Tag Archives: Margene

The Ick Factor – A Recap of Big Love’s Season Finale “End of Days”

I had mixed feelings about tonight’s Big Love season finale.  On one hand, it was certainly eventful.  There were a lot of twists and turns during this episode that I didn’t see coming.  Plus, a lot of questions that had been left unanswered throughout the series were finally resolved, although not necessarily for the better (cough, Tommy and Barb, cough). 

On the other hand, watching “End of Days” was a highly unpleasant experience for me.  A lot of the scenes and plot points were just plain uncomfortable to watch.  When you’ve come to know and care about characters during the course of four seasons, as I have with the Big Love cast, there are some situations you just don’t want to see them in.  The episode’s game-changer ending will definitely send the show in an entirely new direction next season.  I am just not entirely sure that I like where it is going . . .

So, let’s take a look at where we are going, and where we have been, shall we?

Ding. Dong, J.J.’s Dead!

“I’m MELTING!  I’m MELTING!”

One of the questions that was resolved during the season finale was what the heck J.J. was doing to get everybody pregnant.  In fact, the J.J. storyline was entirely resolved, because awesome Adaleen set his house on fire, burning that crazy mother-f’er and his wife to a crisp in the process.  So, the prospect of J.J. returning to Juniper Creek is highly unlikely.  Unless, of course, he comes back from the dead all burned and disfigured a la Freddy Krueger, which I wouldn’t put past him.  (They both have that “terrorizing children” thing in common, after all . . .)

“I will haunt your dreams, and force you to carry my creepily deformed babies to term.”

When news breaks that the polygamist compound in Kansas is rife with inbred babies, all signs point to J.J.’s involvement, seeing as he runs things down there.  Wanda comes out of her catatonic state long enough to admit that J.J. has inseminated Adaleen with Wanda’s egg (and his own sperm) in order to impregnate her.  Wanda just so happens to be J.J.’s biological sister  . . .

J.J. then tricks the infertile Nikki into coming to his “doctor” son’s office, in order to impregnate her with an egg belonging to Cara Lynn, Nikki’s own daughter with J.J.  I don’t even want to KNOW how he got that egg!

Fortunately, Bill finds Nikki just in time, and rescues her from the clutches of the evil creepy J.J.  Then Adaleen ties J.J. and his wife up, douses their home with gasoline, and watches it go KABOOM!  Who knew drippy weak-willed Adaleen Grant would turn out to be such a . . .

“Come to think of it, Mary Kay Place could totally pass for an older version of Drew Barrymore.  Don’t you think?”

At the conclusion of the episode, Nikki cuts her compound-style braid, and agrees to carry Margene’s non-incestually deformed baby to term for the Henricksons.  Ummm, yay . . . I guess?

Margene, Goran, and Anna sitting in a tree . . .

“Come and knock on our door.  We’ll be waiting for YOU!  When the kisses are HERS, and HERS, and HIS, Three’s Company Too!”

Margene’s storyline this evening would have fit really well into a swinging 70’s era sitcom.  For the past few episodes, Margene has been waffling back and forth between her marriage to Barb, Nikki, and Bill, which will result in the inevitable loss of her jewlery business, and her greencard marriage to Goran.  When she talks to Anna about it, Margene confesses that she feels guilty about marrying Goran, because she is attracted to him.  This attraction makes her feel like a Big Ho-Bag, seeing as Goran is actually in a (committed?) relationship with Anna.   

Huh?  Where did this “love interest” come from?  There was no evidence of Margene’s “attraction” to Goran throughout the entire season.  The guy seductively grabs her knee once, and all the sudden she’s in love with him?  Wasn’t it only a few episodes ago that she was talking about her romantic feelings for Ben?  It just plain didn’t make sense to me . . .

Weirder still was Anna’s response to Margene’s confession.  She was totally cool with it.  Anna told Margene that she already knew that Goran and Margene had feelings for one another.  So, why couldn’t the three of them just be happy together?  Is this the same Anna who, just last week, lectured Bill about his hypocritical one man-for-many women ways?  Truthfully, I always sensed a bit of a lesbian subtext between Margene and Anna.  However, both characters’ actions during this episode seemed inconsistent and unrealistic to me. 

“Just imagine all the hijinks we can get into now!  Wait until we tell Mr. Roper!”

