The Oath
Big Love | Season 5 | Episode 4

The Oath

TV-MA | 58 MIN

Written by Melanie Marnich
Directed by Omar Madha

Bill appears on a morning radio talk show to explain his position, while the wives listen in from home. Nicki gives Margene the cold shoulder and glares with disapproval at the tight Goji Blast T-shirt she wears. She mentions an invite Barb received, but Barb dismisses the event as inconsequential and tells them she plans to bring her sister Cindy as a peace offering; Nicki and Margene can stay at home. Chastized by Margene for shutting her out, Nicki informs her that she secured a new birth certificate for her – and that she owes her $240.

Margene and Pam look over their Goji Blast materials and marvel about the company's connection to the Book of Mormon and the Bible and its philosophy of doing good. Margene feels a new connection to her faith.

Barb tells Bill she plans to attend the First Lady's fashion show, but since the other two are exhausted, she'll be attending alone. Bill praises her commitment and tries to calm Nicki down when she enters complaining about the too-tight Goji T-shirt Margene gave Cara Lynn.

Cara Lynn brings up the death of her father at her tutoring session. Greg Ivey confides his brother died when he was 14, and he found his own grief hard to deal with. He gives Cara Lynn his number and tells her to call whenever she needs someone to talk to.

Margene continues to gush about Goji at dinner—but keeps putting her foot in her mouth when she repeatedly refers to her youth and naiveté. With Cara Lynn dining at the Embrys', Nicki brings up the idea of Bill adopting her in case something should happen to her one day. Barb and Bill are annoyed that Nicki didn't raise the topic in private—her doomsday scenarios are scaring the children.

That night, Margene confronts Bill – he won't look at her anymore. Bill swears nothing has changed.

Barb and Bill enter the Senate chamber with Bill's intern, Stuart, who ignores Barb. When Barb observes he'll only speak to Bill, even when the questions come from her, Bill tells Barb she's being over-sensitive.

Bill and Barn compare guns. Barn reprimands Bill for mentioning him on the call-in show, but Bill is unapologetic: "If I fight back, I'm out of line?" The truce between the two ends: Barn lets him know that Midge Buckley's bill has 14 co-sponsors and Bill will be impeached the minute he's sworn in.

Nicki finds her mother harassing women who try and approach the compound's Safety Net office. Adaleen refuses to stop and Alby backs her up. He warns Nicki he will make Bill pay for breaking up his family.

Barb goes to the First Lady's fashion show, surprising her sister. Barb informs Cindy she's at the show solo, so there won't be a scene, and that she has a genuine interest in the city's Interfaith Council, the event's beneficiary. Cindy scoffs at Barb's newfound interest in the priesthood, pointing out she hasn't even shared that news with her own family.

Nicki tells Cara Lynn she heard from Greg – and that she's always available to talk. She brings up the death of her own father, but still failing to make headway with Cara Lynn, lets her know Bill wants to adopt her. Instead of the excitement Nicki expected, Cara Lynn is indifferent: "Fine."

Barb and Bill sit down with Lois and break the news to her: She has dementia. When Barb advises letting Frank know as well, Bill explodes – Frank is the cause of her illness. He gave her herpes years ago; the dementia is the result of her never being treated.

Tired of Nicki's behavior, Margene has it out with her. Although both were 16 when they were married, their two experiences weren't the same – there was no perpetrator and no victim in Margene's case. "Your abuse is not my abuse," she insists.

At the mall, Ben, Heather and Gary wait with Cara Lynn for her cousin Verlan. The group spots Greg out with his parents and Cara Lynn is touched to learn that they know about her. Cara Lynn is comforted by her cousin Verlan when he arrives, but the rest of the group is surprised to meet his new wife – Rhonda Volmer.

