Sweet, innocent Ziggy looking up at a playground bully who he beat up with his brothers moments later
Screenshot: HBO/YouTube
Splint Little LiesSplint Little LiesRecapping the greatest political drama of our time, HBO's Big Little Lies.

Children are complex creatures. One minute they’re fainting at the mere thought of global warming, the next they’re asking if you’re keeping them home from school because the family went bankrupt!!

Truly, episode 5 of the second season of Big Little Lies, titled “Kill Me,” gave most of the main child characters, if not all, a chance to shine and show just how terribly their parents have influenced them. AAAND we got some more great insight into how these Monterrey Bay moms’ parent-child relationships (specifically Bonnie and her very sick but also clairvoyant mother Elizabeth) continue to haunt them.

Jesus Christ, doesn’t anyone want to do the right thing for the sake of their kids, for once?!


So we left the Monterrey Five team at the hospital, with Bonnie’s mom Elizabeth having suffered a stroke and seeing visions of Bonnie drowning. The episode opens with Jane having dreams of the night her rapist died, Renata (in flashback) telling Bonnie that she didn’t “do” the murder, and Celeste (also in flashback) calming Jane down before climbing the flight of concrete stairs down to her husband’s bloody corpse to yell for help. Celeste is thinking about Perry too, about having sex with him, and about Mary Louise having rudely threatened to take away her children the day before.

Pretty tame, run-of-the-mill stuff as far as BLL flashbacks go. We then see Ed biking on a trail, followed by Madeline’s first husband Nathan, who tries to apologize to Ed for their fake-ass man scuffle at Amabella’s birthday party. Ed, being Ed, doesn’t accept the apology, Nathan (as Ed kindly reminds the audience) calls him a “nutfuck” twice. Behind Ed’s back, of course, because it’s spineless Nathan.

We then follow Celeste to a child custody hearing with Mary Louise, in which the judge has made it clear that Mary Louise’s grandstanding may not work in her favor, but Celeste can’t help but become the bear that is poked at any mention of her parenting capabilities. Honestly, the way that Celeste keeps having outbursts in this hearing, and in a later settlement offer, is totally understandable—grieving wife, grieving mother. But it makes me wonder, what was the extent of Celeste’s work history as a lawyer if she can’t keep herself from fucking up her own custody battle? Was her little Avenue Q legalese from season one the best she ever got? Was Celeste ever a lawyer to begin with???


Back in Bonnie’s neck of the woods, she keeps having flashbacks. Bonnie tells her daughter Skye that Elizabeth is getting better, but that she can’t talk. Skye then almost ruins the surprise Nathan has for Bonnie at home, which we later find out to be a treadmill and a book (Born to Run, get it??). LOL, at least he’s trying. Bonnie’s not running if she can’t physically escape though, can she!!

Ed and Madeline end up going to couple’s therapy, a weird-vibe seminar run by a man with chest hair peeping through a deep V-neck top encouraging everyone to hug each other. Of course, because Madeline has fucked up by cheating on him and needs to be reminded of it, the two get into a bit of a fight leaving the session, in which she pledges to him that she won’t fuck up that way again and “you can trust me to love you!” Later on we see Chloe come up to Ed and give him a big, long hug, which, IDK what a kind gesture that was but I also see Madeline putting her up to it.


Oh yeah, Renata loses her “women on top” slot in the magazine that we saw her shooting a spread for in the first episode, because she is no longer filthy stinkin’ rich and that’s not the narrative the magazine wants to go with. So much for women supporting women! Renata further loses it when she invites Mary Louise over for “tea” and ends up getting burned herself, when Mary Louise insults her now-empty, oversized home and her parenting, saying that she spent all these years working and away from her parenting duties—all for it to be taken from her. It’s a wonder Mary Louise doesn’t get slapped more often.

OK, back to Bonnie! She’s sponge bathing Elizabeth and recalling the times her mother would abuse her as a child—chilling stuff. Bonnie also begins to see the image of the water she’s supposedly drowning in, and later in the episode when she’s able to talk, Elizabeth tells Bonnie’s dad that she sees Bonnie drowning. Bonnie and her dad (does this guy even have a name?) talk about how he didn’t do a great job protecting her from Elizabeth’s abuse when she was a child.


When Bonnie sees Elizabeth later and tells her not to worry about her, her mother utters two terrifying words back: “KILL ME.” AHHH!! But also Bonnie’s dad had discussed moving Elizabeth to another hospital because this one wasn’t helping her recover so yeah, she very well could be tired of being in a semi-conscious state.

OK OK now here is where things get really, REALLY fired up. While Ziggy is weirdly sitting by himself during recess, some fucking idiot child named Bryan (Brian?) McPherson starts asking him if his mom, Jane, is hot like he’s heard, and tells Ziggy he’s a mistake. When Josh and Max run up to the pair and tell Bryan (Brian?) to leave their brother alone, Bryan (Brian?) tells them that their dad is a rapist. Which, true, but these kids are no older than 8 and they can’t process emotions yet so instead they beat up on Bryan (Brian?), three against one. All four boys get suspended for a few days.


Jane demands Ziggy tell her what Bryan (Brian?) says, and he does, while Celeste interrogates the twins. Max apparently started the fight (the twin who had been bullying Amabella the year before, it tracks!!) while Josh calls Celeste a bitch, but cowers after Celeste tells them that she’s fighting for custody of them against their grandma. Ziggy later worries if he’s going to grow up to be “like his dad,” to which Jane dissuades his worries (that’s more Celeste’s concern...). On their suspension day, Jane and Celeste later take the boys to breakfast and then kayaking, however NOT!!! as a reward for bad behavior!! Though definitely a more fun alternative to school.

Jane, meanwhile, tries to have sex with Corey and begs him to touch her but ends up weeping, still clothed, in his arms.


Side note: Renata also pulls Amabella out of school that day, though it might be more because of Mary Louise’s “Cats in the Cradle” guilt trip, Amabella asks her if she’s not in school because they’re broke (LOL). Renata then tells her “Everything’s not about money... It is, but it isn’t.” At least she tried!

Other wild things: At the end of the episode, we see Ed and Tori, the wife of Joseph (who Madeline cheated with), sharing shots at a bar, and her touching his clothing. Whaaaat! But then just before the shot fades, we see JOSEPH, sitting at a table by himself, looking at them! WHAAAT! And then Bonnie, guilty from having pushed a man to his death and burdened by her mom’s death wish, goes back to skulking around the police station—BUT, we see Jane’s love interest Corey LEAVING THE STATION! WHAAAAAATTT!!! Could Tori be seducing Ed and making Joseph watch as revenge? Could Corey only be interested in Jane because he’s a police plant?? Only time will tell!




Those developments aside, the big, Big, BIIIIIIG development in this episode is that this Big Little Lie might be just about burst! Celeste, declining Mary Louise’s joint custody settlement, has now set off a legal battle involving a trial and testimony, and all of the other women are listed as witnesses! Madeline, at the beach roundtable, suggests they all lie on the stand. Which, LOL again.


Babe!!! THAT’S PERJURY!!!!

Wow, could this have been Mary Louise’s long game the entire time? To slowly make all the women hate her and then have them slip up in court? Biggest little lie of them all if true!!

Splinter Staff Writer, Texan

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