At the conclusion of this storyline, Goran is seen happily hugging Anna and Margene, while fondling both of their asses.  Somewhere up in heaven, Jack Tripper is raising his fist in triumph  . . .

“Goran, I salute you!”

Barb and Tommy are Splitsville . . . But what about Barb and Bill?

“I’m going to miss you, and your sexy sweat lodge too!”

I had high hopes for Barb and Tommy at the opening of this episode.  She adorably mothered him, by trying to get him to eat a healthy and well-balanced meal, after a stressful day.  He confided in her about his family troubles (apparently, Tommy has some bad seed drug dealers in his family).  Together, they worried about how Tommy’s screwed up family history may adversely affect the casino.  Barb then vowed to help Tommy, promising him that he wouldn’t have to go through this alone.  They shared plenty of longing looks, and another sexy hug . . .

Then Bill had to go and screw everything up!

Well, in Bill’s defense, Barb made quite a mess of things herself, by offering the results of Anna’s paternity test, which showed that Bill was the father of her illegitimate child, to a local news network.  Barb did this in hopes that doing so would keep Bill from winning the Senate seat that has been slowly tearing their family apart.  Then, ostensibly, Bill ratted out and fired Tom and Jerry from the casino, to save face.  However, I thought the move had “revenge against Barb” written all over it. 

“Wow, this just occurred to me . . . probably because I never remembered the Jerry-character’s name.  Why the heck did the writers choose names like these for a pair of characters that would constantly be discussed in the series together, and in this exact order?  Seriously!”

Barb apparently thought Bill made a dick move too.  And when she FINALLY stuck up for herself, and told Bill, “I don’t think I need you anymore,” I cheered for her. 

“You go girl!”

But will she have the guts to leave him now that he is a State Senator?  Only time will tell . . .

Don, Don, Don, Don DONNNNNNN!

Yeah, this wasn’t a big part of the show at all.  I was just happy to see my favorite sidekick, Don, back on Big Love for the finale, even if it was just to kiss Bill’s ass again.  Despite the fact that Big Boss Man ruined Don’s life and turned his kid into a juvenile delinquent (who throws rocks through people’s windows) Don still showed up to watch Bill make his State Senate acceptance speech, and actually seemed HAPPY when Bill won . . .

Build for Bill (more like Demolish for Bill)

Meet Bill Henrickson, the family values Senator from Utah, and his family (Not pictured: illegitamate child, fourth wife, and illegal alien second husband)

Perhaps the most cringeworthy moment of the entire episode came at its conclusion, when Bill won the State Senate seat, and came out as a polygamist. As a bunch of his former supporters stormed out in anger, Bill made matters worse, by calling each of his wives up to the podium with him, singlehandedly destroying their lives along with his own.  Although the foursome held hands together at the conclusion of the speech, in a show of solidarity, each wife looked like she would rather be pulled apart by two horses running in opposite directions, than be there with Bill.

And that was it for this season.  So, what did you think of the finale?  Are you excited for a Season 5 that  revolves around Bill as a polygamist Senator?  Are you hoping that Barb leaves Bill’s ass for Tom (and Jerry)?  Are you hoping Margene leaves Bill’s ass for Anna and Goran?  Were you as happy to see Don as I was?  Were you as happy to see Marilyn and J.J. GO as I was?

 

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Escape from Crazytown: A Recap of Big Love’s “Next Ticket Out”

 

Welcome back Big Lovers!  Can you believe the season finale is just one week away?  It seems like only yesterday we were driving around Utah, with Roman Grant’s frozen dead corpse in the back seat . . .

Ahhh, memories . . .

It has been a bit of an uneven season — one filled with some jaw-droppingly amazing moments (Margene’s romantic encounters with Ben, Dale’s tragic suicide, and Nikki’s heroic rescue of Cara Lynn), some truly bizarre moments (anything involving J.J.), and some teeth-clenchingly annoying moments (anything involving Marilyn, and the entire bird-smuggling / Mexico storyline – up until Hollis got his arm chopped off . . . that was cool). 

 Yes, it has definitely been a wild ride.  None of the Henricksons have had a particularly easy go of it this season.  Is it any wonder that this latest installment of Big Love focused on the theme of escape?  After all, who wouldn’t want to run away from this family of wack jobs?

