Sunday, March 22, 2009

HBO's Big Love ~ Season 3 Episode 9 Outer Darkness

Tavis Smiley Bill Paxton Interview Clip Monday March 16, 2009

Tavis Smiley Bill Paxton Full Interview Monday March 16, 2009

Tavis Smiley Bill Paxton Interview Transcript

HBO's Big Love, Season 3 Episode 9 Outer Darkness: Written by Eileen Myers
Directed by Michael Lehmann[synopsis]

Kidnapping, conspiracy, extortion, sketchy real estate deals and plea bargains. Murder investigations, polygamy, sacred ceremonies and rituals, church tradition, crisis of faith, ex-communication, and oh yeah, sex.

The 3rd Season of HBO's Big Love has had all those elements to the delight of viewers, but not so much the real life elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It is not my intent to diminish or blaspheme anyone's beliefs, but i'm glad about the controversy, because it has motivated me to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Mormons believe in being "in the world, but not of it". i'm not taking it as my faith, and i'd hardly classify myself an expert, but i've always been curious about different religions. As a polytheist, i've always thought that all religions are connected, and what i'm learning about the Mormon beliefs, have served to strengthen my theory. For example, when Barb Henrickson partakes of the temple of the veil ceremony, it reminded me of charismatic southern baptisms---the wearing of white for purity, the cleansing and anointing [even though this episode did not include that ritual on screen]. The clasping of hands, the assignment of new names, and the engagement of call and response with the clerics and worshipers, etc.

It also has a sorority/fraternity feel---small wonder since many of the ceremonies and customs are adapted from free masonry ritual. For example the compass and the square symbols of the temple garment. According to an explanation by LDS Church President John Taylor in 1883, the "Square" represents "the justice and fairness of our Heavenly Father, that we will receive all the good that is coming to us or all that we earn, on a square deal", and the "Compasses" represents "the North Star".

If i had to guess, the church's beef with the HBO is not so much the re-enactment of the temple rituals per se, but more because they consider these ceremonies to be something that should be left to private experience. Also possibly they're not too thrilled with some of the language in this episode: specifically when Bill calls his brother-in-law Ted a prick---frankly hubby and i thought Ted would have been better categorized as a pussy, but perhaps that really would have been a bridge too far. Punk?---is that more acceptable? i also thought that when Barb asked the church elder if he was asking her to describe her undergarments, she reacted as if he would have been doing so in a prurient way, when in fact it would have been within his rights during their meeting to ask her as a point of purity and conformity [see the link re: temple garments]. While the church frowns upon discussion of the topic as part of public conversation, she was engaged in private conversation during a religious hearing to determine whether she should be ex-communicated. Smart mouthing the elder at that point, while satisfying, was not pragmatic. Ultimately she is ex-communicated, but it had more to do with her being involved in plural marriage and not so much whether or not she wore temple garments. Also the church may not have been too keen on the part of the plot that suborns counterfeit recommendations, that would allow Barb to participate in the veil ceremony, receiving of her endowments, etc.

Poor Barb, she truly is devout, and she misses being an active member of her church, rather than just observing it in her heart. But i'm glad she stuck to her guns and did not abandon her sister-wives when put to the test.

But Henrickson drama hasn't ended yet. Bill has made arrangements to be un-sealed from Nikki---a decision that neither Barb or Margene are supporting. Yes Nikki has lied, betrayed, and transgressed in their marriage, but that doesn't mean the ladies want to lose her. And there's still all that unfinished business about "the letter", the Greenes, the casino deals, Juniper Creek, and solving Kathy's murder---i say technically it was manslaughter since i don't think it was Roman's intent to kill her, but to use a quote from another fav show of mine 'potato,patahto,french fry'---poor Kathy isn't any less dead just because Roman didn't kill her on purpose. And that fall that Bill took in the barn---is he o.k.? Will Joey come back to check on him? And where the heck has Bruce Dern's Frank Harlow been and when will he return?

i would estimate i watched HBO's Big Love Outer Darkness, no fewer than 5 times, great script, really strong performances. i don't know what resolutions the season finale will bring, but i know it's gonna be juicy.

HBO's Big Love Season 3 Finale Episode 10 "Sacrament" airs Sunday March 22, 2009 at 9:00pm [please check your local listings]

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