I'm a huge HUGE Big Love fan. I haven't mised a single episode since it began. The back story is key to a lot of the comments and questions presented here so far. From what I have gathered, hearing details offered in bits and pieces, Bill left the compound at 14 when his father threw him out (I think because his father perceived him as the biggest threat intelligence wise and goal setting wise) and his older brother Eddie left some time later, and only his little brother Joey stayed. Bill made something of himself on the streets, and built something out of nothing, including the huge business we now see him running. One thing he did when he left the compound was deny his heritage and decide to be non-polygamy on the outside and married Barb 18 years ago. Barb and he lived apart from the polygamy, and all that entailed for a long time. When Barb was diagnosed with cancer, one of the family members decided to send Nikki from the compound to a. help tend Barb and b. help tend the kids (much like his mother found Kathy for Joey now that Wanda is in the psyche hospital). While Barb was ill, she learned to appreciate Nikki. This is all back story since we haven't seen flashbacksequences yet. I imagine at some point, they may do flashbacks to show us how Barb came to agree. Meanwhile, right now, we know that Nikki lived with Bill as a live in sitter, and came from the very sincerest principle believing family as the daughter of the prophet. Knowing what we know about the animosity between the Hendricksons and the Polanskis, I would not be surprised to learn later that Nikki was meant to be a plant and plan to control Bill because of her allegiance to the compound and the principle. She was serving Bill and Barb, doing what others expected of her. I know that it is normal for patients to fall in love with doctors or nurses. Barb could have legitimately seen a need at that weak time in her life, for help from another source. Nikki, meanwhile, serving her father Roman and her Master or Lord of the house Bill does what she's always doing. She lives what she believes. Her character isn't designed to be nice. I think it is designed to show the perfect polygamist, if you're measuring against the old texts of Mormon prior to the disbanding of the church's support on polygamy. Even if you don't care for her, you can admire her stalwart way. She takes on anything, even her father, when she thinks her family is in danger. I admire that. I can see how Barb, going through a difficult time, might be convinced that Bill's past might be their future. I can also see how Bill would be attracted to a Nikki, because no matter how far we want to run from our past, we also always have a piece of ourselves that loves the past. We remember the very very good things, and in that nostalgia, Bill or anyone might say, "Let's do this." The addition of Nikki then was a necessity. Once the decision had been made, Barb's love for Bill overrode any of her primary selfish motives, thought she has her demons as all of us do from time to time and Nikki's devotion to the principle overrides any of her doubts about the "lovenest" feel of a concept somewhat foreign to her. She doesn't have to be in love to be doing the right thing, yet in every action she makes, she shows love of family. Then you have Margene. Instead of an honorable setting, like Nikki coming to the family because of serving a need, Margene came because Bill fell in love with one of the baby sitters. How many stories happen like this in life that isn't polygamy? I don't know. It isn't a situation that polygamists alone would face. In tonight's episode, we see how Margene speaks of the past, and how at first Bill felt guilty about Margene because he assumed it was just lust. A man who was not a polygamist would have to choose wife or divorce wife and take sitter, or have mistress. In polygamy, he can have it all. Eventually, Margene was accepted into the fold as more of an insider and not a wanton temptress, but you get glimpses of the two older women's opinion of Margene's integrity and character in little snip comments like Nikki made tonight, "You really have to be careful, especially with a Margene." A lot is implied in that scene. If Anna is added into the family, I think the dynamic will be more intriguing, and we'll get to see first hand instead of through back story, how a new sister wife is added. I can't wait. My least favorite character is Bill. Though the women all think he walks on water, I see him as a very consciously scheming man. If he had to survive on the streets at 14, he's tough. He's street tough. At first, they portrayed him as the good family man battling the evil Roman. Now he has his own conniving, and sometimes is Roman's equal in plotting. I like his best friend's character who keeps trying to keep Bill balanced. And I wish that Bill had been branded!
In all things, to thine own self be true.