By Ken Tucker
Updated February 14, 2010 at 12:00 PM EST
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Big Love

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  • TV Show

This week’s Big Love saw the return of Ana, the “fourth wife” who I had hoped would not be returning to the Love-nest this season. I thought her subplot dragged down last season, as good as Branka Katic was at capturing the mixture of attraction she felt toward Bill and her dismayed outsider-perspective on the polygamist marriage into which she was invited. It turned out that [SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU’VE SEEN THIS WEEK’S BIG LOVE] Ana is pregnant with Bill’s child… a child conceived “outside of the marriage.” This was a big “uh-oh” for Bill just as the man of the clan was ratcheting up his political campaign and trying to stave off the increased influence at the casino of lobbyist Marilyn (Sissy Spacek, you are great), while also dealing with the fact that son Ben has taken off with his grandparents for a Mexican birding adventure. (Sometimes I think the only TV wife who would truly understand the being-pulled-in-all-directions pressure that Bill is under would be Friday Night Lights‘ Tami Taylor… )

But the big shocker of the night was the suicide death of Dale, Alby’s lover. Ben Koldyke gave a harrowingly superb performance as a man tormented by a true love that runs counter to the tenets of his faith. That scene in which he goes through his long history of systematically trying to “cure” his homosexuality with the church elders was just heart-breaking. And his confession to Bill was equally good, especially for the give-and-take between the men, with Bill making a parallel to the secrets he must keep to the outside world about his wives compared with Dale’s closeted life.

The Big Love writers — in this particular episode, Coleman Herbert, but over the course of the entire Alby-Dale subplot — have managed to find one area of Alby’s character that could make us like him beyond his usual highly enjoyable swinishness. The romantic, tender side of Matt Ross’ Alby has been revealed, and now it’s also been shattered.

What did you think of this week’s Big Love?

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Episode Recaps

Big Love

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  • TV Show
rating
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  • In Season

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