‘The White Lotus’ Season 2, Episode 2: Recap & Ending, Explained – What Caused The Rift Between Tanya & Greg?


The second episode of “The White Lotus” Season 2 dives deeper into its characters and their vices. The episode takes us from one room to another, showing how every character woke up on their first morning in Sicily. Ethan goes on an early morning run, taking in the breathtaking landscape of Sicily, while Harper chooses to sleep a little longer. Dom woke up with regret, realizing how he was repeating the mistake that had wreaked havoc in his life. Cameron complained about his frozen arm while Daphne refused to let go of him. Tanya noticed that her husband was lost in deep thought, though he chose not to talk about it. At breakfast, Portia continued to hide from Tanya and Greg. She chose to sit with Albie and was later introduced to his family.

Spoilers Ahead

Harper, Daphne, Cameron, And Ethan

Harper, unwillingly, had to talk to Cameron and Daphne over breakfast. While watching Cameron lose his temper as he spoke over the phone to the airlines that lost his bag, Harper could not help but wonder if he had ever treated Daphne the same way. Daphne stated that they never fought as a couple because they simply did not have any reason to. Harper found it strange. Did they really not have a reason to fight, or did Daphne choose to avoid dispute to maintain the happy couple image? Was Cameron the perfect husband that Daphne tried to establish? All we know now is that they seem too good to be true. While Harper tried to figure out the dynamics between Cameron and Daphne, Ethan had returned from his morning run and was bursting with sexual drive. When Harper entered the room, she found Ethan intimately relieving himself of adult films. Ethan was a little embarrassed by his wife’s sudden entry into the room. He explained that he knew that Harper never enjoyed making love in the morning, so he decided to help himself. Even though Harper wanted to help Ethan, he chose not to indulge in it. Harper changed the subject and discussed how strange it was that Cameron and Daphne never fought. Ethan thought it was Harper’s defense mechanism; she had a tendency to find fault in people who seemed to have a better life than her or threatened her in any way. It was simply her way of feeling good about her life. Harper believed that it was only natural for her to compare herself to others. It was her way of explaining what she shared with Ethan was more authentic than Cameron and Daphne’s romance. Ethan was not as bitter as Harper. He knew what Harper was getting at, but he believed that they must not obsess over Cameron and Daphne’s relationship.

Even though both couples were wealthy, their social upbringings were vastly different. Cameron and Daphne belonged to affluent white families, but it was not the same for Harper and Ethan. Harper’s family was from Puerto Rico, and she had to fight a lot of battles to reach the position she was currently in. Ethan, too, mentioned that he was financially helping his sister at the moment. They were not born wealthy; they were meritorious, and that was how they climbed the social ladder. Therefore, when the couples discussed charity work, it almost seemed like a competition. Harper hinted at Cameron and Daphne by mentioning that they were not materialistic. After selling the company, they were living a prosperous life, but that only meant that they could now help their families and communities as much as they had always wanted to. Cameron was quick to add that they, too, contributed heavily to charities. Daphne said with a straight face that she donated the most when she was drunk because she could not bear the sight of the deprived when she was in that state of mind. It was their way of explaining that they, too, cared about the world and did their best to make it better. The fact that they did not even realize how wrong it sounded explains the kind of people they were. Though later, Cameron apologized to Harper for always saying the wrong things, he expressed how important her approval was to him.

At dinner, Ethan and Harper discussed their interest in having their own children. During the conversation, it is evident that Daphne was the one who had to look after the children while Cameron was always busy with work. Daphne’s last pregnancy was life-threatening; she had an emergency cesarean delivery, and at one point, they felt that they might lose the baby. It was during that moment that Cameron realized how much he loved Daphne. Maybe it was this experience that made them appreciate each other all the more in life, even if that meant overlooking minor or major issues.

The De Grasso Family

Portia joined Albie and his family for breakfast to steer clear of Tanya and Greg. Portia learned a few problematic details about the De Grasso family. Bert was bitter about Dom’s wife not joining them on the Sicily trip. He did not believe that there could be a reason strong enough to make her miss such an important family vacation. He added that after being married to Dom for 25 years, his wife could not give him a divorce, and even if she wanted to, it was Dom’s responsibility to stop her. Dom did not agree with his father’s belief, and he was aware that the world has evolved and that a woman could get a divorce if they found their husband cheating on them. Bert started questioning Dom’s control over his wife, and he laughingly stated that his wife had recently passed away and that if she had been alive, she would have never missed such a trip, even if he had burned their house down. Therefore, Bert believed that the wives must be kept docile, and that was the only way to guarantee that the family remained intact no matter what the men did outside their house.

Meanwhile, Dom met Lucia and Mia outside the resort. Lucia had complained about how the hotel staff had barred them from entering, so Dom decided to fix the problem. He asked Valentina to allow his two friends to enter whenever they pleased since they were his guests, and he would be taking care of their expenses. Dom headed to the Greek theater with Bert, Albie, and Portia. Bert continued to express his disapproval about the absence of Dom’s wife. He cited the example of Hades and Persephone. Even though Hades had raped Persephone and kidnapped her into the Underworld, her mother, Demeter, had forgiven Hades for what he had done. He questioned whether what Dom did was as bad as what Hades did to Persephone. Dom and Albie looked at Bert with disbelief. Bert’s inability to accept adultery as a possible cause for a marriage to fail surprised them all. Later, over dinner, Bert expressed that the only mistake Dom made was being sloppy. He should have been more discreet about his affair, and that is something a man must be careful about. Bert had cheated on his wife all his life, and he believed that he was always careful about what he did outside his house. But Dom confirmed that Bert was not as discreet as he thought he was.

