(SPOILERS for HBO’s The White Lotus will obviously be found below.)
The first season of The White Lotus (a HBO’s extreme-wealth satire that isn’t Succession) ended with a (literal) deuce worth celebrating, although even star Murray Bartlett was shocked at the realism of that moment (RIP, Shane’s suitcase). Sadly, Armond was revealed to have been the murder victim teased very early on in the season, and showrunner Mike White sat down with New York Magazine‘s Vulture blog to hash it all out.
White called Armond’s death necessary after “his last act” (taking a dump in Shane’s suitcase), which White characterized as “an operatic end for him.” The showrunner insisted that “I wanted Armond to die,” and it’s a death that maybe not everyone wanted, but there’s one part of The White Lotus that felt even more disappointing. That would be the decision of Rachel (Alexandra Daddario) to get back together with Shane (Jake Lacey). That’s bad news all around, but White says that this act, too, was inevitable and “true to life.” Yep, and here’s how White addressed the subject:
“I always knew she’d go back to him. There was something about her, even in the way she’s approaching him; it’s like someone who wants to get a response. Honestly, it feels true to life for me. I’ve seen peers who may not have been in this exact situation. She’s started to feel the limits of what she thinks she’s capable of, and it’s the reality of the seduction of a lifestyle. Some people read it as cynical; to me, the thing that I feel about Shane is that even though he is a privileged a**hole, he does really love her. Even if it’s just an idea of her.
White further described how perhaps Rachel is “weak,” but sadly, this his also part of the show’s satiric approach. “[S]he wants to be independent and have power in the relationship,” White explained. “[B]ut she doesn’t have the money, she doesn’t have the power. I do see women making that choice sometimes.” He added that he’d find it interesting to explore their marriage’s future, but we’ll see whether that rolls, since Season 2 will feature a new cast in a new location. In the meantime, I’ll cross fingers for the powers that be to dream up an Armond prequel. Make it happen.