Some things are better left alone.
The first season of Big Little Lies was overwhelmingly successful taking home several awards and had it ended right then and there, it would have been able to live on in the glory.
Instead, it’s been handed a mediocre and slow-moving second season. Even the stellar cast couldn’t save this one.
What’s most problematic is that we’re now in the penultimate episode yet it seems like nothing is progressing, at least not at a rapid enough pace to keep up with the excitement and danger offered in the first season.
Celeste continues to battle her inner-demons, though this time she’s been grilled on the stand.
Nicole Kidman has been exceptional as Celeste and this week’s spotlight just speaks to her talent.
After all that she’s been through, it’s irritating to watch her get painted as guilty rather than the victim.
She recalls experiencing abuse, both physical and emotional, at the hands of her ex-husband, yet Mary Lousie scoffs and brushes off each sting as though Jane and Celeste ganged up on Perry.
There are moments where the judge acknowledges why women stay in abusive relationships, but it’s not enough to work in Celeste’s favor.
The most frustrating is that Celeste is right when she says that none of what Mary Louise’s lawyer is bringing up has anything to do with her ability to parent.
Wouldn’t it almost be more concerning if Celeste showed no signs of trauma or grief?
If she just woke up after Perry’s death and wasn’t affected? That would, in my opinion, indicate that she had something to do with Perry’s death.
No matter which approach Celeste takes to fight for her children, Mary Louise seems to be a few steps ahead.
And that’s worrisome as well. How is it okay for Quinlan to show Mary Louise interrogation footage? Isn’t this still and active and open investigation?
Mary Louise clearly has a personal stake in what happened to Perry, and she’s very clearly using all of this intel to paint Celeste in an unstable light.
Celeste interrupted the judge to call Mary Louise to the stand, and I’m all for it.
If Celeste was interrogated, no holds barred, it is only fair game that Mary Louise’s dirt gets dug up.
Maybe we’ll start by questioning her about what she did to raise such a monster?
I’d reckon that the mother of a rapist and abuser probably shouldn’t be raising his children.
This is one battle I cannot wait. Mary Lousie has been a treacherous antagonist, but she’s also been one-dimensional.
She swooped into town with one goal in mind and has been provoking the women around her ever since.
She’s good at it, but there are layers to her that we’ve yet to peel back.
Plus, I’m all here for a solid battle between Celeste and Mary Louise.
Much of this season is the Celeste and Mary Louise show so it’d be easy for the other characters to fall to the background, but their acting chops are so phenomenal, they could be, oh I don’t know, eating a salad, and it would be compelling.
Jane’s trying to move on, but finding out that Corey was recruited by the cops causes her to take two steps back.
I believed in Corey and found it refreshing that he didn’t push her out of her comfort zone, so I’m glad he didn’t turn out to be the jerk the writers wanted us to think he was at the end of Big Little Lies Season 2 Episode 5.
It’ll take some time, but I think Corey will be good for Jane. Not to mention he totally suspects Perry’s death wasn’t an accident.
Jane tried to get Mary Louise off of Celeste’s back, but Mary Louise did what she does best and provoked Jane to where she said she would have shot Perry she just never had a chance to.
Speak your truth, Jane.
When Jane told her all mother’s struggle, I thought Mary Louise would try to get control of Ziggy also.
Bonnie’s storyline has been the weirdest of them all and considering her mother hasn’t left bed rest for a few episodes, it’s impressive how much it progressed thanks to Zoe Kravitz.
Her mother’s mystical vision warns us that Bonnie is drowning.
It’s unclear if the vision is a glimpse at what’s to come, but it almost seems impossible that they’d all make it out alive.
We’ve explored Bonnie’s tormented relationship with her mother, the abuse that drove her to push Perry off of the stairs in the first place.
Her “I resent you” speech to her mother was powerful and a sure sign she’ll wake up sometime next episode now knowing the truth about what’s been weighing her daughter down.
Considering how Renata initially reacted to the bankruptcy news, I think Gordon got off rather easy after she found out he’d been sleeping with the nanny, Juliette.
And the nerve of that man.
