The White Lotus Season 2 Episode 3
Give me time to wax philosophical with you. Can people modify the aspects of their personalities that are most deeply ingrained in who they are? Which characteristics best describe your morality, ethics, or way of making decisions in general?
Can a man dependent on the touch of a woman’s body suddenly break free from the temptation of ongoing sexual activity? The better question would be the inverse of this idea: Can a stable man’s most primitive urges lead him to make poor decisions and compromise the values that have shaped him throughout his life?
These same questions are boldly thrown in the audience’s faces throughout Bull Elephants, the third episode of the second season by The White Lotus. Dominic and Ethan (Michael Imperioli and Will Sharpe), two of the most intriguing characters in the new season, are essentially taken and put on a contrasting route of change throughout the hour. Over the past two weeks, hints at both men’s key characteristics have been engraved into their personalities.
Dom is a lonely man who spends much of his time in his hotel room, and his son and father look down on him for the awful work he did to end a long-term marriage through numerous adulterous romances.
Ethan has finally achieved financial success and has joined the elite group of wealthy people, but his marriage to Harper (Aubrey Plaza) has seen better days. They’re in the kind of rut that, in theory, might tempt a morally dubious man to sample one of the other 31 ice cream flavors.
Creator Mike White is able to create a scenario in which Dom and Ethan are being propelled to two different endpoints of the same chronology in a masterful parallel piece of storytelling. Dom has already come to his senses; in the movie’s opening scene, his wife, who we now know is being voiced with passionate fire by the legendary Laura Dern, orders him to go get **bleeped**, represents his sort of Judgment Day.
He makes an effort to win back his family’s trust by reluctantly ordering Lucia and Mia (Samona Tabasco and Beatrice Grann) to stop coming to his room at the end of each day. The two dotting ladies become irritated and appear insulted by Dom’s refusal to allow them to continue their mischievous antics, so they turn their attention to Ethan and Cameron (Theo James).
Cameron’s ability to be seduced by the possibility of a new lady in his life was already demonstrated when he transformed Harper into a flirting partner in the infamous “dangling member” scene from Ciao. Cameron is too damaged for his own good, but Ethan is struggling to be true to Harper and endure a marriage that has reached a crossroads.
Ethan is hanging on by the threads of his underwear. The forbidden fruit for Ethan is the White Lotus resort. Attractive, sexually open women physically surround him, but he is able to resist the apple and remain loyal to Harper. When Harper phones, Ethan is unable to answer due to his drugged state, leaving her with the unpleasant impression that something illegal is happening while he is spending the night with Daphne (Meghann Fahy).
In this Sicilian hotbed of copulation, the fact that both Dom and Ethan are able to summon the most steady approximation of ethics is surely simply the quiet before the storm. People like this, as we all know, don’t improve. Tanya is the best example of the unpleasant reality that the wealthy have an unquenchable hunger for whatever they believe they need at any given time (Jennifer Coolidge).
The emotionally unstable belle can’t get rid of her selfishness after Greg (Jon Gries) took off for what is assumed to be an affair, which caused her husband to break up with her in the middle of a vacation.
She coerces Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) out of Albie’s (Adam DiMarco) cozy surroundings and forces her to go with her and a psychic back to her hotel room. Tanya goes to bed grumbling about how everyone is so pessimistic when the oracle predicts only more suffering and marital strife for her.
Tanya will never change, which is the irony that is so obvious to everyone. She is no longer in control of her one-sided character, and the others at this White Lotus location are all headed in the same direction. After all, in order to gain it all in this world, you must forfeit your soul. Or anything similar, correct?
Season 2 of The White Lotus will begin airing new episodes on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.