Sunday, January 31, 2010

Big Love, "The Mighty and the Strong": The candidate

A few quick thoughts on tonight's "Big Love" coming up just as soon as I stay at a Holiday Inn Express...

There are shows with insufferable main characters where the creative teams clearly don't recognize how insufferable those characters have become. (See, for example, Jack in "Lost" seasons 2 and 3.) The "Big Love" writers, fortunately, don't have any myopia when it comes to Bill, made abundantly clear by an episode like "The Mighty and the Strong," in which Bill bullies and/or manipulates everyone around him to get what he wants (in this case, his idiotic, obviously doomed plan to run for office so he can come out of the polygamist closet) while his friends and family struggle to keep up with his megalomania. Bill chose politics over trying to succeed Roman as the next prophet of Juniper Creek, but in a moment like the show's closing scene - where he agrees that Ben is wise to leave home for a while, in the same way the old men of the Creek always chased away the young boys when they threatened their access to the young women - is there really any difference? Hell, he even sends Nicki undercover to get dirt on his opponent, just like Roman did last season.

What was interesting about this episode was in seeing how, despite Bill's increasingly selfish, destructive behavior, the people around him have often turned out to be good. Ben is stand-up from beginning to end in this one (aside from his Benjamin Braddock moment in the family swimming pool), Sarah takes care of the baby (and we see that her marriage to Scott is everything that Barb once thought her marriage to Bill was), and even poor Don is such a good friend to Bill that he lets himself take the public fall, putting his freedom and his family at risk to enable Bill's run for office.

Even Alby has become, if not sympathetic - you can't use that adjective to describe someone who sells his mother into slavery with his sister's hated ex-husband - then recognizably human. Alby still has too much of Roman in him, but his father's death is letting him question things about himself and his upbringing (at the same time Nicki's doing it, interestingly enough).

Still not interested in JJ, or the usual antics with Bill's mom and dad, or the casino, but at the moment the good stuff's outweighing the bad - even if a lot of the good involves depicting how bad Bill has become.

What did everybody else think?

38 comments:

Moshen Family said...

This was possibly the most inane and implausible show.

As folks offered up in the past episode's discussion, the writers have truly imbued Bill with the God-like (demonic?) ability to miraculously achieve whatever he wants, no matter the cost. For example, how could Don completely capitulate to Bill and potentially destroy his family?

I believe that unless suffers a MAJOR fall, which pays him back for his megalomania, the season has been a complete waste of time.

Anonymous said...

This season I really feel like the writers are tossing out plot points from out of the blue with zero explanation. What was all that business about the log cabin? And when did Nikki start working for Colburn? Those both came out of nowhere. I don't understand why Adam Beach assumed Sarah was kidnapping the baby (he himself said the mother was an addict and that Sarah had been seen with her at the hospital) and it was pretty abrupt from when Sarah assumed she was waiting for the mother to come back to hoping to keep the baby for herself. The Lois and Frank storyline is completely idiotic and I don't understand the point of it all. And will someone PLEASE explain the UEB trust storyline to me? What exactly is the trust and why is the state involved in it? I have literally no idea what is going on with that one.

Paulina said...

Not sure if I heard this correctly, but did Louis tell the people she got the birds from "Give my regards to Hollis"? I hope not, this show does not need another Juniper Creek/Hollis Green standoff.

Loving Bill as a monster, he's so much more interesting with his ego, ambition, and ignorance on display. That last scene with him and Ben was chilling.

Terri said...

I truly loathe Bill and was struck by the irony of him throwing out Ben (or agreeing he should leave). I'm really enjoying this season and the parallels between Bill and Roman's megalomania.

Don is such a patsy, but will his wife have to resign too?

I wasn't clear what JJ wants from Joey and Wanda.

floretbroccoli said...

I'm trying my best to suspend disbelief, but how on earth does anyone think it's possible for the Henrickson's to hide Bill's polygamy once anyone starts looking?

