The White Lotus Kill or Be Killed Report: Two Can Keep a Secret


We get a look behind closed doors in the fifth episode, “That’s Amore,” and — gasp! — people are getting up to some very salacious stuff. Elsewhere on the ranch resort, we’ve got a tug-of-war among those who would keep the secrets safely stowed away (Ethan, Cameron, Bert), the ones who want at least some of the dirty stuff out in the open (Harper, Dominic), and the woman who is like, I honestly can’t be bothered to deal with this shit, I have a hot trainer waiting for me at home (Daphne). But what are little trysts and infidelities when we have multiple homicides to look out for? Let’s catch a killer.

Starting with the biggest bombshell: Either Quentin is fucking his nephew (twisted!) or Jack is a paramour–slash–hired hookup (less scandalous but still a good reveal). I wonder if Quentin’s assessment of Tanya being “like a tragic heroine in a Puccini opera” foreshadows his plot to kill her and/or instigate her demise through other means in the wake of desertion by her husband, a la the opera he takes her to, Madame Butterfly. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to take from their little confab about how Tanya lives for beauty but Quentin would die for it, unless he’s in some weird cult and they’re going to do blood sacrifices on the altar of gorgeous art or whatever. Feels ominous but ultimately meaningless.

Will he kill? It sure seems like we are supposed to consider him a suspect, so okay, I’ll bite.

Will he be killed? Now that I’m thinking about it, this seems equally likely.

I love that she asks Portia before their trip to the Palazzo, “Do you have any cute things? You sure?” Fair question. I’m glad she wants to get her marriage annulled and I appreciate the callback to her ghosting on the spa she could’ve opened with “that healer from Maui,” who may or may not have cursed her. I also really like the hood she wears to the opera. Given our episode-ending big reveal, Tanya is in a bit of a tricky spot with the young Portia, but I can’t say she seems any closer to killing anybody, and Greg feels further away than ever.

Will she kill? Not while she’s on Palermo, at least. Doesn’t feel likely.

Will she be killed? What lengths would her new friends go to keep their secrets on this island? Can’t rule it out anymore!

Her dress is cuter by the time she leaves for Palermo, though I don’t understand why, on this beach vacation, she can’t just … wear sandals? I know Gen Z loves their thick socks and chunky sneakers but sometimes they ruin an outfit, and if that correct opinion outs me as a millennial, so be it. Portia is almost as oblivious as her boss; the first very clear sign that all is not well with Jack is that this guy who is supposedly the nephew of the exorbitantly wealthy Quentin “forgot his wallet” (lol okay) and had to run out on a check. Well, she did want to have adventures!

Will she kill? She’s so messy, the only way she’d kill someone is accidentally knocking them off a Vespa or something. Doubtful.

Will she be killed? This also feels doubtful.

Can’t say if he’s a killer, but I can say he’s gotten himself in the middle of a potentially very messy entanglement.

Will he kill? Look, he’s already getting into petty thievery. Why wouldn’t murder be next? Maybe!

Will he be killed? For some reason that feels like the likelier scenario here.

As Albie tries to explain to his dad that he needs to go to the ATM, I write in my notes, The secondhand embarrassment of this encounter will actually kill me and then *I* will have to be a part of this report!! Also, doesn’t Albie have his own checking account? Isn’t he a little rich kid with his own access to funds? I don’t know how the one percenters handle cross-generational wealth distribution… if you DO know, please leave this intel in the comments. Anyway, while I give Albie points for standing up for himself and saying, “Mom’s not happy because you cheat on her with whoever you get your hands on,” he loses me with the male-savior tear on how Lucia and Mia are probably just poor victims of the system, man, blah blah whatever, and also with his insistence on keeping his socks on during sex. (I now realize I sound like someone with a vendetta against socks. I am pro socks. But there is a time and a place for them!)

Will he kill? I just get such bad wannabe-white-knight energy from this kid, I have no choice but to say under the right circumstances, he could be driven to kill someone.

Will he be killed? Would this show have someone drown a puppy in a bag of rocks? No, which is why Albie will live.

As I said last week, I have a hard time empathizing with Lucia’s financial woes now that I see how pathetically she runs her business. Of course every guy she shtups is stiffing her … they are shitty men on a luxury vacation who only need to avoid her long enough to catch their flights home! Girl, collect payments up front! I also just have very squeamish and eyeroll feelings about the whole, “there’s a man who will ask me for the money and he’s crazy” turn her story is taking, whether it’s a sob story she is inventing to endear Albie to her in spite of her profession or, given the encounter she has on their gelato outing, a truth that is coming to us (the viewers) out of nowhere. I guess she and Albie are just… dating now? Sure, whatever.

Will she kill? Anything seems possible just because all of her decisions are so ill-advised, so, definitely, she could be a killer.

Will she be killed? Still seems like she’ll survive me. Nah.

Things continue to deteriorate here re: the writing of Mia’s character. The way she and Lucia talk about how they’re so “lucky” this week when they literally sent the pianist to the hospital and have gotten fucked twice without pay … I can’t, I just can’t. Also, Mia offering her sexual services in exchange for the opportunity to play the piano, twice, for zero dollars … it makes no sense, I don’t care how naïve she is supposed to be! She could do better as a TaskRabbit!

Will she kill? Much like Lucia, she could absolutely kill someone just through sheer idiocy.

