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"Burning Love" raises the stakes, giving meaty moments to unexpected characters and setting the table for a feast of a finale.
Doe-eyed, hoodie-enshrouded Jane turning into a stone cold potential killer is a great turn.
After the tension of the previous episode, it's a relief to have some elements of humour back, though it's the nature of this brilliantly constructed drama that they involve extremes of behaviour.
Much of Burning Love feels like a set-up for the series' finale, but the episode is still full of satisfying moments.
In other words, it may be centered around a murder mystery, but Big Little Lies is at its best when it's about life.
In many ways, Burning Love feels like the calm before the storm.
What started out as a sudsy, delicious series about affluent women Mean Girls-ing around the bluffs and into the public schools of Monterey, California, has slowly unspooled into a weighty, aching, drama.
The pressure of keeping secrets was getting to everyone on Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 6, and admitting imperfections seemed to be the theme of the hour.
I'd be more then fine sticking with these characters without a big murder investigation framing the whole conceit. With drama this good, we barely need it.
This week, as BLL deftly maneuvers all of its pieces in place for next week's finale, the facades finally begin to crack, as Madeline, Celeste, and Renata all decide to let go of the destructive elements they've been holding onto for far too long.
The much-anticipated dinner at Nathan and Bonnie's is a work of physical bravado on Reese Witherspoon's part.