Big Love – Season 2, Episode 1

"Damage Control"

Barb looks into the mirror as she inspects the bags under her eyes. Though it has been nearly two weeks since the Beehive Mother of the Year Ceremony, she's still having trouble coming to terms with the fact that the family has been exposed because of her. Some nights she doesn't sleep, and on the nights that she does, she cries until she can no longer keep her eyes open.

She begins to brush her curly locks of dark brown hair, and then sees her husband's reflection in the mirror. He firmly, yet gently, places his hands on her shoulders. "You're so beautiful, you know that?" He softly kisses her on the cheek, and she forces out a grin. She begins to put in her earrings and say. "I may be a little late getting home today. There's a PTA meeting after school lets out."

He smiles at his beautiful wife and says "Ok, have a nice day. I gotta run." He takes a quick look at his watch, and briskly leaves the room.

Barb waits until she's certain the coast is clear and then pulls out a piece of paper from her skirt pocket. It is a class schedule for courses at the University of Utah. She gives a sneaky yet excited grin, and quickly places the schedule back into her pocket. Though she's been having a rough couple of weeks, the thought of being back in school gives her the happiest feeling she's felt in a long time.

In the kitchen, Margie and Nikki are preparing breakfast for the entire family. "So, what was it like growing up on the compound?" Margie asked quietly while scrambling eggs.

"Ugh, Margie, we've been over this a thousand times already. It was ok for the most part, but as a woman, you aren't given much choice in certain matters." Nikki answers, obviously disturbed by her younger sister wife's sudden fascination with the compound.

She quickly picked up the pitcher of freshly squeezed orange juice that she was preparing, and carried it to the table. Margie quickly scooping the eggs into a large serving dish followed closely behind Nikki like a puppy.

"Like what?" She suddenly blurted out to Nikki.

"What?!" Nikki yelped hastily. She really had the urge to change the subject, but knew that Margie would keep asking questions until she got a thorough answer.

Bill, in a rush walks into the kitchen to greet his other wives and children. Despite the fact that their polygamist lifestyle has been brought to light, and he fears the consequences it my have on his reputation and businesses, he can't help but to love them more than ever.

Margie isn't too far along, but the father to be can easily see her pregnant belly starting to take form in her robe. Though Nikki is always in some sort of trouble, or always causing some sort of trouble rather, he can't help but to admire her strength and natural beauty. He looks at his children helping their mothers set the table, and can't help but to be proud of all that he's accomplished. This feeling is almost surreal, and it makes life seem as if it's going in slow motion.

He walks over to Margie first, kisses her on the cheek and rubs her stomach. "Good morning." He says while looking passionately into her eyes. His young wife blushes and responds "Good morning, Bill."

He then walks over to Nikki and kisses her gently on the lips. "Good morning, Nikki." She grins, "Good morning."

"I wish I could stay here with you guys today, but I can't. I really have to run." He grabs a couple slices of toast, and zooms out the door.

"He's in a very good mood today." Nikki says once he leaves.

Barb walks into the kitchen to find that her sister wives and children have already made breakfast. This puts a sincere smile on her face, but at the same time, she can't help but to notice the mess they've made. At any rate, she's grateful "Thanks so much you guys."

Margie grins at her, "No problem, Barb."

Everyone sits down and enjoys a hearty breakfast.

At the compound, Roman sits in his office and enjoys some music on the radio. He is surprised to hear a special report.

"Salt Lake City Police are on the hunt for 63 year old James Abbott after discovering that he has been trafficking underage girls over state lines. This is the first potential arrest for Abbott, but it is not that first time he has received public scrutiny from the media and social groups. Abbott is the leader of a small polygamist colony similar to that of the infamous Juniper Creek. More news on the searches progress will be made available later today."

Roman's stern demeanor rapidly changed to anguish. Juniper Creek certainly does not need anymore bad publicity.

Barb arrives to work in a much better mood than she had been since the incident. She passes back graded papers to her curious class of second graders. One of them raises his hand to ask a question.

"Yes, Andrew?" She says happily.

"Mrs. Henrickson, what's a polygamist? The young child asks her.

She's both shocked and saddened by this question. Clearly, some of the parents have been talking.

"Well…" She's interrupted by a knock at the door. "I'll answer that in just a moment." She gives a nervous grin "Look at the questions you answered wrong on your quizzes, and we'll go over them when I come back." She goes to answer the door, and steps out into the hallway to be greeted by the school's principle. She already knows that he's going to say something bad. She can just feel it, but she still manages to let out a kind grin, "Yes?"

"Barbara, let's cut right to the chase." The parents have been calling left and right…they all feel that you're a superb teacher…" he takes a quick pause as he collects the words that he's going to say next.

"But, they just don't agree with your choice of lifestyle."

Barb knows what's coming next, but gets ready to defend herself against the inevitable.

"I don't see what my lifestyle has to do with the education of these children."

"It would be nice if we could look at things that way, but we simply can't. For the well being of the students and the school's reputation, I'm afraid we're going to have to let you go."

Angry, frustrated, hurt, and all around outraged, she exclaims "Now wait one minute. The way I choose to live my life is no one's business but my own. I am a very good teacher, and these children love me! You didn't even have the guts to let me finish out the day…or at least wait until the kids went to lunch?!"

"I'm sorry, Barbara. It's out of my hands." He says this while walking to the classroom door with Barb closely behind him.

"Hello, class. I'm going to be teaching you guys for the rest of the day. Mrs. Henrickson has an emergency that she must attend to immediately."

Completely disgusted by the whole ordeal, and by the manner in which it happened, she grabs her purse and jacket, storms out of the classroom, and slams the door behind her. When away from the public eye, she simply can't help but to burst into tears. This day that she was at least semi-optimistic about has been blemished. She can only hope that things go well with class.

Back at the compound, Roman has called an emergency meeting for all compound residents. He doesn't say what the meeting is about, but he expects everyone to be in attendance. It starts out with Roman explaining the situation with James Abbott, the other compound leader who has been listed as one of America's Most Wanted, but the topic quickly changes without warning.

"It has been brought to my attention that a fellow follower of the principle has brought some more negative attention to our people. It is important that at this time, we all stick together and give each other the support and accountability that they need. At this time, I feel hat it is important for us to confess our sins, or wrong doings, so that we may be forgiven by God Almighty. Is there anyone that would like to confess sinful nature?"

He turns his head and looks Wanda directly in the eyes. She notices this, but tries to ignore him while attempting to quiet her crying baby.

To be continued…