‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Ending Explained: Who Died?

Major white lotus spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

If you had told me that The White Lotus Season 2 ended with Jennifer Coolidge in a yacht shootout with the mob, I would have thought you had had too many Aperol spritzes. But that is, in fact, exactly what we got.

Of course, other shenanigans also took place. Scams have succeeded, cheating (may have) occurred, and new relationships have formed. But the moment everyone will remember the most from this finale is undoubtedly who died – and how they got out. So without further ado, let’s break down the craziest moments of The White Lotus Season 2 finale.

And the victims of the White Lotus Resort are…

A woman sits on a bench decorated in Renaissance art with luggage beside her.

Please don’t hurt Jennifer Coolidge.
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

From the start of the season, we know several guests of the White Lotus Resort would die. And we now know that those guests are Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge), Quentin (Tom Hollander) and Didier (Bruno Gouery). Tanya’s former lover Niccoló (Stefano Gianino), despite never having been invited to the White Lotus, completes the body count.

The wild road to these deaths involves a cowboy, a yacht, and an escape gone horribly wrong. Quentin takes Tanya back to Taormina on his yacht, while his alleged nephew Jack (Leo Woodall) distracts a worried Portia (Haley Lu Richardson). However, when Portia is finally able to call Tanya, the two realize something dangerous is afoot.

It all comes back to that photo of two cowboys that Portia saw in Quentin’s palace. It turns out that the cowboy next to Quentin — and probably the one he told Tanya he was madly in love with — is her husband Greg (Jon Gries). It was Greg who insisted they go to Sicily, but he returned home to continue his affair with a stranger, leaving Tanya alone. That’s when Quentin and his fellow “upscale gays” befriended Tanya.

As a drunken Jack told Portia, Quentin and his friends have no money. However, he also says that they are about to make a huge bargain. Tanya puts two and two together: her prenup with Greg says he’ll get next to nothing if they divorce. However, if she dies, he gets her immense wealth. With that, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Quentin will kill Tanya for Greg, who will pay him with Tanya’s money so he can run his palace.

A man in a suit stands in an Italian palace.

Upscale gays were plotting murder the whole time.
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

As if the alarm bells weren’t ringing loud enough, Niccoló – who is either in the Mafia or just very connected to it – shows up to take Tanya back to the hotel. Tanya grabs her bag, which turns out to be full of your standard kidnapping and killing supplies. Next thing you know, all hell breaks loose.

By “hell” I specifically mean “Jennifer Coolidge with a gun”. Armed with Niccoló’s gun, Tanya guns down Quentin, Didier, and Niccoló himself in a wildly unexpected and haunting scene. It turns out that Tanya “Peppa Pig” McQuoid is actually a one-woman army in a floral print dress. She’s also a sobbing wreck, and that’s understandable. She might demand an explanation from Quention, but all she really wants to know is if Greg is having an affair. He doesn’t answer before he dies, leaving Tanya – and us – in the dark.

With the immediate threat averted, all Tanya has to do is get into Niccoló’s smaller boat and escape. This proves difficult to do in the dark and in heels, and before long Tanya is diving headlong into the ocean. A devastating thump as she hits the edge of the boat tells us all we need to know: Tanya, the only remnant of season 1 of The White Lotus apart from her terrible husband, is dead.

It’s a blow to lose Tanya (and especially Jennifer Coolidge) this way. The whole episode builds up to this moment, but after the shooting, we still hold out hope that she can escape. Tragically, it’s a cruel world, and The White Lotus soon confirms that Tanya is the body Daphne (Meghann Fahy) finds in the water in the very first episode. The clues were all there, including references to Madama Butterfly’s death, but just because we could see it coming doesn’t hurt any less.

So where was Portia all this time?

A young woman looks at a phone while sitting on outdoor stairs.

Portia, get out of there!
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

When Portia doesn’t talk to Tanya, she does her best to get Jack to take her back to Taormina. Unfortunately, Jack has gone from clumsy Essex guy to absolutely terrifying kidnapper, and the mood only turns sour when Portia reveals she knows Jack is having sex with his alleged uncle. (The White Lotus never confirms or denies the blood relationship, but it is strongly implied that Quentin hired Jack.) Jack drops Portia off at the airport and tells her to stay away from the hotel. She follows his instructions to the letter, probably too ready to put this traumatic journey behind her.


Sicilian Villas and Horny Goats: Everything You Need to Know About ‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Opening Credits

Did Harper cheat on Ethan with Cameron? And how does Daphne react?

A woman in a blue shirt holds her hand on her forehead with the ocean behind her.

