The White Lotus creator defends death in season 2 finale

The White Lotus: Season 2 official trailer

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Another lavish vacation at the White Lotus came to an end last Sunday on HBO, and UK fans also have the chance to catch up with the drama this week on Sky Go and NOW. Despite becoming one of the most acclaimed TV releases of 2022, the dramatic conclusion to the satirical series’ second season hasn’t gone down well with everyone.

Warning – the following article contains major spoilers for The White Lotus’ season finale.

Writer and director Mike White has revealed why he chose Tanya McQuoid (played by Jennifer Coolidge) as the final victim for the second season.

Originally introduced in season one, Tanya has fast become the most iconic character of the series after returning for this year’s sojourn in Sicily.

Unfortunately, it appears Jennifer won’t be back for a third season after running afoul of Quentin (Tom Hollander) and his group of “high-class gays” who had formed a conspiracy with her husband.

After realising Greg (Jon Gries) had hired Quentin’s gang to kill Tanya to steal her fortune, she grabs a gun and attempts a daring escape off the yacht.

Although she succeeds in killing most of his cronies, her panicked escape doesn’t go to plan and she ends up falling to her death.

“Maybe that’s the journey for her: a journey to death,” Mike has since explained.

“Not that I really wanted to kill Tanya, because I love her as a character and obviously love Jennifer, but I just felt like we’re going to Italy, [and] she’s such a diva, a larger-than-life female archetype.”

“It just felt like we could devise our own operatic conclusion to Tanya’s life and her story.”

Tanya’s explosive yet ultimately frustrating exit from the series was certainly an appropriate way for her character’s story to come to an end.

However, viewers were rather disappointed her death came at her own expense, not to mention it’s highly unlikely there’ll be any more from Jennifer next season.

“White Lotus season two was absolutely perfect television and I hated the finale so much, I don’t think I’ve ever been so angry at a show,” @_artsartsarts said of the final twist.

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And @evamarielola said: “Maybe I just need more time to recover but absolutely hated the ending.”

While the conclusion to season two has had a mixed response, Mike insisted it was important Tanya wasn’t killed by another character.

“It felt like she needed to give her best fight back, and that she, in a way, had some kind of victory over whoever was conspiring to get rid of her,” he told TV Line.

“So it just made me laugh to think she would take out this whole cabal of killers and that, after she’s successfully done that, she just dies this derp-y death. It just felt like that’s so Tanya.”

Although Tanya ended the season sleeping with the fishes, it’s still possible The White Lotus will continue her story.

Her assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) escaped knowing more than she’s letting on, and the murder plot could eventually catch up to Greg.

“Maybe you’ll have to wait to find out what happens,” the creator teased.

The series has already been renewed for a third season, with cast and location details expected to be released sometime in the near future.

The White Lotus seasons 1-2 are available on HBO Max in the USA and Sky Go and NOW in the UK.

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