Renata’s life has been peeling away the picture-perfect image all season long, but this was truly the biggest blow.
She was upset about losing her money, her belongings, and the cover of the magazine, but nothing prepared her for finding out that her husband fucked them over in more ways than one.
I don’t see her going back to him after any of this.
And while Mary Louise did hit a sore spot when she questioned Renata’s choices, there’s no denying that she was right about wasting away all this time and working so much for some idealistic vision of success.
Renata would be much happier in a smaller house without crap-ass Gordon around. Kick him to the curb woman and get your power back.
Then, there’s Madeline, who is still going through a rough patch with Ed.
Though he was very easy going on Big Little Lies Season 1, he isn’t just laying down and taking her infidelity.
He’s upset, hurt, and re-analyzing his whole relationship, which he thinks was less about love and more about stability and checking off Madeline’s criteria of checkboxes.
Madeline, for her part, is trying hard to make it up to Ed, but it’s impossible to regain someone’s trust so quickly.
Ed considers getting revenge with Joseph’s wife who practically threw herself at him, but alas, despite Ed’s betrayal, he still isn’t the guy who would hurt Madeline.
At least, I hope not.
His decision to forgive Maddy seemed to be rooted in an understanding of what drew Madeline to seeking comfort and love somewhere else.
Hopefully, this is the last we see of their fight because we need one relationship to find stability even while this big secret continues to loom over the ladies of Monterrey.
- Bonnie almost admitted to not loving Nathan.
- Who took those pictures after the accident?
- Why is Quinlan so hellbent on solving a murder case for a terrible man who abused his wife and raped another woman? Do the cops in Monterrey have nothing better to focus their efforts on?
What do you think Mary Louise’s end-goal is?
Will this secret eat them all up?
Big Little Lies Season Finale – I Want To Know (2×07)
The calm before the storm.
It was the showdown of all showdowns on the Big Little Lies season 2 finale.
Seeing Celeste put her rotten mother-in-law, Mary Louise, in her place made this lackluster season all worth it.
Celeste came to court not only bearing receipts, but she also had videotapes.
And while showing video footage of Perry beating her while the boys secretly looked on questioned how she allowed them to stay in such a toxic and dangerous environment, it was all that was necessary to finally show Mary Louise what a POS he son was.
Seeing Mary Louise unable to deny what was being show was pure satisfaction.
“I had no idea,” Mary Louise muttered despite many attempts from Celeste and the Monterey Five to tell her the truth.
It’s not that she had no idea, it’s that she didn’t want to have an idea.
And even so, Mary Louise proved to be a horrible person by trying to spin it all in her favor.
Does this woman have no shame?
She sat there in a public court and tried to blame the victim for staying in an abusive relationship.
I almost stood up and applauded when Celeste assured her that she not only kept her sons alive, she kept herself alive.
Yes, the boys saw more than Celeste believed they did, which explains why they assume abuse equates love in many instances, but they have also turned out pretty good for growing up in that household.
The footage Celeste showed in court was painful, but it was only a fraction of the abuse; she’s been through much worse.
Ultimately, Celeste’s decision to question Mary Louise worked in her favor.
She was able to defend herself while putting Mary Louise’s parenting on the spot.
Mary Louise is delusional if she for a minute thought Celeste wasn’t going to air out her dirty laundry after she came for her boys.
If you point fingers, don’t be surprised when someone points them back.
Mary Louise accused Celeste of reckless driving, which is humorous considering her own son died while in the car with her.
Mary Louise’s concerns about the twins’ safety were always warranted, but if she thought it was of ultimate importance, she would have contacted DCFS and attempted other options before trying to gain custody.
And even so, what made her the best person to be there for the boys?
All she was trying to do was make up for lost time with her boys. Or as Celeste put it “replace” Perry and his brother with Josh and Max.
Celeste may be ill, but Mary Louise is right there with her.
Plus, it seems she’s never come to terms with her son’s death or accepted the blame for it.
She barely accepted her role in creating the monster that Perry turned into.
Violence breeds violence — no one just wakes up and decides to be an abuser.
