'Big Little Lies' Recap: Everything You Need to Remember About the Monterey 5 Before Watching Season 2

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We know how much you love Big Little Lies, but do you remember all the secrets and sins hiding in Monterey?

We don't blame you!

It's been more than two years since that infamous trivia night at Otter Bay Elementary, and now that Big Little Lies' highly anticipated second season is dropping this Sunday, June 9 on HBO, we're giving you a crash course on all the dark drama hiding in those beachfront mansions.

From Madeline Martha Mackenzie's oh-so-awkward interactions with her ex-husband (and his new wife!) to the first-grade #bitegate at Otter Bay Elementary and all the ups and downs of Celeste and Perry's tumultuous relationship -- here's everything you need to remember about the Monterey Five before tuning into season two...

Madeline Martha Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon)

Madeline Martha Mackenzie, Reese Witherspoon

Sharp-tongued, viciously vindictive and lover of "anything chocolate" that won't make her "a** look fat," Madeline Martha Mackenzie is the Monterey mom you definitely don't want to cross. Madeline has two daughters: Abigail, a teenager currently in her rebellious phase, and Chloe, a music lover and mini queen bee of Otter Bay Elementary. 

In a frustrating twist for Madeline, her ex-husband, and father of Abigail, Nathan, also lives in Monterey with his new -- much younger -- wife, Bonnie, and their daughter, Skye. In season one, Abigail crushed her mother's heart when she revealed she wanted to move out and live with Nathan and her cool new stepmom Bonnie full-time. Madeline's husband, Ed, is a kind and patient man who is quick to defend "the girl of his dreams," but their marriage lacks the spark it once had. It was revealed that Madeline, who also works at the local community theater, had a frequent affair with Joseph, a married man and the director of Avenue Q.

While most of her aggression in season one was spent trying to save their production of Avenue Q from being shut down, Madeline was quick to defend new friend Jane Chapman when her son, Ziggy, was accused of bullying Renata Klein's daughter, Amabella. Jane, Madeline and her best friend, Celeste, became an unbreakable trio and they confessed all their darkest secrets to one another. Well, almost all of them. 

Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman)

Big Little Lies

Soft-spoken but undeniably bright, Celeste Wright was once a high-powered attorney, but she gave up her career to become Perry Wright's wife and the mother of twin boys, Max and Josh. At first glance, everyone in Monterey assumes that Celeste has it all: beauty, a luxurious lifestyle, two sweet sons and a loving husband. However, it was quickly revealed in season one that Celeste and Perry harbored a dark and volatile secret.

Perry was mentally, emotionally and physically abusive to Celeste and after his dangerous outbursts, he and his wife would engage in sexual activity that was a mixture of hatred, passion and apologies. This vicious cycle of rage and regret led the couple to seek the help of a marriage counselor, but Celeste soon started attending these therapy sessions by herself. After some particularly rough arguments, and with the guidance of her counselor, Celeste secretly rented an apartment and planned to leave Perry and take her two boys to live with her. 

The night of the big Audrey and Elvis gala at the school, Perry read a message on Celeste's phone and discovered everything about her hidden apartment. Celeste finally stood up to Perry, revealed she was leaving him, and then dashed out of the car away from her husband and into the crowd of Otter Bay parents. 

Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley)

Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies

A newbie to Monterey, single-mom Jane Chapman moved to town with her 6-year-old son, Ziggy. (Yes, like Ziggy Stardust.) On the way to orientation at Otter Bay Elementary, Madeline twisted her ankle after yelling at a car full of teens for texting and driving, and Jane came to her rescue. Madeline quickly took Jane under her wing, introduced her to Celeste, and the three women became fast-friends -- which was very convenient because Jane was quickly thrown into a whirlwind of chaos. 

After orientation, the teacher revealed to the group of first-grade parents that someone tried to choke Renata Klein's daughter, Amabella, and when pressed to reveal the culprit, the young girl pointed to Ziggy. Though Ziggy adamantly denied the accusation, he and Jane soon became the pariahs of the community.

Jane was particularly worried about this allegation of abuse because, as she confessed to Madeline, Ziggy's father, who said his name was Saxton Banks, physically assaulted and raped Jane. As Amabella continued to be physically hurt by an unknown bully, Jane eventually coaxed the truth out of Ziggy and discovered that Celeste's son, Max, had been the abuser.

The night of the Audrey and Elvis event, Jane found herself consoling a tipsy and regret-filled Madeline on the outskirts of the school. As Renata and Celeste joined them, Jane looked like she had seen a ghost when Perry walked up to them and demanded to speak with his wife. It was then that Jane realized that Perry was Ziggy's father and the man who raped her that haunting night.

Renata Klein (Laura Dern)

Laura Dern, Big Little Lies

A wildly ambitious and confident CEO, Renata Klein is the mother of Amabella and one of the few women in Monterey who is bold enough to stand up to Madeline. Often the target of scrutiny for being a "working mom," Renata loves her daughter fiercely and was outraged when she discovered that a fellow first-grader was hurting her baby girl. 

The night of the gala, Celeste approached Renata to tell her the truth about Max bullying Amabella and the two women shared a kind and compassionate conversation full of truths and apologies. On the outskirts of school -- near a staggeringly steep flight of concrete stairs -- Renata found Jane and Madeline and she apologized to both of the women for trying to start a schoolwide riot against Jane's son, Ziggy. Celeste joined the group and Perry was not far behind her as he demanded her to go back to the car with him.

Bonnie Carlson (Zoë Kravitz)

Big Little Lies, Zoë Kravitz

Honest and deeply empathetic, Bonnie Carlson is a yoga instructor, the wife of Nathan, Madeline's ex-husband, and the mother of Skye. Despite the awkward fact that Skye was in the same first-grade class as Madeline and Ed's daughter, Chloe, Bonnie spent all of season one trying to be a friend to Madeline and a good stepmom to Nathan's daughter, Abigail.

With Abigail living under their roof, Bonnie discovered that the "secret project" the teen had been working on was for her to auction off her virginity. Needless to say, that revelation did not go over well with Madeline, and Bonnie helped convince Abigail to cancel her project.

As for the deadly events at the Audrey and Elvis trivia night? The story is that Perry Wright "accidentally" fell to his death down a concrete flight of stairs -- but the investigators are not convinced. Though the Monterey 5 have decided to stay tight-lipped about the true events that led to Perry's shocking death, the audience knows the truth...

Bonnie watched from a distance as Celeste frantically tried to walk away from her husband and when Perry followed Celeste, Bonnie followed Perry to the edge of the school's campus. In a fit of rage, Perry lunged for Celeste and brutally began to punch and kick his wife while Madeline, Jane and Renata feebly struggled to pull him off.

In the blur of aggression and cries for help, Bonnie ran forward and pushed Perry with all her might. His body tumbled into the darkness, down the under-construction concrete steps and was impaled by iron barbs.

Big Little Lies season two premieres Sunday, June 9 on HBO.


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