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26 minutes ago, C-Man said:

I haven't gone back and watched the opening scene but my recollection is that Shane was emotionally tied to whoever was in the casket/box. That could only mean Rachel or his mother. But that does seem to easy -- and I haven't watched that scene since a month or so

I rewatched a few days ago. He’s glum at the gate talking with the nosy couple, but he (initially) gamely answers their questions, and when they remark they had heard “someone was killed” at the Lotus, he simply acknowledges it by saying something like “the body is being loaded on the plane.” No real attachment, other than the fact he knew the detail the deceased was traveling with them. After later telling the couple to leave him the fuck alone, he gets up and watches the body loaded onto the plane. As I’ve mentioned before, I think he’s in a shitty mood because he just got dumped and, well, he’s Shane, a shitty person. But Mike White’s possible red herring may actually just be Mahi-mahi, and it is a family member.

And yes, the actor playing Armond is killing it. I hope he remains the center of future The White Lotus series. Or we’ll get to meet other bizarre creations equally as entertaining.

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I’m in the camp of Paula kills Olivia. I think between Olivia stealing boyfriends and Paula at odds with Olivia’s family’s politics and the robbery gone bad that Paula is going to lose her shit and kill Olivia. Wearing the hotel uniform and the fact that there’s likely cameras all over the hallways and common areas, there’s no way Kai doesn’t get caught. Paula will feel guilty for pressuring him into a theft he wanted no part of which contributes to her breakdown. Then when Olivia makes the statement about her grandmother’s necklace being stolen right after she asked to put it in there to stay safe, hinting to Paula that she knows she is responsible for the theft, that’s the last straw.

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My wife and I caught up on this the last few nights and really enjoyed it. Looking Cleo to the finale.

Most of what I have to say has already been covered but a special shout out to the music throughout. It’s fantastic. I feel like it’s doing a lot of the work to build tension throughout. It’s just anxiety inducing and doesn’t let you relax. Great job by them for going for such a unique soundtrack and it’s paying off.

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7 minutes ago, Stringer said:


Most of what I have to say has already been covered but a special shout out to the music throughout. It’s fantastic. I feel like it’s doing a lot of the work to build tension throughout. It’s just anxiety inducing and doesn’t let you relax. Great job by them for going for such a unique soundtrack and it’s paying off.

Perhaps it's already apparent to this gang of sex perverts, but much of the music features rhythmic moaning and other sounds evocative of fucking.

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I just realized the creator of the show put his own name into the title. 😀

I didn’t expect to see the character “Shane’s Mom” appear, but as the mother who raised that asshole, and was feeding his boiling resentment about the room over the phone, you figure she’s some shrewish, overbearing bitch who would probably be named Karen. 

Then you see Mike White’s casting choice: Molly Shannon, who seems just as flighty, daffy, kooky as ever. That was unexpected. Then as you get to know the character, she is capable of manipulation, and would have raised an entitled turd like Shane. 

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5 hours ago, Vito Andolini said:

I just realized the creator of the show put his own name into the title. 😀

I didn’t expect to see the character “Shane’s Mom” appear, but as the mother who raised that asshole, and was feeding his boiling resentment about the room over the phone, you figure she’s some shrewish, overbearing bitch who would probably be named Karen. 

Then you see Mike White’s casting choice: Molly Shannon, who seems just as flighty, daffy, kooky as ever. That was unexpected. Then as you get to know the character, she is capable of manipulation, and would have raised an entitled turd like Shane. 

that's definitely a recurring theme throughout the show - the relationships we have with our parents/children and how it shapes who we become.

a lot of shane makes sense once you meet molly shannon (she's been so good in everything she pops up in lately - divorce, promising young woman, better things, even bob's burgers).  that level of assumption and entitlement that comes with having money - he offers to pay rachel not to take the assignment, she belittles her and sells her on the idea of becoming a professional party thrower instead of having a (!!!) job.

tanya says that her mother (then i think later mentions both parents) used money to manipulate everyone around them, then does the same thing to belinda.  the way she holds it over her i would assume is not new, and seems to be taking the mantle from her mother in that category.

zahn's character is going through all sorts of shit with his dad relationship, but projects a scattershot of emotions on to his son, and can't figure out the proper amount of intimacy to give that dynamic.  olivia is a cunt, but gets a lot of that from her mother, who seems nice and generous until she's pushed a little past her comfort level, and then lashes out at anyone around her.  that level of condescension is learned behavior.

still say quinn dies in some sort of canoeing accident, maybe shane tries to save him and fails.  paula also tries, but is hobbled from some sort of allergic reaction to denim or sunshine or gluten.

