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TV Review: Big Love – “Damage Control” Part 2

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Season 2, Episode 1: Aired on June 11, 2007

Part 2 (Pt 1)

Welcome back!  Let's get this bitch started.

Bill and Barb on the phone.  He tells her that he hasn’t been liking how the neighbors (Pam and Carl) have been looking at them.  So, he made dinner plans!  Barb is as confused with this plan as we are.  But Bill talks right over her concerns, telling her that he understands that she’s embarrassed and that she’s “been humbled.”   

Barb gets this look on her face like, “Oh no he didn’t!”  And, seriously.  It’s not like she’s a polygamist all on her own and it’s not like it’s all her fault that they got exposed.  “Humbled” my ass.   

“Do I have a choice?” she asks him.  “Of course,” he says, “but it would sure please me if you would just say, ‘On it!’”  Oh, Bill, you ass.  I hate it how he says one thing and then completely negates it with his next sentence.  He does shit like that a lot and it makes it really hard for me to like him.   

Barb says she doesn’t think she can do it, which should be the end of the conversation.  But, because she’s talking to Bill, it’s not.  He tries to manipulate her into doing it by complimenting her on how good she is with people.  Barb finally puts her foot down and just says she can’t and hangs up.

Margie, who has been in the background doing chores this whole time, admits that she believes it was Pam and Carl who exposed them.  Barb seems shocked.

Margie unsteadily gets through her confession, clearly upset and guilty and a whole mess of other things.  “So, Pam knew that … Nicki was a polygamist.  And I defended Nicki and that made her suspect me and then, I guess, you.”  She pauses and looks like she’s about to burst into tears.  “And … I think it’s all my fault.”  Barb tells her that she’s sure that’s not true.  Can I just say?  Ginnifer totally kicked that scene’s ass.     

Barb is swimming again.  Much more intensely this time, though.  In fact, she appears to be swimming as much as she can without coming up for air, which is slightly worrisome.  Nicki watches her from the window and gets this look on her face.  I don’t know what it means, but it creeped me out.  It was kind of an evil look, y’all. 

Juniper Creek.  Adaleen, Roman’s wife and Nicki’s mother, is watching a news story about a fugitive polygamist, whose name is approximately Orline Abbott.  He’s on America’s Most Wanted List for trafficking underage girls over state lines.  Roman walks over and bitches about these “stupid, greedy perverts ruining it for the rest of us.”  Well, there’s just nothing I can say about that. 

Then we cut to a weird scene where there’s this crazy woman outside some assembly hall, screaming about how Roman is the one true Prophet and everything else is sin and crap.  I … don’t even know what she’s talking about.  Why is she even here?  She needs to get off my screen before I start drinking.  And it’s not even noon. 

We see Joey, Wanda and Lois approaching, so this is apparently Wanda’s hearing.  She’s clinging to Joey like a little kid and it’s pretty sad.  Lois tells Crazy Lady to shut up.  Heh.  Lois kicks ass. 

Inside, Wanda is standing in front of everyone and Roman is telling her to answer the questions on the questionnaire.  Wanda says it was in the morning and she doesn’t recall what Alby was wearing.  Why does it matter what he was wearing?  Curious minds want to know.   

Then, out of nowhere, “LIES!”  Joey and Lois jump in their seats.  Hee.  Alby comes rolling in to the hearing, decked out with the latest trendy wheelchair.  For a dead guy, he’s looking pretty good.

As he rolls down the aisle, he babbles about witnesses seeing his truck outside her cabin for 6 hours and then seeing her and Lois driving his truck.  Oh noes.  Then he gets all smug.  “You didn’t know that, did you?” 

You know, if Alby wasn’t so creepy, he’d be kinda hot.  What?  I’m just saying. 

Wanda could not care less about Alby and his wheelchair and says she’ll just have to stand by what she’s already said.  Alby then stands up and turns to the audience, asking who else was involved in the attempted murder of him.  What’s really funny is that behind him, Wanda is all leaning to one side so that she can still get a good view of the Alby Show. 

Sister Wife Central.  Piano music plays, as Barb does her crossword and tells Nicki that dinner was delicious.  Nicki has the decency to say that Margie helped.  Barb looks over at her kids and it turns out that Ben is playing the piano.  Did we know that he could play?  I don’t think we did.  Sarah is watching him and Teeny is singing “Hound Dog.”  The girl has good taste.  And hee. 

Elsewhere in the room, Bill is educating his and Nicki’s sons, Wayne and Raymond, about Mormonism.  He tries to engage Barb in conversation about visiting the Holy Lands, but she’s too distracted by the fact that she doesn’t think the school wants her to come back and teach. 

Bill wants to know if they actually said that, but Barb flat out says she can’t go back there.  That Julie woman was at the ceremony and everyone knows.  Bill argues with her, which I’m not sure is the best course of action in this particular situation. 

Ben chooses this opportunity to approach his mother with the news that he wants to join the Navy, but that he’d need a Congressional recommendation to attend the Naval Academy and like do you think that’d be a problem with you and Dad being big polygamists and everything?  I have no idea what he’s smoking, but how could he not realize that this was NOT the time? 

Barb brushes him off and goes on to list all the people that could have exposed them: Wendy, the neighbors, Nicki throws out Barb’s sister and Barb shoots back with Nicki’s father, Roman.  Of course, no one pays particular attention to that suggestion, even though it makes the most sense.  Bill says they’ll knock them down one by one, starting with Pam and Carl, and then he starts back in on the damn dinner.  Barb cannot believe the assness of her own husband. 

She storms out of the room as the phone rings.  Margie answers and she and Nicki follow Bill and Barb.

