Spoilers below for the entirety of The White Lotus' second season, so be warned if you aren’t yet caught up.
Thankfully for everyone with HBO and HBO Max subscriptions, Mike White’s The White Lotus remained as strong and compelling in Season 2 as it did with its initial outing. From the gorgeous, envy-inducing locations to the wildly talented ensemble to the big dead body mystery set up in the premiere’s flash-forward, viewers had more than enough to pay attention to with each new episode. (Even just with the clue-filled opening credits.) And while fans still have theories and big questions about unexplained details, the sexed-up cable drama capped off its second season with a shock-filled finale that changed the lives of many of its characters.
The White Lotus Season 2, Episode 7 "Arrivederci"
Which Main Character Died In The White Lotus' Season 2 Finale?
While the premiere made it clear that there were more remains floating around than just the single corpse that Daphne bumped into, it seemed clear from the start that only one of the main characters would be offed. And in the end, it was indeed Jennifer Coolidge's season-connecting Tanya who bit the dust, so to speak, but she did not suffer at anyone else's hand. Rather, she turned the table on Quentin and his cronies, stealing the hitman's bag of tricks and using his sidearm to successfully shoot her way to temporary safety. (The yacht captain and Paolo Camilli's Hugo presumably survived the incident.)
But her victory was rather short-lived. As Tanya attempted to figure out how to make it down to the rowboat while wearing heels, she slipped over the guardrail, hitting her head against the side of the boat and subsequently drowning.
Who Else Died In The White Lotus' Season 2 Finale?
When Tanya's self-defense rampage concluded, she'd put bullets in Stefano Gianino's Niccolò, Bruno Gouery's Didier, and Tom Hollander's Quentin, and it can be safely assumed that each of them succumbed to their wounds.
What Happened To Bert, Dom And Albie?
- Bert: The Di Grasso patriarch didn't get to share fun times with any of his distant relatives, but he did get slightly aroused by his possible-descendant Mia when they hugged. Bert is returning home slightly less happy, and with slightly fewer brain cells.
- Dom: With Albie's help, Dom was able to have a phone exchange with his wife that didn't end with anyone raging or depressed, so it's possible he'll return to a marriage on the mend. Though as viewers noted when all three men turned to ogle at an attractive female in the Italian airport, his instincts haven't changed in the slightest.
- Albie: The naive youngster managed to convince Dom to grant him the 50,000 euros that Lucia requested for her safety, and wasn't all that surprised to wake up the next morning to find she'd already booked it. With that highly expensive sexual experiment in his past, Albie reconnected with Portia in the end, but it's unclear how closely he'll stick to the lasciv·ious behavior of his elders.
What Happened To Portia?
Portia’s paranoid instincts were spot-on, as Jack was clearly keeping her clueless about Tanya’s situation through taking her phone and lying. She confronted him about having sex with Quentin, which he didn’t really explain, but instead of going through with lethal forms of punishment, Jack eventually let Portia go free. She went to the airport soon after, essentially learning about Tanya’s fate from Albie, but unsure of what might come next, especially if Greg was responsible for everything that went wrong in her boss’ life.
What Happened To Ethan And Harper?
- Ethan: Taken to the limit, Ethan angrily confronted Harper about her and Cameron's behind-locked-doors situation, to which she admitted they kissed, and Ethan did not accept that she was being completely honest. He shared his suspicions with Daphne, whose response was similar to what she offered Harper, only with the implication that things then got physical between them on another part of the island. Whether it did or didn't, Ethan seemingly took Daphne's "find a way to cope" advice to heart, as his sexual desire for Harper appeared to have returned in full by the end of the finale.
- Harper: She didn't convince Ethan with her admission about her time in the hotel room with Cameron, and more than a few viewers agree Harper seems to still be hiding a detail or two. But whether that suspicion is legitimate or unfounded, it was enough to force Ethan to find another outlet for his angst, thus healing their marriage overall. She also didn't seem to be too bothered by Cameron or Daphne in the end, perhaps understanding that they were partly responsible for the unexpected jolt of marital energy.
What Happened To Lucia And Mia?
- Lucia: The ambitious and dream-filled Lucia pulled off a major con with Albie, cutting ties the morning after he put 50,000 euros in her bank account. As witnessed in the final shot, her purported aggressor Alessio was actually just an employee at another hotel in the area, and boasted a smile as big as the horizon when they embraced. For what it's worth, actress Simona Tabasco told Variety she thinks that Lucia's libidinous resort activities were her first attempt at sex work, and that she truly did fall in love with Albie in small part.
