Now that we have met the main players who will be joining us on this year’s HBO-sponsored family vacation, it’s time to get to the task at hand—sussing out who the killer could be. The White Lotus has never been considered a true murder-mystery, but rather a dark comedy that, for two seasons now, has opened with the shot of a dead body. The show’s creator, Mike White, has said the murder element was not his “priority as a writer” last season, yet once again, he made the decision to introduce the story with it. So, of course, we’re going to focus on the question of “who killed who?” throughout the seven episodes. While we may forget about that plot for a minute while we get wrapped up in, say, Mia and Lucia’s Pretty Woman-esque antics, any time that ominous music starts playing again, or a character makes a subtly aggressive comment, the murder pops right back into the front of our minds. So, two episodes into the character-building series, is there anyone who stands out as capable of cold-blooded murder? I think so.
Daphne finds the dead body and seems genuinely distressed when she does—so it’s probably safe to say she isn’t involved in the mystery victim’s demise. Still, her husband, Cameron, could have done it without her knowledge (Daphne does seem fairly clueless and in her own world, bless her). Cam has many moments in this episode that sent my murderer alarm bells ringing. When we first see him, he’s screaming on the phone, arguing with the airline about his luggage. Now, anyone who has dealt with lost luggage knows it’s a pain in the ass, but I’m going to need you to settle down a little, Cam. Daphne then informs the justifiably stunned Harper that Cam “Has a very long fuse, but then, all of the sudden, he’ll just go crazy. I mean, he will lose it.” Daphne admits she finds it funny, but I am looking for a murderer here, so I most certainly do not.
The nail in Cameron’s coffin, however, comes when he follows up his tantrum with one of the most haunting lines of the episode: “Incompetence makes me homicidal.” Noted.
I will admit that it’s possible there isn’t a murderer in our midst, and the death was simply the result of an unfortunate accident. According to hotel worker Rocco, there is more than one body, but so far the viewer has only seen one (maybe there’s a reason why Valentina doesn’t trust that man). So, for now, let’s assume Rocco doesn’t know what he’s talking about and the comment concerning multiple victims is a red herring. In that case, wouldn’t it make sense for the sole victim to be Bert? He’s seemingly the oldest man at the resort, and he could have a minor concussion from that fall in episode one. Plus, he is not taking it easy on this trip. I’m not going to pretend I know anything about neuroscience, but maybe a big wave just took the guy out while he was going for an afternoon swim? It’s definitely not the most exciting theory, but perhaps it’s the most realistic.
Dom is a bit of a wild card. He doesn’t seem like an aggressive guy, but we don’t really know him that well. What if Lucia threatens to tell his wife that he very much has not been getting “a handle on” his issues during this trip? He might just take some drastic measures...
I believe Dom’s estranged wife is named Abby, but she will always be Laura Dern to me. Anyway, it’s possible she could say, “Screw it, I deserve a trip to Sicily and I’m not going to let my asshole of a husband ruin that for me.” If she were to take a last-minute flight and show up to the hotel, only to see Dom, once again, indulging in his vices, she might just snap. Michael Imperioli did imply that Laura might make another cameo later in the season, and what better way to formally introduce her to the cast than as a murderess?
So far, Lucia seems very pleasant, just trying to make her money and enjoy the finer things in life while she can. But it can’t be a coincidence that the one scene we see from Bert’s The Godfather viewing was a Sicilian man whispering to a young Al Pacino, “Sicilian women are more dangerous than shot guns.” That has to be foreshadowing, right?
Portia just does not seem like she’s in a good place. She has a dead-end job, fairly low self worth, and she seems trapped in the world of the Internet with no idea of how to escape. When a woman says they would be content dating a caveman, you know she’s in trouble. Is she capable of murder? Likely not, but we do have to consider all of our options, here. Now who Portia would kill is up for discussion. There’s Tanya, of course—maybe she just pushes Portia one too many times....or Albie, for being sweet, but honestly, pretty annoying. At this point, I probably wouldn’t be too upset about that one.
Tanya opens up the episode the only way Tanya can, by looking at the beautiful view on the breakfast terrace and pondering aloud, “I wonder if anyone’s ever jumped from here?” Maybe not, but has anyone ever been pushed? It’s unclear. After episode two, however, I can think of one guy whom Tanya would probably be more than pleased to shove off a balcony.
Yes, I’m talking about Greg—who, at this point, seems more likely to be a victim than a murderer. I mean, this guy is the worst. Yes, he makes some good points about Tanya’s extreme lack of empathy for others, but that doesn’t mean she deserves to be treated with such contempt. Still, it’s obvious there’s not much love in that relationship; maybe Greg had to sign a prenup, but it’s possible Tanya’s life insurance policy could land in his favor.
It’s me, I’m the murderer. I killed Greg for treating my girl Tanya so terribly. Seriously, though, this man has some explaining to do, or else he could end up swimming with the fishes (and I mean that in the mafia context, not the fun, scuba-diving-in-a-tropical-vacation context—though both would technically work here).