[Warning: This article contains spoiler-y info about season two, episode four of Big Little Lies.]
If you thought Big Little Lies last week was intense, let’s just put it this way — this week’s episode basically took one look at last week’s and said, “Hold my beer.” Seriously, season two’s fourth episode, “She Knows,” started at a level 10. And by that, we’re clearly referring to the jaw-dropping moment Celeste slaps her mother-in-law, Mary Louise, at the pumpkin-carving party being held at Madeline’s house. Real talk? The internet was living for it.
It’s been obvious over the last few weeks that the tension between Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) and Celeste (Nicole Kidman) was building to a head. So, when Mary Louise knocks on the door unannounced and essentially invites herself to a party being hosted by Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), confrontation seems inevitable. Still, it didn’t make the electric exchange that followed any less shocking. Mary Louise wastes no time inserting herself into the festivities, cozying up quickly to Ziggy — aka the child born after Mary Louise’s son Perry (Alexander Skarsgard) raped Jane (Shailene Woodley). Celeste, realizing how uncomfortable Jane felt, asks to speak to Mary Louise.
When Mary Louise insinuates that perhaps Jane exaggerated her rape and, more pointedly, that Celeste pushed Perry into the arms of other women, Celeste hauls off and slaps her. And, make no mistake, the internet promptly proceeded to throw Celeste a party.
— Anne Beaulac (@annebeaulac) July 1, 2019
— vanya hargreeves (@teavee_j) July 1, 2019
— Siva Nagarajan (@maseeh4alum) July 1, 2019
— NICKname (@Yes_a_nicki_dat) July 1, 2019
— samuel (@Iordsstark) July 1, 2019
#BigLittleLies celeste slapping mary louise I love that song
— Hayley (@ihayleymills) July 1, 2019
I want Celeste to slap me. Not, obviously, for sexual reasons. Just because it looks like something I need. #BigLittleLies
— Joshua Barsczewski (@JoshBarBlahBlah) July 1, 2019
In the court of public opinion, Celeste is winning. She is the victim, and Mary Louise definitely crossed a line. But, as the episode would soon reveal, Mary Louise is getting ready to cross another — she met with a lawyer to file an injunction so she can get custody of Celeste’s twins, Max and Josh. While this seems totally out-of-line to us watching at home, both Renata (Laura Dern) and Celeste’s therapist, Dr. Reisman (Robin Weigert), point out that the law regarding the safety of minors in California is tricky. If Mary Louise can prove Celeste is a threat to her sons, it is possible the manipulative mother-in-law will get custody… at least temporarily.
At the end of the episode, Mary Louise reveals her intentions to Celeste and, understandably, that did not go over well. There’s a storm brewing, and we have a feeling it’s going to be a Category (Monterey) Five.