If you are lucky enough to be one of the six million viewers watching HBO's "Big Love" this season, I'm betting that you're waiting pretty impatiently for this Sunday's finale. Last week's penultimate hour dropped what is easily the series' most shocking reveal to date and yet it was done with such subtlety and grace that it's impossible to not wonder where the show is going next.
There was no gratuitous drama surrounding the fact that Nicki was married and mothered a child pre-Bill Henrickson, the monumental plot point was simply allowed to speak for itself. On Sunday, however, the magnitude of this storyline will begin to emerge.
At least that's what I gathered from the conversation I just had with "Big Love" co-creator Will Scheffer who was cool enough to give me more than a few clues as to what we can expect from the finale.
It seems Bill is — as we were — largely unaware of his second wife's troubled marital history. Sure, he knows that Nicki was sealed to someone else before she was sealed to him and Barb — after all, her ex J.J. (Zeljko Ivanek) is Wanda's brother, so of course his marriage to Nicki was something Wanda, Joey and most of the Juniper Creek compound community was aware of — But what happened during the couple's time together and the fact that they have a daughter is apparently not common knowledge as the two left to live in Canada right after they were sealed. When Nicki returned to the compound sans husband, seems she decided to keep that chapter of her life secret. But why? Does it have anything to do with her father Roman forcing her into the marriage before she was ready, just as he did to so many other compound girls? I'm not quite sure, but her reasons will come to light this Sunday.
Scheffer did mention that, in Nicki's daughter, we will see a reflection
of Nicki's own story, which comes to a kind of climax in the finale. But this Sunday's finale is really just the beginning. Both Zeljko Ivanek, who plays Nicki's ex J.J., and the actress playing their daughter Carolyn will be series regulars next season. Is it possible the two of them will move to Juniper Creek to get close to Nicki? Now that Bill has decided to end his marriage to her, it does seem like a real possibility. After all, if Nicki is in fact ostracized from him and the family, a return to the compound would be her likeliest move. Especially now that she and Alby are becoming tight.
And speaking of Nicki's shady brother Alby — whom I'm sort of starting to feel empathy for… am I sucker? — with Sunday's finale will come a major turning point for him. Next season he'll continue on the path to completely usurp Roman's power position as the compound's prophet. But he's apparently not the only one who'll be struggling for power at Juniper Creek. Scheffer shared that J.J. too will throw his hat into that ring, and when we see the finale, we'll understand why.
What could this mean?! Will Roman be murdered? Die of natural causes? Get castrated by one of his many neglected wives? Or maybe crazy Rhonda will return and — along with Jodean, sister to the late Kathy Marquart — just put the hypocritical prophet behind bars forever.
Or maybe I'm way off base with all my conjectures. Scheffer did also say that the final hour is surprising, unexpected and hard to guess.
There are a few other things I know for sure though: Sarah, whom we spied having sex — in Nicki's bed no less! — with Scott last week, has big things happening on Sunday too. But if you think her story is one that will end with Amanda Seyfried being written out of the show so she can focus on her burgeoning film career, think again. "Big Love" has an option on Seyfried, so Sarah will most definitely be back next season… Roman, whether his fate be death or incarceration or simply degradation, will get his due this week. He'll be forced to finally take responsibility for his actions… And while there have been reports that the hour will end with a cliffhanger, I am told this is untrue. "There's a lot of foreshadowing as to what next year will be about," Scheffer shared. "I think anyone who loves the show will [see the finale] and think, oh my God, all this great stuff is going to happen in season four. But it's definitely not ending on a cliffhanger this year."