‘Big Love’: Can Bill Hit the Trifecta?

Big Love

Vision Thing
Season 2 Episode 5

Courtesy of HBO

“Where’s Wanda?” “I had her committed.”

So this is how you pick up fourth wives? Over pie? Isn’t that a little, we don’t know, Freudian? Then again, as we watched Bill flirt, ringlessly, with his savvy waitress, it occurred to us that this was a man who already married his first wife’s nurse and then their babysitter — making it awfully hard to differentiate Bill’s notion of a polygamist calling from the nonmonogamous urges of your more ordinary traveling salesman. On the plus side, if he ensnares this Euro hottie, he’ll have hit the trifecta of tempting feminine support archetypes.

Meanwhile, Chloë Sevigny is really bringing it each week with her sad, strange character. This episode, her fear of her son’s Catholic school is finally revealed to be something odder and sadder: Even twitching in her fancy modern slacks, she’s terrified to walk into another cliquish all-female world, the world of the upscale Catholic moms, a compound with fewer petticoats and more crucifixes.

Meanwhile, Sarah passes Samara the Runaway Childbride around like perverse virginal currency; Lois commits Wanda, nags Joey to marry again, and narrows her eyes at all and sundry; some business stuff happens regarding the gambling machines that we didn’t really follow or care about; Margene spots her replacement on the pie-counter horizon; and we witness what appears to be an intriguingly erotic undercurrent between Barb “You’re an Incredible Woman” Henrickson and her basket case of a brother-in law.

Best random moment of self-knowledge: Wanda, locked up in the loony bin, explaining her acquiescence to polygamy with a shrug and the comment, “The doctor in here says I exhibit a mordant sense of reality.” —Emily Nussbaum

‘Big Love’: Can Bill Hit the Trifecta?