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Nicki is Such a Cow

By Melissa McKimmey | TV | January 27, 2011 |

By Melissa McKimmey | TV | January 27, 2011 |

This episode started off really slow and was disjointed. It was much weaker than last week’s strong opener, but it redeemed itself somewhat towards the end. I feel like there is so much ground to cover and I can’t see how they are going to get to an acceptable resolution in ten episodes. It makes for frustrating viewing at times. Also interesting? My computer now fills in the word ‘polygamist’ when I start to type it. Bet that’s a first.

Bill is the protagonist of the show (theoretically), but this week the overarching theme was about these women starting to fight the constraints of the religion and the principle and making choices for themselves, so they get top billing. Deal with it, Bill.

Barb is still trying to make sense of her life and is reaching out to her mom. I forgot how snippy her mom is and I enjoyed the banter. Barb joined a group called Sunstone, which appears to be a symposium and magazine that is a vehicle for honest discussions of the Mormon religion. Her mom’s involved and Barb wants her to join her for a talk about being ex-communicated. Barb is really struggling with her faith here. She is just desperately reaching out to people she has a connection with, looking for someone to understand. Jeanne Tripplehorn is sublime here. The talk goes very poorly, when Barb’s mom brings up the polygamist in the room.

Barb’s still a drinking woman and she’s getting much more bold and calculated with her choices. She’s taking a dance class and talking about building new communities. The bigger challenge that she is facing is daring to question why women aren’t priesthood holders. She finds Margie sad and alone and offers to give her a blessing. That’s a huge no-no. It’s pretty much unheard of and I find it completely badass that Barb would do it. Nicki busts them before it happens and of course rats her out to Bill. Nicki is a total bitch in this episode. She tells Bill that Barb is doing everything deliberately and Bill tells her to chill. He’s not a complete moron (today). I think he knows that if he pushes Barb too hard on falling back into line, it’ll push her completely away.

Nicki finds out that Cara Lynn is some math genius and she wins a math and science competition and gets kissed by Don’s kid. Of course Nicki has a meltdown and wants her to stay locked up in the house and focus on school so she has a future. Cara Lynn’s going to run off and live with Rhonda if Nicki doesn’t chill out. Cara Lynn also clearly got the lying gene from her mom. Serves Nicki right.

When Nicki isn’t harassing her kid, she is being a complete cow to Barb. Now, I love Nicki, but Jesus, I would have belted her across the mouth if I were Barb. Nicki tosses out little digs at Barb the whole episode and tries undermining Barb with Bill. And then she goes farther than I thought even Nicki would. The three wives are in Home Plus and they are talking about Nicki needing to relax with Cara Lynn. Nicki figures out that Barb gave Cara Lynn a copy of ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ and says she’s not surprised what happened with Barb’s daughter, if that’s the kind of mom Barb is. Wow. There is so much to unpack here. First, I just cannot believe that after all the hideous crap that Nicki has pulled, that she ever says anything to question someone else’s morals. This woman lies more easily than Satan. Not to mention, they are in public. Who does that? The biggest part of this, though, is that it shows that the whole everyone-is-married-to-everyone part of the deal is a flat-out lie. Nicki doesn’t use Sarah’s name and she doesn’t refer to her as ‘their kid’, which she damn well should since she’s the biggest proponent of the principle since Bill. No, now Sarah is Barb’s kid, Barb’s problem. None of that share and share alike belief here! Barb looks like Nicki just slapped her and really, that would have been less hurtful. Margie tells Nicki she was “cruel, insensitive and horrible”. Sing it, sister.

Nicki goes to Barb’s dance class and apologies. It’s Nicki, so it’s impossible to tell if she’s being sincere about it, and Barb seems to understand that and forgives Nicki a little. It turns into a beautiful scene as the two of them dance together, both doing something new and pushing against the rules. It’s rather touching and the most real moment between any of the spouses this season.

