In this section of the Season 2 Colossus Guide for The White Lotus, we will highlight the individual character arcs.
The White Lotus Season 2 Character Arcs
- Tanya McQuoid Hunt:
- Start: Arrives on a boat to Taormina, with a bunch of her things and her assistant. She’s there to meet her husband and is demanding, impatient, and kind of oblivious.
- End: Tanya’s once again on a boat outside Taormina. She’s essentially alone and empty-handed. Her husband has betrayed her. She survives the hit he put out on her by gunning down Quentin and friends. It’s a moment of self-reliant glory. Except, Tanya isn’t a self-reliant person. Her tragic arc is that she’s someone who needs others but constantly pushes others away by being so dreadful. Here she is, alone and in need. And instead of waiting for help, she tries to save herself. And goes about it in the worst way possible.
- Start: Is with Tanya on the boat to Taormina, but is with the luggage and miserable. Being around Tanya all the time has amplified a glass half empty perspective in Portia. She’s looking for someone to be a spark in her life.
- End: Portia is at the airport. Free from Tanya. Even though she’s rattled from her experience with Jack, there’s a sense of motivation and positivity she had previously lacked.
- Start: Is judgmental toward Cameron and Daphne, believing the other couple to be performative. Is burdened by Ethan’s seeming sexual disinterest and wants to be wanted.
- End: At the airport, Harper and Ethan have become more like Cameron and Daphne. They’ve lied. They’ve cheated. But it’s somehow brought them closer. Ethan’s interest has returned and Harper is satisfied.
- Start: Is submissive to Cameron, a dynamic established back in college. And intimately shut off from Harper.
- End: Ethan not only challenged Cameron physically but slept with Daphne. The sense of superiority gained from this reactivates his intimacy with Harper.
- Start: Is in a loving yet vengeful relationship with Cameron.
- End: Is in a loving yet vengeful relationship with Cameron.
- This is a weird one. It’s not like Daphne learns about Cameron cheating for the first time while on this trip. She’s known. It’s why she has no female friends. It’s why she’s having an affair with her trainer. It’s why she punishes Cameron by spending a night with Harper someone else and triggering Cameron’s abandonment issues. So Daphne’s arc is kind of an anti-arc. All this stuff happens and her and Cameron just let it go. Some people might think that’s sad. Others might think it’s empowering. But it seems to be working for them.
- Start: Is a charming jerk who covers up inferiority and abandonment issues through performance, money, and sex.
- End: Cameron’s still a charming jerk who covers up inferiority and abandonment issues through performance, money, and sex.
- Similar to Daphne, this is more of an anti-arc. Cameron is the same person at the end as he was at the beginning. The only difference is the viewer’s perception of him. The fact that he and Ethan had a legitimate fist fight only for Cameron to pretend like nothing happened is peak Cameron. There’s a serious lack of accountability on his part. But in exchange, he also is quick to forgive others. Which is at once infuriating and endearing.
- Dominic Di Grasso
- Start: Has a sex addiction that he can’t help but indulge in, even when on vacation with his father and son. Lacks self-control. Doesn’t have his son’s respect.
- End: Dominic has discovered a degree of willpower and stopped looking to sleep with someone all the time. He’s finally putting his family over his cravings. And has the perspective that part of the reason he is how he is is because his father was like this. Part of his desire to change is to be a better role model for Albie.
- Albie Di Grasso
- Start: Is naive and desperate to not be like his dad and grandfather so leans into an intense kind of masculine-feminism. This leads to him being a bit performative and unrealistic. More platitude than person.
- End: After being played by Lucia, Albie realizes he’s more like his father than he wanted to admit. And that women aren’t all tragic creatures he needs to save. The good news is, he isn’t bitter. Or broken. Just humbled. When he encounters Portia in the airport, he can have a more natural and mutual dynamic with her, treating her more like a person than a concept.
- Bert Di Grasso
- Start: Is too old to womanize anymore, but longs for the days. He’s hopeful that he’ll find distant relatives in Sicily that he can connect with and share a special moment.
- End: The encounter with the distant relatives did not go as planned. They were a group of women who wanted nothing to do with men. It kind of feels like a karmic moment. Three Di Grasso men being chased off by three Di Grasso women. Bert continues to long for his younger days.
- A little more of an arc than Cameron and Daphne but not by much. Ultimately, Bert’s more of a foil for Dominic and Albie than a primary character.
- Lucia and Mia
- Start: These two share an arc. They start together on the streets of Taormina. Their clothes are of lesser quality. They are a bit messy. They hunger for a better life. The main difference is Lucia is well-versed in using sex to get ahead but Mia isn’t.
- End: They’re once again on the streets of Taormina. Except now they have fancy clothes. Great makeup. They’re as wealthy in appearance as any of the tourists. Both used sex to get ahead. Lucia with Albie. And Mia with Giuseppe and Victoria. She’s now a professional singer and Lucia has tens of thousands of dollars to start a new chapter.
- Start: Is sexually repressed, in the closet, and longing for affection. There’s a lot of self denial.
- End: Valentina comes out to Mia. Then sleeps with Mia. Then favors Mia over Giuseppe by giving Mia Giuseppe’s job. Not a perfect person, as she definitely uses her authority for personal gain, Valentina at least ends the show heading in a more honest direction. By being more open about her sexuality, she might be able to meet more people and put less pressure on others and herself. There’s the opportunity for her isolation to end.
What are your thoughts?
Is there more to the character arcs that you think should be part of the Season 2 Colossus Guide for The White Lotus? Leave your thoughts below and we’ll consider adding them.