Friday, March 24, 2017

Big Little Lies (HBO) Once Bitten

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This episode was a collage of images and we're left trying to sort out what was real and what was skewed. Jane is becoming increasingly stressed between her terror of encountering the man who hurt her, and the problems at school with Ziggy. Amabella was bitten by someone in her class, and of course Renata Klein assumes it was Jane's son. Jane is trying to hold it all together even as she feels events slipping out of her control. And Madeline is starting to wonder if Jane is out for revenge, especially when Nathan saw her at gun range. Madeline and Celeste were going to go with Jane to San Luis Obispo to confront the man they think may be her attacker, but after things come to a head Jane ends up going alone. 

Madeline struggles to come to grips with her affair and Perry and Celeste continue to abuse each other. Although it's really Perry doing the abusing and Celeste finding excuses to stay. Things get rough again (are they ever not?) and Celeste ends up going to see their counselor alone, while Perry is out of town. In an extended sequence we juxtapose the counselor's calm probing of what's really happening with Celeste's at times painful attempts to justify her relationship, even as she clearly wants help desperately. 

Madeline meanwhile tries to find some passion with Ed, even as her affair a year ago with Joseph comes back into focus. He wants to talk to her, exasperated that she won't acknowledge what he thinks they have, and they're in a freak car accident while in mid- conversation. Luckily no one is hurt seriously, but things are more complicated now- and it looks like Joseph's spouse suspects that something is happening. And Renata crashes Jane's meeting with the principal, who is clearly not prepared to referee that little soiree. 

This episode was chaotic at times with jarring transitions and sudden musical interludes. I think this was meant to cast doubt on the events, to give the impression that perceptions are skewed. Everyone is being overtaken by events, and we are reminded several times that trivia night is rapidly approaching. Everything seems to be heading for that fever pitch, and someone- or maybe several someones- are going to break soon. 

Random Thoughts

"There's more than one person I'd like to shoot in this town," says Madeline as she discusses Jane's target shooting with her.  

Why isn't Amabella talking? 

Chloe is the absolute best. "Watch your mouth, woman," she tells Madeline after hearing her mom call Nathan "a fuck." Nice, Mom.  

"Something's up with Ed MacKenzie," says one of the dads. I think he's right- it's just the little side looks he gives at times, like when he sees Abigail the night she comes home. Weird. 

What happened in SLO? Jane dropped her bag and a gun went off, she flees the scene and we end with her getting pulled over. But in the aftershow the writer mentions that Jane may be an unreliable narrator, as it were, in this one, and I think that's where the chaotic editing comes in. What really happened? 


  1. Yeah I still have not watched it, I am afraid of getting hooked, lol

  2. I didn't love this episode as much. It was still good but maybe it was all too much going on. I am excited for these last two though!