Circle the Wagons
Big Love | Season 2 | Episode 9

Circle the Wagons

TV-MA | 57 MIN

Written by Jennifer Schuur and Douglas Stockstill
Directed by John Strickland

As Bill readies for work, Nicki watches the TV news about her father's shooting. Shut out by her family, it's her only source of information. Keith Olberman reports that the Greens are on the run in Mexico, although their henchwomen are in custody. Before leaving, Bill mentions to Nicki that he's interested in a company, but it involves gambling. Nicki tells him she's on board for whatever he thinks is best. When Bill worries that the others might not react so kindly, Nicki offers to work on Barb and Margene.

Bill notices Peg stomping around at work and Don explains he told her about the Weber Gaming deal. Lois calls to say Frank has cleaned her out--literally. Her house is empty, save for the chair she's sitting on. "A time like this is too big for us not to talk," she pleads, but her son hangs up.

On the driving range with Barb, Bill brings up Weber, describing it as a video game company. Barb demurs that video games are violent, so Bill carefully clarifies-- the machines play poker. Unaware of the major details, Barb tells him she looks forward to hearing more. When she asks what the others thought, Bill replies, "I came to you first, of course."

At the hospital, Adaleen is at her wit's end. Feverish, bleeding and hallucinating, Roman has gone back into surgery. When Alby arrives, she turns to him for support, but he rushes out when he learns Bill has convened a meeting to select an interim replacement. In the boardroom, Bill argues for an independent outside replacement, but the counsel is skeptical. Alby barges in, but Bill won't let him participate in the closed session. Before leaving, Alby warns the group, "He is watching you all."

Barb mentions to Nicki she's apprehensive about Bill's new venture, but Nicki says she has no problem with the gambling. Noticing her surprise, Nicki tells Barb, "You're not always the first to know everything."

Running errands at HomePlus, Margie runs into her ex, Greg, now a floor supervisor. Because Benny is standing nearby, she's not as anxious as Greg is to reminisce and hurries off. Benny tells Greg Margie was his babysitter. When Greg calls Margie the "best piece of ass" he ever had, Ben pushes him into a display.

In the parking lot with Margie, Bill launches into an exhaustive argument about the merits of a gaming company he's interested in. "Just tell me what you want me to think," interrupts Margie. Bill says that Nicki being on board made him happy, so Margie is content to follow suit.

At the compound, Nicki is subjected to Secret Service level scrutiny when she arrives at her mother's hauling a freezer in a rented truck. "Don't try and force a reunion," says Adaleen, who refuses the appliance and Nicki's request to see her sisters. "I can't bear to be around you." Furious, Nicki gets back into the truck and drives smack into the freezer over and over again, smashing it.

Lois drops by Scott's apartment to see Sarah. Handing off her fur-collared coat, Lois apologizes that she has nothing else to leave her. Sarah suggests her grandmother talk to Bill about her troubles, but Lois feigns innocence and wails she has been cast aside for reasons unknown. As she frets, Scott advises she sue her husband for support since she's entitled to community property. The wheels begin turning in Lois' head.

Sent to Bill's office after his outburst, Benny explains that Greg was being disrespectful. "We ask our wives to handle their jealousies," admonishes Bill, who declines to hear the specifics. He orders Ben to apologize.

Dinner is tense: Barb grills Bill, who describes Weber as only indirectly related to gambling --it just makes the machines. Pressing on, Barb realizes Bill has already bought the company and the conversations they're having are meaningless. Margie feels duped as well, and in the end, only Nicki advocates Bill's position.

Tipped off by Lois, Barb brings up Scott to Sarah. Sarah reveals that Scott is 28 and they met at a meeting for ex-Mormons. Barb is thrown, even more so when Sarah remarks that their lives aren't much different from those on the compound--suggesting Barb is also settling for less. Alarmed, Barb asks her point blank if she's having sex and Sarah says no.

Lost in the tangle of Roman's financial affairs, Adaleen begins to weep. When Alby enters, he offers to take care of everything: "I believe Juniper Creek should be led by our family." Understanding Alby is stepping up for Roman, Adaleen haltingly agrees that a "conduit for his revelations" is necessary in this hour of need.

