Synopsis by Josh Ralske
In the Big Love pilot, we are introduced to Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) and his complicated family. Bill, who lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City, UT, owns Henrickson's Home Plus, a successful retail store that is about to open its second branch. Bill is having problems performing sexually, and blames it on the stress. Having three wives vying for his attention probably doesn't help. Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) is insecure, and needs frequent reassurance from Bill. She seems lost when he is with his other wives. Nicki (Chloë Sevigny) appears to be doing a lot of surreptitious luxury shopping, and often asks her husband for extra money. Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is the only wife who has a job. She works as a substitute teacher, part-time, and balks when Bill asks her to put her paycheck into the family pot. Bill searches for a solution to his impotence on the Internet. More trouble rears its head when his sister-in-law, Wanda (Melora Walters), calls to tell him that his father, Frank (Bruce Dern), is apparently gravely ill, and that his mother, Lois (Grace Zabriskie) refuses to take Frank to a doctor. Bill, who has not seen his family in a while, wants his brother Joey (Shawn Doyle) to handle it, but Wanda points out that calling Bill was a last resort. Bill convinces Barb to accompany him and Nicki to attend to his parents at the hated UEB compound at Juniper Creek, run by Nicki's father, Roman (Harry Dean Stanton). While Bill is on the compound, Roman confronts him about a business dispute. Meanwhile, Heather (Tina Majorino), a new girl at Sarah's (Amanda Seyfried) fast-food job and a devout Mormon, takes an interest in Sarah. The pilot was directed by Rodrigo García (Nine Lives).