This article contains spoilers about Big Little Lies season 2. After last night’s season finale, Big Little Lies viewers were left with more questions than answers — the most pressing of which is whether (and when) a third season might go into production. Our Big Little Lies Season 3 predictions and theories focus on the questions the finale raised: What will happen to Bonnie and Nathan? Is Mary Louise gone for good? And what on earth happened after the Monterey Five went into that police station?
After a full season of watching the Monterey Five wrestle with the weight of their secret, seeing them file into the police station felt something like closure — but having the episode end seconds later did not. Discussing the season finale this year with Who magazine, co-star and executive producer Reese Witherspoon had this to say: “It’s so good […] Sorry, good’s probably not a good enough adjective. Controversial, I would say. I think it lets the audience have their own opinions of whether or not — I don’t want to give too much away — these women are making the right choice for their lives.”
So, we know that Big Little Lies purposely left things ambiguous — but even so, the fallout from a confession would likely be huge, given how long the Monterey Five has kept the information to themselves. It’s all well and good for the audience to make up their minds about whether confessing was the right choice, but does that really absolve BLL of letting us know what happens when they do? In our humble opinion, no — and here’s how we think a season 3 (even if it hasn’t been confirmed) would answer these questions and more.
The Monterey Five Will Suffer Legal Consequences
Time spoke with a criminal law professor about how the Monterey Five’s confession might play out, with the verdict that Bonnie could likely dodge manslaughter charges due to her actions being in “defense of others.” The others might face charges for both aiding and abetting involuntary manslaughter and “[concealing] evidence of accidental death,” both of which are criminal offenses. Punishments could include up to five years in prison, fines, probation or community service.
What the charges and sentences end up being will depend on the specifics of the court proceedings that follow — but make no mistake, the Monterey Five will absolutely face consequences for having kept this secret.
Ed’s Trust Will Be Shattered (Again)
While the legal consequences of the Monterey Five’s confession are worrying, so are the personal consequences. How will Ed feel, for example, having just renewed his vows with Madeline and watching her swear to him that they’re starting over from a place of total honesty — then finding out she’s been harboring a secret with criminal consequences? Even if he ultimately understands why she kept the secret, they’ve been trying hard all season to rebuild the trust in their relationship. There’s no way this revelation won’t rock a still-healing Ed.
Mary Louise Will Come Right Back to Monterey
At long last, the evil shadow of Mary Louise seemed to be lifting — Celeste made it clear she wasn’t welcome in her home and successfully stopped Mary Louise from getting custody of the twins. But once it becomes public that Perry did not, in fact, fall to his death, you better believe Mary Louise will be right back there, demanding that the highest possible charges be pressed and possibly even asking to re-open the custody case given the criminal nature of Celeste’s actions. Celeste was questioned on the witness stand about Perry’s death, after all — if there was any hint of mistruth in her answers, that throws the rest of her testimony into question too.
Renata Will Have A Nervous Breakdown
Obviously, everyone has enjoyed Renata’s antics this year. But as hilarious as her outbursts are, they’re also clearly the ravings of a woman on the verge of melting down completely. Her taking a bat to Gordon’s train set (and Gordon himself) was well deserved, but also a warning sign that Renata needs help — and soon. Now that the Monterey Five is confessing, Renata could be facing even more financial troubles than before, between legal fees and potential fines. If she’s trying to divorce Gordon, that will also be affected by any ongoing court cases to do with Perry’s death, and it might put Renata in a tricky position for custody arrangements — should Gordon decide to go after her. In other words, Renata’s due to be facing even more stress after this police department visit — and out of all the Monterey Five, she seems the least equipped to handle it. Something will have to give in season 3.
Nathan Will Lash Out
Poor Nathan. While many audience members dismiss him for lacking the emotional intelligence of someone like Ed, he’s had a surprisingly rough go this season. It may well be that Bonnie never truly loved him, and that he never knew how to connect with her in a meaningful way. But from Nathan’s perspective, Bonnie fell into a sudden depression, his attempt to bring her parents in and cheer her up was a disaster. And then she left him. Given that Ed and Bonnie seemed to enjoy a special connection this season, Ed might finally decide he wants that fight after all — or even try to get back Madeline out of spite. Either way, Nathan will almost certainly see himself as a victim in all this and act out toward those around him. The only question is how and who he’ll target.
Jane Will Continue Thriving
Of the five women, Jane has had the clearest upward trajectory this season, ending in what appears to be a successful intimate moment with Corey. Though she too will face legal consequences for keeping the secret about Perry’s death, the same law professor who spoke to Time confirmed that a PTSD defense could be used for the women who have suffered past abuse. Jane, as Perry’s rape victim, could likely argue her way to lighter charges. Assuming Jane is able to argue for a sentence that does not include jail time or debilitating fines, her upward trajectory will likely only continue — especially if Corey continues to be a supportive partner throughout this time. For the first time in a long, long time, Jane is not only able to be open about what happened to her, but has a support system in place to help her with the endless challenges of being a single mother. We’ve seen Jane fight to get out from under her trauma for two seasons: In the third, we might really see her blossom.