Big Love | Season 5 | Episode 1


TV-MA | 1 HR 0 MIN

Written by Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer
Directed by David Petrarca

The Henricksons sit around a campfire – Bill and Nicki entertain the children while Barb and Margene look on. Teenie has gone to stay with Sarah. Once the kids are asleep, Bill readies his wives for what's to come after their week away. At night, the camp is awakened by Margene's wailing – the newspapers are calling her a "lying jewelry hawker." Nicki and Bill take turns comforting her but there is still clear tension among the adults.

Back in town, the family prepares for the first day of school. Nicki grabs Margene when they're alone and quizzes her about the strain between Bill and Barb. Carl, picking up trash that the news crews have left behind, complains about the state of his lawn. To make amends, Bill promises to have it re-sod in the spring.
Don updates Bill about the state of the store – employees feel betrayed and are quitting. When Bill addresses his staff directly, they tell him he's just a paycheck, not family.

Alby walks in the desert.

Bill brings the wives to the state capitol to help set up his office. He pulls out a box of chocolates to try and break the tension among them. Hearing a commotion, he finds his lone ally, Speaker Sheldon Thorne, in the hallway rushing to resign his seat after a DUI charge.

Wayne is beat up by a group of scouts at school who brand him a "plyglet" by writing it on his forehead and stomach.

Margene returns to VSN Studios to beg for her job and a chance to apologize to the viewers. Beverly informs her that she violated the morals clause, and as such, is owed nothing from the network. As Margene weeps, self-help guru Michael Sainte walks by and tells her to chin up: "There are no bad days. Just days we haven't seized our opportunities." He gives her one of his DVDs.

After some hesitation, Barb enters a State Liquor Store and purchases a bottle of wine.

Bill approaches the new speaker, Senator Barn, who refuses his support. Barn pointedly reminds Bill that Thorne resigned because he embarrassed his constituents and betrayed their trust.

While Nicki scrubs Wayne clean, Barb instructs her to go the principal to discuss the matter now that she's empowered as a public wife. Although Nicki wants the others to accompany her for support, she's too proud to ask Barb for help. When Wayne points out Ryan, the ringleader of the bullies, Nicki threatens him.

Terrified, the boy runs away … directly into a pole. Nicki flees when she sees he's knocked out his teeth.

Lura lets Adaleen out of the cellar but refuses to let her speak to Alby. She taunts her for carrying a monstrosity in her womb and tells her there is no one who will protect her.

Bill meets with his constituency to defend his position, but is spat upon by an angry ex-supporter.

Barb takes out the wine to use in her dinner recipe and Nicki notices. When Barb explains she wants to "live more in the moment," Nicki dismisses the notion as blasphemy. Barb notes that the family always stood by Nicki despite her many failings.

Alby remains distant from his family, secluding himself to read news stories about Bill. When Lura lets him know that they're in control of the UEB trust, Alby remains unmoved. "He took everything I loved away from me," he says about Bill. As a hurt Lura turns to leave, he tells her he was purified in the desert and now plans to "purify the faith."

Informed of what happened to Wayne, Bill decides they need to attend the school board meeting together. Barb disagrees -- they should keep a low profile given how much hostility there is toward them, but Bill is optimistic that those incidents were isolated. He decides to hold an open house so that the constituency can see they're not monsters. Barb and Nicki bicker about who will host and Margene ends up with the honor.

That night Barb lets Bill know that she's been barred from the casino. Bill tells her their contract has been rescinded but he'll work everything out in mediation. He advises her to patch things up with Nicki, and tries to repair things in their own relationship, but Barb is non-committal when he asks her whether she still shares his vision.

Margene watches Michael Sainte's DVD while she works on her bills. Her ears prick up when he begins discussing how his product, Goji Blast, allows people to become the perfect selves Heavenly Father intended them to be.

Bill delivers his terms to Ana and Goran: Margene and Goran will divorce; the INS will give him 60 days to leave the country. The alternative is federal prison. Margene and Goran sign the divorce papers and Ana breaks the news that the baby will be a boy.

Nicki observes Barb relaxing with a glass of wine.

Working together at Home Plus, Cara Lynn and Don's son, Gary, share a laugh about their social awkwardness. Bill overhears his employee Charlie make a joke about underage marriage in polygamist families, and furious, fires him on the spot. Don protests – Charlie is popular and the staffing situation is already touchy – but Bill refuses to yield.

Bill addresses the school board which remains unsympathetic to his tale of Wayne's bullying. A woman in the audience dismisses Bill's arguments, and by not recognizing her, Nicki inadvertently reveals she never spoke to the principal. Aware that Bill and his wives are in attendance, the press begins to jostle for photos and quotes. Nicki tries to hide when she spots Ryan, but is exposed when Margene loses her temper and drops a few f-bombs. As the family hurries through the parking lot, Barb berates Nicki for terrorizing a child; Nicki retaliates by revealing that Barb has been drinking, throwing Bill for a loop.

Nicki joins Bill to visit and apologize to Ryan's parents. Bill promises to pay for his dental work, and as the two talk, women gather around Ryan's father, Crane Beisinger. Realizing the situation, Bill tells him they should be working together, but Crane says he doesn't want the attention.

The family prepares for the open house and Bill emphasizes that no matter what the turnout, it's something they need to do to turn the corner. When he leaves for the Hill, Barb and Nicki go at it: Nicki accuses her of breaking their vows by torpedoing the campaign. Barb retorts that Nicki was never good at sharing. Margene points out that in the rush to go public, they never considered a scenario in which they were rejected.

Bill arrives at the Capitol to learn that he was never informed about the amended caucus time – because the matter was about him. Barn tells him that there is resistance to his being seated and warns Bill that he won't have the necessary relationships to work with anyone on legislation.

Cara Lynn watches TV with Gary and encourages him to stay longer. She shares her trick to getting out of trouble: "If you're polite and act nice, no one ever suspects you." When Nicki finds them together, she shoos Gary away and chastises Cara Lynn for inviting him over. Cara Lynn changes the subject by asking about her father but Nicki tells her she has no idea where he is. Later, Margene advises Nicki to tell Cara Lynn the truth, but Nicki wants to protect her daughter from knowing what JJ did.

No one shows up to the open house. As the family prepares to pack up, the doorbell rings: It's Don. Don confronts Bill – he needs more autonomy and respect: "You couldn't make one sacrifice for me after all the sacrifices I've made for you?" Bill apologizes but says he's been bearing the biggest burden of all, having put everyone through hell with no payoff in sight. Margene, Nicki and Barb listen in. Just when things seem their darkest, the doorbell rings again and a small huddle of polygamists stand in the doorway.