For the entire episode, all I could think was two things: "When is somebody going to get shot in the face?" and "How in the world is the show going to tie up all the loose ends in two episodes?" Of course, the theory of Chekov's gun states when a gun is introduced to begin a story, it will be used by the final act, and sure enough, we see plenty of guns in use here as "Big Love" produces an incredibly dense episode filled with even more plot developments and some action sequences that are strangely out of place for a show like this. But it all works, and it all comes down to the acting, which was as good as anything the show has done.
The Cara Lynn plot wasn't my favorite thing in the world at first, but my dislike for that plot was quickly replaced by Marge's Goji plot (which was just god-awful and completely pointless) and if I would've known that the payoff for Cara Lynn's plot would've been this episode, I would've been more patient. Chloe Sevigney gives some of her best work, if not her best work, in this episode. Despite me saying that she should be nominated for last week's episode, I change my mind: this episode should be her nomination tape. Nikki goes off the wall in her attempts to keep Cara Lynn pure and keep her away from Mr. Ivey. When she finally realizes what she's done to her daughter, her breakdown and Bill's attempts to put it back together are heart-wrenching.
Meanwhile, we have Ben, who's been a non-factor for half of the season, showing up again and giving some great scenes. I think Rhonda is a giant snake who screws everything up, and it's too bad that Rhonda and Ben's little one night stand had to be responsible for Heather leaving, but it created an interesting scenario: we get to see Ben pleading to have Heather back, only to realize that Ben is his father; his claim that he can be with both Heather and Rhonda was eerily like Bill, which is definitely not a good thing. Just look at how Bill's life is in shambles.
All of those plots are fine and good, but I've been looking forward to Bill and Alby coming face to face, and while it wasn't nearly as insane as I would've thought at first, it certainly created two of the show's finest dramatic moments (in terms of action): Alby and Bill run into each other in a store where Barb ends up shooting Adalene. And finally, near the end of the episode, we see them come face to face again, this time armed with guns. There's one truly haunting moment where it appears Alby has shot Margene, but Bill gets his way and shoots Alby, leaving him alive for what should be an incredible finale face-off.
The show has so much ground to cover and I think this episode showed how strained the show has become to get everything finished up in time for a series finale. For instance, are we to see the end of Lois and Frank Henrickson? Lois' insistance that Frank kill her and he kill himself earlier in the season seems to be dangerously close to coming true, and I'm hoping we see some pay-off here. However, the acting and writing in this episode was just too good to overlook.