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S02.E02: Tell Tale Hearts


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A reminder that this topic is to discuss the episode; posts with unspoiler tagged book references will be removed and repeat offenses may result in additional sanctions. Thank you.

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On 6/19/2019 at 2:14 PM, jeansheridan said:

Sometimes just getting back on the horse is what you need to do. She didn't say marry the guy or even have sex. Just have an adult conversation and flex those muscles a bit. Find out how a non-controlling man behaves. 

True, but I fear she'll just get on the same type of horse at this point. 

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On 6/18/2019 at 11:10 AM, Anela said:

I thought Renata's reaction in the car, was perfect. He's lucky that she went back to pick him up. Blaming her for his getting into so much trouble. 

LOL This was the highlight of the episode for me - her complete meltdown and giving him the finger as she sped off then grudgingly turning back around and to pick Gordon up...and he gets back into the car as if it's just a regular day. I bet it wasn't the first time she's done that before lol Or perhaps he's just used to her freakouts. The dysfunction in their marriage makes them such a surprisingly normal couple given how they're such volatile personalities and yet they still support and tolerate each other even when they're at their worst.

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On 6/18/2019 at 8:36 AM, hoodooznoodooz said:

I like the therapist, but these episodes take place how many months later? Five, six, eight? That is much too soon for Celeste to start dating. 

1) Her husband died unexpectedly.

2) She is the mother of two young boys. Her focus needs to be helping them and helping herself heal, not on a new romantic interest. 

3) She witnessed her husband dying. It was violent. 

Exactly this. All these reasons would be enough for someone who didn't also experience the domestic violence and its aftermath. But Celeste's perception is so off that the therapist had to get her to imagine her friend as Perry's victim to fully realize how awful it was. How is she ready to date anyone but herself? Do we know if Celeste told the therapist about her son's bullying? 

I generally like the therapist,too. And I understand her breaking protocol when Celeste was in an abusive relationship. But she seems too forward in her approach at other times, too. 

 

On 6/18/2019 at 11:57 AM, cardigirl said:

Am I supposed to like these women?  I don't know.  I like Jane, I guess, and Bonnie seems okay, but the rest are kind of too wacko for me.  Not sure why I should keep watching, to be honest. 

I'm rather enjoying Mary Louise's takedowns of Madeline, though. Like she can see right through her. 

I love Madeline and Renata. The wackiest ones are my favorites. Not sure what says about me😂

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On 6/17/2019 at 9:10 PM, walnutqueen said:

Jane's bangs are too short and severe.  Celeste's are long and softer.

There's a brief discussion with all the actors in the HBO On Demand menu and Shailene's bangs are a little longer. Looks so much better. 

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On 6/16/2019 at 11:17 PM, ferjy said:

I think that was just her memories of Perry which we keep seeing at intervals, wasn't it? She was in a housecoat in the car, not in sexy lingerie like in the vision. Shortly after she told her therapist that she can't stop thinking of Perry, misses him and doesn't want anyone else.

I’m confused by the very heavy eye makeup. Celeste never wears that much, yet she put it on in the middle of the night before taking a sleeping pill?

 

On 6/17/2019 at 12:33 AM, VagueDisclaimer said:

Their default to violence is very disturbing, but they also learned to not respect their mother. I think that’s part of the reason Celeste appreciates Mary Louise’s presence. Because it seems they hear her more than their mother. I just want to ship the whole family off to some intense, immersive rehab program. 

I don’t know how to feel about the fact that Celeste has strangled Perry in the past, and it didn’t seem to be in self-defense.  Maybe Max learned violence from both parents. Plus, she threw him down pretty hard while he was fighting with his brother. So far they’re ignoring this, even the therapist. 

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11 hours ago, RedheadZombie said:

Maybe Max learned violence from both parents. Plus, she threw him down pretty hard while he was fighting with his brother. So far they’re ignoring this, even the therapist. 

Celeste has admitted many times they were violent with each other. Throwing her son...if Celeste didn't have her history I would think that was just some extra force pulling apart the boys. 

I think it's interesting that when Maddy hit Nathan the dialogue made a point that Nathan found that unacceptable and she apologized. Just because she is much smaller than him doesn't mean she gets to hit him. 

Didn't Renata slam her fists against the glass at the prison? Violence is part of being a human maybe? She expressed her anger physically. It's not necessarily wrong of her. Such a slippery slope.

