Monday, August 20, 2007

Big Momma

Last night was the second to last episode of this season of Big Love. As always, it was amazing. They are building up to a huge season end next week. Unfortunately I will be out of the country and unable to watch it and report back. So much happened last night, that just a recap would be quite lengthy, let alone adding my commentary. Therefore I am going to talk about one part of the episode that I felt was the most poignant of anything thing that happened.

Barb attempted to mend the relationship with her mother. Her mother does not approve of Barb being part of a plural marriage. Barb reads about her mother's upcoming wedding and decides to try to fix their relationship. Barb shows up at her mother's and her mother summarily dismisses her, although you can tell it breaks her heart to do it. Barb returns the next day and tells her mother that her son Ben wants to start dating twins and live "the principle." For this, her mother has time. She tells Barb to bring the children to the wedding and then leave Ben with her. She will take Ben for the remainder of the summer. This way Ben will see other options for his life. Barb agrees.

On the day of the wedding Barb takes the kids to the reception. When she arrives, her mother comes out and asks why Barb is all dressed up. Apparently the invitation was for the children only, not Barb. But, Barb stands firm and gets in. Once there, Ben learns of the plans for him to stay and he calls Bill. Bill shows up and enters the reception. However, he leaves Margene in the car. Bill confronts Barb about it and she says, "it must have slipped my mind." This is her passive aggressive revenge on Bill for him failing to tell her about he and Margene going to dinner with the people from Weber gaming. Margene, all alone and pissed off in the car calls Nicki. Nicki packs up all the kids and comes to the wedding. There is a big show down between Barb's mother and Barb's family. The wives ask Barb if she is leaving them. At the end, Barb choses to return home with Bill and the rest of her family.

While much more did happen last night, to me this was the most interesting part of the show. Barb is clearly torn. On one hand, she loves Bill and is living the principal. On the other, she doesn't want it for her son. Barb appears to be a hypocrite, but is she really? She loves her husband and children, and if she had her choice she would not be in a plural marriage. She doesn't want to lose Bill or the kids, so she must tolerate polygamy. She doesn't like it, but she loves her family. Barb wants her children to live a more open life and not face the problems that come with polygamy. Barb is protecting her son and giving him the chance to see what else there is out there besides "the principle." But what kind of example is she giving her kids? She is not happy with her life, yet she chooses to stay rather than making the difficult, but ultimately more fulfilling choice to leave and live her life without Bill and her sister-wives.

There was also something interesting in Barb's mother. She loves Barb, but cannot accept this part of Barb's life. This was a good analogy for anyone who is shunned by their own family for one reason or another. Barb's plural marriage does not affect who she is as a person. She is still the same daughter she was before she and Bill married Nicki. Unfortunately, the idea of unconditional love doesn't exist here. You can disapprove of choices your child makes, but she is still your child. Barb's life isn't hurting anyone, yet this one thing changes her relationship with her family of origin. Hopefully someday her family will come around and realize Barb is still Barb. I also found it interesting that Barb's mother feels that Barb is being controlled by Bill, yet her new husband demanded that they be sealed in a Mormon ceremony and she be unsealed from Barb's father. Like mother, like daughter. Each is controlled by her respective husband, but neither is willing to face it. Maybe part of the reason for the rift between Barb and her mother is that her mother sees Barb making the same mistakes she did and she doesn't want to watch it.

There will for sure be a lot happening next week in the season finale. But given the choice between being in Europe or watching this, I choose Europe. See you all in about 2 weeks.


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