Big Little Lies, final episode ***MASSIVE SPOILERS***
Don’t read unless you already know the ending, or just don’t care.
So some people are thinking, “ha ha Lion, you were WRONG, it wasn’t Ed and it wasn’t beta-male rage!”
But what actually happened is that, tonight, Ed stopped being a beta-male. He shaved off his ridiculous beard, and then he kicked ass in the talent show (which is karaoke with a live band instead of recorded music), which demonstrated his “higher value” (as PUAs would put it). When Madeline saw his performance, she started crying, because instead of seeing the pathetic beta-male provider, she sees a guy with higher value that she treated badly.
So yes, I was wrong about beta-male rage, but how was I supposed to know that, at the last minute, Ed would stop being beta?
All along I was correct that Jane having a gun was a red herring. Jane didn’t shoot anyone, and she didn’t even kill anyone.
On the other hand, that Jane was raped and didn’t know who her rapist was, that arc was not a red herring at all, but central to the final scene.
I don’t like the ending. It was really hard to figure out what was happening, I had to re-watch it to make sure, and indeed, on the first viewing I missed the look on Perry’s face that implied that Perry remembered Jane and that he raped her. Yes, that’s right, in addition to being a wife-beater, he’s also a rapist. This is just too much of a coincidence to be believable, and too much badness and evil thrust into one character.
The show would have been a better parable about domestic violence, as well as being a lot more realistic, if Celeste had been the one who died, killed by Perry in a fit of rage. Instead, Bonnie comes out of nowhere and pushes Perry down the steep concrete stairs, killing him. Bonnie once again is show to be the most awesome and most capable of all of the women in the show. She sings, she exercises, she has tattoos, she gives men erections, and she’s badass when she sees a rapist and wife-beater beating up his wife.
This series does have a pretty good moral lesson, a rarity in modern TV. The lesson is that jerks like Perry (played by the same actor who played Eric Northman in True Blood) are bad news and women should stay away from them. Nice guys like Ed are better husbands. Learn your lesson, women of the world!
You hardly hear about domestic violence anymore. It used to be a big thing back in the 80s. But today everything is about racism, and when it’s not about racism it’s about normalizing the gays. In Big Little Lies, the waiter at the café who Jane thought was gay turns out to be straight, and we are left with the feeling that he’s going to be a very good boyfriend for Jane, even if he’s too poor to own a car.
When is the last time that a TV series promoted straight nice guys the way that Big Little Lies has?
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And what about the big reveal that it was one of Celeste’s boys, Max, who was the bully? Was the whole arc about Amabella being bullied a big red herring because it had nothing to do with the motive of the murderer? Well not entirely.
Throughout the series, there was this undertone that maybe Ziggy was the bully because he inherited evil from his rapist father. Well it turns out that indeed, the bully did inherit evilness from his racist father, except that Perry is the rapist, and his kid Max is the one who in inherited evil, and not his half-brother Ziggy.
However, veering away from HBD, the show also presents an alternative explanation for Max’s behavior, that he knows that his dad his beating up his mom, and he mimics this behavior with Amabella.
Regarding the motive for the murder, learning that Max was the bully may have been the straw the broke the camel’s back and convinced Celeste that she finally needed to move out, and Perry finding out that Celeste is leaving is what led to his violent attack at the party and Bonnie pushing Perry down the stairway.
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Legally, there was no murder. “Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.” I didn’t see any malice aforethought, I saw Bonnie trying to protect Celeste from getting beat up. It was just happenstance that Perry was standing at the edge of a very steep stairway.