Big Little Lies Season 2, sadly, does not end with a bang.
This post for Big Little Lies “I Want to Know” contains spoilers.
Big Little Lies is and will always be one of the greatest television shows ever made, especially in the #MeToo and #TimesUp era; but I would have preferred for the series to end in Season 1, had I known how the writers intended to end Season 2.
In “I Want to Know” (2019, directed by Andrea Arnold), each of the Monterey Five receives some form of closure for the issues that they are going through in their own lives, though some of the character decisions feel somewhat questionable. The courtroom drama between Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) and Celeste (Nicole Kidman) ends with the latter winning the custody of her own twins, thus making Mary Louise leave Monterey Bay for good. Bonnie’s (Zoë Kravitz) mother Elizabeth (Crystal Fox) passes away from a stroke, and following that, Bonnie decides to tell her husband Nathan (James Tupper) that she has never been in love with him. Renata (Laura Dern) sort of breaks up with her husband Gordon (Jeffrey Nordling), after trashing his prize possession which is a collector’s toy train set. Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) renews her wedding vows with her husband Ed (Adam Scott). Jane (Shailene Woodley) finally moves past her trauma and gets together with her love interest Corey (Douglas Smith).
“Maybe you should’ve shown a woman a little respect!” – Renata Klein
“I Want to Know” literally ends off with the Monterey Five accompanying Bonnie into the police station, which hints at all the characters finally admitting to the lie they told months ago. The ending felt utterly anticlimactic, especially with all the drama that was build up throughout Season 2. It felt like this season was all about exploring these women’s lives (mainly Celeste’s) and how they were going to move past Perry’s (Alexander Skarsgård) death in Season 1. I guess what I’m disappointed by is the fact that there isn’t any sort of surprise ending in the finale. It seems apt for the women to confess about the crime together, seeing how they have become their own “ultimate force of nature” through both seasons.
As a whole season, there were certainly some satisfying moments, especially with the snarkiness of Renata’s character and the addition of Streep—but as to how the series concluded, I feel dissatisfied. The problem definitely lies with the weak story buildup of the characters, but all the brilliant actors involved definitely used what they were given to give the performances of their lives. It’s most definitely possible for creator David E. Kelley to continue Big Little Lies with a Season 3, but I guess with the critics’ reactions of Season 2, it’s better to leave this series alone for now.