‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 Finale Recap: I Want to Know
Unresolved tension, a custody dispute, and Bonnie’s melancholy matricide-obsessed spirit ruled the past two episodes of Big Little Lies, building everyone up for unmissable season finale. After watching the final episode last night, people still have questions.
Each member of the Monterey Five had their season two storylines wrapped up nicely, and a couple of people in their immediate orbit received a long overdue comeuppance. Let’s take a look at how each of these ladies fared in the end, starting with the moment we were all thirsting for: Celeste vs. Mary Louise.
After learning her sons recorded one of the beatings she took from Perry, a shocked Celeste decides to use the video in court. While it may have helped to demonstrate to Mary Louise how much of a monster her son actually was, it left Celeste questioning herself about her mothering skills, particularly her ability to protect her boys. For a moment, viewers might have wondered if Judge Cipriani had those same thoughts.
But Celeste was kickass when Mary Louise was on the stand. Giving her a taste of her own medicine was delightful to watch. We learned that Mary Louise’s own mental instability was the reason Perry’s brother, Raymond, was killed. Celeste did not let up with the questioning. “Did you blame Perry? Did you say, ‘Look what you made me do?’ Did you emotionally batter Perry? Did you say, ‘This is your fault! … It is your fault that your brother was killed.’ Did you ever kick Perry?”
Mary Louise lost her composure and tried to turn things around on Celeste by saying crazy things like Jane Chapman was lying, Celeste had a sickness, and that “Max and Josh can’t believe in their father when you’re calling him a rapist and abuser.” After calling Perry the victim, Mary Louise was shut down by Celeste once and for all with her calmly saying, “Mary Louise, look at me. This was your son.” Sleeping Beauty, huh?
In the end, the judge decides to let Celeste retain custody of her kids, and a dogged Mary Louise finally leaves town.
Renata, as usual, was on a roll with telling people the eff off. It started with Mary Louise in the coffee shop—which got her so heated she left without her order—and ended with Gordon. If you thought her greatest moment was in last week’s episode when she cursed him out and stuffed tissues in his mouth, think again.
We’ve established that Gordon is a jackhole, but when we see that he worked out some sketchy arrangement to keep his train set after the family lost everything, everyone could agree that he deserved to learn an invaluable lesson. He sold it to a collector but would be allowed to keep it for safeguarding? Oh, Gordon, that was smart.
He never should’ve added insult to the nanny/bankruptcy injury by saying to Renata, “Well, now that she’s gone, I need something to play with, don’t I?”
Bam! In what’s being hailed online as a Beyoncé “Hold Up” moment, Renata grabbed a bat from the wall and savagely beat the crap out of Gordon’s train set and the rest of his toys. All one could do was cheer and shed a tear like a proud parent watching from the sidelines. Home run, Renata. With that, she stormed out, saying, “That’s it! No more lies.”
Madeline’s little girl had divorce on the brain and clearly her concerns had merit. But Ed surprised us. In a heart-to-heart, he brought up how he and Madeline felt on their wedding day but admitted that they didn’t think about or live by the vows they took. If you thought Ed was going to have a Renata moment and verbally destroy Madeline while loading her stuff into a U-Haul, you’d be wrong.
Instead, he proposes they renew their vows and start with a clean slate. No party. No pomp. It was just the two of them and the girls. I think we all knew Ed wasn’t going anywhere.
Jane’s precocious son Ziggy wants his mom to be with Corey, because according to him, her whole face is different now. After some reflection and a sigh of relief over Celeste’s court case, Jane allowed herself to give Corey another shot. And no, he is not Perry’s brother.
We’ve been wondering all season if Bonnie was going to crack. Between the fantasies about smothering her mother and her incessant thoughts about “that night,” it looked like she would implode.
After a second stroke, her mother passed away, but not before Bonnie found some peace with her and told her mom she loved her. While packing up her mom’s belongings in the hospital, it feels like she is about to confess to a crime when she tells Nathan she can’t lie anymore. But gotcha! She tells him she’s not in love with him and walks out. That’s closure for two things with room for one more.
The Monterey Five
During the last 60 seconds or so of the finale, we see all the women kissing their children good night. Bonnie’s sequence shows her going to her altar like she’s about to end something. She then contacts someone by phone and leaves home. All the women’s phones go off that night, because apparently there was a message from Bonnie saying she was going to the police.
She parks outside the station and notices another car pulling up. It was Renata. One by one, the other ladies arrive. All five walk into the police station together. And scene.
Ultimately, the finale felt a little anticlimactic and predictable, but at least Celeste got to keep her boys and Renata’s temper made the world right. Fans are left wondering if the Monterey 5 will be punished, given a slap on the wrist, or if HBO will bring them back for a season three. As it stands, these questions are being left open to interpretation.