Joey calls to say that Lois has been arrested for breaking in to Frank's. Since Bill will be returning to the compound for a board meeting, he promises to talk to the cops. Joey wonders about Bill's sudden interest in the board's well being, but Bill claims he has nothing but good intentions. When Joey asks if he's feeling guilty, Bill assures him he played no part in Roman's shooting.

Barb apologizes to Nicki about not seeming sympathetic about Roman's condition. After her apology is accepted, Barb adds that Nicki deserves more from her parents. Stung, Nicki tells Barb she is pushing Bill too much: "I know how to submit and that's why I'm happy." Barb insists that they deserve a say. Margie enters, torn about whose side to take.

Eager to win them over, Bill takes the wives for a night out to a gaming room. Nicki takes over a bingo game for a woman in need of the bathroom--and wins in her place. Margie is also enchanted, but Barb continues to disapprove. Bill emphasizes that the deal is an insurance policy in an uncertain time, but Barb rejects his logic and demands a family vote the following night.

The next morning, Nicki is surprised to catch Rhonda on a talk show describing her life as Roman's child bride. Bill prepares to go to Juniper Creek, apprehensive about the tithes that have gone undeposited and Alby's presence. Nicki concurs: "He's greedy." Concerned about the upcoming family vote, Bill asks about Margene, but Nicki tells him not to worry.

Back at the store, Margie runs into Greg again. Trying hard not to make eye contact, she leaves quickly. Catching Ben's eye, Greg makes a lewd gesture. As Margie heads for the exits, Benny stops her: "Dad doesn't want you shopping at the store." Defensively, Margie points out that Bill is fine with her history, even if Ben isn't. At home and still upset, Margie complains to Barb about being banned from the store, and Barb takes advantage. Denouncing it as yet another example of patriarchy, she sways Margie to rethink her position on the gaming deal.

"Marriage is not a democracy," complains Bill to Don. Peg enters and interjects: gambling is a "step back" into the fringes of unacceptable society. Don remarks that everyone is against the deal, but Bill is unmoved: "We're going to do what I say."

Nicki calls the hospital and Alby picks up. She offers to be an extra set of eyes in return for a chance to see her father. When Alby mentions a testimony meeting at 2 p.m., the wheels start turning now in Nicki's head.

Bill senses that something is amiss at Joey's. His brother reveals Kathy moved in the day before on a trial basis. Joey asks Bill about Nicki--how he knew the difference between love and gratitude? Disapproving of the trial run, Bill replies it took "hours of prayer." "I'm just trying to be practical, not celestial," says Joey. "We can't all retreat to neutral houses."

Barb meets with Heather's father and asks his permission for Heather to come around again. She assures him they want the same thing for their girls: a strong marriage to an LDS priesthood holder.

On the compound, Bill is about to confront his mother about her arrest, but Lois starts in first. Listing all of Frank's business assets, none of which Bill knew about, she accuses them of being in cahoots. Having discovered Frank's receipt for shingles in exchange for marrying her, Lois informs Bill: "You're paying for the divorce."

With his father's hat in hand, Alby gives testimony as if channeling Roman: Alby is to intercede during and after this time of crisis. Adaleen joins in with supporting testimony-- Roman's face morphed into Alby's and then Joseph Smith's. Her words are quickly seconded. As Alby humbly accepts his new position, he exchanges a stony glare with Bill.

Aware that everyone is at the testimony meeting, Nicki breaks into Roman's office. When she finds a box filled with cash, she helps herself to it.

Bill calls for the family vote, once again stressing that their future is unclear. As expected, Barb is a no, Nicki a yes. "Someone else will profit, why not us?" she asserts. When it's Margie's turn, she agrees that it's about the children... and votes with Bill for the financial security the deal will provide. Barb looks utterly defeated.

Afterwards, Margie confronts Bill about being banned at the store. Bill swears that it wasn't him: "Why would I get jealous over the past when I have you for all of eternity?" Margie suggests Bill speak with Ben. Bill calls Don to have Greg transferred to the other store.

Flush with cash, Nicki sits down at a bingo table.