Photo: Lacey Terrell/HBO
The Sopranos-ification of polygamist Utah hit a high in this week’s episode of Big Love, and while it may be shameless — get your own plots! — it also added fire to the show’s typical soapy family juice-fest. Just as Meadow Soprano revealed her allegiance to her mob heritage, so Margene is evolving into a cover girl for contemporary polygamy, becoming ever more deliciously flush with love and tolerance, yet more assertive and omniscient. “I’m not going to let you make me feel bad about my family,” Margene told her floozy of a mother, interrupting her while she was putting the moves on Bill. “We’ll add kids, another wife or two … I’m happy.” In other scene, after Nikki spilled the polygamous truth to Margene’s mother, Margene sagely noted, “”Nikki doesn’t have a mom anymore, so she’s trying to steal mine.”
Meanwhile, Barb’s spun headlong into Carmela-esque uncertainty: “Dear Heavenly Father, if Bill is an instrument of your will, allow me the fortitude to be strong for him.” She keeps hinting at the right question — namely, is Bill any different from the seething, Hummer-driving misogynists on the compound? — but seems suddenly too frail to face the answer. “When I’m here, it taints what we’re doing at home,” she said to Joey during her first solo visit to the compound. “It just makes it feel vile.”
And the head of the family, Bill, discovered that Alby had been threatening his daughter and delivered a smackdown all too similar to Tony Soprano’s brutal beating of Coco, the goombah who insulted Meadow. As polygamists on and off the compound watched the FBI capture fugitive polygamist leader Orlean Abbott on TV, Big Love seemed to be circling toward a David Chaseian conclusion: Bill in the middle, buffeted by his family on one side and the law on the other, unable to escape the consequences of his self-righteous conniving. We assume, of course, that Big Love is Heaven-minded enough that it’ll at least end in whiteout, not blackout. —Emma Pearse‘Big Love’: Will the Bada Bing Open a Utah Branch?