This week’s episode of Big Little Lies has already gone up on HBO Go and HBO Now, since it conflicts with the Oscars, so make sure you’ve watched “Serious Mothering” before continuing!
There’s one big rule when it comes to kids and birthdays: if you’re gonna invite the whole class, you have to invite the whole class.
Sure, Ziggy allegedly strangled Renata’s (Laura Dern) daughter Amabella (say that sentence 3 times fast), but there’s no proof that it happened, and at the very least, it was rude as hell to hand out the invitations at school. Renata, we know you’re busy being very successful and all, but come on!
Renata’s exclusion of little Ziggy launched an all out war thanks to Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), who declared that if Ziggy couldn’t go, Chloe wouldn’t be attending, either. And in fact, Chloe, Ziggy, and Chloe’s friends would instead be going to Frozen on Ice. So there, Renata!
Meanwhile, Madeline’s husband (Adam Scott) and ex-husband (James Tupper) appear to also be in a war, and Alexander Skarsgard continues to quietly terrify as we learn more and more about his complicated marriage to Celeste (Nicole Kidman). Plus, someone’s still dead, and we still don’t know who.
As we did last week, E! News is here to add our two cents into the mommy drama by pitting the leading ladies against each other in power rankings. Who’s on top? Who needs to buck up? Let’s find out!
5. Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman)
Celeste went down a point this week, mostly just because Renata moved up.
For: So far, Celeste has too many of her own issues to deal with to get involved in the mom vs. mom game, but she is definitely on Madeline’s side, and it’s kind of a joy to watch her interact with her sons.
Against: Her relationship with her husband, Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) continues to completely skeeve us out, and he’s not the only one doing the skeeving. Other than that, she’s just not doing much yet, but we’re intrigued to see how she gets more involved.
4. Bonnie Carlson (Zoë Kravitz)
Bonnie went down from 2 to 4 because you never take a mothering moment away from Madeline.
For: She’s the most supportive mom, even to kids who aren’t actually hers, and she’s such a beautiful stereotype of annoyingly pleasant yoga women that it almost bothers us.
Against: Never try to parent kids who aren’t yours, especially when they’re your husband’s kid with his first wife, who hates you. Especially when that first wife is named Madeline Martha Mackenzie.
3. Renata Klein (Laura Dern)
Renata moves up 2 spots this week, just for getting in the game.
For: She’s certainly determined to make sure Amabella has only the best, and she’s doing it while being a badass boss at work, too. Plus, we have a feeling she’s going to throw one hell of a party.
Against: Leaving Ziggy out of the birthday party was a bad move, and her devotion to making Amabella’s life perfect is starting to terrify us. We wouldn’t let her babysit our first grader after all that yelling and cursing she did this week.
2. Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley)
Jane moves up a spot this week, from 3 to 2!
For: She knows it’s probably best for Ziggy if attention is not drawn to the fact that he was not invited to the birthday party, and continues to have one of the best mother/child bonds on the show.
Against: Clearly there is something in Jane’s past that’s affecting her deeply, and we’re a little worried about her and her mental state.
1. Madeline Martha Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon
Surprise surprise, Madeline stays right where she is at the top. For now…
For: From her continued crusade to bring Avenue Q to the citizens of Monterey to her new crusade to punish Renata for her bad birthday party politics, Madeline was truly on a tear this week. Plus, points to anyone who manages to snag that many tickets to Frozen on Ice. Those are not easy to get!
Against: Madeline’s determination to insert herself into every situation and everybody’s business is not going to go well forever, and her obsession with her ex and Bonnie is already getting tiresome. We’re only on episode two, so that’s not a good sign.
Side note: Madeline’s teen daughter Abby is nearing the top of our watch list. Angsty teens on shows about adults are almost always very bad news, and so far this one is no exception.
Big Little Lies airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.