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Big Love Recap: Holding Pattern

Big Love caught its breath this week, easing us back into the discord with some hot divorce sex between Barb and Bill. The plot inched forward in a few places, but mostly we were treated to a tedious survey of nearly every relationship on the show to frame the arc for the final four episodes. As for those relationships, they're all either dysfunctional or inappropriate — when you're rooting for Lois and Frank, it's bad times on Big Love.

Barb and Bill
Barb declines the sacrament at church on Sunday, wounding Bill. He whines to both Ben and the recently attacked Don Embry about the situation, and his fellow priesthood holders share his concern.

Barb doesn't want Nicki to control the family's money, but Bill suggests her hesitance has more to do with her wanting the priesthood. Again, he resists, this time mansplaining the nature of religion. "The woods are full of kooks wandering around in robes and saying 'This is what God wants," Bill says. "Without a divinely inspired gospel to ground a religion anyone can say anything they want, and that's why I'm having a real hard time with all of this." Not only has Bill likened his wife to a crackpot in the wilderness, but he also makes this entire speech without a hint of irony. Considering Bill is possibly the least ironic character in recent television history, this is more sad than surprising. Barb responds by quitting Bill's splinter church, which is also threatened by a state-wide LDS smear campaign.

Cara Lynn and Her Pervy Math Teacher
Apparently the best the writers could do for Cara Lynn was have her escape child-marriage on the compound only to embrace it out in the world by falling for her 37-year-old math teacher. That loser Greg claims to love her back, too! But when Nicki asked him for some tutoring, we detected some weird, childlike flirtation. This will end well.

Margene and Mr. Goji Blast
Margene fantasizes about Michael Sainte during a webcast and later convinces him to support her Polygamy Kids rally. He's not down with polygamy, but puts his moral qualms aside to increase his chances of one day banging Margene. Any episode now …

Alby and Verlan
Of the many ugly relationships on Big Love, this one is the most cynical. Alby will hold Verland in bondage as his combination sex slave/assassin, and Verlan will go along with it in order to extort money from Alby. Talk about "moral toil."

Ben and Rhonda
After progressive Heather confesses to Ben that she's got her eye on a boy at BYU, he returns to the security of Compound Values where men are men and women are their subordinates. He goes to visit Rhonda at "work," which is really a strip club where the dancers sing karaoke to Bobby Darin songs. Rhonda walks off the stage and into Ben's arms. Come back, Heather! Come back!

Lois and Frank
Frank finally agrees to care for Lois, and does a pretty okay job with it. She hides a knife in her purse; he takes her to the beach. It's there she comes to after a couple of days in the ether, and says, "I don't forgive you, Frank, but I'm not going to kill you. I need you to promise to put me out of my misery when the time comes." Frank insists that the sister-wives will care for the both of them, but Lois is lucid and unconvinced. "At this particular moment, Frank, we're all we've got," she says. "We've got to be able to count on each other."

"We've got to go," Frank whispers, and they return to the car. They seem like they're going to be all right, and we hope we don't see them again. It's a sweet conclusion for Big Love's most colorful characters. May they enjoy lots of shrimp cocktail in the Celestial Kingdom.