Monterey is a picturesque town brimming with refined, upper class people. But inside the wealthy mansions are families at breaking point.
In the highly-anticipated return of Emmy Award-winning hit, Big Little Lies, the "Monterey Five" are presenting a united front in light of tragic events.
During the school fundraiser in the season finale, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) finally learnt the horrible truth about her volatile husband, Perry (Alexander Skarsgård). Not only was she a victim of domestic abuse in their marriage, but so was the new girl in town, Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley), who realised her attacker had been living in the same suburb this entire time.
During a tense exchange on the steps of the school, Perry launched at the two women – forcing Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) and Renata (Laura Dern) to intervene. The tussle quickly turned dangerous and Perry plummeted to his death.
Now, the question remains whether their deadly secret will stay buried…
As season two begins, the mothers are returning to life as normal – well, a new normal – months after the tragic incident.
They're also closer than ever – pasts have been forgiven and it's the beginning of a new chapter. But not everyone is willing to believe that Perry's death was simply an accident.
His mother, Mary Louise Wright – played by acting legend Meryl Streep – arrives in town to grieve his death and comfort Celeste and the twin boys. But under her charade of support, Mary is very suspicious of her daughter-in-law to the point that she investigates their relationship. She even helps police with their enquires, threatening to unravel Celeste's world for the second time.
"My son is dead and I want answers," Mary asks Celeste at the dinner table.
"I gave you answers," Celeste innocently replies.
"Yes, but you left some things out..." Mary hits back with intent.
That exchange in itself is enough to know trouble is ahead. All the while, Celeste suffers nightmares each night and battles with her own guilt. What will Mary find out? And will it send one, or all, of them to jail?
Meanwhile, mother's instinct continues to reverberate through Monterey when the group's children start second grade.
Of course, Madeline is the first to complain about school policies and makes her feelings loud and clear to both parents and teachers. And despite her newfound respect for Renata, the women just can't seem to get along.
While Madeline is seemingly perfect on the outside, she's hiding more than one secret.
Fans will recall the housewife has been cheating on her doting husband Ed (Adam Scott) with the community theatre director Joseph (Santiago Cabrera) for months.
The pair even wound up in a horrific car accident together causing Joseph's wife to cast accusations about their relationship. This is a ticking time bomb.
Jane, meanwhile, is trying to recover from her face-off with Perry and is adamant to start fresh. She even strikes up a romance and considers her career options.
But across town, Bonnie's slipping into isolation. The young mother pushed Perry to his death on the school steps, and is now riddled with guilt over their pact to keep what happened a secret.
"It's going to get us… it's going to get us all; the lie," she tells Madeline.
As the season progresses, viewers can expect to unlock a surprising side to Bonnie, including her own family history.
Someone who's keen to hear her story is none other than Detective Adrienne Quinlan (Merrin Dungey). With plenty of questions, but little evidence, the local policewoman is desperate for the truth.
Will Bonnie be the one to bring them all undone? Time will tell...
Big Little Lies premieres Monday, 8.30pm (AEST), on FOX Showcase.
- MoneyHow to spot the tell-tale signs of financial abuse
Take 5Today 9:25am