Next Ticket Out

Written by Patricia Breen
Directed by David Knoller

Sarah returns from her honeymoon in Portland and catches up on the latest family dramas and secrets: Ben's kidnapping, Joey killing Roman (which Nicki doesn't know yet), and Margene marrying Goran (which Bill doesn't know yet). At their family dinner, Nicki reveals a new look that shocks the family. "Don't I have the right to be normal?" she demands. Sarah drops her own bombshell: she and Scott are moving to Portland before the election.

Barb tells Bill that Marilyn is behind the bomb scare and right-wing leafleting: "She creates the problem then gets herself hired as the solution." When she admits she hired Marilyn, Bill fires Barb from the casino. He heads off to tell Nicki that Joey killed Roman, but when she confides about her infertility (assuring him she's seeing a specialist) Bill can't bring himself to bring her down with his news.

Unraveling, Barb makes a speech to the Eagle Forum women about the stresses that Utah women face trying to be perfect and "do it all," suggesting that it makes them too dependent on prescription drugs like Prozac and Xanax. The women are insulted by her insinuation that they are pill poppers and the remarks are thrown back at Bill later during his debate with his opponent. He pressures Barb to retract and after resisting, she agrees to say whatever he wants, "Because I certainly have no voice of my own."

At the casino, Bill lets Margene have it when he hears she's married Goran. As Margene tries to reassure Bill with a kiss, Marilyn happens to see them. In spite of being fired by Bill, Barb shows up the meeting in which Marilyn is supposed to mediate a d�tente between Ron Reed and the casino, but Bill interrupts Marilyn's efforts: "Why don't we drop the pretense... You know each other, you're in cahoots." Bill fires Marilyn and threatens to expose her unethical business practices. As Marilyn storms out, Tommy returns with news that they were able to transfer data from Marilyn's computer "just in time. It'll take them a day or so to see if we got anything." Later, Barb cries to Tommy about how she's put the casino at risk by hiring Marilyn and he comforts her.

Bill accuses Sarah of running away from his "vision of this family," and Sarah acknowledges she doesn't want to be part of his coming out. When Barb, Nicki and Margene ambush Sarah about moving away, she accuses her mother and Margene of being against going public also. Nicki blurts out that she's on board because she loves Bill - news that brings Margene and Barb up short.

Not trusting JJ, Bill sends an emissary off to figure out what's happening in the investigation in Kansas: "Something's up. I'm in the middle of a campaign and I don't want any surprises." Meanwhile, at JJ's dinner table, everyone toasts Adaleen and her pregnancy but JJ's mother's reluctance raises Adaleen's suspicions. Later, she sneaks into his office and searches his files. He catches her, but she's already learned the truth: "Roman called you back to censure you... What have you done to me?"

Nicki brings the grief-stricken Alby some fashionable jeans and begs him to leave Juniper Creek and make a new life. Just as it seems he might agree, with Roman's voice in his head, Alby pushes her away - calling her "whore." Back home, Barb slips to Nicki about Joey killing Roman, assuming Bill had told her. Nicki races to Joey and Wanda's, but Joey is gone and Wanda won't speak. JJ shows up trying to take Wanda and her baby with him, but Nicki spirits them back to her house.

Margene and Goran meet with an immigration agent who warns them of the harsh penalties for fraud. Goran's affection with Margene raises her red flags and she has second thoughts about her plan. She tries to back out of the marriage after all, but by now, Marilyn has confronted Bill and Barb with her "knowledge" that Bill is having an affair with Margene. Her threat to go public makes Bill decide that the Margene and Goran marriage serves his purposes after all.

Nicki, back in her prairie garb, slaps Bill for not telling her about Joey: "I finally gave you my heart. You betrayed me!" Later, Nicki explains to Bill about her newfound feelings of love, suggesting she wants him all to herself. Bill asserts his faith in The Principle and Nicki acknowledges, "Of course we'd never leave Barb... or Margene."

Bill spots Ben playing tetherball in the yard with Goran and steps in to go mano-a-mano against the hunky Serb as Barb and Margene watch. "You are playing with fire Margene," notes Barb. "No one's left me any choice," she replies.

Marilyn calls Barb late at night, accusing her of lying - of letting Bill fool around with her neighbor Margene right under her nose. Barb insists Marilyn doesn't know what she's talking about: "You can say whatever you want, but we'll deny it."

On the eve of the family TV appearance Bill has scheduled with Barb and the kids, Bill shows up at Sarah's at 1 am to help her pack - bringing a pizza and a check for $5,000 for her to get started in her new home. Just before the interview, Tommy tells Bill that Marilyn has tons of files on him: "She's out to personally destroy you." On air, Bill steps in and insists Barb has nothing to apologize for - she addressed a real problem with her prescription drug comment. Touched by her father's gesture the night before, Sarah shows up late to the interview and joins her family.

At Teenie's birthday party, the wives present a handmade family quilt to Sarah - including a square from Bill's "Hot Dog Man" apron. "Take good care of it," he notes. As she prepares the cake for Teenie, a tearful Sarah takes one last look at her family, together in the yard.