The White Lotus (Season 2 Finale), Episode 7: As we said, Mike White did surprise us. And he also tossed most of our predictions away to the trash can.
But before going into that, let us talk about this season’s breakout stars for a minute. Just like the last season, White assembled an ensemble cast with already-established names and lesser-known actors. And like last season’s breakout Sydney Swiney (who also had the help of Euphoria, another HBO hit), this season yielded the same result for Meghann Fahy, Haley Lu Richardson, and Will Sharpe. All three of them have done considerably noticeable works before, but before The White Lotus Season 2, many people did not know their names. While we spent the last seven weeks contemplating the victims, killers, and possible theories, these actors basked under the light of their newfound glory. Sharpe, in particular, got the biggest share of it, considering several profiles of him being the most desirable man on TV have graced the Internet in quick succession.
Now back to the finale, which did not go as per our expectations or prediction. White surprised us by giving it a dark and ironically funny spin and not explaining a lot of things, which means we still have many questions left that will never be answered. So we are gonna keep making up our own theories until the time of the next vacation.
The White Lotus (Season 2, Finale) Episode 7 Recap
Last day of the vacation, we find most of our characters exactly where we left them off. Let us start with Ethan, whose day doesn’t get any better, which is not surprising.
Did Harper really do “it” with Cameron?
The question which we have kept pondering over and over since last week. But Ethan, with all his vivid imagination, is certain of it. He confronts Harper again. After trying to be casual and nonchalant, Harper finally admits to kissing Cameron. She tells Ethan about how Cameron has been sort of sexually harassing her throughout the trip. In her version of events, Cameron came to the room, latched the door, and went to his room through the adjoining closets when Ethan came. All that happened was just a kiss, and she was really drunk.
But Ethan still doesn’t buy it. He still doesn’t believe her and storms out of the room. An absolutely fuming Ethan finds Cameron swimming near the beach; true to our prediction, he does snap. But no killing happens. Just some tussle between the men, and the fight gets broken by a guy nearby.
Ethan wanders off and finds Daphne, who seems very much empathetic toward him. Upon hearing Ethan’s suspicion about their respective spouses, Daphne vaguely asks him to use his imagination and do the necessary things in order to survive.
“You don’t need to know everything about someone to love them.”
That’s what she tells him. Then she asks him to visit a nearby island she has wanted to visit since day one. Ethan follows Daphne, and the two end up in that place. We don’t know the rest.
Tanya is in trouble, and so is Portia
We get a closer look at that photo from last week’s episode, and yes, it is indeed a very younger-looking Greg. We don’t have any doubt, and neither does Tanya. Quentin, of course, says it is a man named Steve and acts all surprised when Tanya mentions this man looks a lot like her husband.
It is everyone’s last day at Palermo before going back to the hotel, and Tanya is anxious as she can’t find Portia. As we know, her assistant has been sort of kidnapped by Quentin’s (definitely not) nephew Jack. In fact, Portia even blurts that out to Jack later in the episode. Anyway, Portia can’t find her phone, and Jack asks her not to worry about it much. She is, of course, very much worried for her and Tanya. Soon, she manages to reach Tanya when she gets her hands on Jack’s phone. As Tanya and Portia talk, Tanya’s imminent danger gets clear.
It is Greg, after all, who is behind all these. And as per the prenup, he doesn’t get anything if Tanya divorces him. The only way he can win is if Tanya dies. Realizing the epic fuckedupness of the situation, Portia tries to calm down Tanya by telling them they are overthinking and nothing will happen. They promise to reach the hotel and meet as soon as possible.
But will Tanya even reach the hotel?
And what is up with the De Grasso family?
Dom continues to walk on the path of his redemption when he agrees to transfer 50000 euros to Lucia, to fulfill Albie’s wish of getting the damsel out of her distress. Sure, it needed some persuasion, but Albie didn’t have to work much to get his father on board. In return, he promises to help Dom fix things with his mom.
Meanwhile, Bert still seems to daydream about his lost family and Sicilian heritage.
Valentina is a really good person, maybe the best among all
The morning after her eventful birthday night with Mia, our manager wakes up quite late and fumbles her way to the reception. But she doesn’t forget to thank Mia for the night before, who also reciprocates a similar reaction.
Valentina’s first order of business happens to be transferring the sleazy Salvatore to the beach club, where he can’t harass Isabella anymore and reinstate Rocco in his old position. This obviously makes Isabella very happy as she wholeheartedly thanks her employer, as she should.