Perry’s actions, despicable as they were, were learned and inherited.
Big Little Lies would have done us a disservice had they not shone a light on Mary Lousie’s flaws. Without addressing her relationship with Perry, her addition this season wouldn’t have held much weight.
It does seem that after Celeste won full custody, Mary Louise grabbed her things and made it out of town.
If there’s a chance at a season 3, which seems rather unlikely at this point, her return also doesn’t seem necessary.
She stirred up enough trouble.
As Celeste’s court case winded down, things started wrapping up for the other four ladies also.
Jane’s rape was finally acknowledged in court even if Mary Louise did try to deny it again.
With justice being served, in the only way it could be, Jane was ready to move on and gave Corey a chance.
Seeing Jane struggle with opening up to another man both emotionally and physically has been tough to watch, so I’m glad Corey allowed her to do it on her own time and made her feel comfortable.
He proved that he was interested in sticking around no matter how hard things got.
And Ziggy liked him, which was a plus.
Laura Dern had her Beyonce “Lemonade” moment, and it was everything.
After seeing that Gordon managed to keep his toys while she lost everything that she valued, Renata had a full-on, bat-swingin’ meltdown.
It was the best few minutes of the episode. Possibly even the best few minutes in television history.
The look on Gordon’s face as she destroyed him beloved train sets was amusing and priceless.
Take that Gordon, you prick.
What did he expect was going to happen when he gloated about screwing the nanny?
I’m surprised she held it together for that long. Gordon took away her value, her pride, her respect, and Amabella’s future.
This was Renata’s way of taking it easy on him.
If a season 3 does happen, I want to see Renata moving on as an independent woman and single mother who was able to rebuild her life from the ashes left by her worthless husband.
Madeline’s relationship with Ed worked out some of the kinks. When Ed sat her down to have the “talk,” I was sure that he was going to say they should break up because they’ve changed so much since they got married.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Ed forgave Madeline and wanted to renew their vows.
Ed’s always been such a great husband. He didn’t deserve any of what happened to him, but the fact that he can look past it and move on after holding her accountable for it makes him even better.
Hopefully, Madeline told him the truth before all the ladies made their way to the police district.
As for Bonnie, well, the good news is that she didn’t drown herself in the water as predicted by her mother’s random vision.
I truly don’t understand what the deal was behind all the psychic moments.
Sure, metaphorically, Bonnie was drowning under the big secret and the realization coupled with her mother’s death led her to that final scene.
But those visions weren’t’ necessary. Neither was her mother’s whole story-arc.
We watched Bonnie’s childhood trauma, understood why she was so triggered by witnessing Perry’s abuse towards Celeste, and why she pushed him, but her mother’s presence, and more specifically, her coma, didn’t do much for the storyline.
It was sad when she died, but we felt sad for a moment and moved on.
I also don’t really understand why we were supposed to think Bonnie would have been capable of killing her mom.
She may have dreamt about it because of the abuse, but she never actually considered it.
Following her mother’s death, Bonnie told Nathan she never loved him.
Nathan may be dumber than a rock at times but one thing I’ll credit him with is always loving and protecting Bonnie.
It’s not fair for him to find out this way but better now then never. He deserves better — a love that Bonnie won’t give him.
As Bonnie spoke her truth, she also gathered all the women together at the precinct.
The scene with them walking in together to likely confess the truth about Perry’s death is iconic and powerful.
Even Madeline said the lie had an expiration date. We’ve hit it.
They made a promise to keep this secret for as long as they could; they were forever bonded.
And when it was time, they supported each other in coming clean.
The screen went black as they walked in so we never know what they said or how they said it.
Again, if there is a third season, it’s possible the focus would be on their attempts to prove self-defense.
And even then, since they’ve already covered it up, I don’t think the argument would hold up or get them off without any time.
Seeing how some of Big Little Lies Season 2 almost seemed forced, I’m content leaving this storyline exactly where it is and not trying to make it something that it’s not.
Even if that does mean I’ll never belt-out the theme-song live on a Sunday night again.