Poor Margie’s in a bad way. She is depressed and miserable and it’s pathetic. Bill sends Ana off to Siberia or wherever because she’s encouraging Margie to leave Bill and start her life over. Bill tells Margie she’s free to leave him and I almost believe him, except for the fact that the only things he ever really wants are for himself. Margie tells Cara Lynn about promising herself that she was going to do something and be someone and that Cara Lynn should get out and never look back. I hope Margie and Barb both leave Bill. There is so much more out there for them both.

Fine, I’ll talk about Bill. The first scene of the show is Bill and his sons (I have no idea which ones) talking about scriptures that say to treat your enemies with kindness or some such thing. At the Henrickson home, it’s all about heavy-handedness. While Bill’s giving the sermon, Margie spills that she and Barb got yelled at in the grocery store. I bet Margie yelled back. Margie waxes poetic about some Goji berry drink that this Christian Main Line Marketing guy is hawking and how she wants to hawk it too. Bill shuts her down with just a look and even though I think Margie should have her own career, this idea is just dumb. Margie’s got ambition, she could definitely find a way to start another business instead of working for someone else.

Bill’s got it in his head that he needs to have a round-table meeting of a bunch of polygamists and various state agencies to create a group he calls ‘Safety Net’, which is a stupid name. Who is the safety net for? Polygamists? The agencies who might not have caught them otherwise? This seems doomed to failure, so I hope Bill goes for it and I get to laugh. Bill looks to a religious group called St. Flores for support and since he’s talking to a sister, I’m going to say it’s a Catholic group. She points out the group is non-Mormon and Bill’s like, ‘Yeah, they’re part of the problem since they won’t have anything to do with us.’ He talks about how in Utah there is the Mormon church and then there is everything else. It’s pretty accurate about Utah and I’m honestly surprised to see such a direct shot against the mainstream church.

Bill’s ‘Safety Net’ group is pretty big and I’m shocked he got so many bodies in the room together. It starts out smoothly, but then it goes right off the rails when Alby challenges Bill’s description of compound dynamics and Nicki starts yelling at Alby and then some polygamist guy starts yelling and then Charley, the guy from Bill’s store who was talking smack about him last episode starts calling Bill a liar and I get to have my laugh. This is a really volatile group and Bill is the only one who is calm enough to talk about things without freaking out. Of course, he’s going to try again. When has Bill ever passed up a chance to beat his head against a wall?

In other polygamist news, Midge (really), a representative for Bill’s district that Barb used to baby-sit for (really?) introduces a bill making polygamy a 2nd degree felony and saying that constituents can sue agencies for not prosecuting. Bill calls it a witch hunt in a meeting with the other polygamists. Alby cracks a few jokes at Bill’s expense and I remember why I love him. I just can’t believe Bill thought everyone would embrace them for who they are. When has that ever happened?

In other news, Lois seems to be having her own breakdown on the compound. He house has a tree in the middle of it and she says Frank tried to burn the house down to get at her money, which I totally believe he would do, but she seems really off. She’s not her normal, sharp self. She’s a little dull, a little lost. It’s sad to see her like that. She and Adalene should room together.

Of course, Adalene is sharing a room with her dead husband’s clothes laid out on the bed and a picture at the top, for that really creepy vibe, so that may not work out. She’s giving herself hormone injections because she wants to keep the baby. Honestly, she’s the only one who seems like they are coping at all, and that’s probably because having a creepy relative impregnate you with his likeness isn’t even on the top five list of weird things in your life when you’ve been married to Roman and mother to Alby.

This episode was choppy and the writing was unclear and unfocused, but I like the themes and concepts they are implementing. I’ve still got hope for this season, but I’m going to need more Alby and Adalene and less Bill scheming.

Melissa McKimmey is a mom, wife and grocery merchandiser who spends too much time on the internet. She spends most of her time on the internet as TWoP Fan and can be emailed at here.

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