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Bless this 'Big Love' mess

March 22, 2009 |  9:48 pm

Sunday's episode caps a season delving deep into the characters' complicated hearts.

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HBO's Emmy-free and too long under-appreciated “Big Love” came out of its yearlong, writers-strike-created hiatus like the buffed-up guy tired of eating sand.

But instead of going for fireballs and kidnappings (OK, there were a few of those, but they were totally incidental), cancer scares and intra-cast murder attempts (well, yes, there were those too, but again, not the point), creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer took their strange and startling American fable to new heights, and depths.

All of which came to a DefCon 1 "conclusion" in the season finale Sunday night. Oh, there were several moments of "closure" in the final minutes, but that was just the writers handing a bit of narrative Xanax to keep viewers from developing unsightly nervous tics while they wait to see what will really happen next season.

And not just in terms of plot. "Big Love" has become richer in tone and message. What had been quaint -- the mob-like machinations of the compound at Juniper Creek -- grew dark and murderous; what had been solid and structured -- the Henricksons' prefab polygamous corner of the universe -- collapsed into chaos.

Read the full story here.

-- Mary McNamara

(Photo courtesy HBO)

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