A Brief ‘Big Little Lies’ Refresher Ahead of the Season 2 Premiere

The premiere of Big Little Lies season two is only five days away, and while we’d like to think that we remember everything about the Monterey Five, we don’t. (It’s been more than a year since the season one finale, after all.)

So, if you need a brief refresher on BLL, keep reading for everything you’ll want to remember ahead of the season two premiere.

monterey five big little lies season 2
Jennifer Clasen/HBO

What's It About?

BLL follows five housewives living in Monterey, California. It introduces viewers to the secret affairs, domestic abuse, backstabbing friendships and school-related power grabs that go seemingly unnoticed in the scenic town.

These events lead the group, later dubbed “The Monterey Five” in season two, to develop an unbreakable bond after witnessing a homicide during the school’s biggest fundraising event of the year: Elvis-and-Audrey-themed Trivia Night. As a result, they vow never to tell a soul, despite the fact that the police aren’t buying their story.

celeste wright big little lies season 2
Gayle/courtesy of HBO

Meet Celeste Wright

Played by: Nicole Kidman

She’s a mother to twin boys—Max (Cameron Crovetti) and Josh (Nicholas Crovetti)—and the wife (and eventual widow) of Trivia Night victim Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård).

Before you start feeling bad for him, it’s important to note that he had it coming. Not only was Perry emotionally and physically abusive toward Celeste, but he also pushed her so far that she obtained alternate housing for herself and her two boys prior to his death.

madeline martha mackenzie
Gayle/courtesy of HBO

Meet Madeline Martha Mackenzie

Played by: Reese Witherspoon

She’s married to Ed (Adam Scott), has two children—Abigail (Kathryn Newton) and Chloe (Darby Camp)—and insists she go by her full name: “Madeline Martha Mackenzie.” While her marriage might seem ideal, it’s not.

First, her ex-husband and the father of Abigail, Nathan (James Tupper), remarried a woman named Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz), and they have a daughter named Skye (Chloe Coleman), who just so happens to be in the same class as Chloe. And second, Madeline is having an extramarital affair with Joseph Bachman (Santiago Cabrera), who runs the local theatre company.

After several attempts to break it off, her infidelity threatens to reveal itself when Madeline and Joseph get in a car crash, ultimately prompting Ed to ask all the right questions.

jane chapman big little lies season 2
Gayle/courtesy of HBO

Meet Jane Chapman

Played by: Shailene Woodley

She’s a single mom to Ziggy (Iain Armitage) and the new girl in town. Although her storyline revolves around Ziggy being accused of bullying, viewers eventually learn that Jane has a hidden agenda—she’s in Monterey searching for Ziggy’s father, who raped her and referred to himself as “Saxon Banks.”

In a surprising turn of events, Jane meets Celeste’s husband, Perry, for the first time during Trivia Night and immediately recognizes him as her attacker. The rest, as you know, is history.

renata klein big little lies season 2
Gayle/courtesy of HBO

Meet Renata Klein

Played by: Laura Dern

Renata’s main goal in life is to be friends with Madeline and Celeste, and it’s not working. Although she wants to be accepted by the other moms, she has a weird way of showing it—like when she accuses Ziggy of bullying her daughter, Amabella (Ivy George), even though the real culprit is Celeste’s son Max. (Like father, like son?)

bonnie carlson big little lies season 2
Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/courtesy of HBO

Meet Bonnie Carlson

Played by: Zoë Kravitz

Bonnie is a free-spirited woman who’s married to Madeline’s ex-husband, Nathan. Although she pushes Perry to his death, Bonnie’s intentions were good. When she spotted the ladies arguing with Perry, she watched from afar until things got physical and then stepped in and saved Celeste from a similar fate.

jane madeline celeste big little lies season 2 list
Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/courtesy of HBO

How Did It End?

The first season concludes with the Monterey Five sitting at the beach with their children, looking happy as can be. It appears they’ve moved on from Trivia Night—that is, until the camera pans back and reveals they’re being watched by someone with binoculars.

How far will they go to keep their secret? Guess we’ll have to wait until season two of Big Little Lies premieres on June 9 on HBO.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...