Big Little Lies – She Knows (2×04)
The kiddos declare that monsters are supposed to be scary, and “She Knows” proves that the monsters in Monterey are just that.
But the ‘who’ in who makes the monsters in town may vary depending on your idea of what makes a monster.
Some may say Perry was the biggest monster of them all, others that the mother’s who are harboring a major secret, but I’d lean towards Mary Louise being a monster that’s hiding in plain sight.
It becomes easier to understand why Perry was the way he was as we begin to peel back the layers that make up Mary Louise.
She means well while not meaning well at all.
She willingly draws up a petition to remove the children from Celeste’s care, yet she makes it seem like Celeste’s ambien-and-sex-filled night is what convinced her that she’s unwell and unstable.
Yes, Celeste’s actions aren’t convincing Mary Louise that she’s capable of taking her children, but it also doesn’t matter.
Mary Louise is operating on a pre-determined plan, one that helps her figure out what truly happened to Perry.
She’s inserting herself into the boys’ lives for a reason, bulldozing Celeste’s idea of normalcy and forcing her to crack under the pressure, provoking her to act in defense, all while trying to drive a wedge between the friends.
The more that Bonnie and Jane see Mary Louise around, the more freaked out they are that this big lie is about to concave in on them.
Jane tried to defend Celeste to Mary Louise and found herself all caught up in her agenda.
If Mary Louise truly cared about helping Celeste and the boys, she would ensure that Celeste received the necessary help instead of inserting how great of a man Perry was every time she saw her and ridiculing their violent relationship to something that turned Celeste on (is this what we call foreplay?).
She’d even refrain from pointing out that Perry looked for comfort somewhere else. Oh, and she’d absolutely never question Jane’s rape.
Meryl Streep’s goal was to make the viewers despise Mary Louise while also acknowledging that she’s spot on about everything she’s observed, and I’d say she’s more than succeeded.
Every time the women of Monterey come up for air, they are pushed right back underwater.
Which brings me to the very final moment of the episode.
Bonnie’s mother, who suffered a stroke and seizures at the bash Renata threw for Amabella, regains consciousness only to vividly see what seems to be a vision of her daughter drowning.
Could this be something from the future? Is she psychic? Is Bonnie going to die?
Or is this a metaphorical drowning as in she senses Bonnie is drowning under the weight of her secrets?
What do these premonitions signify? The show has never utilized supernatural elements before, and it wouldn’t make much sense in the sense of storyline to spring them on us.
However, in a sense, all of them are slowly drowning.
Detective Quinlan has been popping up here and there to remind the women that she’s onto them, which isn’t helping to ease their tensions.
Jane’s dealing with the PTSD coming up again as she attempts to open herself up to a new relationship.
Renata is grappling with the idea of losing everything and becoming poor.
Bankruptcy court seemed like the moment where she understood the severity of the situation.
Without her money, she could no longer say shit and get away with it.
Despite calling out the “losers,” the reality of the situation is that she and Gordon are the losers she’s referring to.
At least no one can take away her talents on putting on a fake front and pretending that everything is perfect.
If you took one look at her during Amabella’s party, you would never even know that her life was crumbling.
She may have believed her “they betray, we stay” motto, but if she doesn’t get her money back, it’s unlikely that she’ll stay with Gordon.
She despises him for taking away all of her accomplishments and turning them into shit even more than she despises him for ruining any future she’d crafted for Amabella.
And then we have Madeline, who, of all the Monterey Five, has the best problem you could have.
Don’t get me wrong, the demise of her marriage is dreadful, but in comparison to what the other four are going through, it’s a minor issue.
Especially since she’s not poised to lose much of anything.
Ed gave her the most Ed-like apology when he said, “I’m still here, aren’t I?”
It’s unlike Ed to forgive or make a grand gesture. Simply the fact that he hasn’t hit the road Jack just yet means that he’s willing to forgive the cheating.
A part of me also thinks he enjoys seeing Madeline suffer and try to smooth things over.
But there’s no denying that there’s no “ease” about his relationship with Madeline; there never was.
I’ve never seen Ed as relaxed or in his element as I have every single time he shares the screen with Bonnie.
