Nothing against all of the other ladies on this season of Big Little Lies (Sundays, 9 p.m., Crave), but after streaming the latest episode, “She Knows,” we’d be okay with a lot more Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) and Celeste (Nicole Kidman) in our lives. Especially as they prepare for the ultimate showdown: custody of the twins. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
Like the first three episodes of the series, not much actually happened plot-wise,but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of time to dive deeper into the characters as they continued living with this giant secret of Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) and the way he died. Renata (Laura Dern) dealt with Hubby’s betrayal and bankruptcy with an over-the-top party “for her daughter;” Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) freaked out over her mother’s medical scare and then again when the detective showed up at the hospital; Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) tried her best to get Ed (Adam Scott) to forgive her; Jane (Shailene Woodley) continued dating her kind-of-creepy co-worker—whom we still don’t totally trust, for the record.
But it was Celeste who had the biggest fall when she self-medicated, again, to the point of not even realizing there was a man in her house when MaryLouise returned with the twins from an over-nighter. We get it. Celeste is obviously having a harder time than the others in accepting Perry’s death (she was married to him after all), but her grief and conflicted feelings are coming out in all sorts of ways. Ambien. Being physical with her kids for misbehaving. Slapping MaryLouise when she showed up unexpectedly at the pumpkin-carving party.
“What should we call that? Foreplay?” Mary Louise quipped in a way that only Meryl Streep could after taking one for the team.
Of course that moment was probably the catalyst for Mary Louise finally reaching out to a custody lawyer and starting the process to get the kids. On one hand, you can’t blame her. She didn’t know her son was abusive and continues to deny the possibility but is it really fair to blame the mother for the child’s behaviour as an adult? We’re better than that. More importantly Mary Louise sees how much Celeste is hurting and how she’s been medicating herself into a semi-conscious state, and is concerned for the boys’ safety. She tried to convey as much to her daughter-in-law and was basically ignored, so what other option did she have than to get legal advice? At least she gave Celeste the papers herself, rather than having her be served in some surprising (and probably public) moment. And as she said to Jane when Jane barged in, all indignant about Mary Louise potentially taking Ziggy next, would Jane let Celeste drive Ziggy around in her current state? Well nope. Definitely not.
Still, there’s something that continues to be unsettling about Mary Louise. Getting a unit in Jane’s apartment complex just seems extra, for example. And the way she speaks to Madeline—while funny as heck—wouldn’t make anyone accuse her of being a nice person. Or maybe it’s that we’re predisposed to seeing Celeste as the good guy after season one orthe fact that Mary Louise is turning a blind eye to the bad things Perry did. We get that she wants answers about her son’s death—any mother would—but there’s also a very shady past there that we want to know more about.
Maybe this custody battle will be the perfect opportunity to learn more about the Wright family history . Either way, given how salacious and gripping the sparring scenes between Mary Louise and Celeste were this week (not to mention the fallout that’s happening as a result), we can’t wait to see more of them ASAP.