Sometimes I think Madeline and Ed are peanut butter and jelly on Big Little Lies, but then they fight and it’s clear they have an oil and water thing going on, too.
In last night’s episode of Big Little Lies season 2, Madeline and Ed went to therapy to talk about their issues. Us viewers are all well aware that Madeline had an affair a while ago (somewhere between a year to a year and a half ago), but it wasn’t until Big Little Lies 2×02 that Ed learned about his wife’s indiscretion.
I definitely have my suspicions that Ed actually really knew about it last season, but was happy to remain blissfully ignorant and pretend that he didn’t feel betrayed by Madeline. There were just too many pointed looks from Ed before and during that infamous Elvis and Audrey night to think he didn’t somehow instinctually know that Madeline hadn’t been faithful.
But then there was the whole Perry dying thing that probably pushed his suspicions aside, you know?
I HATED how Ed found out this season. He just sort of appears in a doorway minutes after Abigail casually mentions her mother’s infidelity. It’s important to note how unbelievably RELIEVED I am that Madeline made it clear in this episode that she doesn’t blame her daughter for this trouble. I feel like that could have been a very Madeline thing to do with the whole situation, but she is taking responsibility for her own fuck ups, and I really appreciate seeing that in Reese’s character.
Anyway, Big Little Lies season 2 has brought this dalliance to light, and now Ed and Madeline are talking it out with the help of Dr. Reisman. I found myself so engrossed that when it cut to the next part of the show, I was sadly disappointed that we couldn’t just linger in that room.
I wanted to watch Madeline continue to be combative with the woman trying to help them find a way to move forward. I wanted to watch Ed continue to act like he was nothing more than the victim in this whole situation, rather than maybe having some responsibility in the whole mess.
I most definitely wanted to watch Dr. Reisman put them both in their places, and remind them that marriages take two people to make work. All the relationships on Big Little Lies are enduring some serious strains, but Madeline and Ed have always seemed to have an easy, passion-lite, comfortable marriage.
Maybe therapy will unlock their passion for each other. Maybe speaking their minds and learning to trust and confide in each other first and foremost will help them heal, but ultimately, spark some untapped intensity that was always left simmering in the background.
I hope that the rest of Big Little Lies season 2 shows us some progression toward reconciliation for them, with the help of at least a dozen or so more therapy sessions. I was just completely fascinated by their dynamic with Dr. Amanda Reisman. It’s so vastly different from Perry and Celeste’s sessions from last season. Then again, Madeline and Ed don’t have some horrific domestic abuse to hide from their shrink, just an affair and the resulting dysfunction.