What an outstanding miniseries.
Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 7 closed the book on the women we've come to know over the last seven weeks, and there wasn't a single regret having watched it.
Heck, I might even pick up the book to relive the events from a different perspective and with more information on some characters and less on others. There is some benefit to having a book-to-television adaptation.
A lot of what I expected to happen in the finale happened, and that's OK.
After all, the miniseries is based on a book written for women, and the books in that vein can although do not have to be, formulaic. And when you've read as many as I have over the years, it becomes easier to put the pieces together.
The finale did what it needed to do, which was address the overarching mystery that was presented on Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 1. Personally, I don't think it was necessary for this story and could have done without it.
But the murder was a finish line, and a point we all knew was coming. It gave us something to focus on and to mesh all of the other stories so they interconnected. And they did.
Ziggy finally came clean with Jane about not only being friends with Amabella but being her confidante. What Jane learned from Ziggy we had already pieced together, but it also served other purposes.
When Jane was confronted by Gordon in the coffee shop, had she not known about Max, she might have been a lot more concerned about that situation. Instead, she was confident in what she had discovered and understood Gordon was still under the notion Ziggy was hurting Amabella so she was OK with it.
Plus, it gave Tom a chance to be her knight in shining armor, something else I had been waiting for him to do, as well.
Tom: You know, ah, I've actually been trying to figure out a way to impress you for a while now, I just haven't had my chance.
Jane: You're straight?
Ziggy's confession also helped us prepare for the moment Jane saw Perry, and it was exactly what we expected. Shailene Woodley did a great job with that scene, as she only had expressions to make the moment count. It did.
And finally, the realization that her sons had been privy to her abuse all along was the final step in moving Celeste out of that madhouse.
Of course, it wasn't going to be easy. She had waited so long that the stakes were higher than ever.
Perry's anger was reaching an all-time high, and he was taking more chances with her. He was using her like a rag doll, and even after a brutal morning of being tossed around the house, Celeste was still keeping up appearances.
Dr. Reisman: You gonna leave him?
Celeste: He's going away in the morning, so...
Dr. Reisman: OK
Celeste: We just have to go to this school gala and then...
Dr. Reisman: Oh, Jesus. It's one thing should he kill you, but God forbid you miss a party. You know, your husband is ill, Celeste, but so are you. There are children in the house.
Celeste: I told you he will not hurt the children. He will never hurt the children!
Holding in his anger for as long as he did on the way to the gala was quite a coup for Perry. Given the severity of the topic, he could have just plowed into her right in front of the boys.
He was still using his "monster inside" garbage and promising to get help, though.
I know I have this madness, these fucking demons in here, but I'm fighting them. I'm fighting them!Perry
I think the series could have used eight episodes. The party happened so fast, and Ed and Madeline felt a little short changed.
After the dinner on Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 6, I got the impression Ed knew Madeline had strayed but didn't want to say it out loud. He didn't need to know the details.
Well, they were being spelled out for him during the gala, as Tori wouldn't stop staring holes into the side of Madeline's head. But Ed was lusting after Bonnie, too. Granted, he didn't make a move, but the marriage was stretching at the edges under the recent pressure.
As everyone came together and learned bit by bit everything they needed to know; Renata heard about Max from Celeste, Jane saw Saxon Banks up close and personal and Bonnie went with her gut by following Perry, they were letting it be known they were done with the pettiness of their recent behavior.
We never got to know Bonnie very well, but in the book, she apparently had a backstory that featured past domestic abuse.
That would have been good to know in understanding her decision to follow Perry, but not absolutely necessary.
Perry was pushing and shoving Celeste in public, and it didn't look good.
Bonnie showed good instincts throughout the series, which is one of the reasons I would have liked to know her better.
Relegating her to the sexy thing on Nathan's arm felt like they were missing a lot of they could have done with her.
If the police wondered why they all lied, they need look no further than that Greek Chorus of idiots they spent so much time questioning.
The petty jealousy of the citizens of Monterey lined up like a firing squad pointed at all five of the women who were on the scene.
All Bonnie did was push a man off of a woman he was brutally beating. Those stairs just so happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.
I could have done without the detective flicking her lighter and watching the now group of friends on the beach through binoculars.
All that tells me is she's one of the chorus; as jealous and petty as the others who have never taken the time to get to know the women they spend so much time talking about.
The scene on the beach was what I wanted at the end, sans that lighter click.
Thankfully it's never taken someone's death to draw me into a circle of women I wouldn't otherwise befriend, but an argument of some sort can do the trick.
When it's resolved, you realize what you've been missing out on and put your differences aside to form beautiful friendships.
And that's what I think Big Little Lies was about. Putting aside all the garbage to see the truth in those around you.
Cheers to watching a wonderful miniseries together. Don't let yourselves fall pray to abusive situations. Trust your friends and neighbors. Be better than the Greek Chorus around you.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.