Warning: This post contains spoilers from the Season 2 premiere of Big Little Lies.
HBO's Big Little Lies once kept viewers hooked by constantly teasing a handful of major mysteries: Who was dead, who was the killer and who was Jane's rapist?
Throughout Season 1, which was based on Liane Moriarty's novel of the same name, flash-forward scenes of townspeople sitting for police interviews kept most of those big questions alive. But now we have those answers, and Season 2 has moved beyond the literary source material. Sunday's premiere showed that Big Little Lies now just has minor puzzles to unravel. So let's get into those looming questions.
--Why did the "Monterey Five" lie?
In the Season 1 finale, Detective Quinlan remains very suspicious that the women at the scene of Perry's death are telling the full truth; she believes he was pushed to his death. But if Perry (Alexander Skarsgard) was attacking Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and she pushed him, that'd qualify as self-defense and she'd receive very minimal punishment, argues Quinlan's partner. So why make up a story about Perry losing his balance and falling down the stairs?
"That's what's bugging me," Quinlan responds. "Why lie?"
It's a darn good question, and not one we get a satisfying answer for - at least not yet. Perry didn't fall: Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) ran up to the fight and pushed him, which has taken a toll on her conscience. "I am angry with myself. If I had just told the truth, I would have gotten off," Bonnie tells Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) in Sunday's episode. "But then you said he slipped and everyone joined in on the . . . chorus."
"That was to protect you," Madeline responds. Hmm, OK? That provides little insight as to why Madeline, who functions as a ringleader, made up the whole Perry-lost-his-balance story. We still don't know why it was better to lie than to just say what really happened - unless there's more we don't know.
--Will Bonnie fess up?
Bonnie remains seriously haunted by Perry's death, having withdrawn from her family so noticeably that her husband, Nathan, asks Ed (his ex-wife's husband) to get her to open up. Bonnie also fails to show up to a meetup with the other four to discuss the rumors circulating about them. Will she reach a breaking point?
--Where is Tom?
Remember Tom, the friendly barista who finally got to take Jane (Shailene Woodley) out on a date? He was there that fateful night but it seems that things fizzled between the two, because he doesn't come up at all in the Season 2 premiere. Instead, Jane has some flirtatious banter with Corey, a co-worker at the local aquarium.
--Does Mary Louise really know who her son was?
Via police interviews, investigators discovered that Perry was violent toward Celeste, at least on the night of his death. But Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) still sings her son's praises and doesn't indicate she's aware of his more sinister tendencies. She calls Perry "the most amazing man," especially compared to her friends' sons who she describes as "mediocre, second-rate, pudgy, balding, middle-management" types. "Their sons were not a patch on your dad," Mary Louise tells Perry and Celeste's twins. "Not a patch at all."
--And what's the general deal with Mary Louise?
She obviously wants to get to the bottom of her son's death, but Mary Louise definitely still has a strange air about her. She immediately offends Madeline, commenting on her short stature and saying "little people [are] untrustworthy." Mary Louise says some other rude stuff and later apologizes, explaining that Madeline reminds her of a former best friend who "revealed herself to be quite treacherous and caused me a lot of pain." That so-called best friend had a "bubbly personality that was designed to hide that she was utterly vapid inside."
We learn little else about Mary Louise's life, other than she lives in San Francisco and thinks her son was perfect. But the little tidbit about her past was so specific and intense that there has got to be more behind her calm demeanor.
--What is the state of affairs between Madeline and Ed?
When we last left them, Madeline realized how much she loved Ed (Adam Scott) and how scared she was to tell him the truth about her former affair with Joseph, the local theater hunk. (Meanwhile, Joseph's wife knows he's been unfaithful and suspects Madeline to be the other woman.)
Well, Madeline has apparently put the issue on the back burner, because Ed still doesn't know the deal. In the premiere episode, Ed runs into Joseph's wife, Tori. She reports that her newly augmented breasts attract a lot of attention and, to her delight, that thoroughly annoys Joseph.
--What is Celeste revealing in her nightmares?
Celeste is understandably still haunted by Perry's death and their toxic relationship. She's been having intense nightmares that cause her to scream in the middle of the night. And while Mary Louise is at first sympathetic, she's more interested in the content of those dreams and what they may reveal about Perry's death.
Video: Madeline Martha Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) delivers some of the quippiest lines on Big Little Lies. Here's the best one from every episode. (Nicki DeMarco/The Washington Post)
(c) 2019, The Washington Post
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