when men and mountains meet: ‘big love’ delivers in the finale (with video)

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

big love season 5

when men and mountains meet: ‘big love’ delivers in the finale (with video)

welp, big love is over. after 5 years of living with our surrogate polygamist family, the henricksons, our journey has come to an end.

[this is the part you knew if you haven’t watched the finale, so if you’d like to stick to only things you knew if you haven’t watched it, you’ll probably wanna stop reading here.]

and why beat around the bush? let’s just cut to the chase: bill’s dead.

i was absolutely convinced it wasn’t gonna happen, but alas the writers managed to surprise us. (more on that later.) and the writers managed to make us love the family even more than what we expected. and they managed to end the show in a way that i think most people will be satisfied with. let’s just say this wasn’t the sopranos finale.

questions were answered. but not too many. some mystery still exists, but not to the point of frustration. some things we wanted happened, while others didn’t.

so what exactly happened? well, i’m not gonna go blow-by-blow through the entire episode, but i’ll simply say that some of my predictions were correct and some were not-so-correct. here’s my predictions alongside what actually happened.

1. barb won’t leave. i was nearly 100% convinced about this prediction and it was 100% correct. i was just convinced that the show needed to end with the family staying together and apparently the writers agreed. a disconnected family would have undermined one of the primary premises of the entire series: no matter what, the strength and love of the family endures. as barb says to sarah (who returned in the final scene), “we’re strong. we’re forged. we endure.” that line is, in many ways, a summation of the entire series.

2. nicki and margene will also stay. again, ditto on the barb stuff. to an extent, margene has physically left, but not actually left the family. it’s crazy to think that after 6 years of marriage, she’s only 22 years old, so it makes sense that she desperately needs to spread her wings. so, the show ends with her leaving for a 3 month mission. she deeply loves the family and is still 100% committed, but she needs to pursue this aspect of her life. as for nicki, she finally admits that she is basically a horrific person who has no ability to be kind. but in the final scene, we see her teary-eyed and expressing (in her way) her love for margene.

3. alby will be ousted as the prophet. one of the somewhat strange (though i think i understand the logic) elements of the final episode is that there was no alby. why? because my prediction was correct: he goes to prison. while we don’t really know exactly what will happen with him, it seems fairly likely that he’ll spend the rest of his life behind bars. (btw, i think he wasn’t in the final episode because they chose to let it be about the family and not the peripheral characters.)

and the big one…

4. bill will take his rightful place as the prophet of juniper creek. well, i was prepared to say this was totally wrong, but i would actually say it’s partially wrong. the partially wrong part is the juniper creek part. it seems that juniper creek is no more and bill, naturally, doesn’t end up there. but what is partially correct about my prediction is that bill more or less becomes the prophet of his new church (and new polygamist movement) before his death. on easter, nearly 500 polygamists showed up at his church, showing their allegiance to the man who is fighting to legalize polygamy (as he announced in the senate’s final session). bill is the prophet. of course, that doesn’t last long when bill is shot and killed by his angry neighbor carl.

this is where the writers surprised us. i was convinced bill wasn’t going to die because they teased it too much throughout the season (in fact, a little too much). but, if bill was gonna die, it had to be at the hands of an established enemy (alby, the greens, a mormom leader, etc.). but instead, it was at the hands of an angry neighbor who should have had no beef with bill himself. and why did carl kill him? because bill had his yard re-sodded because he had previously promised he would. yeah. that’s how bill’s life ends. and that’s the series ends.

so, my predictions were decent. not exactly right, but decent.

the ultimate scene in the entire episode/season/series(??) was the scene where bill was fading into death after being shot. as his wives gather over him, he asks barbara to give him a blessing. in other words, bill acknowledges barb as a priesthood holder. as he breathes his last breaths, barb takes her place as the new leader of his church, the priesthood holder in their family and essentially the new prophet of their polygamist movement.

(oh, and i loved the show ending with natalie maines’ cover of god only knows. well played…)

it was such a great series and i’ll genuinely miss it. very, very few shows have drawn me in like big love.

haven’t watched the finale but wanna know what i’m talking about? here’s the final 8ish minutes of the finale, followed by an “after finale” from hbo (and they both begin the same exact way, so keep watching on the 2nd video). enjoy.


1 Comment

  1. Jennifer P. says:

    I loved the shot at the very end when Margene runs back to hug Niki and Barb and you see Bill in the background sitting at the table watching. I really liked that the director didn’t zoom in on Bill’s face. Instead, he put all the focus on the wives and their emotions. Good stuff.

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