October 29, 2010 at 03:38 PM EDT

Image Credit: Lacey Terrell/HBOBig Love‘s upcoming fifth season will also be its final one, and while I’ll miss the Henricksons, this is definitely the right time to bring the series to a close. While its high points are still some of the best moments I’ve ever seen on television, its low points were more and more frequent, and the stories were getting repetitive. Plus I’ll miss Sarah.

Big Love sometimes struggled to figure out which story it was telling. It started as sort of an allegory for gay marriage, then pushed towards a family drama, but then flailed while searching for its true sustaining narrative. The store? The casino? Politics? The compound? Roman? Ana? Fundamentalism?

The various plots drained each other: every time we switched from some crazy thing on the compound — um, a genetics lab? — to something back in typical society — Sarah getting married at 19? — they just didn’t click together. After a certain point, everything was a crisis, but nothing really felt urgent. Oh no, they’re going to be exposed as polygamists! Wait, that happened every season.

And yet. “Come Ye Saints” is still at the top of my “shows I’d put in a time capsule” list, and the third season in general gave us scene after scene of high stakes that felt earned. The acting on the show, particularly from Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Amanda Seyfried, is untouchable, and when the show focuses on the nuclear Henrickson family (Bill, Barb, Nikki, Margene, and their kids), it’s a gorgeous story about what we do for and what we do because of the people we love — the good acts, and the awful ones.

Are you going to miss Big Love, PopWatchers? Do you think it’s the right time to wrap up the show, or would you stick with Bill for seasons on end?

Read more:

Big Love activates Robert Patrick for major arc

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