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Big Love Season 3 Premiere: Block Party

billHBO has struggled in its quest to find original programming that attracts a large audience since its biggest hits (The Sopranos, Sex and the City) have ended. Tell Me You Love Me, The Comeback, and Lucky Louie were all cancelled after only one season and other shows like Flight of the Conchords (a personal favorite), struggle to find mainstream audiences. But one bright spot in the network’s line-up has been the polygamy drama, Big Love.

The show kicked off its third season last night and didn’t disappoint. Season 3 picks up in real time, about a year after we last saw the Hendricksons. The show opens as Nicki is getting ready for her first day at a new job, what no one knows is that she’s secretly working at the DA’s office to find out the identities of the Jane Does testifying against her father, Roman Grant. The same morning, Barb faces a series of cancer screenings alone, fearing her cancer has returned. The prospect makes her want to take charge of Bill’s search for a fourth wife. We find out Bill is seeing Ana again. Barb goes to see her and explains that dating Bill means dating his three wives too. Resistant at first, Ana talks to Margene and comes around to the idea by the end of the episode. Margene begins to come into her own as she not only helps win over a potential fourth wife but also helps Bill get closer to a deal with Jerry Flute to partner on a Mormon-friendly casino.

In the meantime, neighbors Carl and Pam ask Bill and Barb if they will be attending the annual block party. They find out the new neighborhood map is out and the Henricksons are listed as “inactive” while Nicki’s house is grayed out completely since people have become aware she was related to Roman Grant. Bill believes the map is a sign that the family has to become more vigilant in hiding their lifestyle. He decides they should not attend the block party.

We also learn that even though she got into the U, Sarah is applying to out-of-state schools in an attempt to get away from her family after she learns they may be taking on a fourth wife. (Stay tuned on this one, Kristen at E! let it spill that “fans will learn a shocking secret about Sarah at the end of episode two”!)

Frankie from Juniper Creek finds Bill and asks him to talk to their father, Frank, who has kicked him off the compound. Bill agrees and takes the boy back but his father refuses to let him come home because he kissed a girl who was earmarked for a bishop. Bill offers to help the boy who runs away before they can get back to Bill’s house. He shows up on Bill’s doorstep later badly beaten. Also at Juniper, Alby believes Bill is trying to have him killed after he was attacked in a men’s room but Nicki denies the allegations.

Bill finally changes his mind about the block party and the family attends, all but Nicki who feels like an outcast. At the block party, the Henricksons try to pretend everything’s normal while Nicki works to repair her roof. Just as Bill is about to confront a neighbor he feels has a problem with their lifestyle, Margene and Barb realize that the neighbors don’t know they are polygamists after all. Nicki sees what is happening and announces from her rooftop that she is Roman Grant’s daughter and Bill and Barb and Margene deserve praise for helping her move away from the compound.

I can’t wait for next week! I think the show keeps getting better each season, what do you think?

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