Auf Wiedersehen, Sara!

“You are OUT!”

Near the end of Godfather III,  Michael Corleone utters the iconic line: “Everytime I think I’m out, they pull me back in!”  (The line was practically the only good thing about the film, which was a major disappointment, especially following the awesomeness that was the first two Godfather movies.)

I bring up the quote, because I imagine that this was how Sarah Henrickson felt, throughout most of the Big Love series.  Having been raised for most of her young life in a “normal” two-parent home, Sarah never really bought into the whole “polygamy” thing.  And I was always under the impression that her hasty  marriage to Scott was simply a way for her to distance herself from her family and their religious beliefs, permanently.

My suspicions were confirmed in the opening moments of this episode, when Sarah announced that she and Scott had put a downpayment on a home in Portland, Oregon.  The couple would be leaving Utah ASAP.  Now, I understand that this was somewhat of a plot contrivance, given that Amanda Seyfried wanted out of the show to pursue her burgeoning movie career.  However, I also happen to think that Sarah’s actions were consistent with the overall development of her character throughout the series.  And, I can’t help but be proud of my girl, Sarah,  for FINALLY escaping the utter craziness of the rest of her gene pool . . .

“Sayonara Suckers!”

Although the family initially balked at her decision,  the Henricksons ultimately came around to supporting Sarah.  Even Bill ultimately caved, arriving at Sarah’s home late at night, with a pizza pie and $5,000 as proverbial olive branches.   Sarah returned the favor, by publicly supporting her family during a television interview for the Senatorial campaign.  At the conclusion of the episode, the Henricksons gave Sarah an admittedly sweet parting gift, a quilt made from various family members’ attire and prized belongings.

Although I wasn’t particularly keen on her “baby napping” storyline this season, I must say that I overall enjoyed Sarah’s character during her run on Big Love.  Sarah was a relatable island of sanity amidst the show’s sea of craziness.  She will be missed . . .

Goodbye and Good Riddance, Marilyn . . . Oh, wait . . . You’re still here.

Last week, I compared Sissy Spacek’s devious and highly annoying lobbyist Marilyn to an itchy rash that just wouldn’t go away, no matter how much Benadryl you slathered on it.  This week, she proved herself to be exactly that.  When Barb comes clean to Bill about Marilyn’s double-crossing of the Casino, by hiring right-wing extremists to terrorize them, Bill immediately fires Marilyn’s ass.  I literally pumped my fist in the air in triumph.  Hurrah!  The Wicked Bitch of the West is finally gone!  I cheered.

And then . . . The Rash came back. (Boo!)  Marilyn popped up at Margene’s office, accusing the latter of having “an affair” with Bill.  (har de har, har)  When that didn’t work, she called Barb in the middle of the night to tell her about the affair.  The character’s motivations are becoming increasingly less clear as the season progresses.  I’m starting to think it all comes down to one thing:  BITCH IS CRAZY!

“I will not be ignored, HENRICKSONS.  And I will not leave, FANS, no matter how much you all want me to!”

When Barb doesn’t react to Marilyn’s claims that Bill is cheating on her, Marilyn puts two and two together and criticizes Barb for her unhealthy polygamist way of life.  At the conclusion of the episode, Tommy, who has been digging up dirt on Marilyn throughout the episode, informs Barb that Marilyn has waged a personal vendetta against the Henricksons, going as far as to stealing all of their personal financial information.   Someone’s not getting the bid for fourth wife anytime soon . . .

To Marry or Not To Marry, That is the Question

The Henricksons might NOT be getting a fourth wife this season.  However, it looks like a  second husband is definitely in the cards for them.  Initially, Bill refuses to condone Margene’s green card marriage.  Margene’s a part of this family, dammit!  And she’s going to have to give up her career, life, and happiness for Bill, just like everyone else!  When Margene assures him that the marriage is only a paper one, Bill asserts that a legal document now binds Margene to Goran.  Margene counters nicely, arguing that if legal documents are so important, than Bill’s marriage to Barb would be more real and binding than his marriage to Margene.

Later, Anna, who has oddly become the show’s moral compass (go figure), again calls Bill out on his hypocrisy.  When Bill whines that a woman can only have one husband, Anna laughs in his face.  “Do you even hear what you are saying?”  She inquires.  “You people are crazy!”


