'Big Little Lies' season 2 episode 4 makes us wonder if Mary Louise is right after all as Celeste loses track of herself again
'Big Little Lies' season 2 puts us in a spot and makes us wonder if it is wise to leave the kids under Celeste's care in her mental situation.
Spoilers for 'Big Little Lies' season 2 episode 4 ahead...
'Big Little Lies' season 2 episode 4 begins with Mary Louise Wright (Meryl Streep) forcing herself into the circle of Monterey Five. Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) has organized a pumpkin carving party for the kids and Renata Klein (Laura Dern), Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley), Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman) and Bonnie Carlson (Zoe Kravitz) are all present with their kids. Who she did not invite for the party, of course, was Mary Louise. She forces herself in with a dish of cake. Not just that, she has also got herself an apartment where Jane and her son Ziggy live. We are as shocked as Jane is with the news because it is a tad bit stalkerish of Mary Louise to do so.
When Celeste tries to explain to her mother-in-law that moving into Jane's apartment might not be a good idea because there is something called the boundaries that one must keep in mind. Mary Louise is turning out to be more self-centered as the episode progresses, especially when she doesn't heed Celeste's advise. On top of that, she has the gall to tell Celeste that she is "not as convinced as you are that she was a rape victim". An argument ensues about why Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgard) was even with Jane the night the incident occurred and wonders out loud what was it that he needed "refuge from" and that's when Celeste slaps Mary Louise. If you thought Mary Louise would be taken aback, you are wrong. She only makes things worse with her perverse comment when she asks, "What should we call that? Foreplay?" This is a reference to Celeste confiding in Mary Louise about her husband physically abusing her.
We know she is gunning for custody over the twins Josh and Max Wright when she and Celeste sit down for a conversation after 'the slap'. She starts by saying, "I am worried about the kids." When Celeste asks why she responds, "Because, I think you are unwell, erratic." When Celeste tries to convince Mary Louise that she was fine, she reminds her of 'the slap'. Despite the apology, Mary Louise is not convinced and what follows is what gives us reason to believe that Mary Louise's attempt to gain custody of the kids is more about her trying to reinvent herself as a parent, undo the mistake she did with her sons and less about Celeste being unwell. When she speaks of how Perry blamed her for his father's accident and left, she says that she deserved the blame. Interestingly, the blame is something that Celeste is battling with as well, as we saw in the earlier episodes.
"People can move on after tragedy, just not together, sometimes," Mary Louise continues and it is clear that she wants Celeste to face what she did when Perry left. There is a hint there as if she wants Celeste to understand that her kids leaving her might not be a bad thing after all because it worked in Perry's favor after all.
When Celeste and her boys are enjoying at a disco party, thrown by Renata for Amabella's birthday, Mary Louise goes ahead and hires a lawyer to fight for custody. She is serious about this and when the lawyer cautions her about how this would alienate her from Celeste and the boys and while she might receive custody, but not affection, she responds that this is not about being liked. For her, it is just an opportunity to be a parent of the 'right kind' to the boys and she believes that Celeste is not. She does, however, try to make it into the twins' good books by bonding with them over pizzas and repeatedly reminding them of the version of Perry who was a good father.
When the kids come home to Celeste and find a strange man prancing around the house, it is clear that Mary Louise might just have found a way to not just alienate the kids from their mother, but also win the custody battle. The final showdown between Celeste and Mary Louise, however, does make us wonder if Celeste is in the right frame of mind to continue being a parent. She did take a drug and forget that there was a man in the house, she once before had ended up in a car without realizing how and as Mary Louise had put it, she is a mess. That doesn't necessarily make Mary Louise right, but she now has the means necessary to take the children away. When Dr Amanda Reisman pretty much tries to point this out to Celeste and asks her to settle, Celeste is adamant and what happens next is something we will have to wait and watch.
The fifth episode of Big Little Lies will air on Sunday at 9 pm on HBO.