Mike White deserves a lot of accolades for delivering two banger season finales in a row. While Season 1’s “DEPARTURES” was more light-hearted, ARRIVEDERCI had me and millions of other viewers clinging to the edge of our seats, holding our breath for 77 minutes and somehow still making it off the Sicilian beach alive. WOW, that was intense… until it wasn’t.
I don’t mean that last line as an insult to the show at all. THE WHITE LOTUS is always giving us a wink and a smile as it serves up pretentious rich folks and their first-world problems alongside gorgeous locations that many of us dream of visiting. On top of several layers of deceit with a splash of infidelity, creator Mike White tops us off with that knowing smirk… “Of course, they’d do that/say that/end up like that…” we say to ourselves, even when a cleverly delivered red herring has hoodwinked us. Getting to the twist isn’t the point of THE WHITE LOTUS, for there doesn’t need to be a twist at all. THE WHITE LOTUS season finale walks the fine line between Occam’s Razor and glorious surprise. As soon as the finale has satiated our “Who killed JR”-esque hunger, it quickly reminds us how insignificant that whole thing was to our privileged resort vacationers.
This season of THE WHITE LOTUS featured another exceptional cast, from returning fan-favorite Jennifer Coolidge to Italian newcomers Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò as Lucia and Mia, respectively. It’s hard to pick the VIP of the season from the cast with so many incredible performances, including those I’ve already mentioned, plus Aubrey Plaza as Harper, Michael Imperioli as Dominic, and Meghann Fahy as Daphne. But I think it’s quite simple to choose the character VIP. Harper was in the running for weeks, but our finale had her surpassed by Daphne. Gorgeous, rich, carefree Daphne. Introduced as Cam’s friendly but shallow trophy wife, by the end of our stay in Taormina, she was the only one who was truly on vacation. While others have speculated Daphne is the epitome of “ignorance is bliss,” the finale showed us she knows more than she lets on, but she’s not going to let it ruin her holiday or life. As the locals may say, “Così è la vita!”
The time has come to bid THE WHITE LOTUS arrivederci once more. Until next time, put your seats and table trays in the upright position for take-off and turn off all personal electronic devices, including laptops and cell phones. When the captain turns off the seatbelt light, you’ll find THE WHITE LOTUS S2 streaming on HBOMax.