‘The White Lotus’ is not a police novel. So why are we seeing it as one?

the white lotus it’s a lot of things: a social satire, a bedroom farce, a tragicomedy. But he is not, and has never been, a whodunnnit. The deaths, introduced at the beginning of each season, are never the main axis of the story, as they are in knives outsee how they work, Y death on the nile. Even when these deaths do occur, they are treated more as afterthoughts or a source of tasteless gossip among the surviving guests.

Still, fans of the show love to play detective.

Week after week, viewers relentlessly theorize about the show, choosing who will die and at whose hands. if you seek the white lotus online, you’ll find dozens of articles and TikToks dissecting fan theories and minute details that maybe just be a clue


‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Finale Explained: Who Died?

For one, you can’t blame theorists: Both seasons of the white lotus opens with the revelation that someone has died. It is natural to be curious about what happened. However, much of the talk about the white lotus it comes from theories about the murder rather than the actual meat of the show. The interpersonal drama between the highly privileged and those who serve them and the transactional nature of sex and relationships are all but lost in discussions of who might have killed whom. Does this theory-focused way of experiencing a series enhance or detract from our understanding of it?

What is it about the white lotus What makes you so prone to theories?

It’s not a murder, but a scam.
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

In the white lotus, the deaths that start each season are a bait to attract us more than anything else, a way of promising: “Welcome to the show, anything can happen.” Even Creator Mike White admitted that the inclusion of dead bodies at the beginning of each season was less a way to establish a murder mystery and more a means to dispatch a common limited series cliché.

“It’s such a big trope at this point. All these limited series where there’s a dead body at the beginning,” White said in a 2021 interview with the new yorker. “I was like, ‘Do you want your dead body? Here’s your dead body.'”

Of course, if you give the audience a dead body, they will want to investigate it. If you give the audience a cast of characters who look ready to rip each other’s throats out, that desire to investigate is doubled, no, triple.

The tantalizing tease of a dead body is how we get fan theories ranging from “Daphne murdered Cameron and pretended to discover her body for an alibi” to “Albie accidentally kills Lucia’s pimp, Alessio.” It’s not like the final “Greg is trying to kill Tanya for her money” reveal is any less crazy. At least the show backs that up through Tanya’s discovery of Greg and Quentin’s cowboy photo, and through menacing scenes of Tanya partying with her devious new friends. But some fan theories just aren’t rooted in the text of the show.

In the case of Albie and Alessio, we know all along that the victims are guests. Alessio is not a guest, so he is out of the question. With Daphne as the possible killer, things get more complicated; it can always be argued that someone can be pushed to murder. But based on season 1 of the white lotus, the show is more interested in playing around with unfortunate accidents than carefully executed murders.


‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Gives Us The Worst Brother Ever

Does the desire to theorize ever outweigh the program itself?

A woman sitting on a flight of steps outdoors, looks at her phone.

Watch me live reading fan theories after every episode.
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

Making up theories scratches that part of our brain that wants to be right about everything. It’s easy to yearn to predict the outcome of the show early on, and sometimes that yearning means doubling down on the smallest details to confirm your own theories, like character tattoos, background art pieces, or establishing shots.

There seems to be a meaning between white lotus fans, and among the online fandom in general, that everything you see on your screen is a code waiting to be cracked. But the truth is that many of these “tracks” are actually handcrafted choices that help create the mood and subtext of the show. When Tanya and Quentin argue about the opera lady butterfly, that’s not a “hidden” clue. We’re meant to make a connection between Tanya and the main character in the opera, whose husband leaves her to remarry in America, just as Greg might do with Tanya. The comparison positions Tanya as a tragic figure at the center of her own opera.

Then there are the many establishing shots of the closed door between Daphne and Cameron and Ethan and Harper’s room. These are not part of a conspiracy: it is a choice that the white lotus The team has done to prepare us for the inevitable moment when the door is left open after Harper and Cameron supposedly hook up. From the first episode, when Harper asks why they have the door there, the white lotus He has wired us to pay attention to the door. A closed door is established as the norm, so when it is open, we immediately understand that something is wrong.

Moments like these can certainly be seen as omens and clues, but that’s not all they are. They are elements that are very deliberately combined to build character, set the tone, and further the show’s ever-twisted plotlines. Seeing them solely as the means to justify a theory is reductionist: not just a reduction of the show itself, but also a reduction of the work that went into it.

With the season 2 finale, the white lotus it may have made its viewers’ own theories irrelevant.

A woman sits on a bench decorated with Renaissance paintings.

Did anything matter in the end?
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

By the season 2 finale, many white lotus viewers picked up on the fact that Quentin and Greg were conspiring together against Tanya. The end confirms all those suspicions when she realizes that they plan to kill her. But there’s absolutely no way you could have predicted the exact details of Tanya’s ultimate demise, and the white lotus I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Like Armond’s death in season 1, Tanya’s death is a extremely unfortunate accident. She manages to dispatch her captors herself, but is unable to safely descend into the escape boat. One slip on the railing of a yacht and she finds herself falling into the Ionian Sea, accompanied by an extra annoying bang of her head on the boat.

In the end, Tanya’s killer is none other than gravity and her own mistake. His murder was planned, but the chaos of the white lotus it made all that careful planning irrelevant. In fact, the end of the white lotus we treat many of our own burning questions as irrelevant: Did Harper and Ethan cheat on Cameron and Daphne? We’ll never know for sure. And who was Greg having an affair with? the white lotus you may understand the question, but you certainly won’t answer it. It’s a show that sets up a tower of red herrings, only to have it all come crashing down with a deadly accident: a bold move for a series that generates so much speculation.

With the two seasons of the white lotus White thus far has proven to be quite adept at playing the audience, especially when it comes to setting up murder mysteries that aren’t actually murder mysteries. But now that we’re waiting for season 3 of the white lotus Not to be a whodunnit, what are the chances White will do a complete 180 and give us his own version of an Agatha Christie tale?

Even if it did, knowing White, it would have a few twists up its sleeve, and it would never fully live up to fan expectations. Remember, this is the man who brought back fan-favorite Tanya, only to kill her! He is a wild card. And yes the white lotus Season 3 embraces or avoids the murder mystery angle, we’re sure we’re in for another equally wild ride.

the white lotus Season 2 is now streaming on HBO Max.(opens in a new tab)

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