Can we talk about the Big Little Lies finale? *SPOILERS AHEAD*

It’s all been building to this, the murder. But who? And why? And OH MY GOD IT WAS SO TENSE.

24 Apr 2017

To say this has been one of the most compelling, star-power-stuffed shows on TV for the past six weeks is an understatement. Friendships, frenemies and a whole lot of F-bombs, it’s been packed with infuriating, complicated women who you can’t abide one minute, only to totally get the next. HBO has delivered a masterclass in how to portray female-driven characters on screen. And the season climax was no different, delivering explosion after explosion. So,let’s break them down.

HBO

1. Celeste’s son Max was the bully, not Jane’s son Ziggy

Celeste - played by Nicole Kidman

HBO

And the look on Celeste’s (Nicole Kidman) face as it dawned on her that Max’s violent streak could be down to experiencing the abuse in her own household was heart-breaking.

2. The Audrey and Elvis fundraiser was the most insanely extravagant costume party we’ve ever seen

HBO

And although this is SO FAR from the point, we now REALLY want to go to an Elvis and Audrey fancy dress party, because the outfits were uh-mah-zing.

3. Madeline showed her vulnerability

BLL’s great strength has been digging beneath the privileged characters’ outwardly picture-perfect lives, and Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) was no exception. With a supportive-to-a-fault partner, a giganto-mansion, and smart, articulate kids, and 'difficult' personality, she's not exactly easy to empathise with, but beneath the surface she’s still messed up about her first husband leaving her, ragingly jealous of his new wife, and cheating on second husband Ed - seemingly just because she can. Her showing her insecurity and being overwhelmed by guilt at the fundraiser was a powerful Madeline moment.

4. Jane, Madeline and Renata made up

One of the most satisfying resolutions of the finale was Renata (Laura Dern) apologising to Jane (Shailene Woodley) for accusing Ziggy of bullying, and Madeline – totally sincerely (if drunkenly) – praising her for having the guts to do it. As much as their feuding made for great TV, their reconciliation was better than any ‘will-they won’t-they’ romantic storyline. And if there is a season two, imagine Renata and Madeline joining forces. UNSTOPPABLE.

5. Celeste resolved to leave Perry

HBO

One of the most upsetting storylines was Celeste’s abusive marriage to Perry and the gradual revelation that her seemingly Boden-catalogue-worthy family life was anything but. Without ever painting Perry (Alexander Skarsgard) as a straight-up monster, your creeping dread for Celeste and her children grew as the series progressed, and made her plans to leave him a major fist-bump moment. Until Perry found out about them…

6. Ziggy’s father was revealed

Jane has spent much of the season searching for her rapist, but it was the last thing on our minds as Celeste fled from Perry at the fundraiser and towards the steps, where Jane, Madeline and Renata were already huddled. The women were at first stunned to see Celeste being attacked, but Jane’s reaction quickly turned to fear when she realised Perry was her attacker too. She silently communicated this to Madeline, whose own reaction then communicated it to Celeste.

7. BONNIE!

Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) came out of nowhere to shove Perry down the stairs (pick up Liane Moriarty’s book if you want a deeper insight into why her reaction was so instinctive) and the women closed ranks to protect her from the police, which leads us to…

8. The ending

The series was all about the women, and the final beach scene showing all the women together as their children happily played, reflected that. But that final shot, as though they were being watched from afar, implies that they’re not completely free. Which sets us up nicely for season two. Bring. It. On.

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