Big Love: Family Politics


Last night’s episode—titled “Sins of the Father”—should’ve been called “Not Now,” because that seems to be the Henricksons’ mantra. For a family perpetually caught up in moments of self-imposed crises, they never have time for urgency.

Bill has enlisted Nicki to engage in some espionage by working for the campaign of his opponent in the primary race for the Republican State Senate. Nicki’s done work like this in the past for the Juniper Creek side of her family, which had angered Bill. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t the fact that she was doing something illegal or wrong that upset him, but that she was doing something that didn’t serve his own purposes: He’s perfectly willing to use Nicki’s “gifts” of “morally ambiguous” work to advance his own political career, telling her, “You are such a good girl,” which borders on emotional abuse, as Nicki has had issues—stemming from her past on a polygamous compound, as well has her history with Bill—of what exactly makes someone “good” or “bad.”

Obviously, the Bill’s blurred lines on “right” and “wrong” upset and confuse Nicki. She’s being praised for the exact same sort of behavior for which she’s been admonished in the past.

But at the same time, fuzzy ethics and confusion are familiar to Nicki. She really only needs an ice cream sundae to help her digest her thoughts.

Meanwhile, Benny spread the rumor that he’s been exiled by Bill, and while that’s not entirely true, everyone got super dramatic about it, and Barb let her true feelings about Margene be known. With all of their secrets, deception, and inability to make it though even one public appearance without having several emotional meltdowns, these people are either making a huge mistake getting into politics, or have found their calling, depending on how you view it.

BTW, I have an irrational hate for the new Teenie.

She sucks.

Perhaps because he was raised by three mothers always dealing with their own personal freakouts, Benny is huge drama queen. I felt like there was some foreshadowing in the first episode of this season that Benny and Cara Lynn would become romantically involved, and it looks like I might be right.

In the end, Bill won the Republican nomination, and in the red state of Utah, that pretty much guarantees that he’ll be the next Senator. But he wasn’t really able to enjoy his victory, as he was immediately approached by every woman in his life, each of whom represent a reminder of his various problems.

On a final note, the family is always, in a sense, seeing red—seriously, are they ever content?—and in the same way that they’re fighting for the freedom to live their lives as they choose, in the end they still want to project their own beliefs onto others, as this nostalgic, Reagan-era cake would suggest.

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