WARNING: contains spoilers. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 1 here.
Last week’s return of HBO’s critically and publicly acclaimed drama series Big Little Lies saw ‘The Monterey Five’ desperately trying to keep their big little lies under wraps. With some degree of success too. Yet the remaining six episodes look likely to see the threads of those lies slowly pulled on until there’s nothing but the truth on display. For better or worse, for all concerned.
This week’s instalment, called ‘Tell-Tale Hearts’, really gets the ball rolling. There’s quite a lot of harsh truth for the five central characters to face up to and it’s revelation after revelation here…
In reality, there’s no other way. With the source material having ended alongside the final episode of series 1, what we’re seeing here doesn’t come from Liane Moriarty’s book. It was a novel that ended on the idea of a group of women holding a secret together, conspiring to obfuscate the truth for the greater good. The commissioning of this follow-up run simply had to see that truth emerge.
After all, 7 hours of Celeste, Madeline, Jane, Bonnie and Renata successfully lying wouldn’t make for particularly great drama, would it?
Here, in no particular order, are some of the secrets that were uncovered in episode 2:
● Celeste revealed to Mary Louise the truth about Perry
● Bonnie’s mum Elizabeth (Crystal Fox – the absolute highlight of episode 2…) told the family how her daughter is likely suffering from PTSD and trauma from Perry’s death
● Jeremy was arrested by the FBI for insider trading, effectively bankrupting Renata
● Jane explained to Ziggy who his father was and the violent circumstances of his conception
● Ed found out about Madeline’s affair from last summer with theatre director Joseph
For a drama about lies, we were drowning in truths here. It was an hour full of confessions, admissions and revelations. The importance of honesty within families and friendships was a key theme, whether it be between Ed and Madeline, Celeste and her twins (and then mother-in-law) or Jane and Ziggy.
Is honesty always the best policy? Is telling the truth always cathartic? Well, it depends on the circumstances. Reese Witherspoon’s character Madeline might not say yes to either of those posers after her explanation of her affair led to Ed (the impressive Adam Scott) leaving her. That said, it was as much her lies as the affair that drove him to tell her how they were ‘done’.
As for the central crime that drives the series, Mary Louise (Meryl Streep, as excellent as you’d expect) now seems to be seriously suspicious of Celeste and her pals after hearing the news that Perry was abusive. Although Bonnie seems to have calmed down a little. Apparently there’s nothing quite like a visit from an overbearing and intense parent to remind you how much you love your partner and kids.
We’ve got a fair few weeks before the biggest little lie of all is – probably – exposed, presumably by the dogged Mary Louise. Until then, there are more than enough engaging, involving and gripping subplots and threads to keep us tuning in to what is, two hours in, a series every bit as good as its predecessor.
What did you think of Big Little Lies series 2 episode 2? Let us know in the comments below!