Big Little Lies came to a close on Sunday night, finally delivering the closure fans of the HBO series so desperately wanted. While not everyone was pleased with how the show's second season played out, the Season 2 finale was satisfactory to most.
Warning: Spoilers for the Big Little Lies Season Two finale ahead...
The final episode opened with a look back on the big drama of Season 1: Perry's (Alexander Skarsgard) death. Celeste (Nicole Kidman), still struggling to come to terms with both the abuse and the loss she suffered, looked through old videos of her husband on her iPad. She smiled while looking back on fond memories, but was stopped in her tracks by a less pleasant capture.
Meanwhile, Renata (Laura Dern) was trying to come to grip with issues of her own. After filing for bankruptcy, the fallen socialite popped into a local Starbucks where she happens upon none other than Mary Louise (Meryl Streep). Renata took time out from shouting at the innocent barista to take aim at Perry's mother.
Ever a girl's girl, Renata slammed Mary Louise for being so hard on Celeste while she's grieving. Mary Louise was adamant that Celeste simply needed some extra hands on deck with her twin boys, but couldn't resist taking a dig at Renata. She quipped that nannies can be "more trouble than they're worth," which set the struggling mom/mogul off.
Renata bashed Mary Louise as a "judgey judger," ordering her to "keep your eyes on your own f---ing paper."
During this casual run-in, Celeste and Mary Lousie's respective lawyers were hard at work preparing for war — legal war, that is. In the midst of their prep, viewers were treated to a serious flashback to what appeared to be Perry's childhood. It showed him covered in something resembling blood, which threw some folks for a loop.
Finally, the time came for Mary Louise and Celeste's big showdown. Perry's mom took the stand first, at which point Celeste asked her if she saw her as a bad mom. Mary Louise carefully chose her words, saying she saw Celeste as "committed" despite her violent and sometimes unexpected behavior. As if that weren't enough of a jab, she went on to say she believed her grandchildren were in "imminent peril."
Celeste questioned why, if that were true, she never went to Child Protective Services. With that, Celeste had finally gotten a leg up on her mother-in-law. Mary Louise admitted in court that she only saw Celeste get angry once, and then fired off another poignant question.
"Did you ever lose your temper?" Celeste inquired, recalling a time Mary Louise was driving with her son Raymond, who died "because you lost your temper."
Mary Louise balked at the question, calling it "obscene," but Celeste didn't stop there.
"Did you ever blame him for causing the crash?" she asked.
As it turns out, prior to his death Perry shared with his wife that his mother told him he distracted her while driving, and caused his brother's death. Mary Louise was adamant that she's "a liar," and attempted to absolve her husband as abusive toward Celeste. She also tried to clear him of having raped Jane, claiming she was "mistaken."
In response, Celeste shared the iPad video she'd stumbled upon earlier in the episode. Apparently captured by their children, the clip showed Perry attacking Celeste.
Following the hearing, Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) congratulated Celeste on her big, bold move. Celeste wasn't convinced that she'd won more than a small battle, however.
"Maybe I'm not a good mother," she said.
After the hearing, Celeste faces one more challenge — talking to her boys about what happened. After learning about the confrontation with Mary Louise, one of Celeste's sons asks, "Did you beat her up?"
While she didn't, Celeste hadn't seen the last of Mary Louise for the day. Her mother-in-law charged to her front door, accusing Celeste of lying about Perry being abused growing up. Celeste doesn't entertain it, though. She locked the door and tuned out the tantrum.
"It's not fair! It's not fair!" Mary Louise shouted.
Outside the courthouse, Jane (Shailene Woodley) was working things out with Corey (Douglas Smith). She apologized for being a bit absent from their relationship and encouraged him to go out and have fun. He's adamant, however, that fun for him is spending time with her.
Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) meanwhile was still sitting by her mom's bedside. She took a moment to let her know how much she loved her, which viewers hadn't seen before on this season of Big Little Lies.
"It took me my whole life to say that," she said before picking up a pillow, seemingly to smother her with.
No more murders were committed, however. Bonnie was simply trying to make a space to cuddle close to her once-estranged mom. The next morning, her mother is awake and alert again.
Madeline's drama during the Big Little Lies Season 2 finale was largely internal. She spent a good portion of the episode beating herself up for spinning this tangled web in the first place.
"It's unraveling all of our friendships," she said during the episode to Celeste, who noted the real lie "is the friendship."
Celeste returned to court for a second time during the episode, this time with her suit-clad boys in tow. While they awaited the judge's decision, Bonnie's mom was shown back at the hospital after suffering what doctor's thought might be another stroke. Madeline, Bonnie and Jade were present for the hearing, which Mary Louise interrupted as only she could.
She said that she "had no idea" who son Perry really was, but after seeing the video Celeste showed in court she felt she needed to apologize — sort of. She maintained, however, that she wanted the best for the boys and felt Celeste was "complicit" in her abuse. Perry's mother even taunted her daughter-in-law a bit about alleged "social adventures" with other men during her marriage.
Celeste held her tongue until it was her turn, during which she held nothing back. She blamed Mary Louise for turning Perry into a monster, but assured her that her boys "will be good men."
The judge delivered her decision, which was to deny Mary Louise's petition and all was right in Monterrey, California once more.
After the hearing, viewers learn Bonnie's mom died. Nathan (James Tupper) tried to console his wife, but she did him one better.
"I'm not in love with you... I don't think I've ever been," she said.
Renata returned to her home to find Gordon playing with things he was meant to get rid of as part of their bankruptcy and she was furious. All her stuff was gone, while Gordon had been playing the game. She grabbed a baseball bat and went to work on his belongings.0comments
Meanwhile, viewers were treated to Madeline and Ed's vow renewal. Only their daughters were present for the seaside wedding.
Willie and Paula Nelson's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" started to play and viewers saw Jane and Corey dancing close, Renata spending time with Amabella, Celeste kissing a video of Perry and Bonnie driving off into the dark. The Monterey Five gather outside the police station and march inside, single file, before the Big Little Lies season 2 finale fades to black.