'Big Little lies' season 2 finale paints mothers in unabashed messy glory with a fierce Celeste, a Renata storm and Mary Louise unraveled

'Big Little lies' season 2 finale paints mothers in unabashed messy glory with a fierce Celeste, a Renata storm and Mary Louise unraveled

This article contains spoilers for season 2 episode 7, the finale, titled 'I Want to Know'

'Big Little Lies' season two culminated with a lot of atonement. The heinous Mary Louise's (Meryl Streep) pretty despicable truth was brought to light, but she wasn't the only one. Along with her way of victim shaming and spitefully putting across her conservative beliefs with an air of passive aggression, we saw Mary Louise get pretty much obliterated by her newly widowed daughter-in-law Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman).

Meanwhile, Bonnie Carlson (Zoe Kravitz) struggles to open up about the truth on Celeste's husband Perry's (Alexander Skarsgard) death. That is a pattern too common between all the women who make up the Monterey five. As Celeste mentions at one point in the episode, "The lie is the friendship," and going by the big season 2 finale titled 'I Want to Know', all of those friendships came together to admit that the lies have gone on beyond their shelf lives.

Season two's finale lays the perfect foundation for Mary Louise to win the case. The face-off between the two was everything one would expect it to be, given the dormant volcano of suppressed emotions. Celeste questions Mary Louise on the older woman's own parenting skills, asking her whether she blamed her own son Perry for distracting her while driving with her other son in the car.


Celeste reveals that Perry had shared with her about the traumatizing memory of being blamed for his mother's death at the tender age of five. Mary Louise brands Celeste a liar and in that she is every bit as delectably despicable, horrendous, and irredeemable as she can be.

Laura Dern as Renata Klein and Meryl Streep as Mary Louise in 'Big Little Lies' season 2, episode 7. (HBO)

Mary Louise takes a public dig at Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) by insinuating that her claims of being raped by Perry was "mistaken". This isn't the first friend of Celeste she has chided in the same way. Earlier in the day, she chides Renata Klein (Laura Dern) for having a nanny and this comes right after Renata's husband Gordon came clean about sleeping with their nanny.

Mary Louise's demonic viciousness takes a whole other turn when she claims in court that Celeste's fondness for rough sex urged Perry to mistake boundaries when it came to Jane. But that's every mother in 'Big Little Lies' — doing the utmost to protect their child.


Back to the issue, Celeste has more memories supporting her claims, as is clear by a video of her getting shoved and beaten by Perry, which one of her twins had secretly recorded on his iPad. Celeste plays the clip in front of the entire courtroom, and by now it's clear where she is going with it: she wants to cite Mary Louise as a terrifying prospect for her son's caregiver and it was a damn smart move after all.

Within minutes, it is Mary Louise who is left shaken and unraveled while Celeste — unfortunate as it is — still considers herself a bad mother. As she tells Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) in the car, all her proofs were to establish Perry's abusive nature, not to back her credibility as a good mother — the latter of which Celeste deems is up for doubts. That's how far the gaslighting and ingraining of guilt still reigns within the newly widowed Celeste Wright, even though she practically took evil down with just a video clip.

Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman) in 'Big Little Lies' season 2 finale. (HBO)


The verdict runs in Celeste's favor at the next hearing but that does not come without Mary Louise's backhanded apology and a final attempt at chiding Celeste for her sexual indulgences since Perry's death. The episode is sprinkled with powerful lines from Celeste as a fiercely protective mother, which is a contrast to her lack of faith in the verdict being in her favor.

Even though she sternly corrects her sons for asking if she "beat" Mary Louise up at court, she sends away a frantic Mary Louise from the door saying "You lost your boys, you don't get to take mine." Later, at the final hearing, she assures that despite Perry's influences, her kids will grow up to be good men because she has saved them from every harm. "I have kept them alive and I have kept myself alive," she states, and everything seems to flow along from that point. 

But no discussion on the episode would be complete without acknowledging what a sheer badass Renata is. After the first hearing, she goes back home and sees her useless husband Gordon sitting with his toys — his precious set of trains which he has apparently sold off to a collector, but gets to keep them. And Renata loses it!


She does what should have been done at the beginning of the season when she found out about Gordon's stupid stock scheme that drove her to bankruptcy. Renata confronts Gordon about his toys and brings up how he has also been sleeping with their nanny, to which the useless moron replies that he needs something to play with now that the nanny is gone.

And the Medusa of Monterey snaps: she takes a baseball bat and slams pretty much everything in sight and hits Gordon in the chest too when he tries stopping her. "Maybe you should have shown a woman a little respect," she announces before letting him know she is done.



Madeline and Ed (Adam Scott) decide to renew their vows and do that in the most intimate, wholesome beach ceremony ever, which is attended by just the two of them and their daughters. Sadly, Madeline sees Ed's phone at the ending and something tells us he has received a text that Madeline shouldn't have seen. Luckily for Jane and her new beau Corey, things soar to new heights. Jane and Corey are the perfect indie romcom unfolding amid a thriller of chaos and hopelessness this season, and the two of them reconcile and expectedly sleep together after Ziggy does a much-needed clarity search for his mother. 


Sadly, Bonnie's mother passes away. But as a speck of silver lining, it was after Bonnie finally got to admit to her still unconscious mother that she loves her. But all this gives Bonnie the much-needed clarity as she tells her husband, Nathan, that she has never been in love with him.  The episode ends with the Monterey five gathering outside the police station and walking in together. Maybe it's time they came clean about how Perry actually died, but all we could see was a major arrow pointing at a season three!


Share this article:

 Big Little Lies season 2 finale spoilers review recap I Want To Know episode 7 Mary Louise Celeste