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August 28, 2015

'Big Love' - 'Next Ticket Out' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 1st 2010 9:02AM

(S04E08) "There is nothing about us that's the same and you know nothing about me." - Barb Henrickson

"Oh I know some...and I'm just getting started." - Marilyn Densham

The season is winding down and usually the plot endings that come to a predictable end do so just before the big shockers do. And that's what happened this week.

However, the surprise, one of many to come I'm sure, wasn't within the plot or the behavior of the characters or even the duality between good and evil of some of the supporting players in our little bigamy tragedy. It's the emotional reaction to the characters' connections and their endurance to endure that sneaks up on you and knocks your block off as you stand there all smug and self-aware that you were able to predict the ending. And it should. A show like this about much more than its plotlines and story shockers.

Of course, leading up to that great heartfelt and touching ending were some huge speed bumps along the way. The melodrama turned up to 11 in some scenes such as Bill and Margie's argument at the casino and Bill's big showdown with Marilyn, played in a very sweet-yet-sinister tone by the usually sweet Sissy Spacek.

Sure it was fun watching Bill tell off the self-righteous evangelical and even more self-righteous lobbyist to basically go to Hell without actually saying Hell, but it felt a little over the top for a show of this caliber, just to make an enemy out of Marilyn who was already headed down that path. After all, she's a lobbyist. "Evil" is considered a skill worthy of including their resumes.

I never thought anyone could ever feel sorry for poor scheming Alby, but watching a grown man dance barefoot to Nancy Sinatra in the throes of a sadness spiral just sucked the sympathy right out of me. Every time Roman's ghost would make an appearance in Alby's neatly cut flattop, it was because of his ignorance and unable to carve a path for himself within his church without someone doing it for him. It always made for a great tense moment that's sure to set up further headaches down the road.

Now that ghost has officially taken over as he verbally abused Nicollete out of his office, followed by that ultra creepy shot of Roman moving towards the camera with open arms. It's creepy for two reasons: (1) Roman is still able to control his son even from that great big polygamist compound in the sky beneath the Earth's crust and (2) the physical image of Harry Dean Stanton zombie-walking towards me with that crooked grimace just makes the hairs on the back of my neck do the Electric Slide.

Meanwhile, the fallout from the election is really starting to smack the Henricksons from just about all sides.Bill has always been a level-headed and dangerously reserved fellow, so the tetherball game made for a nice steam blowing moment. Plus, it's always fun to watch a grown man get smacked in the face with a tetherball. It just is, don't ask why.

Marilyn's discovery of Bill's "affair" with Margie also made for an interesting angle. Sure the truth about the family is going to spill out in some shape or form, but it's a nice distraction that I frankly didn't see coming. It's so simple and yet so brilliant. It's still not yet known if Marilyn knows more than she's letting on, but a big clue came towards the end when she calls Barb and a shot of her laptop features videos of Margie's explanation for Ben's off-stage kiss on her shopping network.

Marilyn's attacks seem really personal for reasons that don't seem fully known. Sure she's been outed as running a political scam with casinos, but she's really gunning for Bill's head in motives that seem more personal than just fiscally or politically motivated. Could it be that she's trying to get back at him for a wrong that's been done to her in a completely unrelated yet similar way or could it just be that Bill hit her where it hurts the most? She's so cold and calculating that it's formed a hard callous around her that makes a tough bird to crack.

And speaking of cold motherf*#$&s (literally, insert rimshot here), JJ has officially gone full schitzo now that Nicki's mother has uncovered Roman's unfinished plans to censure him and his other medicinal activities. It's the one loose end that's bound to make for a great finale next Sunday. Will JJ finally get the smackdown that's been owed to him since he crawled into the universe or will he continue to be a fingernail-less nail in the Henrickson's slowly constructed coffin? Let's hope the chloroform wears off in time so Adaleen doesn't miss it.

Other observations:
- Bill's hypocrisy about his religious beliefs with Ana that a man with more than one wife is okely-dokely, but a woman with more than one husband is "unnatural" had me cackling like a grandmother at the beauty parlor, as does all religious hypocrisy.

- Is it just my ears or did I hear the first use of the "F-word" of the season? Sure it's HBO but this is a show about Mormons and hearing a curse word during 'Big Love' is like spotting an albino Bigfoot.

- Is it wrong that I kind of find the "old Nicki" a lot hotter than the "new Nicki"? Is there a word for a gingham fetish, besides "insane"?

- "I like bagpipes," Marilyn's explanation for visiting Scotland at the same time as her evangelical sting-man, is officially the lamest excuse for anything in the history of the world. Someone needs to put it on a T-shirt NOW.

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WAIT! Theres only 9 episodes, next week is the finale?!?

March 01 2010 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Teeny's lines and behavior are appropriate for a 'tween, but the actress who delivers those lines comes across as just plain unlikeable. And that whole gymnast thing - replete with a red, white and blue costume - for the broadcast interview was, I felt, over the top.

It's natural for Teeny to feel disappointed that Sarah might not be at her birthday party, but Tenny was just a wee bit too bratty (and I really don't like using that word for children, and typically use it sparingly). Don't like this actress. With all the accomplished youngsters out there, the casting director had to choose this one?

Loved the evil look on Lura's face when she realized Alby didn't know that she was the turncoat on Dale, and immediately covered her tracks. However, there is a special place in he**, and hopefully we'll see it before Big Love wraps for good.

March 01 2010 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Marilyn is gunning for Bill because he rejected her - remember? A few episodes back, she asked him, "what does it take for a woman to get a drink around here?" or something like that, and he relied, "I'm not that kind of guy." It really is personal.

JJ? Don't believe they'll wrap up his story so neatly next week. He's gotta be the one to contend with next season.

March 01 2010 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

JJ just sickens me and to think that Roman had summoned him for censure, Oh, boy. Now he has more than he came back for and even his mother and father are gross.
Poor Nicholette being married off to that "creep" at an early age. Ich.
Barb keeps making goofs and Bill is such a hyprocrite. He can fool around but not hi wives. Really? Goran is yummy. Lucky Margene. Wish we had more episodes to look forward to. Yes, Teenie looks and acts like a mini Stepford wife on caffeine.

March 01 2010 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope that Sissy Spacek is in with Alby or Hollis Greene or something. If she's in it alone that's a little boring. I could have done with her reveal this week and known that going into the finale next week.

As much as I like Nicki's direction I'm not sure I believe it - she's had a little bit of a backseat this season so maybe she's just seeing all the insanity with Margie and the casino and wants out. And does anyone NOT think that JJ is keeping her from getting pregnant via the creepy doctor?

I was hoping the tetherball sequence was going to be Margie daydreaming about them fighting over her, if not for the total silliness of it...

I hope this show comes back and with more episodes - 9 was not enough for this season.

By the way, have any of you ever seen Margie's "blog" on I think HBO.com? It's pages and pages of pure insanity. It goes on and on...the sheer length of the entries is astounding.

March 01 2010 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I swear, every scene seemed to have an upheaval of some sort. By the end of the episode I was almost dizzy from getting yanked in so many different directions.

With so much already going on, I wonder why introduce even more complications, like Barb's little address to the Eagle Forum meeting?

Sarah always seemed like the one sensible member of the family, I hope she can indeed get off this sinking ship before it is too late. BTW, does anybody else find Teenie to be just a bit creepy???

March 01 2010 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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