'Big Love' - 'Under One Roof' Recap
by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 15th 2010 9:01AM
(S04E06) "I think I can understand how difficult this must be, keeping a secret." - Bill on discovering that Dale has been having an affair with Alby
"You can't imagine." - Dale
Some of the season's most interesting plot lines came to a screeching halt this week and by screeching, I mean literally just that. The stench of burning rubber won't come out of my couch no matter how well it's been Scotchguarded.
Of course, just because some problems have come to an end doesn't represent their means to an end. They only serve to create new and bigger ones.
This week, there was no happy ending, no minor resolution to a family problem in the Henrickson household, no finding common ground in a conflict and achieving minor peace in a home that houses more drama than the White House, the House of Commons and the 'House of Payne' combined. Just about every plot line ended in pain, tragedy and heartache or near-heartache and will undoubtedly cause more around the corner. It's a cornerstone of the series and even if it can be a bit predictable, the endearment it creates for its characters keeps you checking in on them.
It all starts when Ana, the lost Henrickson wife, returns to the family she turned behind because of their never-ending drama, only to be sucked back into the all drama. Ana seems to be carrying Bill's umpteenth baby and naturally, Barb and the other wives want to take her back under their wing out of some divine mothers of the yaya pants or whatever, but Ana wants no part of it.
Even though it wouldn't drive the plot as well, it always amazes how the farther the people are from the Henrickson family, the smarter they are when it comes to matters of the mind and heart. She eventually asks Bill for help, but at a distance only for Barb to discover that she has her own fiancee and Bill's baby was conceived out of wedlock. Hooray, more drama. It felt so unnecessary and over the top that I would not have batted an eye if Ana hunkered down into her best Al Pacino and uttered, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."
Dale and Alby continue to have their "thing" until Bill, almost out of the blue, confronts him on his "inappropriate contact" with the Juniper Creek "prophet." Of course, Dale denies it in a way that Bill easily interprets as a lie and naturally, the entire truth comes out when one of Alby's wives catches them leaving their fling pad.
The plot line here got a little predictable, but it was hard not to feel sorry for Dale, thanks in part to actor Benjamin Koldyke's powerful and heartwrenching performance that reached out of the screen and stuck my heart in a juicer. He's torn by his church, his alliances to Bill and ultimately to Alby and put it all in a very familiar context that even people who haven't been going through Dale's trials can understand.
It made it even all the harder to watch when Dale finally admits to Bill that he has been sleeping with Alby and leading up to his tragic suicide in the very apartment Alby picked out for them. Not only did it feel like a needless and preventable death, but it will only fuel Alby's hatred and vengeance for Bill and his brood.
Meanwhile, Sissy Spacek has cemented herself as another thorn in Bill's hide now that she's officially a partner in the family's casino venture. Her plot may feel resolved, but something still feels unaddressed, like she knows something that she's not telling. After all, she's a high-powered D.C. lobbyist with ties to everyone on K-Street. I wouldn't let one of them walk my dog without putting a shock collar on them and the dog.
- Has Barb ever learned that good intentions don't always make for good consequences? She stuck her nose into just about every plot line and came out smelling like fertilizer instead of a rose.
- I never liked JJ before but when he tried to join Nicolette's daughter into a marriage, I literally wanted to smack him in the face with his own no-fingernailed hand.
- The most worrying plot line of them all was Ben getting pinched in Mexico with his grandmother and tough-as-nails grandfather as they run their bird poaching business. His world-skipping journey of self-discovery is bound to turn into a hard lesson about the importance of due process and loose torture laws.