When HBO announced that it was putting together a limited series based on the book Big Little Lies by Australian author Liane Moriarty, AND that it was going to recruit Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Kravitz, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley to do it, well we were more than a little pumped.
But when we found out that they were only planning a total of seven episodes, we’ll admit it took the wind out of our sails. Especially since we’d read the book and these roles were so perfectly cast. We wanted more, dammit.
Surely, in this day and age the term “limited series” really meant that there would be another season of seven more episodes, right? Wrong. Because as we saw in Sunday night’s finale of the series, this story is pretty much over.
After trying to guess who was murdered, and how, all season long, we finally got answers to all of our burning questions on Sunday night. It was so well done that even for those of us who knew how the story ended it was pretty suspenseful. As Madeline dealt with her guilty conscience by downing more than a few spiked drinks, Jane was finally moving on with her life with Tom, the hot (non-gay) barista who’s been working up the courage to ask her out. Meanwhile things reached a terrible climax between Celeste and Perry, when Perry dealt her the worst beating we’ve seen to-date.
It was enough motivation for Celeste to finally put the plan she and her therapist had been working on in motion, and for her to set up the apartment for her and the boys. And just when she was starting to have second thoughts about leaving the father of her children, it came out that one of the twins, Max, was the one who was bullying the girls at school — not Ziggy. Apparently even though the boys had never seen their dad hitting their mom, they knew what was going on. Enough for it to affect them at any rate.
Unfortunately Perry found out about the whole plan just as they were heading out to the fundraiser, and he was obviously not happy about it. He begged and begged Celeste to give him another shot, but as far as she was concerned it was just all too late. And that’s when the real shit hit the fan.
As Jane comforted a drunk Madeline atop those deadly stairs, Renata apologized for her bad behaviour. Celeste searched desperately for her friends and thought she’d be okay once she found them, but Perry followed. It was at that moment that Jane first locked eyes on Celeste’s husband and realized that he was the same man who’d raped her more than half a decade ago. The look on her face not only told Madeline and Celeste everything they needed to know, but it also sent Perry into a rage. (Side note: we fell in love with Shailene Woodley all over again in that moment. What. A. Scene.)
And so in the end it was Perry who kicked the bucket, as Bonnie rushed to save Celeste from being beaten to death. She pushed Perry with her entire 100-odd pound frame and sent him flying down those aforementioned stars, which have been featured more than once in this series. Which means we totally should have seen that part, at least, coming.
Suddenly, all the moms who were at odds with each other for so long seemed to be perfectly in sync, as they all came to an understanding and forgave one another for all of the silly schoolyard stuff they’ve been squabbling over all season long. And thus, we got the birth of the new Fab Five, who are just as powerful as the ocean, if the strong imagery from director Jean-Marc Vallee is to be believed.
It was a pretty dark and twisty ending to a series that we’ve been more than addicted to these past few weeks. We feel for the twins now that their dad is gone, but really it was probably better that way for everyone involved; now Celeste doesn’t have to worry about looking over her shoulder or dealing with Perry’s rage, and Jane can get some closure for that awful, haunting moment from her past. Plus Ziggy gets two new brothers out of the deal, so there’s that.
As for Madeline? Well we’re not sure where she officially left things with Ed and whether she told him about the affair or not. But we can only hope that those two work it out because Adam Scott deserves all the best things. It certainly seems like they worked it out, at any rate.
And that’s exactly why this show shouldn’t come back for a second season. Not only is Vallee against it, but this is as closed-ended a story as we’ve ever seen. Sure, we wonder if this really big lie that the women tell in the end to protect Bonnie is the right thing to do, but isn’t that the point? We think so.
Then again what do we really know? At the end of the day we’d watch the heck out of anything these actresses work on together in the future. Wouldn’t you?