‘The White Lotus’: Does the Missing Klonopin Suggest Who Dies on Vacation?

HBO‘s limited series, The White Lotus, shocked viewers with the ending to episode 4, however, the missing Klonopin might also prove to be important to the plot. Fans aren’t any closer to figuring out who dies on vacation in the tropical Hawaiian paradise, but the theories continue. 

The White Lotus Episode 3 on HBO with Brittany O'Grady as Paula, Sydney Sweeney as Olivia with her arms crossed looking angry at Murray Bartlett as Armond
‘The White Lotus’ Episode 3 with Brittany O’Grady, Sydney Sweeney, and Murray Bartlett | Mario Perez/HBO

‘The White Lotus’ Episode 4 recap: Missing Klonopin 

When The White Lotus Episode 4 opened, Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) asked Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) and Paula (Brittany O’Grady) if they got their bag back. Finally, the college students find out who Tanya gave the bag to and track down Armond (Murray Bartlett). The resort manager backpedals his initial response about the missing bag. He realizes it must be in his office. 

Having turned over a new leaf, ready to get back to his sobriety, Armond takes the opportunity to give the bag full of drugs back to its owner. However, on his way there, Shane (Jake Lacy) interrupts Armond to complain about their boat ride. The newlywed calls the attempt at a romantic dinner on a boat at sunset a “dumpster fire.” The wealthy man also demands the number of Armond’s superior.  

Shane got under the resort manager’s skin again. He quickly runs back to his office and puts the drugs into his desk drawer before returning the bag to Olivia and Paula. Later in the episode, the girls realize that everything is missing except the marijuana. Paula is most upset about her missing Klonopin, so they track down the White Lotus manager again. He asks the girls for a list of the missing medications. However, they decline to write them down, probably because some are illegal.

Some of the White Lotus cast sits around a table at the resort for dinner
‘The White Lotus’ on HBO: Sydney Sweeney, Murray Bartlett, Connie Britton, Steve Zahn, Brittany O’Grady, and Fred Hechinger | Mario Perez/HBO

Is the missing Klonopin essential to the plot of ‘The White Lotus’?

Episode 4 of The White Lotus wasn’t the first time that Paula’s Klonopin was mentioned. In The White Lotus Episode 1, she tells Olivia about all of the drugs she brought along. The only one she doesn’t want to use is Klonopin because she needs them for her panic attacks. When Paula realizes that the prescription medication is missing in episode 4, she’s worried. However, Olivia’s mother, Nicole Mossbacher (Connie Britton), plays down its seriousness.

“Oh, what, is she going to have a seizure?” Nicole asks Olivia.

Many viewers commented, on Reddit, that Nicole’s comment felt like a foreshadowing of what might happen in the future. 

“Klonopin was originally an anti-seizure medication,” one fan wrote on Reddit. “While withdrawal can cause really unpleasant anxiety, panic, etc., one of the most dangerous things it can cause is seizures, even in those that don’t already have a seizure disorder.”

According to Very Well Mind, Klonopin withdrawal can cause “life-threatening seizures.” Could Paula be the one who dies on vacation in The White Lotus because of her missing Klonopin? It does fit with the plotline. 

The key art poster might hold clues

In addition to the foreshadowing from Nicole Mossbacher, The White Lotus key art poster might also hold clues about Paula and the Klonopin. Users in another Reddit thread noticed that the image shows lightning bolts heading straight for Paula’s head. Since the opening credit images seem to indicate things about each character, it wouldn’t be a stretch for the lightning to be another clue.

The White Lotus key art poster of the full cast
‘The White Lotus’ Key Art Poster | HBO

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“I also 100% think Paula accidentally dies,” one fan wrote on Reddit. “I thought about it the minute I saw the poster. I’m glad someone pointed it out.”

The White Lotus airs new episodes on HBO and HBO Max Sundays at 9 p.m. EST.