Big Little Lies is a show all about secrets, both the ones women can and can't admit to. From the small lies, like Madeline's lack of college education, to the big lies, like the truth Celeste hid from about her marriage, it seems like terrible stories are sitting under every rock. The latest lie may turn out to be far more significant than anyone was prepared for, as Season 2 has quietly started revealing the story of Perry and Raymond. But who is Raymond on Big Little Lies? He's the brother fans never knew Perry had.
One of the more useful storytelling devices in the original Big Little Lies miniseries was the immediacy of everyone's situations. Though small details, like Renata growing up poor or Celeste's job as a lawyer, surfaced here and there, most of the story was driven by the here and now. These people were rich, they lived rich people lives, and the past was another country no one really wanted to explore.
Because of that attitude, Season 2 has been able to start adding family members left and right this season, from Bonnie's parents to Perry's mother, Mary Louise. Along with Mary Louise, the show also added another member of the Wright family: Raymond, Perry's brother. But don't worry about having to keep track of him as part of the plot. He's dead.
Raymond first gets mentioned in Season 2's second episode. Mary Louise is, in her weird twisted way, trying to express how she's lived through grief before to Celeste, and how she got through it. Turns out, Perry isn't the first son she's lost. Before Perry, there was Raymond, who died in an accident. Celeste then flashes back to Perry talking about Raymond, admitting he doesn't remember his brother much. Raymond died when Perry was five years old.
In Episode 4, "She Knows," Mary Louise starts diving deeper into the story of Raymond's death. So far, she won't give Celeste any details about what happened to him, only that it was "an accident." But Mary Louise's husband apparently couldn't handle it. He walked out on her and Perry, blaming his wife for their son's death. Mary Louise then notes he remarried and "became a better father," suggesting that despite her claims that her husband was right to blame her for what happened to Raymond, he was not precisely an attentive parent either.
But what did happen to Raymond exactly? The story is slowly circling around this mystery. And Mary Louise's emphasis on it being an "accident" should trigger some alarm bells. This is, after all, a show about what people cannot admit to themselves. Mary Louise already cannot admit Perry was a monster who raped one woman and abused another. If Raymond's story is in keeping with that, it suggests Mary Louise is lying to everyone (and perhaps herself) about how Raymond died.
The question then becomes, if it wasn't an accident, did Mary Louise kill her son? Was that trauma part of what turned Perry into the monster he became? Or worse, did Perry kill his own brother? If so, Mary Louise has been lying to herself about who her son was for far longer than her arrival in Monterey.