“I LIKE her . . .”

Bill’s tune rapidly changes when Marilyn threatens to expose the Henricksons as polygamists BEFORE the election.  Now Bill NEEDS Margene to marry Goran to reduce suspicion and keep the dogs at bay.  In a passive aggressive move that made me smile, Margene takes the liberty of inviting her new husband to the Henrickson home, arguing that doing so is necessary to make their marriage seem more believable.  Bill responds by getting into a classic pissing contest with Margene’s other husband, and knocking him violently in the head with a tether ball.

“Those homo sapiens . . . so unevolved.”

There’s such a thing as the Women’s Movement?  Who knew?

“Wake up and smell the new millenium, Barb!”

After being fired from the casino by Bill for putting Crazy Marilyn on the payroll, a frustrated Barb speaks to a group of local female voters about the challenges associated with being a woman in the 21st century – one who is expected to be perfect at all times.  She then makes an offhand comment about women solving their problems by becoming addicted to prescription medication. 

The statement backfires on Barb, when Bill’s senatorial opponent mischaracterizes it, asserting that Barb believes the woman of Utah to be a bunch of drug-addicted freaks.  Bill reprimands Barb, demanding that she retract her statement, regardless of its original harmless intent.  A distraught and newly unemployed Barb seeks solace from Tommy, who offers her a few words of encouragement and the steamiest hug I have ever seen!  Can these two hook up already?  Please!

“Stick with me, babe, and the only PILL you’re going to need is birth control!”

At the conclusion of the episode, Bill redeems himself a bit by sticking up for Barb on national television regarding her statements about prescription drugs.  Too little, too late, as far as I am concerned . . .

Nikki Loves Bill!  Alert the Media!

One of my favorite storylines this season has been the evolution of Nikki Grant from a shallow, immature, self-centered Daddy’s girl, and devout polygamist, to a sympathetic, caring, and strong woman coming to terms with the shortcomings of both her family and her religion.  Sure, she has had some missteps along the way.  Like, for instance, there was that time when she dressed like this . . .

However, ultimately, it has been rewarding to watch Nikki come into her own this season.  In the opening scene of this episode, Nikki appears at the family dinner in a modern and stylish, if slightly revealing, dress.  She continues her fashion-forward trend later that evening, coming to Bill’s bed dressed in sexy lingerie.  It is there that she comes clean to Bill about her difficulties conceiving a child and her visits with a “fertility specialist”  a.k.a. J.J.’s creepy son.

When Barb accidentally spills the beans to Nikki about Joey killing her father, Nikki rushes to Joey’s home to confront him.  However, instead of lashing out in anger, as the old Nikki was wont to do, Nikki finds herself immediately concerned for the safety of Joey’s fragile and  unstable wife, Wanda, who is nearly catatonic when Nikki finds her.  Just as she did with Cara Lynn a few episodes back, Nikki gallantly rescues Wanda from the compound.

“Think Bill will like my new outfit?”

Clearly in the rescuing mood, Nikki makes a pitstop at her brother Albie’s home.  As a result of Dale’s suicide and the resulting investigation into the latter’s finances, by the UEB, Albie appears to be having some type of nervous breakdown.  He is sweaty and shaking.  He keeps having hallucinations involving his father.  And he has become (gasp) a bad dancer!  Albie is bopping around his home to 80s music, when Nikki arrives.  (What is it with the Grants and the 80s?)

“What?  Those were good times!”

(BTW: Albie’s wife, the traitorous Laura, announces Nikki’s arrival.  Based on his interaction with her, it appears that Albie has not, in fact, put two and two together, regarding her role in Dale’s demise.  It seems unlike Albie to be so dense.  Is it possible that he DOES know and is merely waiting for the right moment to seek revenge?  I am intrigued to see how this will all play out. . . )

Nikki offers to go away somewhere with Albie, so that he can escape the toxic atmosphere of the compound.  Unfortunately, Crazed Albie is not exactly in the vacationing mood.  He violently pushes Nikki away, harshly ridiculing her new wardrobe and lifestyle.

Later, Nikki again confides in Bill that, after all these years of marriage, she has finally come to love him.  Compound living had taught her not to love, but only to obey.  Now, that Nikki truly loves Bill, she no longer wants to share him with Barb and Margene . . .

