Big Love (LWM) | Season 1 | Episode 8


TV-MA | 53 MIN

Written by Mark V. Olsen & Will Sheffer
Directed by
Steve Shill

The Henrickson's have company. After their crock pot exploded and burned down two rooms, Bill's extended family got evicted from their motel and they had nowhere else to go. The three houses are now home to Lois, Joey and Wanda, Frank's wives and their pet. (Frank has been banished to his truck; Bill won't have him in the house for more than a shower and a meal per day.)

Bill has other matters to attend to. He's planning to bury Roman under an avalanche of litigation — everything from "unjust enrichment" to physical assault against Lois during the eviction. But Bill's lawyer isn't so sure he should go through with it, especially since Roman's attorneys have indicated a willingness to negotiate. "I am not negotiating," Bill says with a new ferocity. "I'm not getting in the gutter with him...He's thrown my family to the wind like leaves. I want to bring him to his knees." Before he lets Bill sign the papers, the lawyer asks him a rhetorical question: "You're magically gonna do what the states of Utah and Arizona have been unable to accomplish for the past 50 years?"

Still terrified Bill will find out about her debt, Nicki calls her mother for help. She gets no sympathy there; Adaleen owes $90,000 herself. They needed a new room when Roman took on Rhonda, and she put it on her credit card. "We all spend like there's no tomorrow," Adaleen tells her daughter, "which we were told there wouldn't be on three occasions. But your father's revelations have been a little... off the mark lately, and we're still here. So, see, under the circumstances, it's excusable." Nicki tries to explain it's not so excusable where she is, and if Bill finds out he'll kick her out. She begs her to talk to her father. Adaleen says she'll take it "under advisement."

At Home Plus, Wendy the bookkeeper got wind of the break-in, and she lets Bill know she's alarmed. The culprit got a hold of all their quarterly reports and tried to hack in to their computers. Bill tries to reassure Wendy all will be fine, but she's not so sure. Besides, she tells him, the employees are concocting wild stories about why the police weren't called in. Bill tells her, in confidence, that involving the police would make the matter public record, and drive their insurance through the roof.

Back at home, the house is overrun by sister-wives and a small dog, and Frank is peeing in the kitchen sink (a longtime habit). When Bill finds his father making himself comfortable in the house where Lois is staying, he throws him out. "What are you being over-protective of her for?" Frank says. "She's like one of Roman's Humvees... the woman is a tank." And besides, he adds, it's supposed to be their honeymoon, "and for some reason you seem to be trying to keep us apart." He can't get his father out fast enough, however. "Pig!" Lois yells when she sees him. "Witch!" Frank fires back as he's being kicked to the curb.

In the midst of all the chaos, Bill has a fainting spell, though hardly anyone notices. Feeling sick and dizzy, he asks Margene to take him to the hospital, where the doctor rules out a heart attack or a stroke. He does see something in Bill's eyes, however, and after Margie steps outside the examining room, Bill eventually comes clean about the Viagra. When he discloses his dosage, the doctor becomes alarmed. "A man your age is not designed to perform like a horse," he says, urging Bill to drop it down. Bill tells Margene the diagnosis is just stress, and asks her to keep it all between them.

Barb has been a mess since she and Bill ended their 'affair,' and when the two get a private moment together, she breaks down in tears. She knows it was the right thing to do for the family, she tells him, but she still feels robbed, "like they've stolen you from me." As Bill tries to console her, Nicki eavesdrops through a backyard fence.

Roman sends a response to Bill's lawsuits — an avalanche of countersuits, including breach of contract, the false imprisonment of Alby at Home Plus, and assault and battery against Lois (she kicked one of Roman's goons in the testicle, they have photos of the damage). Pouring over the stack of documents, Bill's finally had enough. He calls Roman and sets up a meeting, then enlists Joey to accompany him. Filling his brother in on the extent of his business dealings, he admits he got greedy when he stopped making payments to Roman at the same time that he reorganized and erased his presence from the books. But now he's ready to negotiate a deal to get them all back home.

Joey isn't so sure he wants to go home. He tells Barb that he registered at an employment agency nearby, and he wants to get an apartment somewhere so Wanda and their baby can start over. He also confides in his sister-in-law that he's having second thoughts about polygamy. Wanda doesn't know yet; she's afraid they won't be together in the celestial kingdom. "You're a monogamist" Barb says to Joey, almost in shock. "The only way I know what to believe in is to listen to my heart," Joey explains, "and it says that Wanda is it for me." Left alone after Joey's confession, Barb begins to sob. Sarah catches her from an upstairs window.

As Sarah helps Lois into her first warm bath, she learns why her grandmother is so different from the others on the compound. After Sarah's Aunt Margaret drowned, Lois was "bone sad." Her great grandfather used to tell stories about ancient people and how they cut their hair after a tragedy, so one day Lois just cut it all off. "Nita and the sister-wives and Frank, they hated me for it — 'cause it made me different, I think. Everyone thought I was proud and ugly. Ugly and special." "Scarred," Sarah adds. "Scarred," Lois concurs.

When Frank starts teasing Joey about his football fumbles, Easter dinner turns into a bloodbath of accusations and insults, sending pregnant Wanda running from the house, and Joey following after. Hiding in their car, Wanda begs Joey to leave with her. She's terrified he's going to succumb to the pressures and temptations of life outside the compound, the same ones that got him in trouble before. He tries to assure her those days are in his past.

Joey seems more concerned about what's in store for them at Juniper Creek. Before they leave for their meeting with Roman, he pulls Bill aside to tell him he doesn't have to cut a deal with Roman just to get them back. "I can't have you all here," Bill tells his brother. "I love you, but I can't stick you in some flop house... and I'm completely at the end of my rope." As it turns out they have an eavesdropper — Frank has finally taken to using the bathroom — and he takes it upon himself to call Roman as soon as his sons leave. "He's about to cave," he says of Bill. "If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't settle with him right now... I think you can get a better deal later." Pleased with the tip, Roman tells Frank that he and his "precious wives" are welcome back any time they please.

When Bill and Joey arrive at Juniper Creek, Roman's office is closed. Realizing they've been stood up, they head to their mother's house to pick up some of her things, and end up in a fist fight with the new family living there. Still fired up, Bill insists on driving to Roman's house afterward and surprising the old patriarch in his bedroom. Several of his wives emerge from their bedrooms and attack him, knees jabbing at him below the belt. He manages to ward them off and enters Roman's bedroom. "I'll give you 15 percent on the second store off the books, nothing on future stores, and my family goes home." Tousled and feeble-looking, Roman says he'll think about it. Bill grabs Roman's prized guitar — the one found on Brigham Young's trek to the west — and holds it in the air. "Or this guitar that you hold so dear, truly is history," Bill adds before leaving.

Back home, Nicki pays a special late night visit to Barb. She doesn't want to know details, she just needs to know one thing: "is it over?" "Yes," Barb tells her. "Thank you," is all Nicki says, turning back to her house, a wave of relief pouring over her.

Bill returns a few hours later, still filled with adrenaline, and goes searching for his mother to tell her the good news. When he finds her in Sarah's bed, his excitement gives way to revulsion. She has company: his father.