Sunday, April 21, 2024

HBO’s Satirical “White Lotus” Comes to a Surprising, Shocking Yet Satisfying Ending


I will try not to give anything away but STOP reading now if you don’t want any details at all of the “White Lotus” finale.

One person from the cast did wind up in the coffin, and it wasn’t who I expected. Nor any of you who thought it would be Rachel, Shane’s unhappy wife. She lived. What her future will be remains unclear, but she didn’t end the vacation dead.

Sadly, I doubt any of the cast will be seen again in the next installment of “White Lotus,” although I’d like to see Belinda again. I’d hate to think of her just being a lifer at the Maui White Lotus, getting nowhere.

The Mosbacher family gets a happy/unhappy ending. I think Mike White copped out a little bit because one of their endings is unrealistic. It’s really a fantasy. But the fate of Kai, who stole the jewels from their safe, is the saddest part of the saga. He was used by Paula, who will just move on now with this wreckage a fading part of her history.

As for the Jennifer Coolidge-Jon Gries story, all that coughing is not a good sign. Jon Gries’s Greg is obviously not going to live long. Tanya meant well with Belinda, and thinks her big cash payout will assuage all guilt. I hope Belinda uses the money for something important, like starting her business.

And Armond: Murray Bartlett turned that character into an opera. A self destructive one, to be sure. I’m sorry Armond won’t be in the next series. But Bartlett’s stock has gone through the roof. He’s been made to do the most awful things ever seen on a TV series. The worst. Beyond. But it looks like he had a lot of fun in the process. Some viewers of the soap “Guiding Light” may recall Bartlett on that show in its last season or so. You could never have guessed he had this in him.

Mike White took a while to get the rhythm of the show right, and to put all the pieces in place. But he picked up speed in Episode 4, and kept it going to a satisfying and shocking end. He helped everyone get through a difficult summer.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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