category header Watch with Kristin


What Roman's Death Means for Big Love Season Four

Chloe Sevigny, Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn Kevin Parry/Getty Images

We have some bad news for those of you who hoped that Big Love's creepy prophet Roman Grant (Harry Dean Stanton) had survived being suffocated with a pillow in the season three finale.

"He's absolutely dead. This isn't one of those vampire shows. Dead is dead on this show."

That's how show runner Will Scheffer started off last night's Paley Fest 2009 panel for HBO's brilliant polygamist drama, and now that we have answered the lingering question about Roman's survival, we can get to the good stuff, including what to expect from the newly established Church of Bill (yes, they really call it that)—plus everything you need to know about Barb's breakdown and Nicki's secret daughter.

Big Love season four begins filming this August, but for the latest and greatest news on all things Henrickson, read on right now...

Big Love Lacey Terrel/HBO

The Return of Roman: While Harry Dean Stanton is gone for good, show runner Mark V. Olsen says that it's hard to completely extinguish Roman from the world of Big Love: "There's Roman's funeral, and his presence on the show is huge next year. He's still a looming presence. Things are coming to light that were hidden; things are coming up from the past, from the grave." Any chance for a Lost-like flash? Says Mark: "We don't do flashbacks." OK then!

Season Four Storylines: "A theme we're exploring this season is the subjugation of women. It's not as if we haven't done this before, but we're going to do it in a deeper way" explains Mark. Will also tells us that unlike seasons past, when the wives would generally split into their own disparate stories, season four will be all for one, and one for all: The whole family is going to be intimately involved in season four's big arc.

The Family That Prays Together Stays Together? Bill Paxton says Bill Henrickson has big plans for the future of his TV fam. "I'm ready for us to become who we are without all the fighting and for Barb to really know that she's on this thing. I want her to be Bonnie to my Clyde. I want to see us take on the world, be a little more empowered, to see my empire grow. I think the Church of Bill could be a go, and Bill the Prophet could be in the cards." (Awesome.)

Boss Lady Rises Again: "Poor Barb." That's was Jeanne Tripplehorn has to say about her character. But there's hope yet, and in season four, Barb will try to establish a new identity for herself. "The Henricksons are truly starting their own faith, and I hope that Barb takes a real active role," says Tripplehorn. "She's always been on the fence [about polygamy], so it will be interesting to see her try and embrace it."  

Chloe Sevigny, Big Love Lacey Terrell/HBO

Nicki Being Nicki: Will says of Chloë Sevigny's crazy and complicated second sister-wife, "Nicki's got Cara Lynne to deal with this season, but you know Nicki will always be Nicki." No word on how the Henricksons will take to their newfound half-daughter, but Nicki's ex, J.J. (Zeljko Ivanek), will definitely be back in town causing more trouble.

Alby's New Role: Expect much confusion at the compound now that it's out from under Roman's merciless grip—but the good news is that it creates an opening for Alby. Matt Ross tells us, "Now that his father's disposed of, [Alby] can flex his muscles. With the vacuum created by Roman's absence, there will be some kind of power struggle."

Works for us! Are you as excited as we are for the bigger and better Big Love? What do you think about Roman really being gone?

Leave your comments below and check back for more Big Love in Monday's chat.

We're up for Webby Awards! Vote for E! Online in the Celebrity/Fan and Mobile categories!