The ladies of Monterey are back, but Meryl Streep is coming for them. Her character, Mary Louise, shows up and starts asking questions about Perry’s death in the ‘Big Little Lies’ season 2 premiere.
Big Little Lies season 2 picks up months after Perry’s death. Madeline, Celeste, Jane, Renata, and Bonnie are trying to move forward after what happened on Trivia Night. Perry’s mother, Mary Louise, has come to town and she doesn’t just want to help Celeste take care of Max and Josh. She wants answers about her son’s death. She’s not afraid to confront people either. At a cafe, Madeline comes up to Mary Louise to ask how she’s doing. “You’re very short,” Mary Louise quips out of nowhere. “I don’t mean it in a negative way. Maybe I do. I find little people to be untrustworthy.” Madeline is shocked at what she’s hearing, to say the least.
Mary Louise, played by new cast member Meryl Streep, says her perceptions of people are usually spot-on but admits Madeline is a “difficult read” for her. “I want Perry back,” Mary Louise says. “I want to know what happened that night. I’m very tempted to ask you but I doubt I would get the truth, would I?” Madeline’s caught between a rock and a hard place. She knows what Mary Louise is saying is true. Later, Madeline confronts Mary Louise when she walks into work at the real estate company. Mary Louise apologizes to Madeline and says she had a “tiny” friend when she was little who was “treacherous” and hurt her. Despite the apology, Madeline does not like Mary Louise.
Meanwhile, Celeste is feeling immense guilt over Perry’s death. She’s still seeing her therapist and trying to work out her feelings. She’s also attempting to work out why she’s having such horrible nightmares. Celeste believes that if she had left Perry before Trivia Night, he’d still be alive. Her therapist stresses that she needs to stop blaming herself. She also begins to notice that Josh and Max are beginning to exhibit violent behavior like their father.
As Celeste struggles with her guilt, Bonnie is battling her own as well. She’s shutting everyone out, including Nathan. Everyone notices that she’s not herself. She tells Nathan that she “needs some space.” Later, Madeline comes to Bonnie’s place and asks what’s up. “I killed someone, remember?” Bonnie says. “That’s heavy… I’m angry with myself. If I had just told the truth, I would have gotten off.” But Madeline was the one who said Perry slipped and everyone fell in line with the lie.
Madeline doesn’t just have Bonnie and Mary Louise’s drama to deal with, she’s also facing off with Abigail. Abigail confesses that she doesn’t want to go to college and that sets Madeline off. Abigail’s confession starts a huge fight between the mother and daughter. Abigail wants to work for a startup that builds for-profit housing for the homeless, but Madeline is adamant about Abigail going to college. Abigail brings up the fact that Madeline didn’t go to college, which is clearly a sore spot for Madeline.
When it comes to Jane and Renata, they seem to be handling everything the best at the moment. Jane has a new job at an aquarium and a new love interest, a co-worker, may be coming into her life. As for Renata, she’s crazier than ever and a total boss. She’s the one who tells Jane, Madeline, and Celeste that the investigation into Perry’s death is basically closed because there’s no evidence. But with Mary Louise on the scene, that’s probably not going to be the case for long.