Well, here we are. This is probably the end of Big Little Lies. That may or may not be for the best.
See, Big Little Lies is a show with a lot of good actors doing good acting. However, I am not so sure it had much of a story to tell this time around. True, Mary Louise made for a very compelling and competent villain. She was a lot like her son, only her methods were less physical and more emotional. And given how she treated all the other women on the show, there’s something wonderful about all of her techniques being used against her in court.
Because, ultimately, that’s how Celeste prevails. We’ve seen Mary Louise, in that quiet, steady voice of hers, run roughshod over Renata, Jane, Madeline, and Celeste. Really, Bonnie seems to be the only one to avoid dealing with the older woman. There’s some irony there since Mary Louise wants to bring her son’s killer to justice, but the guilty one is the only one she leaves alone.
Yeah, she outright says Celeste killed Perry in court.
Except, one thing Big Little Lies established in its first season is Celeste is actually a damn good lawyer. Letting her question Mary Louise in court, all while keeping herself calm and composed for the first time in ages, actually works. Sure, Mary Louise can cast serious doubts on Celeste’s parenting. But you know what else works? Doing the same to Mary Louise. It helps that Perry told Celeste a few things about the accidental death of his brother and the twins got some video of Perry beating her up.
Oh, and getting Mary Louise to victim blame both Celeste and Jane in court didn’t help the older woman either.
Yeah, by this time, we finally have Celeste keeping Mary Louise out of her house. We also have Renata going volcanic on her. That was satisfying.
But this is also a show where, even after she wins in court, Celeste has her boys give their grandmother a hug. She didn’t have to, and as much as Mary Louise caused problems, she wasn’t exactly evil. Manipulative? Sure. But she wasn’t a mustache-twirling villain.
As for the series, it gave each of the women a dramatically satisfying conclusion. Jane’s tentative romance is going well. Renata and Bonnie both ask for a divorce in very different ways. Madeline and Ed renew their vows.
And because Bonnie can’t hold in the lies anymore, she also goes to the police station in the episode’s closing minutes. The other four women go with her. There are consequences to face, perhaps for all five of them.
We’ll probably never know what those consequences are.
One of the disadvantages of Big Little Lies high-powered cast is most of them work in film and tend to be busy. It was amazing enough to get two seasons out of this show. And as much as the second season lacked the ongoing mystery of the first, to say nothing of the sense of urgency any good drama more or less requires, ending it now is probably the right move.
Besides, as much as I dug Renata more in season two, she really seemed to be on a completely different show half the time.
Let’s say for season two we go with 8 out of 10 train wrecks. This second season was good, but never felt all that essential.
But hey, we need something new for Tuesdays. Let’s go with that Dark Crystal thing Netflix dropped recently.
We could all probably use more creepy puppets in our lives.