Season 2 opens with Daphne (Meghann Fahy) going for a swim on the last day of her holiday in Sicily, when she bumps into a dead body (or part of a body?) and swims, screaming, back to shore.
The second installment of Mike White’s buzzy limited series explores taut sexual politics in one of the world’s most romantic and storied locales, all while building up to not just one death, but multiple. As White Lotus Sicily manager Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) learns in the cold open, there are more bodies out there, which sets this death definitively as a murder — unlike Season 1’s arguable accident.
With a mostly new cast and so many possibilities, IndieWire is breaking down the life-and-death odds every week, updating to reflect developments of the latest episode. Here’s who we think is most likely to die, kill, and survive unscathed in “The White Lotus” Season 3.
Most Likely To Die
1. Ethan (Will Sharpe)
Despite coming clean to Harper (Aubrey Plaza) — “You should be happy I didn’t cheat” isn’t the flex Ethan thinks it is — Will is no longer in his wife’s good graces, and far from it. The question now is less whether he’ll die and whether it’ll be by Harper’s hand, as revenge for betrayal, or Cam’s (Theo Sharpe) — to ensure his silence.
2. Portia (Haley Lu Richardson)
Portia has spent this whole season caught up in Tanya’s mess (Jennifer Coolidge), and that’s never been more true than after Episode 5. She may not have witnessed whatever is going on with Jack (Leo Woodall) and Quentin (Tom Hollander), but it wouldn’t be surprising if she took the fall for what Tanya saw.
Tanya is the show’s main connective tissue between seasons besides the White Lotus hotels themselves, but the writers might kill her to pull out that rug and add uncertainty to potential future seasons. If Quentin finds out what she saw in Palermo, it could mean a swift end to his warm demeanor — and to her life.
4. Lucia (Simona Tabasco)
Statistically, murder odds do not look good for a young, solitary sex worker. She’s on the wrong side of the hotel staff and Valentina’s judgement, and she presents a liability for Dominic (Michael Imperioli), and now also for Cam (Theo James).
5. Mia (Beatrice Grannó)
Mia has become sufficiently entangled in Lucia’s lifestyle, including having sex with the old piano player and giving him pills that sent him to the hospital. And if anyone goes after Lucia, they’ll go after Mia too.
If Ethan goes down for their night of partying, Cam does too (multiple murders). And where was he in the opening scene? Cam and Daphne are nigh inseparable in flashbacks, but on the last day of their trip she’s alone on the beach, without even a vacant chair next to her. Her reaction to the corpse in the water is deliberately ambiguous, and her face is obscured when they wrap up the body bag…
In the Clear (For Now)
Daphne was in the cold open where the dead body is found, which means she gets this season’s Get Out of Death Free card. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t in danger of physical harm, heartbreak, or whatever other madness the White Lotus Sicily has in store for her.
Also pictured in the opening, Valentina is more concerned with the hotel’s reputation and her own job security than the growing pile of corpses washing ashore. So far she seems more likely to murder Rocco (Federico Ferrante) than anyone else, but he’s in the first scene with her. Would she hurt Isabella (Eleonora Romandi) if she gets rejected? Or Mia, who sees Valentina’s true identity?
3. Bert (F. Murray Abraham)
No disrespect to Nonno who is mostly minding his own business — he’s just old and more likely to not recover from any physical injury, like the concussion he sustains in Episode 1. He also loves to the stir the pot, especially with his son.
Greg left Sicily, albeit shadily, so he’s got an alibi for now. But he’s hiding something — a lot of somethings, probably! Greg has a whole past, multiple marriages, and his own secrets. He’s not dying or dead yet, but Greg isn’t innocent.
Most Likely To Kill
Courtesy of HBO
At this point the only reason to doubt Harper as a murderer is the fact that two episodes remain, and viewers expect a twist. As of Episode 5, Harper is capital D done with Cam and Daphne’s games and the havoc they’ve wreaked on her mind and marriage. She’s going to snap, but how?
2. Jack (Leo Woodall)
Only ranked above Quentin because if they do a murder together, this guy is the muscle. We’ve all seen that butt!
A rich powerful white man who could totally get away with it? Now there’s someone who might not lose sleep over murder. Quentin and Jack — if those are even their real names — are obviously keeping their relationship secret (though they can’t be troubled to lock a door), and could be willing to take any measures to maintain that.
Dom has been trying his darnedest to avoid “a situation” with Lucia and his family, and he’s been successful in that he didn’t sleep with her, but unsuccessful in that his son did. Dom keeps his cool in tense situations — his wife yelling at him over the phone, Bert embarrassing him at breakfast, the interactions with Lucia — but he gives the impression of someone hanging on by a very thin thread.
This feels too obvious, but what lengths would Cam go to to conceal his night with Lucia? Would he kill Harper and Will? Would he kill Lucia too just to cover his tracks? Then again, he was so casual about the molly and sex workers in the first place that he might be unfazed. Daphne said games are part of their marriage — but Cam seems like a sore loser.
Albie remains a good boy doing good boy things, but Portia’s rejection is fresh even as he spends time with Lucia. He might kill to defend her — not just to protect someone he cares about, but as a display of years of pent-up frustration and feeling that even when he does everything right, it isn’t enough for some people.
“The White Lotus” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.