WARNING: If you intend to watch season one, this review contains content that could be considered season one spoilers.
A year has passed in Monterey since the death of Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgaard) and the five women who witnessed his untimely end are trying to move on with their lives and forget what happened.
Unfortunately, things are never quite that easy. Madeline’s (Reese Witherspoon) marriage to Ed (Adam Young) is at risk after her infidelity is revealed. Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) is wracked with guilt over what happened and has checked out of her life, to the point that Nathan (James Tupper) has summoned her mother (Crystal Fox). Renata’s (Laura Dern) husband (Jeffrey Nordling) has lost all their money through a series of terrible decisions. Jane (Shailene Woodley) has the potential for a new love but isn’t sure if she’s ready to move on from her assault. And Celeste’s (Nicole Kidman) mother-in-law, Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) has arrived to “help” with the boys.
As the lie that binds the five together starts to take over every aspect of their lives, things start to unravel with Celeste’s fragile sanity and confused feelings about her late husband at the forefront.
It took me slightly longer to get into this season than the first one, but only very slightly longer and then I was hooked. The main reason was the addition of Mary Louise to the key players. She is the most wonderfully infuriating character I think I have ever seen on screen. She is manipulative, calculating and overly forthright yet able to use her veneer of grieving elderly mother to push her way through other people’s boundaries. It is delicious to watch, but only from the perspective of knowing she’s not your mother-in-law.
I liked getting to know Bonnie a little better and getting to see some real vulnerability from both Madeline and and Renata. I wasn’t completely sold on Jane’s new romance though. I see where the producers where going with it but the chemistry between Jane and her potential suitor, Corey (Douglas Smith) was lacking… plus he seemed so much younger than her.
The performances are just as impressive as the first season, although Streep blows everyone out of the water. She is just magnificent.
I am interested to see where a third season might take us seeing that the second season ended with a the five’s lives potentially devastated. I would really like to see more of Celeste’s past and an understanding of what draws her to such self-destructive situations.