- Mia: Similar to how Lucia used her bedroom prowess to help secure a brighter future, Mia secured a permanent piano-player gig at the White Lotus after helping Valentina embrace her attraction to other women. It's unclear whether or not Giuseppe will attempt to resecure his job through legal means after being fired on the spot, but he did threaten it.
What Happened To Valentina?
It truly seems like Valentina shook off everything that made her retentive and angry through sleeping with Mia and bringing that closeted side of her personality to the surface. Though she's obviously left to deal with bullet-ridden bodies and the scandal that comes with such an influx of the dead, she appeared to be over her crush on Isabella, and looked forward to having Mia introduce her to others in the LGBTQ+ community.
Below are all of our theories about the dead body's identity from previous episodes of The White Lotus.
The White Lotus Season 2, Episode 6 "Abductions"
The White Lotus’ penultimate Season 2 episode was arguably the most cloaked-in-ominousness installment of the HBO drama yet, with its unnerving score and sporadic shots of waves crashing into mini-crags jutting out from the water. Viewers will soon finally learn where this Italian vacation’s mysteries and altercations will conclude, as well as whose body Daphne found. While we could spend a whole summer discussing the paranoia-driven details that make up Harper and Ethan’s relationship, let’s just stay focused on theorizing about which character will be pushing up wet daisies by the finale’s end.
Making a return appearance to this theories list is Jon Gries’ Greg, who seemingly also made a return to The White Lotus itself, albeit in photograph form. “Abduction” more or less confirmed the theory that Greg is indeed Quentin’s cowboy lover, which makes Tanya and Coke Dude’s sexual escapade all the more salacious, if also clearly predestined. I have to assume that Tanya is being set up so that there’s proof of her infidelity, which will either allow Greg to get some kind of financial windfall in the event of a divorce, or will allow Quentin to make bank through blackmail. But whether he’s actually involved or not, Tanya is almost definitely going to want to blame him anyway, given their ups and downs. Will she be willing to kill to keep her fortune intact? I guess it depends on how much cocaine is still flowing through her bloodstream, but I think it’s entirely possible.
On the flip side of that scenario, it’s become even more transparent that Quentin’s efforts to woo Tanya with friendship and fuckbois were not so authentic. To the point where I’m pretty sure Greg would have told Quentin about Tanya’s past cocaine use for that to be the party favor of choice. Even if Portia steps up to defend either her life or her honor, Tanya was already living on emotionally shaky ground, and I don’t think her assistant’s support will be enough to bring her back from the dark side of realizing how deeply she’d been screwed over by those she trusts. If she has access to both prescription pills and the ocean, there’s a good chance Tanya will combine the two in a most devastating way.
Cameron has always seemed like the long-shot option as The White Lotus' mystery corpse, since it's his wife who discovers it. But after witnessing Ethan's complete and utter mental shutdown in Episode 206, I can far more easily believe him capable of rearranging his former college roommate's face in such a way that no one would be able to recognize him. Ethan may be partly responsible for his own rampant paranoia, in not being wholly truthful with Harper right away, but he doesn't seem capable of coming back from the edge of whatever mental cliff he's standing on, and Harper possibly doesn't grasp that they should all be in damage-control mode at this point. Ethan clearly isn't capable of playing the same marriage games as Daphne and Cameron, and I don't think his first instinct upon snapping would be to hurt Harper. As such, Cameron should find a bulletproof astronaut helmet if he wants to make it to the end.
The White Lotus fans have long suspected Lucia and Alessio of working together to scam the Di Grassos (and presumably others), though it’s not entirely clear whether he’s her souteneur or possibly a family member. Though we haven’t really seen Alessio become overtly violent or aggressive, Lucia has played this case up in Albie’s head, with Dom and Bert now also aware of that situation. So it would make proper enough sense for everything to blow up in her face, with one or all of the Di Grasso men stepping up to protect her in a way that takes Alessio permanently out of the picture, thus destroying that part of her life. Of course, it’s also possible that Alessio has been an authentic threat this whole time, which would only make his potential death that much more meaningful. (Which is why I don’t think it’ll play out like that, since this season is all about sitcom-esque misunderstandings.)
Poor Bert. While Dom has painted him as a terrible influence of a philandering father, he seems like an alright guy, and definitely one who would step up to protect someone in a feeble position. And he's definitely in a more defeated place after Episode 206, having been turned away so rudely by possible bloodline relatives, and even being cursed in the process. (Not sure if he was aware of said curse, but still.) So this is more of an extention of the previous entry, in that I think a mentally restless Bert may opt to play the hero when it comes to handling Lucia and Alessio's situation, only for it to go tragically awry.
