Big Love: Winter (Season Premiere)

The long awaited return of Big Love is here, and the first thing they choose to shock us with is the fact that this will be their last and final season. I became instantly saddened, but then realized that with the path of crazy this show has been leading, if it kept going, it would be on the fast track to soap opera town. So, we only have twelve more weeks to indulge in the Hendrickson’s family life and see what it’s like on the other side. SPOILERS AHEAD.

The season opened almost right where it had left off. It has been approximately two weeks since Bill won the election and decided to use his acceptance speech as a means to “come out” of the Poly closet to the whole state. This did not go over as well as Bill had hoped. They were instantly shunned by the community and decided to pick up the family and flee to the cold deserted wastelands of Utah for a little R &R. Looks like Sarah made the smart choice and moved away with her new hubby, but also took Teenie with her to enroll her in a school out there. (This is really just the actor’s out from the show) The family does decide to come back the next day and see where things stand and they are not doing so well.

He tries sneaking into his new office on Capitol Hill when the session is out and no one will be there, but it turns out his ally on the Hill is there dealing with his own dilemma. He will no longer have a friend when it comes to making laws different for himself and his wives. He did bring all three wives and they don’t look too happy to be there, but of course, we can always rely on cheesy Bill to put a smile on our faces. He tries to mend all the problems this family is now facing by surprising the ladies with a box of Russell Stover’s. “Everyone have a chew,” those were literally the words he used, what a dip.

He’s also facing huge problems at his store, Home Plus, with many up and quitting, and the others stewing at what to do, he has hired back Don Embry to help deal with the fires and fortunately, they like Don more than Bill, even though they know he’s a poly too. They know that Bill made Don take the fall for him and they pity him more. This is the part of the show that really got me going. Don put up with so much shit from Bill last year and never once, did Bill thank him or apologize for his dumb actions. Don is happy to have a job back, but still really pissed at what Bill has done to him. The most poignant statement of the show came from Don. “You have to get used to the fact, that your actions, rightly or wrongly, hurt others.” YES! This is true for everyone Bill has touched in this show. He’s also currently being restricted from coming onto the reservation where their casino sits and collecting anything. So, he’s in deep. I am just truly loving that Don has balls now! Plus, he lost the square head hair cut and grew it out to look more normal. Don should still kick Bill’s ass though, that would be fun.

All the ladies are dealing with their own problems, but Nicki probably still has it the easiest. She was fine with Bill outing them because, well, she has nothing to lose, why should she be scared? She has started embracing the new century of clothing and cut her hair to look more normal and now, she is totally the hot wife! The only troubles she is dealing with is her son being bullied at school for his Dad’s public display. The kids are beating on him, and drawing “Poly” and whatnot on his face and stomach, in permanent marker, no less. She decides to deal with this in the most responsible way she can think of, no, not going to the principal and demanding equality, but chasing down the kid who picked on her son and cornering him so she can yell at him and call him a “ketchup head.” One thing I will always love about this show is their ability to always show the characters in the most innocent way, it cracked me up that the meanest thing Nicki could say to this kid was about his red hair. The boy gets scared though and tries to run away, but he’s kinda dumb and he runs straight into a pole, which knocks out his front tooth. Oops. Nicki just runs away, hee hee.

Barb is still dealing with the fact that not too long ago, she was excommunicated from her family’s church and now she is essentially banned from her whole town because of Bill’s actions. She also stated last season that she doesn’t need Bill anymore. She has reached her limit and just has to have a glass of wine for god-sake! Nicki immediately becomes a tattle-tell, but Barb doesn’t even care anymore. She is having some wine and tomorrow, she will take a dance lesson by herself. I feel for her, she has dealt with so much bull shit these past few years, and its starting to show on her face. Just let the woman live a little. She’s not welcomed by her own family very easily anymore, and she just needs a break. I got it, she needs to book a cruise. I’m telling you, she will come back a different woman. I’m eager to see how firm she is on the not needing Bill statement. She may just take off, her kids are all grown anyway.

Margene seems to be taking this outing the hardest. It was obvious last season that she did not want to come out. In fact, she went and married Goran, Ana’s boyfriend, I think, for a back up to Bill’s crazy idea. In the eyes of the law, Margie wasn’t even married to Bill. When he came out, if she chose to abstain from that, she had a solid back up with Goran. Plus, she was trying to help out her friend, and one time lover to Bill, Ana. Ana was in love with Goran and he was not legal, so marrying him kept him in the country and kept Ana close to the family. Oh yeah, and she’s super pregnant with Bill’s baby and we know it’s a boy. Bill has already inserted himself in this life in the first episode and got papers for Goran and Margie to sign that would annul their marriage and give Goran sixty days to leave the country or go to prison. Jerk. Where I see this story going: Goran will leave the country, Ana will need all the financial help she can get when the baby arrives, so she will most likely strike up a deal with Bill to “marry” him to make him happy, so she can get money and things from him for her baby. This will keep Ana in the story, which I like, and make for even more drama when the town finds out he added a fourth wife to the bunch.

That’s not even all that Margie is dealing with though. The toughest thing for her was being fired from her shopping network job and being called a fraud and a liar. She was denied her severance pay, which I think had she received, she would have picked up her three kids and booked it for somewhere less crazy. Instead, she is stuck in the family with no job and no respect in the town for her to get a new job. She does, however, meet an interesting, and handsome man in the office when she is clearing her stuff out, not sure of his name yet, but he is there selling his “become a millionaire overnight” videos and gives Margie one when he happens to see her crying in her office. I see something developing with this guy. His video was totally cheesy, but he will probably make Margie feel safe and that’s all she is really looking for at this stage in her life. Look for this guy to return.

Out on the compound, there’s a full outbreak of crazy going on. Adaleen has just spent two weeks or so in their version of solitary prison (a hole in the ground) for her sins of burning her husband, JJ and his crazy, handicapped wife alive in the doctor’s office where she was knocked up with the fertilized egg of Wanda. Ewww. She is adamant, however, on keeping the child, no matter how crazy it is. Alby is sickly remorseful for losing his fuck buddy from last season and, as always, pissed at Bill (join the party). He has just returned from his own hiatus out in the desert where he claims to have purified himself and now he has plans to “purify” the compound. Does this sound a little Hitler-ish to you, or is it just me? At least he looks like he will be a decent threat for Bill again. I was worried with Bill coming out, what would Alby be able to hold over his head, but there is still plenty of family there that I’m sure Bill cares a little about.

This season looks to be off to a good start, but it is a little depressing. We will just have to see what next week brings us. After watching this episode, the opening titles mean so much more to me now. It’s obvious that they are all falling and grasping for any sense of their own reality, all the while feeling smaller than they once stood. This may be a very somber season, but I will only be happy for the ladies if they can get to a point where they feel safe and free. Bill can suck it.

I give Winter 3 “Times, they are a changin” out of 5

by Angela Davis

About Angela

Angela is the Editor-in-Chief of Lost in Reviews. She and Ryan created Lost in Reviews together in 2009 out of a mutual hatred for all the stodgy old farts currently writing film reviews. Since launching the site, Angela has enjoyed reviewing indie films over all other films, picking up new music from all corners of the world and photographing live shows. She is the co-host of Blu Monday and a member of the Kansas City Film Critic Circle.

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