Warning: Spoilers for the season finale of The White Lotus (Episode 7, “Arrivederci”) are below.
In Episode 4 of the sophomore season of The White Lotus, Mia (Beatrice Grannò) sits astride the flagging—and ultimately, flaccid—hotel pianist, Giuseppe (Federico Scribani), in the hopes of getting some help in becoming a working singer. Only, he can’t get hard. And his professional aid amounts to...about as much as his cock.
“Why is it always men who have the power?” a frustrated Mia prompts.
“If we didn’t, pretty girls like you wouldn’t get to skip to the front of the line,” he sighs in response.
“I’m hardly at the front of the line,” she concludes. As in many a Mike White production, the blink-and-you-miss-it exchange—in all of its poignancy—turns out to be pretty on-the-nose foreshadowing to the season finale.
If, like me, you watched with a bottle of red in hand and a futile prayer for Tanya McQuoid-Hunt on your tongue, you know that Mia, and her friend, Lucia (Simona Tabasco) don’t just skip the line. Everyone’s favorite Sicilian locals practically fastpass their way to the promised land. Sure, they had to give a few happy endings to get theirs, but whores, as we glean, aren’t always punished in the end. On the contrary, this series teaches us that women who scam are the only women who win.
Since its October premiere, TikTok has stated the obvious: In White’s sordid world of rich people behaving badly, it’s con or be conned. All of the White Lotus’ occupants—even its employees—are lying, scheming, and, in some cases, killing to get theirs. Albie (Adam DiMarco) scams his father by offering to play wingman as Dominic (Michael Imperioli) tricks his estranged wife into giving his pitiful—somehow sexy—self another go in exchange for bankrolling Lucia’s hopes and dreams. For a while, Rocco (Federico Ferrante) and Isabella (Eleonora Romandini) aren’t exactly honest with their boss (Sabrina Impacciatore) about their workplace relationship. And the murderous gays attempt to scam Tanya out of her fortune in a con as long as Theo James’ pee-pee prosthetic and culminating in as many casualties as Portia’s (Haley Lu Richardson) closet.
These, however, are nothing compared to the diabolical deception of what I like to call the Grifter Girlies™, otherwise known as, Mia, Lucia, Daphne, Valentina and Harper. Let’s take stock, shall we?
Mia administered an almost-fatal pill dosage and a queer awakening to become the hotel’s permanent pianist. Lucia hit both father and son and in return, the holy spirit blessed her bank account with $50,000. Daphne made a deep-pocketed, semi-domesticated douche-bag her ball-and-chain, forever securing herself a life of bliss, beautiful vistas, and blue-eyed children by way of her trainer (or some other guy). Valentina fired Giuseppe and installed an in-house friend with benefits.
And then there’s Harper. To an untrained eye, it may have appeared throughout the season that Little Ms. Withering Stare got the short end of the spritz. In the end, however, Harper acquired what she wanted from her husband: a reaction (read: sex). Did she throw it back for his college buddy just to get it? Perhaps. You would too. However, let’s just say she didn’t. Imagine their romp was simply a ruse; that in order to get back at her gaslighting husband, she gaslit him in a long con of her own. Maybe it was just a slip of the tongue. Personally, I’m of the mind that it should’ve been shared by Cameron and Ethan, but I digress. In the end, Harper and Ethan appear, dare I say, happy? I mean, they’re affectionate in an airport, which is indicative of some strain of delirium. A more cynical person could also call it a byproduct of bumping other people’s uglies. Either way, Harper learned Ethan is still attracted to her, so, I’m considering that another victory.
Now, let’s take a look at those who were not smart enough to scam—the suckers who, in my opinion, met the fates they deserved. Tanya, though absurdly wealthy and well-resourced, succumbed to a “derpy” demise due mostly to marrying the first man who showed interest in her and trusting the first gaggle of gays to tell her she was pretty. I’m endeared to Tanya as much as the next person, but those are the moves of an amateur. Therefore, RIP and may the heavens host enough oreo cookie cake for eternity. Next!
If there was ever a twerp that deserved to beg his father for money to pad his paramour’s freedom fund, it’s Albie. And not only was he forced to ask Dominic (a man who also had sex with the woman who he thinks is his girlfriend) for 50 grand, he’s now expected to cape for him knowing full well that he probably doesn’t deserve his mother. Worse yet? The final ten minutes reveal he’s inherited the generational curse of being a weirdo, doomed to a life of bending to the whims of his Achilles cock—even if it guides him to a hot mess in a hideous hat.
Speaking of! Instead of chasing a Love Island reject in disguise as ever-elusive satisfaction, Portia could’ve just befriended the Italian girlies and returned to LAX in one of those pods with a new wardrobe in tow. For that, I hope she’ll be looking for fulfillment and finding only Stussy bowling shirts for the rest of her life. If there’s anything we learned from the first season, it’s to listen to the locals.
In conclusion: Ladies, we might lose our right to bodily autonomy. And if you’re heterosexual, there’s a real shot we’ll be bored. A lot. But as the world continues to worsen, and the gulf between the haves and have-nots only widens, never forget that we are entitled to scam. As a great oracle once said: Get that bread, get that head, then leave. Or, in Harper and Daphe’s case, stay...until you want to leave. Anyway, I hear the White Lotus in Valhalla is to die for.