How is the finale not here already?!? I'm not sure I'll be able to make it through the rest of the week without snapping, so I'll just have to soothe myself with Mia's piano and singing skills. (And not those other talents she brought out with Valentina.)
Below are the theories I had following the fifth episode of The White Lotus' second season.
The White Lotus Season 2, Episode 5 "That's Amore"
With its fifth episode, The White Lotus really turned on the heat for pretty much all of its central couples, while still making room for even more potential pairings before Season 2 sails through a sea of bloated bodies and into the sunset. (Quentin probably wouldn’t think that sentence had enough beauty to it.) And from Harper pulling a drunken 180-degree spin to Tanya’s shocking-but-not-that-shocking discovery with Jack and his ‘uncle,’ the episode “That’s Amore” provided some new theory routes to jog down while trying to determine whose fate was already sealed in the premiere. So let’s borrow Ethan’s sweatbands and get to jogging.
In many ways, Tanya’s story feels like the least urgent one playing out in front of audiences, with it largely hinging on her audibly self-realizing how her life sucks. But Episode 205 set up some dark possibilities for her, with more hints that Quentin & Co. may be medium-conning Tayna and Portia, presumably for financial gain. (Jack not having his wallet definitely plays into those suspicions.) But when Jennifer Coolidge’s vacationer identified with the lead character in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly for choosing seppuku as an exit strategy, she became a far more likely option for the impending reveal. If she’s dealt the 1-2-3 combo of Greg leaving her for another woman, Portia dumping her for a different life, and a gaggle of gay men feining friendship for financial gain, Tanya could very well hit the kind of rock bottom she won’t return from by taking an extended swim.
On the flip side, it could be that Quentin is getting ready to sleep with the fishes, so to speak. While it would be easy to view Tanya as only the victim she constantly paints herself as — going so far to question whether or not she was cursed by Season 1’s spa manager Belinda — she could just as easily react to future turmoil in vengefully heightened ways, and she might not be alone. If Greg shows back up in Italy without any nefarious twists to announce, and catches wind that his wife is being used and teased by erudite swindlers, I wouldn’t put it past him to have a physical response, with or without Tanya sharing in his more violent urges. But even if Greg doesn’t get involved, Portia could also make the choice to step up for her boss in the most brutal way possible. However it goes, if Quentin is guilty of something, he’ll probably pay dearly.
I didn't have Ethan on my list at all before this week's episode, in part because he'd be one of the most recognizable people at the resort to Daphne, but also because he didn't yet seem destined for extremes. But then along came drunk and candid Harper, who shook up the group's entire dynamic with her line of questions and admissions. Ethan calling Cameron out for a history of coveting other people's desires added some necessary context to the latter's uncloaked advances on Harper, and it wouldn't be a stretch at this point for that particular slice of infidelity to go down. And I could see Ethan feeling the ultimate form of betrayal, considering his biggest sin during this trip was lying for Cameron's sake (which is a pretty dumb thing to do). I don't necessarily see him going the suicidal route suggested earlier with Tanya, but more of a "getting too fucked up and going jet-skiing during a thunderstorm" kind of situation. Or attempting to take a swing at Cameron and falling off a cliff.
Michael Imperioli’s Dom continues to be the most miserable person in Eden whose name doesn’t rhyme with “lasagna,” and his situation as both a father and husband is growing all the more complex as Albie falls harder for Lucia. Despite Dom’s warning, Lucia continued her tryst, and seemingly upped the ante through an aggressive and money-seeking pimp named Alessio (who may or may not be in on whatever scheme Lucia may be pulling). So for as much as Dom fucked things up at home with his wife, it would be a wholly different can of worms for him to deal with Albie being bilked out of money, or being beaten up in lieu of paying up. (Dom also called his dad out for being the worst influence ever when it comes to relationships, so that bridge isn’t so strong either.) I could see a situation where his fatherly instincts took over, thus putting Dom in mortal danger while in the midst of protecting Albie.
For this week's wild card option, I'll offer up Eleonora Romandini's front desk receptionist Isabella, who is the one noteworthy White Lotus employee who wasn't seen or mentioned during the Season 2 premiere opening, as opposed to Valentina, Rocco, and the newly introduced Salvatore. This episode also marked arguably Isabella's first moment of pure unhappiness, with Valentina having scuttled Rocco off to the Beach Club to kill his and Isabella's chemistry and friendship. Now, Mia managed to draw the manager's lustful attention with her trade offer of sex for the temporary piano gig, which almost necessarily means someone is about to get caught in the act. Possibly Isabella will catch Valentina and Mia, thus squashing the manager's chances that likely weren't there to begin with, or Valentina will walk in on Rocco and Isaballa getting dirty, and will have a time-stunted reaction that goes fatally wrong for the receptionist.