Valentina’s good deeds don’t end here; soon after, she fires a returning Guisepe and permanently gives his job to Mia.
The White Lotus (Season 2, Finale) Episode 7 Ending Explained
Back to the couples
Ethan and Harper are away from the other couple in the evening, but Daphne and Cameron come to join them from their table and act like nothing ever happened. Surpassing both the audience as well as Ethan and Harper, Cameron even raises a toast to everyone at the table for making the vacation memorable. And then casually throws the idea of their next vacation, maybe in Maldives (The White Lotus has been renewed for season 3, and as per the rumors, it is heading to Asia; if you know what I mean).
Back in the room, a distressed Harper asks Ethan what is going to happen to them. Ethan looks at her in a way we haven’t seen before. Then he moves forward, almost like a changed man, and throws himself at his wife with all the passion in the world.
The next morning at the airport, we see Daphne and Cameron exactly how we saw them for the first time. But Ethan and Harper are nothing like before; the couple that is leaving us here appears to be happy and content with each other.
Yes, how exactly did that happen?
And finally, the glorious exit
On the returning boat to Sicily, Tanya realizes that she may not reach the shore after all. As Quentin, still in his BFF-for-life mode, tells her Nicolo is coming for one last rendezvous, and he is the one who is going to take Tanya to the shore.
An anxious Tanya tries to delay the inevitable for as long as she can before finding one moment of courage which leads her to grab Nicolo’s duffle bag and find a gun in it. Pointing the gun at the closed door, Tanya waits for the impending doom. The door gets broken by the men that want her blood, but Tanya blazes her gun like a true “final girl,” and the bodies keep falling down, one after another. She asks a dying Quentin if Greg is having an affair after all but does not get her answer.
And just when we start to think Tanya survives, after all, Mike White gives us the biggest surprise. Tanya tries to jump on the small boat that was brought by Nicolo, but the jump does not go well for her, and she ends up in the water. The next morning, Daphne encounters her lifeless body floating in the ocean.
Goodbye, Jennifer Coolidge. It hurts to see Tanya going out of The White Lotus like this, but she was always supposed to be the Opera heroine with the saddest possible ending after all.
Goodbye, until we meet again
Jack has a change of heart and lets Portia go with her phone. But he suggests she not get further involved in all the drama that involves powerful people. Taking Jack’s advice into account, Portia skips going back to the hotel and ends up at the airport in the morning, where she meets Albie.
Meanwhile, Albie has been conned by Lucia, who has escaped with all the money as we see her celebrating with Mia and (surprise, surprise) Alessio (we still don’t know if that’s the brother or not, but it really doesn’t matter anymore) a few moments later. But it doesn’t seem to bother Albie much. The two end up exchanging numbers, and maybe a possibility.
The thing is, we will never know what really happened between Cameron and Harper and whether or not Ethan was right. But we also don’t know what could possibly happen between Ethan and Daphne that changed Ethan’s way of looking at his wife. White purposefully keeps the threads untied for us to make our own interpretation. Maybe all Ethan and Harper needed were a bit of the obnoxious couple around them to refurbish their own dynamics, if that makes any sense. And with Cameron’s mention of Maldives and Tanya’s death, we might get a chance to meet these four next season. We will certainly be interested to see them again.
Tanya’s final words are, “you have got this,” before tripping over and falling into the ocean. That is the darkest The White Lotus has ever gone. Unlike Armond’s demise last season, this is not even funny. It is just plain morbid and cruel. Maybe in this world, the Gregs win in the end, unlike the legend of Testa Di Moro.
The thing is, despite being the true big villain of the season, Greg doesn’t appear for a single scene in the finale, and nobody ever admits his involvement in the whole thing. This still leaves some questions, but we can connect the dots in between. The photo was enough.
Last year, the first season of The White Lotus was suddenly gifted to us by Mike White. It was chaotic, bold, very direct in nature, and most essentially funny. The second season came with the burden of such a brilliant first one, along with our humongous expectations. Did it deliver? The short answer is no, which we probably don’t want to admit because of our love for the show.
And the sole reason for that is while the characters, as well as the conflicts in the sophomore season, were far more layered and exciting to look at; White’s sly approach of storytelling with overuse of hints and metaphors sort of killed the fun, especially given how explosively things started with the double-edged killer-victim mystery. The finale did not manage to change anything, unfortunately. It was surprising, shocking, and maybe even logical, but not exactly satisfying.
The show still remains very watchable, and we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing another season of The White Lotus. In fact, personally, I am going to look forward to it. Hope Mike White brings back the fun of the first season in the next one.