I’d say those two should date, but I think Madeline and Nathan’s heads would explode.
It was also hard to take Ed seriously when he was chipping away at the fakeness of Monterey while wearing that afro wig.
It’s clear that he despises the lifestyle of the rich and the snooty, which speaks even greater volumes to his love for Madeline. He’s always been willing to make it work because of her and this is how he gets repaid.
There were plenty of really solid moments in the episode, but Ed and Nathan’s catfight took the cake, especially Nathan throwing Ed into a headlock almost immediately.
Those two are something else.
Other Monterey Thoughts
- Seeing all of the Monterey Five get along at Amabella’s party would probably be the most suspicious part to me. Previous to the accident, none of the truly got along.
- Just when we thought there was nothing worse than Mary Louise living with Celeste, she proves us wrong. Moving into the same building as her son’s rape victim is just wrong. Not only does Jane have a constant reminder of that night every time she looks at Ziggy — at least he’s a reminder of her strength and perseverance — she now has this woman, who doesn’t believe her accounts, by the way, hounding her.
- I could watch Nicole Kidman slap the glasses off of Meryl Streep over and over. What a powerful scene.
- You have to hand it to the Monterey folks for agreeing to yet another dress up party considering how the last one ended.
What did you think of tonight’s episode?
Will Elizabeth survive to tell Bonnie her vision? Will Mary Louise win custody of the children?
Will Renata and Gordon bounce back from these money woes?
Who will crack first?
Big Little Lies – The End of the World (2×03)
As the topic of Armageddon is broached in a second-grade classroom, it also feels like the end of the world for the Monterey Five as their personal lives fall apart as a result of keeping some very twisted secrets.
About halfway through Big Little Lies Season 2 Episode 3, the therapist asks Celeste if she’s an addict and Perry’s the drug, and the answer is “absolutely yes.”
Celeste knows that Perry was a terrible person who nearly killed her on several occasions, but instead of acknowledging it, she chooses to stay in denial and remember the good times.
Sometimes, people mess up but it doesn’t necessarily make them bad people.
Take for example Madeline’s affair that has left her marriage to Ed in shambles.
Or even Gordon’s money laundering that’s left the Klein’s penniless, Renata raging and Amabella suffering from anxiety attacks.
Both terrible situations, but ones that can be forgiven and bounced back from.
In this case, Perry was a terrible person who did bad things and occasionally put on a pretty face.
If Celeste continues down this path, she’s going to completely forgive him and paint him as some kind of angel.
Yet, there are moments where she does acknowledge the toxicity of their relationship, mainly when pushing back to Mary Louise.
When she caught Mary Louse snooping around her medicine cabinet, she made sure Perry’s mother knew the Vicodin did its job when Perry kicked her.
There’s also the question of bruising herself to keep the memory alive.
Is he giving herself the bruises or was she telling the truth about getting them while breaking up the boys?
Bottom line is that Celeste misses the violence and whatever rush it gave her.
Without it, life feels almost “dead,” and that means she has a long way to go in therapy to even attempt to respect herself.
Madeline is dealing with the fallout of her cheating.
Considering Ed told Madeline that they were “done,” the fact that he’s attending couple’s therapy is a major step in their relationship.
The therapist, the same one Celeste has been seeing, tries to get to the bottom of the affair and doesn’t necessarily blame Madeline alone.
She does point out that there’s something in Madeline’s past that led to her decision to cheat (Madeline walked in on her father having sex with another woman and never told her mother about it), but she also brings up Ed’s indifference as possibly being disengaged in the relationship.
During the school assembly, Madeline has a breakdown when she talks about children being lied to and made to believe that happy endings exist.
But as Celeste said, Madeline shouldn’t give up on Ed.
It’s doubtful that Ed will leave Madeline, but seeing her realize just how much she loves him and wants to make their marriage work is necessary for them to move forward on a healthy path.
The only positive thing about this whole thing is that Madeline’s relationship with Abigail has gotten significantly stronger as she feels bad for essentially breaking up her mother’s marriage.
