Big Little Lies hit its stride this week, setting up some tantalising storylines as we head into the season’s home straight.
First up: Celeste, whose parental custody faces a serious obstacle: the acting abilities of Meryl Streep. A hearing looms for Celeste and Mary-Louise, the latter of whom has proven so Machiavellian since arriving this season that it’s hard to imagine her not putting one over on the judge too. Mary-Louise is a fine TV villain, a Gus Fring-esque, two-faced manipulator (in fact, I’d love to see her go toe-to-toe with Walter White – I think she’d go the distance). Losing custody of her twins is bad enough for Celeste, but (as should have been obvious) Perry’s death will likely be dredged up in court too. I’m calling it now: Bonnie’s going to crack.
Speaking of, Bonnie herself had a fairly quiet episode, and of late seems to live entirely through flashbacks. I’m just not invested in her dynamic with her mother, and her character seems so much less developed than the rest of the Monterey Five at this point. Bonnie’s main job this episode was simply to bear witness to Jane’s new boyfriend Corey leaving the police station. At best, he has some misdemeanours Jane is yet to learn about, but more likely he’s a police informant – maybe even a plant, interpolated into Jane’s life to find out what really happened on the night of Perry’s death. Poor Jane has had a terrible run of luck with men, and if she doesn’t end this season in cuffs she should probably up and leave Monterey.
Renata, perhaps this season’s most enjoyable character, was furious to lose her ‘Women On Top’ magazine profile, passive-aggressively shrieking at her assistant: “I said it’s not your fault!” Her hypocrisies are consistently hilarious, and I kind of wish she had more scenes in her own right, off in some boardroom somewhere yelling a middle-management men. Side-note: very much enjoying her husband Gordan, who just slopes around the house like a forlorn house cat.
That just leaves Madeleine, who went on a restorative, hippie dippie couples retreat with Ed, which could have been fun but lasted all of about 10 seconds (I guess more was shot but the scenes didn’t work out?) Her argument with Ed on the drive home was very well-written though, seeing Madeleine be painfully realistic. “All my future mistakes will be brand new ones [not adultery],” she promised – not exactly the most romantic vow (though I appreciated the honesty), and unsurprisingly it didn’t seem to work on Ed. He closed the episode flirting with an ex in a bar, presumably going for the ol’ ‘now we’re even’ thing, though Madeleine doesn’t seem like the kind of person to accept such a balancing of equations.
Episode 5 ‘Kill Me’ represented a peak in terms of the show’s children talking like adults, but it’s actually quite fun and I’m not here for realism anyway. Big Little Lies is a high-brow soap opera and this week the enviable cast had a script befitting them, after a couple of low-key episodes.
Big Little Lies is shown on HBO in the US and simulcast in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.