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The White Lotus - Departures - Review

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Following the recent, excellent news that The White Lotus has been renewed for a second season, in this season finale we may be saying goodbye to the current characters (some more permanently than others), but not to the show. I, for one, am glad, because despite some of these characters being somewhat asshole-ish (again, some more than others), it made for very entertaining TV and some performances will likely stay in the anals (ha) for years to come. Special mention to Jennifer Coolidge's wild pronunciation of the word "chaise", which might just be my favorite TV moment of the year, as well as the show's score, which feels unmatched in its addictiveness and almost became a character in its own right.

While some White Lotus guests seemed to have made absolutely zero progression (and sometimes even went backwards, hi Rachel!), thankfully this wasn't the case for everyone. The Mossbachers (sans Paula), despite overwhelming odds and pretty dire initial rapports, seem to not only have strengthened their marriage and parent/children relationships, but Quinn transformed from a withdrawn teen to a passionate young man who doesn't quite adhere to his family's way of life anymore, all over the span of a week.

It actually seems like Paula's vastly misguided attempt at righting the wrongs suffered by the locals did generate some good, since it brought Mark and Nicole closer, gave Quinn newfound respect for his father, and pushed Olivia to realize she did still need her mother. It does not, however, make what Paula did acceptable and since Kai did end up being caught, far from making things better for him probably ruined life as he knew it, and any chances of employment on the island. Somehow, Paula also tried her best to alienate Olivia (who, lest we forget, invited her on this all expenses paid trip). And yeah, sure, Olivia's penchant to need whatever Paula had and she didn't was not great, but at this point Paula is the one who doesn't deserve Olivia, who was being a much better friend to her than she merited.

While it didn't seem likely that Nicole and Mark were going to calmly go along with Quinn's new plan of following his rowing friends, the completely surreal conversation about his phone truly proved that however better their marriage is, Nicole and Mark had not changed at all but were at least united in their refusal to let their 16 year old son quit school and life as he knew it.
However, thanks to a last-minute attempt on Quinn's part, he skipped the plane back home and set off into the sunset. I'm sure Nicole called the national guard to retrieve him but still, a boy can dream, and he did, and it was great to see. Tanya may not have had quite the 180 Quinn did, but she at least 1. finally disposed of her mother's ashes (not in the trash, thankfully) 2. succeeded in realizing that some of her unhealthy habits were too ingrained to ever completely disappear, but knowing they existed was probably the first step towards self-awareness Tanya ever took (and this began with her remarkably clear vision of peeling the proverbial onion and Greg not running away) and 3. came clean to Belinda about their business project. This one hurt the most, because Belinda did not deserve to have her hopes completely dashed by someone who'd never intended to follow through, despite her best intentions. All through the series, Belinda kept giving and giving to every single person who needed her, were it guests like Tanya and Rachel, or her own boss Armond, and what did she get in return? Nothing but heartache. Justice for Belinda please, get her out of there or at least have her run The White Lotus in Armond's stead.
Because yes, after six episodes we finally know who dies, how, and why. There was a bit of a red herring when Greg kept coughing to the point where he seemed to be about to exit this life (which he confirmed to Tanya), but ultimately the only one who "didn't make it off the island", was... Armond. (Sidenote: why did his body even have to leave the island though? Didn't he live there?)

Armond's week was not getting better after the multiple snafus with various guests, and he finally received a call from higher up that let him know in no uncertain terms that he was, effectively, fired starting the very next day. Armond already wasn't in the stablest of moods, but this really pushed him over the edge (understandably). Unfortunately, his ire at the guests turned into a very personal vendetta against the worst of them all: Shane. Somehow, I wish that suitcase scene were not branded in my mind and hopefully in good time, I'll be able to forget about it, but it did lead to him being stuck in the Patton suite, with a suspicious Shane. Earlier in the episode, Shane had been wondering how best to defend himself against random attackers like Kai, and figured the giant pineapple knife was a safe bet. Which is how a trespassing and property degrading Armond found himself stabbed, and then dead, in some kind of jacuzzi. Not the best way to go, but very appropriate for this show.
For about two episodes, it seemed like Rachel was finally going to grow a backbone and leave Shane "Baby man" Patton, but alas, the last few shots from the airport show Rachel crawling back to him and promising that she's happy. Is she? Will she ever be able to be with him in her life and in her new trophy wife role? Methinks not, but hey, it's her (thankfully not literal) funeral.

All in all, a pretty satisfying finale and overall, a great little show that became the sensation of the summer, with hilarious moments and fantastic acting. What did you guys think? Did you expect the death reveal and the conclusions for all the characters? Are you glad the show's already been renewed? Any fancasting already happening? As usual, sound off in the comments!

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