And does it make any sense at all for Bill to continue to lie outright about his polygamy, and then expect to come out after he is elected? It's one thing for him to try to skate by, letting people think he is monogamous, but once it's been suggested that he is a polygamist, he is lying.

Anonymous said...

The plot on this show has spiraled out of control. What once was a great show about the "everyday" struggles of a polygamist family has lost itself in overly complex storylines and is quickly becoming a total farce. I thought this show was supposed to retain some element of realism to ground the idea that this family could actually exist...a "normal" polygamist family. But the last two episodes have thrown that out the window for me. Really, Nicki pulls a gun at a DC fundraiser and Bill can talk her way out of arrest -- let alone that she can so easily be privy to the strategy of Bill's opponent? Really, Barb and Sarah are going to hit a meth-running pedestrian and then "steal" her baby? And this doesn't even begin to describe how incredibly coincidental it is that Alby and the UEB Trust's trustee (or whatever he is) got together in the park randomly before meeting at the first public hearing. Shows require suspension of disbelief in varying degrees. There are series that require complete suspension - e.g., Desperate Housewives - but I never thought Big Love was the same. The writers have taken everything I liked and threw it out, and everything I hate and amplified it. I'm giving it two more episodes, and without improvement, we're through.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or is Bill being more stupid than usual with his plan to run for state senate....he is campaigning as a family man and as soon as he comes out as a polygamist all of these interviews he is giving now will show that he was clearly not being truthful. I am not familiar with Utah laws, but if how does he not get impeached? Bill has always been stupid, but it is completely ridiculous for us to buy he hasn't thought this all the way through.

Hutch said...

I agree, the show was chock full of implausible situations. However, I thought the scene with Wanda and Joey was poignant, talking about rocking their children, their grandchildren and then holding each other. There is something about Wanda that always gets me....

Kensington said...

I still love this show, but I don't really like what they're doing with Bill.

Yes, it's good that the show recognizes how loathsome he's become, but that just underlines the bigger problem: the main character has become a loathsome fool. That's just not what I'm interested in.

It's starting to feel like the whole point of Big Love is to condemn polygamy. And if that's the case, well, duh. I was far more interested when it seemed like the show was about trying to portray how the Hendricksen's worked rather than how they obviously don't work. The former is a unique approach; the latter is an obvious, predictable approach.

But I am still enjoying it, and as much as I disliked how the Margene/Ben attraction was revisited last week, they developed in it a pretty interesting fashion tonight.

OleNelson said...

Ugh. Just ugh.

As other commenters have suggested, this show is so much better when it focuses on the mundane. Because the mundane for this particular family is fascinating and odd.

All of this politics blah, blah, blah and Indian baby stealing blah, blah, blah is BORING. And this show should NEVER BE BORING.

Derek said...

I'm gonna be the lone voice of positivity here. I loved this episode. It felt like an alternate reality West Wing. As Bill sacrifices one relationship after another, at some point he's going to have a reckoning, and that's going to be something to see.

At the same time, the writers have done the impossible in making me actually care about Alby. He's a monster and fucked-up beyond redemption, but all of it is kind of not his fault. And seeing him bloom in a sort of "relationship" is stunningly heart-wrenching.

I'm curious to see what their plans are for Bill's brother. There's something sinister brewing there.

This season is, so far, all about the things you want but can't have. Bill wants to become a senator and come out of the closet. Margene wants to be with Ben. Alby wants to be The Prophet and have a lover. Don wants to be Bill. Joey and Wanda want something.

Maybe the theme of this season is insane dreams that can't come true (but we'll still try).

As for all the implausibility comments, you're right, of course. But it's just as implausible that Vic Mackey could get away with his antics, or that spaceships could fly around with warp drives. Any television show requires a suspension of disbelief, and I don't find Big Love harder to believe than a bunch of yellow people that never age in Springfield.

Trilby said...

