Warning: This article contains spoilers about Sunday’s season 2 finale of “The White Lotus”.
Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) has stayed at her last White Lotus resort. During Sunday’s intense season 2 finale of The White Lotus (now streaming on HBO Max), it was revealed in the last few minutes that the dead body discovered floating in the ocean in the premiere is none other than returning season 1 cast member Tanya. So what happened to the White Lotus resort chain’s biggest fan, and who are the other dead bodies mentioned in the premiere?
Turns out most of EW’s own theories about how season 2 ends were 100 percent accurate: Tanya’s husband Greg (Jon Gries) hired Quentin (Tom Hollander) to kill her. Due to the prenup he signed when they got married, he wouldn’t get any money from her if they divorced; the only way he’d get all of her money to himself is if she died. That’s why he insisted on going to Italy only to leave their romantic trip early — so his old friend Quentin could swoop in and get Tanya to trust him, and eventually Niccoló (Stefano Gianino), the drug dealer Tanya slept with at the party in last week’s episode, would kill her the night before she was supposed to leave Italy. Then Greg would pay Quentin using the money he inherited after Tanya’s death.
However, after Jack (Leo Woodall) steals Portia’s (Haley Lu Richardson) phone so she couldn’t contact Tanya and ruin the plan, she becomes suspicious. Portia calls Tanya on Jack’s phone while he’s in the bathroom and the two of them put all the pieces together and figure out Tanya’s in danger. But Jack continues to stall and doesn’t take Portia back to the hotel, and when she finally confronts him about his relationship with Quentin, he just drops her off at an airport and warns her to not mess with these “powerful” people and to leave Italy. Spooked, Portia does exactly that.
Meanwhile, stuck on Quentin’s yacht, the increasingly paranoid Tanya finds rope, duct tape, and a loaded gun in Niccoló’s bag, and she freaks out. Using the gun, she shoots and kills him, Quentin, and one of Quentin’s friends on the yacht, while the other friend jumps off the boat and swims away. Tanya tries to escape on Niccoló’s boat, but falls over the yacht railing while climbing over, hits her head, and drowns in the ocean. The next morning, Daphne (Meghann Fahy) discovers her body in the ocean and the police investigate the deaths on the yacht.
As for the other characters, Albie (Adam DiMarco) bribes his father Dominic (Michael Imperioli) to pay 50,000 euros to Lucia (Simona Tabasco) in exchange for helping smooth things over with his mom, and Cameron (Theo James) finally pays Lucia the rest of the money he owed her. She then leaves Albie without saying goodbye and he realizes his dad was right: he was an easy mark. And Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) hires Mia (Beatrice Grannò) to play the piano at the hotel full-time and fires Giuseppe (Federico Scribiani) when he returns from the hospital, while also accepting Mia’s offer to go to gay clubs to meet other lesbian women.
Things got much messier for the two couples after Harper (Aubrey Plaza) confesses to Ethan (Will Sharpe) that Cameron did kiss her, but she regretted it immediately and nothing else happened. But he doesn’t believe that’s the whole story, convinced that she and Cameron had sex, so he confronts Cameron and they fight in the ocean. Then Ethan tells Daphne his fears that their spouses cheated on them together, but after pausing for a moment to process the betrayal, she just smiles and tells him you don’t have to know everything about someone to love them, and that mystery is “sexy.” She gives him the same advice she gave Harper: “Do what you have to do to not be a victim.” It’s then implied that she makes a move on him and they hook up in secret to get back at their spouses, and Ethan and Harper have sex that night after an awkward dinner with Cameron and Daphne.
The next day at the airport, a visibly shaken Portia runs into Albie, who tells her that a guest drowned at the hotel but he doesn’t know who it was — and that there was a yacht with more dead bodies. She doesn’t know for sure but likely assumes what happened to Tanya since she can’t get ahold of her, but she and Albie just talk about how their vacation flings didn’t work out and exchange numbers instead. Portia, what are you doing?! Meanwhile, Daphne & Cameron and Ethan & Harper appear better than ever, sitting at the gate with their arms around each other, but now all four of them are keeping dark secrets from each other. And Lucia and Mia happily walk through town, celebrating their good fortunes as the only two characters to get a real happy ending.
With that, another season of The White Lotus has come to an end. The series has already been renewed for a third season, but now that Tanya’s dead, will Greg take her place as the only returning cast member next time? We can see it now: season 3 features Greg using Tanya’s money to stay at a new White Lotus hotel (in Scotland…where she haunts him?) — but only if the resort chain doesn’t get shut down after all these murders, of course.
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