Arts & Culture
Jews Watching Big Love: How Do You Spell C-U-L-T
The episode left us with one question: What is a cult? Read More
The Crux: Big Love’s fantastic third-to-last episode was an absolute throwback to the show’s season second & third heyday, so full of drama and poignancy that any attempt to recap and dissect it would be an exercise in futility. This episode reinforced something about the show that truly characterizes the wit and imagination of its writers. By showing the outlaw way of life lived by most of the characters, we are reminded how Big Love is one of the few shows to ever revolve around religion, yet the way the characters interact with one another–through coercion, black mail, extortion and manipulation–it has a tendency to feel as if we’re watching The Sopranos or Sons of Anarchy — any show about a group of outlaws, rather than people of God. This applies as much to those aligned with Juniper Creek, as it does the LDS church. It speaks to how incredibly realized Big Love actually is.
The Gist: The state is going after Bill for rape, and after Barb for procuring a rape victim. Heather mistakenly spilled the beans about Margene’s age. Alby planned to kill Bill but instead almost shot Nikki and ended up killing Verlin at the last minute. Margene was interrogated by cops about her age then goaded by her Goji boss to believe that her family was a cult, only to have her family goad her to believe that Goji was a cult. The episode left us with one question: What is a cult?
According to The Free Dictionary, the definition of the word Cult is: “A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.”
Under this definition, everyone on Big Love, Juniper Creek, The Walkers, The Greens, The Henricksons, Goji Blast and the LDS Church, are all in their own cult.
Then again, if everyone is in a cult, what isn’t a cult? Am I in a cult? Is Jewcy a cult and Jason Diamond its charismatic leader? [Ed. note: yes] Is that why I have to wash his feet whenever I visit the office?
New Prediction: In keeping with my ongoing theory that Big Love is a show about women with Bill acting merely as a pawn to aide in the telling of his wives’ story, I’ll posit that the finale will end with Bill in prison and the family, Margene, Barb and Nikki, and all their children, still in tact. A perfect ending if there ever was one. What do you think?