I think I'm with Derek. For all the implausibility, I still enjoyed the hell out of it. What Bill did to Don was just unforgivable. And I knew he was going to make Ben leave if BEn didn't volunteer-- yes, the "custom" of these communities is to get rid of the extra young men. Bill is the most repellent creep even, but I'm afraid that when he gets his comeuppance from Heavenly Father he will still be able to spin it to his own advantage somehow. That's how it is with people like Bill. They never see themselves as others see them. If they did, they'd kill themselves.

Margene, oh, Margene. That was sad when she had her on-camera melt-down. I feel for that girl. She is clearly through with Bill and needs to figure out her next steps. Did she ruin her career of selling shiny stuff on TV? I hope not. That was her ticket out. But she's sure had a miserable life for someone so pretty and young and good-natured. She really has a lovely spirit and I hope something good happens for her. (I realize she's a fictional character.)

It was quite revolting to see Nikki's Mom working for JJ and practicing perfect obedience.... Ew. The men sure have the women brainwashed in this cult, don't they?

So, Sissy's back next week. That should be fun.

mrsb said...

As much as I hate what Bill has become/ is becoming, I love watching it! He's turning a step at a time, into Roman. I can't wait for him to realize it!

Not interested in Sarah, the baby or the casino, but surprisingly entranced by Alby and his new romance. Making Alby into a character you can care about is a writing miracle, lol!

The whole bird/Lois/Frank story line really needs to go. It's awful.

It was also interesting to see the difference in the way Nickie and Margene handle their feelings for men who are not their husband. Though Margene's feelings are in-family (eww), her complete shame and heartbreaking admission to her husband were quite different from Nickie's cover-ups and sneaking around.

Dudleys Mom said...

This show often has interesting ideas (Nicki examining her upbringing and values) but then it just lapses into absurdity. Bill is just unbearable and stupid.

However, I would probably enjoy it if Ben decides that he's in fact the true prophet and kicks Bill's ass.

a_ugochi_en said...

Just wanted to throw in my to cents with regards to Margene. I don't think she is in love with Ben nor that she is through with Bill. I think during her mini-on-air-meltdown, she expressed her true feelings - that she has been abandoned by her husband. Bill, nor the family at large, have been particularly supportive of her growth as an individual and as a business person. I think she still buys into the polygamous lifestyle, but she feels alone and Ben, due to his crush on her, pays attention to her and sees her as she wants to be seen, as opposed to how she used to be.

Laurel said...

Bill is acting very Roman-esque. I thought he almost realized it there for a moment but then it cut to the scene of him tossing Ben out. And poor poor Don. That was the last straw for me. Even my husband, who barely registers Big Love as background noise looked up and said, "that guy is a d**k."

I feel so torn though, because I want Bill to fail and his life be destroyed like he is increasing destroying others'. But that would also be more pain and anguish for all his poor children (although Teeny may have it coming), and even more his wives who are trying so hard to keep the family together. I am really interested in how all this gets resolved.

I like the other side of Alby. It's confusing and strange. "Like" might not be the right work. I am intrigued by it.

Lisa said...

I, too, thought this episode was absolutely fascinating. I was talking with my boyfriend after the show about what good writer's Big Love has - because I don't actually think Bill has changed all that much; instead, I think the writers are allowing us to see all facets of Bill's personality.

I mean, really, how has he changed? One day he decided he wanted to be a polygamist. And so he was. His wife didn't want that life, but he forced her to want that life, just as he now forces people to want the same things he wants, such as a career in politics.

He is the same guy but every episode he becomes more reprehensible. It is fascinating to watch someone so narcissistic.

Also, I agree with a_ugochi_en... Margene doesn't "love" Ben. Margene loves to be loved and right now she's getting cast aside.

JanieJones said...

