This List Contains Spoilers For Season 2 Of The White Lotus!
From the first scene of the season 2 premiere, audiences have watched The White Lotus with pitched interest, eagerly aiming to discern who would number among the dead. Naturally, the finale resolved this, yet it also demonstrated that The White Lotus is far more than a murder mystery with beautiful scenery and decadent ambiance. The show and this season even more so than the first is truly a satirical, yet an intimate examination of humanity’s relationship with desire, whether monetary, sensual, and/or spiritual.
In the wake of the entertaining and illuminating season finale, fans are desperate for a third season. Thankfully, it’s coming, and it looks like it’ll take audiences to Asia as it delves into death and religion, according to showrunner and writer, Mike White in the finale’s “Unpacking the Episode”. Nevertheless, the finale left audiences with no shortage of things to ruminate over in the meanwhile. From the nuanced, emotional character beats and moments of ambiguity to hilarious antics heightened by fraught stakes, everything and everyone was fair game for fans to react to as they do best on Twitter.
Spoilers No Context
As it had to wrap up and resolve various disparate, tense storylines, the finale had a lot on its plate, and it delivered. Yet, in just taking this tweet out of context, it might seem like The White Lotus is a far different show from what the buzz from fans says. Understanding what this alludes to, it’s quite remarkable that each of these beats played out effectively on its own, yet even better as part of the whole.
Of course, this reaction like many others is funny. While the intrigue, heightened stakes, and tone, might make The White Lotus gravitate towards drama, it is truly a hilarious satire at its core.
Better Than Season 1
The White Lotus was an unexpected smash hit for HBO. So much so that despite being developed as a limited series, it was quickly expanded to being an anthology series. The first season captivated audiences as it examined the interpersonal relationships between all the characters, the class structure, and money, and it set a very high bar for season two. For many fans, though, season two is better and even better proof that The White Lotus is top-tier HBO content.
Season one was a product of its time, relying heavily on the social and political issues fueling the public discourse. Conversely, season two was able to build on those strong foundations to focus solely on the characters, their motivations, hopes, and fears, and/or lack thereof. As such, the writing, pacing, and themes are more complex and fascinating. Now the hopes and expectations are even higher for season three.
Jennifer Coolidge At Her Best
From high points in Legally Blonde and American Pie, Jennifer Coolidge has many memorable roles under her belt, but Tanya McQuaid in The White Lotus might truly be her very best. She already earned the Emmy Award for season one, and following her journey and performance in season two, it seems like she’s got it on lock again.
Particularly, this season saw Tanya more tragic and lost than before, yet the finale was still a masterclass in comedy from Coolidge. True, she became a murderer and ended up killing herself, but Tanya was still at the center of the season’s funniest moments just during her time on the yacht. This bit of her trying to act inconspicuously in front of her companions certainly had viewers cackling.
Meghann Fahy, MVP
While this season was another fantastic showing for Coolidge, the season’s truest MVP and breakout star has to be Meghann Fahy. From the first scene to the very end, Daphne was utterly fascinating to watch. She was unexpectedly enigmatic, though the ambiguity that surrounded her and her instinctive aloofness doesn’t actually alienate the audience. Rather they draw the viewers in.
Daphne has some stellar quotes and shining moments, but none more so than during her conversation with Ethan in the finale. She learns not only that her husband probably cheated on her – or at least attempted to – but also that it was with Harper, someone she wanted to consider a friend. The hurt is translated purely and expertly by Fahy. It’s a moment that has fans demanding she gets an Emmy Nomination alongside Coolidge and Aubrey Plaza.
Tanya, The Gay Icon
Jennifer Coolidge is something of a gay icon, so hearing her spiral and say, “These gays. They’re trying to murder me.” was hysterical. Naturally, it got a plethora of hilarious reactions from viewers on Twitter, including this one referencing comments she made in Netflix’s Single All The Way.
Tanya is the epitome of self-centered, best demonstrated by when she hilariously asked Quentin if Greg was cheating on her, completely disregarding the fact that she shot him. However, she’s also so desperate for attention and validation, so of course, she wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to join up with a group of random gay men when they gave her what she sought, despite all the red flags.
A New First-Person Shooter
Fans had theorized left and write who would end up in body bags by the season’s end and who would be responsible for putting them there. The fact that Tanya was such a popular character and the only retainer from season one, logically, had fans expecting she would survive to return for season three. Instead, not only did Mike White kill off his muse, but he also made the culprit and season’s murderer.
While some of her antics on the yacht were undoubtedly hilarious, this climactic sequence in the final was downright shocking. The tension was amped up so intensely that each shot was more striking than the last. Of course, though, Twitter had no shortage of humorous reactions to an epic moment like this from comedian, Ziwe.
The Three Generations
For many of the characters in season 2, their arcs act like a self-fulfilling prophecy. That was very apt for the relationship of Harper and Ethan, who in the end find themselves closer to what Daphne and Cameron have. In the case of Albie, Dominic, and Bert, the former two were each hoping to be someone different from their father. However, the season showcased them all the same in a way by the end.
The perpetual cycle and generational pass of toxicity from father to son had been gradual until the finale. Albie, in trying to be a different kind of man compared to his dad, ended up being just like him and his life could follow the same trajectory with how he treats women and his relationships with love, sex, and money. This is solidified and perfectly encapsulated at the moment when all three of the Di Grasso men ogle a passing woman at the airport.
What A Pair…
The first half of the season showcases a budding connection between Albie and Portia, that is until the arrival of Lucia and Jack in their respective lives. In the end, both of them got played – Able out of fifty-thousand Euros and Portia out of her boss and job. Interestingly their paths cross once again at the airport, wherein they exchange numbers.
Portia learns that someone died at the White Lotus and other bodies were discovered on the yacht, easily discerning Tanya is likely among the dead. That realization passes by quickly to the point that she strikes up a new connection with Albie, showcasing a subtle change into someone quite like Tanya given her disregard for others’ feelings or situations.
THE Dynamic Duo
The season ends with a Thelma & Louise-esque sequence of Lucia and Mia joyfully walking away, not only unscathed from the seasons, but in far better situations than when it started. Mia is living out her dream as the musician for the White Lotus in Sicily and Lucia had scammed her way to a better life, presumably being able to use the deluge of money she got from Albie and Cameron in the finale to start anew away from sex work.
Clearly, Lucia and Mia are two of the best additions to The White Lotus in season two, and there’s stiff competition for that. In lesser hands, their arcs could’ve been inconsequential or tedious. Yet, their arcs were complex and deeply interwoven, and the actresses’ charisma makes it easy to fall in love with this pair of best friends – especially in light of the discovery that Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò are best friends in real life just like Lucia and Mia.
It’s hard to say goodbye to these characters and actors even if it’s only been a few weeks since the season premiere. In particular, it will be interesting to see how Mike White adjusts the show to accommodate for Tanya’s absences – although this tweet hilariously suggests an option, while others think they could set season three even before season one, so Coolidge could stick around.
The big question now is whether anyone from season two would be returning. Some think Daphne would be a perfect choice, especially if it features her on her own away from Cameron. Additionally, despite the telegraphed interest in Asia, some fans have expressed interest in a snowy, winter destination for season three, or something that really delves into politics. As such, there is no shortage of possibilities for what could come next, but overall, season three can’t come quickly enough.