Big Little Lies 2, Episode 3: ‘The End of the World’, climate change & drama


SPOILERS for Big Little Lies, Season 2, Episode 3: “The End of the World”

In this week’s Gossip With Celebitchy podcast, I recommended that CB start watching Big Little Lies 2, because I was blown away by the soap-opera drama of Episode 2. Happily, CB did not take my advice because “The End of the World” SUCKED. I’m really tired of the holding patterns of some of these characters and while their daily self-absorption is “in character,” I find myself wanting to scream at them nonetheless. So, let’s get into it.

Ed hasn’t forgiven Madeline. It’s been, like, days, and of course he hasn’t forgiven her after he found out about her affair. After his big dramatic “it’s over!” speech last week, it turns out that he’s agreed to go to couples counseling with her, to the same therapist who’s seeing Celeste (this poor therapist). Therapist is like “Madeline cheated because she didn’t go to college” and I’m sitting here like “wait what????” Ed later has passive-aggressive coffee with Bonnie – Ed and Bonnie actually just had a nice little five minutes with each other and Madeline was instantly jealous and upset. Madeline: “How long are you going to punish me?” Honey, you cheated. It’s been a week! Give him a second.

Bonnie is drowning. It actually felt like Bonnie perked up a bit in this episode, but she didn’t have a ton to do. She seemed genuinely happy to see Jane while Jane was watching Ziggy take surfing lessons with Jane’s new boyfriend/ish. But we kept seeing flashbacks of when Bonnie was a little girl and her mom teaching her how to swim by just shoving her underwater. At one point, I thought Bonnie was going to do a Virgina Woolf and walk into the ocean.

Renata needs to jump off a cliff. I know we’re supposed to think she’s so funny and that Laura Dern’s delivery of all these insane lines is spectacular, but mostly I just feel sorry for Renata’s poor daughter, having to deal with the end of the world, her dad going to prison and her mom being a f–king self-absorbed whackjob.

Madeline’s tearful speech about climate change. It was Peak Cringe but Reese was like “g-ddamn it, I AM GOING TO WIN THE EMMY THIS TIME.”

Jane is mostly fine. Jane has started dating a guy who seems like he’s on the spectrum, and he’s nice and respectful of her boundaries. He tries to kiss her but she’s like “I need to idle in neutral” and he’s like “okay!”

Jane meets Mary Louise. The big thing was that Mary Louise (Perry’s mother) is basically stalking Jane and Ziggy. Mary Louise is completely and totally inappropriate here, asking Jane to take a paternity test for Ziggy and asking for details about Jane’s rape. Mary Louise is an absolutely awful person, and don’t give me this sh-t about how “she just loves her son.” No. She’s utterly inappropriate throughout.

Celeste is in bad shape. At first I thought the therapist was trying to move too fast by suggesting that Celeste needs to move past Perry, but now I see what the therapist was doing. Celeste is going to rewrite her marriage until Perry becomes a saint. Mary Louise is right there with her, hovering and making Celeste feel like a bad mother who was never good enough for Perry. Oh, and Mary Louise snooping through Celeste’s drawers… how inappropriate. These people are awful. Mary Louise and Celeste are in their own cycle of abuse too, have you noticed that?



Photos courtesy of HBO/Big Little Lies.

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37 Responses to “Big Little Lies 2, Episode 3: ‘The End of the World’, climate change & drama”

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  1. Patty says:

    This is exactly why the show didn’t need a second season. It was supposed to be a one time limited series. Ditto, with Sharp Objects, which I hear is also getting a second season.

    • Alissa says:

      nooooo, Sharp Objects DEFINITELY does not need a second season.

    • smcollins says:

      Eh, a second season may not have been necessary but I’ve been enjoying it. Everyone (and I mean *everyone*) is so great in their roles, which is really what makes it worth the watch. Now a second season of Sharp Objects? Not so sure about that one, despite all of the fantastic performances.

  2. Jenns says:

    I was really disappointed in last night’s episode. It felt like a bunch of deleted scenes just randomly thrown together. It’s a shame, because they have stuff to work with, but nothing last night moved the story forward.

    Laura Dern is still the MVP for me though.