Will she be killed? Sigh … I don’t think so.

I hate the way he talks to Harper when he finds the condom wrapper, don’t you? Like she’s a toddler? “Where did you get it?” Like … buddy, now is the time to cave! He does such a terrible job of explaining what happened that even the parts that are true sound like lies. And of course he looks even guiltier for not having reported the truth immediately and for claiming he was too wasted to remember — conveniently! — the most incriminating elements of his wild night. “You know I don’t lie to you” has the exact same energy as the Lady Bird Chalamet line about how he didn’t tell her he was a virgin “and I haven’t lied in two years.” Ethan has no good response to Harper’s accurate assessment of the situation (“I was gone for one fucking night and you did molly with hookers”) and instead points out that given the context, Harper should actually see this as a good thing, because even under those tempting and crazy circumstances, he still didn’t cheat on her. Chivalry lives, but Ethan probably won’t!

Will he kill? Based on his behavior so far I’m sticking with I don’t think so.

Will he be killed? Have you seen Harper’s eyes? He could absolutely die.

The wine tasting is actually a great idea so even though he sucks I do appreciate that he was proactive and put together a fun day for the group. I will, however, dock some points for an activity as on-the-nose as this one. (Get it, the wine is volcanic … like everything could blow up at any moment … whoa!) It’s interesting to watch Cameron’s bristle as Ethan finally attempts to out-alpha his old friend and call him out on always “swooping in” to have sex with whoever Ethan was interested in back in college. (I assume this is to set up Cameron’s building play to have sex with Harper, which will, in a way, bring us back to “old habits die hard.”) Cameron’s attempts to make up for his misdeeds are getting more and more manic; he is shooting the moon by trying so hard to flirt his way into Harper’s good graces. Not incidentally, he owes Lucia $1,300.

Will he kill? To cover his tracks? He absolutely would.

Will he be killed? The man is sure making a lot of enemies in a very short period of time! Not ruling it out.

His efforts to manage an increasingly untenable situation with Lucia and Albie (not to mention Nonno) may drive him to an early death. He delivers a very good monologue about how everything Bert thought about his marriage was a lie and that Dominic doesn’t, but could, blame his dad for how he “never showed me how to be intimate or how to put others first.” It seems like uncharacteristic introspection given what we know about Dominic, but Michael Imperioli makes it work. Unfortunately for Dominic’s prospects, finally “getting it” is the sort of closure a show like this gives a character before killing them off, so. It’s not looking great.

Will he kill? He seems too weary for that at the moment, so it doesn’t seem like it’s going that way.

Will he be killed? It pains me to say so but it’s a very real possibility. 

Daphne’s reaction to Harper’s reveal is about what you’d expect, no? She’s not going to make a thing out of it just because Harper is newly scandalized by information that Daphne has had for ages and already made peace with. “Do whatever you have to do to make yourself feel better about it,” she advises. Like get a trainer, wink wink.

Will she kill? Hey, you heard the woman: Do whatever you have to do. She totally could kill.

Will she be killed? As we know, Daphne is a survivor.

Even though these four crazy kids are having basically the same conversation as they have for the entire season—this time just with some more quiet parts out loud—Aubrey Plaza really SELLS it. What could have been very repetitive is pretty good sport, no? I enjoy watching her character get so close to the edge. She throws her husband under the bus for watching too much porn, humblebrags about having a threesome, and pretends to hate having Cameron’s hand on her leg. If Ethan’s mad at it he has no one to blame but himself! You’re the one who wanted her to be FUN, buddy!

Will she kill? Gosh, I hope so!!

Will she be killed? Hmm… she’s certainly living dangerously, in her way. It could happen.

There’s not a lot going on with him except for a head injury from looking for the remote (unless it was something more exciting?), so he starts to stir shit among the family. Honestly, the way he clues Albie into the fact that Lucia and Mia are sex workers without giving up Dominic is pretty slick — “I wasn’t born yesterday and it’s fairly obvious” — and his sheer delight at his son’s waking nightmare cracks me up. (“Didn’t you run around with that exact hooker? You gave her the key to my room!”) Bummer about how everything he believes about his marriage is a lie but I doubt this one conversation with a son he barely cares about will undo decades of self-delusion.

Will he kill? I think aside from psychologically messing up multiple generations of his family line, Nonno just wants to live and let live. Nope.

Will he be killed? Unless it’s from the shock of walking in on topless young women, no way.

Wooing her employee by leaving her with an unappealing man to work alongside all day … that’s one strategy. Deigning to let Mia fill the depressing silence of her hotel bar with exactly two (2) nights of piano and song in exchange for sexual favors is an only slightly savvier business decision. I guess it’s nice to see women supporting women?

Will she kill? She’s a bit unbalanced and bad at her job, so I’m actually changing my mind here and saying she could very well kill someone.

Will she be killed? As with Daphne, there’s no way.

This is the guy who gets rough with Lucia when she’s on her gelato date with Albie, and I include him here because even though he could just be an aggrieved ex and not actually Lucia’s pimp, dopey Albie might just take it upon himself to defend his vacation girlfriend’s honor by murdering this dude (in an accidental, oh-God-what-have-I-done kind of way).

Will he kill? Hardly seems central enough for such a key role so nope.

Will he be killed? The only reason he is in this roundup is because he could be!

White Lotus Kill or Be Killed Report: Two Can Keep a Secret

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