The White Lotus Season 2 Episode 7 Review: Arrivederci

The White Lotus season 2 finale goes out in a blaze of glory.

Meghann Fahy and Will Sharpe in The White Lotus season 2 finale
Photo: Fabio Lovino | HBO

This The White Lotus review contains spoilers.

The White Lotus Season 2 Episode 7

Creating a season finale for an anthology is often a lot more difficult than for a serial. The last episode of an anthology resembles the makings of a series finale of other shows. The writers must choose whether these characters that we’ll never see again will go out in a fantastic, clear-cut path of explosives, or decide to ambiguously float ideas around in a swimming pool of possibilities, the only certainty being the dead body that washes up on the shore of the beach in the case of The White Lotus

Series creator Mike White went with the latter choice for most of his characters in the second season of his hit dramedy. While audiences were desperately waiting to see how the week-long vacation to Sicily would forever alter the lives of these spoiled, out-of-touch brats, the answers were already given in the premiere episode of the season. This forces viewers to have a keen understanding of subtext and an ability to read it completely. Without this, it’s hard to glean what was intended in the climactic act. 

Ethan (Will Sharpe) confronts Harper (Aubrey Plaza) with more accusations of cheating on him, with Cameron (Theo James) being the supposed second partner in the affair. Unable to accept Harper’s claims that there was nothing more than a kiss between her and Cam, Ethan bullrushes the ocean where his long-time friend-turned-enemy is taking a casual swim on the last day of the trip. When this violence doesn’t tame his paranoia, Ethan sits down for a talk with Daphne (Meghann Fahy) to confess what he believes has transpired. 

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Daphne was one of the most understated characters of the season, an underappreciated and intricate performance by Fahy adding to the nuanced appeal of her journey. Her expressions here, yet again, require the viewer to use their own judgements to make the most of the scene. Is Daphne angry at Cameron for yet another extra-marital fling? Is she feeling betrayed by Harper? Does she see herself in Ethan, perhaps commiserating with someone who is in the early stages of accepting what she already did about dishonest relationships? 

Daphne vows that the resolution to all of Ethan’s problems is to do whatever it takes to make yourself feel better about how you’ve been wronged. Her penchant for vengeance leads to what we can assume is the two of them hiding under the Italian sun, getting it on without the knowledge of their spouses ever becoming tangible. Looking to the title sequence of the season helps aid us in the quest for answers, as a sexually suggestive depiction of oral sex under the same alcove accompanies the introduction each week. Everything goes back to normal after this. Ethan and Harper have a renewed energy in their marriage, Daphne and Cameron will return home to their children (who may or may not belong to Cameron; there’s that darned subtext again). 

One storyline that was quite a bit more blunt in its approach, but still wasn’t completely resolved, is that of Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) and Quentin (Tom Hollander). With the help of Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) on the other end of the line being held semi-captive by Jack (Leo Woodall), the two women are able to finally put the puzzle together that they are potentially in grave danger. The fan theory that Greg (Jon Gries) was in cahoots with Quentin in an elaborate plan to kill Tanya and take her money comes into clearer focus after Jack takes Portia’s phone so she can’t communicate with anyone back at the resort. 

The fun begins henceforth as Tanya’s persecution complex comes exploding to the surface. Wracked with delusions of danger, Tanya runs to the back of the boat and locks the bedroom door, frantically searching for a way out. She discovers a gun in Niccoló’s (Stefano Gianino) backpack and immediately goes Rambo on the cohort. It’s the type of scene that leaves you mouth agape, probably because it’s not everyday you see Jennifer Coolidge lay an entire round of lead into seemingly all of Sicily’s gays. 

After committing enough murder to be charged with a hate crime, Tanya still needs answers from Quentin. He’s obviously going to bleed out before he’s able to confirm the elaborate plot, something that is hilariously lost on Tanya. Delirious and without much of a purpose, Tanya fittingly whams her head on the dinghy that was her intended escape route, instantly turning into the body that we saw at the beginning of the season in the water. It’s a very satisfying end to the arc of the most popular person on the show. 

Portia is spared by Jack in a scene that could, once again, be interpreted as being left a little too open ended for some people’s tastes. Jack won’t confirm Portia’s suspicions or let on what he was going to do to her, but he has the decency to let her go on her merry way, advising her to skip a reunion with her now-dead boss and go straight to the airport. Once Portia’s stay at the resort is complete, she has a full-circle romantic moment with Albie. They exchange phone numbers and seem to be on their way to going out on the date they should have early in the season. 

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Albie is coming off the disappointment of being stripped of 50,000 euros by Lucia (Simona Tabasco), and this is one scheme that is made crystal clear to the characters and the audience. Albie was able to convince his father, Dom (the criminally underused Michael Imperioli), to give him the cash by blackmailing a guarantee that he’ll put in a good word with his mother that Dom is a changed man. We can see from a mile away that everyone involved is being played like a piano by Lucia, and it’s great to see someone outside of the elites get a win in this show. 

Much like the end of the first season, it can be surmised that none of these people learned any sort of lesson. The subtext that is required to fully enjoy the themes and issues of the second season may or may not be for everyone’s tastes. There is one item that requires no interpreting, though: The White Lotus is a hell of a ride, and we can’t wait for the next group of rich misfits to arrive at the hotel chain!


4.5 out of 5