‘Big Little Lies’ Episode 2 Recap: Serious Mothering

big little lies episode 2 recap serious motheringHBO
Need a quick catch up? Be sure to check out our recap of last week’s episode

This recap contains spoilers

There’s more trouble in paradise in Episode 2 of Big Little Lies. And much like the shores of Monterey, California, things are getting pretty rocky.

For starters, the drama continues to brew between these characters. If there was ever any doubt of the bad blood mulling amongst the moms, it’s a sure thing now. Just as one of the townspeople points out during a police interrogation, the tension between the women is nothing but a ticking time bomb, and it’s only a matter of time before things explode.

The first to blow is Celeste, or rather, her husband, Perry, with his explosive temper growing more dangerous with each scene. A misunderstanding with Orientation Day leads to a slap in the face and a hard shove. It’s difficult to watch, but what’s even more surprising to see is Celeste fighting back.

Personally, I’d describe Celeste as a seemingly fragile woman; and as her husband literally gets down on his knees to beg for her forgivenesssweeping the abuse under the rugit’s even more unexpected to see their fight turn sexual (very sexual). It’s confusing and looks complicated, which Celeste confirms later in the episode during a confession to Madeline over wine. Without admitting to the abuse, she wonders aloud if Perry enjoys fighting because it leads to making up. Even more so, she wonders if she, in some way, likes it just the same.

Meanwhile, Madeline continues to stir the pot. Whether she’s in the drop-off lane at school, running on the beach, or chatting during yoga, the girl loves a good altercation. This week, her focal point is Amabella’s birthday party. Of course, Renata has the invitations ready to be passed out on the first day of school. Unsurprisingly, everyone except for Ziggy gets invited. I feel bad for the kid and I get the bristling irritation Madeline feels for his being outcast—but I’m not so sure it’s a smart move to plan to sabotage Amabella’s big day by planning an alternate activity for the first graders. Madeline has continued to show that she is not one to be messed with, so maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked that she’s not backing down.

Madeline certainly has her hands full between the birthday battle and now more Bonnie drama. When Abigail drops her birth control pills in front of her mother and then confirms that Bonnie is behind it, her face sinks: she knows her mother is about to lose it. And lose it she does, right in Bonnie’s face during school drop-off. Despite Madeline’s anger being well deserved in this case, her obsession with her ex and the new life Bonnie has created for him is clearly eating at Ed, too.

In Episode 1, we learn early on that it’s not just the moms who start trouble, and this episode further proves that the dads aren’t as faultless as we think they are. But, despite Ed’s worry that Madeline is still in love with her ex-husband, he doesn’t hesitate to defend her. I was relieving to see Madeline and Ed makeup, embracing one another in their beachfront mansion. It seems all is finally well and resolved between the two. At least for now.

While we’re given deeper insight into the lives of Madeline and Celeste, I’m still hungry for more info about Jane’s past. We aren’t given many answers during this episode, just flashes of memories and a breakdown after Ziggy gets in trouble at school for trying to kiss Amabella as a note of apology for Orientation Day.

We’re still unsure about Ziggy, but my gut is that he means well. I still think he is innocent when it comes to Episode 1’s choking incident, but we can’t say anything for sure yet. I’m unsure about where things are headed from here, but I suppose that’s half the fun of Liane Moriarty‘s mystery series.

So here’s what we can deduce from last night’s episode: Madeline continues to stand her ground with her play; Jane seems to be reaching a real breaking point as a single-mom, and Celeste and Perry round out with more confusion and dysfunction within their marriage.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to chip away at the bigger issue of Big Little Lies: What’s going on with the murder? While it’s not touched on much this week, we’ve got only five episodes to go, and I’m fairly certain we can count on things to only get darker from here.

What did you think of Big Little Lies?

What do you make of Madeline’s obsessive behavior? Is Celeste’s and Perry’s affection as dangerous as it lets on?
Share your thoughts on the Big Little Lies premiere in the comments below!