”Big Love”: The family outing gets worse
”Home plus is us . . . + us . . . + us. . . .” You have to admit, whoever defaced Bill Henrickson’s precious billboards is, if nothing else, witty. But the latest turn in the ongoing saga of the family’s outing is no laughing matter for the polygamist patriarch. And really, it’s the least of his problems, what with his brother falling off the wagon, confessing to Alby’s poisoning, and tricking Bill into admitting a cover-up.
But back to the billboard for a second. Bill, what in God’s celestial kingdom were you thinking? What was wrong with that picture-perfect LDS family the advertising agency had cast for the Home Plus campaign? You loved all the subliminal imagery they presented (the Temple, the BYU Cougar, and, yes, the customary underwear). Why change it? Was it ego? Pride? Stupidity? Will you never learn? This is the one thing that baffles me about this family. For all their insistence on absolute secrecy, they’re awfully sloppy — time and time again. Well, we’ll have to wait and see what the fallout is from this latest defamation, but onto the bigger issue: compound politics.
Margene made her maiden voyage to Juniper Creek, and it looked to be an eye-opener in more ways than one. How about those kooky compound people ducking into an underground bunker when she and Nicki drove in? Freaky. Truthfully, it seems the community has had just about enough of the Henricksons. Wanda is a mess, Lois is high maintenance, Joey’s a useless drunk, and Bill is, of course, public enemy No. 1. I’d bet that if Nicki didn’t bear the Grant name, the Juniper Creek police wouldn’t hesitate to chase them off the grounds. As we slowly see more and more of what life on the compound is really like, the glimpses of this unfamiliar existence are fascinating. Who knew that Juniper Creek produced and released records (under the Grant Family Singers moniker)? And how can I buy (or download) one? Also, was it my imagination or was that Emmylou Harris singing a duet with Adaleen?
Of course, Roman is the real star of the show, and on this episode we learned that he’s not above blackmail. Using Joey as his ”pawn,” Roman got Bill to admit to obstruction of justice and being an accessory after the fact in the case of Alby’s poisoning. It seemed that Roman had all his ducks in a row. But leave it to the embittered Alby to muck things up by going to the state police. What he hopes to gain by dragging them into his compound drama, I’m not exactly sure. And why he was checking out that one cop’s ass is just as bewildering. (You may recall an episode last season in which Alby, after bringing a male hustler back to his motel room, inexplicably started banging his head against the wall. So is he or isn’t he?) No matter. As most of the Henrickson clan gets sucked into the investigation, and as Juniper Creek goes into emergency mode with ”cops crawling all over the compound,” things don’t look good.
The one person who’s managed to avoid most of the hoopla so far? Barb, who’s gone off to college and may even attend an actual class once her check goes through. Barb refers to the school as ”the U.” Does that mean Brigham Young University? Can any of you alumni verify whether it was actually shot there? As for what she hopes to accomplish from this extra education, perhaps studying psychology can shed some light on her own life choices and how they fit in with ”the Principle.” Once again, Barb differentiated her view of marriage from Nicki’s — Barb married for love. But considering how annoyed Nicki seemed to be at Bill for forgetting her anniversary, you have to wonder if that sentiment is stronger than she would admit. Really, nothing says ”I love you” better than a power drill, right?
And nothing says ”Stay out of our business” better than an intimidating Hummer, as Home Plus employee Wendy learned. On the last episode, she didn’t garner much sympathy, but it’s amazing how when someone comes to Barb, the tables suddenly turn. Now, I don’t think Wendy had anything to do with the scandal at the governor’s mansion (the billboards, however, are an unresolved issue), but I have no doubt Nicki was behind the intimidation tactic (and, maybe, the wheel).
We didn’t get a ton of Ben and Sarah on this episode, but I expect that they’ll be debating the legitimacy of plural marriage more and more in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, they’re letting their friends and significant others in on the secret, but can all these outsiders be trusted? After all, Don’s got ”16 mouths to feed”; the last thing he and the Home Plus team need is any more negative exposure. Bill insists that being family owned gives the store ”an edge,” but at what cost? Has he gone over the edge with this latest PR mess?