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Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the first six episodes of ‘The White Lotus’ Season 2.
In its second season, HBO’s surprise hit “The White Lotus” has delighted viewers with lavish sets, nearly-flawless writing, and talented ensemble acting.
Created by Mike White, the character-driven dark comedy disguises itself as a classic whodunnit, with enough social commentary to keep viewers dissecting plotlines after every episode. For the second year in a row, we follow the wealthy guests at a White Lotus resort as the writers slowly unravel a web that leads to the death of unnamed characters teased in the first episode.
When the season opens at a gorgeous Sicilian resort, we see Longmeadow’s Meghann Fahy, playing the subversive Daphne, discover a body in the water before it is quickly revealed that more guests are also dead.
As the star-studded cast cruises into Sunday night’s final episode of Season 2, Boston.com staff and readers outlined who they think will die in the finale.
Nearly 200 readers weighed in, and there is a clear favorite: Daphne’s husband Cameron Sullivan played by Theo James received a vote from 36% of readers. The characters second-most likely to die, according to readers? Greg Hunt (Jon Gries) with 21% and Ethan Spiller (Will Sharpe) with 19%. Quentin, played by Tom Hollander, is not far behind at 18%.
Tanya McQuoid-Hunt played by the suddenly resurgent Jennifer Coolidge leads the next grouping of vote-getters at 15%. Bert Di Grasso (F. Murray Abraham), Lucia (Simona Tabasco), and Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) all came in at 13%.
At the bottom of the pack was a grouping of four characters: Harper Spiller (Aubrey Plaza) with 8% of voters, Mia (Beatrice Grannò) with 7%, Dominic Di Grasso (Michael Imperioli) with 6%, and his son Albie Di Grasso (Adam DiMarco) with 8%.
Six percent of voters selected “other,” with some predicting Portia and Quentin’s boy toy Jack (Leo Woodall) will die, with others pointing to Alessio, Lucia’s supposed pimp.
Here are our predictions:
Emily Turner: I want to say Tanya after Episode 6, but I refuse to believe it. Who among us wants to see the end of Jennifer Coolidge? Literally, no one. So I have to go with Portia. She’s an innocent bystander to the likely scheming going on between Tanya’s husband Greg and Quentin. Portia will not be the intended target, just like Michael Corleone’s first wife Apollonia in ‘The Godfather’ — an easter egg creator/writer/director Mike White dropped in an earlier episode. My guess is White will continue to bring home the message from the “White Lotus” series that rich folk can get away with a lot of things, including killing innocent people.
In a surprise twist, I think the killer will be sweet Albie Di Grasso. It will be unintentional, of course, and make for an even more dramatic (and tragic) season finale. Arrivederci, Portia.
Ross Cristantiello: For much of this season of “The White Lotus,” I’ve almost forgotten that we’re watching a story that will end with multiple people dead. That’s not a dig at the show. In fact, it’s a testament to how it blends pitch-perfect acting, riotously funny dialogue, and a sumptuous sense of place. It’s easy to get swept up in all of this week to week without remembering that body bags need to be filled.
Underneath all this beauty, creator Mike White and his team have done a stupendous job of slowly ratcheting up the tension, incrementally laying out the ways that this vacation could get violent. The penultimate episode gave viewers some great reveals, but kept enough hidden that I genuinely have no idea how the season will end. But here’s my best guess.
We know at least two people will die. I think Albie will be responsible for one of these deaths. Perhaps it will be the mysterious pimp Lucia likely hired to get more out of Albie. His white knight complex will kick in, he’ll think he’s being the hero by “protecting” Lucia, and will end up with blood on his hands.
As for another death, I’m thinking it’ll be Greg, Tanya’s lying husband. Jennifer Coolidge’s character became more sympathetic this season, and we’ll see her triumph despite Greg and Quentin’s plan to steal her wealth.
Rami Abou-Sabe: What I love most about this show is that I truly have no idea who will die. What Mike White has managed to build in two short seasons is nothing but a masterclass in character writing, with each player in the game fleshed out and complex. Any theory is plausible because White has created a world where no one is perfect and every flaw could potentially lead to murder.
So, I’ll base my guess off the simple framing of the opening scene. In Season 1, Shane is the first character we meet and we later learn that he kills troubled hotel manager Armand. In Season 2, Daphne is the first character we meet, so there you have it — she must be the killer.
Here’s how I think it goes down:
Harper tells Daphne everything she knows about Cameron and Ethan’s night with Lucia and Mia. Daphne and Harper demand the truth from Ethan, when the three finally realize how bad Cameron’s financial situation truly is. Daphne heads back to the room, ostensibly to confront her husband, but she knows the only way to keep the lifestyle she and her children rely on is through a life insurance payout. Harper and Ethan hear a struggle in the adjoining room and barge in to discover a dead Cameron and a stoic Daphne. The three plot to make Cameron’s death seem accidental, eventually getting his body to the water.
Separately, Bert dies defending Lucia and Albie from the perceived threat of Alessio. And Portia dies in the crosshairs of the Tanya-Greg-Quentin drama.
Clara McCourt: If you’re like me, you’ve seen enough television to reasonably guess how something is going to end. But what I love about “The White Lotus” is that I have no idea how the last episode will shake out. This season truly keeps me guessing every week — so these predictions could be rendered meaningless after the first five minutes of the finale.