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On 6/18/2019 at 10:54 PM, stagmania said:

Perhaps a thread should be created for people who want to speculate on the actresses’ plastic surgery and discuss their career trajectories. It’s really drowning out discussion of the actual episode here.  

Speaking of, I really liked this one and thought it laid the groundwork for several stories I’m really interested in and a few new mysteries. What happened in Bonnie’s past? Is her mom abusive? How did Perry’s brother die? Were Mary Louise or Perry involved? 

Watching Celeste regress back to defending Perry is so painful but also feels so real. He’s dead and that gives her the space to romanticize him and rewrite their history again. Whichever poster said upthread that she clearly wants to be punished is dead on - she is giving Mary Louise all the ammunition she needs to take the kids, blaming herself again and engaging in self-harming behaviors. 

I thought Jane handled things with Ziggy as well as she could once the choice to keep him in the dark was taken from her. They have a close bond and her lying to him was damaging it - at that point telling him was the right thing to do. And it’s better for all the boys if they can understand and define their relationship for themselves rather than hearing it interpreted from other kids. 

Which brings me to Madeline, who honestly is so careless that I kind of think she wanted to be caught, too. Poor, poor Ed. He didn’t deserve the indignity of hearing Abigail so casually fling the affair at her mother. I think it’s true that he knew something was up last year, but he didn’t know exactly what, or that others knew Madeline had betrayed him. It’s humiliating and emasculating to not only find out, but from his teenage stepdaughter who seems to view him with pity, and his reaction makes perfect sense. 

Other things I loved: Bonnie’s mom giving us the insight that Bonnie married Nathan because he’s dumb and would never figure her out (that rang so true for me), Jane and Celeste continuing to be so kind and honest with each other as they navigate this horrible situation, Chloe asking for her phone back, everything Renata said and did. YMMV but I am very happy this second season exists. 

Excellent post!

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I wasn't really looking forward to this show, since the first season seemed pretty complete as it stood. And Meryl Streep wasn't an inducement. I never see anyone but her in most of her roles. But this episode got me interested again. 

Maybe an unpopular opinion: I don't like Madeline. I think Mary Louise is kinda correct about her. When you look back at most of what she's done, it's mostly self-serving.  I don't have much sympathy to spare for her troubles. 

Renata, now, I could watch a whole episode just about her. Laura Dern is just so great in this role. Fascinating, the reveal that she had to climb up from poverty - it explains a lot. I'm very much interested in what happens with that plotline.

Bonnie feeling guilt is absolutely believable, and I'm glad they didn't skirt around the possibility. You wouldn't get over that easily. I can also get her resentment that she wasn't allowed to tell the truth, because "the group" told a face-saving lie.

What a weird dynamic for Ziggy with Celeste and her boys. 

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Hello all, I am new to tv show forums in general so not sure where to jump in so hope I'm doing ok.  I just found this show on Hulu, got hooked and binge watched. Now I'm out of episodes, wah!!! 😓 When does it come back on?! Anyway, just wanted to reiterate, why did these women feel they needed to put on a big organized, agreed-upon front in the situation where Perry died when the simple truth should have done just fine, despite that side-eyed suspicious looking detective's suspicions and desires to make it more than what it was? Am I missing something here?  Celeste being a lawyer, she should have been well aware of a person's right to defend their self and especially with him being a physical aggressor in front of so many witnesses.*Especially* due to the catalyst of him finding out she got that apartment . . . Any detective would see that as the reason he went raging for his wife, lost control and wound up down a flight of stairs on his head. .I do not understand why these women need some kind of extravagant organized coverup. He plainly caused his own death. Regardless that there were several of them, they were WOMEN and therefore weaker than him. Let's say if they had all ganged up and just beat him to death, look how volatile the situation already was and how scared they would have been for Celeste. Even that might have been considered justifiable once all the facts were examined. 

Also, just wanted to share, we live near the Nashville area and my husband actually met Nicole Kidman at a grocery store. When not working she lives in a posh area of Nashville with her country music hubby. He said she was SO nice and down to earth. She and Keith Urban were in there shopping for their own grocery items and about to go spend a weekend with Craig Morgan, another country star whom my husband worked at Wal-mart with many moons ago before he joined the service and later of course got a country singing career launched. Craig Morgan lives in our area. Hubby described Nicole as "pale, tall and thin." She was in blue jeans and t-shirt. But I was pleased to hear how pleasant and friendly she was. 

