Bad Boys for Life
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Momentum builds as the Monterey Five's big little deceit becomes unbearable in the immensely tense, "She Knows."
This season, with Perry Wright's shadowy death serving as a catalyst for the other characters' erratic behavior, the show has smartly dedicated much of its run time to exploring the Monterey Five's strained relationships.
The midpoint of this midseason episode of Big Little Lies hits its apex right where it should: Amabella's '70s disco party. It heightens the tension by putting all of our getting-more-anxious-by-the-minute characters in the same room.
In episode four of his series writer David E Kelley played a particularly skilful trompe l'oeil act of dazzling us with the shiny surfaces of the world he portrays while at the same time throwing his characters down its hidden cracks.
She Knows brings us past the halfway point of this seven-episode second season, and anyone still skeptical about the merits of continuing the Emmy-winning limited series clearly doesn't enjoy watching six of our most gifted actresses do their thing.
As usual, it's an occasionally dizzying jumble of tones, but I enjoy its ability to swing between farce and trauma, from scene to scene, with such casual grace.
There's drama to be found in such interpersonal turmoil to be sure, but Episode 4 was too predictable, too reticent, and, ultimately, too far-fetched for its own good.
The women of Big Little Lies are not doing very well. In fact, things were going so badly on this week's episode, She Knows, that you could cut the tension with a pumpkin-carving knife.
One of the great things about Big Little Lies' second season is how Meryl Streep's character, Mary Louise, plows through the intricate web of shared secrets and lies around her.
Where the previous episode moved too slowly, Big Little Lies Season 2 Episode 4, She Knows, packs quite a bit into the hour-long glimpse at the lives of the Monterey Five.
In She Knows, the lingering trauma of Perry's death looms large in the form of the ever-suspicious Mary Louise, but it is far from the only problem Renata, Madeline, Bonnie, Celeste, and Jane have to deal with.
Either way, we are here for it until the end, because let's face it, it will have been worth it alone for Meryl Streep's Mary Louise.
All it took was Celeste slapping Mary Louise for this episode of Big Little Lies to turn from a slight mess into a Monterey-sized catastrophe.