  3. trace_smiles says:

    I am sucked into watching it but, I also know by the end of the season, I will hate every single character with the exception of maybe Jane, Ed and Bonnie.

  4. Alissa says:

    it does make sense to request a blood test for Ziggy, especially from the perspective of Perry’s mom. but the way she went about requesting it was so disgusting and atrocious that I don’t understand how Jane ever had a second meeting with her. The woman is trash.

    I’m genuinely sick of Renata’s storyline. She was a character that worked in very small doses last season and I am not all that interested in her having the main storyline this season. she’s terrible. and I think she’s the only character that is a bad mother.

    • manda says:

      ITA with you that Mary-Louise is trash!!! Why do you think it makes sense to get a blood test? Jane’s not trying to prove paternity and she doesn’t want support (although celeste is apparently providing it, as mentioned in the first ep, I think). Mary-Louise just wants to know, and that is not reason enough. And because she is hoping that Jane is lying about Perry being the father. I can’t believe the restraint it took Jane to not scream “FFFFFFFF YOU!” in Mary-Louise’s face. I never would have sat down with Mary-Louise like Jane did, and I would have called the cops when she showed up at my house. Grandparents don’t have rights like that, (unless the law has changed and I don’t know).

      ITA with you on Renata! I liked her freaking out at her (creepy) husband last week, but she ruined it all with how rude she was to that doctor this week. And Amabella’s teacher! I agree that she is not teaching her daughter the way to be a good person

      • onerous says:

        Grandparents absolutely do have rights like this – and you hear about it frequently when one parent has passed away. The grandparents still want to be in the child’s life.

      • manda says:

        I don’t think so in the case with Ziggy, she has no previous relationship with him.

        ETA: I do see that many states now have laws for grandparent visitation, and that has changed since I was in law school. I still feel like this is an unusual situation, and I would hope that it wouldn’t be applied without consideration of the facts. I really hope we don’t start hearing about the parents of rapists trying to see the children conceived by their rapist sons.

      • Algernon says:

        @ manda

        Poke around family courts in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It absolutely happens. They even try to get custody sometimes.

      • Arizona says:

        I think it makes sense because Jane is telling everyone that Perry is a rapist and the father. Those are bold claims, and if they were talking about my son, I would want to know whether it was true or not. And even though Jane is not planning on asking them for anything, Ziggy would still be entitled to things.

        Obviously we as an audience know that Perry was a terrible person, so it’s easier for us to understand Jane’s perspective.

        (I actually think having Perry be the rapist was a weak point in both the book and the show. They did a good job of showing how an abuser could be loving and also terrible to the people they love, and by turning him into an evil rapist they made that depiction less clear. Especially in the book, where they went into detail about how he degraded Jane about her looks and weight the whole time he was raping her.)

  5. Eleonor says:

    If Perry turned out the abuser he was he might have been abused too.
    And Maryl Streep as Mary Louise is scaring the hell out of me.
    Celeste is an abuse victim, she has stopped a cycle but she is recreating a new one. God help her.

  6. Nicole R says:

    I really liked how accurate the Mary Louise character is – she is so manipulative and emotionally abusive. This is exactly how the mother of the abuser can be. She is outwardly being nice and maternal but actually gaslighting and undermining to Celeste

  7. Sharonk says:

    This show is a vanity project for these actresses, all overacting.
    Spoiled non-interesting characters. Implausible plot. Should have been one season only.

  8. Tw says:

    Mary Louise. Jane. Bonnie. What year is this supposed to be taking place? 1884?

    • Ziggy says:

      Big Little Lies is a novel set in Australia. Those are common names there and in the UK. Classic names that never really go out of style and are actually gaining in popularity. The little girl in Toy Story 4 is named Bonnie. And, Mary Louise is a grandmother. The young kids have more trendy names.

    • minx says:

      Meryl Streep’s real name is Mary Louise. I would say Jane is a classic name that has been around for centuries.

  9. elimaeby says:

    Does anyone know who the actress who plays Amabella’s therapist is? She looks/sounds SO familiar to me. Google and IMDB have been no help so far and it’s driving me crackers!

  10. ReginaGeorge says:

    Are we watching the same show?

