Monday, February 15, 2010

Review - Big Love Season 4 Episode 6 Under One Roof

Just when you thought things couldn't get worse, a couple old faces show up and make a bad situation even worse. That's the way the season is progressing; Bill is campaigning and random things start happening. It's not great, but it lets us see the characters in different ways because they are being pushed by all sorts of forces not under their control.

Ana shows up pregnant with Bill's baby. I wasn't a fan of her story last season, and her return muddles an already messy show, but on it's own, the story has tons of potential. The wives want to help, Bill wants to help, and Ana wants none of them. The idea that she would go back to them is silly to her since the whole polygamy thing was so foreign to her in the first place. The wives and Bill think it is only natural for them to take care of the baby. Ana finally agrees to let Bill have some parental rights, but she also wants a lawyer involved. Barb shows up at Ana's apartment and makes two big discoveries. Ana is engaged and the baby was conceived before she was married to Bill.

All the cards are out on the table, and Barb is figuring out something we knew a long time ago: Bill is a self-serving jackass. The throws around religion, family, and politics to benefit himself. He's a lying loser who thinks he is amazing. In reality, he's just lowlife scum who is worthy of anyone's respect. He's really no different than Alby, Roman Grant, or JJ. Given the right circumstances, he would act just like them.

There was about 50 other stories going on. Ben and his grandparents are down in Mexico to get the birds, and none other than the Greenes show up. Creepy Hollis and Selma are back and have them at gunpoint.

If that wasn't enough, Marilyn, the lobbyist is now a partner in the casino. Dale absolves himself of all obligations by hanging himself. Alby is crying, but he'll probably go back to psycho creep next week instead of conflicted in love creep. Nicki saves Cara Lynn, but her mother still gets sealed. The writers feel this is the right thing to do, we'll have to tolerate all the irrelevant, stupid stories for three more episodes. There is good stuff in between everything that doesn't matter. Once you parse through the minutiae, there are some wonderful scenes that are worth watching.

Score: 9.0/10

2 comments:

Robert said...

I don't believe any of the subplots should be criticized or deemed "minutiae." All of the lines in this episode revolved around the power struggles/identities of women in the Mormon community, in addition to American culture as a whole. Bill initially interprets Marilyn as a secretary rather than a political figure; she's now set-up to infiltrate his casino with her own agenda. While Margene may have once been a young maiden for Bill to add to his collection of wives, she has quickly become an independent thinker, destined for financial success.

I agree with your analysis of Bill's character development over the course of this season, but it's critical to also acknowledge the writers' development of overall themes for this season. Despite complicating our ability to follow the overall plot, the supposed "irrelevant, stupid" subplots should be celebrated rather than merely tolerated.

TV Obsessed said...

The themes in the show will always be present regardless of how many different characters are brought in. The show could work with just Barb, Margie, Nicki, and Bill without the frenetic pace. Individually, all the plots going on aren't bad--many would be quite good on their own--but I have a huge problem with how many there are. The result is a show that jumps around without fully developing anything when it could focus on one or two stories and convey the same message.

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