Big Little Lies Recap: Episode 2, ‘Serious Mothering’


Adam Scott steps up to the plate

Big Little Lies continues expanding its world in episode two, ‘Serious Mothering.’ The title is a neat play on words – at first glance it looks like “smothering” instead of “mothering” which works both ways here.  The battle lines are drawn with the children being dragged into the fray now that the parents find themselves locked into various battles.

Madeline and Renata’s war continues with the latter handing out birthday party invitations to the entire class with the exception of Ziggy. The two come to a head in a tension-filled encounter at a restaurant where Madeline threatens to use Chloe’s social status as a tool to destroy Amabella’s birthday. While ‘Serious Mothering’ makes it clear that the parents are completely content using their children as pawns in their battles, it has also made it clear that they’re willing to use each other.

“…it has also made it clear that they’re willing to use each other.”

While Madeline is out waging war on Renata, her husband finds himself in a passive-aggressive conversation with her ex-husband, Nathan. After their teenage daughter, Abby, is caught with birth control pills, Madeline decides to finally put the new step-mother in her place. While her words are cruel, she has every right to be hurt because anything to do with her daughter should have at least been discussed with her. Nathan hopes that if he can intimidate Ed then he will force Madeline into peaceful submission. In the premiere, Adam Scott didn’t have as much to do other than play the quietly supportive husband, but here he shines when he gets to be a fiercely protective partner. Sure, he and Madeline may have fought over her long-simmering anger about Nathan, but Ed makes sure that she knows he’ll always have her back no matter what the battle.

Image Credit: HBO

More from HBO

Their relationship looks near perfect compared to the one between Celeste and Perry. Big Little Lies expands their relationship here from one-sided abuse to a toxic environment for both. Their fight quickly turns to sex and their unhealthy desire to keep the passion alive makes it clear that their road in the series is not going to lead to a happy ending. Meanwhile, their twins assert that they believe Ziggy is innocent, and even request to have him over for a playdate. With the two of them and Chloe on Ziggy’s side, it makes it more realistic that he’s taking the blame for something he really didn’t do.

Chloe attempts to patch up things between Ziggy and Amabella with some dancing, however, things take a turn for the worse after he tries to kiss the latter. Chloe explains she only encouraged this because it’s how her parents always resolve issues but nonetheless the incident already adds more fuel to Renata’s fire.

‘Serious Mothering’ also touches on Jane’s mysterious past slightly. When she finally falls to the ground crying from the stress of staying together for Ziggy, she becomes one of the few characters who is willing to put aside all of her problems in favor of providing a solid foundation for her son.  It’s clear she’s running from something, or someone, but for now Big Little Lies is doling that information out slowly.

Next: Westworld is getting a line of POP figures.

This second outing continues the show’s solid, easily-digestible season. It’s easy to get sucked into the dramatics of these people. We’re not sure if Big Little Lies is actually, truly great television yet, but it is at least a fun, addictive watch.