I’m trying something a little different for this recap so that I don’t jump between scenes, I’m going to break it down by character and what happens to them through the episode, let me know how you like it!
Bill: The episode opens with Jim Bob Duggar Bill reading a Bible passage with his boys and explaining that they need to pray for for patience to deal with those who haven’t yet accepted them. He says he wants to take action for people to understand they are polygamist reformers and that they are separate from the type of polygamists at the compound, before hatred against them “gels” but it’s a little too late for that.
Bill is doing some more political wrangling. I have never been very good at following the political dealings in this show. I tend to space out and then count on the summary of the next week’s episode to fill me in on what was important. But basically Bill has created something he is calling “Safety Net” – where all the different polygamist groups and non-polygamist politicians are to get together and discuss ensuring basic rights for polygamists – like education and services. It falls apart at the first meeting with the women speaking out against the lack of education for girls and the women being treated like property. Not only do Bill’s attempts at some world where polygamists are all respected and live peacefully fail, legislation is introduced that would make polygamy an impeachable offense and it looks like Alby might be behind it.
Barb: Barb is reaching out to her mom, with whom she’s had a cold relationship since becoming a polygamist. She asks her mom to go to Sunstone with her, an annual symposium for Mormons that looks like it’s directed towards women. Barb’s mom reluctantly agrees to go, but decides to call Barb out during the symposium for being a polygamist. Awkward!
Bill is concerned about this new balls to the wall Barb who is drinking wine – sometimes in front of the children!! – AND taking a dance class. I looked it up and it turns out that Mormons are ok with dancing. Still, I’m loving Barb exploring herself, even if it means that she is engaging in some taboo acts like trying to give Marge a blessing. Barb has been the mature and rational one throughout this series. but she’s acting out like a teenager. She’s trying on different hats and she’s trying to exert control. I have always felt like Barb had a quiet reign over the family, but now she is trying to take on “man’s roles” by offering blessings, which she is now allowed to do. Sometimes Big Love isn’t all that subtle with the symbolism, and towards the end of the episode Barb is teaching Nicki to dance – with Barb as the lead.
Nicki: Kara Lynn is a math genius, although who knows how that happened. Nicki sees her achieving in a Mathlete competition, and although she was initially opposed to Kara Lynn studying for the math competition, when Kara Lynn’s hottie math teacher tells Nicki how talented Kara Lynn is and says she must have received excellent home schooling – which Nicki takes credit for, of course – she starts to change her feelings. She wants Kara Lynn to study and achieve in school, something she never had an opportunity to do on the compound. Nicki’s feelings come to a boil at the Safety Net meeting over her outrage that girls don’t receive any education at Juniper Creek. Nicki is acting out her feelings about how she wished her life had gone on Kara Lynn. Kara Lynn has been starting to date Don Embry’s son, and Nicki is extremely opposed to it. She acts like it’s because that kid is the one who threw the brick through their window, but I think it’s actually because he comes from a polygamist family and Nicki is afraid Kara Lynn will end up in a polygamist marriage if she dates him. However, Nicki also doesn’t want Kara Lynn to be too “wordly” and berates Barb (after initiall accusing Margene) for giving Kara Lynn a copy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” which she credits with making Sarah think she should engage in premarital sex.
Margene: Ever the entrepreneur, Margene has decided that she is going to sell some sort of Snake Oil elixir that the motivational video guy was hawking. Next we see Margene over at Anna and Goran’s. Margene is running around, sweating, dancing and giggling like she’s high while Anna tries to convince Margie to leave and I think be polygamists with her and Goran. Bill has paid for Anna, his unborn child, and Goran to go back to Serbia and Margene is devastated. Anna was the only one of the wives who Margene ever really connected to. She loves Barb, but Barb is more of a mother figure. Anna leaving represents complete isolation for Margene, who no longer has her business to sustain her or her ties to her past. She is also trying to help Kara Lynn not make the same mistakes she did, and tells Kara Lynn to leave as soon as she can. And yet, when Bill tells Margene that she can leave him if she wants to – not to go to Serbia, but just to leave – it’s clear that Margene thinks it’s too late for her to get out. Time will tell if anything happens to change her mind.
Adeleen: Released from her underground cell, Adeleen is seeking actual medical care to try and maintain her pregnancy which she is calling a “miracle of God.” The doctor wants her medical records but she lets him know they were destroyed in a fire, which actually made me cackle. Apparently she really intends to go through with this pregnancy. She is able to get the hormones she needs though, and at the end of the episode she is injecting herself through the whole in her Sacred Undergarment, sitting on the bed where she has Roman’s clothes, hat, and portrait laid out beside her.
Lois: Selena earlier told me that Adeleen is her favorite character, but I’m all Lois. She is living in squalor, a tree through her house, and hiding from her husband. I was very pleased to see that it looks like Bill brought her back to stay with the family. Barb may be horrified, but I anticipate nothing bu hilarity from it.
Now that the family are out polygamists, they keep having these very public breakdowns – at the Safety Net meeting, at the Sunstone meeting, at the city hall meeting, and at Home Plus. When everything falls apart for good at the end of this series – hopefully with Barb taking the lead on getting the women out – I expect it will be a very public spectacle.