HBO’s “The White Lotus” is back — which means that viewers, once again, have a murder on their hands.
Season 2 opens with Daphne (Meghann Fahy) going for a swim on the last day of her holiday in Sicily, when she bumps into a dead body (or part of a body?) and swims, screaming, back to shore.
The second installment of Mike White’s buzzy limited series explores taut sexual politics in one of the world’s most romantic and storied locales, all while building up to not just one death, but multiple. As White Lotus Sicily manager Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) learns in the cold open, there are more bodies out there, which sets this death definitively as a murder — unlike Season 1’s arguable accident.
With a mostly new cast and so many possibilities, IndieWire is breaking down the life-and-death odds every week, updating to reflect developments of the latest episode. Here’s who we think is most likely to die, kill, and survive unscathed in “The White Lotus” Season 2.
Most Likely To Die
Simona Tabasco as Lucia in “The White Lotus” Season 2
1. Lucia (Simona Tabasco)
Statistically, murder odds do not look good for a young, solitary sex worker. She’s on the wrong side of the hotel staff and Valentina’s judgement, and she presents a liability for Dominic (Michael Imperioli) if his family finds out or if he happens to glance at that hotel bill any time soon.
2. Mia (Beatrice Grannó)
Not to conflate her with Lucia, but the two are often together which means that any trouble coming Lucia’s way could easily entrap her best friend. And again: MurderS! The only time Mia’s been alone, she got mistaken for a sex worker by a creepy old man and threw a drink in his face! Wouldn’t be the first time a man took poorly to rejection…
3. Bert (F. Murray Abraham)
No disrespect to Nonno who is mostly minding his own business — he’s just old and more likely to not recover from any physical injury, like the concussion he sustains in Episode 1. He also loves to the stir the pot, especially with his son.
4. Portia (Haley Lu Richardson)
Like Lucia and Mia, Portia is in danger mainly by virtue of being a woman who spends any time alone — which is exactly what boss Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) keeps telling her to do.
5. Cameron (Theo James)
Cam and Daphne are nigh inseparable in flashbacks, but on the last day of their trip she’s alone on the beach, without even a vacant chair next to her. She appears to collapse when she runs back to the beach, but that’s a justified reaction wether or not she recognized the corpse in the water. When police wrap up the body bag, Daphne’s face is deliberately obscured by umbrellas, because her expression would immediately confirm whether or not it’s Cam.
In the Clear (For Now)
Meghann Fahy as Daphne in “The White Lotus” Season 2.
1. Daphne (Meghan Fahy)
Daphne was in the cold open where the dead body is found, which means she gets this season’s Get Out of Death Free card. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t in danger of physical harm, heartbreak, or whatever other madness the White Lotus Sicily has in store for her.
Also pictured in the opening, Valentina is more concerned with the hotel’s reputation and her own job security than the growing pile of corpses washing ashore. She’s not particularly warm to her employees or any of the guests, which doesn’t make her a murderer but will also not help the White Lotus’ growing PR problem.
Tanya is the show’s main connective tissue between seasons besides the White Lotus hotels themselves, but the writers might kill her to pull out that rug and add uncertainty to potential future seasons. She hasn’t interacted with most of the other guests yet, but she’s starting to draw attention to herself — not to mention she almost died choking on a bug in Episode 2. Her relationship with Greg is in a rocky patch, and now that he’s leaving town, anything could happen.
4. Ethan (Will Sharpe)
Will might be the most nonthreatening and unproblematic character on this show at the moment, but he’s got his own secrets and desires, as seen in Episode 2 when Harper catches him masturbating mere minutes before she returns to the room. Everyone — including his own wife — takes Ethan’s goodness for granted, and they may go on to regret it.
5. Albie (Adam DiMarco)
Albie’s focused on his family for the moment, but already intrigued by Portia and ready to stray from the plan to spend time with her. He is a textbook Good Boy…but for how long?
Greg is about to leave Sicily for a few days, which is a temporary alibi but doesn’t help his case with Tanya. Greg has a whole past, multiple marriages, and his own secrets, including whoever he’s talking to on the phone at the end of Episode 2 and exactly what their relationship is. He’s not dying or dead yet, but Greg isn’t innocent.
Most Likely To Kill
Michael Imperioli, Simona Tabasco, and Beatrice Grannò in “The White Lotus”
Courtesy of HBO
Dom lays out explicitly in Episode 2 that he can’t be seen with Lucia and Mia in front of his family. He also gives them hotel access and asks them to “not go crazy” charging the room, which Lucia has no intention of doing! Dom keeps his cool in tense situations — his wife yelling at him over the phone, Bert embarrassing him at breakfast, the interactions with Lucia — but he gives the impression of someone hanging on by a thread, inches from snapping.
2. Harper (Aubrey Plaza)
Harper has exhibited no murderous tendencies so far, but does not quite pass the vibe check. She’s the only character in this show so far to demonstrate visible outward dissatisfaction of any kind — which she does often, and obviously. Cam’s Episode 1 stunt has her on edge from the start of the trip, compounded by him approaching her in the pool and truly every single interaction she has with him and Daphne. It could just be a matter of time before annoyance spirals into something far more sinister.
This honestly feels too obvious. Cam might be the guy who everyone looks at when someone brings up “Dateline” wife killers, not to mention that he’s out here flashing his penis around — but those are symptoms primarily of being a douchebag, not a murderer. And the overly affectionate asshole husband already did a murder in Season 1! Let’s mix it up.
“The White Lotus” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
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