Big Little Lies season 2 premiere review: The sound of Mary Louise’s grief

Meryl StreepIt has been a while since we’ve had new episodes of Big Little Lies and for a while there we didn’t even know if there would be a season 2. This was originally supposed to be a limited series based on the novel Liane Moriarty, but with a reception as big as this one (and all the awards to boot) it’s not surprising that HBO wanted to turn this into a series and make a season 2. During the finale, Bonnie killed Perry in what some thought was a bit of a controversial ending (we don’t agree and think it made complete sense for her to try to stop Perry from hitting all the women).

Do we think she meant to kill him? Probably not, but with him throwing the women around like rag-dolls she had to take the only chance she had to stop it. The women decided to all lie and now this lie has bonded them together for life. One of the detectives investigating the death was never convinced that it was an accident that he fell down the stairs, so we suspect that this storyline may continue into season 2 – especially since we know that Bonnie is going to have a much bigger role this season.

In the early going of the premiere, we saw Bonnie back in Monterey after some time in Tahoe, and it seems as though she’s moving forward. Everyone in Monterey is, but then the gossip circles are out there referencing the “Monterey Five.” Who are they, precisely? Think of them like this — they are the five women who were there the night of Perry’s death.

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Bonnie is struggling to be a part of the group — she was always somewhat of an outsider and this is all the more apparent now. Personality-wise, she is still different from everyone else. Madeline, for example, is spending her time demanding her daughter go to college (and a good one) while also getting annoyed at Celeste’s mother-in-law Mary Louise (the amazing Meryl Streep). Mary Louise wants to get answers on what happened to her son (understandably), but she didn’t get a whole lot of anywhere with her search. Instead, she just got met with one roadblock after the next, including a planned story about how Perry “fell.”

So Madeline’s having a tough time. Meanwhile, Jane’s found herself a potential love interest at work — one who’s told her a thing or two about the Monterey Five nickname. She’s also not interested in cashing the checks because of what they are associated with — Perry. She’s worried about what Celeste thinks of her; she’s worried about everything and we understand why.

As we approached the end of the episode, we saw some footage of Madeline in questioning, where she recounted in greater detail what happened. It was Madeline in one of the darkest spots of her life.

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CarterMatt Verdict

Big Little Lies proved to be every bit as powerful as you would expect — from the crashing of the waves to the suddenness of the rage to the shattered memories. The season 2 premiere showed you the nuance and the difficulty that comes with comparing memories to reality. The Monterey Five all want to think of themselves as different from a singular moment that defines them. For Celeste, she wants to separate herself from Perry, even if mentally doing so is not that possible.

The one iconic moment of this premiere, for many, will be Mary Louise shouting to the void with grief in the middle of family dinner. That noise will ring through her grandchildren’s ears for years, and maybe that is what she intended. That was how she manifested her pain; for Celeste, they all came about in nightmares.

Here’s the other line to remember: Who are we planning to kill? That was the part of the dream that clearly, Mary Louise heard and understood.

What did you think of the Big Little Lies season 2 premiere and was it worth the wait? Leave us a comment in the box below with your expectations for the season ahead. If you want to keep up to date with all of our scoop on Big Little Lies then be sure to follow CarterMatt on Facebook for the latest news. (Photo: HBO)

This article was written by Jessica Carter and you can follow her on Twitter here.

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