For all the tension, awkwardness, and talk of who needs to be gelded — J.J., according to Nicki — this episode delivers on the interpersonal connection, not to mention straight-up intercourse. Key dialogue: Ben, bringing home pizzas, mentions “one small hot sausage.” Marge, absentmindedly: “I’ll have sausage.”
Sarah and Scott are now married, so hey, shouldn’t we get a glimpse of them totally humping? While Sarah’s wearing some sort of threadbare top? But wait: The baby — the one Sarah basically snatched off the reservation — is crying. Cute kid, but he’s already cutting into the young couple’s adorable lovemaking? Not to mention pissing off Barb and Bill, who confront Sarah over the utter insanity of her playing mommy. And maybe we’re overly suspicious of Scott, but when he tells Sarah she needs to do what she feels is right with regard to the baby, we see a play against her parents, rather than an effort to support his wife. But Sarah caves, and how could anyone be unhappy about that?
Between her daughter’s breathtaking idiocy and her husband’s plot-forwarding political campaign, Barb’s understandably feeling stressed — but rather than getting stern and and micromanage-y, she blows off a little steam by jumping Bill’s bones in the basement. It’s not much as far as “agency” goes, but it’s something.
It’s not clear, meanwhile, whether Nicki has “repaired” her relationship with Bill (last we saw, she seemed equally intrigued and disturbed by a nightie with no bottoms), but we see her undercover inside Coburn’s headquarters. Last season, she spied for Roman at Ray’s office. This season, she’s spying for Bill at his opponent’s office. We assume this means she’s making good with the family, rather than searching for a new man to tease.
Nicki’s not the only one recruited into Bill’s campaign: He calls his mother to ask if she’ll introduce him at the rally announcing his candidacy. Lois, of course, is preoccupied with her hustling, which has once again brought her together with Frank. They rope Jodeen into helping smuggle a batch of birds from over the Mexican border (“Give my regards to Hollis,” Lois tells the bird people), which is just another sad chore for the put-upon woman — until she sneaks from the car where Frank and Lois sleep, and releases the birds from the trunk. This could have been the most obvious metaphor in the world — and in fact, it was — but seeing Jodeen actually smile made the move so completely worth it. We love you, Jodeen! Stay strong!
There’s also some long-overdue and really kind of beautiful relief for Wanda and Joey, who — thinking they’ve eliminated the evidence of Roman’s murder — lie in bed discussing their dreams. When Wanda says she wants yellow house, who could bear to suggest that they simply paint the one they already have? Anyway, this is all undercut by the fact that J.J. has photos of Wanda and Joey burning Roman’s body. They’re not getting any smarter, are they?
Speaking of J.J., he is on some serious villain shit now. He arranges with Alby to marry Alby and Nicki’s mom. That it’s a marriage for “time,” not eternity, isn’t much comfort, but after screaming it out a bit, Adaleen seems pretty serene about the whole thing. Does she have a plan? Or is she just waiting to jump Roman’s bones in heaven?
So what’s happening with Alby and Dale? Not much … Alby’s just breaking into Dale’s house and making him dinner while the family is away. In any case, after some awkwardness, Dale promises that “I would never betray you.” If you like him so much, why don’t you gay marry him?
And then there’s the greatest romance of our time: Ben and Margene. Teeny 2.0 completely snitches out Ben, telling Bill and Barb about his love letter to Marge, and chivalrous Ben takes fall for that and the TV kiss. So everything’s cool, right? Not really: Ben’s either ginning up some super hot tension-shattering sex, or he’s genuinely hurt and confused about the whole thing. And Bill makes Marge issue an on-air “correction” about the whole Ben-is-Mr.-Heffman thing, which naturally leads to her completely losing it on TV and talking about her mother dying on the laundry-room floor. For all we know, that’ll sell a bunch of bracelets. But the stars are seriously crossed for these two lovers, especially after Marge pops off the head of her elephant costume and sobs the full truth to Bill, who then goes home to kick Ben out, only to find Ben already packing. Maybe he can go crash with Rhonda in L.A. for awhile.
Finally, if it hasn’t already occurred to you that Bill’s simply harvesting everyone’s good will and sending poison back into the world, there’s the case of Don Embry, who reaffirms his support of Bill’s idiocy only to have Bill turn around and ask him to “take the bullet” when Coburn’s people verge on exposing Bill as a polygamist (that is, his and Don’s company as a source of the wives’ health insurance). Bill, you officially suck.