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Could Mary Louise Take Away Celeste’s Twins on 'Big Little Lies'?

Julie Sprankles

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[Warning: This article is full of spoiler-y information about the second episode of BLL season two.]

Welp, we all knew it was coming… trouble. The second week of Big Little Lies has arrived and with it, some potentially very problematic truths for one of our favorite ladies of Monterey. In short, it’s looking more and more like Mary Louise might take away Celeste’s kids — and Celeste (Nicole Kidman) might inadvertently be playing right into her mother-in-law’s underhanded plans. But, could custody of Josh and Max really be in jeopardy? Let’s take a look at the possible implications of this episode’s drama.

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First things first, the episode quite literally started with a bang (or should we say a crash?) for Celeste when she pops an Ambien at 2 a.m. to help her sleep, gets into her car, runs off the road and cannot remember what happened to get her there. As troubling as this entire situation is, it wouldn’t necessarily have any bearing on her home situation since the boys weren’t in the car with her. However, her eagle-eyed mother-in-law, Mary Louise (Meryl Streep), is waiting at home when Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) brings Celeste back. This is where the situation gets hairy for Celeste. Later in the episode, she comes clean to Celeste about the car crash.

Let’s call that No. 1 in Mary Louise’s ammunition arsenal.

Later in the episode, the twins — Max and Josh — are on the porch fighting while Mary Louise and Celeste are inside talking. When the argument reaches a fever pitch, Celeste steps in to try to break it up. And in a shocking turn of events, Max tells her to “fuck off,” hitting her as he says it. Instinctively, Celeste pushes him away hard. As he falls to the ground, she screams, “No, you will not be like him.” Although she recovers quickly and scoops Max up, Mary Louise saw the entire scene unfold. That’s No. 2.

After Mary Louise helps put the boys to bed, she comes back into the kitchen and informs Celeste that they revealed they have another brother. Uh oh! The truth about Perry (Alexander Skarsgard) raping Jane (Shailene Woodley) and Jane having Ziggy, well, it wasn’t supposed to come out yet. But Chloe overheard Madeline talking about it on the phone, and she spread the word to all the boys. This means Celeste has to tell a very skeptical Mary Louise that her son was a rapist.

Not surprisingly, this did not go over well. In fact, it led to Mary Louise’s suspicion boiling over. “I’ll go to the police. To get some answers. You left some things out, didn’t you? That he had another child. You left that out… That you were planning to leave him, the very night he died. You left that out. And that you, you learned of his infidelity just 10 seconds before he went falling down a flight of stairs to his death. Ohhh, you left that out, too.” All of that? No. 3.

Which brings us to No. 4 — a seemingly innocuous, even helpful comment, made to Celeste by Mary Louise. Acting like the benevolent mother-in-law, she offers to rent her own apartment in Monterey, saying, “I want to be here when you need and not when you don’t.” And while that seems like a nice thing to say, it could be super-problematic for Celeste. Why? If Mary Louise does try to use these other incidents to make a case that Celeste is an unfit mother, having her own home in the boys’ school district would strengthen her chances of having the boys placed with her.

So, could Mary Louise make a move to take her grandsons away from Celeste? That much remains to be seen. But will it happen? It certainly feels like Big Little Lies is building toward that eventuality.

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