AAfter six glorious, sun-kissed weeks, it’s almost time to check out The White Lotus season two. With the second installment of his popular anthology series, Mike White has built on the addictive mayhem of last year’s Hawaiian debut and created another scintillating series of episodes.
This year’s White Lotus guests now visiting Sicily are just as wealthy and just as crappy. In the final episode, multiple storylines will culminate and some unfortunate vacationers will end up in body bags.
There’s Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya, whose discovery of an old photograph just moments before an extramarital date may hint at the darker intentions of her newest suitor, Quentin (Tom Hollander). Miles away, one night, Jack’s (Leo Woodall) tipsy “charm” loses on Portia (Haley Lu Richardson), who begins to suspect her boss, Tanya, is in trouble.
Meanwhile, there are potential red flags surrounding Di Grasso’s men – grandfather Bert (F. Murray Abraham), father Dominic (Michael Imperioli) and son Albie (Adam DiMarco) – and their connection to sex worker Lucia (Simona Tabasco). Is Lucia in for real grief, or is it more the family that gets hurt when her and Dominic’s secret is inevitably exposed?
And we can’t forget about the retreat of the rapidly crumbling couples. Ethan (Will Sharpe) grows suspicious of the unforeseen happening between Harper (Aubrey Plaza) and Cameron (Theo James) in their locked bedroom, while the enigmatic Daphne (Meghann Fahy) enjoys a carefree break from her mothering duties.
As shown in the opening moments of Season 2 with a corpse floating in the Ionian Sea, we know several people will not leave the White Lotus alive. But the questions remain – who? As? And for heaven’s sake, why?
Here are our theories…
Quentin and his group of “high-end gays” seem a little too good to be true: they’re rich, they’re generous, and they’re the first men in ages to make Tanya feel good about themselves.
In episode five, when Quentin welcomed his new friends to his palazzo for the first time, the mysterious Englishman told Tanya that he’s only been in love once before: with a straight American cowboy from his past. It looks very likely that this cowboy is actually Tanya’s terrible husband Greg (Jon Gries), who left her alone in Sicily.
If so, then there’s strong reason to suspect that Greg and Quentin are still romantically linked. Finally, Quentin said to Tanya, “I would have done anything for him. And the amazing thing is, after 30+ years, I would still do it.” Which begs the question: Did Quentin befriend Tanya so he and Greg could run off into the sunset with their money? (She’s worth half a billion dollars — and there have been numerous references to it and to her and Greg’s marriage contract throughout the series.)
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a free 30-day trial
After the fifth episode, it seemed possible that Quentin was either trying to subtly persuade Tanya to take her own life, or portraying her murder as a suicide since he made her do it Mrs Butterflythe opera in which the protagonist takes her own life.
And it seemed like cheeky fellow Jack might be involved in this plan – distracting Portia while Quentin gets inside Tanya’s head. Finally, Greg was furious to discover in episode one that Tanya had brought Portia with her on holiday.
White Lotus star Haley Lu Richardson reveals she ‘stalked’ one of her castmates
There are numerous moments in episode six that further fuel this theory. Tanya is treated to an alarming amount of cocaine in what seems like a deliberate move to disorient and disinhibit her – she ends up having sex with Niccolo (Stefano Gianino).
In a coked-up state, Tanya also sees an old photo of two men in cowboy hats at Quentin’s palazzo – could it be a snap of Quentin and Greg? Pretty sure.
Meanwhile, Jack worries Portia one night in another town. He drunkenly reveals that Quentin is actually pretty broke, but that he’ll be making some serious money soon. Could the money be from Tanya?
He also talks about how relieved he is that he’s finally doing something to repay Quentin, who got him out of a “deep, dark hole” — we already know he’s providing sex to Quentin … but is he helping him, too to surpass Tanya? Ellie Harrison
Tanya’s sex tape
As writer Evan Ross Katz pointed out on social media, there’s a mysterious red light in the corner of the room as Tanya and Niccolo start to get all hot and heavy. Capturing this encounter without Tanya’s knowledge is not only gross and hurtful, but a sign that her night of drug sex with a possible mob member isn’t just going to lead to a rough morning after.
If Tanya and Niccolo are taped, he and Quentin could use the footage to blackmail her – after all, she would hate for her absent husband Greg to get wind of her being unfaithful. We’ve known since season one that she’s been struggling with the prospect of people disappearing from her life, so Tanya would probably pay big bucks for everything that’s happening at the Palazzo just to stay right there.
