‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2: The 3 Most Fierce Characters

Big Little Lies boasts one of the most impressive ensembles HBO has ever seen. With Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, and Meryl Streep sharing the screen, each episode is a spell-binding dramatic splendor, oozing with equal parts suspense, sentimentality, and secrecy.

'Big Little Lies' Cast
Actors Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Nicole Kidman | Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

From a scream marked with unwavering despair to a sassy comeback or a silent gaze, Big Little Lies revels in its “juicy” appeal, without ever faltering to the narrative weakness inherent to many daytime soaps. The show is, at times, a darkly humorous exposé – revealing the intricacies of a nosey, wicked little town – and, at others, a story about friendship, commitment, family, and trust.

While Big Little Lies offers a diverse cast of characters, all bringing unique personalities to the table, certain characters are exceptionally fierce, or, to use a somewhat dated expression, “savage” in demeanor. This list will attempt to highlight the three characters who, whether through verbal or physical expression, are season two’s most fierce.

3) Reese Witherspoon’s Madeline Mackenzie: The clever one in ‘Big Little Lies’

Going head-to-head with Mary Louise Wright requires a certain finesse – a quickness of thought and an uncanny ability to remain calm when under suspicion. Mary Louise Wright is headed straight for Madeline yet, with retorts capable of rivaling Miranda Priestly, Madeline may stand a chance at keeping Mary Louise slightly off the mark.

Madeline is sassy and witty, yet her sheer degree of compassion shines through when it comes to Celeste and Jane; she boasts a protective, motherly nature, without sacrificing an ounce of badassery.

Though Madeline may appear ditsy as first glance, she exploits this false presumption to perfection, often leaving her exactly where she wants to be: in the power position. Madeline is outspoken and bold, a quality often characteristic of innocent individuals, which will likely continue to work in her favor throughout season two.

2) Laura Dern’s Renata Klein: The HBIC in ‘Big Little Lies’

“I will not not be rich!” yells Renata to her convicted husband following his white collar crimes. Though Renata Klein may sometimes seem superficial and money-hungry, she has worked her entire life to rise from the poverty-stricken existence she faced as a child.

Reaching the level of success Reneta has achieved required determination and grit, which – with her back now up against a wall – we will hopefully get to witness as the season progresses. Renata Klein loves her money like a dog loves a chew toy, but the designer clothing is not just pretty, it’s a daily reminder of the unfortunate life she has left behind.

Renata is also a helicopter parent who isn’t ashamed to make it known that her daughter is a “genius.” Disregarding social norms and eschewing what is traditionally considered “appropriate” behavior and conversation, Renata is savage simply because she owns who she is, what she has, and what she is capable of.

1) Meryl Streep’s Mary Louise Wright: Composure is her middle name in ‘Big Little Lies’

As for the living legend who recently invented necklace acting, need we say more? Mary Louise Wright, with a sny remark, a suspecting gaze, or a lifted eyebrow, never raises her voice or catches feelings during a verbal confrontation. Instead, she communicates distrust and asserts power with an admirable sense of composure.

Mary Louise has made her mission known: she will discover the truth. However, she will not do so by beating down doors, throwing stones, or forcing you into submission. She will knock politely on your door and, when you answer, she will stare deep into your eyes, as she searches for the guilt and fear you keep suppressed.

She will ask the right question. She will create the proper scenarios. She will mentally conceive of the perfect trap, hoping to find Madeline caught with the cheese in her mouth.