Bill: This didn’t just happen to you, ok?  It happened to all of us.
Barb: I know that!
Bill: And I am trying to make it better for all of us.  The life we’ve chosen leads to eternity, but yes, there are consequences.
Barb: We’re not in eternity, Bill.  We are here, in Sandy, Utah and I don’t think I can live this life in Sandy, Utah.
Barb: You may be our priesthood holder, but I still have a say in what goes on in this house!
Bill: We are going to dinner at the Martins and that’s final.

He goes to get the phone and Barb looks positively scandalized.  She barges past Margie and Nicki, who is trying to block her way, and goes upstairs. 

That was a great scene, particularly for Jeanne.  You can really feel how desperate she’s getting. 

On the phone, Joey and Lois panic about Wanda and basically demand that Bill fix it.  Lois goes as far as blaming Bill for the whole situation. You know, sometimes I forgive Bill for his assy behavior because he has to put up with this lot.  

Bill’s going to send them an actual attorney and basically threaten Roman with the State coming in to Juniper Creek.  Lois just doesn’t want to go to jail. 

Barb sits in her car for a few moments before starting it up and presumably leaving.

Sister Wife Central.  Bill, Marg, Nicki, Wayne and one of the other little boys (no, I don’t know which one) watch TV.  The phone rings and Margie gets it.  She walks slowly into the living room and hands Teeny, who is sitting on the floor, the phone.  She sits down and looking straight ahead, like she’s scared something horrible is going to happen, whispers, “It’s Barb.  She’s left.”  She’s at Peg and Don’s and she’s not coming home.  She needed some space.  “From who?” Nicki asks, but by the way her and Margie both look at Bill, I think we know the answer. 

Bill tells Teeny to give him the phone and Margie warns him in this hysterical, almost sing-song voice, “She doesn’t want to talk to you.”  Nicki takes charge and just grabs the phone from Teeny, which was rude. 

Barb: I cannot deal with him tonight, Nicki.
Nicki: Fine.  But come back, stay at my house and we’ll just lock the doors and we won’t let him in. 

HAH!  Only, it’s kind of ruined when she looks at Bill and shakes her head all, “Not really, baby!”

Embry House.  Don knocks and Barb turns to look at him.  She’s clearly in one of the kids’ bedrooms and – Beaver!  Oh, how I’ve missed me some Kyle Gallner.  He says he needs his cleats and ducks into his closet to get them.  Barb waves awkwardly.

Margie is now on the other phone.  “But you’re gonna come back, right?” Margie asks.  Nicki piles on with, “You can’t just walk out on this marriage just because you’re mad at Bill.  You’re throwing Marg and me out with the bath water.  How do you think that makes us feel?  Awful!  Irrelevant!” 

Barb: Good grief, Nicki. 


Margie leans over and tells Wayne to ask Barb when she’s coming home.  “When are you coming home, Mother Barbara?”  Hahaha.  I love it.  But that kid creeps me out with his formalness.  No one calls her Barbara.  And the whole “mother” and “father” thing squicks me out, too. 

Barb knows that was Margie’s doing and calls her on it.  She just tells them that this is what she has to do and she hangs up. 

Margie and Nicki look at Bill accusingly, but he doesn’t seem worried, telling them to let her have her space. 

Now we’re back with the fugitive polygamist story on the news.  The police got a tip that seemed credible, but yielded nothing.  The family looks concerned. 

The next morning, Nicki is making breakfast and no one is talking.  Wayne is strangely just kind of hanging on Ben, whose hair, by the way, is substantially longer than last season.  It only bothers me because only two weeks is supposed to have passed.  They couldn’t have given Douglas Smith a haircut? 

Sarah approaches the table and gives Bill a Look.  Ben is staring at his dad, too.  Wayne asks if there’s vanilla.  Vanilla what?  Extract?  I… don’t know what he’s talking about.  The point seems to be that everyone ignores him, including his damn parents, Bill and Nicki.  Ben waits to see if any of the grownups are actually going to take care of their children before getting up to go look.  I’m not sure what that scene was about. Besides making all three parents look pretty bad, especially Bill and Nicki, given that Margie is preoccupied with one of her own kids.  It was just … weird. 

Bill’s phone rings and in a nice touch, Sarah immediately looks at him, clearly hoping it’s her mother.  It’s not. It’s Lee, the maybe-lawyer.  He found a guy at the First Lady’s Office who is willing to ask around and meet with him. 

Barb is at a college, registering for classes. 

Margie is at the playground, watching her boys just kind of sit there, because they’re really too little to actually play.  She has that weird calm thing going on, like when she got the red crayon on Bill’s white suit, then almost blew up her washing machine and then calmly smoked a cigarette and told her boys that they couldn’t live there anymore.  I think I see another slow meltdown coming. 

She calls Barb, who is still at the college but lies that she’s shopping.  Margie tells her that she has a plan, which involves her going over to Pam and Carl’s and making up and finding out what they know.  She would apologize for breaking up with Pam. 

Barb: Apologize for what?
Margie: I don’t know … because I was wrong.
Barb: Wrong about what?
Margie: You know … I will figure that out. 
Barb: Margie, this goes so much deeper and so much further back than just dinner with the neighbors.
Margie: I know!  But will you be home tonight?
Barb: No.
Margie: Barb, I don’t know if I can be married to Nicki and Bill if I’m not married to you. 

Awwwwww.  I love Margene!

Barb just hangs up.  Another excellent scene from the two strongest actors on the show, in my opinion.  Margie is trying so hard to hold it together, but she desperately needs Barb to come home.  Because seriously?  Who would want to just be married to Nicki and Bill?  Not me!  And Barb feels guilty because she loves Margie, but she also needs to do what’s best for her.  It’s a difficult situation all around and I applaud the show for making me sympathize with both sides.

Oh my god, we’re only halfway through this damn episode.  Part 3 is on the way!

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