Oh. My. God.
Seriously. Did anyone see THAT coming?
I'm talking about last night's episode of Big Love ("Kingdom Come") and if you've read this far already, I'm just going to come out and say it. The seriously maniacal Greenes ambushed Old Roman and shot him - not once- but three times in the middle of a crowded street!
My jaw seriously hit the floor. Could the series' writers really have killed off the butterscotch sundae and 7UP-loving Roman just like that? And what does that mean for the series and its main characters in the plucky Henrickson clan, if their nemesis Roman is taken out of the picture? Is it a case of be careful what you wish for, as the only one who would succeed Roman if the prophet, er, ascended is Alby?
But before we get to that, a few other things: was anyone else slightly perturbed by the fact that the "previously on" scenes lasted for four minutes before the episode even began? I know that a lot has happened this season on Big Love, but with only four more episodes to go, did we really need a play-by-play recap of what had happened thus far?
Ben. I loved the fact that Bill was trying to teach teenage son Ben about the immorality of lust whilst carrying on with each of his wives right behind one another's backs. It was a thread that beautifully, er, climaxed when Ben told his parents that he wanted to marry Brynn as she was "the one" for right now and if he met someone else and didn't love Brynn as much, he'd take her on as a second wife. Cue that heartbreaking look of extreme despair and realization on Barb's face. (Ouch.)
I understand that Ben didn't feel that engaging in premarital sex was a sin and wanted to get his parents off his back, but that was hitting below the belt, especially at a time when the arrangement between Barb and her sister wives are strained at best. Still, I was shocked that Barb went to Brynn and told her to reconsider the life of polygamy she's getting herself involved in. I know she did it for a good reason, but it was shocking nonetheless.
Bill, for all of his claims that he's not the same as his father or Roman or any of the men on the Juniper Creek compound, certainly puts his foot down when he wants to and doesn't brook any opposition to his "divine" will. I do have to say that the past few episodes have made me not like Bill that much as he's pursued revenge against Roman and played the Old Man against the dangerous Greenes, despite constant warnings from Don (whose advice Bill usually shrugs off).
Still, my love for Barb was reaffirmed when she agreed to Bill's desire of a "night off" twice a month, but said that he would spend that night with his kids and not hiding out in the basement. Was there ever any doubt that Barb is truly a selfless human being?
Naughty Girl vs. Good Girl. I loved the dichotomy set up between Margene and Nicki about their views of sex. Margene was the one most understanding about Ben having sex as she lost her virginity when she was Ben's age. While Nicki views what Margene and Bill do, after catching them in flagrante delicto, as morally wrong and against her religious views (sex=procreation, not recreation), Margene takes it upon herself to talk to Bill about why he's not pleasing Nicki in bed. I loved this twist. Margene is meant to be the most immature of Bill's wives (and a possible "play toy" in her own eyes) and assumed by Nicki to be the one sapping Bill's strength with her "demands," yet she was the one most inclusive about her ideas of plural marriage and wanted to make sure that each of the wives and Bill was satisfied.
Meanwhile, I cannot believe that Eddie's start-up money was stolen from a dead woman (or a not-so-dead woman, anyway) and it explains where Lois' stash was coming from. I love the irony that they're literally laundering money through a laundromat but I was surprised to see that Lois was aware of exactly what she was doing and sold Bill out to Frank AND offered herself up to her evil husband as an inducement to return the $20K or so he stole from her. I did feel bad for Lois when she lost the laundromat ("I just want to be where the action is!" she pleaded with Bill) but her actions were absolutely reprehensible in this episode and her financial dreams were built on rather shaky moral ground.
The Greenes. These are very, very scary people and Bill should not be messing around with them. Sure, he went to his lawyer and got the ATF involved. End of story with the Greenes running with their tails between their legs to Arizona? Um, not quite. As long as Hollis and his "brother" Selma (color me even more confused now; is Selma a man or a woman?) are out there, Bill and his family are in danger. Hell, the last minute of last night's episode proved just how dangerous and virulent the Greenes' cult truly is.
Finally, I cannot believe that those two grubby women casually walked up to Roman in broad daylight and shot him right in the street before running away. While Roman's a prickly SOB, I couldn't help but feel a little guilty about his death. After all, it's Bill who directly caused this turn of events. Kudos to David Byrne for selecting "Knocking on Heaven's Door" as the music during this scene and the heart-wrenching sight of Adeleen and Alby both running to a broken Roman as he bleeds out onto the pavement. One shot and I might think that Roman could walk away from this. But three bullets, including one to the gut? Not likely, though I don't think the prophet is dead quite yet.
I never thought I'd say this, but I'm pulling for the creepy old man to make it. If not, let's just hope Roman enjoyed his final earthbound butterscotch sundae and 7Up.
Next week on Big Love ("Circle the Wagons"), Bill turns to Nicki to get Barb and Margene on board for his plans for Weber Gaming; Alby holds a vigil at Papa Roman's bedside and crashes a meeting of the UEB; and Lois tries to get back on Bill's good side again.
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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionaryblog.com.