Harper goes through it, and who can blame him?
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

The quartet of Harper (Aubrey Plaza), Ethan (Will Sharpe), Daphne and Cameron (Theo James) have been an incredibly rich source of mayhem throughout this season, and in the finale, the mayhem escalates to heights vertiginous. Ethan confronts Harper, believing she cheated on him with Cameron. She reveals that Cameron briefly kissed her and dismisses him as a “drunk, stupid nothing”. Ethan still thinks Harper didn’t tell the whole truth, but he’s more certain that Cameron made a move towards his wife. He retaliates by confronting Cameron and nearly drowning him in the ocean. No death here, though! Just male aggression.

Later, Ethan meets Daphne and tells her of his suspicions. After a brief moment of pain, Daphne offers her some advice similar to what she told Harper earlier this season: “You just do what you have to do so you don’t feel like a victim of life.” Shortly after, the two head to Isola Bella…presumably to hook up. However, just like with the potential Harper and Cameron affair, we don’t know the full truth about what’s going on. What happens on Isola Bella, stays on Isola Bella.

Still, whatever Daphne and Ethan did must have worked wonders, as Ethan and Harper had sex for the first time in their entire vacation on their very last night in Sicily. It’s a joyful moment and a relief for Harper, but there’s something ominous behind it all. What will their relationship look like if they both keep doing “everything they have to”? Will it look like Daphne and Cameron’s? We can only hope not, for their good.

Lucia is the queen of the tricksters of Sicily.

A young man and a woman are sitting on the edge of a bed, about to kiss.

Scam in progress.
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

The strange triangle of Albie (Adam DiMarco), Dominic (Michael Imperioli) and Lucia (Simona Tabasco) comes to a strange conclusion in the Season 2 finale. Lucia demands 50,000 euros from Albie so that she can escape the always mysterious Alessio. How is Albie supposed to get so much money? Through emotional manipulation, of course!

Albie asks his father to pay Lucia the money, calling it a karmic payment for all the cheating Dom has done. He sweetens the deal by promising to tell his mother that Dom really changed his mind over the holidays. This seals the deal. Dom pays and Lucia jumps on Albie after one last night together. It turns out Alessio’s whole sobbing story was a ploy to appeal to Albie’s naïve, life-saving “wounded bird” side. I don’t know if anyone can “win” The White Lotusbut congratulations to Lucia for coming out of this season 50 thousand euros richer.

And what about the elephant in the room? You know the fact that Dom and Albie, father and son, slept with the same woman? you would think The White Lotus would find a way to reveal this extremely embarrassing fact, but no. Maybe it’s just a secret Dom has to stew with for the rest of his life. But can you imagine the drama if Albie had found out? Now this would have been really delicious.

Mia and Valentina and the start of a beautiful friendship.

A smiling woman in a beige blazer.

Congratulations to our very first surviving manager of the White Lotus Resort.
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

While hotel manager Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) and aspiring singer Mia (Beatrice Grannò) won’t begin a full-fledged romantic relationship, it looks like they will form a new working partnership. Valentina fires pianist Giuseppe (Federico Scribani) after he returns from the hospital (ouch) and replaces him with Mia. She also reunites receptionist Isabella (Eleonora Romandini) with fiancé Rocco (Federico Ferrante), even giving Rocco a warm welcome. Character growth!

Perhaps best of all is Mia’s promise to find Valentina a girlfriend, a process that will involve Mia, Lucia, and Valentina going to “crazy clubs.” white lotus incoming fallout?

Goodbye, Sicily!

A woman watches a man on a beach.

Maybe we’ll see each other on our next vacation?
Credit: Fabio Lovino/HBO

Just like with season 1, season 2 of The White Lotus ends at the airport, with all guests returning home. In a role reversal from their first scenes together, Cameron and Daphne appear more distant from each other, while Ethan and Harper have never been seen more relaxed or affectionate. The three DiGrasso men take a second to discover an attractive young woman, proving that some things really never change. And Portia, wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap wrapped in a scarf to stay incognito, reunites with Albie. They exchange numbers and horror stories (Jack is “deranged”, Lucia “plays” Albie), with a hint that this could be the start of a new relationship.

So there we have it. The White Lotus Season 2 was a wild, messy, wild ride with 100% more gunfights and 100% less suitcase pooping. Will any of these guests reappear in Season 3? Will creator-screenwriter Mike White face justice for stealing Jennifer Coolidge from us? And above all, will the White Lotus Resorts finally fix their unusually high death rates? Seriously, it’s a miracle these places are still open.

The White Lotus Season 2 is now streaming on HBO Max.(opens in a new tab)

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