Don and Bill walk through the casino – their profit share has been restored and Marilyn Densham has been arrested. With Peg down for an order of $1200 of Goji Blast, Don asks Bill get Margene to back off. Bill admits he can't ask Margene for anything—they just found out she was only 16 when she was married. Don is flabbergasted at the news and begins to fear the worst. He rebukes Bill for not knowing – and letting his obsession with Margene years ago put them in this position today.

Dangling her baby, Rhonda apologizes to Heather for her past behavior and swears to them that Verlan has changed her. Still recovering from the surprise, Ben asks Rhonda whose baby it is, upsetting Verlan. Short on cash, Verlan hustles Cara Lynn for money.

At 6 a.m., Margie convenes a family gathering, although the rest of the household is barely awake. Stuart calls with Bill's schedule, but refuses to leave the information with Barb. Margie tells the others that in a biography she read about Joseph Smith, his wives were as young as 14 and worked for his wife Emma. "Why are we so ashamed of everything now?" she asks. Furious Barb lashes out – "Because you were 16 and my husband was in bed with you."

Lois overhears Bill and Barb discussing her. Bill breaks the news to her – she has dementia, brought on by an STD Frank gave her. Lois grapples with this information and that it's too late for any cure.

Bill meets with the attorney general to discuss Midge Buckley's bill. Although sympathetic, Jeff Beckett tells him the tide is against him and he won't be able to declare it unconstitutional. Refusing to accept that answer, Bill pointedly reminds him that he sits on the appropriations committee that oversees his budget.

Nicki spots a disoriented Lois standing alone in the cold backyard. She and Barb draw her back into the house. Ben thanks Heather for not judging his family and the two share a kiss.

Verlan and Rhonda go see Alby to demand $50,000 for the suffering Roman caused Rhonda, or else they'll file suit. Alby shrugs off their blackmail and throws the two of them out… but not before exchanging a glance with Verlan.

Bill lets Nicki know he'll be discussing Cara Lynn's adoption with his lawyer, but he'd like Nicki to back off on Margene and move on like Barb has. Nicki informs Bill that not only has Barb not moved on, she blames Bill for seducing Margene. Furthermore, Barb excluded the two of them from the Capitol Wives Fashion Show to go with her sister.

Spotting First Lady Evelyn Linton backstage, Barb approaches her, despite Cindy's pleas not to. She asks to join Mrs. Linton's interfaith committee and intrigued, Evelyn agrees to discuss it with her. Nicki and Margene burst in, having been sent by Bill to patch things up on the eve of their big triumph. Nicki informs Barb she told Bill that Barb blames him for the seduction of Margene. Margie argues she wasn't seduced while Barb admits that because she was happier with the addition of Margene to their marriage, she failed to ask the right questions about her age. Livid about Barb's revelation, Nicki questions how many other older men Margene threw herself at -- and tells her that Bill is obviously wondering the same.

Barn drags Bill into his office – he tried to bribe the attorney general? Unapologetic and undeterred by Barn's threats of impeachment, Bill retorts, "I just want to be allowed to do my job."

Margene spots Bill in the parking lot of the Capitol and tries to discuss what Nicki just told her. Still seething from his meeting with Barn, he refuses to talk to her. In a moment of confusion, Margene accidentally backs into Bill, landing him in the hospital. Tired of their continued bickering, Bill asks his wives to leave. Under sedation, he dreams of meeting Emma Smith in a banquet hall where he spots his mother too, both of them dressed alike.

Barb searches for Bill the following morning – the Senate has moved up his swearing in date upon hearing about his hospitalization. In an effort to stall, she and Margie rush to the Capitol while Nicki waits for Bill. Barb is refused access to the chambers, but spotting Stuart, she fires him and grabs his credentials, identifying herself as Bill's intern. The two enter the chambers, interrupting a session, but manage to buy Bill a few minutes. Upon his arrival, Bill argues that the laws of their religion supersede those of the state: "Persecuting me violates your own scripture. It makes you all hypocrites and traitors to our history."

The rest of the extended family files into the gallery and watches as Bill is sworn in.