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"Certain Poor Shepherds"

By Melissa McKimmey | TV | February 3, 2011 |

By Melissa McKimmey | TV | February 3, 2011 |

Hey there fellow Henrickson followers! I must say, after this episode I have to say something I never thought I would: I don’t hate Bill. (Right now.) The first 15 minutes of the episode was boring and I thought it was going to be a debacle like last week, but I found a few of the storylines compelling and you know if they got me to not hate Bill for a minute, it must have been good. Let’s get to it.

This is the Christmas episode, which is weird in February, but an interesting backdrop for the episode. Bill and the wives are the main storyline this week and super-interesting, so I’m going to hit the side-plots first, then wind up with the good stuff.

Over a dinner, Bill and Ben give a patronizing little speech about how much women do for men and in running the household and how they are separate but equally important. Ben calls it Eronic (?) priesthood (I don’t have closed captioning), but I heard Ironic priesthood and that’s what we’re calling it now. Barb gets a little passive aggressive about how women can have testimony and guidance in their own spiritual matters and Bill interprets that (correctly!) to mean that Barb needs to be useful, needs more responsibility, which she lost when the casino deal went south. He tells her he’s up for making some changes and that he’ll reveal a big one at church that evening that he thinks she’ll like. He does reveal it and it’s that this week, Ben gets to bless the sacrament. Barb is just crushed, she thought Bill actually meant it when he said he wanted things to change. How many disappointments will she take?

They all go ice skating and it’s very conspicuous and weird. Bill and Barb talk and they really do seem like they love each other.

Alby goes on his purification spree and after his son gets his finger nipped by a dog, he orders all the dogs in the compound to be rounded up and poisoned. I’m guessing the show runners were sick of everyone liking Alby over the supposed hero Bill and decided to do something people wouldn’t forgive with the character. So Alby’s all the way to the dark side and when Lura questions him and tells him she’s trying to be what he wants, he threatens to take her kids (they call it reassigning and it’s a goddamn cruel way of keeping women in line). She’s devastated and ditches Alby and runs to Bill, who gets her in a shelter. When Alby comes calling, because you know he couldn’t leave it, Bill makes him ask Lura if she wants to go with him. When Lura says she doesn’t want to, Alby tries to take her and Bill decks him. It is a truly awesome sight and I loved Bill right then. Yes, he makes horrible decisions and he’s a selfish person, but he’s not always a bad person. He’s doing the right thing and he’s doing something a lot of people wouldn’t do and it’s commendable. Good job, Bill. Alby is shocked and possibly humbled, but I doubt it.

Cara Lynn and Don’s kid Gary go for a joyride to the compound and it’s all very risque since he only has a learners permit. Oh, and because of the fact that she finds out that the clinic burned down. Later on she badgers Adalene into telling her that her dad’s dead and confronts Nicki about it, who is surprisingly sweet about it. She tells Cara Lynn that if she had accepted who Roman was earlier, her life would be different. True that.

Adalene and Nicki get excited because Adalene has been declared indigent and now she gets a ton of money from the state. It’s so obvious where Nicki gets her scamming gene. After letting Alby very scarily harass her about the baby, she dumps her hormones and goes back to the compound to help him after Lura leaves. I like to think she’s planning to poison him.

Lois is acting strange around the house. Well, stranger than usual. Barb notices that she’s having memory lapses and becoming confused. They take her with the doctor and she’s got the beginning stages of dementia. Aw, man. Lois rules! She’s so feisty and witty. This sucks. Also, it’s kind of…sudden. She was fine in Mexico, which was less than six months ago (I’m estimating) Yet suddenly her dementia is so bad she’s hijacking the younger kids and taking them to a drive-up to see Santa. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so sad and because every Henrickson adult was at home and didn’t notice that Lois, with her new diagnosis had taken off with the kids until the kids called home. Bang-up parenting job! Seriously, I can’t believe these kids aren’t feral, with as little adult attention as they get. Bill can’t tell her and I see why. She wouldn’t remember and it would just be scary for her. He really does love his mom. God, I hope Frank doesn’t come to harass her. He’d take so much joy in scaring her.

Bill keeps harassing Senator Barn, who thinks Bill is a godless heathen and an ass. By harassing I mean he drags his family down to serenade the senator with Christmas music so he’ll stop hating Bill. Subtlety is a art lost to Bill. If he’d just keep his head down and shut up, he’d make more headway than trying to badger people into being his friends. It’s like he never quite made it out of that adolescent ‘please like me’ stage. Also, I really like Bill’s reading glasses. They’re the perfect amount of goofy for him.

Heather drops by the house to drop off some gingerbread for the Henricksons and Ben decides she’s all shiny and confident now (she is and she looks great) so she gets an invite to every event the family does for the rest of the episode. She’s sweet, though, so I’m okay with it. I don’t see them as a long term item, but I definitely think she’ll help Ben figure out where he wants to go with is life.

Oh, Bill and Barb visit the casino and discover that the ice cream bar is a little hotter, now that scantily-dressed women are dancing on it. It’s worth it for the reaction shot and Barb’s outraged ‘My ice cream bar!’ A casino employee tells her and Bill that the tribe decided to go in another direction. Heh.

There’s some boring set up with Margie selling the neighbor lady on her MLM scam and her buying tons of Goji juice, but that’s nothing compared to the good stuff this week.

Bill hounds Margie for her driver’s license and does everything but toss it in the garbage disposal to avoid Bill seeing it. She even goes to Adalene and Nicki to have them make her a new one, which is a nice call-back to Nicki faking an ID to work in the DA’s office. Finally, on Christmas eve, she tells Bill that he can have it and that it will say that she’s two years younger than he thought. Which means she was sixteen, not eighteen when he married her. Which is against the law and makes him the same as the other young-wife having polygamists. I’d say this beats Nicki’s gambling debt out for biggest lie.

Now everyone is pissed at Margie, except Bill, it seems. Yes, she lied and had her mom lie, but she was sixteen and there’s a reason they aren’t considered adults. Someone on Bill’s staff at the store needs fired if no one has figured out that she’s two years younger than she said. Not to mention, Margie’s not the most mature twenty-something, I can’t imagine that Bill thought she was mature enough to get married, even if he did think she was eighteen. Basically, he wanted to cover up the fact that they fooled around before marriage and if he married her, it was okey-dokey! He’s got a lot to answer for here. However, after it happened, it was up to her to tell him and she not only waited five years, but she couldn’t have mentioned it before he freaking ran for office? That didn’t seem like something that should come up? And I can’t believe that Margie, of all the people, could keep a secret for that long. Nicki, of course, Barb, yeah, Margie? No. My other issue with this storyline is that none of the reporters (who all knew of Margine) didn’t piece this together when Bill was running for office and had the polygamy scandal Don took the fall for? I doubt that. Bill prays and asks God why He’s pissed. God appears to not answer, but if Bill wants a hint, I’ve got some recaps he could read.

Barb winds up the night drunk and tells her spouses that they are all unholy, which Bill takes issue with. In the end, we see the Henricksons miserable, standing in their live nativity scene.

Damn, yo.

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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