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?