With just one episode to go before Season 2 wraps, the Monterey Five are gearing up for their final showdown with calculating mother-in-law/grandma/meddler Mary Louise Wright (Meryl Streep). (A note: spoilers for episode six follow.)
Secrets start to emerge, but meanwhile, a report in IndieWire revealed Big Little Lies has also faced its own secrets, behind the scenes, revealing why Season 2 has felt so choppy.
Andrea Arnold, this season’s director, was hired for Season 2, but crewmembers said her take on the show which was essentially thrown out after production, then patched up with Season 1’s producer, Jean-Marc Vallée's, style in the editing process and final days of photography.
This season has suffered for not being as well put together as the first, in both storyline and visual interest, and now some of the secrets that explain why are out.
The problems go further than visual and storytelling challenges, for a show meant to uplift and empower women characters. "The optics were not lost on many associated with Big Little Lies," IndieWire reports. "A show dominated by some of the most powerful actresses in Hollywood hired a fiercely independent woman director—who was now being forced to watch from the director’s chair as scenes were shot in the style of her male predecessor."
Inside the show, meanwhile, the women who comprise the Monterey Five are in various stages of personal struggle as they try to keep hold of their own narratives.
This episode opens after Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) tells Jane (Shailene Woodley) about her boyfriend’s association with the police department, leading to a confrontation at his house. He tries to play it off as though he'd been called in for questioning, but Jane works to avoid all contact with him during this episode while he continually tries to force his way back in. It’s probably best to not trust him for now, knowing how easy it might be to let the lie slip around someone she trusts.
Bonnie may have buried a land mine in her mom (Crystal Fox) by confessing Perry’s death—and for blaming her mom for a painful childhood that drove her to kill. These might be her final words to her ailing mother, but on the off chance she recovers, she now knows the lie.
Renata (Laura Dern) finds out through bankruptcy hearings that her husband, Gordon (Jeffrey Nordling), repeatedly slept with their daughter's babysitter. Already on the edge of forever losing respect for him, she loses her temper, going as far to stuff tissues into his mouth while he is driving.
Meanwhile Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) continues the good fight to win her husband Ed (Adam Scott) back over while he secretly considers having an affair of his own. He comes home one evening to find Madeline in her wedding dress, buttons unable to completely close, and veil on her head while playing a song he picked for their wedding. Although he told her previously that there is no magic wand to fix their relationship, walking in to see her like that seems to come pretty close. It seems like Ed just needs to know Madeline actually feels pain from her infidelity, too.
Celeste (Nicole Kidman) is either digging her own grave or putting Mary Louise behind bars by taking over the courtroom, asking for Mary Louise to be determined fit to care for Celeste’s twins and to interview her on the stand. The judge approves both, but cautions Celeste to not interview her mother-in-law.
Jane confronts Mary Louise, where the tables quickly turn. Mary Louise, fired up about her legal battle to seek custody of two of her three grandchildren, threatens Jane’s custody as well and slams the door on her. It’s clear now that the Monterey Five are getting to Mary Louise and she is working to do everything to claw back at them.
The finale is next week, but the penultimate episode six left viewers with no plot of emotional closure.