HBO's new primetime hit Big Little Lies is currently nearing the end of its second season. The compelling drama follows the lives of affluent parents in the town of Monterey, California who are entangled in a messy web of lies, scandals, and secret pasts. While facing troubles in their personal lives, the five have also been keeping a secret about Perry, the abusive husband of Celeste who was killed in a struggle with the women at the end of the first season.
There are so many threads in the story so far, it's difficult to see where they will converge in the season finale. Will Madeline resolve her issues with Ed? Will Renata survive her legal battle? Will the police find out about Bonnie? Will Mary Louise find out the truth? And perhaps most importantly, will there be another murder? There are several predictions for the finale, and we definitely expect them to match the climax of the first season; here are some of the most compelling theories.
10 Bonnie Takes Her Own Life
It's become apparent that Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) is suffering from immense guilt after inadvertently killing Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) in the season one finale. Although she was trying to help Celeste (Nicole Kidman), the consequences of her actions are enough to weigh heavy on her mind. We also gain insight into a potentially abusive relationship with her mother when she was younger.
It's possible that the guilt coupled with resurging childhood trauma (as well as the possibility that the police discover the truth during Renata's court case) might push her to a more desperate measure of escape. We also see imagery of drowning through her mother's "visions," which could be an ominous sign of things to come.
9 The Police Discover The Truth
Detectives are already suspicious that the death of Perry wasn't an accident. So not only is it possible that the detectives end up finding out that Bonnie is guilty, but they may also discover the truth about Perry's past. It's likely that his history of abuse went further than just Celeste and Jane (Shailene Woodley).
There are two ongoing legal battles where the truth is bound to come out, one being the custody battle between Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Mary Louise (Meryl Streep). The other is that of Renata's (Laura Dern) husband, who committed insider trading and stock fraud, In episode five, we find out that the lawyers can call any of Renata's friends to the stand and ask them to answer questions about Perry under oath. The revelation about Perry's past might turn the jury in favor of Celeste.
8 We Learn How Perry's Brother Died
Though deceased, Perry's presence remains larger than ever in season 2, where we learn that the abusive husband also had a brother, Raymond, who died at the age of five. During a flashback scene of Perry and Celeste's first date, Perry says "He passed away when I was five." This suggests that Perry himself also had a twin, just like his sons.
One of the most significant themes of the show is how the values and actions of the parents affect their children. We even notice a sudden shift to violent behavior from the twins after their father died. Given Perry's abusive tendencies (and Mary Louise's steadfast defense of his character) it's not unreasonable to believe that one of them had something to do with Raymond's death. Others believe it was actually Perry's father who is responsible. One thing we can agree on is that his death, much like his brother's, was not an accident.
7 Skye's Real Parents Are Revealed
This one's not quite as directly supported by events in the show but has become one of the more popular fan theories since season 2 began. Apparently, some believe that Bonnie had an affair with Perry (or that he sexually assaulted her) and that Skye is actually his daughter.
It is plausible that a person would be traumatized after committing murder, even if was accidental and in self-defense against an abusive man. But Bonnie is so overwhelmingly consumed by guilt this season that some think its because she knows she killed the father of her child, and potentially an ex-lover. It could also be presumed that the relationship was abusive as well, which makes memories of her childhood trauma (brought to the surface by the visit of her mother) all the more painful.
6 Corey's True Identity Is Found Out
While their relationship has been slightly rocky, with Jane's indecisiveness and Corey's (Douglas Smith) odd personality, it was starting to seem that she was warming up to him. But nothing in Big Little Lies is arbitrary; every character and event has some meaning beyond what we see on the surface. As such, Corey may seem like just an innocent romantic partner, someone Jane needs to help her move on from her traumatic past.
However, we became instantly suspicious when Bonnie sees him leaving the police station at the end of episode 5. If he is lying about who is to get close to Jane, he is likely trying to find out more about Perry's death. One theory is that he's working undercover with the police. Another more shocking possibility is that he's actually Raymond, Perry's (allegedly) dead (possibly) twin brother.
5 Ed Will Cheat On Madeline
A certain connection has already been hinted at between Ed (Adam Scott) and Bonnie, both at the Elvis-themed fundraiser and when the two were out getting coffee together. There was also that strange scene at the bar where Tori Bachman (Sarah Sokolovic) makes a move on Ed, with her husband Joseph (Santiago Cabrera) sitting and watching from a nearby table. It cuts away before anything happens but it leaves us wondering: Was Tori going to cheat on Joseph or just trying to make him jealous? Would Ed go through with it to get back at Madeline (Reese Witherspoon)?
Many would argue it's not in Ed's character to do something like that, but after what he's been through he seems to be undergoing some kind of personal change, and suddenly infidelity doesn't seem like that much of a stretch.
4 Celeste Will Murder Mary Louise
Celeste accommodated her mother-in-law for a time, but Mary Louise has proven to be a lot more dangerous than she looks. After revealing the truth about Ziggy's father to everyone (making her his grandmother) and moving into Jane's building, her presence is becoming increasingly threatening. Now, by starting a custody battle for the twins (and hinting at one for Ziggy), she's made an enemy of Celeste and the other moms.
If the truth comes out, and it's very likely that it will, we don't know how far the women will go to protect themselves and their children. While it may not be Celeste who does the deed, she has the strongest motive.
3 Celeste Is Being Drugged
While Jane is struggling with physical intimacy, Celeste chases meaningless flings to try and forget about Perry. She's also developed the habit of taking Ambien to help her sleep which has led to some unfortunate side effects. In one instance she lost focus and crashed her car. In another, she hooked up with someone from the bar but doesn't remember bringing him back to the house.
So far it's all been chalked up to side effects of the Ambien, but we wouldn't put it past Mary Louise to be drugging her with something else. It would all be a ploy to make Celeste seem unfit for motherhood, and win Mary Louise the custody battle for the twins.
2 The Monterey Five Confess
A more predictable outcome might just be that the mothers are unable to keep the secret any longer and tell the truth about what happened the night Perry died. With all the difficulties in their personal lives (Madeline's marriage problems with Ed, Renata losing her money, Jane's relationship with Corey, Celeste's custody battle, and Bonnie's guilt), it's not hard to imagine one of them would break under oath.
Should our previous theory that Bonnie, the actual guilty party, doesn't make it to the end of the season, then the confession would implicate someone who's already gone and there would be no murderer to convict. However, it is likely the other four will face obstruction of justice charges for keeping the secret. Where they go from there remains to be seen.
1 We Find Bonnie's Notebook
In the latest episode, we see Bonnie write out a confession at her mother's side in the hospital, including much more than just what she did to Perry. While she may have gotten some level of relief by putting her restless thoughts to paper, it leaves the notebook open to discovery. Perhaps this is something Bonnie wants, and the not-so-subtle foreboding quality of the scene tells us that someone is definitely going to find it. Depending on who does, it may lead to one or many of the predictions we've already made.
If you truly are unable to wait for the finale, you're actually in luck. Shailene Woodley recently revealed a major spoiler on Jimmy Kimmel Live that might confirm or deny the theories you've seen here.