The White Lotus Season 3: What to Expect

Where will the guests of The White Lotus stay next? We have some season 3 guesses here.

Theo James and Will Sharpe on The White Lotus season 2
Photo: Fabio Lovino | HBO

The White Lotus was originally supposed to be a one-off miniseries back in the summer of 2021, but millions of fans flocked to the show’s enticing mixture of black comedy and satire of the elite. Now that season 2 has closed with “Arrivederci”, people are hotly anticipating the already-confirmed third season of the HBO hit. With quite a while until the release of new episodes and with the just-finished set of episodes clear in our minds, it’s a great time to discuss some ideas surrounding what creator Mike White will serve up for our next television vacation. 

Where will the guests stay next? 

The resort destination is a key contributor to the vibe of each White Lotus season. Hawaii was a tropical paradise with dark political undertones in the first go-around, and Sicily was all about romance and sexual energy under the Italian sun. How will the writers of the show decide where to go next time? 

White already talked about wanting to put the show in an Asian location. This would be a great change of pace from the Western-centrism of the hotels that were visited so far. The series loves to dedicate some of its discourse to the political environment of its setting, such as when Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) and Paula (Brittany O’Grady) from the first season were bothered by the imperialist tactics the United States used to capture Hawaii. There are a lot of stereotypes about life in Asian countries, and with the dearth of knowledge these characters have about their surroundings, having the show take place in somewhere like Vietnam or China could lead to some really out of pocket comments from the dense vacationers. 

Daphne (Meghann Fahy) made an off-hand remark during the last dinner of season 2 that next year the Spillers and the Sullivans should go to the Maldives, an archipelago in Southeast Asia. The country is one of the most popular tourist spots in the world right now, and it fits with White’s desire to visit the Eastern world. Hopefully the rumors of visiting Asia come to fruition, but it’s hard to believe it will be Maldives just because Daphne mentioned it. Remember, the cast of characters rotates every year. Unless . . . 

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Will any characters return from season 2?

Daphne ended up being one of the second season’s most popular characters. Much like the way Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) returned from the first season, Daphne could be the one who books a second stay in a White Lotus. Would she bring Cameron with her? His actor, Theo James, became a symbol of beautiful male wealth, and the toxic open relationship Cameron and Daphne have seems to have even more layers to unpack if the writing team decides to revisit their marriage. 

The aforementioned Tanya will not be staying for a third time at the resort after she went Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on the gays of Sicily, followed by whopping her head on the yacht and drowning. Coolidge’s tremendous talent will be missed in the ensuing seasons, but her husband Greg (Jon Gries) might just be the overarching enemy of the series. It was all but confirmed that Tanya’s suspicions about Greg trying to off her for a pile of money were true, and viewers will want to know when and how Greg will react to the bloody results of the scheme. Will he get Tanya’s money and if so, what will he do with it? Perhaps take a trip with a new love interest? 

Albie (Adam DiMarco) and Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) reunited at the airport after their brief Sicilian flirtations, and now they’ve decided to pursue the relationship they should have had originally back at the beginning of season 2. Both characters seemingly have no idea how to interact with the opposite sex, as Albie was naive enough to believe a prostitute was falling in love with him and Portia thought the bad-boy enchantment of Jack (Leo Woodall) would give her a jolt in life. Seeing how Albie and Portia would screw up on another vacation would be nothing less than fascinating. 

One of the characters who got more screen time as the second season progressed was hotel manager Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore). She wasn’t as well-rounded as the boss from the first season, Armond (Murray Bartlett), but her lesbian-awakening was a feel-good moment of the second-half episodes. She won’t be returning in the third season unless she relocates to a different resort, but we now know there is a common theme that the person who runs the White Lotus front desk is going to be someone of importance no matter what hotel we visit. 

Will there be another murder?

Everyone adores a good whodunit, right? Especially when we don’t even know who the victim is. The White Lotus has started both seasons of the series with a scene that implies someone is going to die at the end of the trip, and it is with this intriguing storytelling device that Mike White and company entrap you in a roller-coaster ride of mystery and deceit. People love theorizing about potential motives and murderers, but will this recurring style get stale if it continues in the third season? 

I believe so long as the basis for the death changes every year and the creative way in which the reveal occurs is fluid, there is no reason to fix what isn’t broken. Emulating a detective is something we all dream about, and it’s an ingenious way to make television more interactive for the audience, especially in the anthology format this show goes with. When the characters change, maintaining the thematic elements and the plot strategies everyone is familiar with lets the viewers know they can fall back on overarching similarities each time they tune into the new season. It’s this mixture of novel concepts and traditional tropes that has made The White Lotus an awards-season darling and a modern classic. 

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