Before I begin discussing this week’s episode, I need say that I am not ready to say goodbye to this show next week. I need to spend more time with these characters and their captivating world. Here’s hoping HBO gives this fantastic creation a second season!
Here we are: another week and yet another absolutely incredible sequence between Celeste and Dr. Reisman. What I loved about their encounter this week is that Reisman knew exactly how to reach our heroine: she turned on lawyer-speak and showed her that she has absolutely no case if she ever were to fight for custody of her children. It’s a chilling conversation that perfectly highlights the power of denial and Celeste’s shattered perception. It’s also so interesting to hear Celeste admit that she doesn’t want to destroy the perfect image that everybody has of her- as evidenced by Madeline explicitly noting that Celeste’s life is “perfect”.
Although Abigail hasn’t received much character development thus far, I definitely enjoyed seeing everyone deal with the horrible revelation that the teen plans to raise money for a cause by selling her virginity online. In fact, the whole shebang produced one hell of a priceless sequence with Madeline and Ed joining Nathan and Bonnie for dinner, culminating in Madeline barfing over everyone and everything. More importantly, the comedic subplot produced a great character moment as mother and daughter finally bonded, as the former revealed her affair with Joseph. Maybe now we can stop with the rebellious teenager act?
Although Laura Dern has delivered pretty solid work thus far, Burning Love allowed the actress to embody a sympathetic Renata after getting shoved by Jane. When the latter arrives to apologize, the two women bond over their shared misery, and it’s a really touching moment that feels very much earned after six episodes of drama. Dern doesn’t get too much dialogue here, but her body language and facial expressions alone do a splendid job of painting a picture of a truly broken women who has no idea how to save her helpless daughter.
Bits & Lies
– Love the editing with Jane’s arrest and Madeline’s family dancing.
– Mindblowingly realistic: Jane saying that she hopes her assaulter didn’t really rape her and that it was a “misunderstanding”. Wow.
– It’s worth noting that even though Dr. Reisman insisted on it, Celeste was not able to tell Madeline or any “friend” for that matter about her ordeal. I hope it happens in the finale next week.
– I don’t know if full frontal nudity was necessary, but I was pretty shocked when we saw Perry’s penis (although it was obviously fake). And then we got another graphic look when Celeste actually SMACKED it. It was half hilarious, half traumatizing. Can’t say he didn’t deserve it!
– So much insight into married life: Ed and Madeline’s conversation about their boring sex life as opposed to Perry and Celeste (oh how little do they know).
– You can basically pinpoint the exact moment Celeste decided to leave Perry: when he mentioned that she’s “lucky” he didn’t kill her.
– Another small but highly insightful moment: Bonnie judging Nathan’s taste in processed cereal.
– Can I just reiterate how much I love Chloe and her music?
– Madeline assuming that Sade is Adele is too perfect for words.
– So I’m guessing Ed could tell that Madeline cheated on him when she started apologizing for making a “mistake”?
– I’m so glad that Celeste has an apartment to escape to now. Did anyone else feel like Perry was going to burst in at any moment? That guy has terrified us all!
– Love the ending with Ziggy singing to Jane and her realizing that “Papa was a Rolling Stone” is all about a kid without a dad. I really didn’t see it coming although it was pretty obvious in retrospect.
Madeline: (to Jane) A lot of parents are probably applauding you right now. There’s more than one person in this town that wants to deck Renata Klein, yours truly included.
Celeste: Well, he’s been very, um affectionate. Very clingy. Which usually means he’s feeling insecure. Or, um….
Reisman: Or what?
Celeste: Or it means I have the power. Sometimes he has it, sometimes I have it. It’s like a seesaw.
Reisman: When do you get the power? After he hits you?
Celeste: Yeah. When he hurts me, I get the upper hand. The more he hurts me, the higher I go, the longer I stay, until… He’s been, um very loving the last few days.
Reisman: But at some point, he gets the power back.
Celeste: Mm. Usually when when my bruises fade and-and he doesn’t feel as guilty, he feels insecure. And then it all happens again.
Reisman: Write everything down. Photograph your injuries. Keep doctor reports. That could be important in a custody battle. And men like your husband typically do go for custody. He has the resources, the money, the contacts. Most importantly he has the ego to see this through.
Celeste: I don’t understand why you’re being such an alarmist right now.
Reisman: Because I’m alarmed. Have you told anybody else about the abuse?
Reisman: Why not?
Celeste: I don’t know.
Reisman: If you were to guess.
Celeste: Perhaps my self-worth is made up of how other people see me.
Reisman: I’m sorry. I’m just amazed by patients who can harbor such profound self-awareness underneath the hard shell of denial.
Burning Love by Elvis Presley
Papa was a Rolling Stone by The Temptations
Call On Me by Janis Joplin and The Holding Company
Another stellar hour from Big Little Lies. This is a terrific penultimate episode. Bring on the finale!