HOLLYWOOD—This was the HBO series that came out of nowhere, “Big Little Lies.” It was a series that just had it all: fine acting, terrific narrative and surprises galore during its seven episodes. The second season of the series premiered this week and I will admit I was slightly underwhelmed, but still entertained. I guess I expected the first episode of the second season to deliver as strong as a punch as the first season. However, after thinking about it, it seems the writers are setting the stage for the juicy drama headed our way.
First, let’s give it to Meryl Streep, who steps in as Mary Louise, Perry’s mother and Celeste’s mother-in-law. Streep, who is just fantastic as an actress is a woman with a sharp tongue, and she is very perceptive. She knows there is more to the story involving her son’s death and in due time I think she’s going to get those answers.
At the core, the Monterey Five as Renata, Madeline, Celeste, Bonnie and Jane have been coined by the townsfolk, are keeping a major secret. I thought the ladies told the police Perry died as a result of self-defense, but nope. It was Madeline who stated he feel down the stairs. Now the audience knows none of that is true because Perry was pushed down that flight of stairs by Bonnie who came to the defense of the other ladies. Yeah, Bonnie is being eaten away by that secret, so much to the point; she has cut herself off from the rest of the ladies and has become cold to her hubby, Nathan.
Celeste has been having nightmares, grappling with guilt, just as Mary Louise digs into why her daughter-in-law is so rattled. However, the greatest dynamic of the episode was watching the spars traded between Madeline and Mary Louise. Mary Louise doesn’t like Madeline and Madeline doesn’t like Mary Louise. It’s like both ladies know the other has an agenda, it’s just a question who will win out in the long run.
I could sense the writers teasing at the possibility that Ed, Madeline’s husband might stray this season. I mean just look at his interaction at the supermarket with that woman who had a massive boost to her figure. I mean Nathan attempted to bond with Ed to breakthrough to Bonnie, but it ended up being a dead end. You could also sense the friction in the marriage between Renata and her hubby Gordon, who came home and immediately started to drown the drinks.
Another focal point of the episode was the battle between Madeline and her daughter Abigail who let dear ole mom know she had no plans to go to college. Madeline was not happy and let her daughter have an earful about her decision. Let me say this: Madeline will find a way to get her daughter into college, one way or another. Madeline is indeed the shaker and mover of the episode between confrontations with Mary Louise, school staff, her daughter, her ex-husband and even Bonnie, hoping that her pal didn’t rat her out.
Yes, Bonnie is on the verge of spilling the entire dirty truth to the authorities. I mean she walked to the police department, but came inches from entering the doors. When Jane dropped the bomb about their newfound fame to glory, the other ladies wondered if the case was truly closed. Renata alluded to an inside source who revealed that while the case isn’t closed the police doesn’t have anything on any of the ladies. Yes, we got teases of some of the statements form the ladies disclosing what they witnessed, but it was major teases. Why? We didn’t see them all.
Celeste and Jane bonded, just as I recalled that Ziggy (Jane’s son), is the brother to Celeste’s twins. The problem is Ziggy and twins have no idea that they are related. Celeste still seems concerned about her twins and their violent tendencies. I mean it’s very possible that Perry’s behavior might have really rubbed off on the boys. Jane has been receiving checks from Perry’s estate, but has refused to cash them which concerned Celeste. It’s a dicey situation, but I do see this secret coming to light at some point.
Perhaps one of the biggest highlights for me of the night was watching that dinner between Celeste, the twins, and Mary Louise. Mary Louise was very angry that her son has died, so much to the point that she emitted a scream that frightened the twins and shook Celeste. Celeste is thankful to have her mother-in-law in town, but it is indeed apparent she knows this woman is about to start digging for the truth. Hmm, Perry’s behavior might be explained by Mary Louise putting him on a pedestal. Your perfect son was not so perfect Mary Louise and his dark secrets are going to come to light.
The episode started and ended with a nightmare, but this time Celeste may have given her mother-in-law a crucial piece of information about a ‘murder.’ Hmm, we already know from episode one, once the gears starts moving in Mary Louise’s head they don’t stop! “Big Little Lies” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.