The White Lotus: Bull Elephants
November 21, 2022 9:07 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

After promising to have a more positive attitude, Harper gets looped into a side excursion with Daphne – leaving Ethan and Cameron behind for some bro time. On her own for two days, Tanya seeks advice from a local tarot reader and summons Portia back from sightseeing with the Di Grassos. Later, Albie questions whether his father truly respects women.
posted by Violet Blue (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The entire cast felt one note in this episode: Harper's bad temper, Daphne's chipperness, Tanya (and Portia's) self-centered whining, Ethan's and the Di Grasso grandson's passivitity, the ickiness of Cameron, and the Di Grasso father and grandfather, the f**k-and-go brevity of Lucia and Mia respective roles, the refusal of showrunner Mike White to fully characterize the peppery but intriguing concierge Valentina, lest he end up with two interesting concierges two seasons in a row.

For all that, Greg and Tania's Vespa-fueled day out was a little bit fun, though it was upsetting to see his contempt for her as their scenes unfolded. I also enjoyed the very Italianness of the palazzo Harper and Daphne stay in on their side trip. Mostly, however, this felt like a filler episode mostly intended to help viewers at home place bets on the identities of both the murder and the murdered.
posted by Violet Blue at 9:56 AM on November 21, 2022

I've been listening to the Joanna Robinson/Bill Simmons podcast about this show, and their reactions give and insight into their differing worldviews, and they have takes that didn't occur to me.

For example, the Cameron character struck me instantly as a manipulative sociopath, but Simmons seems to take his side in various interactions, and refers to him fondly as "Happy Guy".
posted by ishmael at 10:49 AM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I was predisposed to like Daphne because I loved Megann Fahy in the Bold Type. But she inevitably feels like a reactive presence to Audrey Plaza's perpetual glumness, which only makes her character seem a bit shallow and perky. Michael Imperioli's two-timing nature here reminds me of his ultimately two-faced role in the Sopranos. And Cameron reminds me of the frat boy in season 1 of the show: Prejudicially, I already presume entitlement. But I'm curious to hear other takes. For all my criticism, I'm still watching the show!
posted by Violet Blue at 12:29 PM on November 21, 2022

I could feel an impending sense of dread building in this episode. That while Daphne and Cameron are more than willing to take liberties, Harper and Ethan try to play along, wanting to show that they aren't repressed, which in turn might encourage Daphne and Cameron to take further liberties.

And Daphne and Cameron's revelations about the chaos in their personal lives imply a darkness that's to come.
posted by ishmael at 5:38 PM on November 21, 2022 [1 favorite]

I was thinking this might be the first episode where we didn't see the underwater camera, but I was wrong!
posted by jessamyn at 7:52 PM on July 9, 2023

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