Big Little Lies: The Bad Mother
July 14, 2019 9:01 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Celeste is blindsided by Mary Louise; Bonnie contemplates a solution to her mother's suffering and her own ongoing guilt; Ed entertains an unusual proposition; The Monterey Five feel the pressure of increased scrutiny of Perry's death.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Next week is going to be insane.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:03 PM on July 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

AVclub has a thing about 'why bother with a season 2' and all I can think is you know what, it's living with after the domestic violence, after the divorce, after the terror that's also a story. Women's lives are interesting even when there isn't a man in the center.

Celeste wringing her wrist hidden out of view in the courtroom is a gesture I do to calm myself. So weird to see it on the screen.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 12:12 AM on July 15, 2019 [14 favorites]

I'm in full agreement about the court treatment Celeste is getting with regard to the tone-deaf questioning about why she didn't call the cops and why she stayed with Perry as posited in this Vulture recap, which asks, "CAN SOMEONE JUST CITE THE FUCKING DATA ABOUT HOW YOU ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE MURDERED BY YOUR ABUSIVE PARTNER WHEN YOU ARE IN THE ACT OF LEAVING THEM?". Then I thought about often shitty way courts handle domestic abuse and sexual assault and figured maybe they were leaving it in to demonstrate just exactly how awful an experience it can be.

Other thoughts:
-I can't wait for Celeste's questioning of her MIL in court; "So Mary Louise you raised a physically abusive rapist who maybe also murdered his brother as a kid soooo can you explain how exactly you're a better guardian than me?"

-Bonnie please for the love of god DON'T WRITE IT DOWN! Except it seems that Bonnie wants to come clean/get caught, so maybe that's the point.

-Whoever wrote the scene featuring Jane's frantic attempted seduction of Corey and immediate PTSD reaction sure knew what they were talking about

-Renata. Oh my god, Renata. Wouldn't you shriek, "THE FUCKING NANNY??!?" too?

-Mary Louise is a full sociopath, isn't she? The way she dismantled Renata so efficiently, her passive-aggressive performance for the judge and interaction with Celeste immediately before the hearing begins, and her threatening comments to Jane (which, way to go, Jane) are getting very chilling!
posted by stellaluna at 11:57 AM on July 15, 2019 [6 favorites]

I’ve been really loving this season, which makes it all the more upsetting to have read the article about how ill-treated and ill-used Andrea Arnold was. I enjoyed this episode, but I can’t help but wonder as I watch what the season would have been like had Vallée not sliced and diced it.

Mary Louise is a master class in writing and performing a hateable villain. All props to Meryl Streep, Liane Moriarty, and David E. Kelley. I can’t wait to see Celeste dismantle her on the stand, but I also wouldn’t mind watching Bonnie push her down the stairs. And I hope that both Meryl and her teeth get Emmy nominations.

Is it just me and Renata, or did Celeste’s attorney do an incredibly poor job of defending Celeste, and redeeming her the following day? She got a couple of objections in, some that were even sustained, but it was painful watching Russell Edgington demolish her client so handily.
posted by ejs at 6:34 PM on July 15, 2019 [6 favorites]

ejs, I almost choked on my coffee when I read Russell Edgington - I knew that actor looked familiar!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 12:34 AM on July 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

An AV Club writer addresses one of my biggest issues with this season:

With more empathetic writing, Bonnie could have been the emotional anchor of season two. That role belonged to Jane in season one, as the residents of Monterey slowly got to know her, empathize with her trauma, and accept her into the fold. That could have easily happened for Bonnie, if only the writing allowed it. Like Jane, Bonnie’s history of trauma could have been a bridge to bonding with Celeste. Bonnie could have called out Madeline for her bullying, the way Jane calls out Renata near the end of season one. These confrontations are rites of passage for the Monterey Five, cementing them as a strong unit of friends who accept each other. But Bonnie is never truly accepted: No one gets to know her, no one learns about the inner workings of her marriage to Nathan. No one knows what kind of kid Skye is. All that we know is that everyone either treats her badly or ignores her altogether. The problem with Bonnie being surrounded by white people who aren’t interested in getting to know her is that we as an audience don’t get to know her either.
posted by myotahapea at 6:29 AM on July 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

I’m really liking that each episode starts with the accident but from a different woman’s perspective/focus.

Also wondering with Bonnie’s hallucinations/dreaming, did her mother really say kill me or did Bonnie dream it?
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:11 PM on August 11, 2019

The nanny's been providing "stress relief" for Renata's husband for seven years and has waited until *now* to request payment? Come on. No way would she have let him string her along with empty promises for that length of time. He would have been paying her all along.

That marriage is so over. Poor little Amabelle.

Bonnie's the Chekov's gun of this season. I don't know what she'll do to make peace with herself.

Madeline dancing around in her wedding dress to her wedding song... oh dear.

I love Jane for telling Mary Louise what's what.

It makes no sense that Celeste would wait until the judge was about to rule before saying that she wanted to question Mary Louise as to her fitness for custody. She and her lawyer should have been all over that shit for the entire process.
posted by orange swan at 8:53 PM on December 3, 2019

Noting the "computer model of Perry being pushed down the stairs" and being reminded of "The Staircase" - available on Netflix. The notion of "falls" down a flight of stairs being treated with suspicion by the police (and hence there being quite a bit of forensic research on modelling such falls) seems to be a real thing. I like the way that, in season 1, we see - I think Celeste - push pass the barriers and use those stairs, during early episodes.
posted by rongorongo at 12:05 AM on December 13, 2021

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