Review: BIG LITTLE LIES S2 E5 Features A Big Final Five Minutes And Not Much Else

FIRST IMPRESSION

With all of the juicer reveals saved for the final moments, the fifth episode of Big Little Lies's second season feels awkwardly paced, but still sets up the series for what looks to be a wildly entertaining conclusion.
Directing
Writing
Acting

Big Little Lies Season 2 Episode 5 is gripping and intense, but sadly only for about the last five minutes.

For a show that has done so much right in the past two years, it is disheartening to have to point out its flaws. While it has come to be known for its clever writing, adept direction, and, of course, flawless performances, this week suffers from a problem that is normally picture perfect; pacing. A lot happens in this week’s episode. With no restraint on spoilers, Bonnie’s mother asks her to kill her, we get a giant clue that Corey may be an undercover agent for the Monterey police department tasked with finding out the true cause of Perry’s death, and Ed heavily considers a vengeful fling to get back at Madeline. The problem is, all of these happen in the final five minutes. Clearly the writing staff plans to use the final two episodes as the go home push that fleshes out all of these intensely dramatic scenarios, but this episode suffers for it and ends up feeling like a placeholder for what is to come.

With that said, there is enough other stuff going on to make the episode not completely dull but B story lines like more violence from the Wright boys (now including Ziggy), Mary Louise being awful for no reason in particular, and Renata putting on a strong face while she melts down inside feel vaguely familiar because they have all happened before. Celeste’s worries over her sons’ penchants for anger was a unique and interesting plot device to highlight the show’s themes on parental control and genetic predispositions for even the most awful traits, but has slowly become more of a cliche at this point. We as an audience are on board with this theme and are ready for it to be fleshed out more, rather than just constantly repeated. The same can be said for Mary Louise’s arc. She is without a doubt the driving force and main antagonist of this season. It is for this reason that it is so disappointing how much they have reduced her character since her introduction. In episode one, she was mysterious and vaguely evil, but her intent was unclear. Now here we are, five episodes later, and she is still bickering with Madeline and sending pot shots at Renata for being poor. Her development has disappointingly stalled at “she’s the bad guy.”

In positives from this week, Jane’s storylines have been some of the strongest of the season and also some of the harshest. Shailene Woodley has thrived in the meatier role her character has taken on. Her traumatic attempts at creating a connection with Corey are so well directed and acted, they are almost hard to watch. Adam Scott has continued to provide comedic relief in a deadpan, straight man way that feels so necessary amongst the more dour topics covered recently. His visit to the hug parade couple’s therapy elicited some of his best eye rolls of the season.

While this episode may not have been the strongest in BLL’s second season, it does set up what looks to be a wild conclusion packed with the development we missed this week.

Stray Observations:

  • Celeste telling her sons all the details of the custody hearing seemed too easy. That will backfire in the next episode.
  • Nicole Kidman lets a bit of her natural Aussie accent out while screaming at her lawyer. A rare occurrence in a flawless performance.
  • Is Bonnie’s mother actually psychic? I’m getting some Twin Peaks vibes from the constant cuts to drowning imagery.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Pose | Live Your Truth | FX

Pride - Every single one of you is worthy love, living your truth, and letting your pride shine all year long. Our Pride never ends. Subscribe now for more Pose clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Season 2 of Pose flashes forward in time to 1990. On the heels of the ballroom community establishing itself in pop culture and…

Consider This: Must-Watch Comedies | HBO

Catch up on all the comedies, including Avenue 5, Insecure, The Righteous Gemstones, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. #HBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Watch Now Get HBO: https://itsh.bo/ways-to-get Get More HBO Official Site: https://itsh.bo/dotcom Twitter: https://twitter.com/hbo Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hbo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbo Consider This: Must-Watch Comedies | HBO

Solar Opposites | The Wall – Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

In a world built for elites, one man will stand tall and fight for the little guy. From Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan, two of the @$%!s behind Rick and Morty, comes a story about humans who were shrunk by an alien child and are now trapped in interconnected terrariums in his bedroom wall. Episode…

Little Fires Everywhere | On the Record at Home with Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson performs the original song “Build It Up” from the explosive and emotional finale of LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE. Creator/Writer/Executive Producer Liz Tigelaar, Music Supervisor Mary Ramos, Composers Isabella Summers and Mark Isham, and ABC Studios TV Music SVP Dawn Soler reveal how “Build It Up” came to be. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click…

Glenn: The Stupid Smart Guy | The Walking Dead

Watch some of the best moments of Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead. Watch from The Walking Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFW4F9BGYQg&list=PLC7EC9FB2E211A261&index=6&t= Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: https://goo.gl/Tu5rSx #TWD #TheWalkingDead #GlennRhee #IconicMoments THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC/ Follow The Walking Dead on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WalkingDead_AMC Visit The Walking Dead Official Site: https://www.amc.com/shows/the-walking-dead…

Regular Heroes Docuseries I Episode 8 Trailer I Prime Video

The work of these heroes didn't stop when the cameras turned off. See what they've been up to since their episode aired on the final episode of Regular Heroes, available now on Amazon Prime Video. https://bit.ly/RegularHeroes This inspiring weekly docuseries highlights the heroic efforts of essential workers across the US, as told by special guests…

The Good Fight | The Gang Deals with Alternate Reality | FULL EPISODE | CBS All Access

Season four premiere. Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) finds herself living in an alternate reality where Donald Trump was never elected and Hillary Clinton is the current President of the United States. While Diane's liberal self is overjoyed, she soon realizes how a different outcome of the 2016 election might have unexpected consequences. (TV-MA L) All…

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado | Official Trailer | Netflix

Every day for decades, Walter Mercado — the iconic, gender non-conforming astrologer — mesmerized 120 million Latino viewers with his extravagance and positivity. Then he vanished from the public eye. Award-winning documentarians Cristina Costantini (Science Fair) and Kareem Tabsch (The Last Resort) direct MUCHO MUCHO AMOR, produced by Alex Fumero. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix…
Chris Aresco
Chris Aresco
Hi. I’m Chris. I’m the one who wrote the review you just read. Now you are reading this bio that I wrote. I hope this means you liked the review so much you are sending me a present and not that you hated it so much that you are finding my Instagram account so you can write me mean dm’s.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here