for the love of big love

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Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

for the love of big love

WARNING: IF YOU WATCH BIG LOVE AND HAVEN’T SEEN THE SEASON 3 FINALE YET, YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ ANY FURTHER.

i’ve talked about big love here at least one other time here on the blog and if you’ve read it, you know that i’m thoroughly obsessed with it. i blog about it, twitter about it and have incessant conversations with coworkers about it. in all seriousness, i truly love the show. bar none, it’s my favorite show of all-time. i’ve loved some other shows in my life, but none compare to how engrossed i am with big love.

so, it was with great anticipation that i awaited season 3’s finale. and it did not disappoint.
roman’s dead.
nicki’s back.
and she has a 14-year old child she abandoned ten years ago.
bill has established a new church amongst his family.
alby tried to kill roman and adaleen.
and the list could go on.
most notably, of course, roman’s dead. in the final scene, joey (bill’s brother) smothers roman with a pillow just after roman returns to the compound to regain his throne as prophet. this truly changes the whole dynamic of the show in the future because roman was the main antagonist who pushed the entire plot of the first 3 seasons.
with is death, some have speculated that bill will begin to play the role of roman. not so much in the plotting, maniacal sense, but in the sense that bill will—more and more—begin to be a decision-maker and influencer in the lives of the people both inside and outside the compound. don’t forget, bill’s grandfather, orville henrickson, was the prophet before he mysteriously died (likely at the hands of roman). when bill was 14, he was sent away on his own by the order of roman because he was viewed as a threat to roman’s power. so, with roman’s death, this could be an opportunity for bill’s life to come full circle by exercising some kind of authority over either the people at the compound (not likely) or—as we saw in the final scene of season 3—establishing a new church in which, in essence, he serves as a prophet-like leader.
ok, enough analysis…
speaking of the final scene of season 3, it was truly incredible. one of the things i love about big love is the use of sort of ironic juxtaposition. for instance, on one hand, you have nicki who is the most prim and proper of the three wives, but yet, she’s the one who does the most shady activity. so, there are overarching bits of juxtaposed situations, but moreover than that type of usage, i love when a single scene is one epic juxtaposition. such was the final scene.
on one hand, you have bill proclaiming that he holds the keys to eternity and thus forms a new church. the family—including nicki and her daughter cara lynn—takes communion and there’s this scene of reconciliation, unity and harmony. interspersed and juxtaposed with this scene is roman returning to his compound home and being brutally suffocated by joey with a pillow. this tranquility placed next to this scene of rage is beautifully engaging.
of course, one of the things big love gets so right is the music. relatively speaking, there isn’t a ton of it, but when it’s used, it’s brilliant. so it was with the final scene. the song is the velvet underground’s i found a reason. what’s so brilliant is that who in the world would have ever picked that song? (music director anton sanko is the quick answer.) the songs, on the surface, seem so random, but in the end, they fit so beautifully.
so, instead of just trying to describe how beautiful the final scene was, you can take a look for yourself. here it is.

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