Saturday, June 29, 2019

What I’m Watching: Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies: Season 2, Episode 3 “The End of the World” (B+)

This episode cemented my belief that this season is far superior to the first, not only because the unnecessary framing device is gone but also because the material is infinitely more interesting. I realized when I wrote about how Laura Dern might win another Emmy that Meryl Streep is far more likely to triumph, though I continue to feel that Dern deserves the most praise for this season. Her chewing out the principal and repeatedly telling her husband not to speak to their daughter at the hospital were easily the episode’s best moments, and there were some fantastic scenes contained within it. Mary Louise is becoming a more complex and interesting character, not merely a sharp and disruptive presence, so terrified by the thought that her son could have been a predator that she is desperate to see and prove the good in him, something that Celeste actually agrees with both in her defense of his positive qualities and in the closing release she experienced while remembering him. Madeline isn’t doing terribly well, and going to therapy with Ed proved to be pretty disastrous. At least she’s bonding with her daughter. Jane’s relationship exploration is proceeding along at an acceptable pace, and dating a guy who wants to make sure his fish wasn’t farmed is probably a good sign of his eagerness to respect boundaries. Not much occurred on the Bonnie front in this episode aside from her advice to Jane about being open and honest, and her difficulty moving forward continues to threaten the stability of these five women that should worry Renata much more than Ed refusing to speak to his wife.

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