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Murray Bartlett (Armond) profile:

https://www.indiewire.com/2021/08/the-white-lotus-murray-bartlett-interview-1234658057/?fbclid=IwAR2qwg1fM990HNQ9rdiAJVExVRWkeCv_G4HXYkXYZR2tRSi8Sd9k-KBCP9o

Since the halcyon days of Tom Selleck, has anyone worked a mustache quite like Murray Bartlett? The Australian actor, previously best known for playing Dom on Andrew Haigh’s shortlived gay drama “Looking,” is having a much-deserved mid-career breakout with “The White Lotus” — and not a moment too soon. Created by veteran writer/director Mike White, whose cult status cemented around another canceled-too-soon show (the Laura Dern starrer “Enlightened”), “The White Lotus” is the result of HBO giving White full creative control amidst a pandemic-induced content panic. The choice is turning out to be an inspired one.

Set at a fictional luxury hotel in Hawaii, “The White Lotus” is a biting satire of modern day privilege told through the eyes of an eclectic ensemble of hotel customers and workers. There’s the perennially bewildered alcoholic who arrives with her mother’s ashes in tow; the spoiled brat frat boy and his naive trophy wife on an ill-fated honeymoon; and a high-powered Sheryl Sandberg stand-in, her emasculated husband, and their obnoxious and technology-addicted teenagers. Arriving by boat on the utopian shores for a week of luxury, they are greeted by a phalanx of serenely smiling staff, overseen by their impeccably dressed ringleader Armond, played by Bartlett.

That Bartlett stands out amidst a cast that includes Jennifer Coolidge, Connie Britton, Natasha Rothwell, and Steve Zahn — all masters of their craft, seemingly born with impeccable comedic timing — is a feat unto itself. Like Ralph Fiennes in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” or John Cleese in “Fawlty Towers,” Bartlett’s Armond is the ringleader of a three-ring circus that he well knows could topple over at any moment. Under Bartlett’s inspired performance, Armond slowly devolves from a duck paddling vigorously to maintain an utterly placid surface into a vengeful bully as obstinate and narcissistic as the ones he’s been wrangling.

To have a character that is so rich and complicated and follows through in such an intense way on some of his impulses, it’s such a dreamy kind of meaty character for an actor,” Bartlett said during a recent phone interview. “There was so much there, and I felt like I’d met this character before, and I felt like there were aspects of me in this character that I very rarely get to express.”

Luckily for Bartlett, it wasn’t Armond’s reckless behavior or substance abuse issues to which he related most, but his people-pleasing tendencies.

“I have tended to be… a people-pleaser type of person in my life,” said Bartlett. “So to do some of the things Armond gets to do was kind of therapeutic. Most of us can relate to the thing of having a public mask that we present to the world and having an inner life that is at odds with that. [With] every character, there’s an opportunity to find the aspect of yourself. […] With Armond that was quite confronting, because he’s got a very rich inner life and a lot of it is quite dark.”

As the guests’ requests begin to escalate, Armond’s patience wears thin. When a missing bag belonging to the teenage girls shows up full of prescription meds and other drugs, his years-long sobriety goes down the drain. What begins as a few anxiety pills quickly devolves into a full-on bender. Whether he’s up or down or some unknown combination of both, Bartlett’s face portrays the roller coaster of whatever cocktails Armond is cooking up with beguiling precision.

It’s a talent made all the more impressive when you consider most of the series was shot out of chronological order, due to tight pandemic scheduling. Though he originally plotted out which drugs Armond was taking when, most of that went out the window with the hectic shooting order, and he relied on White to keep him on track. Their focus was more on how to keep Armond from spinning too far from the recognizable person Bartlett felt like he’d met.

