'Big Little Lies' season 2 episode 5 hints at a new threat for the Monterey Five amidst nasty custody battles
Celeste Wright has the toughest decision to make as Mary Louise gets relentless trying to take custody of her sons, but the slightest slip up in her testimony could turn the Monterey Five into suspects.
This article contains spoilers for season 2 episode 5: 'Kill Me'.
Most of season 1 of the HBO drama 'Big Little Lies' worked towards a big reveal that arrived with the finale and now season 2 is wasting no time revealing big and little things right from the beginning, which has only been tensing up as we go further along. Just five episodes in, things are heating up with a custody battle emerging between the newly widowed Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman) and her mother-in-law, Mary Louise (Meryl Streep), but there's a whole other ongoing mystery in the episode titled 'Kill Me', surrounding Bonnie Carlson (Zoe Kravitz) and Jane Chapman's (Shailene Woodley) new man, Corey (Douglas Smith).
Once again, the episode uses the classic trope of a flashback to induce a sense of disbalance that has been prevalent since the ominous trivia night from season 1. That is the night that Celeste and her group of friends, aka the Monterey Five had, mid confrontation, accidentally thrown her abusive husband Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgard) down the stairs, resulting in his death. The five have since maintained the lie that Perry's death was an accident, but with each episode of season 2, their lies keep getting closer to being busted. The latest of those issues can be seen in the custody battle where Mary Louise is trying to cite that Celeste's alcoholism and perpetual daze since Perry's death makes her unfit to parent her twin sons, Max and Josh.
The custody battle is an added nuisance not only for Celeste but for the rest of the five too because as Celeste informs them mid-episode, the only way she can gain full custody of her kids is by testifying with her cover-up of Perry's death; slipping up on which could turn all of them into suspects. And the alternative - pleading the fifth - would mean she will lose custody of her kids. It is at this point that the fierce and sassy Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) reminds them that nobody could bust their lies, but Bonnie steps in to address the elephant in the room: What if they can?
Funnily enough, the episode ends also with Bonnie realizing how capable Monterey's civilians are of busting the five's lies. With her mother, Elizabeth having suffered a stroke, Bonnie has been spending a lot of time caring for her unconscious mother in the hospital and is for the time being amply saturated with unpleasant flashbacks of her mother's stern, borderline abusive parenting. Later on in the episode, Bonnie's father shows up (to both her and our shock!) and decides to finally help. There's an interesting conversation between the two, where Bonnie accuses him of never protecting her, but it becomes all the more intense with him telling her that her mother keeps murmuring in her semi-conscious state about Bonnie "drowning." When Elizabeth finally wakes up, she says "kill me."
All of this prompts Bonnie to go to the police station - another one of her impulsive episodes probably - but this is where enlightenment dawns. After five whole episodes of watching Jane's coworker, Corey be the perfect boyfriend - the most recent one being in this episode where mid-make out Jane breaks down, and Corey spends time comforting her - turns out he might not be all that much of an ally for the five after all. As Bonnie reaches the police station, she sees Corey walking out of the building; we don't know why he was there, as the episode ends with the teasing cliffhanger leaving us wondering whether he is an undercover cop or a felon. But we know Jane is slowly opening up to him and divulging their secrets to someone associated with the police is the last thing the five need right now.
In other stories, Madeline and her husband Ed (Adam Scott) are undergoing relationship exercises prescribed by their therapist - not all of which Madeline can take seriously. But Ed is dead serious about their predicament, as he reminds her that her affair has left him to spend the rest of his life with a woman he can't trust. Renata Klein (Laura Dern) tries to be the good friend to Celeste and gives Mary Louise a piece of her mind, but the older woman once again works her snide ways under their skin, pretty much shading Renata for being a working mother. In terms of misery associated with the characters individually in this episode, there really is no pointing who's in the worst position here, but we're going to go with Celeste because she is at the risk of losing all she holds dear: it really is either her kids or the Monterey Five and that can never be easy.
'Big Little Lies' airs on Sundays at 9 pm only on HBO.