The Biggest White Lotus Mysteries (Aside From Who Dies)

Castmembers of the HBO series 'The White Lotus' do a cheers.
Courtesy of HBO

The White Lotus’s use of murder-mystery as a plot structure almost feels like it’s making fun of your typical murder-mystery series. Season one’s death may have been tragic, but somehow by the end of it viewers had become more caught up in whether or not a woman would actually get money to open her own spa. Sometimes it almost feels like Mike White turned in his script for the original season and an HBO executive said, “Wow, we love it! Just one note: Could you turn this into some sort of mystery? Perhaps about a murder or death of some sort? It really worked for us for Big Little Lies, The Undoing, Mare of Easttown, Sharp Objects, and, um, basically every other miniseries we’ve greenlit in recent memory.”

So as we hit this season’s midpoint, we tend to think focusing solely on who is going to die is missing the point. To us, that’s just one of several questions the series has to resolve in the next three episodes. Here, a rundown of all the biggest questions (both death-related and otherwise) we still have.

Will There Actually Be Murders?

We already know that multiple bodies pile up at the end of season 2, but while the first iteration ended in murder (or at least manslaughter, depending on what a jury decides), there’s no guarantee we’re necessarily looking at an outright murder this time. Back in the very first scene, hotel manager Valentina arrives at the property and learns one guest has “drowned” and a “few” more have been “killed.” Killed implies a meaning of death other than natural causes, but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a homicide. We’ve already seen one elderly guest have a nasty fall, and another person on property suffer a drug near-overdose. Is it all foreshadowing death by means other than murder? Could someone fall down while trying to climb up to that house on a hill?

Are Cameron and Daphne Swingers?

While Harper (Aubrey Plaza) and Ethan (Will Sharpe) remain unclear about Cameron (Theo James) and Daphne’s (Meghann Fahy) intentions for inviting them on the trip in the first place, both have a sneaking suspicion there’s an ulterior motive. Although Cameron ultimately makes a business proposition, it feels there may just be more to it. Are Harper and Ethan’s wallets the only thing in the other couple’s pants that they’re after?

It makes sense. Cameron and Daphne both seem to have an evolved understanding of monogamy. Cameron has already stripped in Harper’s presence, and the mid-season preview hints at more encounters to come. Plus, Daphne has noted how it’s a positive that Harper doesn’t know anyone else she knows.

What’s The Deal With The Homoeroticism?

The hints of homoeroticism between Ethan and Cameron were blown wide open in the first scene in Episode 4 when Cameron teases Ethan about, well, wanting to be inside him. Yet, the show didn’t really elaborate. Was this just some weird straight guy teasing? Did something else go on in their dorm room years ago? We can safely assume both guys are into women (Cameron via the night with Lucia, Ethan via his choice in laptop porn), but sexuality isn’t always such a neat binary. Still, hungover dudes do love to say weird shit to each other.

Is Albie an Incel?

One of the most popular Twitter theories at the moment is that our sweet, sweet (too sweet?) boy Albie is secretly some sort of Incel, or at least a dreaded “nice guy.” The thinking guys that grandpa is a golden age misogynist, dad is a hypocritical misogynist (claims to be a feminist, but still sees women’s bodies as objects and his estranged wife’s feelings as overblown), so sonny boy must be some modern flavor of women-hater too. The kind who has visited 4chan once or twice.

We’re not so sure it’ll be quite so literal, and in recent interviews the cast seemed caught off guard by the theory. Then again, the possible plot escalation of finding out the woman you just hooked up with also slept with your own father for money could have a way of bringing Albie’s true feelings about women to the top.

Do Harper and Ethan Break Up?

Assuming Harper and Ethan both remain in the mortal realm, will their marriage actually survive the trip?

The pair in some ways seem like a good match for each other, in a practical sort of way at least. They share similarly introverted tendencies and share similar values. They’re probably the kind of couple that has a few shows they love to watch together, enjoy similar restaurants, and don’t argue over what’s playing on their hybrid’s radio (NPR and, like The Shins, we’re assuming). That can be rare to find in any relationship, but does that mean they’re soulmates? Because, there is little passion between the pair, and the two seemed to be heading towards some sort of fight even before the discovery of a condom wrapper (then again, we do circle back to the fact that they share a tendency in shying away from confrontation, at least with each other).

There’s almost certainly some blowout confrontation between the two brewing, but will it end up shredding their relationship to bits or somehow wind up enriching it? There’s always sadder options: the pair realize they’re miserable together, but decide to go back home and get on with their lives together anyway because neither has the guts to really make any other change.

Is Greg’s Double Life Really Going To Be That Obvious?

Before Greg headed back to the Midwest on business, Tanya catches him chatting with someone else, leading us all to believe he’s got another girlfriend at home and is merely using Our Lady T for money. Is it really going to be that obvious though? There’s got to be one more major twist in this storyline brewing, right?

Is Valentina a Lesbian?

While we love Mike White’s commitment to making The White Lotus an exclusive hotel chain managed by a worldwide cabal of depressed homosexuals, are we so sure that Valentina’s budding interest in the young hotel receptionist Isabella is romantic? It very well could be, but we’ve also been clued into the fact that Valentina is a lonely woman. Maybe she’s desperate for any sort of connection, and just awkward in the ways in which she goes about it.

What’s Going on With Quentin’s Squad?

Episode four feels like a interesting time to introduce an entirely new batch of characters. We suspect that, aside from Quentin and his nephew Jack, most of them will stay in the show’s mid-ground (not quite background character, but not quite additional leads), but the fact that there’s so many of them has to mean something. Even one of the guys from Emily in Paris has suddenly checked into White Lotus. We have little information to make wild assumptions, but we’ll keep our eye out. Especially when Tanya and Portia take a trip to Palermo with them next week.