Arts & Culture

Jews Watching Big Love: I May Not Always Love You

There was no holding back this week in the world of colossal, capacious and commodious Mormon love. Read More

By / February 14, 2011
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There was no holding back this week in the world of colossal, capacious and commodious love.  The question of the Henrickson’s three-way marriage, who will stay and who will go, reached a boiling point when, at the end of the episode, Barb and Bill shared the same, shocking sentiment.  The seeds of Rhonda’s return are starting to take hold, and the dead fish that is the “Bill on the hill” storyline somehow continued to flop around.  Lets break it down into the good and the bad.

The Bad: This week, Bill’s rival senator promised to back off his attacks.  A celebration was had, a football thrown, but then Bill was presented with a rather large catch.  The LDS church called Bill into their headquarters to inform him that he’s no longer allowed to call himself Mormon in public.  Bill eventually refused, knowing that by doing so, the attacks on his personal life would continue, as will the attempts to impeach him.

Didn’t this seem unwise?  Lets put it this way.  You’re running for senate as an openly Jewish man, but you belong to a small splinter group of Jews who believe staunchly in pre-marital sex.  In fact, your splinter group believes that Jewish law states believers are to have as much sex as humanely possible with as many people as possible, even outside of your marriage.  Some rep from a powerful group of Jews tell you that you can no longer call yourself a Jew in public, or they will seek to impeach, or disempower you.  Would it not be worth it mince words for a while in order to be able to further the agenda of your crazy Jewish sex cult?   What made this storyline interesting though, was how it illustrated the extent to which the LDS church has power over the government of Utrah, or at least Big Love’s fictional Utah.

Also in the bad category, Margene is called in Goji headquarters where she and Grant Show have it out about her religion.  Show implied that he cannot have a pligy working for the company. This was tough to buy.  No pyramid scheme is going to object to a top-seller’s religious beliefs, not even in Utah.

The Good: Most of the rest of what happened this week would fall into the “good” category: Cara Lynn is hot for teacher and Lois can’t stand living in suburbia, but the major moment in this week’s episode revolved around the following.

Turns out that Rhonda’s baby daddy Verlin had his fair share of trouble in Vegas, which had him wrapped in some manslaughter-y situation.  Alby, as he talks about this seems almost completely overcome with pleasure like he’s just heard about the crazy Jewish sex cult.  Since Alby’s tryst last season, it’s getting hard to tell when Alby is being Sinister, and when he being randy, and whether the two are mutually exclusive.  Asking Verlin to whack Don Embry, it seemed as if he was propositioning him to get beneath his desk, but he wasn’t, was he?  Obviously, their plot is going to be found out really fast thanks to gorgeous and treacherous Rhonda’s big mouth.

Of course, the most notable part of this episode, involved Bill and Barb.  In order to legally adopt Cara Lynn (not necessary considering her age, but I’ll bite,) he needs to be married to Nikki and therefore, must divorce Barb.  Although it’s always been implied, they actually say out loud this week that Barb and Bill have “a special relationship.”  Therefore, for Bill to even bring the possibility of divorce to Barb, was a step too far.  Meanwhile, Barb truly thinks, in their religion a woman should be able hold the same power (priesthood) as a man.  For Mormon’s, this is the equivalent of a Scientologist saying, “I believe that our whole family should be on Ritalin.”  At the very end of this episode, sitting on the bench where he proposed to her 20 years prior, Bill and Barb agreed to divorce.  This was one of the most shocking moments in Big Love history.  It was both sad and beautiful, because up to the very last moment, it seemed as though they were revisiting the depth of their feelings for each other, then it suddenly came to an end.  Us the audience member being entirely unaware of this coupled with their ability to almost telepathically communicate this huge decision, truly informs the episode’s title: Barb and Bill have a special relationship.

My prediction for the show’s ending is starting to take shape. Bill at the end, will be married to only one woman, Nikki, however, the family and the three sister wives in particular will somehow remain bonded in a way that’s unexpected.