The season finale of Big Little Lies last night was a tour de force, and a brilliant send-off of the show—a masterfully paced and brilliantly crafted examination of the hidden lives of women and one of the most unflinching portrayals of abuse I’ve ever seen. But most importantly, it’s a series about lies: some big, some little, some big little. And that’s what I’m going to spend my precious time and yours writing about. Obviously, spoilers to follow.
12. Lying to the police and saying that Perry fell down the stairs.
There’s no way around it—this is a regular old big lie, not a big little lie at all. Even if you’re lying for a good reason (i.e. protecting the best female vocalist at Trivia Night) lying to the police about a death is still big enough stakes that it can’t rank higher.
11. Celeste pretending her marriage was perfect.
Another pretty big lie. Luckily, her therapist helped her understand how important it would be in the divorce proceedings to have friends be able to testify on her behalf, and she began to open up to Madeline, but Celeste’s fear and determination to make it look like she had a perfect life ultimately put her in danger. Big lie, not little big.
10. Perry saying his name was Saxon Banks.
Giving the wrong name was not Perry’s crime that night, but it’s the icing on the manipulation cake.
9. Celeste buying an apartment and telling Perry she was “out to dinner with Jane.”
Definitely a sizable lie, but a justified—and smart—one. Bonus points for using Jane for her alibi, the only friend that Perry hadn’t met yet (or so we think) and the only friend he wouldn’t be able to corroborate the story with.
8. Reese Witherspoon having an affair with the Avenue Q guy.
She shouldn’t have lied to Adam Scott and also that guy seemed like a douchebag. Having an affair is one thing; having an affair with a community theater director is another.
7. Jane telling Ziggy he doesn’t have a father.
A medium little lie, because she’s telling it to a child, and first grade is too young for someone to understand sexual abuse and the trauma it accompanies.
6. Zoe Kravitz being married to that guy.
She was very cool, and he was an annoying guy from a J. Crew catalog. “Hot boho wife/girlfriend” isn’t an accessory: there’s no way she wouldn’t be married to someone equally committed to eco-friendly living/oyster forks.
5. Amabella saying Ziggy was the one who strangled her.
This one would be considered less of a big little lie, except Amabella is a child, and she was scared, and also the incredibly dumb and irresponsible teacher made her point out the suspect in front of everyone.
4. Adam Scott dub singing Elvis in the finale.
Nope, it wasn’t Adam Scott. Apparently, he took singing lessons and really tried, and then had to deal with the fact that the director thought he wasn’t good enough for an elementary school fundraiser. (Of course it was actually Zoe Kravitz singing. What’s wrong with you?)
3. “Trivia” Night????
Where was the trivia? More like “Sing Elvis Karaoke With Surprising Proficiency Night.”
2. Alexander Skarsgård using a prosthetic penis to get hit with a tennis racket.
Why would you big little lie to me like this?
1. That I’ve seen The Wire.