Review: The Big Little Lies finale was a masterful piece of storytelling


HBO’s Big Little Lies ended its seven-part miniseries with a bang on Sunday night, and we’re still reeling from the big reveal.

In the interest of being fully honest, I need to tell you that I started watching Big Little Lies last week. Yes, this gem of a show was something that didn’t really catch my eye, at first glance, because I had no desire to watch Reese Witherspoon and her rich gal pals on the beach, whine about their first world problems. I have never been so wrong, and I have no problem admitting that.

Once I watched the first episode, I binge-watched the first six episodes and waited with bated breath until the series finale, on Sunday night. And boy howdy, was it a treat and a half!

Big Little Lies, episode 7, “You Get What You Need” was a such a masterclass in storytelling, and simply put, one of David E. Kelley’s greatest episodes, ever — and yes, I know that is saying a lot.

Getting into the specifics, the episode begins where you hoped it wouldn’t: In Perry and Celeste’s house. An odd sound is coming from the couple’ s bathroom. Celeste is on the ground, doubled over. Perry has once again beaten her, and this time, Celeste doesn’t fight back. Later on, it is revealed through a flashback, just how bad the beating really was. My God, Perry really went full tilt on her…it was so bad that I actually closed my eyes.

Meanwhile, Joseph’s wife (Tori) is now stalking Madeleine, and when she confronts him about it, the scumbag actually has the audacity to call her a “self-entitled rich bitch,” like he wasn’t part of the affair that hurt his own marriage. Come on man, own up to your mistakes and quit slut shaming the other woman.

Back to Celeste, as she finds her way to Dr. Reisman, the therapist. Dr. Reisman can tell Celeste has been beaten badly, and when she asks if she has her exit strategy in place, Celeste says she does, but that she is waiting for Perry to leave in a day. Dr. Reisman tells Celeste that while Perry is definitely ill, Celeste is ill, too. It’s an eye-opening moment for the character.

Jane is home with Ziggy. He doesn’t want to go to school. She asks him if it is because the kids don’t want to play with him, but he says no, the kids are all friends with him. Jane looks shocked. Jane then asks who is hurting Amebella, and asks Ziggy to point the culprit out from a class photo. Ziggy points to Max, Celeste’s son.

While at lunch, Jane tells Madeline what Ziggy showed her, Gordon Klein threatens Jane with a lawsuit if Jane ever comes near his wife (Renata) again. It all happened very fast. Later, Jane meets with Celeste to tell her about Max’s behavior, and Celeste believes her and goes home and asks her son. He admits it.

Hey look, it’s trivia night, and Ed knows something is up with Madeline. In fact, he can tell something is up between Madeline and Joseph, that piece of crap. Ed gets up to sing his special but needs some liquid courage.

Before they leave for trivia night, Perry brings Celeste’s phone downstairs and says she has a message from the property manager. The look on her face is one of pure horror. On the way to the event, Perry asks Celeste what her plan was, she says it’s too late and that she was going to leave. Perry tries to drive away, but Celeste finally gets out of the car and walks away.

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During the event, Madeline has a panic attack and walks to the edge of a tall bank of stairs and talks to Jane about the affair she had with Joseph. Renata comes over and apologizes for her treatment of Ziggy. Celeste comes over and all four women begin to talk. Just then, Perry comes over and tells Celeste to come with him.

Celeste refuses, which sets the walking pile of human garbage Perry toward violence. Bonnie watches the whole thing unfold, and decides to act.

Here’s where it all gets really good. Apparently, in the books, Bonnie suffered abuse at the hands of her father and watching Perry mistreat his wife, brought back these horrible memories. Anyway, when Jane sees Perry, the huge twist of the entire series is finally revealed, as Perry is the man who raped Jane, and is actually the biological father of Ziggy.

Jane begins to grip Madeline. Madeline looks at Jane, Celeste looks at Jane, all three women look at Perry, who then looks at Jane. It is then that David E. Kelley’s masterful camera work tells the whole story without a single sound, as we watch the entire scene terrifyingly unfold.

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Perry reigns down blows on the women, and that’s when Bonnie rushes in and saves the day, by pushing Perry down the bank of stairs to his death.

In the end, Perry brought five women together in a strong bond. Five women who became one family. One family who’s children run and play together on the sandy beach, as he lay beneath the cold dark ground.

Big Little Lies is a triumphant masterpiece. It is the best show on television this winter, and I sincerely hope David E. Kelley can come up with an idea to bring the women back for a second series, next winter.