When it was announced that Meryl Streep would be joining Big Little Lies season two as Celeste’s (Nicole Kidman) mother-in-law Mary Louise, who comes to Monterey to find out what really happened to her son, I had one small question: will these bitches have to murder Meryl?
I mean, the “Monterey Five” as they’re known did kill Celeste’s abusive, rapist husband Perry, after all. The last thing they need is a nosey grandma played incredibly by Meryl Streep to figure out what all the women actually did together, which is cover up Perry’s murder like an accident. But as I watched the first episode, I realized that Mary Louise is a little unhinged herself; she’s rude, she screams, she’s just getting too close to Monterey.
Will someone have to kill Meryl, or will Meryl have to kill someone? Every episode of Big Little Lies Season 2, I’ll rank on a scale of 1 to 10 how close Meryl is to being murdered, or to murdering herself.
Season 2, Episode 3: “The End of the World”
1 to 10, how close is Meryl to being murdered: Considering Mary Louise is a perpetual victim-blamer, the kind of woman who probably thinks the MeToo movement “killed compliments,” I would love to see her come to some dramatic epiphany about male violence this season, if not death. It’s television! I can say that! She’s in denial that her son was actually a rapist, resorting to using words like “rendez-vous” for, uh, rape. She’s slowly getting under the skin of each member of the Monterey Five, with this episode focusing on Jane and trying to get closer to Ziggy. But I don’t sense Mary Louise is in danger this episode, despite a long, loaded stare from Celeste at the end. I’m giving this episode a 2 in the Meryl being murdered department.
1 to 10, how close it Meryl to murdering someone: Mary Louise goes to the cops for an update on the case, as if we needed any more evidence that she doesn’t think her son was killed in an accident. But I’m feeling uneasy, in general, by the pacing of Big Little Lies this season and Mary Louise’s quiet, nosy behavior. As in the screaming scene, I’m expecting her to explode at any moment. She insists in this episode that Perry was the sweetest little boy, but he had to have gotten his abusive behavior from somewhere, and Mary Louise’s overbearing, flustered grandma schtick is probably hiding darker tendencies. I’m just speculating! I’m giving this episode a 3 in the Meryl murdering someone department. Maybe Mary Louise is just your garden variety suburban narc, not a potential murderer? I can only hope for the latter!