”We wanted to keep him grounded in a reality. Some of the moments when he’s just, like, staring at a bottle of pills and that kind of intense moment where there’s not a lot happening character-wise or action-wise, but it’s that very human moment of what do you do when the thing, your challenge, is staring you in the face?” said Bartlett. “[We tried] to keep him anchored so we never felt like this was a character that was disconnected from reality, that it was all anchored in something that felt true.”

“The White Lotus” was shot on location at the Four Seasons Resort in Maui, and the cast and crew all stayed at the hotel while quarantining and shooting. (Nice work if you can get it.)

“It was so surreal because we were all in our Covid pods, and then all of a sudden we got this call to work on this wonderful job in Hawaii, which seems completely unfair. We were kind of cloistered away in this high-end resort on a beach,” said Bartlett. “It was very, very surreal, and kind of dreamy, because we were in this stereotypical fantasy world, but it was odd.”

They had the place to themselves for the first half of shooting, before travel restrictions eased up and actual guests slowly filtered into the hotel. It’s a mark of White’s great writing that the parallels to the show were often a little unsettling.

“As the hotel opened up — I’m sure there was a lot of projection on my part — but [we started] to see some of the characters of the show walk into the hotel. and [we were] like, ‘Whoa, this is the non-fiction version of what we’re doing,'” he said. “It was pretty surreal.”

 

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I like that poem Armond quoted, though it's a bit of a downer.  Tennyson

Quote
Hateful is the dark-blue sky,
Vaulted o’er the dark-blue sea.
Death is the end of life; ah, why
Should life all labor be?
Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast,
And in a little while our lips are dumb.
Let us alone. What is it that will last?
And things are taken from us, and become
Portions and parcels of the dreadful past.
Let us alone. What pleasure can we have 
To war with evil? Is there any peace 
In ever climbing up the climbing wave?
All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave
In silence – ripen, fall, and cease:
Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.

 

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The sharp wit seems like it faded after the first 3 episodes and more recently seems like it's angled more towards hbo-style tv drama. I am looking forward to seeing the finale, however, as I'm curious how they wrap it all up.

I see only two possibilities for Steve Zahn's Shane's character to be upset about the casket. But he may not in fact be upset about the casket or a murder at all. I'm leaning toward him being pissed off entirely about something else that impacted his ego and the casket is being used as a decoy. The two possible reasons for him to be upset about the casket would involve the death of his wife or his mother.

But my opinion is he wouldn't be that upset about his wife dying...allusions earlier in the show seemed to indicate he's not particularly invested in the relationship. If she left him by choice though, now that would burn him up because it'd be a direct strike to the ego.

Is it his mother who died? Possibly. She seems to be the only person he cares about besides himself. But I can't come up with a plausible scenario for the mother to get murdered. The wife seems like too much of a deer in the headlights and she has no motivation -- unless the mother doesn't go to Mauna Kea as promised and becomes even more obnoxious. Possible but I have my doubts as the wife seems content to go back to her previous wife  life with the prenup money in hand. A crazy theory - what if the wife were to discover the prenup contained a huge mistake in the wife's favor? That could certainly give the mother some motivation to kill the wife as well as explain Shane's being distraught for his jailed mother.

If Shane is just pissed because his wife left him, and not about his mother or wife dying, that opens up some other possibilities for a murder. I'm not sure any of them are that alluring other than if the victim is Connie Britton. In that case, the resentful husband surely did it.

 

 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Chopper said:

The sharp wit seems like it faded after the first 3 episodes and more recently seems like it's angled more towards hbo-style tv drama. I am looking forward to seeing the finale, however, as I'm curious how they wrap it all up.

I see only two possibilities for Steve Zahn's character to be upset about the casket. But he may not in fact be upset about the casket or a murder at all. I'm leaning toward him being pissed off entirely about something else that impacted his ego and the casket is being used as a decoy. The two possible reasons for him to be upset about the casket would involve the death of his wife or his mother.

