The White Lotus episode 2 was released last week, and I must say, the characters are already feeling quite uneasy with the conflicts between them. Every character has their ups and downs. Be it Olivia, with her lost bag, or Rachel with her career and marriage.
The interactions are getting edgier, and it’s all pointing towards something terrible. Something we already know from the first episode – a murder. However, there’s no clarity as to who might get killed, but as of now, it’s not looking good for anyone.
So what exactly happens in episode 2?
The White Lotus episode 2 uses satire and irony to reveal the grey side of some characters while also showing the discomfort and dilemma other characters face. As a result, there is more tension between them that will only keep growing.
1. Tanya & Belinda
Let’s start with the somewhat mellow scenes between these two characters. Tanya has grown fond of Belinda because of her work and how she can make Tanya’s problems fade away. So she asks Belinda to join her for dinner.
Belinda, who is merely being an excellent host, tries to say no, but Tanya is pretty persuasive. So there’s this power dynamic that comes into play where Tanya is on the top.
At dinner, when Belinda talks about her life and career and how she doesn’t see much scope, Tanya suggests opening her own massage company. Belinda is flattered and denies it, but Tanya immediately offers to fund her company too.
Belinda is taken aback by this gesture since she doesn’t see money as the solution to everything. Once again, the power dynamic creates a barrier between the two ladies sitting opposite each other.
2. Olivia & Paula
The two teenage girls seem to be enjoying their holiday by smoking weed and taking drugs, but things are not all perfect. Olivia loses her bag, which has all the drugs, and the two frantically search for it in all the places.
By the evening, Olivia decides to ask the manager, Armond, who tells her that he will look for the bag and give it to her as soon as he finds it. Meanwhile, Olivia sees Paula with one of the waiters in the resort, and her face turns serious.
Later, when they are in the room, and she asks Paula who’s that guy she was with. She says she randomly bumped into him while going to the washroom & it’s not like they were friends or anything. Olivia quietly says that it didn’t seem like that.
It is pretty evident that Paula is hiding whatever her dynamic with the waiter is from Olivia, and Olivia seems to sense it as well.
Quinn seems to be the most distant character from the entire ensemble. He is always into his phone and playing games. But he seems quite frustrated. Either because his sister sort of bullies him and not lets him be, or maybe there’s a little more to him than meets the eye. Perhaps he is struggling with something that he doesn’t know how to voice or talk about?
4. Nicole & Rachel
For the most part, she seems to be a sorted character, except in this one instance where Rachel approaches her and has a chat with her. Rachel says she’s a big fan of everything Nicole has done and talks about how she is wondering what to do about her career.
Rachel explains her situation wherein her husband is rich, but she needs to be independent, have her finances, and even her career. Nicole completely supports her, and they have an empowering energy build between them.
However, Rachel then talks about an article she wrote about Nicole, and that upsets her. Nicole doesn’t like how Rachel projected her and tells her that she is just a lousy journalist. Though Rachel tries to clarify that she didn’t mean it that way, Nicole isn’t having any of it.
All the women supporting women talk Nicole was giving just two seconds ago has now vanished into thin air. As an audience, maybe I’m reaching too far, but it was a subtle dig at how the elite preach these movements but don’t really believe in them. To them, it’s merely a marketing gig.
5. Shane & Rachel
Rachel, who was until now in a dilemma about taking a writing gig she received after her confrontation with Nicole, is now more sure about taking it. She tells that to Shane, but he completely dismisses that idea.
He tells her that her taking a job on their honeymoon is not done, plus he doesn’t see the need for her to work because he is pretty rich. Rachel concedes but is disappointed.
In the night, when they are in bed, she isn’t in a great mood, and Shane tries to cheer her up by getting cuddly. He kisses her, compliments her appearance and how she’s really hot, and maybe for a moment, Rachel feels a bit better.
One thing we know for sure is things like this don’t go away with superficial compliments, so I’m guessing it’ll all come back soon. Moreover, his compliment only about her appearance perhaps shows how he is only in love with her for the way she looks and not for who she is as a person.
6. Shane & Armond
Shane being Shane, hasn’t given up the fight for his suite yet. He calls his mom, who informs the travel agent. Of course, the travel agent calls Armond, gives him an earful, and asks him to fix it!
Armond, who is quite frustrated, goes in the evening, presents them with complimentary champagne, and swears to get them to the pineapple suite before they leave to make up for the mistakes.
Armond, on the other hand, besides just being stressed, is also someone who has had addiction issues in the past. This is revealed in his conversation with Belinda. So when he finds Olivia’s bag and sees the drugs in it, he keeps it for himself instead of giving it back to Olivia.
We also see him pop one of the pills, and that’s not a good sign. You know things are about to go down when an addict who’s been sober for so long has a relapse.
The biggest reveal of episode 2 was that of Mark’s. It turned out that Mark didn’t have testicular cancer, and he instantly got into the vibe of feeling enlightened because of this experience. He behaved as if he has entered a newer level where he’s become wiser.
However, he is not all pretentious because he was worried, considering his father died of cancer when Mark was Quinn’s age. So he gives these speeches about life at the dinner table, tries to have conversations with his son, and bonds with him.
However, this phase doesn’t last too long. At the end of the day, when Mark and Nicole are in their room, he calls his uncle and talks about how he thought he had cancer but didn’t. He mentions his dad dying of it as well.
And that’s when his uncle breaks it out to him that his father died of AIDS and not cancer. He is told that his father led two lives. One as a heterosexual family man and the other as a homosexual man with several physical relationships.
It shook him, and once again, he began questioning everything. Nicole and his daughters seem to talk about it in a much more casual sense which is again a hyperbolic depiction of the lack of sensitivity.
As you can see, everyone’s on edge. All their paths will cross more frequently, moving from here, and the interactions are just going to get messier. These people in one place are like chemicals being added to a test tube to form this dangerous solution that eventually explodes!
How it all goes down and what happens to them is something we’ll only find out this weekend in episode 3!
8. About The White Lotus
The White Lotus is an American satire comedy television miniseries created, written, and directed by Mike White that premiered on HBO on July 11, 2021. The series was greenlit in October 2020 and filmed in Hawaii in late 2020.
Featuring an ensemble cast, the six-episode miniseries focuses on the lives of the staff and guests at a Hawaiian resort over the course of a week.
The White Lotus “follows the vacations of various hotel guests over the span of a week as they relax and rejuvenate in paradise. But with each passing day, a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travelers, the hotel’s cheerful employees and the idyllic locale itself.”