Yet after a solid start — exploring how the members of the "Monterey Five" would deal, individually and collectively, with the aftermath of those explosive, fatal events — the narrative began feeling a trifle aimless. Controversy about the behind-the-scenes relationships — and specifically, whether the producers undermined the contribution of director Andrea Arnold — only magnified those perceptions.With all of that as context, expectations for the finale, which aired Sunday night, went from being too high to perhaps unreasonably low. In the final analysis, an episode that spent much of its time in the courtroom yielded a split decision: While the payoff proved anticlimactic in some respects, it finally came around to addressing the core issue — that for the five women connected by the first season's closing act, as Nicole Kidman's Celeste put it, "The lie is the friendship."The driving force behind the latest season, other than Streep's suspicious mother-in-law Mary Louise, thus became the daunting challenge of keeping secrets, especially when they involve the guilt associated with a killing, even if it was a righteous one. In the finale, the cost of that deception motivated each of the characters to advance their individual stories: for Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) to find a way to save her marriage; for Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) and Renata (Laura Dern) to end theirs; and for Jane (Shailene Woodley) to brave embarking on a new romance.Writer-producer David E. Kelley shared story credit with "Lies" novelist Liane Moriarty, but the narrative arc bore many of his hallmarks, especially in its turn toward courtroom drama, as Celeste battled to maintain custody of her sons. That created a showy platform for Kidman and Streep to face off in court, but it also risked transforming "Big Little Lies" into the equivalent of an NBC procedural, just with an Oscar-quality pedigree.After those fireworks and others, the low-key finish — as the five marched purposefully into the police station — offered the hope of cleansing, the prospect of everyone putting the lie behind them and moving on. It wasn't especially satisfying but felt more on point, andRead More – Source

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