Monday, March 8, 2010

Big Love Breakout Season 4 Finale

Big Love concluded its spectacular Season 4 on HBO last night with about as profound a series-changer as you can get for this story:  Bill before the world, announcing he's a polygamist, with wives Barb, Nikki, and Margene standing right next to him.

It was a thrilling moment for those of us who have been watching every episode of this fine series.  Bill standing up for his principle, in the face of enormous opposition which would have crushed a lesser man.

This season was realistic in showing what it cost Bill to get there.  He set his best friend Don up for a fall.   He at times alienated his oldest children - Ben and Sarah - and his wives, especially Barb.  Politics and winning the election which got Bill and his three wives up on that stage last night took its toll, in making Bill a tougher, sometimes too cold and calculating, man.

But he always came through for his children.   He rescued Ben in Mexico, and supported what Sarah wanted to do.   He came through for Nikki - rescuing her from the despicable, sickening J.J., just as his campaign was concluding.   He tried to step up and do the right thing for the baby he fathered with Ana, with all the complexity of Margene's involvement with Ana and Gorin making this more difficult.  And it was so good to see Don in the audience, smiling, as Bill made his announcement - Don clearly felt his sacrifice had been worth it.

Barb came through the worst in all of this.   She almost left Bill and the family last night.  His firing of his Native American casino partners, whom Barb had befriended and really cared about, was almost the last straw.

It still may be.   Barb's showing up at Bill's announcement was a significant step back from her moving away from the marriage.   But the problems that led to her almost departing are still there, and could lead to a break next year.

Indeed, all aspects of the family are changing.  Not only is their relationship public and Bill in office.  Not only is Barb more unhappy than she's ever been.  But Nikki has shed her public modesty, and looks great as a thoroughly modern woman.  And Margene, whether she fully realizes it or not, is involved in what may be another polygamous relationship, with Ana and Gorin.

All the more reason to be looking forward to Big Love, Season 5.

5-min podcast review of Big Love

See also Big Love Season 4 Start with Casino, Psycho, and Birds ... Big Love 4.2: Politician or Prophet?  ... Big Love 4.3: Super-Compressed, Super-Fine ...  Big Love 4.4:  Bill and Don
... The Potential for Brilliance in Big Love 4.5 ... Big Love 4.6: Barb Ascendant ... Nearly Gunfight at the OK Corral for Big Love 4.7

See also: Big Love, Season 3 ... 1. a 4th ... 2. Two Issues Resolved, Two Not So Much ... 6. Exquisite, Perfectly Played ... Big Love Season 3 Finale: Bigger Love ...

And from Season 2: 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 ... 11. Family in Crisis ... Big Love Season 2 Concludes

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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