Spoilers ahead for the first season of Big Little Lies.
There are two TV shows that absolutely dominated during this past awards season. Hulu made history for cleaning house with The Handmaid's Tale, and HBO's Big Little Lies took home a ton of statues for the limited series categories. Almost immediately after the series concluded with its gorgeous finale, fans have been wondering whether BLL could return for a second season. And while the series is out of material from Liane Moriarty's novel of the same name, HBO ultimately brought back Big Little Lies for another set of episodes. Now another surprise has hit: Alexander Skarsgard's will be back to reprise his role as Perry in the series.
News of Alexander Skarsgard's inclusion is sure to excite and confuse the many fans who devoured Big Little Lies' first season. Perry was the central villain of the show's first season; we saw as he physically, emotionally, and even sexually abused Nicole Kidman's character Celeste. Ultimately Perry met a grisly end at the end of the finale, as Zoe Kravitz' Bonnie pushed him down the stairs and he ultimately died. So how exactly is he going to fit into Season 2?
Narratively, it would make sense that Alexander Skarsgard to return in a flashback capacity. Celeste will no doubt continue struggling with the domestic abuse she suffered for years, and will therefore be dealing with a mixture of freedom and guilt over his untimely death. Additionally, Bonnie should be feeling similarly distressed, after accidentally killing Celeste's husband. She's a sensitive character, and having blood on her hands will no doubt haunt the yoga teacher.
Perhaps the most important reason for Perry's return to Big Little Lies has to do with Shailene Woodley's Jane Chapman. The back half of Season 1 saw Jane try to track down the man who assaulted her and impregnated her with little Ziggy. When Perry showed up to confront Celeste at Trivia Night, Jane realized that it was her friend's husband who had attacked her all those years ago-- she didn't even need to search outside of Monterey.
Given how Big Little Lies' finale ended, we never got to see Jane process this revelation, and see how the knowledge of her abuser affected her life, friendship with Celeste, and relationship to her son. In order for that to possibly explore that in Season 2, Big Little Lies is going to need Alexander Skarsgard.
TV Line's announcement of Alexander Skarsgard's return to Big Little Lies doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a series regular. Instead, it stands to reason that HBO would make this announcement so they can film his guest role without Game of Thrones levels of security. The news is out, and now fans will have to wait and see how Perry will show up in Season 2.