In this section of the Season 2 Colossus Guide for The White Lotus, we will explain the show’s ending.
- Tanya McQuoid-Hunt – Jennifer Coolidge
- Greg Hunt – Jon Gries
- Portia – Haley Lu Richardson
- Ethan Spiller – Will Sharpe
- Harper Spiller – Aubrey Plaza
- Cameron Sullivan – Theo James
- Daphne Sullivan – Meghann Fahy
- Dominic Di Grasso – Michael Imperioli
- Bert Di Grasso – F. Murray Abraham
- Albie Di Grasso – Adam DiMarco
- Lucia – Simona Tabasco
- Mia – Beatrice Grannò
- Valentina – Sabrina Impacciatore
- Quentin – Tom Hollander
- Jack – Leo Woodall
- Giuseppe – Federico Scribiani
- Isabella – Eleonora Romandini
The end of The White Lotus Season 2 explained
The final moments pick up in the airport (similar to season 1). Dominic, Bert, and Albie watch an attractive woman walk by. After a cut, they head to the gate. Nearby, Portia tries on a big pair of cheap sunglasses.
At the gate, Cameron and Daphne share a kiss. Nearby, but facing the opposite direction, Ethan and Harper cuddle and smile. Portia approaches Albie and the two strike up a conversation for the first time since Portia semi-dumped Albie for Jack. She asks him where his dad and grandfather are. Which prompts Albie to ask where Tanya is. Portia gives a slant answer and Albie unknowingly references Tanya’s death. They shift into talking about their individual affairs. Portia with Jack. Albie with Lucia. Each admits how terribly it went. They exchange phone numbers.
We cut to Lucia and Mia back in Taormina. They walk down the main street in expensive, bright dresses. They hug a happy, smiling hotel bellhop.
Dominic, Bert, and Albie
Dominic, Bert, and Albie had a shared arc that leaned into the idea of generations. Bert was a womanizer and cheater and it caused Dominic to be the same. For most of the trip, Albie was on the opposite end of that spectrum, embracing a more feminist attitude and outlook. While Bert doesn’t change, Dominic has made strides to amend his behavior. Meanwhile, Albie’s behavior led to Portia losing interest in him and Lucia scamming him for 50,000 euros. That definitely taught Albie a lesson.
Despite being at odds for most of the trip, their individual experiences have brought the three men into a better understanding of one another. Albie no longer feels so superior or naive. Dominic realizes he can love his father without being his father. And Bert is Bert. When they all look at the woman, it’s an acknowledgement of how similar they really are. You can read into it as a “glass half empty” moment, as in Dominic will go back to his old ways and Albie will become just as bad. But I’d argue it’s a more neutral moment. An acknowledgement of their similarity rather than a signpost for disaster. Which is why the next shot is the three of them walking as a unit.
Albie and Portia
I think if the point was to demonstrate Albie’s turn to the darkside, he wouldn’t have such a nice conversation with Portia. Instead, we’d see Portia try to talk to him but he ditches her to go hit on the girl who had walked by in the previous scene. Something like that. Or as he talked to Portia he was sneaking looks at other women. But he and Portia are completely focused on one another. And they’re both happy to exchange numbers. Especially because they’re on more equal footing. Albie’s innocence had caused him to be overly cautious with Portia which had turned her off of him. After Lucia, Albie probably won’t be so vanilla. Portia had wanted a bit more danger and masculinity than what Albie offered. And she got that in Jack. Except Jack was too much. When she sees Albie again, she has more appreciation for what he has to offer.
There’s also something to Portia learning from Tanya. It seems White Lotus made an effort to draw some parallels to Tanya and Portia. They weren’t mother and daughter but there was almost a sense of Portia having the potential to be like Tanya. They both have a bit of Eeyore-energy, the sad donkey from Winnie-the-Pooh. Ask either of them how their day is going and you expect to hear something depressing. With Portia knowing what happened to Tanya with Greg, Quentin, and the Italian mafia, she seems well aware of wanting to be anything other than Tanya. It was Tanya’s negativity and drama that caused Greg to do what he did. It was Portia’s negativity that caused her to abandon Albie for Jack. By asking for Albie’s number, she’s taking a step to be more positive.
