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Big Love: Before God

If the season opener was madcap, parading a frozen Roman and culminating in a first-day casino haul to rival a bank heist, episode two gently set us on a long arc, highlighting Bill’s next scheme, Margene’s hard-won independence, and Nicki’s (perhaps insurmountable) heartbreak. What does Barb get? A role as Bill’s “eyes and ears” at the casino, and if we’re not reading too much into it, some high sexual tension with the handsome young Indian Tommy. Margene might be the one making a classic walk-through in a bikini top, but there’s still more to Barb than the parts she uses for seeing and hearing.

Bill, per usual, can’t keep his swinging dick inside the bedroom, insisting that God tells him he needs to run for state senate against Representative Colburn, the entrenched blowhard who’s looking for a little shine off of the whole UEB fracas. Barb doesn’t want the trouble (good gravy, no), clever Marge worries about the casino, and contrarian Nicki’s just glad Bill’s stunting like her daddy. But really, she wants Bill to simply announce himself as the prophet. (Roman-smotherer Joey, having returned from exile with Wanda, has the same idea, but does anyone really care what Joey thinks?)

Bill, more and more Clintonian by the minute, triangulates a solution: Sarah and Scott will be married in the Henrickson’s back yard, before the bride’s family, but by a heathen in a business suit. As the vows are said, tears of joy all around — except for Nicki, who could win a Golden Globe all over again for the look of exquisite, life-changing disappointment on her face. Earlier she’d visited lawyer Ray, who admitted her fell so hard for her as he packed up his Cherokee, bound for whatever state will take a prosecutor with such a spectacular failure as the pursuit of Roman under his belt. Like Nicki, we’re feeling this relationship more than ever — and we’re fairly certain it is completely over. But there’s no putting this love genie back in the bottle: “It so happens I do have feelings—I am a warm person!” Nicki tells her sister. Cry.

Let’s talk about something exciting: A wedding! Sarah and Scott have finally decided that full penetration is worth risking the love of Sarah’s family, and they’re going to be married at the courthouse, not in any church, especially Bill’s. But with Heather and Ben at their passive-aggressive best, and Scott clearly irked that a milkshake wasn’t all it took to get his lady’s cherry-on-top, Sarah deserts the car during their pre-ceremony meal, determined to get more french fries and confess to her father that she’s running off with a grown man who listens to Passion Pit.

Bill, more and more Clintonian by the minute, triangulates a solution: Sarah and Scott will be married in the Henrickson’s back yard, before the bride’s family, but by a heathen in a business suit. As the vows are said, tears of joy all around — except for Nicki, who could win a Golden Globe all over again for the look of exquisite, life-changing disappointment on her face. Earlier she’d visited lawyer Ray, who admitted her fell so hard for her as he packed up his Cherokee, bound for whatever state will take a prosecutor with such a spectacular failure as the pursuit of Roman under his belt. Like Nicki, we’re feeling this relationship more than ever — and we’re fairly certain it is completely over. But there’s no putting this love genie back in the bottle: “It so happens I do have feelings—I am a warm person!” Nicki tells her sister. Cry.

But here’s a relationship to watch: Alby and Dale. Dale’s not only administering the UEB’s assets, but he’s offering group counsel to cute gays who want only to feel the touch of a man (cry), and Alby stops by to see him. Outside, they French intensely, and Dale reminds Alby that they experienced “a fall” together. Expect more of the same, and thank god for it.

Photo: Courtesy of HBO