HBO’s Big Little Lies gave viewers a lot of little hints about the not-so-little secrets surrounding its three protagonists. In getting to the mystery at the epicenter of its plot, Big Little Lies raised quite a few questions for viewers to sift through, and it is time to review six of the biggest.
Warning: Spoilers from Big Little Lies Episode 1 are discussed below.
Question #1: Was Jane assaulted?
Jane (Shailene Woodley) is the young mom who has recently moved to Monterey to start a new life, seemingly to live out from under the shadow of a secret when the series begins. Throughout Big Little Lies‘ premiere episode, Jane flashes back to herself, walking along a beach in utter disarray whilst wearing a ripped dress. In the flashbacks, Jane appears to be high school-aged, or a little older.
While Jane’s current age is not explicitly stated, she appears to be in her early 20s. Since her son, Ziggy (Iain Armitage), is entering first grade, he would have to be around 6 years old, which could relate to the date of what has occurred in the flashbacks.
In the preview for Big Little Lies‘ overarching season, Jane tells Ziggy that he does not have a father. Could that be a hint that Jane’s flashbacks and Ziggy’s conception are related?
Question #2: Did Jane’s son really try to strangle Renata’s daughter?
It was the accusation that set the events of Big Little Lies into motion. When the parents returned to pick up their kids from orientation, the teacher called everyone together to announce that Renata’s daughter, Amabella (Ivy George), had been choked by a fellow student.
She then pressured Amabella to point to her attacker, and the little girl accused Ziggy. Ziggy immediately denied the allegation, and his mother defended him.
Jane later asks Ziggy again whether he did it or not when they are at home. Her confidence in her son appears to waver, even though none of his behavior indicates he has any violent tendencies. In fact, it is just the opposite.
Early in the premiere, he encourages his mom to stop and help Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) when the mother and son see her take a nasty spill on the street. So why does Jane doubt her son? Why did Amabella point the finger at Ziggy? Who did attack her?
Question #3: Is Celese’s husband abusive?
For most of Big Little Lies‘ premiere, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and her husband, Perry (Alexander Skarsgard), appeared to have a fun, affectionate marriage. While there were a few warning signs along the way, it did not keep the premiere’s closing minutes from resonating with any less shock, as Perry aggressively grabbed Celeste’s arm during an argument over their twins playing with Ziggy. Was this a one-time incident of volatility, or is Perry an abusive husband?
Celeste’s fading smile when Jane talked to her and Madeline at lunch hinted there was trouble brewing beneath her cool surface, and the teaser for the following episodes showed Celeste protectively pulling her sleeves down. Here’s one wrinkle the Perry reveal could also point to.
It might sound far-fetched, but what if Perry was Jane’s attacker and the reason he was so adamant about his and Celeste’s twins staying away from Ziggy is because he knows Ziggy is Jane’s son?
Question #4: Why do Madeline’s kids treat her so horribly?
Throughout Big Little Lies‘ premiere, Madeline is repeatedly disrespected by her two daughters, one of whom is a teenager and the other a 6-year-old. When Madeline attempts to clear the air with her oldest, she concedes that she is depressed over her children growing up.
This stymies her daughter’s aggression for a short time, before the aggravated girl goes off to her room, apparently frustrated that her little sister has arrived on the scene and taken away some of their mother’s attention.
Madeline appears to be a concerned and caring parent, so why do her kids treat her so terribly? What has she done that could have possibly earned their ire? Will we ever find out?
Question #5: Who is dead?
In Big Little Lies opening minutes, viewers learn that someone will not be alive at the end of its story. The question is, who? Pretty much nothing is given away about the identity of the deceased person, leaving one to contemplate that it could be any of the characters whose lives we are slowly watching fall apart.
None of the main characters are shown talking to the police, and the characters who are talking seem to indicate the dispute that led to the unknown person’s death principally involved Madeline and Renata (Laura Dern). Right now, Renata appears to be the most obvious candidate.
In the previews, she and Jane are seen getting into a physical altercation, and all three of the central women seem to have a bone to pick with her. An argument with Renata would theoretically be a three-against-one scenario. So it is hard to imagine Jane, Celeste, or Madeline being the victim. A wild card candidate is Perry, who, if the above speculation turns into anything, could make him a target for many.
Question #6: Who is the killer?
Without knowing who the victim is, determining who the killer could be is next to impossible. One of the big questions is how long Big Little Lies will toy with the idea that one of its central three characters is the victim. If they are shown answering the police’s questions, that would substantially narrow down the list of possible victims and suspects. If the victim is not Jane, Celeste, or Madeline, is one of them the killer?
The official description for Episode 2 of Big Little Lies on HBO’s Medium page indicates light will be shed on the aforementioned questions from the premiere. Find out which ones are when Big Little Lies continues on HBO this Sunday at 9 p.m. EST.
[Featured Image by Hilary Bronwyn Gale/HBO]