Bill Henrickson of HBO’s Big Love has never been what you would call a generally likable character. But much like Bill, the show got to us all (and that’s why it’s so popular). Now, I certainly don’t like the idea of polygamy (or agree with it even 1%) but I’ve come to know and love this show anyway (although trying to recruit new viewers has never been the easiest task). While I’ve never loved Bill or been his biggest fan, this season he’s really testing his limits with viewers like me. The show is walking a fine line between excellent drama, and plucking at the feelings that cause nausea and personal anger. (Or is that the same thing?)
In the episode “Under One Roof” that recently aired, the reality of what polygamy is and what it does to people (especially women) started to rise up and take a disgruntled and disturbing form from the typical enjoyment of this offbeat show. It is amazingly sad to see how Margene clearly would be better off without being in this family/marriage via her speeches and her obvious quest to be more independent (something no one else wants her to be), then seeing Nicki for once being openly resentful of being married off so young and being raised in polygamy, and THEN seeing even the level-headed Barb realize that her justification of Bill’s actions do not so easily align up with the religion she’s trying to hold to. Bill is emerging as the villain of this story, and even though it goes against the premise of the entire show, I can’t help but wish the three women would all leave him, pronto. It’s starting to come down to the idea of “at what cost” do Bill’s actions come from. In the previous episode he let his best friend take the fall for something. He’s run his two oldest children off from him. His mother doesn’t even want to associate with him. At what cost will Bill become the man he wants to be? And who will be left standing at the top of that hill with him?
Three women, three quotes:
“Everything’s supposedly for a higher good: The wives, the babies, the campaign, the billboards, the big new campaign headquarters,” she said. “But I have to ask myself, Bill: Is this truly for us, or is it really just for you?” – Barb
“I’m not being resistant, I’m stating my opinion. I went from being a little girl to being a married woman. There was no in between. I’m finding my voice; what’s wrong with wanting more?” – Margie
“I never had the little girl part, let alone the in between!” – Nicki