is about a half mile from my house. I eat there fairly often. It was really fun seeing it being such a big part of the show. LOTS of the show is filmed around here (east Los Angeles, South Pasadena, Pasadena). Wild Thyme is on Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena. They *do* have good pies.


July 17 2007 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally agree with the comment that Joey seemed to have a weird thing going with Barb, but I really think that it is because he has NOBODY on his side. I was also strangely surprised to see Joey tell off Bill, which made me happy because everything he said was true. Bill likes to keep people in an inferior position, whether it be telling Barb that she must listen to his rules, forcing his brother Joey onto the UEB board or pushing around that poor guy who he works with. They are supposed to be best friends as well as business partners and I don’t think Bill has listened to his opinion once.

What is the deal with Heather? She is so judgemental, and though she is a good friend she is very annoying. Rhonda should not be sneaking around there she is nothing but trouble, especially because nicky promised her dad that she didn’t know where the girl was. Did anyone else feel bad for Nickki a little bit this episode? I mean I know she is crazy with the religious stuff but the poor girl has just been cut off by her family, and is trying to fit in. The scene where she was all dressed up and trying to talk to the moms was sad….I thought at least!

Loving Margene! She is so funny and cute…..she is a little naïve but oh well its working!! Keep her the way she is!!

I think that the slot machines are absolutely going to fail, especially at the end when the uncle was going into his own personal money…clearly something that they should not have done…

By the way did anyone notice Nickki had to use a calculator for 1 + 1?

July 12 2007 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am not sure how to reply to a comment, I guess you just post another comment??
Anyway, I could NOT agree more with everything that you said! I am really wondering what the deal with Joey is...It almost felt like he has a strange thing for barb.
I almost thought that the thing with lois and eddie (name?) might be a scam...she made a comment about how much money they would make if the actually opened the doors...what was that all about? did anyone catch that?
I just can not wait till next week, i am really looking forward to where the thing with the waitress is going!

July 11 2007 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree, the review kinda stalled on the 'Bill Sucks' slant again. A lot of stuff went down. Sure, Bill is flawed this season, but that is hardly the whole story.

Who knew? Margene's the 'normal one' this season. I am impressed that they have made this character so complete this season. Goodbye immature third wife, hello the only one that seems to care about the family.

Lois committed Wanda! That scene where she told Joey was hilarious! I wonder what the can money is all about? I was wondering why she asked that guy for a couple cans of peas last episode. I assumed she was anti-polygamy, but now she is trying to get Joey to take on #2.

Also, what are Joey's intentions with Barb? Did you all feel that? Awkward...

SPOILER: The previews of Margene and the waitress seemed interesting. I wonder what that's all about.

July 11 2007 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another great episode! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show! Another night full of storylines, which leave me wanted more and more. Seems like things are getting WAY complicated in the world of big love and I agree that we are about to have a OH MY GOD moment. CAN NOT wait till it happens!!!
I am surprised that the review didn't touch on any of the other things going on?

July 10 2007 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dominic a

Does any one else think that the gambling machines are a scam? The show needs a big oh sh*t and i believe that this is it.

July 10 2007 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Barb was in favor of Bill taking Nicki as wife #2, because at the time she was being treated for breast cancer. She wanted to make sure her family was taken care of. (at least that's what I remember from season 1)

July 10 2007 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Margie always tries to give people a chance so maybe she is just feeling Ana out to see what she is like. She always goes for the benefit of the doubt before getting upset.

No mention of Rhonda? She is getting more and more creepy (almost Alby style) as the weeks go on. Claiming that she was almost raped would have been the last straw for me. I would have let her go back to the compound at that point.

As always, a good episode. I hate having to wait a week for the next one.

July 10 2007 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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