This Was The Scariest Moment Of The Big Little Lies Finale — Not The Murder

Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Courtesy of HBO.
The Big Little Lies finale may have been hurtling towards the big reveal of the Trivia Night Murder Victim, but one moment in “You Get What You Need” was much, much scarier than a costumed killing. Before Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) even arrive at the fatal Otter Bay party, Perry reveals he knows about his wife’s secret apartment, which she rented as a way to leave him. The aggressively abusive man drops the bombshell without a hint of emotion in his voice, making it all the more frightening.
"They're putting in smoke alarms in the apartment and want to know if they can get access on Monday morning," Perry tells his wife, staring at her with a cold smile.
Advertisement
Throughout Big Little Lies, it becomes clear Perry’s biggest trigger is believing Celeste is purposefully doing something without him, or “going through him” as he put it in couple’s therapy. Celeste’s decision to finally leave her violent husband is the pinnacle of Perry’s greatest fears coming true. Watching the businessman pretend to stay calm about what he definitely sees as a supreme betrayal reminds us his eventual meltdown will likely be even more explosive than usual.
That’s why the moment after Perry reveals he's in on the secret is the second the Big Little Lies finale starts giving off major horror movie vibes. Despite the obvious looming menace of Perry’s rage, Celeste continues on with her plan to attend Trivia Night with her husband. In the same way we yell at a slasher film heroine, “Don’t go in the house,” we yell at Celeste, “Don’t leave the house,” as she glides out of her palatial mansion with Perry — who previously threatened to kill his spouse — towering over her.
The tension doesn’t ease up between the couple in the car, with Celeste admitting she planned to let Perry come home to an empty home following his upcoming business trip. Things get worse when Perry responds to this news by speeding past Trivia Night, effectively speeding past Celeste’s sole way out of a possibly-deadly situation. She only escapes because Renata (Laura Dern) interrupts the Wright's claustrophobic argument. The entire scene is scarier than a car horror flick like Death Proof because it’s so grounded in reality.
It's no surprise the most haunting moment of this episode is actually only tangentially related to the series-making murder. Throughout Big Little Lies, the most memorable scenes deal more with the interiors of these women's lives than the unraveling of big deadly mystery. And that's why we're praying for a surprise season 2.
Advertisement