Big Love – Episode 5-9 Review

I’ve been wondering exactly how Big Love would get through the remaining time with such little time left, especially when there seemed so much unresolved at the end of the last week’s episode. “Exorcism” is the answer to that question, burning through several plots while keeping the family conflict at the center of the episode. Although there is still plenty that needs explaining and probably won’t be explained, it’s clear that plot isn’t a priority, and to me that’s a positive.

First things first, the plot–Alby finally going down. The episode begins with Alby on the run and the authorities completely behind Bill, so there is no questioning of him. As much as everyone hates Bill, Alby is certainly worse and no one backs Alby to get back at Bill. Alby goes into crazy mode and decides to march up to the capital and kill Bill, but Alby is no Uma Thurman, not even hitting Margene before Bill shoots him. I assume this is the end of Alby, including his ownership of the Home Plus buildings, which makes sense because Alby isn’t a character to have a meaningful resolution. The plot is fairly tense and provides a loose structure for the rest of the episode. The only thing left unresolved is Adaleen, who was willing to follow her son off a cliff and now has criminal charges against her.

Like Alby, Greg Ivey is quickly taken care of, with Nicki telling Cara Lynn that she and Bill confronted him and told the authorities. Nicki adds that he was a predator, not  a love-sick fool. Just like that he’s gone–if we are to believe Nicki. She says this during a mean-spirited, hurtful speech in the middle of night, telling Cara Lynn directly how terrible she is, which is why I have a feeling she may be lying. It’s possibly that Nicki was lying just to make Cara Lynn feel worse. We know that Nicki is saying this because she sees so much of herself in Cara Lynn–being a manipulator and liar, etc–but it’s horrible nonetheless and eventually Cara Lynn breaks down and burns her books.

The strength in the episode lies in the ongoing family conflict which I was afraid would dissipate because the wives would band behind Bill. Instead, with the pressing concern that Bill may be in prison for decades, issues such a Barb holding the priesthood comes to a head. Every wife has at least one wonderful scene with Bill. Barb is holding firm to her beliefs and to the family, two incompatible traits according to Bill. Margene, cheerful as always, wants the family to go to Honduras but that’s not an option. Nicki really comes off as a bad person in the episode, trying to ship off Cara Lynn and openly stating how she doesn’t want another statutory rape in the family. But I still felt bad for her when she burst into tears after Cara Lynn burned her books. Maybe it’s Chloë Sevigny’s acting, but damn did Nicki look beaten down. In the end, though, the three wives and mostly behind Bill and visit him at the office.

Ben just can’t seem to get anything right. He turns down Rhonda’s marriage offer and is ready to commit to Heather, but Rhonda, in her sociopathic ways, has to say that she had relations with Ben. At this point, Heather is outrage, but the situation is still salvageable, until Ben says he’ll be with both of them. Heather tosses her milkshake on him and stalks off like any reasonable person would. Good try, Ben.

Frank and Lois are off somewhere again while Bill is looking for them. Yeah, it’s pointless to talk about them anymore.

It doesn’t really feel the final episode of Big Love is here, but there is undoubtedly only one episode left. Even though lots of plot was resolved this week, there are still the ongoing charges against Bill and the question about the family sticking together. After “Exorcism” I am back on board and feeling upbeat about how the series will end, and hopefully we won’t be disappointed.

Score: 9.0/10

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