Bill's narcissism is out of control. I can't believe he had the audacity to ask Don to take the fall and Don, again, rolled over. Bill has to suffer consequences at some point.
The plots are all over the place. It was like having a conversation with a disorganized personality who is having a psychotic break at times.
Lois and Frank-do not care.
I,too, actually felt a bit of something regarding Alby's storyline.
Joey and Wanda's conversation was a bit of fresh air and then in swoops J.J.. What is he trying to achieve?
Adaleen screaming to Nikki (obviously she didn't like Alby's command about his revelation from heavenly father) and then being completely subservient to J.J.

However, Sissy is back next week and I look forward to seeing her.

I felt bad for Ben. I applauded Scott for standing up to Bill and Barb and comforting Sarah.
I hope Margene's breakdown doesn't completely effect her business.

I'm not sure how I feel about this show right now.

There are five episodes to go, how in the world is this going to tie up (at least a few of the storylines) in any fashion that makes sense?

Someone counted how many plots were going on during the previous week's episode and it was something like 12? Too many things going on at one time.

Alden said...

I've had the sense since the early seasons that Bill's being set up for a fall, that his failings would catch up with him. And I think I see the greater arc:

Bill will achieve every one of his goals, and in the process lose everything he loves.

I believe that, by the time Bill is in a place to legalise polygamy, Nikki will have come to the natural conclusion about her life and left Bill to find herself; Margene will strike out on her own away from the loving-but-destructive Hendrickson model, and I have the horrible feeling Barb is going to die, perhaps of her long-in-remission cancer that started all of this.

And in the end, Bill will realise that everything he's done has been a distraction, forcing him to lose the love of his life and alienate his children, lose his second and third wives to their own self-respect, and find himself completely alone. And that he's legalised polygamy, a system that oppresses women and empowers folks like Albie and Roman, in a selfish quest he will reap no true benefit from.

I think that's the natural end of this, and gives powerful material to all four of our leads. It feels like everything is moving in this one fatal arc...

Leguleius said...

I love this show. I would suggest that anybody that is really interested read "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer. I just finished it. It is about fundamentalist Mormonism, and it is remarkable how many bizarre plot points in this show actually happened in real life (including a known polygamist running for small town mayor on a Libertarian platform-and winning). By the way the UEB is just a thin disguise for the actual fundamentalist network known as the UEP.

M. said...

I agree with the posters that think the writers aren't changing their portrayal of Bill, we're just seeing him in a much different light. He really came off as a controlling SOB-husband and father when Scott told him, "It's not like that in OUR marriage" and respecting Sarah's opinions.
I think Nikki's mom is up to something with the whole submitting to JJ thing- maybe it's part of a plan to take Alby down once and for all. . .
And if anything, Margene's outburst live on TV will probably sell more bracelets- if her audience loved seeing her 'husband' they'll love another soap-opera plot twist. Although I think she was telling the truth that she feels abandoned (at least emotionally) by her husband- and now that Ben's gone, will she be next???

TL said...

And will someone PLEASE explain the UEB trust storyline to me? What exactly is the trust and why is the state involved in it?

On polygamist compounds, members of the sect own next to no private property. (I assume this is why Lois is always scheming, hiding money in cans, etc.) The sect holds all of the compound's property in trust, administered by the elders. The trust includes deeds to homes, which is why the compounders are always in fear of being kicked off, or their homes being given to someone else. It also prevents members (especially women) from leaving, because they literally have nothing.

Over 100 years, a sect like Juniper Creek can amass hundreds of millions in assets.

For reasons I don't quite remember, the UEB has been placed into receivership by the state, which has appointed its own trustee. His plan, apparently, is to break up the trust and distribute its assets to the members of Juniper Creek. Once they have deeds to their property, compound members who want out can sell their property and leave. (The rest, of course, likely put their property back into trust and carry on.)

Kirchhoff said...

"Bill will achieve every one of his goals, and in the process lose everything he loves."

A very interesting theory, and likely accurate.

One wonders if Bill would find anything in common with a certain bald, leather-jacket-wearing, L.A. gangland cop...

Anonymous said...