But my opinion is he wouldn't be that upset about his wife dying...allusions earlier in the show seemed to indicate he's not particularly invested in the relationship. If she left him by choice though, now that would burn him up because it'd be a direct strike to the ego.

Is it his mother who died? Possibly. She seems to be the only person he cares about besides himself. But I can't come up with a plausible scenario for the mother to get murdered. The wife seems like too much of a deer in the headlights and she has no motivation -- unless the mother doesn't go to Mauna Kea as promised and becomes even more obnoxious. Possible but I have my doubts as the wife seems content to go back to her previous wife with the prenup money in hand. A crazy theory - what if the wife were to discover the prenup contained a huge mistake in the wife's favor? That could certainly give the mother some motivation to kill the wife as well as explain Zahn's being distraught for his jailed mother.

If Zahn is just pissed because his wife left him, and not about his mother or wife dying, that opens up some other possibilities for a murder. I'm not sure any of them are that alluring other than if the victim is Connie Britton. In that case, the resentful husband surely did it.

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Zahn?

 

 

 

 

Forget it. He’s rolling. 

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On 8/14/2021 at 2:24 PM, henrygandorf said:

that's definitely a recurring theme throughout the show - the relationships we have with our parents/children and how it shapes who we become.

a lot of shane makes sense once you meet molly shannon (she's been so good in everything she pops up in lately - divorce, promising young woman, better things, even bob's burgers).  that level of assumption and entitlement that comes with having money - he offers to pay rachel not to take the assignment, she belittles her and sells her on the idea of becoming a professional party thrower instead of having a (!!!) job.

tanya says that her mother (then i think later mentions both parents) used money to manipulate everyone around them, then does the same thing to belinda.  the way she holds it over her i would assume is not new, and seems to be taking the mantle from her mother in that category.

zahn's character is going through all sorts of shit with his dad relationship, but projects a scattershot of emotions on to his son, and can't figure out the proper amount of intimacy to give that dynamic.  olivia is a cunt, but gets a lot of that from her mother, who seems nice and generous until she's pushed a little past her comfort level, and then lashes out at anyone around her.  that level of condescension is learned behavior.

After having watched the finale and just now reading this excellent post, I think you hit nail on the head with this analysis.

Spoiler

In the end, every character reverts back to form except for one who found a way to break away from his learned behavior. The rest just settle back into theirs and one's past demons get him in the end. The youngest character wasn't too far gone yet.

Gotta say, I'm gonna miss Armond though.

 

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46 minutes ago, bolverk said:

After having watched the finale and just now reading this excellent post, I think you hit nail on the head with this analysis.

  Reveal hidden contents

In the end, every character reverts back to form except for one who found a way to break away from his learned behavior. The rest just settle back into theirs and one's past demons get him in the end. The youngest character wasn't too far gone yet.

Gotta say, I'm gonna miss Armond though.

 

Agreed. No one changed except Quinn. 
 

And the asshole guests managed to destroy two lives in a week - Kai and Armand. 

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Really enjoyed the show.

Armand was the most entertaining character and I’m sad to see him be the one who was killed. I’m slightly confused why his body was being loaded on a plane back to the U.S., although I guess we were never explicitly told that’s where the plane is headed.

Quinn was my favorite character and his transformation was perfect.

Sad to see Rachel accept Shane back so easily. I guess she made a Faustian bargain after all and it means all characters minus Quinn returned to their former selves.

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3 minutes ago, Red Five said:

I’m not sure if shitting on your clothes justified murdering the hotel manager. Did New Jim make up a story about an attempted robbery, struggle, etc?

He didn’t kill him for shitting in his clothes. He was on edge from the other break in and overreacted and grabbed the pineapple knife. (As an aside, I called “killed with the pineapple knife In the pineapple suite as soon as Chekhov’s knife was shown in the earlier scene.) He accidentally stabbed him when he came around the corner.

So in reality, Paula was also responsible for Armond, since convincing Kai to steal the bracelet was what put Shane on edge. 
 

Paula sucked. 

