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The Televangelist: 'Big Love' season 4 premiere

Pardon me as a I finish up singing along with A Juniper Creek Christmas (favorite track: "Silent Wife") and shift gears into 2010 and a new year on the compound.  HBO's promos of their polygamist drama's fourth season swore "Everything. Will. Change."  Did it?

Boy howdy it sure as H-E-double-hockey-sticks did!  At least, with the opening credits.  The most central struggles in "Big Love" have always been about balance — the Henricksens' struggles between the compound and the LDS church, the prairie and the suburbs, the Principle and their faith, Home Plus and Weber Gaming, and most of all, Bill's attentions and affections among his wives.  The opening credits for seasons 1-3 showed Bill and his wives skating on metaphorically and literally thin ice. In the new sequence, we see Bill, Barb, Nikki and Margene falling through the darkness, having completely let go and drifting away from each other, without Bill or any of them being able to control a thing.  Have they lost the battle?

Though the title of last night's episode was "Free at Last" (a nod to the "ghost who's been haunting us," as Bill refers to the deceased Roman Grant), the Henricksens are far from free of anything, most especially the fallen leader of Juniper Creek.  The episode should have been called "Weekend at Roman's," since the prophet's corpse steals far too many scenes. (What was more chilling: the corpse in the meat locker? On a deck chair in the desert?  In the back of Alby's car?  Collect all 3!)  But I'm getting ahead of myself.