Big Love

Season 5 Episode 8

The Noose Tightens

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 06, 2011 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
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  • 508

    I don't know about you, but I want a Cara Lynn spin-off! At this point she is the most entertaining thing on the show as her relationship with Greg faced a huge problem here tonight. I was against this affair at first, but I can admit that I was wrong. Tying my favorite of the sister wives, Margene, into it only makes it better.

    We have only two episodes left and I am not sure how Big Love will end its run, either happy or sad. My money is on a smiling series finale, but you never know. Either way, they continued their strong arcs tonight and they have a lot to go on next week and for that final show.
  • Alby starts going off the deep end while Nikki deals with some problems of her own.

    I'm tempted to say that this was Big Love's best episode since Season 3, specifically since "Come Ye Saints." While there's not a single episode that could overcome the raw emotion of that early episode, this episode comes the closest by focusing on Nikki and Margene's troubles and by nearly killing off one of the main characters in one of the most powerful moments in a long time on the show.

    I think what worked best for me in this episode is that despite how many things were going on, the show would always circle back around and focus on what mattered: Nikki and Margene. After so long of focusing on Barb, I'm glad we're getting some focus on these two, because they are arguably the best characters on the show. The drama mostly focuses around Margene being interviewed about her age when she first came in with the Henricksons, but it also focuses a bit on how confused she is. Everybody but her family is telling her that she was propositioned, lured into the family at a young age and that she's part of a cult. It doesn't help when Barb and Bill jump on her back after she admits this is how she feels. I've never felt great about the way Bill does things, and his reaction to a lot of the stuff here made me feel even less towards him.

    Bill does have a single moment that may somewhat redeem him in the end. With everybody coming after him and his family, and with Barb about to be arrested for procuring Margene into the family, Bill announces to Gregory Itzin's character (still can't remember his name) that he'll resign as long as the church stops coming after his wives. Sure enough, the second he says this, the police announce they're going to arrest him and that he faces nearly twenty years in prison. He takes this stoically and for once in the entire show, I feel as if Bill is willing to do the right thing and just face the limelight instead of just shoving his family into more crap. Honestly, his intents in being a senator were somewhat honorable, but he was so blinded by the principle that he didn't see the pain he was causing everybody.

    I think this may be Chloe Sevigny's year to win an Emmy. She's already taken in a Golden Globe, and with this episode, she may have an impressive enough tape to get people's attention. Here, she learns about Cara Lynn's love for her teacher, Mr. Ivy and also learns that Alby is planning on killing Bill in order to finally assert his power as prophet of Juniper Creek. I said a few times that Alby is not half of the villain that Harry Dean Stanton was as Roman Grant, but Alby is certainly making quite the case in this season. Shortly after Nikki goes to see Mr. Ivy and tells him to stop seeing Cara Lynn (a truly powerful scene), Nikki goes to see Alby to stop his plan of killing Bill and in a surprising turn of events, Alby kidnaps Nikki and with Verlan's help, plans to kill her. There's a moment at the end of the episode where Alby puts a gun to Nikki's head and is perfectly willing to shoot her in the back of the head until she reasons with him. Instead, he kills Verlan and leaves Nikki to survive.

    The show is certainly picking up momentum in all the right ways as the season comes to an end. I almost wish the season was a little faster in the middle section, but I shouldn't complain, mostly because the storytelling has still been amazing, and it's difficult to keep criticizing the show for moving too fast in Season 4 and then complaining that it's not moving fast enough the next season. This is a good season could've been incredible and still can be incredible depending on how these last two episodes turn out.
  • 508

    Big Love surprises us all with the best episode of the entire season tonight. Big Love was slipping this season, and it just seemed like nothing exciting was happening, and things got really dull, especially post-Christmas episode, but this episode completely proved itself. Looks like Big Love has still got it.

    So many eventful things, from Margene finding out about Cara Lynn and Mr. Ivy to Alby nearly killing Nikki, it was just insane, and I cannot wait to see how things end, only 2 episodes away. It doesn't look like the show will end shining a positive light on polygamy, right now, it's looking pretty negative.

    Also Marge/Gogi Blast reached a climax here tonight as well with Gogj Blast's suspicions of the family being a cult and vice versa. Rhonda's husband getting shot was definitely unexpected. We just got a lot of intense scenes and the final scene was just perfect. Amazing episode tonight, I love this show.