But the big big lie, that of Perry’s murder, is kept dangerously close to the chest. And similar to Poe’s unnamed narrator, certain suspicions and leftover traumas start to eat the Five from inside.
Celeste (Nicole Kidman) turns to softer memories
The episode begins like a dream as Celeste (Nicole Kidman) drives unconsciously with her eyes open. Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) comes to pick her up afterwards, and drives by Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) walking like a zombie at the side of the road. The force of what they’ve endured takes control of them like a psychological parasite.
This is especially the case with Celeste, who recalls some horrifying memories – unleashing some painful, recollective screams that simmer like third-degree burns. And she has good reason to be paranoid, considering her suspicious mother-in-law Mary Louise (Meryl Streep).
Writer David E Kelley ensures that there’s never a comfortable scene with Streep. Mary Louise is cold behind those loving smiles, nerves rising whenever she enters a room. She continues to be hilariously abrasive with Madeline, seemingly fixated on her – delving into another childhood memory to explain an ambiguous point: ‘Seek out the bully, make friends with her.’
Is this just a veiled translation of ‘Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer’? Could Madeline be a potential suspect?
Celeste turns to softer memories of her and Perry in the early stages of their relationship, and we see Alexander Skarsgård bathed in a warm light. In contrast to his more recent roles in The Little Drummer Girl and The Aftermath, where he’s softer than his shell, Perry is the opposite. He's soft on the outside, dark on the inside. Celeste tries to preserve that softer side, in memory.
Laura Dern nearly steals the show, again
The performances are, as always, overwhelming and difficult to praise in full. Has there ever been a story as enticing as this, as haunting as this, fronted with a cast as talented as this?
But saying that, Laura Dern nearly steals the show, again. Her reactions are explosively funny, delivering outbursts like savage stab wounds. Not to give too much away, but an event happens that threatens her wealthy livelihood and she captures her feelings in one loud and perfect declaration: ‘I will not not be rich!’
The plot of Big Little Lies happens organically around the characters, but it’s like there are outside forces at work (maybe we're paranoid?). By the end, there’s a scary confusion about who knows what about which lie.
With the more layered additions of Bonnie and Renata (Dern) in this season, there’s a lot going on and, hopefully, Kelley won't lose control of the various storylines. But each story is seductive, and they all flow together like a ripped tapestry of anger, tears and fears.
Big Little Lies season 2 continues Mondays at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic
|What||Big Little Lies episode 2 review|
17 Jun 19 – 17 Jun 20, 9:00 PM – 10:10 PM