As a satirical drama The White Lotus First airing in 2021, it was something of a sleeper hit. The cast was a humble mix of actors who made it big in the ’90s and B-movie pin-ups, and the show’s creator, Mike White, was best known as the real-life Ned Schneebly School of Rock. But after two years of pandemic-related travel restrictions, the introduction of luxury resort living to TV programming has been an unqualified success. And so, of course, the show had to return for a second appearance.
This season’s wintry trip to summery Sicily was a treat. The tension mounted step by step in each episode until the pitch in last night’s finale was excruciating. Would Harper (Aubrey Plaza) and Ethan’s (Will Sharpe) unhappy marriage break up? What is Lucia (Simona Tabasco) planning to do with Albie (Adam DiMarco)? And what is Quentin from Tom Hollander doing with Tanya from Jennifer Coolidge?
As it turns out, millennials were just set dressing. Ethan’s fears that Cameron (Theo James) was getting involved with his wife proved (relatively) unfounded, though they still led to a fistfight in the middle of the ocean. Daphne (Meghann Fahy) is as emotionally checked out as ever. “A little riddle?” she tells Ethan. “It’s kind of sexy.” And in the end, this is dysfunctional menage a quatre contributes little to the finale other than looking good in swimwear.
Meanwhile, the native Sicilians all get their slightly cheesy happy endings: Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) embraces her sexuality, Mia (Beatrice Grannò) gets a seat at the piano, and Lucia walks away with €50,000, and without an irritating American boyfriend . Felicita So in Taormina. But it’s in Palermo – where Tanya was kidnapped by “the gays” and Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) was kidnapped by Joey Essex – that the real drama is happening.
“Those gays are trying to kill me,” wails Tanya, trapped on Quentin’s yacht. I think you’re about to be murdered, in The White Lotus, is a great inoculation from actually being murdered. In the end, just like in the first season, the body count is largely compiled out of self-defense and a pinch of paranoia. But then Tanya makes the brave but fatal decision to escape the bloodbath she just created. As we get to the point in the whosnuffedit where we return to the season opening sequence, it’s Tanya’s body found floating in the Ionian Sea.
Jennifer Coolidge was the anchor that held these two series together, and it’s a shame to see her vacant — not least because her frantic slaughter of a boat full of dodgy Eurotrash Vintage Coolidge. But this is one show that consistently performs well: Adam DiMarco as a horny, innocent Albie (“How are you going to make it in life when you’re such a big brand?”) his father, Michael Imperiolis Dominic, asks him fairly ), Meghann Fahy as the inscrutable housewife Daphne, or Haley Lu Richardson, who demonstrates how low-key Gen Z is. Even though the script lacks the organic freshness of the first part’s resolution, the work of the casting department was as impeccable as ever.
“Next year: the Maldives,” suggests Daphne. “More diving, less pasta!” Cameron agrees. Where The White Lotus from here is a mystery, but rest assured the show will go on. After the two big fantasy dramas of the summer house of the dragon and The Rings of Powerfizzled out, it’s left over The White Lotus to make the case for an appointment viewing. Surely the finale’s unanswered questions (what, for example, is Greg’s involvement in Tanya’s “kidnapping”?) are loose ends that need to be threaded back together on the beach of, say, Bora Bora? One thing is for sure: The White Lotus is no longer a sleeper. This is the hottest item on TV right now.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/white-lotus-finale-review-ending-explained-b2243393.html The White Lotus, Season 2 Finale Review: A sizzling conclusion confirms the series as television’s hottest property