Big Love Finale: The Final Episode Explained!

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Maybe you’ve been following the polygamy-based “Big Love” relationships for all five seasons, and maybe you haven’t.  But you cannot deny the impact this HBO show had on the traditional American view of marriage.  The family patriarch is Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton), who is married to Nicki (Chloe Sevigny), Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), and Margie (Ginnifer Goodwin).  If that triple marriage isn’t complicated enough for Bill, he has an affair, owns a casino and faces extortion charges.  And we’re not even at the finale yet.

Warning: Spoiler Alert Below!

The Shocking Twist: Bill Henrickson is shot and killed by a crazed neighbor.  And what becomes of the family? The closeness of his three wives makes them decide to stay together after his death.  Bill’s legacy lives on in that he created a family that survives.

“Big Love” creators Mark Olsen and Will Scheffer wanted to end the season not denouncing the fallibility of a polygamist marriage, but by upholding the importance of family.

“For us, the show has been about staking out a marriage. And we’ve thrown everything at this family, and certainly a person’s independence and personhood is one of the most fundamental rights and fundamental values in life. I think that there’s been this shift in American culture, where there’s this idea where you can’t have that unless you separate or divorce or go off on your own,” Scheffer explains.

Olsen and Scheffer have been together for over 20 years. They wrote this controversial show as a way to expand the definition of an acceptable marriage in the US.

“But there is something about staying and forging your personality in that cauldron of relationship that to us has great value. And it’s something that’s been lost of the easy come-and-go of American culture and American reality television,” he said in the post-mortem interview on NPR regarding the sanctity of marriage.

Have you been an avid “Big Love” viewer? What do you think of this dramatic super-ending?

Photos by Tauben via Flickr and Shan22303 via Wikimedia Commons.


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