Last week’s much-hyped season premiere was fantastic, and I’m pleased to report that this week’s hour is even better. Ain’t no sophomore slump on this show!
As disturbing as it is to know how Ziggy was brought into this world, I have to say that the final scene with Celeste bringing her boys to meet their new brother is just the most heartwarming thing in the world. Celeste and Jane have both been traumatized by Perry, so it’s so gratifying to see them build their own pseudo-family with their beautiful kids.
In fact, both ladies got tremendous material this week. Whether it’s Kidman’s Celeste pushing her son to the ground after he continues to display violent tendencies and tells her to fuck off, or Woodley’s heartbreaking rape reveal to Ziggy, this hour is packed with searing emotion and marvelous performances. The show has done a magnificent job of showing us how Perry’s spectre still looms large even after his demise.
Meryl Streep continues to do a brilliant but strange job with the Mary Louise character. Her refusing Celeste’s abuse claim is terrifying and sickening, and Streep plays it all with a seriously creepy vibe. Mary Louise is literally incapable of seeing how sick and twisted her golden boy was, so I truly wonder if Celeste will ever make her see the light. Or will The Monterey Five have to claim yet another victim? We can only hope!
Tell-Tale Hearts is also notable for introducing Bonnie’s mom Elizabeth, beautifully played by Crystal Fox. Bonnie’s past is obviously still a mystery, but bringing in her mother is the perfect way to slowly peel back the layers (“What have you done this time?”) while injecting a fresh dynamic into the household. It’s particularly amusing to watch Elizabeth call Nathan a dolt and accuse of being completely oblivious to everything Bonnie is suffering through. My money’s on Elizabeth facing off with Mary Louise sometime in the very near future.
Ed finally finding out about Madeline cheating on him (not to mention not telling him about Jane and Ziggy) is also an explosive development. I can’t say I’m heartbroken over their breakup, but Witherspoon does well in the scene. Honestly my highlight is Chloe heartbreakingly apologizing to her mom only to ask for her phone phone. What a sneaky devil.
Renata also gets a fun subplot with potentially going broke, and you can tell Laura Dern is having a ball going absolutely nuts after her idiot husband practically loses all their money. I would like to see her interact with the rest of the ladies though instead of having her off on her own subplot. Fingers crossed she won’t be on her own for long.
Bits & Lies
- I love that Madeline covers for Celeste after the accident. Her calling Mary Louise a fucking weirdo is just priceless.
- Celeste imaging Madeline in her place getting abused by Perry is a traumatizing sight. Poor Reese Witherspoon for having to suffer through that scene.
- More Mary Louise evil: When Celeste says that Madeline once saved her kids from drowning, she accusingly inquires where Celeste was.
- Renata imaging everyone laughing at her in court and it’s funny but also really sad. The comedic moment sadly conveys how alone she feels.
- I’ve been wondering why Alexander Skarsgard is still on the show if Perry is dead, but it obviously looks like the character has a big role to play. We learn that his little brother died when he was 5. Hmmm..
- The creepiest line of all time has to be Perry telling Celeste that he will have her all to himself (since she has no support system). It shows how twisted he was from the start.
- Mary Louise threatening Celeste with going to the police is just bone-chilling.
- Shailene Woodley’s best scene ever on the show is undoubtedly Ziggy telling his mom that Perry “salted her” and the slow realization that he meant assault. It’s fascinating to watch her be so truthful with Ziggy and tell him everything. Emmy nom!
- It says a lot that Renata throws her husband out of the car and then comes back for him.
- So what’s up with Bonnie’s mom and the crystals?
The Monterey Grapevine
Madeline: It was an emergency.
Mary Louise: What kind of an emergency?
Madeline: The kind short people have?
Mary Louise: You don’t like me, do you, Madeline?
Madeline: I’m sure you mean well.
Mary Louise: You know, when I was very young, my family just moved, and we I was going to a brand-new school, so I was especially scared, and my father gave me the best advice. He said, “Mary Louise, you just seek out the bully – and make friends with her.
Madeline; Am I the bully in this scenario?
Mary Louise: On your awesome days, I suspect you are a godsend. But on your bad days decidedly less so.
Madeline: (as she walks away) Fucking weirdo.
Ed: (to Nathan) Okay, so you’ve asked me to have lunch with your wife, and now, you challenge me to a fist fight. I mean do you have a preference if I can’t squeeze in both?
Gordon: You used to like that song?
Renata: I used to like to sit on your face too. You think that will happen again?
A gut-wrenching hour brimming with exceptional performances and unforgettable moments.