Arts & Culture

Jews Watching BIg Love: The Big L-Word

Did you know that Mormons call non-Mormons “gentiles?” Read More

By / February 28, 2011
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Fans have been a bit anxious about this final season of Big Love, concerned that, with so many new emerging plot lines, the writers are simply going to ignore the long lasting questions that have plagued fans since earlier seasons.  It seems that the writing of this final season, as well has the fans’ reaction to it, has been quite similar to the final season of Lost, in which the show’s writers attempted to introduce wholly new plot lines in order to wrap up old ones.  Lets explore the major conflicts that were visited in this week’s episode and see how they might help to inform the show in its entirety.

Lois and Frank

The Itchy and Scratchy like relationship between Lois and Frank is nothing new.  Since the show’s inception we’ve known of this tumultuous relationship, only at first glance, it seemed like a truly grave situation.  The introduction of Lois’s dementia may have seemed like a new plot line, but now, coupled with Frank’s busted hip, we learn that it’s merely a way of showing the bigger picture of their marriage.  Now that we see how their end looks, we get a better understanding of what Lois and Frank might have looked like in the beginning.

Cara Lynn Hot for Teacher

This one might be brand new.  Hell Cara Lynn was only introduced last season, but that doesn’t mean it won’t prove to somehow inform the show in a bigger way.  This week, Cara Lynn’s relationship with her teacher settled into seriousness and during the wedding reception, Margene finally caught on.  The concern in Margene finding out is that she might make it her business to put a stop to it as a way of dealing with her regret over marrying Bill so young.  Other than that, this relationship simply illustrates the general Utah weirdness we’ve been seeing all season.  When they all went out at the theater and Nikki thought the she was the object of the teacher’s affection, it was major dramatic irony, but totally realistic in this crazy Mormon world we’ve come to know.

Alby and the Compound

One of the most memorable scenes from this week’s episode was the shot of the compound when Bill and Nikki first drove in.  The snow covered grounds of the compound riddled with children brandishing shovels, and smashing TV sets to pieces.  “Something bad is happening,” Says Nikki, speaking as somebody who knows.  Later Adeline tells Nikki that Alby’s banished all TV’s and phones because the kids have discovered “Something called sexting.”

Meanwhile, Alby is busy buying up Bill’s Home Plus property in order to put him out of business and at the same time playing tiddlywinks with his new boy toy in his office.  Of course, Alby’s madness is nothing new, but neither is the Henrickson/Grant war, in fact, it’s a part of the very fabric of the show.  The great legend of Big Love is that Roman Grant probably murdered Bill’s grandfather in order to become profit.  Now, Bill and Alby are going to war.  Since the beginning of the show, viewers have wondered if the series will end with Bill as the new profit of Juniper Creek.  Suddenly, it seems very possible.  The question is: Will Bill turn into an only slightly more benevolent Roman Grant?

The Marriage

This is it, what Big Love is all about.  The entire show has been about this unorthodox marriage and how such a non-modern relationship works in the modern world.  Barb’s struggles with the way women are oppressed within her culture is a new way to splice modernity into the 3-way marriage.  This week, Nikki is married to Bill, but Barb refuses to be re-sealed to Bill, Nikki and Margene, despite their wishes.  Interestingly, as a result of Barb’s feminist awakening, she’s put in the position to reject her sister wives, “sister” being the operative word. The main theme of this season has been all about wondering what the marriage will look like at the end of the show.  This week, I put it to you that Margene, Barb and Nikki will stay sealed, however, Barb and Bill, will no longer be sealed.  How does that work?  I’m sure Big Love will be glad to show us.   Since the beginning, Bill has, to and extent been a non-entity.

Other questions this week included the Ben-Rhonda-Heather love triangle, Carl and Pam’s troubled marriage and the FBI probe on Bill for marrying a 16-year-old Marge.  All of which will no doubt, will be the means to some mind-blowing end.  Also, did you know that Mormons call non-Mormons “gentiles?”