Madeline assures her that the problem wasn’t that Abigail outed her it was that she cheated in the first place.
Mary Louise is a bulldozer and a victim blamer, yet she tries to hide under the sweet lady facade and truthfully, it’s infuriating.
She was way out of line when she asked Jane if she’d submit Ziggy to a paternity test simply because she refused to believe her son was capable of something as vile as rape.
And when she finally saw Ziggy and realized he looked exactly like a young Perry, she asked to be in Ziggy’s life before suggesting that maybe Jane was to blame for her own rape.
Is this lady serious?
Meryl Streep is beloved by everyone and yet the series has made us hate and fear her in one fell swoop.
Jane’s a much bigger person than I could ever be for even entertaining Mary Louise with her judgment and finger-pointing.
She tried to play off Perry’s violence as a “misreading” of the signs because his sex life with Celeste was violent, she dismissed Jane’s recollection of the night and even suggested Jane was drugged by someone else and didn’t remember conceiving Ziggy.
I’m not suggesting anyone should ever punch an older woman, but Mary Louise would have deserved it.
If it were up to me, Jane shouldn’t let Mary Louise anywhere near Ziggy.
Not only is Mary Louise accusing victims now, but she’s also collecting more and more intel to support her theory that Perry didn’t fall accidentally.
A quick visit to the police precinct reveals that Detective Quinlan agrees with Mary Louise, which isn’t surprising. Any good detective would be able to deduce that much based on the crime scene and the way the women huddle together since Perry’s death.
It’s the way Mary Louise got the information out of Quinlan that’s troublesome.
The “grieving mother” card goes a long way.
We still don’t know how much Quinlan really knows.
Will Mary Louise inform her about the abusive relationship or the fact that Celeste found out Perry was Ziggy’s father just ten minutes before he plunged to his death?
Mary Louise consistently acts like the victim and yes, losing your son is a tragic experience, but the real victims are Celeste and Jane.
They’ve both had to pick up the pieces after Perry destroyed their lives and enjoyed every minute of it, and now they’re forced to hear how “great” Perry was this whole time.
Jane’s meeting with Mary Louise was troublesome for many reasons, but hearing her say that Perry was a tender and gentle boy raised some flags for Jane because it described Ziggy to a tee.
Is there a possibility that Ziggy will display monster-like tendencies like his father in his older age?
Should she put him into therapy now in hopes of curbing any genetic predispositions?
Then, of course, there’s her inability to connect with anyone on a more intimate level.
She goes on a date with Corey who, despite questioning where his fish came from, seems to be rather normal and totally smitten.
Yet, the moment he leaned in for a kiss, Jane’s whole body tensed up.
He agreed to take it slow, like a gentleman, and their dancing scene was equally as heartwarming as it was heartbreaking.
He even taught Ziggy how to surf, which says a lot about him, but Jane never explained her history to him yet.
Bonnie advised that if she’s serious about making this work, she’s going to have to open up to someone and let them get to know the real her, despite wanting to keep that part of her locked away forever.
Which led us to Bonnie mentioning that Nathan doesn’t know the real her.
There were brief scenes where Bonnie’s mother tried to teach her how to hold her breath as a survival instinct and when baby Bonnie refused to go underwater, she just dunked her in.
There’s also the abuse Bonnie witnessed as a child, which caused her to push Perry on Trivia Night.
Will we ever unpack that?
Laura Dern and her insults (I will be rich again, I will rise up, I will buy a polar bear for every kid in this school) is a blessing for us and a nightmare for Principal Nippal and the teacher.
The nickname “Medusa of Monterey” was warranted.
To them, her outbursts are so unbearable, they cope by smoking in an area where the kids won’t see them.
There’s nothing worse in Renata’s mind than being poor, but being rich hasn’t stopped Amabella from worrying about climate change — it’s a very rational thing to worry about — her parents splitting, or her mother not being present.
As we uncover the pasts of each woman, we realize that they are desperate to keep up the facades because they refuse to return to their humbler beginnings or where they came from.
Will they be able to maintain their picture-perfect lives to the public?
What did you think of the episode?
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