    I thought last night’s episode was good. And Madeline’s speech was clearly NOT about climate change. It was about having to deal with reality and ish hitting the fan after being sold fairy tales all of our lives. Like when Celeste tells her sons everything is fine, but they know it’s not and they’ve pretty much told her it’s not what they want to hear. When she brought up school shootings and how we don’t prepare these kids for the crazy world they currently have to live in. She was also taking about her marriage on the DL and working through her feelings, even if that wasn’t the place lol. I thought it was a great scene for her.

    Also I hate Mary Lousie. You can totally see where Perry got some of his issues from. I felt so bad for Jane. And now she’s creeping around Ziggy like a stalker. Gross.

    Renata is rags to riches who is reeling at the thought of going back to rags. But she’s an entitled bitch and refuses to see the damage she is inflicting on her daughter. I though it was interesting that her husband mentioned she’s been acting particularly closed off for about a year, the same thing Bonnie’s mother noticed about her. The Perry situation is affecting all of them.

    Speaking of Bonnie, did anyone catch when she told Jane that she was a hypocrite because Nathan doesn’t know who she really is either? I wonder if it’s just about her keeping the truth about what happened with Perry from him, or if there is more to it. Bonnie has a traumatic past that’s only been hinted at. I’m curious to see that develop more.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      Thank you for saying what I was going to say…

      I find this season on POINT regarding old ghosts that always come back to haunt (Bonnie)…new ghosts that immediately transmute into monsters (Renata)…coming to the realization that you’ve been your OWN worst enemy (Maddy)…making peace with your demons (Jane)….and ignoring that your angels are really demons (Celeste & Mary-Louise)

      I’ve enjoyed it…IMMENSELY!

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        Yes. There are nuances at play that are building up to explode in all of their faces. I’m loving this season and I’m interested in all of these women’s back stories, including Renata. She seems like she’s had to claw her way to where she’s at and I suspect she’s standoffish and combative in general for a reason.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Exactly. Madeline’s speech had nothing to do with climate change. The principal wanted a parent to come up and speak about his/her views on the school climate change curriculum and he called on her first because she was talking when he asked, a typical teacher move. Madeline wasn’t planning to or prepared to talk about climate change at all and that was just a rambling dissertation on the state of her life.

      All of these women are traumatized.

      The music last night was wonderful

      • Sue Denim says:

        The music throughout has been amazing! And I also like that they’re touching on broader menaces in society today, kind of on a continuum of violence and abuse from Perry to school shooters to climate… I just listened to Eve Ensler on Marc Maron’s WTF, incredibly powerful on this and worth a listen. And as antidote, the Mr Rogers doc… I was skeptical of this season but am interested to see where it goes…

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree! Last week was so stellar everything was going to seem less than by comparison, but it was still really good.
      Mary Louise stalking Jane and Ziggy was very worrisome. Poor Jane, trying to be nice and connect, and ML is going on about how wonderful Perry was.
      ML is awful, really awful, but at the same time I feel a little hint of sadness for her – she’s now lost both her children, and she’s finding out her perfect angel son was a monster. I hate that she won’t listen to them and is gas lighting them into thinking they’re wrong, but it would be horrible to learn those things about a person you loved and thought the world of.
      The therapist gets Madeline. She’s intimidated by the more educated or successful women around her.

      I have no problem with the characters being unlikable, because they are complicated and interesting. Male characters get to do that all the time. Women, not so much.

  11. Harryg says:

    They have very good child actors in this show.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      Aren’t those Babies…ALL AMAZING?!?!

    • Jensies says:

      Yes, absolutely, and little Sky gives me chills whenever she looks at the camera in the opening, BUT. . .WHAT HAPPENED WITH ZIGGY’S HAIR. This is an actual crime.

  12. Algernon says:

    Mary Louise is horrible but she’s supposed to be horrible. You can see how Perry turned into such a monster with that as his smother-mother.

  13. Arizona says:

    So Renata is “poor” now but she’s still living in the same house, with the same car, and her daughter is still attending the fancy school. I’m confused. Has the bankruptcy paperwork not gone through? They haven’t repo’d the car?

    • Lala11_7 says:

      When uber rich people state they’re “poor”…it’s on a WHOLE DIFFERENT LEVEL than us….

    • lucy2 says:

      I think in the previews she’s handing over keys, so all that’s coming.
      It’s a public school, not private.