I used to find this series fascinating but I agree with many of the comments - I can't stand Bill. And, surprisingly, find myself rooting for people to just get out from this oppressive society. I hope Sarah stays strong! I want Nicki to realize she really is a strong women under all the oppression she has lived with for so many years. I want Margene to realize she is desirable and intelligent and doesn't need Bill or sister wives to survive. I used to like Barb but I don't have much respect for her as she blindly sides with Bill. And, surprisingly, I find this new vulnerability in Alby refreshing and generates sympathy.

Moshen Family said...

Leguleius suggested reading Krakauer's book, "Under the Banner of Heaven." I read it years ago when it came out. It actually opened my eyes to how crazy (and violent) the history and traditions of the Mormon church truly are. It's tainted the way I watch the show since its beginnings. In fact, I've always been annoyed by how the writers have avoided discussing the cultish and violent nature of the Church. It would actually provide useful context now with the family's involvement with Native American casinos. (The western migrating Mormons committed terrible atrocities to Natives they encountered on their saw to Salt Lake.)

Sean Richardson said...

The best and most engaging storylines to me this season are the Ben/Margene plot and Nicki's development.

Unlike Alan, I've never had it out for the Juniper Creek related storylines, but I have to agree as of late that the wife plots are a lot better, or at least the plots dealing with a polygamous family trying to make it in modern society. The road trip episode was one of the best of the series and had no compound plots to speak of.

I really enjoy this show and I am particularly looking forward to watching the Ben/Margene and Nicki stories this season. The less interesting political storyline isn't a big enough detraction for me to really lessen the enjoyment of the show.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I have been as disgusted by a TV character in a long time as I was when Bill essentially ran Ben off as a "lost boy".

Ben beating him to the punch just goes with the theme of the episode: the kids are developing into better parents while the parents are regressing. Sarah did the mature thing and moved past her feelings to return the baby. Ben stepped up and protected Margene and then the family. Bill can't see past his own ambitions.

I agree that even Alby came off better than Bill.

Trilby said...

I watched the episode again last night, and in the scene where Margene was trying to reach the cocoa and Ben came in the room,she admitted to him that the kiss did have meaning. And now that Bill has essentially kicked Ben out of the house, I am rooting for Margene to follow after him. Crazy, I know, but it's a crazy series.

Also, Bill's mother did send "regards to Hollis" through the border fence.

But Bill, what a jerk. And he'll never see what about himself is so terrible. If he falls, it will never be his fault but always the forces working against his righteous cause. Yuck.

The Chancellor said...

At every point that a plot could become more complicated, it does. It seems to me that Bill wants to be the prophet, but not just of Juniper Creek. Also, didn't the Governor's office realize in season 2 that Barb was a polygomist during the mother of the year awards? Wouldn't someone from then remember that when Bill announced for State Senate?

Anonymous said...

Can I also ask: what's up with Teenie? Not just the new actress/camp thing, but I think they are asetting her up to be something of a deviant. Last year it was selling the other kids in the neighborhood adult oriented magazines, this week it was the whole speech she gave Ben about the "Reaper" at camp taking girls cloths.

Katty said...

I think the dynamic in Scott and Sarah's relationship is the exact thing that lacks in Bill's relationship with all three of his wives. He constantly puts himself first and doesn't really see them as his equal. It was nice to see Scott put him in his place to a degree in this episode. Somebody has to at some point, his wives sure as hell wont - and even his best friend blindly obliged his outlandish request.

Chalmers said...

I was sure that they'd show the office manager from the first season serving as the leak to Bill's political rival.

The public awareness of the Henricksons' situation seems to get jerked around quite often. Besides what happened at the ceremony, there was the vandalism to the Home Plus billboard, which indicated that it was an open secret around town.

Now it's hidden again, to the point where it's supposed to be plausible that people will believe Margene and Nicki are Don's wives.

