A bittersweet end to 'Big Love'
March 21st, 2011
11:51 AM ET

A bittersweet end to 'Big Love'

[Spoiler warning: Do not read if you haven't seen the final episode of "Big Love."]

Okay, I was definitely not prepared for that.

"Big Love" came to an end after five seasons on Sunday, and just when you thought most of the loose ends were being tied up in a nice little bow, there was one more shocker left.

It was a smart move for the producers to wrap up the Albert Grant story arc last week, allowing the focus to be on the Henricksons for the entirety of the last episode.

As Bill prepared to almost certainly face 20 years in prison, due to his marriage to then-16-year-old Margene, Barb was planning to be baptized in her new church (which had caused Bill to challenge her commitment to the family), and Margene herself wanted to set sail on a missionary cruise. Nicki felt as though she was the only one staying with the family, an interesting turn of events after the first few seasons, where her loyalties were sometimes more with the Grants.

Bill's (apparently short-lived) time as a state senator led to the destruction of Juniper Creek, and a speech where he stood up for his beliefs - "going down in flames," as he put it. This led to him being hailed as a hero by the former denizens of the compound, who attended his church's Easter service in the hundreds. Barb showed up as well, having backed out of the baptism at the last second.

Just when it seemed like this would be something of a routine finale and simply resolve any remaining plot threads, those last few scenes took things to another level: Bill, talking to Ben and Don about how family is most important (something Roman Grant had told him years earlier); Frank, lying down with Lois on her deathbed, reminiscing about how she "gave them what for"... and then, Bill's neighbor confronting him over sod being added to his lawn.

One of the most minor scenes from earlier in the season ended up with Bill on the ground, after having been shot several times in the chest. As his wives ran to his side, Bill asked for a blessing from Barb.

And if that wasn't enough, there was the poignant homecoming of Sarah with her new family (Amanda Seyfried was sorely missed this season), and Margene preparing to leave, presumably on her cruise, and running to hug her sister wives while Natalie Maines sang the original (and far better) theme song, "God Only Knows."

Needless to say, there were a few lumps in the throat for those final few scenes. As uneven as the last couple of seasons were, the ending was about as perfect as anyone could ask for (and definitely more effective than that other show where they killed off the husband, "Medium").

All in all, aside from Harry Dean Stanton's extraordinary performance in the early seasons, I think Golden Globe winner Chloe Sevigny stands out the most from the show's five-year run, and here's hoping that she'll be remembered at the Emmys.

What do you think of how "Big Love" went out, and what stood out to you throughout the series' run? Share your iReport or comment below.

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Steve

    I don"t like sad endings,so to me it wasn't good.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. carolina

    I was sad to see Big Love go but it had run it's course. It was full of characters I loved and ones I despised. It was brilliant acting and great story lines. I felt that Bill would be killed but I thought it would be Nikki's mother who dd it; not the quiet neighbor. I will miss the show just like I missed Six Feet Under but still have my other passion "True Blood."
    Keep the shows coming HBO. I would like to have seen Big Love go on another season without Bill.

    March 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andrea

    I loved the finale but wish the show wasn't over! Having the friendly neighbor who has been there from the beginning as the one who shoots Bill was an interesting twist although I have to admit that when I saw him approching I had a feeling that was what was going to happen.
    I have read some pretty nasty takes on Bill but I always admired his devotion to his family and beliefs. You don't see that very much these days!
    @Tikigirl: Teeny went to live with Sarah and is mentioned in the final scenes but we don't actually see her.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kate

    I was shocked by the ending, but thought it was perfect. Also appreciated the little jabs at the show itself in the last scene (Teeny not knowing whether she's coming or going, etc). I was glad that all the wives got opportunities that they didn't have before in Bill's untimely death.

    March 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Heather

    Loved it!!!

    March 23, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tikigirrl

    I thought it was a brilliant, but sad ending and just a brilliant show. The irony is that with all the people who vehemently hated Bill Henrickson, the neighbor who "snapped" shot him over some lawn sod. I loved all the characters, the casting and acting couldn't have been any better. The final scene with Frank and Lois made me cry. I loved that the wives stayed together, even without Bill.
    But what happened to Teeny? She just disappeared at some point.

    March 22, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. D

    Show sucked

    March 22, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jackie-O

    I hope they don't look for Bill in the after life. He was full of it.

    March 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. She-Man

    Just another crap filled show with that blondie looking like some kindve sasquatch...or maybe its a man it drag? Those manhands, lantern jaw, high forehead...

    March 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TeeGirl

    It was sad to see Bill die but I appreciate that he stood up for his beliefs to the very end.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jonesy

    It was a sweet, love filled ending. It made be cry when Bill asked for a blessing from Barb. I

    March 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Davida

    Bill gets shot? What kind of ending is that? Oh no, that's somewhat of a disappointment to me. Why does he have to die??

    March 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Catherine

    It's inaccurate to say that Margene wanted to "set sail on a cruise". She wanted to go abroad as a relief worker. Big difference!

    March 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. poppy

    Great finale. I was convinced that Alby would die in the last episode. What a shocker that they killed Bill. It was great to see that all of the women were allowed to come full circle and develop into individuals who could think and decide for themselves.

    March 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |

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