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Big Little Lies What Have They Done? Review Big Little Lies What Have They Done? Review

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies – What Have They Done? (2×01)

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Big Little Lies didn’t plan on having a second season, but there’s a lot of story left to tell.

The Monterey 5, as Jane finds out the people in town dubbed them, are haunted by what happened the night Perry slipped and fell to his death after beating Celeste.

At least, that’s the story Madeline concocted and the remaining four told police about Perry’s death.

Renata assures the ladies that the police have all but closed their case without a lead to follow, but that isn’t necessarily the case from the tapes we see of their confessions.

Someone working the case knows they’re lying and is waiting for one of them to crack.

Since none of them have grieved or come to terms with what happened, it’s only a matter of time.

Then, there’s the welcome addition of Meryl Streep, who plays Mary Louise, the timid mother of Perry.

She arrives in Monterey to help Celeste through the loss but as she sneaks around town it’s clear she’s interested in finding out what really happened that night.

Her poking and prodding at Celeste about whether or not she feels angry, comforting her through the nightmares where she sleep-talks about “rape” and “plotting to kill someone” and talking down to Madeline is a ploy to catch them all in a lie.

She even retorts that she’d ask Madeline what happened to her son, but she doesn’t think Madeline would tell her the truth.

At least she’s astute.

Mary Louise may be right in her belief that the women aren’t fessing up to the truth, and her analysis of Madeline’s bubbly personality being a cover-up for a more vapid interior is insightfully accurate, but Mary Louise’s perception of her son Perry is flawed.

Mary Louise reminds me of those mothers that are in denial about who their child was when they sing their praises on TV after a tragic accident.

For someone who taunts herself as a “good judge of character,” could Mary Louise be so blind to the truth in front of her?

Perry was the big bad on the first season of Big Little Lies, but his mother is shaping up to be the enemy on this go-around.

Despite Perry’s violent tendencies, Celeste continues to blame herself to what happened to him.

Even in his death, he wields so much power that she thinks if she’d left him earlier, he’d never be at the party where he fell to his death.

It’s twisted and yet, continues the narrative Big Little Lies presented since the beginning: Perry had good qualities and he had bad qualities.

When he was good, it was really good. When he was bad, it was really bad.

His death is both a blessing and a curse depending on which memories Celeste clings onto.

Celeste will likely have to admit to Perry’s abusive nature at some point in order to get her twins some help.

Both of them are exhibiting behaviors that could be deemed as grief but considering the violence they witnessed and who their father was, it’s concerning.

The fans were begging for a second season so it was only fitting that the women of Monterey, who have always had trouble being honest with themselves, covered up the murder with another lie.

Some are better at swallowing it and pretending it never happened than others, but the weakest link is Bonnie.

Unable to forget what she did, Bonnie isn’t doing so hot.

It doesn’t help that the other women, the only ones she can confide in, turned away from her.

To deal with her new reality, Bonnie became reclused and shut down. The secret has not only affected her, but it’s also affected her family. Nathan is especially worried but since Bonnie won’t let him in, he believes he’s the problem.

Seeing Nathan all flustered and pushed away by Bonnie and attacked by Madeline when he reached out made me feel for him.

Nathan just wants some damn answers.

However, as Bonnie pointed out to Madeline, all of this was avoidable.

They all went along with Madeline’s lie yet she could have told the truth and gotten off with it being self-defense in light of Perry’s acts of violence against Celeste.

Instead, these women, despite looking normal on the outside, are forced to re-live the pain of that night day-in and day-out.

Bonnie makes it to the police department by the end of the episode but doesn’t go inside.

Will she confess?

Or will it be Mary Louise who gets justice for her sweet Perry?

Streep as Mary Louise is the dark addition this show needed.

Her unlikeability is effortless, she says what she means without actually saying it, and she’s almost as manipulative as her son was.

Maybe that’s why she never saw right through him; she’s exactly like him.

She’s inserted herself into Celeste’s life in a similar manner Perry did and suffocates her while masking it as care and concern.

We know Mary Louise will be trouble because we know women like Mary Louise yet at the same time, there have been moments where she’s been warm and nurturing. Those moments make us doubt what exactly we can expect from Mary Louise as she closes in on secrets and gets the answers she’s come to town for.

Can she even handle the truth she’s so direly seeking out?

With Nathan on the hunt for answers about Bonnie and reaching out to Ed for help, it’s shaping up to be a season where the men get some screentime.

And they should. The women are a handful yet the men somehow haven’t cracked yet.

That may change as whatever is happening with Gordon looks rather suspect.

Is he developing a drinking problem to cope with Renata’s “power stances?”

Ed’s “welcome to second grade” comment encompassed the essence of the show: this is the drama plaguing second-grade mother’s.

It makes me happy my second-grade experiences were nothing in comparison.

Considering much of the narrative revolves around the school, the children will once again have some kind of supporting role.

As I mentioned before, Celeste will have to deal with the twins’ aggressive outbursts.

Madeline is also dealing with Abigail’s decision to forego college to fight homelessness in a start-up.

Abbie seems to have put a lot of thought into her future and contrary to Madeline’s beliefs, she’s not going to be working retail (and there’s nothing wrong with her doing so.)

Wanting better for your children is a good parental trait to have, but in this case, Madeline fails to see that pushing her daughter to pursue a path just because she doesn’t want her life to be meaningless will make it meaningless.

Madeline has always been a victim of her bad decision making and now she’s trying to force it upon her daughter.

Hopefully, she’ll realize that trying to control her adult daughter will only lead an unfulfilled life.

These women continue to be their own worst enemies.

And that’s precisely why the season is shaping up to be yet another promising one filled with twists, turns, and character exploration.

I’m not sure where the series is going or how it will end this time, but that’s always been the fun of it.

Maybe it’ll even turn up with another dead body by the end of season 2?

Other Monterey Thoughts

  • Jane now has a job at the Aquarium and a possible new love interest.
  • What was the deal with Ed and the woman who got her boobs done to take attention away from her nose? I don’t recall her from season one.
  • Jane’s straightforward questions for Celeste underlines a bigger problem of why she keeps blaming herself. If she cannot acknowledge Jane’s fault in all of this, she won’t ever see the issue with loving a man who treated her wrong and abused her.
  • For a split second, I thought the scene with Perry identifying the women in the lineup was real and thought he wasn’t dead despite seeing his mangled body. I’ve never been more grateful for a nightmare scene before!

What did you think of the premiere?

Do you think Mary Louise is a promising adversary?

Did you like Streep in the character?

Where do you think the storyline is going?

 

 

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Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies Season Finale – I Want To Know (2×07)

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Big Little Lies I Want to Know Review

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.

Peace, Gordon.

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.

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Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies – The Bad Mother (2×06)

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Big Little Lies Bad Mother Review

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.

Other Thoughts 

  • 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?

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Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies – She Knows (2×04)

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Big Little Lies She Knows Review

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?

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