Below are my theories from Episode 204.
The White Lotus Season 2, Episode 4 "In The Sandbox"
Here are my top candidates for the mysterious premiere corpses following Episode 4, “In the Sandbox,”, at least based on my own sporadic logic and topsy-turvy theorizing.
This might feel like something of a downer beat to start off on, but considering F. Murray Abraham’s Bert is one of the few main characters who seems to genuinely be having a nice, comfortable experience from one day to the next — with Meghann Fahy’s Daphne a little lower on that list — TV common sense would lead one to believe he’s likely destined for dark days ahead, and it’s hard to imagine any in-story turns that would play so negatively for him outside of his own death. What, he walks in on two fully clothed women standing in his room instead of half-naked ones?
The White Lotus’ aspirational sex worker initially came across as an alluring foil meant to connect each of the characters stories, and a potential femme fatale. But her seemingly genuine connection with the mentally rebounding Albie — assuming Episode 5 doesn’t immediately begin with her seeking post-blowjob fundage — furthers her confident attempts to brute-force her way into a higher social status. The fact that Simona Tabasco’s Lucia and Beatrice Grannò’s Mia have been so successful with their intra-hotel runarounds makes me think her luck may soon run out in a most extreme way.
Making this list more out of situational circumstances than any strong underlying beliefs, Federico Scribiani’s piano-playing Giuseppe is the one White Lotus character who has faced an active medical emergency of sorts. It doesn’t take a ton of imaginative speculation to think whatever pills Mia gave him could lead to additional issues if he attempts to strain his system too much again (i.e. tries to get all up in someone on deconsecrated grounds) to the point of no return. Pianist Plays Swan Song, the headlines would read…
I’m definitely not the only White Lotus fan who detects something amiss and potentially dangerous when it comes to Leo Woodall’s brashly charming Jack, who seems like he could share an occupation with Lucia, but with far more of a con artist aura. For someone who supposedly only hangs around with old hags and slightly less old gay dudes, his attention was instantly directed at Haley Lu Richardson’s Portia as soon as he appeared, as opposed to any other women at the resort. (At least, that we know of.) So my guess is that his schemes will run afoul of the smitten Portia, whose impulsive reaction will send Jack to his fuckboi demise.
What better juke and jive for The White Lotus to pull off than to kill off a character who was originally introduced as already being in the vicinity of death’s door? Not to mention the idea that viewers are possibly meant to push Greg out of mind as a possible corpse candidate during this span when he’s not around, only to have his intentions to return to Tanya get fatally thwarted in one way or another. I’d also be willing to go down the theoretical path that Greg is a spy/hitman for the CIA, but that’s for another article.
From the beginning, I’d ruled Theo James’ Cameron out to be the dead body Daphne found (as I’m sure many others did), since her reaction to finding the body did not indicate she was intimately familiar with the person, making it seem like it would be a total stranger from elsewhere at the resort. But after seeing Aubrey Plaza’s Harper get lost in a suspicious abyss after finding that condom wrapper, I’m willing to believe she’d be capable of getting vengeance on him in a way that would leave him completely unrecognizable to the woman with whom he’d spent most of his adult life.
Abby Di Grasso
I’m stepping outside the island-box for this one, seeing as how viewers have not yet laid our eyes on Abby, the put-upon wife that Michael Imperioli’s Dom is so eager to try and win back with his words, if not his actions. But Episode 4 had him buying her expensive jewelry that Bert approved of, followed by Albie stepping up and calling Dom out on his bullshit, and creator Mike White & Co. are clearly driving this long-distance marriage to some kind of a conclusion. So could it be possible that Dom will somehow convince his wife to travel out there for the vacation that she initially backed out of, only for her to realize too late that she really should have stayed home? It really would be a hilarious F.U. to fans of Laura Dern, who voiced Abby during a phone call earlier this season, to only have her show up in person as a dead body.
While it does me no good to just blurt things out here, I’m also back-pocket theorizing that all of Tonya’s new friends will comprise the body count after whatever excursions they go on. As well, I’m coin-pocket theorizing that it’ll be one or more Season 1 characters revealed to be the resort’s big cadaver influx, which would be a bold way to address some fans’ concerns about not having enough connective tissue beyond the ones that Tanya cries into.
The White Lotus airs new episodes on HBO every Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. ET, and the second season will sadly be over before we know it. Head to our 2022 TV schedule and our 2023 premiere guide to see all the major new and returning shows
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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