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'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.

Other observations:
- 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.

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I loved Nikki when she goes to get her daughter. As a teenager in the 80's I have to say loved the outfit! The way she started pushing open doors looking for her daughter was wonderful. I actually felt sorry for anyone trying to stop her. It made me really like her. I always thought that she was just a bi*ch. But after learning about her daughter it all made sense. Nikki was confused and scared her whole life. Every promise her father made to her was a lie. Her mother never protected her. She was (let's call it what it is) raped and forced to bear the child of that rape at a very young age and did love that child, which had to be very confusing, with her fathers consent and blessing. Any wonder how she turned out. But to see her on a rampage for her daughter was beautiful.

As for Bill I hope he looses it all. I hope all the wives leave him. I never bought the "GOD" told me to be a polygamist crap. Just a horny husband with a sick wife (read about any lately?) and to justify his actions says god told him to have another wife. The fact that he does all these things with no regard for his family proves that he doesn't deserve this family. He makes the decisions based on his wants and everyone is just supposed to go along. I am glad Marjene stood up for her self and said that she thought they should wait 2 years after the election. It makes sense. If you reveal right away they could pull the election results because you lied. If you wait and the people see you are doing a good job they might not care. I have a feeling Marjene will be leaving the family.

Anna is not going to let the craziness into the life of her baby if she can help it. Yes I do think she is looking for some money but I also believe that it is Bill's kid. Barb's face when she confronted Bill about the conception of the baby says to me that she is having serious doubts about her husband. It has bothered me all season that when the show started she seemed like she was just going along with all of this and didn't really believe. She gets kicked out of her church and whoa she is full believer mode now. It always seemed like this was a lifeline she grabbed because she lost her "real" faith.

February 15 2010 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
charles melrose III

You've scored a rare trifecta--slurs against gays, Mormons and lobbyists all in one recap. Impressive in scope. You might have gotten women in general, too, but the writing's not clear enough for the judges to be sure.

You'll not be running for office anytime soon, right?

February 15 2010 at 2:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Emily Smith

A few observations:
1. I thought Nikki's outfit when she showed up at the super creept hotel was hilarious...and possibly my favorite moment of the night.
2. I do not trust Sissy's character one bit. Nor do I trust the tribe not to turn their backs on Bill if he pushes them too far.
3. Did anyone else notice an allusion to the "Big House" on Juniper Creek when Bill showed his wives the house he hopes to own?

4. I really had no idea that Cara Lynn would be sealed...but did Wanda know? Is that why she was acting so weird?
5. I agree that Alby will blame Bill for what happened to Dale. At the moment they were in the truck together, I kept waiting for Bill to spill the beans about being a polygamist. I was thinking, "No, don't tell him! You can't trust him!" But now that Dale is dead, I wonder...if Bill had shared his secret, would Dale still be alive?
6. What is going on with Bill's brother? Didn't JJ proposition him about something a couple of weeks ago when he caught him digging up Roman? Did we ever find out what what is going on there?
7. Did the preview of next week lead us to thinking that Bill's mom might die? She can't. Her character is sooo good.

February 15 2010 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"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."

You do realize that Ben, Lois and company were not arrested by the actual police. Hollace Green and his bunch now have them, and that is a whole lot scarier.

February 15 2010 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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