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2 hours ago, TinaSabrina said:

Hello all, I am new to tv show forums in general so not sure where to jump in so hope I'm doing ok.  I just found this show on Hulu, got hooked and binge watched. Now I'm out of episodes, wah!!! 😓 When does it come back on?! Anyway, just wanted to reiterate, why did these women feel they needed to put on a big organized, agreed-upon front in the situation where Perry died when the simple truth should have done just fine, despite that side-eyed suspicious looking detective's suspicions and desires to make it more than what it was? Am I missing something here?  Celeste being a lawyer, she should have been well aware of a person's right to defend their self and especially with him being a physical aggressor in front of so many witnesses.*Especially* due to the catalyst of him finding out she got that apartment . . . Any detective would see that as the reason he went raging for his wife, lost control and wound up down a flight of stairs on his head. .I do not understand why these women need some kind of extravagant organized coverup. He plainly caused his own death. Regardless that there were several of them, they were WOMEN and therefore weaker than him. Let's say if they had all ganged up and just beat him to death, look how volatile the situation already was and how scared they would have been for Celeste. Even that might have been considered justifiable once all the facts were examined. 

Just in case this is not a rhetorical question, because the lie is the plot device. No lie, no story to move forward. Also, showing again how the cover up is worse in the long run.

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On 6/20/2019 at 2:46 PM, Razzberry said:

True, but I fear she'll just get on the same type of horse at this point. 

I agree.  She's in too much denial to make a wise choice here.

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2 hours ago, BigBlueMastiff said:

Just in case this is not a rhetorical question, because the lie is the plot device. No lie, no story to move forward. Also, showing again how the cover up is worse in the long run.

Well I guess you're right. Without the murder and the dramatics surrounding it we really have no story. 

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On 6/18/2019 at 8:07 AM, RedInk said:

I know I'm alone in this nitpick, but I feel like the characterization of the kids is so bizarre. It's like the writers have never met 7-yo children. I have one, and I'm a teacher, and some of these kids (especially Chloe, not so much the twins) are ridiculously mature and precocious. 

You are not alone; I've had problems with Chloe since season 1, episode 1.  I actually loved the scene when she walked into Madeline's room in her jammies and hair in braids, and very quietly apologized.  She actually looked and acted like a second-grader, for the first time in my memory, instead of like the slightly younger teenage sister of Abigail.  

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On 6/18/2019 at 5:14 PM, StardustMemories said:

When I first saw the scene with Mary Louise saying she almost couldn't go on after [some male name] died, I assumed she meant her husband.  But then after the flashback scene of Perry saying his brother died, I wondered if Mary Louise had been talking about her other son in that conversation.  I'm sure we'll find out eventually, along with what happened to him.

The reason I don't think Mary Louise was talking about the death of her son, was because of the parallelism with which Mary Louise said that when [name of the person] died, I didn't think I could go on, but I did for Perry, just like you will for your boys.  I would think that if Mary Louise had been talking about a son that died, she would have worded it more like, when [name of the person] died, I still had my other child that needed me, or words to that effect.

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On 6/24/2019 at 9:30 PM, MaryPatShelby said:

You are not alone; I've had problems with Chloe since season 1, episode 1.  I actually loved the scene when she walked into Madeline's room in her jammies and hair in braids, and very quietly apologized.  She actually looked and acted like a second-grader, for the first time in my memory, instead of like the slightly younger teenage sister of Abigail.  

I'll third this (also complained in one of the threads last season) and totally agree that Chloe's bedtime apology is one of the only times she seemed her age. And they then had to ruin that with the gag of having her ask for her phone. I have an eight-year old, and Chloe really makes me appreciate that he behaves like an actual second-to-third grader rather than a wiseass junior-high kid (despite having a 13-year-old brother). Maybe it's the fact that I won't let him have a phone, heh. Amabella's behavior seems age-appropriate to me (Bonnie and Nathan's little girl, too) but the show's focus on Renata as a helicopter mom detracts from this somewhat. I can't fault the Chloe actress--she does a great job portraying this kid as I imagine she's being directed to do. Such a great job, in fact, that I "see" her as much older than second grade. She honestly seems at least fourth or fifth grade to me; a mini-Madeline. The boys also seem "older" to me this season, Ziggy, especially. But Chloe's the one I find most distractingly precocious.