Albie and Portia went on a dinner date. They discussed the kind of partners they were looking for. Portia wanted someone naïve who was not intellectually sound and would just be willing to have fun. Albie blurted out that she was looking for a caveman, and he believed she could aim higher than that. Portia was not in search of a meaningful relationship; she just wanted an unforgettable experience, whereas Albie was not interested in casual dating. He did not wish to treat a woman badly, and he complained that women often say that they don’t meet good men these days, but when they do, they choose to ignore them. It was his way of indirectly hinting at Portia that he was the nice guy sitting in front of her while she fantasized about her caveman. Albie added that he was most attracted to women who were hurt, once again directly hinting that he was interested in Portia. After returning to the hotel, Albie kissed Portia. He was clearly attracted to her, but she seemed to play along only because he was a nice person.

‘The White Lotus’ Season 2, Episode 2: Ending Explained – What Caused The Rift Between Tanya And Greg?

Tanya and Greg discussed over breakfast how they intended to spend their first morning in Sicily. Tanya had always imagined that when in Sicily, she would dress like Monica Vitti. A man in a fitted suit would approach her to light her cigarette. They would go on a Vespa ride together, and at sunset, they would go close to the sea to a romantic spot. They would end the night drinking Aperitivo and eating pasta with giant clams in it. Tanya’s fantasy was inspired by the films she watched and the idea of a simple Italian life that they portrayed. She was glowing with happiness when she described her dream. At that moment, she was someone else—someone with a simple life and uncomplicated dreams. Greg agreed to be the man of her dreams.

Tanya dressed like Monica Vitti and rode a Vespa with Greg. The practical problem of the entire dream made it a little less dreamy, but nonetheless, Tanya was satisfied. As she relished her pasta with clams, Greg apologetically stated that he would have to fly to Denver for three days. Tanya was heartbroken; they were only there for a week, and he would be gone half the time. He had to be present for his job, but Tanya struggled to understand the emergency. She wanted him to quit his job at the Bureau of Land Management, but he had already signed a prenup, and he would be doomed if he lost his job and also his marriage. He discussed his insecurity about the marriage because of how whimsical Tanya was. She was always unsure about the people in her life; she would cut ties with her friends and get rid of employees within seconds without giving it a second thought. He wondered if he, too, would meet a similar fate. Tanya concluded that he hated her and did not look at her with respect. She could no longer accept Greg’s insincerity and hurriedly left the dinner table.

Greg had a job to keep, while Tanya had inherited wealth from her father’s business. They had grown up under different circumstances and therefore had very different outlooks on life. Greg and Tanya’s relationship is an example of how class affects a relationship. Tanya did not realize what it was to lose or quit a job; she did not know what it was to live without a safety net. Meanwhile, the prenuptial agreement Greg had signed left him worried; perhaps after marrying her, he realized that they were unlike each other. Even if he chose to stay with her, he was not sure if Tanya would always be in love with him. Their financial status had affected the way they saw each other, particularly how Greg looked at Tanya. He could not help but look at her as a spoiled rich woman who did whatever she wanted without ever thinking about how it affected other people. We do not know the person Greg was talking to over the phone in the previous episode of “The White Lotus” Season 2, but we can figure out what might have led to the distance between them. We can assume this to be true only if we trust what we know about Greg. If we start to question his personal history, then there can be multiple theories around Greg’s sudden change in behavior. Maybe his terminal illness (mentioned in “The White Lotus” season 1) has relapsed. Or maybe, after recovering, he realized he wanted more from life. The most obvious theory is that he might be having an affair. Or he might be involved in a dangerous, secretive profession. Greg’s secret continues to be an unsolved mystery. Of course, none of the reasons can justify the way Greg gaslighted Tanya.

Meanwhile, later that night, Daphne casually stated that she was surprised by those women who took away their partner’s manhood and then wondered why they were not physically attracted to them. Therefore, Daphne believed that a woman can only receive intimate pleasure if she chooses not to get into any discussions or fights with her partners. It is also important to question what manhood meant to Daphne. It seemed that she went by the “let a man be a man” belief; according to her, accepting toxic masculine behavior was the role of the wife or partner. Harper, on the other hand, questions such behavior and is bold in expressing her views and opinions. Daphne felt that it was Harper’s nature that was affecting her marriage. This comment is significant, considering how “The White Lotus” Season 2 delves into sexual politics. The idea that women can only be intimately satisfied and live a happy married life if they accept hypermasculinity is just the beginning of this exploration.

See More: ‘The White Lotus’ Season 2, Episode 3: Recap & Ending, Explained: Why Did Cameron Invite Harper & Ethan To Sicily?

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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