There are people who don’t like The White Lotus or even say they don’t understand its success. The fact is that Mike White uses simple dilemmas to illustrate the complexity of all human relationships, whether sexual, loving, or simply social.
In the first season, the conflict of generations was the oxygen that paradoxically left the air so rarefied for the guests. The difficulty of communication, the facade of happiness, and the intimacy of doubts, in addition to a toxic battle of power/rights, culminated in Armand’s death. In the second we know that there are more victims – not yet revealed – and never has the truth been so lonely and the lie so convenient. There are generations of young people trying to teach their elders “what changed”, there is generation X in the middle, but more than anything that takes center stage is the old dichotomy of honesty or falsehood and again, of bright shape.
All season guests and staff deal with the facade and backstage, on a stage of an announced tragic opera. What we see is that there are cases where lying distances (Greg and Tanya, Albie and Dominic) and where the truth also brings isolation (Harper and Ethan). Harper is so obsessed with honesty as a translation of happiness and love that she doesn’t realize that the mystery of doubt could ignite a more than dead sex life with her husband. Even with all of Daphne’s hints, she doesn’t accept or catch the message. Meanwhile, very old-school Cameron and Daphne live up to the facade that they are in love, ignoring each other’s uncomfortable truths, but maintaining a marriage where there is a physical connection. What’s better?
Tanya, who comes from season one in Hawaii, wonders where she went wrong there as we watch her fall right into an obvious trap led by Quentin. He wants her fortune, certainly, but being openly gay how does he intend to achieve his goal? I was very afraid of his declaration that he “collects beautiful things” and that “a world without beauty is not a world I want to live in”, before seeking Tanya’s agreement. The millionaire did not expect to be seduced by Quentin – she is in love with his lifestyle – but because of the long conversations with him, she is already considering annulling her marriage to Greg and, who knows, considering what Quentin suggests the greatest happiness: companionship.
Quentin reminds me a lot of Osmond from Portrait of a Lady, in a gay version. Those who still hadn’t figured out that his “nephew” Jack was the hustler of the group were very distracted. If there is indeed a blood connection between them we are still to confirm, but Jack had already mentioned to Portia that he was serving the men or the old ladies they brought into the group. In other words, Quentin withholds the truth from Tanya, but Jack was quite open with Portia (who didn’t really catch what he meant). The two women are far from realizing their mistakes in reading the new friends and are isolated in Palermo with them. On the other hand, Tanya has been underestimated before.
The journey has indeed been tough for Dominic, and he seems to be the only one working on his redemption. Skidded on arrival, he is holding on to save his already doomed marriage. Seeing his son, innocent and beloved, fall for what appears to be a scam by the experienced Lucia, triggers guilt in the businessman, but although his truth is notorious (a sex addict), it is the lie (or rather, denial) that he thinks can save him. Dominic is on edge, he’s a danger at the resort.
Cameron is a compulsive liar who – as Ethan finally puts it – just wants to get what his former college roommate has. What he really wants is Ethan’s money and status, but knowing where his friend fails (sex), that’s where he always wins. From the beginning, he was in a game of seduction with Harper and now he is openly doing the kamikaze move. We’ve already covered Harper and Ethan, and here’s my mea culpa. From the beginning, I point out that there is something deceitful and complex that, instead of separating Cameron and Ethan, unites them. I considered it a Brokeback Mountain-type love affair, which after episode 5 seems to be wrong. Ethan confessed to Harper what happened between Cameron, Lucía, and Mia, but neither made any mention of the morning when Cameron came to Ethan’s bed. Jealousy is, by the looks of it in the trailers, about the heterosexual love triangle (Harper, Cameron, and Ethan), but, the twist is still possible.
There are only two episodes left until the conclusion of the season. The money grabbers (Quentin, Cameron, Lucia) have their victims in their hands (Tanya, Ethan, Dominic) and there are outside forces like Lucia’s pimp who are closing in ominously. The result promises to be surprising… what’s your bet?