This Is ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ Season 3’s Best Couple, Period

The Big Picture

  • Season 3 of The Righteous Gemstones prioritizes individual couples and offers a realistic portrayal of marriage within a wealthy religious community.
  • Baby Billy and Tiffany are a bit delusional but inseparable, with their collective ignorance and childlike ways making them a unique couple.
  • Unlike other couples on the show, Baby Billy and Tiffany have never faced major relationship troubles, working through their issues and appreciating each other fully.

Despite being the funniest show on HBO right now (and one of the better comedies in the premium network’s history), The Righteous Gemstones has a surprisingly insightful examination of relationships, parenting, sibling rivalry, and most importantly, marriage. While obviously the characters are quite eccentric and the nature of the crime storylines gets increasingly ridiculous as the series continues, Season 3 in particular has done a great job at prioritizing the individual couples and showing what the reality of being married in a highly wealthy, uptight religious community looks like.

As each couple faces some sort of major conflict over the ideals or past activities, the one duo that has never failed to leave each other’s side is Baby Billy Freeman (Walton Goggins) and his much younger wife, Tiffany (Valyn Hall). Both characters are delusional in their own ways, but in many ways, it’s their collective ignorance and childlike ways that make them completely inseparable.

RELATED: ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ Season 3 Needs More Gideon!

Billy Baby And Tiffany Are Similar Characters on ‘The Righteous Gemstones’

Image via HBO

Both Billy Baby and Tiffany feel like characters that could have easily been nothing more than caricatures; there’s something inherently humorous about an eccentric, aging failed celebrity with a homely, timid wife that’s nearly one-third his age. What makes the humor surrounding the couple so humorous is that it never comes at the expense of one character over another; Baby Billy’s increasingly ridiculous schemes to “get rich fast” (which in season 3 includes his hilarious “Baby Billy’s Bible Bonkers” game show) are often pitched in the company of Tiffany, and the younger girl’s peculiar hand-made gifts to the rest of the family are often given away with Billy Baby’s blessing. The intent is always to mock them, but it never feels like the couple is mocking each other.

There’s also a shared lack of cynicism between Baby Billy and Tiffany that sets them apart from the other characters on the show. Season 3 features a storyline where each of the characters reveals the secret ambitions or desires they’ve been harboring; Jesse’s (Danny McBride) selfishness has caused him to get into major conflicts with his siblings, Judy’s (Edi Patterson) infidelities have irrevocably harmed her husband BJ (Tim Baltz), and Kelvin (Adam DeVine) has proven to be so egotistical that he can’t even stand up to defend his best friend (and potential love interest) Keefe Chambers (Tony Cavalero), who has defended and nearly worshiped him like a god for the majority of the show. Even Eli (John Goodman) has grown regretful of the past as he reflects upon the panic and eventual violent chaos that occurred at the turn of the century when he was pressured by church executives to give a doomsday prophecy about Y2K.

There isn’t a cynical bone in Tiffany’s body; her actions are done out of complete good faith and kindness. Her meager skills often produce less than appealing meals or gifts, but unlike a character such as Judy, she doesn’t act sweetly simply to please someone or get their attention. Baby Billy is undoubtedly an untrustworthy character, but he’s the best type of schemer, as his plans never seem to work out. Baby Billy’s ambitions are more selfish than they are mean-spirited, and it’s never unclear what his intentions are; even upon Jesse, Judy, and Kelvins’ kidnapping at the hands of Eli’s ruthless brother-in-law Peter Montgomery (Steve Zahn), Baby Billy is trying to promote “Bible Bonkers.” What’s endearing is that even his wildest plots to reverse his fortune are meant to accommodate Tiffany in one way or another.

Baby Billy and Tiffany Don’t Fight Like Other ‘Righteous Gemstones’ Couples

Walton Goggins as Baby Billy Freeman.
Image via HBO

Season 3 features each of the major couples going through some sort of breakdown that puts serious skepticism about the future of their relationships. Amber (Cassidy Freeman) has just about had it with Jesse’s lies and his irresponsibility as a church leader, and finally starts expressing her frustration with his neglectful behavior toward his family and children; Judy’s marriage has gone downhill to the point that the generally quiet and reserved BJ feels like he needs to go out and assault his wife’s lover, the guitarist Stephen (Stephen Schneider), out of fear that he is not “masculine” enough for his wife. Eli realizes the mistakes that he made as a younger man, as his push to take the family business in a more capitalistic, fear-mongering direction drew him apart from his wife, Aimee-Leigh (Jennifer Nettles); his sister May-May (Kirsten Johnson) sees first hand what it looks like when a relationship goes out of control thanks to her husband Peter’s insane fundamentalist group and treatment of their children, Chuck (Lucas Haas) and Karl (Robert Oberst).

Comparatively, Baby Billy and Tiffany have never gone through any major relationship troubles throughout the course of the show without reconciling soon after. Tiffany has never wavered in her support of his schemes (even if she’s not entirely convinced of all their effectiveness), and Billy Baby never fails to bring Tiffany along when he chooses to crash a family event (even if she’s not entirely clear that they are welcome). They only briefly went through a crisis in Season 2 when Baby Billy grew to disregard their marriage as he grew excited about the prospect of revamping his old musical tour, and replacing Aimee-Leigh with Judy, resulting in his ignorance of Tiffany. However, the situation ended up strengthening them as a couple, as Tiffany was able to admit her insecurities to her husband, and Billy Baby realized that he had no reason to go through with his schemes if, at the end of the day, he had no one to share them with. Their mutual forgiveness of each other and heartfelt reunion resulted in one of the most hilarious (and surprisingly touching) moments in the entire series when a pregnant Tiffany gives birth to their child in a port-a-potty in the Season 2 finale « I Will Tell of All Your Deeds ».

The fact that Baby Billy and Tiffany worked past these issues and now appreciate each other fully is something that distinguishes them from all the other couples on The Righteous Gemstones. It’s been a hilarious season, but often a hard one to watch because the characters are so often at each other’s throats, with the exception of Baby Billy and Tiffany. In a weird way, they’re the closest thing to “sweet” that The Righteous Gemstones will ever get.

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