The White Lotus Misery Index is a weekly accounting of who and/or what is having the worst time in paradise in season two of the HBO series. The rankings are based on a number of factors, none of which can or will be quantified in any way. We are doing art here, not science.
UNRANKED: Mia and Lucia (I cared more about them than any of the other characters on this show and I am very happy for them and wish them nothing but smiles and tinkly piano music in Sicily for the rest of their days BUT the show does need a new protagonist now — we’ll get there, don’t worry — AND I bet I would enjoy a whole season about these two separating rich idiots from their money in a ski chalet in the Alps); Cameron (there’s something to be said for going through life as a handsome idiot); Matteo (my sweet mustachioed prince found his conscience just in time to save his own life); Isabella at the Front Desk (good for her); Rocco (if this beautiful television program hadn’t given us Tanya’s Boat Adventure, I bet Valentina being nice to Rocco would have been my favorite moment in this whole season); Quentin and His Murderous Gays (they all did die or leap into the Ionian Sea at night but it happened pretty quick and they seemed to be enjoying themselves quite a bit before then so, like, cumulatively, not terrible?); Dominic (finally got his wife to answer the phone and all it took was a $50,000 bribe to the son who thinks he’s a sleaze to pay for the freedom of the prostitute he hired on a family vacation); Bert (got a lil aroused when Mia hugged him)
10. Valentina (Last week: 9)
I am very happy for Valentina and the hilarious bed hair she showed up to work with after her night of passion with Mia. I worried about her a lot all season. I knew she survived because we all saw her in the first episode receiving the news about the various dead bodies, but between chasing prostitutes out of the resort like Scooby-Doo chasing ghosts out of an abandoned amusement park and dealing with the heartbreak of a one-sided crush on Isabella, she did not appear to be having much fun at all, anywhere. The only time she seemed at ease was when she was feeding Sicilian street cats, which is a) sad, and b) a great name for a backing band. I would go see, like, Rex Orlando and the Sicilian Street Cats this weekend.
She does have two problems, though, that she’ll need to address between going to fun gay clubs with Mia and Lucia:
- She is the manager of a hotel where like half a dozen guests (and at least one gigolo assassin) were just found dead in the ocean, and that is, at the very least, going to require a lot of paperwork
- She could have an interesting situation with HR if someone lines up the thing where the piano player almost died from accidental ecstasy poisoning and the young prostitute who gave him the drugs took his job and was just nude in a bed with her in an unoccupied room
Could be a bad next week or two for Valentina.
9. Albie and Portia (Last week: Albie – 4; Portia – 7)
ON ONE HAND: it feels right that these two hopeless goofs would end up together, after all, and their little conversation at the end in the airport was very sweet. I hope they get married and have a dozen clueless little children.
ON THE OTHER HAND: They did both get duped by sweet-talking charlatans. Lucia scammed Albie out of $50,000 like the absolute doofus mark he was this entire season, and Portia basically got kidnapped by a mysterious English dude whose job was to seduce her and separate her from her boss so his boss could commit a murder at sea. Both of those things will leave scars. And, uh, I suspect people will want to talk to Portia about why she kind of fled Sicily without her boss, who washed up dead the same morning a handful of fancy men both of them had been cavorting with in broad daylight were discovered on a yacht with bullet holes in them.
Maybe she can get Albie to extort another $50k from his dad to pay for a lawyer.
8. Salvatore (Last week: Unranked)
He’s a creepy little man who needs to leave the pretty younger staff members alone but he also has an adorable little face and voice and I love him very much. I hope he is happy at the beach club. And I hope he stops harassing the women he works with. And I desperately want to hear him sing. I am very conflicted about Salvatore.
7. Greg (Last week: Unranked)
Two things are true here, both of them worth noting…
The first thing is that Greg is somehow coming out of this with exactly what he wanted: A dead wife and a big heap of money that he would not have had in the event of a divorce, for reasons relating to various prenuptial pieces of paper he signed. He’s a slimeball and a weasel and I hope the next season of this show opens with him getting struck by lightning as though God himself watched the events of this season unfold and said “Enough.”
The second thing is that we can add him to the list of characters who will have a lot of questions to answer in the aftermath of the boat debacle. Especially if the police notice that there’s a picture in a palazzo that belonged to one of the recently murdered men — who, again, had been seen cavorting around Sicily with the wife who was just found dead in the water — and that picture sure does look like a young Greg in a cowboy hat. Doesn’t exactly take Benoit Blanc to piece that sucker together, you know?
