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Nicki-big-love_idol.jpgOkay, so I finally caught up on Season Two of HBO’s “Big Love“–a series that I became addicted to in my efforts to critique the show’s treatment of women (whoops)–and this week’s episode, “Vision Thing,” had an interesting twist.
We’re all used to critiquing polygamy from our armchairs at home while watching Bill and company critique those Mormons who don’t “live the principle,” versus their neighbors critique those who do. But so far the series has done little in the way of showing how Bill and his three wives feel about other religious traditions.
That is until “Vision Quest” gave us a window into sister-wives Nicki and Margene’s feelings about Catholicism.


In this latest episode we find out that Wayne, Nicki and Bill’s son, attends a Catholic elementary school–not only because it’s an excellent school but because it’s far enough away from home that Bill can publicly claim Wayne as his son. But when Nicki finds Wayne playing with a rosary at home, she freaks out (to put it mildly) about this devil’s plaything, snatches it from him and dangles it over the garbage can while Margene (who we find out went to Catholic school all her life) yells that Nicki can absolutely not throw away something so sacred to another faith tradition.
Nicki–in typical Nicki fashion–harrumphs in response and drops it into the trash. The following day finds Nicki walking into the beautiful school cathedral–suddenly surrounded by its stained glass windows, its statue of Mary, the giant crucifix, the reverant silence–only to then shatter this peace and admonish one of the nuns for indoctrinating her son. Between her anger at all things Catholic and Wayne’s comments at the dinner table about celebrating the Feast of the Assumption (when Mary ascends into heaven) with a school pageant, Nicki decides Wayne must be homeschooled.
Needless to say, Nicki isn’t exactly a competent tutor, and between the whole family’s intervention about Nicki getting over the fact that Wayne’s school is excellent and Catholics are not so bad, the end of the episode has Wayne dressed as an angel with proud Mom Nicki and Papa Bill there to watch the pageant.
Very interesting. And very amusing.

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