Barb's mother and her marriage was the match that lit this crisis. Barb's mother (brilliantly played by Ellen Burstyn - all the acting in this episode was really outstanding) is vehemently against her daughter's polygamy, and has tried to cut her daughter out of her life. Barb can't abide the separation, and goes to see her mother...
What comes out of this visit is a plan for Ben to live with his grandmother (Barb has been less than pleased that Ben is beginning to see the "principle), and this a plan that neither Bill nor Ben are told about. Sarah's having problems with her boyfriend - she doesn't think it's right to sleep with him - and Nikki gives her advice to give her boyfriend enough of a taste to keep him interested. But Sarah - in a sense, like Barb - is uncomfortable with her polygamous family, and what she sees as its mixed moral messages.
Eventually, Barb, Ben, and Sarah end up at Barb's mother's wedding - and they're soon joined by Bill and Margene, and then Nikki and the whole family. There's some good cathartic screaming and yelling. Margene doesn't like being left "like a dog" in the car, Nikki confronts Barb on perhaps leaning to leave the family, Bill mostly stands his ground ... And, in the end, the whole family leaves together, and Barb and her mother even hug.
So the Henricksons have survived the marriage of Barb's mother. The family's fractious as always, but intact. The important message here is that, however complicated things may get with the Henricksons, there is a strong, underlying love that keeps them together.
But next week they'll face a far more dangerous attack than anything Barb's mother can mete out. Bill's acquisition of the gaming company is already a bone of contention in the family ... and Alby's on a brutal warpath.
See also reviews of other episodes: 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 ... 8. Polygamy and Misgivings ... 9. Swing Vote Margene ... 10. Polygamy as the Ultimate Cool/Bad ... 12. Polygamy and Great Performances Confirmed
The Plot to Save Socrates
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
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