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‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Finale Cemented Jennifer Coolidge as the Show’s MVP

Aubrey Plaza, Will Sharpe, Meghann Fahy, and Theo James in The White Lotus (2021)

Every vacation must come to an end, and the season 2 finale of The White Lotus got us hook, line, and sinker. From the jump, we’ve known that more than one person died at the resort and that the staff is dealing with it on our guests’ last day there. It was a thought that weighed heavily on us throughout the season, though we knew that Daphne (Meghann Fahy) was the one who found the body, so at least she was safe.

But other than that, we had no idea what to expect from the finale. It really did drag us on an adventure that kept us wondering what was going to happen until the very end. (Really, I checked the time stamp at one point while watching because I still didn’t know who was going to die and I thought the episode was almost over.) Still, it was a ride to see who died.

There is a lot to unpack, so let’s talk about the season 2 finale of The White Lotus and break down what happened to each of our guests at the hotel.

Jennifer Coolidge is a star

Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya in 'The White Lotus' season 2 finale. The closed caption reads "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

Tanya has been trying to figure her life out yet again in season 2 of The White Lotus. In season 1, she thought she found love—and completely ruined a woman’s dream of starting her own spa because of it—with a man named Greg (Jon Gries). So when Greg brought Tanya to Italy and left her there alone to seemingly go have an affair, we were all on high alert—especially because he seemed to be so angry that Tanya’s assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) came with her. Now we know why.

Tanya went to Palermo with her new friends—a group of wealthy gay men led by Tom Hollander’s Quentin. While there, she saw Jack (Leo Woodall) “fucking his uncle” Quentin. This group seemed to love Tanya and treat her like a queen, but we realized in the finale that she was just being treated to a grand last adventure because Greg had hired them to kill her—because their prenup stated that if they got divorced he would get nothing, but if Tanya died, he would get everything.

The problem is that they went up against Jennifer Coolidge, and—for the most part—lost. Tanya is rich and powerful, but sometimes she does questionable things, like trying to call someone for help while holding her phone over the ocean. But she also stole a gun and shot up the entire boat so that Quentin and his friends couldn’t kill her. That doesn’t mean Tanya didn’t die, but at least it was (accidentally) by her own hand, versus being killed by these men.

Once she finally got in touch with Portia, the two realized what was going on, so that when Quentin told Tanya her new paramour Niccolo was going to drive her back to shore on a smaller boat, she was onto him. So, while having their final dinner together on the boat, Tanya spotted Niccolo’s bag and, pretending she had to use the bathroom, grabbed it. Inside, she found some rope, tape, and a gun, and used the gun to shoot everyone in her path.

But in true Tanya fashion, she was her own undoing: When she tried to jump onto the smaller boat to escape, she slipped, hit her head, and drowned in the ocean. Greg won in the end, but Tanya went out with a fight. It was an absolutely incredible arc for Tanya this season with hilarious moments from Coolidge that showed us yet again why we love her so much.

You don’t have to stay friends

ethan (will sharpe) punching theo james in the face in white lotus

Never in my life have I wanted people to stop being friends more. Ethan (Will Sharpe) and Cameron (Theo James) are two guys who should just never speak to each other again. College roommates at Yale, the two have a rough relationship from the start. Cameron is an asshole and Ethan seems to just put up with it because that’s just how Cameron is. Throughout the show we learned all about how Cameron would sleep with girls Ethan liked, and he ended up causing a huge riff in the relationship between Ethan and Harper (Aubrey Plaza).

In the finale, Ethan has enough and punches Cameron in the face (after trying to drown him in the ocean), and then goes on to maybe sleep with Daphne to get revenge for all the times that Cameron stole someone who Ethan liked—which is really not fair to Harper, who didn’t do anything other than get drunk and take Cameron back to her room, where he kissed her. But god, Ethan was so insecure because of his friendship with Cameron that I hope this vacation just showed him that he doesn’t have to be friends with him.

Chances are, that is not the case and we might see them at some other resort together acting like friends or something, but there is nothing I want more than for everyone in that group to just go their separate ways.

Albie and Portia deserve each other

Portia wearing sunglasses and talking to Albie at the airport in 'The White Lotus.' The closed caption reads "He's deranged."

Oh, these two idiots. Portia and Albie (Adam DiMarco) could have had a nice little vacation romance and kept each other out of harm’s way during this whole trip. Instead, they let themselves get wrapped up in some nonsense that resulted in Portia almost getting killed and Albie losing a lot of money—a lot of which can be blamed on Portia and on Albie’s own father, Dom (Michael Imperioli), who helped get them into this mess. Still, the ending moment between Albie and Portia when they exchange numbers is, well, hilarious because they could have just hung out instead of getting involved in a murder scheme and getting ripped off for $50,000.

From the start, the two had this awkward friendship where it seemed like Portia could come around to Albie, but he definitely liked her more. When Jack showed up, Portia was instantly taken by his charm and left Albie in the dust. Albie turned to Lucia (Simona Tabasco), who was happy to help him make Portia jealous, though he believed Lucia was genuinely into him. After their first night together, Albie realized he still needed to pay Lucia (who claimed to actually like Albie), and the two kept up their relationship even though she was seemingly dealing with a dangerous, controlling pimp.

Both Albie and Portia let themselves get wrapped up in other drama instead of just minding their own business and hanging out together, and in the end, that’s exactly what they want to do. It’s hilarious and I honestly do wish they’ll both be in the next season.

Mess around and get played

Albie realizes he just got played in 'The White Lotus.' The closed caption reads, "She played me."

Oh, boy was this a hilarious ending to the entire season. Albie got played and it was his father’s fault, and yet his father is the one who ended up winning. Throughout the season, Dom made mistakes and we learned all about how his wife and daughter hated him because he kept having affairs, and Albie was the only one who would put up with him. When Albie called him out for his behavior, Dom sent Lucia away, but she was already at the hotel for the week (because Dom initially engaged her for sex work), so she stayed and connected with Albie.

The two hit it off, and—much like Albie—we were led to believe she was being harassed and stalked by a man she owed money to. The man came and took her away from Albie at one point, so when Lucia showed back up to his room, Albie told her he’d help her. He used his good relationship with his mother to his advantage and asked his father for money, and, in exchange, talked up his dad to his mom—despite Dom turning down Albie’s offer to do so.

Ultimately, Lucia got $50,000 in her bank account, slept with Albie, and then left him—only to show us all that she planned the entire thing, and had all her friends around Taormina help her convince this boy she was in trouble. And honestly? Good for Lucia I love her. Albie, though? Well, maybe next time just hang out with your dad and grandpa and leave the girls out of it.


I can’t wait until we go to another White Lotus resort and see what nonsense they cook up there, but at least we’ll always have Jennifer Coolidge trying to run on that boat.

(featured image: HBO)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.