I think I'm one of the few who actually doesn't mind Abigail, who's spot-on for her age.

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and another thing . . .
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On 6/16/2019 at 7:29 PM, Eyes High said:

Renata screaming "WILL SOMEBODY GIVE A WOMAN A MOMENNNNNT???" while driving away was iconic. Runner-up was her hissing at her spectacularly pathetic husband "I will not not be rich!"

...I always figured Ed knew about Madeline's affair, judging from 1x07. I guess the whole thing is Madeline never admitting to it...?

I'm really missing Vallee's direction from Season 1. A big comedown.

I thought we already knew about Ed knowing about the affair last season?? And didn't we see Renata and her husband driving with her in a rage and her leaving him on the side of the road last season? once again I feel like I'm watching the same scenes again!

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This episode was delicious. I was gasping at the way all the truth bombs were falling. I may even have yelled out "Good Lord!" at one point and scared the shit out of my sister.

Martin Donovan as Bonnie's dad! He's one of my favorite hey-it's-that-guy guys.

Renata is a trip. Her seething and saying to Gordon, "I will not not be rich" cracked me up.

Quote

I like the second line more.  Then she said she used to like sitting on Gordon's face but fat chance of that happening any more.

Renata really was in rare form in this episode. Laura Dern is perfection in this role.

Arggghhh!!!! Shut up, Nathan! I have no idea what Bonnie sees in him.

Hate to break it to you, Mary Louise, but your son was a terrible human.

I winced when Ed overheard Abigail talking about Madeline's affair. Yikes! What a way to learn about your partner's infidelity. Adam Scott is great in this role. I particularly love his eye-rolling demeanor any time Nathan steps to him. Totally appropriate reaction.

 

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On 6/17/2019 at 3:17 PM, FozzyBear said:

I wondered that too. Or maybe the guy isn’t her Dad. Did Bonnie ever call him Dad? Or talk to him at all? Maybe he’s a step father. Drunk mom, abusive father. Maybe this isn’t the first time Bonnie pushes a violent man to his death.

The guy is Bonnie's real dad, or at least has been her stepfather for a long time. During the restaurant scene he reminisced about something Bonnie use to do as a child with regard to food.

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On 6/17/2019 at 8:08 PM, kieyra said:

 I’d like to know why the fuck Celeste wasn’t on the phone with a criminal defense attorney the second her MiL said she was going to the police with all that information about her motives for wanting Perry dead.

Hell, didn’t she used to be some kind of lawyer herself?

I don't recall her making that threat. I thought she just said she wanted more information about how he died.

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A few things:

1) If Celeste took an Ambien at 2 am and then woke up and "sleep drove" in her bathrobe, why did she also take the time to put on heavy black eyeliner? It makes no sense that a somnambulist would not snap out of it while applying makeup.

2) This is not an attack on appearance, but I did notice that somewhere toward the end of last season, Shailene seemed to have put on a LOT of weight, especially in her face. The current hairstyle makes her look frumpy to me when early last season I thought she was quite beautiful. Not sure if this is by design  to alter her look this way.

3) Zoe Kravitz is Lisa Bonet's daughter?? Boy do I feel old.

4) How did Renata and Madeleine suddenly become so close? Last season they were hurling insults at each other. Are we to assume that they bonded over the Perry death incident? Does not seem realistic to me.

5) My annoyance with Madeleine's family continues to grow. I have always been disgusted by Chloe. Every time she walks in the room I have to brace myself for some annoying precocious comment. The pajamas apology warmed my heart a bit until the brat asked for her phone back. And Abigail! Who the F tells their mother in graphic terms "You were fucking that theater director?" Maybe I'm old-school but I can't imagine using that kind of language to my mother and having her be okay with it. And lastly I guess I am the only person in this group who despises Ed. This is a character that I absolutely cannot stand. At least last season's awful beard is gone but his character is weak and unappealing. I don't see them as a couple at all. He seems like he could be her younger brother. They have ZERO sexual chemistry together. When he walks in the room I look away. And it did not help matters when to my horror at the end of the episode I had to listen to his simpering Herman's Hermit-sounding voice crooning his fundraising song. I hope this is never EVER played again or I will be reaching for the remote.

Despite all that, I am really going to miss this show when it's over. It's so addicting.

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