Still, there are some great moments and performances. I didn't welcome last week's revival of the Margene-Ben situation, but this week, they pulled it off. The couch scene had the same type of tension as my favorite moments like "Beehive Mother of the Year."

I hope Mireille Enos gets a bigger stage after creating distinctly memorable characters for both Kathy and JoDean.

As much trouble as Nicki is, it's all forgiven when she starts taking charge on construction and home-improvement projects.

TB said...

Did Big Love lose some writers/editors before this season? The show is just losing it. It's almost as frothy and unrealistic as as Grey's Anatomy.

Right now Bill is simply a fool, and that doesn't work for the central character of a dramatic series. I'm so fed up I'd have the writers kill Bill and make the show about Alby, a character with a lot more potential to carry a drama. Watching Bill bumble this way is a waste of time -- and is also too hard to believe.

Bill should have run for prophet, and then we could have seen him in his element, with his good intentions creating bad consequences in a Greek tragedy sort of way. He could have fought with Alby and hosed up the compound and caused messes that way -- and the show wouldn't have had to be so disjointed.

The BL writers should go back to school and study their Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy took side trips but only for an episode or two. She made big mistakes but never fundamentally changed her character or became stupid for extended periods of time like Bill has. Not that Bill has ever been a hero, but he has to have some credibility.

Anonymous said...

I love this show - it's ridiculous at times, but I love it. Bill is really showing some truly ugly parts of himself lately and what he asked Don to do was just beyond the pale!

I also was disgusted by his telling Ben that it was a good idea for him to leave for a while. It seems Bill doesn't realize he is turning into exactly what he has claimed to hate!

Louis did absolutely say "Give my regards to Hollis" and I believe that it was Selma - because she stared unbelievably at Jodean through the fence! Jodean being Kathy's identical twin and they tried to have Kathy married off to Hollis which resulted in her death. Selma was probably shocked to see her staring at "Kathy's" face again!

I think Bill ultimately will fall - he must in some way.

Hollis and his crew are creepy!

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice the song they were playing at Bill's announcement rally was "Drown" by Son Volt? Not the most inspiring political anthem! Particularly the repeated lyric: "what goes wrong you're causing it" -- but VERY appropriate for Bill and his actions, I'd say...

LMO said...

I'd really like to comment on the "legality" of the polygamy on this show. As far as I understand: it is not illegal.

Polygamists are legally married to multiple partners. The Juniper Creek folks and the Hendersons are not, strictly speaking, polygamists. They are not doing anything illegal. They have one legal partner and, for purposes of the law, have a handful of girlfriends. While that may be morally suspect, I'm pretty sure it's not illegal.

I am always confused why there is such fear of being discovered - while there can be social fallout, no one is technically running afoul of the law. Anything I'm missing?

Abdul said...

When the episode ended, I was motionless and speechless. Don! Ben! :( My heart goes out to them.

Bill - I wanted him to win, but when Don had to take a shot for him, and when he threw Ben out, I'm withdrawing my vote. :| I'm losing faith in Bill. But maybe this is the overall tapestry of the show - Bill IS becoming like Roman. "There's no law against crazy." But there's a point with Lisa's comment, too - maybe Bill has always been like this. He just hasn't shown them before. But in my mind, the best scenes about Bill is when he lets Sarah be herself.

Nikki in Colburn's campaign - priceless! It brings me back to when she infiltrated Ray's office. She's good at this.

Barb - "...sugar will really hit the fan!" HAHAHAHA.

Margene - Her sight in the elephant costume - it was just such a smart visual pun. And when she was checking Ben out! And when she picked the small sausage pizza! Hahaha! I have to wonder what her emotional outburst in her show is going to cost her business.

Sarah - it was an unexpected (at least for me) emotional turn for the episode. I thought she was going crazy, and then I remembered she lost a baby. And how Scott supported her was sooo goood. They were having a conversation while hugging each other. It's like they are the manifestation of the tagline of the season - hold tight. But thankfully, the meth addict Indian storyline is over.

