My Biggest Concern With White Lotus Season 2 So Far

Aubrey Plaza in The White Lotus on HBO
(Image credit: HBO)

I’ll admit that I was late to the game in watching The White Lotus, and it wasn’t until the HBO series scored some big Emmy wins that I decided to check out Season 1. I, like many others, quickly fell in love with the series and binged it all well ahead of the release of Season 2. Now Season 2 is here, and while I’m enjoying the episodes I’ve seen, I do have one major concern about this season. It’s not at all that I dislike the new cast, but I am finding myself missing the old cast quite a bit. 

While I love the idea of The White Lotus in Italy and am growing fond of Dominic and his family, Valentina, Portia and others, I can’t help but wonder what ever became of the original White Lotus characters, like the Pattons and Mossbachers. As much as I want to latch onto the new characters and really dig into this season, I find myself still wishing the original players were still around for a few reasons.

Alexandra Daddario in The White Lotus on HBO

(Image credit: HBO)

The White Lotus Season 1 Ended On Some Cliffhangers That We Never Saw Fleshed Out

Part of the reason I’m still hung up on The White Lotus Season 1 is because it ended with some very surprising moments right at the end. Perhaps the biggest reveal was that Rachel ultimately decided to stay with Shane, even though it seemed like she was set on leaving him due to the life she imagined she'd live if she stayed. We also saw Quinn make a mad dash from the airport to attempt to live in Hawaii permanently and become a professional rower. 

Why did Rachel stay? Did Quinn escape the airport? These are the questions I found myself asking while I was supposed to be getting acclimated to the mostly new cast of The White Lotus Season 2. Even now that I’m invested in what’s going on with the vacationing couples and how Cameron and Daphne might corrupt Harper and Ethan, I still need to know why Rachel decided to stay with Shane!

To be fair, I do understand that the answer to most of Season 1’s cliffhangers might be really bland. For example, I can’t imagine Quinn managed to actually escape and start a new life in Hawaii. Also, how much longer could we stick with the Mossbacher family before getting bored? Of course, we’ll never know, because they’re not around for this season, and we’re still waiting on answers. 

Tanya and Greg on The White Lotus on HBO

(Image credit: HBO)

Tanya McQuoid Is Part Of The Problem

The White Lotus Season 2 isn’t completely devoid of carryover from Season 1, as it did bring back one of its best characters from the inaugural season. Jennifer Coolidge's Tanya McQuoid is an absolute gem, and if nothing else, I am glad that we were able to see her and this new, but increasingly unfortunate chapter with her husband Greg. Out of all the characters in Season 1, she was definitely my favorite, so I can’t express enough how great it is to see her back again on this Italian adventure. 

At the same time, Tanya’s presence and her storyline serve as evidence that the show could’ve dived deeper into some of its characters’ stories, but opted not to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I can understand how it would seem unrealistic that the entire White Lotus cast would just happen to turn up in Italy at the same time, but Tanya’s presence is just a constant reminder of all the stories that I’m deprived of from Season 1. 

To be completely honest, Tanya's arrival made it very difficult for me to think of anything new happening for the first couple of episodes of The White Lotus Season 2. To its credit, Season 2 is quickly picking up and establishing its new characters, and based on that wild opening, there’s going to be an equally wild ending. I’m not quite sure it’ll be able to top the wild death of Season 1, but I am definitely curious how multiple dead bodies ended up in the ocean. 

Mia and Lucia on The White Lotus on HBO

(Image credit: HBO)

Did The White Lotus Season 1 Set A Bad Precedent For Season 2?

Not only has The White Lotus Season 1 prevented me from fully committing to Season 2 from the jump, but it’s also definitely made it harder for me to form attachments with the HBO show's new cast. I feel apprehensive about getting too close to any of the new characters, knowing that I may not get to see them again after the season. I had my heart broken once, and dammit, I’m being a bit more careful about who I let in this time around! 

Of course, I will inevitably get too invested in the lives of most of these White Lotus Season 2 characters, much like I did in Season 1. Right now, I guess I should hope that at least one of these couples will carry over into Season 3, though with multiple fatalities a possibility, there may not be anyone left by the season’s end. I mean, I hate to be morbid, but after seeing how Season 1 went down, can you blame me?

If there are characters left to follow, I guess the upside is that Tanya McQuoid’s return established that just about anyone can return to the franchise even if most of the cast is brand new. So I suppose if Mike White and the writing staff see that there’s some real love for these characters, we could see more of them in upcoming seasons. Or maybe Season 3 will start from scratch yet again, and showcase another horrific incident at the White Lotus chain of resorts. 

That one gripe aside, I have to say that The White Lotus Season 2 has slowly proven that it may ultimately be as great of a season as the inaugural one. Granted, the first one had the luxury of not being compared to itself, so it is worth considering for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to check out the new season yet. I can always make up some headcanon for the fates of the characters we hear nothing about, but in no way should any reader deprive themselves of this great series simply because of my one gripe against so many positives to speak about

The White Lotus Season 2 airs new episodes on HBO Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Anyone who is behind can catch up with an HBO Max subscription, but be sure not to skip those nifty intro credits and the secrets that they may hide

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.