6. Daphne (Last week: Unranked)
Some notes here:
- Daphne has found a way to make her life work for her, which is nice but also sad in a very deep way
- I’ve been thinking about this a lot since the episode aired and it is my position that IF she screwed Ethan’s broken brain out of his body behind those rocks THEN it was more as revenge on Harper than Cameron, because she already knows Cameron is a dipshit but she just had that big chat with Harper about finally finding a friend and how hard that was
- I imagine there will be some lingering trauma from just like swimming into a corpse that sets off a whole-ass murder and extortion investigation
- The freaking acting on display in the scene I GIFed up there, holy crap
She fascinates me.
5. Jack the Rowdy English Boy (Last week: 3)
Good news and bad news for Jack, who really has a lot of things to evaluate going forward. The good news is that Quentin is dead and he can do whatever he wants with his life now, if he wants to make some changes and maybe stop living as a live-in sex drone and accomplice to various murders-for-hire that involve seducing poorly dressed American girls. He did not seem to be having fun in that life, which became abundantly clear between his heavy drinking and ominous cigarette smoking and the thing where it looked like he might snap and rip the steering wheel off that rental car.
The bad news is that… well, things did not seem to be going super great for him before any of this and he seems like a young man who is very much in need of very much therapy that he will not have access to. Is it weird that I feel bad for this kid? He did do the right thing at the end there. Kind of. I don’t see any of this ending well for him and his sensitive nipples.
4. The Sales Staff at the White Lotus Chain of Resorts (Last week: Unranked)
“Hello, I’m calling on behalf of The White Lotus. You’ve been one of our most valued guests and we’d like to extend you a special offer for the holiday seas-…
“Well, yes, there was that unfortunate incident in Hawaii…
“Right, yes, the employee who defecated in the suitcase is no longer with the company…
“Yes, that was also our property in Sicily…
“The authorities are investigating it but it was not strictly a hotel matter…
“I’m not sure if ‘Gigolo Assassin’ is the term I would use…
“Well, yes, I would probably see a movie titled Gigolo Assassin, too…
“Probably Zac Efron…
“Well, I don’t…
“I think ‘murder hotel’ might be a little unfair…
“I think if you listen to the offer we have you might…
“Sir? Hello? Sir? Are you there?” Sir…
3. Ethan and Harper (Last week: Ethan – 1; Harper – 7)
What a mess these two are. Good Lord. From Ethan being a paranoid freak who insists his wife believe him without believing her to Harper making little moves with Cameron — her husband’s best friend, allegedly — and trying to play it off as a drunken nothing to Ethan punching Cameron in the ocean and maybe (probably?) having sex with Daphne in some little cove and then all four of them sitting down for one last friendly dinner like none of it ever happened. There are two takeaways here, at least as far as I can tell:
- The thing at the end where their various infidelities actually led them back toward physical intimacy kind of means they just turned into Cameron and Daphne a little bit, which is… not ideal
- Rich people are super weird
I want to see where these two are in like 10 years. Or maybe I don’t. I’m pretty sure I don’t.
2. Giuseppe the Piano Man (Last week: Unranked)
Giuseppe is a gross old man whose musical career topped out at playing background music for wealthy tourists who are so dumb that they eat dinner in the same hotel restaurant every night even though they are almost literally surrounded by delicious food and wine in Sicily. He almost died from a Molly overdose (Molly Overdose and the Sicilian Street Cats also works) and the prostitute who gave him the drugs stole his job in part by sleeping with his boss. He kind of stinks at his job, at least according to the guests who watched and heard him play. I suspect word will get out about him and make it tough for him to land a new gig, especially if his last employer starts being known as “the murder hotel,” which I choose to believe it will.
Also, just generally, it’s never good to be the guy standing in the crowded room shouting about conspiracies. You look like a crazy person. Especially if you just got out of the hospital following an overdose on party drugs. Things are not going great for Giuseppe.
1. Tanya (Last week: 10)
Lots to consider here…
ON ONE HAND: She, uh, died, which is bad.
ON THE OTHER HAND: She figured out the plan — eventually, but still — and went out in a blaze of damn glory like a hero and I was so happy for (and proud of) her that I’m still smiling about it today as I’m typing.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Freaking Greg is going to get her money after all, which does not feel right.
ON THE OTHER HAND: I do not know if there’s been a funnier death scene this entire year than Jennifer Coolidge mowing down a crew of devious gays and then whiffing on a dive into the escape boat after trying to pump herself up out loud about it.
ON THE OTHER HAND: I will miss Tanya very much and I’m already sad we won’t get to see her in the next season just bumbling around another White Lotus resort
ON THE OTHER HAND: If you gotta go out, I mean, this is certainly one way to do it. Good for her.
Yes, I’m aware I used six hands to explain all of this. I know that’s anatomically impossible. In my defense, there was… I mean, there was a lot going on. Good show. Can’t wait for it to come back. Congratulations to everyone involved, including all of us. We did it.