Despite the fact that my predictions turned out to bewell, absolutely wrong, I decided to apply my prognostificatory talents to figuring out what will happen in Season 3 of Big Love (premiering Jan. 18 on HBO). Also, I have vowed to use my powers only for good.
The Spread: For those who wish to follow along at home, I used the classic Celtic Cross spread: Ace of Wands covers; the Chariot (reversed) crosses. Above, Three of Wands (reversed); below, Knight of Pentacles. In the past, Three of Pentacles (reversed); in the future, Five of Swords. At the base, King of Swords; surrounded by Death. Hopes and fears: Seven of Cups; final outcome: the Empress (reversed).
The Augury: With Roman out of the picture, Bill uses his connections and business prowess to take over as de facto head of the United Effort Brotherhood (Ace of Wands). Alby puts up a fight, of course, but the power struggle is resolved within two or three episodes, maximum, when Alby is pulled over for DUI while getting a hot, shameful reachover from one of those itinerant Brokeback cowboys he keeps meeting in the parking lot of the Salina Wal-Mart (the Chariot, reversed).
Alby is forced off the Juniper Creek compound, and Bill dreams of turning the UEB into a successful, 21st century operation (Seven of Cups), ridding it of its more questionable practices in favor of "win-win synergistic solutions" (Three of Pentacles, reversed). His stirring speech creates a fad among the Brethren for business jargon, who comically begin applying corporate buzzwords to inappropriate situations.
Bill's obsession with the UEB (Knight of Pentacles) comes at a cost, however (Three of Cups, reversed): He spends so much time at the compound that both his complicated home life and other business interests begin to suffer (Five of Swords). Margene discovers a hidden talent for running the family's bunko parlors in Murray and South Salt Lake, but plans to open a new location in West Valley City hit a snag when a wave of anti-gambling/anti-polygamy fervor hits the Utah Attorney General's office. With Bill becoming increasingly immersed in UEB business, the Henricksons lose their shirt over the gambling-parlor deal.
Strapped for cash, Barb and Margene start up a successful eBay operation secretly selling off the surplus merchandise accumulating in shopping-addicted Nicki's garage. Disaster strikes when Nicki ends up buying her own end table. The jig is up! Long-buried emotions bubble up to the surface, recriminations fly and Margene retreats tearfully to her house, refusing to come out. Barb and Nicki exchange icy glances. During the ensuing meltdown, the wives issue separate ultimatums to Bill (Death), forcing his return to the Sandy homestead.
After a tearful resolution, Bill vows (Knight of Swords) to let his UEB interests take a back seat to those things that are really importantfamily and building supplies.
He sets up brother Joey as his full-time proxy in Juniper Creek. Predictably, Joey fumbles his first important deal and is so riddled by remorse, shame and self-doubt (which, really, represent Joey's entire emotional repertoire) that he cannot tell Bill about it. Lois steps in andwith her shrewd business acumen, encyclopedic knowledge of Juniper Creek history and talent for blackmailsaves Joey's skin.
Lois seizes the opportunity to take a more hands-on approach managing Creek business and uses Joey to whip up her own puppet empirein effect, reinventing the relentlessly patriarchal fundamentalist Mormon sect as a matriarchy (the Empress, reversed). She sets about using the power of the UEB to exact revenge against those who have slighted her in the past. Her petty, no-nonsense vindictiveness reinforces her status among viewers as the series' most beloved character, and Grace Zabriskie takes the prime-time Emmy for Best Supporting Actress.