Well, that happened. The season that virtually obliterated Big Love's dramatic credibility has finally come to a close with a parting shot of newly minted State Senator Bill, his red wife, his white wife, and his blue wife all clasping hands and bracing themselves for the dark, bleak future manifested by Bill's complete and total idiocy. Hopefully next season will begin with Bill sitting up in bed, turning to Barb, and saying, "I just had the weirdest dream. I ran for state senate, and won. Then I outed our family on the steps of the capitol."
"That sounds more like a nightmare, Bill."
"It was, Barb. It was. Also I told you and Marge and Nicki that we wouldn't be arrested because a limo would be waiting for us...like the limo could protect us from admitting in public that we're breaking the law."
"What? Even you're not that stupid."
"I know. And it seemed so real. I'm just glad it was all a dream."
Yes, that would be a total cop out—but I'd forgive the writers that cheap cop out if it meant we could all just pretend this whole unbelievable, moronic state senate plot never happened and get back to the dramatically sound Big Love of yore. The Big Love that was more concerned with characters than with plot. The Big Love that stuck close to home and the Henricksons, with a little of the Juniper Creek compound thrown in for good measure. The Big Love that might have a Tetherball..For Your Wife battle, but that definitely wouldn't include a Mexican getaway/kidnapping rescue and a state senate run.
Still, there were a handful of scenes in tonight's finale that recalled the Big Love of yore, namely: the three wives "splurging on new outfits" in side-by-side dressing rooms at Dillard's; and Nicki's fight with Margene and Barb in the dining room over why she wouldn't accept Margene's "big-headed" eggs—any scene that begins with Barb shutting the doors in Bill's face and saying, "If this involved you, we wouldn't be closing these doors" and that ends with Nicki yelling that she doesn't want to share Bill right before a brick flies through the window is a good scene. Plus, it brought that poor, pathetic dope Don Embry back, which was beyond sad. Obviously, Don supports Bill's idiotic plan to win then out himself—he has to. If Bill loses or backs out, then Don's sacrifice would have been for nothing. But for Bill to go through with the "Hi I'm your state senator, and I'm a polygamist" plan after he doesn't just see his family's future, but holds it down on his front lawn while it screams, "Our lives are effing ruined!" in his face, means that Bill is so dense he might have a head filled with quick-dry cement.
And then there's Barb. One of the more satisfying scenes in tonight's finale—besides the one where Marilyn channeled the audience and informed "sad, stupid" Bill that his plan was unworkable—was when Barb sat Bill down to ask him why he was really running for office. "I don't want to hear about your testimony," fed-up Barb (which is the best Barb) told him. Bill confessed that he was dragging his family in the spotlight for purely selfish reasons: to redeem himself. To which Barb confessed, "I've needed you for 20 years. I don't think I need you anymore." Go, Barb—and I don't mean that in the Girl Power sense, I mean that in the literal sense. Barb should go. She should leave Bill. (So should Margene—especially now that there's a nice, new, non-religious polyamory family she can join). And for a minute it seemed like passive aggressive Barb had finally just turned agressive. It seemed like Barb would leave, or at least that she wouldn't stand up and be outed alongside Bill. In the end, though, she bent to Bill's will as she always does—which makes you wonder: who is the bigger moron here?
Elsewhere in the episode it was a tangle of ends to various plots: Marilyn found out about Bill: the polygamist a little early; Margie, Goren The Strong, and Ana formed a circle of love; Bill fired Tommy because of some meth connection/lies to the DEA (but we know it was really just to upset Barb); Alby finally snapped and cut Lara's face with a box-cutter for some reason; We found out that JJ was apparently running a no-sex incest program; Adaleen, pregnant with the inbred spawn of JJ and Wanda, was held hostage at Dr. Rocket's clinic, but escaped by cracking JJ's Wig Wife on the skull; Wanda momentarily became Lassie ("Nicki...clinic...JJ...He...put..me and him...inside her.); Nicki narrowly escaped being impregnated with the child of her ex-husband and her daughter; and Adaleen set fire to JJ, Wig Wife, and the Walker no-sex incest clinic. Incidentally, just so we're crystal clear, everything in the above litany makes far more sense than Bill's "Become a state senator, then out myself as a polygamist" plan.
--"How can there be incest when there's no intercourse?" Good point, JJ. It's just all the unseemly sex that gives inbreeding a bad name.
--I love that Ana's main function now is to just yell, "You're nuts!" at Barb, Bill, and Nicki at regular intervals.
--"I don't make deals with morally bankrupt vipers." Says the guy who almost exclusively makes deals with morally bankrupt vipers.
--"At the end of days, we'll have our pick of all the beautiful homes. We'll just go in, move all the bodies.." Ah, story time with JJ. He should have a regular spot in the kids' section at Barnes & Noble.
--"I don't want one of your big-headed babies. I probably wouldn't be able to deliver it."