Closures are about finding the right plot point to end a character’s arc. In real life, seeing this perfect point can be tricky as most ambitious humans die with unfulfilled desires. In a story, it is easy to trace the incidents between the beginnings and the endings. What all changed in between The White Lotus Episode 1 Arrivals to Episode 6 departures? Let’s dig deep.
The Mossbacher Family
The White Lotus Episode 5 robbery committed by Kai becomes the entry point of Episode 6 as it impacts the Mossbacher family and Olivia’s friend, Paula.
The action designed around the heist and Mark’s superhero avatar to save his wife filled the void between them and brought them closer. The argumentative couple soon transformed into love birds by the end of The White Lotus.
The same event became a reason for arguments between Paula and Olivia. Paula was nervous about Kai, and Olivia could deduce the reasons. At last, Armond communicated to the family that their troublemaker, Kai, had been arrested and their jewelry had been retrieved. The revelations crushed Paula, who felt like a helpless rebel. Olivia faced Paula and confessed she knew about her heist schemes from the beginning. The subtle brawl divided the two pretentious friends. However, they reconciled in the end. The man who got trapped in between their childish scuffle was Kai, who might have to spend jail time or something worse.
In the beginning, when Paula and Olivia came to the resort, they were more interested in heated gossip and comments. However, in the end, while departing, they were occupied by a novel. Olivia was reading a French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan collected works, Écrits. In comparison, Paula was engrossed in “Discourse in Colonialism,” a topic that would aid her in offering better advice to people.
Quinn wanted to stay behind on the island and learn/explore Hōkūleʻa (a Polynesian double-hulled canoe). The Mossbachers’ disregarded his weird plan and compelled the 16year old teenager to come home with them. But one can’t tame a bird who has already tasted its freedom. In the end, Quinn ran away from the airport and was seen rafting the canoe in the closing shot.
Tanya had been a dormant character all along, not contributing much to the larger scheme of things. For the same reasons, her impact was diminutive, and thus the scope of transformation was less. Many viewers can see her in an agnostic light, but it is much more important to understand why she did what she did.
Tanya’s motivation to visit the resort was to spread her mother’s ashes and break free herself from the trauma, attachment, or feelings she once shared with her mother. In Spa Manager, Belinda, Tanya found a companion who, as a salient ally, listened to her grief and suggested remedies. In her selfishness (which we all are), she tried to initiate a transactional relationship with Belinda. She promised to pay for her own Spa Business. Belinda found the offer lucrative and weaved her dreams around it.
But then came Greg. He had his reasons to be with Tanya, but it wasn’t the money. She got attached to Greg and planned on moving to his neighborhood in Aspen. Though this time, Tanya was aware of what she was getting into. Greg was an ailing fella, constantly coughing his lungs out. He was suffering from an incurable disease as he suggested to Tanya, “Don’t be surprised if I suddenly just drop dead.” Greg influenced Tanya to deal with death maturely. Thus she dealt with her mother’s ashes, parting away with it in the most innocent way she could.
As soon as Tanya got Greg’s company, she disregarded Belinda. Many might see Tanya’s stance as morally offensive, but it is extremely perceptional. Tanya didn’t exactly show her disinterest in Belinda’s business, but when she needed time to think about it in her senses whether she wanted to invest it out of profit or just an approach to keep Belinda close so that Tanya doesn’t fall into the pit of loneliness.
Rachel had her reasons for separating away from Shane. She was in a bad phase of her life, suffering from low self-esteem when she met Shane. Her comfortable persona found existence in Shane, but during the vacation in The White Lotus, she realized that she had committed a grave mistake falling prey to her weakness.
Shane and his mother wanted Rachel to become a trophy wife. But Rachel didn’t want to spend her whole life being a plus one. She wanted to create her own identity. And she got extremely irritated by Shane’s never-ending tantrum and baby-man-like behavior, tussling with Armond over a little room.
Rachel tried to confide her feelings to Belinda and sought help. Still, Belinda herself was going through a traumatic crisis that failed to deliver any expertise. Not again when so much happened with Tanya.
Rachel’s rebellious demeanor fueled the drama for a bit until it all went down the hill. She appeared at the airport and nodded like a trophy wife, underlining her willingness to continue her marriage with Shane. In a stammering tone, she said, “I’m happy.” But it was a lie. She quickly corrected herself, “I’ll be happy.” It felt like her revolt for independence stayed back on the island, or maybe she got scared of the real nasty world outside.
Armond & Shane
If anyone was behaving like a real couple, it was Shane and Armond. They fought like cat and mouse, ready to throw a pie at each other. However, the joke went too far when one was stabbed to death.
After discovering the robbery in Mossbacher’s room, Shane quickly contacted his agent, who delivered the information to the hotel owners. Armond was soon fired, but he decided to leave an impact before leaving. High on substance, Armond made an unauthorized entry inside Shane’s room and took a dump on Shane’s clothes. However, before he could leave the room after his toilet prank, Shane entered the room.
Already horrified by Mossbacher’s account, Shane got scared and lifted a knife to deal with the uninvited guest. Accidently, Shane stabbed Armond, who died after that. Armond smiled as his body lay in the tub, thinking about the end to all his sufferings, finally.
‘The White Lotus’ Ending Explained
Shane wasn’t arrested. His act was committed in self-defense, and the murder was an accident. The police would have bought the story, and thus, no arrests were made. Everyone left the island, except Tanya and Quinn.
Tanya spread her mother’s ashes like the child she once was and soon went off with Greg on another vacation. At the same time, Quinn stayed back on the island to explore Hōkūleʻa. Shane and Rachel got back together. It was a fuss about nothing. And Paula, she just ran away back to her city life without inquiring about the fate of Kai.
So it was Armond who died in the end, and his casket was carried to the airplane. Belinda still couldn’t accept the death of Armond and Tanya’s betrayal, but yet she had to force a smile on the new bunch of guests that arrived on the island. That’s the best and the worst part of life. It waits for none and goes on. “Hallelujah.”
The White Lotus is a six-episode miniseries created, written, and directed by Mike White for HBO.