Big Little Lies: Season 1/ Episode 5 “Once Bitten” – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Everything is coming apart. The ideal relationship, the ideal family, the ideal mother and child relationship, it is all going to hell. Which, at one time, was something which could be endured, given a stiff upper lip, but that pose can’t be held forever. After awhile, that lip trembles, tears fall, and your grip loosens and you have no choice but to admit you weren’t keeping things together. You were just digging your names into your palms and focusing on that pain to avoid everything else.

Episode Focus: The Mental State of Jane Chapman (Jane and Madeline)

It is all too much for Jane. She has all these issues with Renata and Amabelle and people pointing fingers at Ziggy[note]The Amabelle situation has come to a point where the school is hiring a teacher’s aide just to keep a watch on those two. Especially since, according to the administration, no one thinks Ziggy is the bully but because the Kleins push that it is him so much, they are forced to take things seriously.[/note]. Then Madeline comes in and finds Saxon and on top of not finding a job [note]Which assumingly is still an issue[/note] and just flashbacks, Jane is cracking. She is cracking to the point her monthly runs to the shooting range and her daily jog are not enough. So while originally she was supposed to go with Celeste and Madeline to confront Saxon, she goes by herself. A bit of a mistake since she can’t handle it and he doesn’t recognize her. There is no guilty look or anything and combine that with her need to be sure it is him, she walks out more frustrated than she walks in. In fact, she races on the highway, smokes weed, and tries to get some sort of relief and ends up with cops flashing lights behind her.


Sometimes with these characters, I don’t know whether I’m going to start crying or cover my mouth in shock. Because it honestly seemed Jane was going to shoot this man. She has been fantasizing about it, practicing damn near, and with her avoiding therapy and relying on a shooting range, it seems her coping mechanism is wearing off. Leading you to wonder if this gun she has is even registered to her and what this cop who pulled her over may do. She was going 60 on what looked like a highway so it may not be a huge deal, but with the mental state she is in, who knows if she may or may not go off on the cop.

Subplot 1: Should I Stay or Should I Go? (Celeste)

The violence has got to stop. It may end in love making but the prelude is leaving bruises, it is leading Celeste to fear for her life and eventually the kids can’t be an excuse nor a buffer. But in Celeste’s mind, he was there through 4 miscarriages and also when the twins were born early. He is a great father. But on the topic of being a husband, a partner? Well, there isn’t as much praise there. Heck, Celeste partly blames herself. Something which alarms her therapist to the point she wants there to be a plan for if Perry hits her again past Celeste hitting him back.


It’s disturbing to watch as Celeste has to apply makeup to cover each and every one of her bruises. It’s disturbing to watch her be alone with her therapist, yet still, defend Perry and take blame for their issues. Yet, after a while, you see her ability to fight for Perry rescinding. She starts crying and you can tell she knows her relationship isn’t the norm. However, there seems to be something we don’t know. That is, what was life like before Perry? Not career-wise, but personally.

I ask because, I know of someone who had a string of bad relationships and with the current one being better than the past ones, they make excuses. Ones which I can’t imagine making for someone, but when you are used to horrible partners and you get ones which has fewer faults and issues than you are used to, that makes it seem like you’ve picked better. Also, some people see it as, not necessarily the problem being the person who is abusive but them.

So I do wonder if Celeste had men like Perry in the past who’d knock her around but were less affectionate. Heck, a part of me wonders if the reason she didn’t have kids all this time isn’t because she didn’t have someone to have kids with, but didn’t want them. Of course, with them here now, she loves them, but sometimes, as they run over her but listen to Perry, I wonder if she had them just because he wanted them.

Subplot 2: Car Crash (Madeline)

Joseph is unrelenting in trying to understand Madeline and perhaps restarting their thing. However, with her having a family and him having a wife, things aren’t simple. They can’t just leave. Yet, with them getting into a car together and an accident, the peanut gallery talk about how they wonder why was she in the vehicle? His wife, though, she doesn’t seem to acknowledge anything weird, nor Ed.

But, one good thing which came out of all of this is Abigail is back in Madeline’s house. At least for now.


I think Madeline is coming to the point where she realizes she can’t meddle in other people’s lives and there won’t be consequences. She got her first real taste of that with Joseph, reminded of it with Jane, and the car accident seems like a final warning from the powers that be. Yet, I feel like I’m forgetting her role in Renata’s misery. For as much as Ziggy is causing Renata to stress out, Madeline is the one who helped escalate the situation. So while the whole, “Who got killed” mystery is really far on the back burner, it more and more seems that Madeline could be the victim. A part of me also thinks Renata could be by Jane’s hands, but all signs point to Madeline’s meddling being involved.

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