We are finally about to see what happens to the moms of Monterey in the long-awaited second season of Big Little Lies, which premieres on Sunday, June 9. But before the new season drops, you are going to need to remind yourself where things left off in the Season 1 finale. Don't worry — you don't need to try to squeeze in a full Season 1 rewatch before diving into the new episodes. Use this refresher to remind yourself how did Big Little Lies Season 1 end and what you need to look out for in Season 2.
It has actually been over two years since the debut season of Big Little Lies first aired on HBO, so it makes sense that pretty much all of us need a little refresher about what happened before Season 2 gets here. The first season introduced viewers to a group of moms in the wealthy beach town of Monterey, California who all get to know one another through having children in the same first-grade class.
The "Monterey Five"
The stars of the show are five women who are constantly in various states of bonding and clashing throughout the first season. Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) is an outspoken and ambitious "alpha mom" who cannot stand her ex-husband's young new wife Bonnie Carlson (Zoë Kravitz), a free-spirited yoga instructor. Madeline's other rival is the equally outspoken Renata Klein (Laura Dern), who is fiercely protective of her daughter. But Madeline also has friends — she has a strong friendship with former lawyer Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman), who keeps the truth about her abusive husband hidden from the world, and Madeline and Celeste also befriend the town newcomer Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley), a single mom who came to Monterey to start a new life for herself and her son Ziggy.
A large part of the conflict in Big Little Lies boils down to the men in these women's lives. Madeline's husband Ed (Adam Scott) gets into a fight with his wife about the lack of passion in their marriage, unaware that Madeline had actually had an affair with her theater collaborator Joseph Bachman. The two end the first season with this tension unresolved, so expect it to be a big part of Season 2.
But the real villain of the first season is Celeste's husband Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård), whom we quickly learn is physically and emotionally abusive towards Celeste. Throughout the season, Celeste tries to leave Perry, and finally buys her own apartment in the season finale. And Perry is also the dark part of Jane's story. Jane reveals that she moved to Monterey to get revenge on the man who raped her, whom she knows only as "Saxon Banks." When she finally sees Perry in the season finale, she recognizes him as Saxon Banks, revealing that he has abused more women than just Celeste.
The pivotal moment that ended Season 1 and will loom large over the entirety of Season 2 is the murder of Perry Wright. At the school's trivia night fundraiser, Madeline, Jane, Renata, and Celeste all run off to the staircase behind the party venue to commiserate over the struggles that the night has brought up, and Perry soon shows up chasing after Celeste. He pleads with his wife not move out into her own apartment and to come back home, and become violent with her when she refuses. The rest of the women try to fight Perry off to no avail, but Bonnie sees the brawl from afar and runs up to push Perry away. He winds up falling down the staircase and dying.
To cover up the crime, all five women agree to a story where Perry fell down the stairs accidentally. Although they seem to successfully navigate police questioning, a detective is still keeping an eye on them at the end of the season.
The story will continue when Season 2 of Big Little Lies premieres Sunday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.