“It looks like monogamy is coming to get you, Mr. Bill.  Be afraid, be very afraid.”

The Devil You Know Versus The One You Don’t

In other Grant news, Nikki’s mom, Adaleen, has just learned that J.J. is crazy.  (Shocker!)  But not just your garden variety crazy, so crazy that ROMAN didn’t want J.J. around J.J. ‘s OWN daughter!  Apparently, prior to his death, Roman did, in fact, sign off on young Cara Lynn’s “sealing” to the dirty old man from a few episodes prior. 

However, as it turns out, Roman did so, not to seek vengeance against Nikki, as we once thought, but to rescue Cara Lynn from J.J.!   Now, when Roman Grant thinks your an evil nutjob, you KNOW things are bad .  .  .  I have a feeling this J.J. storyline is going to come to head next week in a major way!

That’s a wrap Big Lovers! Tune in next week for the grand finale, where, HOPEFULLY, Barb and Tommy will hook up, and we will FINALLY see the last of that pain in the ass, Marilyn . . .

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Lost Boys and Peter Pan Complexes – A Recap of Big Love’s “The Sins of The Father”

Welcome back, Big Lovers!  A lot has happened since we last visited the Henrickson clan.  Bill got the Senate nomination!  Ben went off to live with his Bat-S*&^ Crazy Grandma!  Barb got hot and steamy with another man!

Tonight’s episode had a lot to do with accepting responsibility for, and coming to terms with, one’s past.  While some characters were able to do this successfully, others seemed to regress, resorting to pouting, name-calling, manipulation, and other childish antics, to get what they wanted. 

So, what do you say we jump on the campaign bandwagon, to find out which Henricksons “grew up,” and which decided to remain in Never Never Land?

Father Knows Least

“I just can’t understand why all of you won’t cater to my every whim.”

If you recall, erstwhile D-Bag Bill kicked his 17-year-old son Ben out of the house, because his wife, Margene, developed feelings for Ben and kissed him on the mouth.  All of this was clearly Ben’s fault!  After all, despite his youth, Ben is a MAN!  Therefore, he should ABSOLUTELY be responsible for controlling the inappropriate sexual urges of all of the “weak and feeble-minded” women in his life.  Right?

 (Ooh, perhaps I went a bit heavy on the sarcasm there . . . Naaaah.)

“Man, compared to this guy, even I’m evolved!”

In addition to banishing his own son, Bill is also giving Margene the cold shoulder.  Barb initially pleads with Bill to take back his son and play nice with Margene.  “You have to forgive her,” Barb lectures, using words that will come back to haunt her by the episode’s end.

However, when Barb learns that this was more than just a “missed peck on the cheek,” her tune quickly changes.  She too begins giving Margene the cold shoulder.  And how does Margene respond to all this iciness?  By sucking on a helium balloon and speaking in an “adorably” squeaky voice, of course.  (I’m not kidding.  She actually does this.)

“Margene is hot and all.  But I am starting to think that she is a bit too immature for me.  Too bad Sarah is already taken . . .”

While crashing at his Big Sister Sarah’s, Ben calls his Grandma Lois, in hopes of getting some money with a much-needed side of sympathy.  When Ma Henrickson learns what Bill did, she is understandably horrified, not to mention overcome with guilt.  This situation forces Lois to recall how she sat idly by, while her husband threw Bill and his brother Joey out of the house, when both were barely teenagers.

Lois confronts Bill with the intention of preventing him from repeating his father’s mistakes.  However, the self-involved Lois winds up merely defending her own cowardly past misdeeds.  “This isn’t my fault,” she whines.  (Oh, yes, it is!)

Later, when Bill gets roped into spending the evening at his own casino to please an important campaign contributor (This is the first time I’ve actually seen him there all season), he is mortified to find his own parents in attendance and causing a scene.  Bill and his father soon come to blows.  Bill blames his father for his crappy childhood.  Papa Henrickson responds by calling Bill out on his own hypocrisy.  They beat each other up a bit.

To make matters even worse for Bill, Joey, typically a staunch supporter of Bill’s, surprises his brother by taking his father’s side.  “You are on the wrong path, brother,” scolds Joey. 

