The Bad Mother
Big Little Lies Season 2



Critic Ratings: 20
Critics Consensus

Despite its wonky editing and overreliance of soap opera tropes, Nicole Kidman's searing performance as the broken but embattled Celeste helps anchors, "The Bad Mother."

Episode Info

Celeste is blindsided by Mary Louise; Gordon continues to disappoint Renata; Bonnie contemplates a solution to her mother's suffering and her own ongoing guilt; Ed entertains an unusual proposition before catching Madeline in an unguarded moment; the Monterey Five feel the pressure of increased scrutiny of Perry's death.


Reese Witherspoon
as Madeline Martha Mackenzie
Nicole Kidman
as Celeste Wright
Zoë Kravitz
as Bonnie Carlson
Laura Dern
as Renata Klein
Darby Camp
as Chloe Mackenzie
Adam Scott
as Ed Mackenzie
James Tupper
as Nathan Carlson
Jeffrey Nordling
as Gordon Klein
Meryl Streep
as Mary Louise Wright
Show More Cast

The Bad Mother Videos

The Bad Mother Photos

Critic Reviews for The Bad Mother

Each emotional crescendo, as the season draws to a close, might have offered new observations about the trauma that hovers over these characters, the way fog lingers over the crashing waves of the Pacific. Instead: Melodrama wins the day.

Jul 16, 2019 | Full Review…

Without a single grounding force, Big Little Lies has gone totally off the rails, running out of story at the same time its audience has run out of patience.

Jul 15, 2019 | Full Review…

It is odd that series two of Big Little Lies has not become the talking point that series one did. It is just as good, and [Nicole] Kidman is delivering one of the performances of the year. May prizes rain upon her.

Jul 15, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

To have these six women appearing in a series together is an absolute gift, and the series still looks beautiful, with Monterey's volatile waves reflecting the inner lives of our conflicted cast of characters.

Jul 15, 2019 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Zoë Kravitz deserves an Emmy for many moments throughout this season, but the confession scene on The Bad Mother blows everything out of the water.

Jul 16, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's most clear, I think, in last night's penultimate episode of this season, The Bad Mother which again careens us between moments quite fantastic and cathartic and others that continue to suspend our greatest disbelief.

Jul 15, 2019 | Full Review…

Even when Mary Louise is quiet, her presence can still be felt.

Jul 15, 2019 | Full Review…

As excited as I am to see Celeste and Mary Louise face off, Celeste's time in court is heartbreaking to sit through, and that fits in with the overall theme of the episode.

Jul 15, 2019 | Full Review…

The most heartwrenching moment of the episode however was Bonnie's confession to her mother, calling her out for the abuse she endured from her as a child and holding her responsible for making her lash out and kill Perry.

Dec 13, 2019 | Full Review…

When it comes to Big Little Lies, we're all aware that there are lots of questions still unanswered this season. But throughout the season, one problem has remained constant: Perry Wright.

Jul 16, 2019 | Full Review…

With only one episode left in the series, it doesn't seem possible to get a resolution to all of the stories, so the focus seems to be narrowing to the final fight between the two women in Perry's life.

Jul 15, 2019 | Rating: 4.0/5.0 | Full Review…

With all the melodrama stripped away, Big Little Lies is really about how society doesn't trust women.

Jul 15, 2019 | Full Review…