Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Big Love 2 Episode 8: Polygamy and Misgivings

A powerhouse of an episode of Big Love on HBO tonight, that shook the series to its polygamous roots. And it did this with some of the hottest scenes so far, and a shocker course-changing ending.

It began with the seemingly innocuous: Bill falls asleep and misses his night with Nikki. She's of course unhappy, and Bill concludes from this that maybe one night a week off - from sex with his wives - would be a good thing for him and the family. The reason, presumably, is stress at business. But nothing is innocuous in this intensely loving tinder house of a family.

Nikki assumes the reason is her. Margene's ok with it, at first - reasonably pointing out that the wives have plenty of nights off, so why shouldn't Bill. Unlike Nikki, Margene is happy and secure in her sexual relationship with Bill.

But the most profound and revealing reaction is Barb's: she's furious about this request, because she's already seen her seven nights a week whittled down to fewer than three.

And Barb's misgivings about polygamy become even more clear when Ben announces that he wants to marry Brynn - so as not to let his lust and love be sinful - and answers his parents' concerns that he's too young to make such a decision by assuring them he can take another wife later, in addition to Brynn, if he feels so moved.

Barb is horrified, talks to Brynn and tells her about Ben's scenario. Brynn (played by the beautiful Sarah Jones) breaks up with Ben - who is furious at Barb for talking to Brynn-

But the deeper story here is Barb and her complex, conflicted feelings about polygamy. Whatever she may say and even feel about herself, she certainly does not want this for her son - that's crystal and painfully clear.

On the bright side, we see the hottest scenes so far with Bill and each of his wives...

But the business with Roman and the Greenes is reaching a boiling point, and I won't tell you the ending, in case you haven't seen it.

Suffice to say that Big Love has moved on to a new, more dangerous and violent level...

See also reviews of other episodes: Big Love Resumes ... 2: Oh, Happy Day, and Not ... 3: Sons and Mothers ... 4. Help Me, Rhonda ... 5. The Waitress and More... 6. Just Lust ... 7. Margene's Mama ... 9. Swing Vote Margene ... 11. Family in Crisis ... 12. Polygamy and Great Performances Confirmed
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