Meryl Streep's character on Big Little Lies is stirring things up in the already dramatic HBO series. After the death of her son, Mary Louise Wright moves to Monterey to live with her daughter-in-law Celeste (played by Nicole Kidman) and her 6-year-old twin boys Josh and Max, but she's not succumbing to the pleasantries of the group and it's starting to cause major problems for the family. In fact, one theory suggests that a battle for custody of Josh and Max is brewing between Mary Louise and Celeste in season two of the show.
"She clearly dislikes Celeste and is convinced she had something to do with Perry's death," user AlaerysTargaryen wrote on Reddit. "When she was watching Celeste's reaction at the twins fight and that comment of where was she when her son was drowning you could practically see the wheels turning in her head. She will try to put the blame on her or make her appear an unfit mother who has a drug habit and is violent and careless."
It's an interesting take especially when thinking about the way Mary Louise has reacted to the events surrounding her son's death. After Celeste returns to her home following the Ambien-induced car accident, Mary Louise asks her if it's "the first time" this has happened. Later, she tells Celeste that she's going to rent an apartment in the area, explaining, "I want to be here when you need, and not when you don't." Of course this seems like an innocent grandparent gesture, but Mary Louise is not like most grandparents — she's clearly on a mission to avenge her son's death.
After Mary Louise finds out from Josh and Max that Perry fathered another child — Jane's son, Ziggy Chapman — that's when the questions start pouring in. Celeste stresses to her mother-in-law that Perry raped Jane and was a violent, dangerous person, but she refuses to see that side to her son and wonders why Celeste didn't do anything about his abuse during their marriage. Ironically, it's the same conversation that Celeste's therapist hypothesizes for her during season one.
Last season, Dr. Reisman reminds Celeste that she is a lawyer and she knows how these situations play out in court. One person replied to the Reddit theory recalling the conversation. "The therapist says men like Perry always try to get custody of the kids and advises her to start documenting the abuse and tell at least one friend of hers so that she can win a trial. They have a mock trial back and fourth where the therapist exposes how week Celeste's case would be. Celeste's character of course doesn't take the therapist's advice," user Pak14life wrote.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly following the second episode, actor Adam Scott says that Mary Louise "is extremely dangerous if you're someone that is holding a secret." And the women of the show most definitely are. "Especially a secret that has such higher implications attached to it like this one. She's incredibly smart, she's cunning, and her son died, and she has nothing to lose. She is clearly retired, she is there to stay, and she has a lot of questions. The longer she stays, the more questions pop up, and it doesn't seem like she's buying anything anyone is saying as far as I can tell. So yeah, I would say, she is the last person that any of the Monterey Five want sniffing around."
It's clear that Mary Louise is in Monterey for a reason, and the more she pushes Celeste and her friends, the closer she gets to finding out the truth about her son. In the preview for episode three, "The End of the World," we see Mary Louise talking to the detective, asking, "You don't believe my son just slipped, do you?" We also see Mary Louise approaching Jane and Ziggy, presumably to talk about Perry. Only time will tell what happens between Mary Louise and Celeste Wright, but we can guarantee that an explosive fight is inevitable.