The White Lotus is finally back on HBO. After an explosive first season set in Hawaii, creator Mike White’s social satire returns with season 2 as the new, “volcanic” installment set at a Sicilian luxury resort follows an ensemble of eccentric guests and employees, whose lives clash in unexpected ways.
Much like the first installment, the new episodes open with an unidentified person in a body bag, leaving viewers to wonder who will end up dead or murdered. However, this being season 2, White ups the ante – and it is revealed in the premiere, “Caio,” that more than one person will not make it out alive.
With a new murder mystery opening the season, here’s what ET knows about who’s alive, who could be dead and what the cast has said about who’s in danger. [Warning: Minor spoilers for the first episode of The White Lotus season 2.]
In the opening scene of “Caio,” viewers meet Daphne Babock (Meghann Fahy), a stay-at-home mom who is on a trip with her husband, Cameron (Theo James), and another married couple, Ethan and Harper Spiller (Will Sharpe and Aubrey Plaza).
It’s now the end of their weeklong stay at the White Lotus resort in Sicily, with Daphne, who is noticeably alone on the beach, revealing to some arriving guests that “we leave in a few hours.” She then gushes about how amazing her stay was, before ominously telling them, “You’re going to die. They’re going to have to drag your body out of here.”
But their survival is not the ones we’re worried about. And it’s soon after Daphne goes into the water that the viewers catch a glimpse of a dead body floating face-down not far off shore.
After the shocking discovery, hotel manager Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) arrives to assess the situation when one of her staff tells her that “some other bodies have been found” and that “other guests have been killed.” Though, the information is scant, and when asked how many, she’s only told “a few.”
The episode then flashes back to the beginning of the week as all the guests arrive. So, who among them is dead? Well, unlike last year, the hotel staff is safe, with Valentina avoiding Armond’s fate in season 1. But aside from Daphne, it’s unclear who is left standing among her friends and the other groups.
In addition to Daphne’s foursome, there are the three generations of Italian Americans, the elderly Bert Di Grasso (F. Murray Abraham), his Hollywood producer son, Dominic (Michael Imperioli), and grandson, the recent college graduate Albie (Adam DiMarco), all traveling together.
The three other Americans visiting at the same time includes Tanya McQuid (Jennifer Coolidge), her new husband Greg (Jon Gries), whom she met at the White Lotus in Hawaii, and her put-upon assistant, Portia (Haley Lu Richardson), who was dragged on the couple’s honeymoon much to everyone’s chagrin.
Later in the season, viewers will meet other travelers, including the gay English expat Quentin (Tom Hollander) and his nephew, Jack (Leo Woodall), as well as two local friends, Mia (Beatrice Grannò) and Lucia (Simona Tabasco), who frequent the resort.
Grannò, meanwhile, jokes that despite proving to be a talented singer and piano player, Mia’s fate is tied to her musical ambitions. “The music will bring her down,” she quips.
When asked about whether audiences should be worried about Dominic, who comes with his own personal baggage and hangups associated with his father and son, Imperioli suggested fans should be concerned. “I would be worried,” he says, before suggesting that he does not deserve that kind of fate. “I mean, personally, no [but] you may think differently.”
But Gries also says viewers should be “worried” about Greg, who doesn’t like the fact that his wife has brought a third person on their romantic getaway. “You should all be worried,” he teases.
Finally, James, whose character Cameron may have ulterior motives for inviting his former college roommate and his partner on a group trip with him and his wife, says viewers “should be worried ’cause, you know, he’s a bit of a dark motherf**ker.”
When asked if Cameron deserves to be killed, James says, “Yeah, maybe.”
While it’s unclear who may be the victims, and why, the cast promises that the characters’ motivations will start revealing themselves as the season goes on.
When it comes to Harper, who immediately clashes with her travel companions, “she comes on really strong and has this kind of hard outer shell,” Plaza says, adding that “she’s got a really vulnerable side to her” that audiences will eventually get to see.
Meanwhile, James teases that episode 5 is when Cameron’s intentions are addressed head on, explaining that there’s “a purpose” to everything we see in the beginning before it all comes together in later episodes.
The White Lotus season 2 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.