Big Little Lies: I want to know
July 22, 2019 10:50 AM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Celeste questions Mary Louise about a tragic event from Perry's childhood; Madeline worries their lie is tearing the Monterey Five apart.
posted by jeather (7 comments total)
I wish there'd been more about Bonnie. That letter she read to her mother sounded really real to me. I also felt it somewhat explained why she married that dense, insensitive lout. Someone who would really see her might have been too much, too risky or something. But what we found out about her here was too little, too late. We don't know the backgrounds of any of the characters, come to think of it, only Bonnie, now, apart from I guess a little bit about Perry? And it seems like we still know the least about Bonnie.
posted by BibiRose at 1:01 PM on July 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'm mostly mad they went to blaming the mother for Perry. I was disappointed when S2 was announced because I thought S1 did really well as a self-contained story, but the beginnings of it seemed promising. I was right in the beginning though, S2 was unnecessary.
posted by jeather at 2:17 PM on July 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

I thought S2 added a lot, moving things from being a simply resolved narrative to something more complex, digging into repercussions and more. If anything I would have liked to have more or longer episodes - the opening up of the continued threat of discovery with the addition of Streep worked generally well (and Streep was excellent) but was resolved a little too cleanly and abruptly in this episode. I thought Dern's character was explored in a more interesting way head and added some bleak humour which I enjoyed. I would have liked more on Shailene Woodley's character too. The only one I felt less interested in was Reese Witherspoon's character, which for me felt like it didn't go anywhere.
posted by biffa at 9:38 AM on July 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh I liked the Witherspoon arc. I thought they did a good job of humanizing Witherspoon's character a bit. Adam Scott did a good job with pinchy-mouthed mannerisms as a kind of cold and cerebral but not inhuman person. IDK I felt like they had a good arc of showing how their relationship fell apart and could be repaired.

I missed the 🌸🌼✨kill the abuser✨🌼🌸 dreamlike strangeness of S1.
posted by fleacircus at 3:17 AM on August 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Celeste did about as good a job in court as I thought she would. That lawyer of hers is useless.

I'm mostly mad they went to blaming the mother for Perry.

I think Celeste almost had to go there, to play the game on the same level as Mary Louise, who was blaming her for enabling Perry's violence (and lying about it, and having enjoyed it), so as not to lose custody of her boys. She didn't otherwise seem to blame Mary Louise.

When Renata's husband uttered that line about how "he has to have something to play with", I thought, "Oooh, are you ever going to get it now," and settled back to enjoy watching Renata losing it. I've found her annoyingly over the top so much of the show's run, but this time she'd basically earned the right to fly into a glorious, operatic rage, and he deserved whatever she was going to say. However, even then, I did not expect the scene would involve a baseball bat.

God, Bonnie loses her mother, ends her marriage, and turns herself into the police on the same day. I can't even imagine.
posted by orange swan at 10:20 PM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Finished this last night. Like jeather, I thought S1 was excellent, and S2 started strong, but this episode felt like it fizzed out. One of the greatest things about S1 was the slow build and reveal, as well as the way you entered Celeste's mental negotiation -- is Perry evil? is this an illness, like alcoholism or substance use, an addiction to violence? does he deserve scorn? rage? pity?

With this season, though, Mary Louise felt like a very flat character. Passive-aggressive mother-in-law is such a trope. I understand, on a narrative level, why the courtroom scene played out the way it did -- we need to be able to see Celeste take on and defeat her dragon -- but also: we suddenly learn that Perry had a brother who died in a car accident and Mary Louise blamed Perry for his death? And Celeste knew about this major psychological scar on both her dead husband and her living MIL, knew that she could easily make the argument that her children's safety was in danger with their grandmother, and saved it all for the Dramatic Climax?

Also: in the close-up of Perry's death, wasn't there a knife in his throat? There was even a moment during the pumpkin carving party where one of the mothers (Madeleine?) gets mad at a kid for leaving a knife in his half-carved pumpkin. I guess the women pulled it out and hid it, because the police department is pretty terrible but if they missed a knife-in-throat, that's REALLY terrible.
posted by basalganglia at 4:32 AM on April 28, 2020

I enjoyed both S1 and S2. But I find it curious after a whole season leading up to the event - and a whole season of aftermath - we don't really know how Perry died. I mean we know that Bonnie pushed him - and that she did so while apparently seeing him as a stand-in for her abusive mother - but we are still missing the lead up to that moment and the details of the immediate aftermath. These details are important as the women all head into the police station at the end of the show. Are they going to confess? Are they going to tell the truth? What is the full truth? If they tell the full truth then what will the outcome be?

So - the show telegraphs a "happily ever after" feel with Marie Louise taking the road outta town and all of the women finding themselves in a better place (or, at the very least, having learned some useful lessons). But it glosses over the fact that, at the end of a WhoDunnit, we know neither the full truth of about the central murder nor about what the outcome will be.
posted by rongorongo at 1:29 AM on December 14, 2021

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