Somebody’s dead on Big Little Lies. If you’ve read the 2014 Liane Moriarty book the HBO drama is based on, you know who that someone is, and who killed that someone. But this is for everyone else who hasn’t read the book (and if you have - keep your spoilers to yourself, please): Each week, we’ll take stock of which characters - played by big
little Hollywood names including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz - seem the most suspicious... and which ones seem the most likely to end up killed during an elementary school trivia night fundraiser. This week, we look at the sixth episode, “Burning Love.” Click here to see our theories about the premiere, here for our rundown of the second episode, here for the third episode, here for the fourth episode, and here for the fifth.
This was the last episode before we (presumably) find out who’s dead and who did it. Here is where the lashing out really begins: Jane hit Renata and Celeste broke Perry’s urethra (in two places, no less!). Oh, and Madeline vomited on Bonnie, but that was more of an accident than a direct attack - or was it?
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Tensions are high everywhere, although Jane and Renata’s tiff seems to be solved by the time they have a surprisingly mature conversation about how they’re just worried about their respective kids. Celeste and Perry, though, are far from reaching a resolution. After she repeatedly rejects his proposal to have a quickie before seeing Avenue Q, he gets violent, and she swats him in the crotch with a tennis racket in an act of self-defense. Once they return from the hospital later that night, Perry looks at Celeste with an icy glare and says, “You’re lucky I didn’t kill you.” By the end of the hour, Celeste is considering buying an apartment she can escape to if (or, her counselor says, when) she needs to. She and Perry as a couple are not long for this world - and Perry as an individual probably isn’t, either, at the rate he’s going.
But Perry’s violence is obvious. Ed’s, less so. I still think he probably plays a major piece in this puzzle - I mean, you don’t give Adam Scott a beard like that and expect him to come out of it completely innocent (and if you do, my apologies to Adam Scott and his beard for judging so harshly) - and his ongoing feud with Nathan only makes that case stronger. Bonnie finds Nathan practicing Elvis in their living room one night because he heard Ed has also been practicing and wants to outdo him. He’s weirdly competitive with him, and we do know that one of the people being interviewed at the police station previously said the competition at trivia night got out of hand. I doubt a fight between Ed and Nathan is the main event, but maybe that’s the catalyst for everything else to go downhill that night.
At this point, it doesn’t seem like any of the women are dead. I think - hope - this show wants its female characters to come out on top, and, well, killing them... is not the way to do that. Just look at the redemption we see in this episode: Jane apologizes to Renata and Renata apologizes to Jane, something that never seemed like it would happen. Madeline has an honest talk with Abby where she admits to cheating on Ed and wonders why she would risk messing up the things she cares about most life, her children and her marriage. And then Celeste possibly rents an apartment, showing that she’s beginning to value her safety and her freedom first. These are all strong, tough decisions to make, and all signs that lead me to believe that they’re going to end this series on a high note.
Then there’s the song Ziggy sings along and dances to at the episode’s conclusion: The Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” which begins with these lyrics:
It was the third of September
That day I’ll always remember, yes I will
Cause that was the day that my daddy died
I never got a chance to see him
Never heard nothin’ but bad things about him
Momma, I’m depending on you to tell me the truth
This screams “Ziggy’s dad dies at trivia night!” especially because the song plays multiple times throughout this episode. This would back up theories that either Perry or Ed are the father, as they’re the only male characters truly big enough to earn a role as big as the victim - unless Nathan or Gordon turn out to be more crucial to this whole story than they’ve seemed to be. Now it’s just a matter of who kills them.
With that, my final guess is: Madeline kills Perry, giving Celeste the opportunity to return to the courtroom like Madeline previously predicted she would. Watch the finale of Big Little Lies next Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO to see how wrong (or right!) this is.