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Big Little Lies Season 2 Episode 6 ‘the bad mother’

‘Big Little Lies’ is powerful, but it also has to be careful.

Warning! Spoilers for Big Little Lies below.

The story so far: Mary Louise tries to make a deal with Celeste. The twins and Ziggy are getting closer. Madeline tries to prove Ed she is trustworthy, as he faces a tough decision. Bonnie is on the verge of breaking down. Renata is facing a major change in her life. Jane is trying to get over the events of the past. While doing so, she continues to get closer to Corey. The police are becoming more involved. 

The police have always loomed in the background of the second season of Big Little Lies. Detective Adrienne Quinlan – who has doubted the “Monterrey Five” from the beginning – has made sporadic appearances throughout the season. More powerful than these reminders has been how the women themselves have taken it. As is par for the course, Madeline is caught up in her own world. Meanwhile, Renata is dealing with an unexpected but life altering issue. Bonnie, Jane, and Celeste have carried much of the load.

Celeste and Jane have been tied together during the season. One of the odd oversights of the first season is how much Jane was seemingly shuffled to the background. Both women have had to navigate life after Perry. This includes dealing with Perry’s mother, Mary Louise, while also bringing their sons together In episode six, Jane also makes a dramatic effort to come to Celeste’s rescue. It makes sense and is good to see this increased involvement from Jane.

Unsurprisingly, Bonnie has dealt with the most this season. She is not in danger of losing her money and is not dealing with infidelity. However, she is the one who pushed Perry down the steps. This has weighed on her the entire season. It has also affected her marriage and her relationship with her friends. BLL has done a good job of showcasing her regret, fear, and paranoia.

This episode is also fast paced and tense. This can be a hard feat to pull off. Usually, when things move at a quick pace, there is no time for the audience to appreciate the gravity of what is going on. In the sixth episode, the show bounces between its stories deftly. Almost every scene leaves an impact on the viewer. The episode does a great job of constantly keeping the viewer in suspense. Stories are about to come to their conclusion making each moment very exciting.

There are some missteps during the episode. The show ends on three back to back scenes that are very over the top. The show has no problem entering into melodramatic territory, but this sequence was a little much. This includes one of the characters calling a surprise witness while the judge is reading their verdict. The silliness continues when the same character then says they will be doing the questioning.

It has also become clear the  show has no idea how to write about actual work. It does a great job of conveying the lives of the rich, but everyone job is just given lip service. For example, Renata has a window office and therefore is powerful. She has (had?) money, but what does she do? Viewers have already met an awful psychiatrist. Here, there is a poorly written judge and a lawyer who asks a witness about “great sex”. It is supposed to be emotional but comes off as comical.

The show’s biggest question is really staring to come to the forefront as the police get closer to the truth. Why have the women not claimed self defense? Perry was the aggressor the night he was murdered. There were witnesses, plus Celeste would have still had bruises from his most recent physical outburst. The show is predicated on strong women making a stand. This is especially true of Madeline and Renata who have gone to war with the school many times. (So much so, it is a joke among the school staff.) Many times, they have defended a decision by saying they were protecting themselves. That would literally be the case here. It may have been explained in some throwaway line, but it is hard to imagine one that would not undermine one of the show’s biggest themes.

Big Little Lies is headed towards an exciting conclusion. There has been a lot of questions brought up during the season and it looks like the show is going to answer them. There is a big caveat. BLL is starting to become too ridiculous. There is only so much cheating, so many surprises, and so many revelations before it becomes too silly to watch. Episode six did a great job of moving the plot along, but they are walking a very thin line.

Big Little Lies S2 E6 'the bad mother'
Is it good?
An exciting episode that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats the whole time. It might be starting to rely too much on twists.
The storylines involving Celeste and the murder are very engaging
Bonnie was given time instead of being a brooding background character
Corey has his best moment of the season
Continues trend of being an over the top soap opera. The end of the episode is laughable
Great at writing about rich people with vague job descriptions; horrible when it comes to everyone else
7
Good
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