Since the beginning of the show, I’ve been worried for Mia. She’s quickly (and rather abruptly) gone from a shy girl to a woman who isn’t afraid to break her morals to get what she wants. Mia has gone from meticulous to hasty, and I can see this going a bit too far. From her fling with the fragile Valentina, to the unpaid debt from Cameron, to the piano player she unintentionally (but let’s be real, semi-intentionally) sent to the hospital, Mia has a lot on her plate this season. However, I’m hoping that if creator Mike White decides to go with the often distasteful “dead sex worker” trope, he is able to twist it in a meaningful and nuanced way.
I’m also keeping my eye on Ethan. After the events of the last episode, he is definitely a spring ready to pop, and we haven’t seen the brunt of his aggression in full yet (besides taking out his masculine melancholy through those long swims and runs). I can see him as an assailant, but also a victim in some twist of fate.
My honorable mentions are Quentin and Portia. Tanya and her assistant are definitely in with a dangerous crowd, and I can see Portia as the wrongful target of a scheme by Quentin and Greg. I can just as easily see her shuffling off to her next destination in another retina-attacking outfit. However, Quentin has said a few too many times that he’s “willing to die for beauty” — not exactly the words of a character who sees the end of the show.
Heather Alterisio: I’ve been convinced since the first episode that Portia was destined to die. I read some discussion online that Quentin and his associates will try to kill Tanya, but may accidentally kill Portia instead. This seems highly likely especially since Jack told Portia that his “uncle” is about to come into a lot of money. There’s also some suspicion that Quentin and Greg know each other and may have a plan to scam Tanya out of her money. That photograph of a young Quentin and his cowboy could certainly be hinting at that. Also, was that a red dot we saw in the most recent episode, subtly letting us know that Tanya and Niccoló, were not only being watched, but recorded?
Regardless of potential attempts on her life, Tanya will likely survive and live to see another season of “White Lotus.”
I also wouldn’t be surprised if Ethan ends up killing someone.
Susannah Sudborough: Given this season’s sharp decrease in humor, rapid increase in marital strife, and a cast of unrelatable rich people even more unlikeable than the original crew, the show’s thriller-style murder tease is likely the main driver for many watchers at this point.
I think there’s a strong possibility the show follows the Testa di Moro legend given the prevalence of infidelity among the husbands, the constant shots of the Testa de Moro head vases, and the promise of multiple corpses. This would mean that Cameron, Dominic, and possibly also Bert and Greg, find themselves sans head by end of episode seven.
Still, I’m not sure it’s the wives that do the killing. At least, I suspect that if they are responsible for their deaths, it wasn’t intentional, much like last season. Tanya doesn’t seem capable of murder, Dominic’s wife is not in Sicily, Daphne seems strangely at peace with her situation, and Bert’s wife is dead.
That leaves a handful of other characters I think are contenders for the killings, intentionally or unintentionally. Lucia has been mistreated by several of the aforementioned husbands, and Harper has been struggling with her relationship with both Ethan and Cameron the entire season. Additionally, both Quentin and Jack seem to be in a desperate situation and are looking to somehow acquire cash, and Ethan seems ready to blow at Cameron.
Then again, I would’ve never predicted who died in Season 1, so it’s hard to be confident about any predictions.
Margaret from Medfield: I think Bert Di Grasso will be one of the victims in the finale. His storyline has been one long swan song. A trip with his son and grandson where we watch him remember his life in many ways. He starts off in a great mood remembering his life fondly and then transitions to feeling a lot of regret. His son is getting things off his chest that he’s never told him and when Bert says he’ll never have his homecoming it’s really him coming to terms with the end of his life.
Charlotte from Quincy: My theory is that Portia will be accidentally killed because she rushes back to make sure Tanya is okay. The last few episodes gave strong hints that Quentin might be conspiring to kill Tanya to take her money. Then the “nephew” conveniently who has his “uncle’s” credit card could be seen as being tasked to keep Portia away, plus he talks about his uncle needing money and having a plan. Greg’s trip might be a cover to give him plausible deniability that his former lover is involved in Tanya’s murder. Keep in mind that Greg was very annoyed that Tanya brought Portia, which I believe is because Portia would be a witness and potentially interrupt their plan. Ultimately Tanya can’t be killed as she always seems to cause a wake of destruction around her but is never touched by it, like abandoning the idea to fund Belinda’s spa in Season 1. Then, I think the “nephew” will be accidentally killed when Portia is.
Mike from Somerville: Quentin and his crew of “friends” will likely die to mafia related activities after they are left broke when they fail to get Tanya’s money. Lucia also dies at Albie’s hands to continue the cycle of Di Grasso men’s poor treatment of women, and as a cautionary tale to Mia about what you sacrifice for your dreams.
Kati from Waltham: Portia is an easy kill, Cameron has some major enemies and is actually poor and desperate, and I’m hoping Tanya kills Greg in a rage.
Derek from Hyde Park: Ethan is losing his mind thinking about Cameron sleeping with Harper. With Cameron’s history of stealing the women Ethan was interested in him, he’s going to snap.
Kelley from North Cambridge: Y’all forgot shady and possibly incestuous nephew Jack! My gut thinks Jack could go down for spilling too much on Quentin’s lifestyle to Portia, thereby threatening any access to Tanya’s money.
I think the commentary on masculinity and jealousy between Cameron and Ethan makes Harper’s death almost a certainty — however, I think it will be Ethan who is pushed over the edge.
I bet a medium Dunkin’ coffee that Bert falls on the pavement again after chasing a beautiful woman who is inappropriately younger than him.
These predictions have been lightly edited for clarity.
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