And in polygamist speak, telling someone that they are on the wrong path is about as bad as telling them to go %$& themselves.  (Worse, actually, since polygamists don’t curse).

Nikki Develops a Conscience

Nikki’s been a busy little bee lately.  Bill has decided to pimp her out to his opponent’s campaign in order to collect some helpful intel.  At the same time, she is posing as Bill’s “assistant,” Daphne, in order to quell the suspicions of the devious lobbyist, Marilyn.  “Why am I always the one asked to do morally ambiguous things?”  Nikki inquires.  (Good question.)

Bill puts up some lame excuse about delegating jobs that cater to everyone’s individual strengths.  Nikki, who obviously has dreadfully low self esteem, seems to buy into this.  But I, for one, would be hugely offended, if I were her.  Basically, Bill has just told his own wife that her “strengths” lie in being a conniving bitch.  Based on past experience, this may be true, but still . . . 

“I’m not bad.  I’m just drawn that way.”

Some Like it Hot

To say that Bill’s Senatorial campaign is bringing out the worst in Barb is the understatement of the century.  Normally calm and collected, Barb lashes out at Margene when she finds out the true nature of her feelings for Ben, calling her a flirt and a floozy.  Barb then gets real classy, outing Margene’s deceased mother as a low-class alcoholic.

“Oh no she di-dn’t!”

Barb concludes this “mature and rational” meeting of the minds by knocking down Margene’s bracelet sales display with the verve and intensity of a playground bully.  Realizing that she needs to “cool off,” Barb heads to the casino where she encounters its co-owner Tommy.  Instead of cooling things off for Barb, Tommy decides to heat them up, by taking Barb to a sweat lodge.

Tommy’s hot shirtless bod doesn’t go unnoticed by Barb, particularly when she finds out that he is a widower.  The sexual tension between these two has been evident since they started arguing with one another early in the season about how to run the casino.  Now, it appears the pair has reached a whole new level of “hot for each other”-ness.

Barb leaves the sweat lodge before things can get too steamy between her and Tommy.  However, she returns there on her own to gather her thoughts at the end of the episode.  I having a feeling that this is not the last we will see of Barb and Tommy.

(It is now official.  Every single wife of Bill’s has had an emotion affair on his ass.  It serves him right, as far as I am concerned . . .)

Rebel With a Cause

In Bill’s defense, he actually made some important strides toward being a decent human being, during this episode.  For one thing, he refused to link up with the clearly EEEEVVVIL lobbyist Marilyn, despite the fact that doing so would undoubtedly help his campaign.

Bill does the right thing again, when tragic news hits Utah regarding a “Lost Boy,” who escaped from the Juniper Creek compound, robbed a convenient store, and ended up being killed as a result.  When Bill’s Senatorial adversary, Coburn, pushes him to take a hard stance against the dead youth and the crimes he committed, Bill takes the high road and refuses.  Later, in secret, he contacts the county and ensures that the boy be given a proper burial.

On the day of the primary runoff election, Bill returns to the convention center to find it wallpapered with his mug shot, which was taken during his own “Lost Boy” teenage years.  And I’ll be darned if the young Bill Henrickson isn’t a spitting image of the young Frank Sinatra.

(Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the actual “Henrickson mugshot” to post here.  However, anyone who saw the episode could probably back me up on this one.)

During the Republican Primary Debate, Bill surprises everyone by coming clean about his father’s abuse, his mother’s abandonment, and his childhood crimes.  In a heartfelt speech that literally brought tears to my eyes, erstwhile D-Bag Bill invites his community to take responsibility for its “Lost Children,” and accept these neglected children’s sins as their own.

As a result of this admittedly awesome speech, Bill wins the primary against his highly unsympathetic opponent, who actually reminded me a lot of this guy . . .

During the celebration of his victory, a humbled Bill agrees to try and reconcile with Margene.  He even goes as far as to patronize Barb for not being as open and godlike as he has just recently become.  “You have to forgive her,” Bill scolds, throwing Barb’s own words from the episode’s opening back in her face.  (Burn!)

As much as that line made me cringe, when Sarah tells Bill that young Ben did not come to his victory celebration; and has, instead, went off to live with Crazy Ma and Pa Henrickson, I genuinely felt bad for the guy.

Growing up isn’t always easy . . .

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