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July 28, 2014

Big Love: Block Party (season premiere)

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 19th 2009 10:27AM
big love(S03E01) Big Love returned to HBO last night, the first new episode since 2007. To say that the show returned with a vengeance is an understatement. Big Love is one of the best dramas on TV. Imagine I, Claudius in the mountains of Utah, with a complicated series of plot that are mostly about marriage. Polygamy, that is. One husband; many wives.

Picking up some time after the last episode, the Hendricksons are intact and solid as a rock, despite past problems. Margene's had a baby girl and is happy as can be, Nicki is working at a job in the courthouse to repay her credit card debt, Barb is keeping it all together as the first wife.

Meanwhile, Bill's moving on with the electronic gaming business, while also contemplating adding Anna to his fold as wife the fourth wife. As his business partner tells him, "You'll break that filly." Yes, the many wives of Bill, the ladies in his stable.

That's all surface, though, because there's a lot more going on. Nicki's spying for her father. Roman Grant is behind bars thanks to Albie's betrayal, but there are those working for the Prophet still. Nicki's fear of being banished by Bill -- the ultimate punishment for a disgraced wife -- drives her. She'll return to Juniper Creek if Bill spurns her, and she needs Roman back in charge. Roman's reach also got to Albie, who was nearly murdered in a public restroom during a sexual tryst with a stranger. Albie was ready to blame Bill, but it was Roman's finger pulling that string.

Barb's keeping a secret, too. She hasn't told anyone that her cancer, which has been in remission for seven years, may be back. As the #1 wife, Barb acts for the greater good for the family in this life and eternity. She talks to Anna about becoming wife #4.

Margene is all for Anna joining the family, and Bill likes the idea, but Anna doesn't. She wants to be his other woman, a sexual outlet. Despite lofty ideals shared with Don about how to live the principles, Bill crosses the line by sleeping with Anna. Unbeknownst to Anna, that one night stand means Bill can't marry her.

The best scene was the block party. Bill insisted they all attend, despite fears that the all the neighbors (not just a couple) know about their polygamist lifestyle. Bill nearly spilled everything just as Barb and Margie discovered the neighbors were ticked off at them over Teenie's inappropriate dirty picture business.

From up on her roof, Nicki heard it all, so she saved the day by confessing -- giving testimony-- to the crowd. Looking like a cross between the Wicked Witch of the West and Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, Nicki not only diverted attention, she lied brilliantly and made Bill and Barb look like saints. As they relished the moment, though, Anna appeared out of nowhere to say she was ready to join the clan.

What's next? I'm not sure, but it's sure fun watching. Much more than soap opera and filled with questions of right and wrong and a completely different value system, i.e. the principle. As Mr. Spock would say, "Fascinating."

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rtms

I felt sorry for Barb, once again she feels pushed to accept a another wife because of circumstances she can't control. Sarah was right to suspect and try to call her on it. Barb is trying to make it a decision she is fully making but it's still in desperation not acceptance of their lifestyle.

January 19 2009 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rtms's comment
Joe

I can only feel so sorry for Barb. I think as the show as gone on, she has proven to be the most manipulative of the three.
http://www.joeonthetube.com

January 19 2009 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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