“White Lotus” - Episode 2 Review

Story posted November 14, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Izzy Charboneau.

The second episode of “The White Lotus” was even better than the first, and Mike White is very quickly proving that he can replicate the success of season one.

This episode begins with Ethan (Will Sharpe) going on a run, which prompts Harper (Aubrey Plaza) to have breakfast with Cameron (Theo James) and Daphne (Meghann Fahy). This breakfast is very tense, which is heightened by Daphne and Cameron’s insistence that they “never fight,” and the revelation that Harper and Ethan don’t have the most stable marriage.

We also see even more tensions rise between Harper and Cameron, and it is almost uncomfortable in some scenes. Plaza has been known to play certain characters that make the people around them uncomfortable, and she is still proving just how well she can do that.

Also at breakfast, Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) tells Greg (Jon Gries) that she wants to have a perfect day in Italy and live out her Monica Vitti fantasies. He, as usual, seems annoyed with her.

Hiding from her boss, Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) eats breakfast with Albie (Adam DiMarco), and the rest of his family. During this meal, Bert (F. Murray Abraham) invites Portia to come with the men on a tour of their homeland. She is reluctant at first, but agrees.

As the Di Grassos and Portia head out for their tour, the two young sex workers pull Dominic (Michael Imperioli) aside. Lucia (Simona Tabasco) tells him that he needs to get her and Mia (Beatrice Grannò) access to the hotel, so he goes back inside to talk to the hotel’s manager, Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore).

Obviously, Valentina is annoyed by his insistence that they be added to his rooms as his guests, as she has made it clear that she doesn’t want them in her hotel. But she abides by her guest’s wishes, and Lucia and Mia spend a lot of money that they charge to Dominic’s room.

While on their walking tour, Bert starts to complain about the fact that his granddaughter isn’t there, which he blames Dominic for.

Greg and Tanya decide to rent a Vespa so that Tanya can live out her Italian fantasy, and they end their day with a fancy dinner. In the restaurant Tanya sees Portia having an intimate dinner with Albie, which seems to annoy her.

Greg gives Tanya some news that upsets her at dinner, and she storms out of the restaurant. Every time Tanya and Greg are on screen, it’s almost uncomfortable to watch, which is a true testament to Jennifer Coolidge’s talent.

Ethan and Harper have another dinner with Daphne and Cameron, where Daphne tells an emotional story that makes Harper feel a little guilty for being so hard on the couple.

Near the end of the episode, we see that Dominic truly has some impulse issues as Lucia and Mia propose to have a threesome with him as repayment for getting them access to the hotel.

At the very end, Tanya overhears Greg having a mysterious conversation with someone on the phone where he seems to be talking to someone about her.

One glaring difference between this season and the first is that in this season, we really aren’t seeing much of the hotel’s manager, Valentina. In season one, much of the story involved Armond (Murray Bartlett), the resort’s manager, and it will be exciting if we get to see more of Valentina in the coming episodes.

This episode of “The White Lotus” was great, and one can almost feel the tension building between Harper and Cameron through the screen. Mike White proved in season one that he could pick a victim that shocked everyone, and there is no doubt he’ll do the same again.

Rating: 4/5

Izzy Charboneau is a second-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email ijc5186@psu.edu.