The countdown is on! We’re getting closer to the season two premiere of Big Little Lies. The award-winning HBO drama premieres on June 9th, which means we’re only a few weeks away from seeing what Madeline, Celeste, Jane and the rest of Monterey, California has been up to since season one. Now is the perfect time to binge watch the series and get a refresher on all the character details and plotlines. (Believe me, there are plenty! These ladies lead complicated lives!)
The team here at Atlanta Divorce Law Group is also eagerly anticipating the return of Big Little Lies. To accompany your re-watch, we’ve created a blog series that examines some of the family law issues presented in season one. (Click here to read our previous recaps of episodes one through five). For those who have not watched season one yet, beware of spoilers ahead! These blogs analyze many of the plot developments, and we would hate to spoil anything for brand new Big Little Lies audiences. Also, as with the TV series, the content here is for mature audiences as the blog addresses topics that involve violence and sexuality.
Big Little Lies Season One – Episode Six “Burning Love”
PLOT: The episode begins as Jane is driving back from Saxon Banks’ (her possible attacker) office. She stops by Madeline’s house to pick up Ziggy and lies to Madeline about whether she brought her gun with her. Meanwhile, at Celeste’s house, Perry is getting ready for an upcoming business trip and talking to Celeste about Madeline’s upcoming Avenue Q premiere. Perry doesn’t want Celeste to attend the show. At Nathan’s house (Madeline’s ex-husband), he and wife Bonnie talk about their upcoming dinner with Madeline and Ed – everyone wants the dinner to go as smooth as possible.
At school the next morning, the Otter Bar School teacher tells Jane that there is a petition going around to suspend Ziggy, who is still suspected of bullying classmate Amabella. Jane sees Renata (Amabella’s mother) at school and ends up fighting with Renata and injuring her eye. Later, at coffee with Madeline, Jane talks about the fight and admits to bringing her gun to see Saxon Banks. Later, Jane goes to Renata’s house to apologize for the fight; Renata accepts Jane’s apology and the women begin working together to find Amabella’s real bully. Meanwhile, Celeste visits her couple’s therapist – they discuss the balance of power in her marriage, the abuse, and Celeste’s guilt over wanting to leave the relationship.
It is the evening of the Avenue Q premiere and the women are getting ready for the show. Perry returns home early from his business trip – claiming that it’s so he can attend the play with Celeste – but instead tries to initiate some violent foreplay. Celeste responds by hitting him in the penis with a tennis racquet. We see Madeline’s family, Jane (and her date, the coffeeshop owner) at the play. Afterwards, Joseph’s (the director) wife confronts Madeline about the affair Madeline’s been having with her husband – but Madeline avoids the situation. Back at home, she and Ed discuss their marriage and lack of passion. Their discussion is interrupted by a phone call from Celeste – they have been at the hospital because of Perry’s injury. The episode jumps to Celeste’s home; the pair are returning home from the hospital, and Perry tells Celeste “You’re lucky I didn’t kill you. You could have done permanent damage.”
Meanwhile, at Nathan and Bonnie’s house, the parents discover what project Abigail (Nathan and Madeline’s daughter) has been working on. The teenager is planning on auctioning off her virginity in order to raise money for Amnesty International. Nathan and Bonnie argue, but decide to tell Madeline and Ed about the project at their upcoming dinner.
The next day, Renata and Jane hatch plans to find Amabella’s bully while Celeste looks at apartments for her and her twins. Madeline and Ed go to Nathan and Bonnie’s house for their co-parenting dinner. The foursome is awkward but attempting to get along. All of this unravels, though, when they discuss Abigail’s online project and Madeline projectile vomits multiple times over the dinner table. Madeline, who has cleaned up and left the dinner table, confronts Abigail about the project and confides in her daughter about the affair with Joseph. Meantime, Celeste lies to Perry about meeting Jane for dinner, but instead goes back to her newly rented apartment. Jane and Ziggy dance in their apartment to “Pappa Was a Rolling Stone.”
FAMILY LAW THEMES: The sixth episode of Big Little Lies presents the audience with several themes related to family law. Today, Atlanta Divorce Law Group is focusing on Custody. From episode one, we have watch Madeline struggling in her relationship with ex-husband Nathan, especially when it comes to custody and co-parenting of their teenage daughter Abigail. Custody is also an issue for Celeste, who is confronting the very real potential of a custody battle if she decides to take the twins and leave Perry for good. In this episode, she receives some very blunt advice from her therapist about separation and custody.
When couples divorce, they must make many important decisions and resolve critical matters. Few issues may bear greater significance than the subject of child custody. It can also become an emotional and contentious issue between parting spouses. Under Georgia law, a court may award sole custody to one former spouse or joint custody to both ex-partners. In addition, custody can be categorized as physical custody (where the child lives) and legal custody (enables parents to make important life decisions such education, medical treatment, religion, travel). In making decisions as to child custody, Georgia courts consider the child’s personal views, as well as other factors including: ability to provide primary care, financial and employment stability, the home environment, any criminal records, parents’ mental health, and any drug or alcohol abuse.
There are many important issues parting spouses must resolve, with child custody being one of the most critical. The decisions may have a significant impact upon both the former spouses and their child/children’s lives. Some of the child-related issues include: type of schooling the child(ren) should receive, which parent will be responsible for provided necessities such as medical care, each parent’s financial responsibilities, how visitation will be governed. Georgia courts are responsible for the final custody decisions and do so with the child’s best interests at heart.
In addition to custody, the other family law issues in this sixth episode include domestic violence (Celeste), forced isolation (Celeste), rape (Jane), therapy (Celeste), and maintaining or managing passion in a marriage (Celeste, Madeline). For a full discussion on blended families, domestic violence, therapy, and infidelity, you can read our previous episode recaps.
- Interesting choice of words, Perry! In talking to Celeste, he says “You’re going to kill me… I have to go to Phoenix.”
- We watch the audience as they sit through the entire performance of Avenue Q; however, the primary line we hear from the production is “Everything in life is only for now.” Maybe this is a reminder that struggles are only temporary, or that what we hold dear could be gone the next moment.
- Steady Eddie makes a very biting observation when he tells Madeline “Sometimes the essence of a happy marriage is the ability to pretend.” Ouch!
- Wow, who would have thought that Madeline would admit her affair to her daughter Abigail, of all people? That just took this Mother/daughter relationship to a different and more adult level.
- Ziggy dance to “Pappa Was a Rolling Stone” – very telling choice with some not-so-subtle foreshadowing there.
Be sure to check out our blog next week, as we discuss the Big Little Lies season one finale “You Get What You Need.” In the meantime, if you or someone you know needs help with your family law case, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at (678) 929-5719 or via our website.