These couples started as a group but events tore them apart. Which is why that final scene emphasizes the distance between them. Instead of sitting together, they’re back to back. Close yet separate. I would argue the proximity is thematic.
Harper and Ethan initially thought they were better than Cameron and Daphne. The latter seemed performative in their joy and Harper didn’t trust it. Once she found out Cameron and Daphne each cheated, it made her feel superior in her relationship with Ethan. Except that didn’t fix the issues she had with Ethan’s lack of desire for her. So Harper leaned into flirting with and maybe sleeping with Cameron. Which caused Ethan to sleep with Daphne. That makes Ethan and Harper the exact same as Cameron and Daphne. Except the love and joy they feel for each other isn’t performative. They really are in a better place after cheating than they were before. It’s not as “perfect” of a relationship, but it’s renewed in a way where the good outweighs the bad.
By keeping Harper and Ethan close to Cameron and Daphne, you visually demonstrate the way their relationship has come to mimic the other. But you don’t sit them together because you want each couple set off from the other. If you had them on opposite sides of the gate, then you’d be implying something completely different. Or if you had them together, then it would be about the group rather than the couples themselves.
So as broken as Cameron and Daphne’s relationship seems, and as toxic and unhealthy as it seems, I don’t think we’re supposed to doubt that the love is genuine. That the wish to be together is genuine, even though they cause each other pain. They find their ways to move on.
Lucia and Mia
The biggest thing here is the confirmation Lucia was never in danger. What she told Albie about her pimp needing money and threatening her was a lie. The guy who followed her and the Di Grasso men, chased them down, and demanded Lucia go with him—all for show. That guy is the very one she and Mia are so happy to see. The smiling guy working as a bellhop at another hotel. He’s just a friend.
Visually, there’s a cool moment. The first time we see Lucia and Mia is on this very street. But they’re walking towards the camera. In kind of drab, cheap clothing, looking disheveled. At the end, they’re in fancy clothes, glamorous as can be. And they walk away from the camera. It creates a bit of a bookend that gives us that full-circle feeling.
Who knows what they’ll do next. Maybe Lucia opens a clothing shop and is successful. Maybe she blows through the money and returns to her former job. The point here is she has an opportunity. Which is a wonderful thing to have. And maybe Mia keeps her job at The White Lotus as the piano player. I think it’s a similar thing where the important thing isn’t if she does or doesn’t. It’s that it’s up to her now. She has autonomy.
Overall, all of these characters have been shaped by sex and betrayal experience over the course of the six episodes. For most of them, the drama led to growth. Though for others, it was far more disastrous. Tanya did not make it out alive. Quentin and his friends fell to Tanya’s last stand. Giuseppe is out of a job. Bert didn’t get the big happy moment with distant relatives that he thought would put some kind of capstone on his life. And we don’t know what will happen to Greg. Is there anything tying him to the crime? Probably not? Will Portia say anything? Probably not. Does Greg just get to collect inheritance from Tanya and enjoy his life with the woman he was having an affair with? It seems likely. So we don’t get something as simple as “good people have good endings and bad people have bad endings.” Like life, it’s a mixed bag.
But for the viewer, each of the stories should be instructive to some aspect of life and hopefully sheds some perspective on the ways people cope and grow and fail. Maybe you have more open-mindedness toward a couple’s complicated relationship. Maybe you make a stronger effort to kick a bad habit that’s troubling you. Maybe you let old friendships stay in the past. Maybe you make more of an effort with your significant other. Maybe you become aware of when you act like Eeyore and find a way to discover the positive. Or maybe you take a trip to Taormina. Stay in a nice hotel. See what happens.
What are your thoughts?
Is there more to the ending 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.
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