As I sat there watching a somewhat subdued Nicolas Cage (and not uncomfortable with it yet not entirely comfortable) it was the girl who was driving me up the wall but not in a bad way because I enjoyed her performance.
Cassi Thomson. Where had I seen that face? Where had I heard that voice?
Finally the movie came to an end and I was able to plug in and google. And that is when it all came back to me, along with a flood of happy feelings.
She was Cara Lynn Walker. Nicki's daughter from her previous marriage to that creeper J.J.
And I'm writing this with the hope that at least one Big Lover is reading this and misses the show as much as I do. During the run of the show I would call myself "Bill's Fourth Wife" because I would not have minded a place on the show at all.
I wish they could have gone another season, but I'm still glad they ended when they did. I never really forgave them for replacing Teenie. I have a thing about people being recast because they are "growing too fast" as apparently that is why Jolean Wejbe was replaced with Bella Thorne.
Never replace young actors. To quote Tim Gunn: MAKE IT WORK! Young people grow and change quickly when puberty hits. They could have done so much with that! They seemed to be going in that direction, but then they just gave up, made her disappear, then replaced her with someone with a completely different look!
Like we Big Lovers wouldn't notice or care.
Since they did way more with Cara Lynn than they ever did with Teenie, it kind of felt like Cara Lynn was brought in for story lines they felt they could not give Teenie.
Time to play WIWHD! (What I Would Have Done) Get ready for some spoilers!
So I would have built upon the story angles they started: one of Teenie getting hold of Nudie Magazines and charging neighborhood boys money to look at them. For this offense, Teenie was sent to "camp." Now considering the Henriksons were Mormon, there are all kinds of ideas one could come up with as to what sort of "camp" this could have been.
And the other being that Teenie was the one to discover that Ben was in love with third Mom Margene. This was brought to light later on after Wejbe was replaced with Thorne who I called the "Teenie Imposter." (Nothing against Thorne. Lovely young woman.)
I would have kept Wejbe, growth spurt, development and all because that is nothing to lose your job over, especially when you were doing well with the little they were giving you. I would have shown a real change in Teenie after her "camp" experience; made her darker, bordering on Nicki and Sarah territory, brooding and conflicted about the faith she was taught at "camp" and the lifestyle her parents are living. Yet even darker, like evangelical dark.
And why not explore everyone's favorite teen trope: fearing and being fascinated by one's budding sexuality. You see because once a young person sees a Nudie Magazine, they can't really "unsee" it. It stays with them. It doesn't have to be tragic or warping or anything. If handled right, what they can't unsee can be turned into expressions of beauty best saved for seasoned eyes. There is no shame in being curious about the human body and human sexuality.
This is--however--a show about a Polygamist family, thumbing their nose at their faith while holding fast to many of its core beliefs. BRING ON THE SHAME! My darker, evangelical, brooding Teenie can't wrap her mind around what is happening to her. While we see Nicki and Sarah breaking free, we see Teenie drawing in. Maybe spending some time at the compound under the guise of helping Joey and Wanda with the baby and becoming more immersed with that world while Bill and Barb--so wrapped up in their issues--fail to see it.
Now, the story line they gave Cara Lynn--where she falls in love with and has an affair with her math teacher--I would have given that to Teenie. Except maybe someone from the compound who wishes to stay yet break free with her. Bill's younger brother Frankie--a lost boy semi involved with Nicki's almost mom Rhonda--developed a little crush on Sarah. It would have been something to connect him with Teenie because--in a way--they were both sent away for disobeying the rules.
And Big Lovers are probably thinking--Frankie and Teenie? That's sick! And now I have to remind you that I'm not going anywhere the writers hadn't already gone.
Roman and Rhonda
J.J and Nicki
Roman, J.J and anybody for that matter. And just for good measure, let's throw Hollis in there. Awww heck, let's throw Rhonda in there too!
Greg and Cara Lynn
And yes, Bill and Margene. This is before AND after the not so secret secret came out.
Hmmmm, it's been years since I trudged in the murky water of fan fiction, my first and only being one about Michael Jackson. A Big Love fanfic perhaps?
Anyway. Go see Left Behind and tell me what you think because I cannot remember ever seeing Nicolas Cage like this.