Or, if the photo really is of a young Greg, maybe Greg and Quentin are secretly plotting to rid Tanya of her wealth? Even though Tanya and Greg have a prenuptial agreement, an infidelity clause could put her money at risk — and cold, hard evidence that she’s dating another man would only strengthen Greg’s case in court. In any case: Tanja, you are in danger, girl. Nicole Vasell
Tanya the Avenger
“Whenever I stay at a White Lotus, I always have an unforgettable time,” said Tanya, series two’s sole returnee, rather ominously in the first episode. I think Tanya’s time will be particularly memorable, probably because she and her assistant, Portia, are going to murder Tanya’s shady husband, Greg. His sudden departure and suspicious phone call early in the series made it clear he was on maneuvers – “She has no idea,” Greg said of his wife – but I think the ladies will outsmart him.
Many think that Greg is Quentin’s secret cowboy lover and that the Englishman’s harem is out to steal their fortune. But Tanya was subject to premonitions and chilling prophecies throughout her journey: There was her dream on the plane when she saw Greg surrounded by “men with very feminine haircuts” while his eyes were “completely dead”. Her chilling encounter with a fortune teller who suggested Greg to have an affair and that Tanya would be driven to suicide. And of course the strong connection to tragic opera Madam Butterfly, in which the heroine kills herself. But what about the painting in Quentin’s fancy pad that shows a nude woman holding a dagger? I think Tanya is in danger, but she will turn the tables on her husband and knock him down herself. Also, unless you give her a really good storyline, don’t bring Jennifer Coolidge back. Jessie Thompson
We know from episode one that Daphne survives every mass murder that awaits our doomed hotel guests. So it’s no wild assumption that our favorite edible food, Teddy Lasso– Looking at a blonde bombshell is also the one behind these murders. We know she has a complex relationship with her husband Cameron and is aware of his infidelity. We also know that Daphne also has affairs and that her children don’t look like the man she married. What we don’t know is why she ends up lying alone on her sun lounger looking happier and more relaxed than we’ve ever seen her.
There’s great I just killed my rich husband energy in the way she lounges back on the beach in a designer swimsuit before strolling over to the ocean for one last swim. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if she fooled us all along with her cultural and political ignorance. In fact, Daphne might be the smartest person in Sicily. That is, if she managed to kill her husband and catch a few more rays of sunshine before going home to spend all his money and have sex with her personal trainer, who may or may not be the father of her children.
My guess is that Daphne also placed the condom in Ethan and Harper’s room to create enough friction in their relationship for Harper to sleep with Cameron, or at least convince Ethan that they did. Anyway, there’s a motive for Daphne to frame at least one of them.
Has our killer been hiding in plain sight the whole time? I think so. Olivia Peter
Di Grasso fraud
The men of the Di Grasso family may feel worlds apart ideologically, but they are as bound by toxic masculinity as they are by blood. There’s the young “nice guy” who might not be so nice, the sex-addicted father who’s cheating on his wife, and the pompous patriarch who adores violence and does everything he can to protect his family. With sex worker Lucia driving a wedge between them, it seems a likely ending that one of them will kill her.
As soon as Albie started talking to Portia about being attracted to women who are like “wounded birds,” I gritted my teeth. Lucia is someone he thinks can save him but I think she is lying because she was stalked by her ex Alessio to get money from them. It seems unlikely that Albie would take this news well. Unless she’s lying, the knowledge that his father slept with her, too, certainly won’t go over well.
Still, it doesn’t have to be Albie who is the killer. His grandfather Bert has stressed the importance of family and is currently feeling a little hurt after being rejected by his long-lost Italian cousins in episode six. Wouldn’t he also do something to protect his family?
This brings us to Dominic, who is very uncomfortable with Lucia’s presence and angry that she is continuing a relationship with Albie. A conspiracy to unravel the mystery, leading one Di Grasso to kill her and the others helping hide the corpse, seems like a grim but plausible ending. Isobel Lewis
The Season 2 finale of The White Lotus airs Monday 12 December on Sky Atlantic and Now
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/white-lotus-who-dies-episode-season-b2242306.html Who dies in The White Lotus? Final theories with sex tapes and super villain Daphne