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He didn’t kill him for shitting in his clothes. He was on edge from the other break in and overreacted and grabbed the pineapple knife. (As an aside, I called “killed with the pineapple knife In the pineapple suite as soon as Chekhov’s knife was shown in the earlier scene.) He accidentally stabbed him when he came around the corner.
So in reality, Paula was also responsible for Armond, since convincing Kai to steal the bracelet was what put Shane on edge. 
 
Paula sucked. 

Yes as viewers we know that, but his story to the cops is that he accidentally stabbed the hotel manager in the chest, who he had been publicly fighting with for a week?
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On 8/10/2021 at 7:35 PM, Harrison Bergeron said:

At least we know Armond is safe ... he's becoming my favorite character.

schitts creek no GIF by CBC
 

good series, having a second season is a big gamble. Was really hoping Armond would be a mainstay. Also Alexandra Daddarrio should be in everything as long as she lets those cannons loosealexandra daddario comedy GIF by Baywatch Movie

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He didn’t kill him for shitting in his clothes. He was on edge from the other break in and overreacted and grabbed the pineapple knife. (As an aside, I called “killed with the pineapple knife In the pineapple suite as soon as Chekhov’s knife was shown in the earlier scene.) He accidentally stabbed him when he came around the corner.
So in reality, Paula was also responsible for Armond, since convincing Kai to steal the bracelet was what put Shane on edge. 
 
Paula sucked. 

Paula also helped smuggle drugs into Hawaii that she left on the beach, that Armand used to get fucked up. Besides the lunacy of smuggling drugs in and out of Hawaii, where in addition to drugs, they’re looking for pineapples or invasive species coming in and out.
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19 minutes ago, Eskimohorn said:


Paula also helped smuggle drugs into Hawaii that she left on the beach, that Armand used to get fucked up. Besides the lunacy of smuggling drugs in and out of Hawaii, where in addition to drugs, they’re looking for pineapples or invasive species coming in and out.

Yeah, Paula really was the proximate cause of most (not all, but most) of the bad stuff.  If she wasn't on the trip Kai is still working there, Armond probably doesn't go off the deep end and wind up fired/dead, etc. They all would have still sucked, but for Paula being on the trip, it doesn't spiral the way it did. 

But, as my wife pointed out, she also helped the Mossbacher's rekindle their romance after the husband tackled Kai and then got his face smashed by him. So, you know, one good thing.

 

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The tox screen on Armond was going to be a doozy, only helps whatever story they got from Shane.

Small scene but I liked where Shane told Rachel, "I'm there for you, I love you etc."  For a second I thought fucking hell they are all of a sudden gonna make Shane some nice guy this is going to be stupid.  Nope it was that Shane is still who he is and he mustered every bit of energy he had to be kind for just a moment and that was all he could do...next thing out of him was back to being an ass.   Shows how deep the asshole runs and how much it takes to not be one, even for a few moments.

I think in the end I would rank likability/sympathy of main characters who were guests:

Quinn-  Found himself, set his own path, not the way his parents want and it could be a fucking disaster but good to see

Nicole/Mark - Yea they are still blind to a lot of shit and are really shitty parents, but they found each other again that was nice and they at least seem to try

Tanya - just a crazy bitch who doesn't mean harm but has been completely corrupted by her world of money and doesn't recognize that without it she's babbling on a street corner somewhere giving blow jobs for 10 bucks

Olivia - She's a bitch but at least she sort of pulled up there at the end

Rachel - she only gets this spot above the last two because of her tits, which is all she ended up being....Rose (Dewitt) Dawson thinks you fucking suck.  Probably slid furthest down the scale for me in the last episode

Shane - what a spoiled petulant bitch of a man

Paula -  the most unlikable character on the show, misguided, manipulative, drama queen.  "Oh you got stolen from Kai, I want to help you but I'm going to ask you to take all the risk"  Fucking bitch, even got a hug out of her bitch friend Olivia.

 

Belinda/Armond are yin and yang.  Belinda puts up with a lot of shit the entire series and soldiers on.  Armond puts up with a lot of shit and it breaks him (but man what an entertaining character and what a break).  They're that which exists in all of us, the capability to persevere through all the bullshit and madness or the capability to be consumed by it.   

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