JJ - creepy. And his wife, smiling at Adaleen - creepier.

Wanda - she has fingernails, JJ doesn't. Hmmm. And how sweet was her dream about the yellow house and the rocking chairs? :)

Jodeen - When Frank was telling Lois that he might want to have a little honeymoon with Jodeen, Jodeen tossed the sandwich aside. HAHAHA! And it was awesome when she opened the crates. I love her!

Adaleen - why is she first so angry, and then so content with her marriage to JJ? And her hand movements with the line "perfect obedience" was just gross and funny. Scratch that, she was funny the whole episode.

Ben - I don't really know if Ben knows about his grandfather kicking Bill out when Bill was a teenager. I also don't know what to make of Ben finally helping Margene reach the jar after Margene said that the kiss meant something. (When Ben was approaching her, I woke the neighbors yelling "NONONO!") I'd rather build with Ben than build with Bill.

Alby - he's crazy. And creepy. And inappropriate. But compared to Bill, he's showing more of a passion to get redemption. But if this Dale thing doesn't work, Alby might spiral out of control.

I have to agree with Derek about the dreams you want but can't have. And I agree with Trilby that I'm still enjoying this show (obviously).

@Moshen Family: I didn't know about the Native American-Mormon connection. I'm weak with American history. But it's a nice new dimension. I didn't really understand why the Indian woman was so angry with Barb in episode 3.

@TB: Maybe Bill is not going to win Senate. Maybe Bill is going to lose the election - which will make him think his calling is with the compound. But that would make Don's sacrifice not mean anything at all.

@LMO: I think polygamy is a misdemeanor in Utah.

Maybe the change in the show's opening credits is a warning that the previous tight Henricksons seen in the addicting first version of the opening credits are about to break apart? I don't think it's coincidence that the first season of the show, which explored more of the mundane parts of their lives, showed the family in their strongest, and that the later seasons of the show, which explored Bill focusing on things other than his family, showed the family in its weakest.

Anonymous said...

this show is such a conundrum for me. on one hand, i HATE the political/election story line, which unfortunately has taken over a large part of the story. my own father (now recently retired) was an elected official for literally my entire life. i have a lot of experience knowing about the inner workings of a political campaign and what that takes. and there are sooooooooo many things that are wrong here. i think what has made me the most frustrated by far was bill's whole trip to DC. i know it wasn't this episode, but guess what, giving bill's campaign money so he can put it on his literature IS AN ENDORSEMENT. ugh. and just the simple fact that bill thinks that he can "come out" once they are elected is absolutely laughable. also laughable: that despite those billboards being vandalized, barb getting caught BY THE GOVENOR as a polygamist, and the fact that a woman from Juniper Creek introduced him at the rally, bill still thinks that no one will suspect his family as polygamist. oh yeah, and there is no "momentum" from announcing your campaign first. seriously.

now with all of that off my chest, i have to say that literally every single thing that doesn't have to do with the campaign (directly) is amazing. a lot of people on here have commented already on now liking alby, liking the plot twist with margene and ben, loving the pillow talk with joey and wanda, and sarah's marriage is fantastic. i am totally on board with all of that. and really the only reason i keep tuning in each week.

new revelations though: i can't believe no one else sees this, but what is going on with barb and the casino guy. i know it seems like they hate each other, but i think there is some weird sexual chemistry there. i think it would be amazing if, finally all his wives realize what a total douchebag bill is and find that they can make it on their own and be much happier without his maniacal reign. he has already had one wife and a daughter leave him. maybe they just needed those examples of how to make it work to see that it is possible.

i think we haven't seen the half of the jj story yet. his deal is that the show simply needed a bad guy (besides bill) because they wanted to do the whole gay story line with alby. they needed to replace roman. ohhhh, and by the way, even though it is sad and disgusting, i was glad that they married adalene to jj because now she will remain a more prominent figure on the show and that actress is amazing. i am sure they will include her on the mischief jj wants to create.