WARNING: White Lotus spoilers below.
A shocking twist at the end of the latest episode of The White Lotus had viewers taking to social media to try to unpack what they just saw.
In season 2 episode 5, titled “That’s Amore”, Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) takes new friend Quentin (Tom Hollander) up on his invitation to Palermo, thinking she has finally found someone she can trust, Decider reports.
However, that trust is shattered when Tanya, unable to sleep, wanders through the palatial villa and discovers Quentin’s nephew Jack (Leo Woodall) having sex with … Quentin?
Quentin is having sex with his nephew? Is Jack not Quentin’s nephew? What is going on?
Viewers were stunned when the twist played out in the closing minutes of this week’s episode, which airs locally on Binge and Foxtel*.
“Well, there’s a whole load of stuff about what’s real and what isn’t real by that point in the story,” Hollander told Decider. “And consistent with that, I’m not sure I can even remember whether we’re nephew and uncle.
“Are we actually? We’re not, are we?” he asked co-star Woodall, who was also on the call.
“I think no. I don’t know,” Woodall said. “I think you’re supposed to ask yourself all the questions at the end.”
“I’m not sure that you ever really get an answer to that,” Hollander said. “Though one clue is possibly in the fact that they have completely different voices. So you might go, if you were a pedant about the nuances of British accents, you’d go, ‘Hmmm, he doesn’t sound anything like him. His nephew sounds like he’s from Essex and the uncle sounds like he’s from, you know, Boris Johnson’s house.’
“But that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be. They still could be. You know, there are lots of posh people that pretend they’re not posh.”
We first met Quentin and Jack back in episode 3 of season 2.Quentin had caught sight of Tanya at dinner while Jack drew the attention of Tanya’s lovelorn assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) by the pool.
Tanya soon found herself revelling in the fun that Quentin and his cadre of gay European men were having. Likewise, Portia was caught up in lust with Jack. It’s a relationship Woodall described as “a lot of fun.”
“I think he thinks she’s very sweet and there’s obviously a lot of attraction there and they’re just having a good time,” Woodall said. “I think he is fulfilling for her exactly what she wanted at the beginning of the series.”
Meanwhile, it seems that Jack is fulfilling a very similar task for his “uncle” Quentin. Much like in Season 1 of The White Lotus, where creator/writer/director Mike White let the audience (and a White Lotus guest) catch a character in a super intimate moment, Quentin and Jack’s sex scene leaves little to the imagination. Woodall sung the praises of intimacy co-ordinator Miriam Lucia in helping create a safe environment for the scene.
“It was a closed set. Tom and I had already hit it off by that point and it was a laugh, you know? It was completely ridiculous, but it was really, you know, well handled. So yeah it was fun,” Woodall said.
“It is quite intimate to do an intimate scene,” Hollander said. “You do have the experience in a way, without actually performing the act itself. Literally you virtually are, and you sort of feel – you slightly feel like you have just had sex with someone and it’s in the nicest possible way. By which I mean, it was an experience that brought us together. Leo, am I saying anything disastrous?”
“No, not at all,” Woodall said. “I felt very close to you after this, Tom.”
“Yeah, so it was nice,” Hollander said. “And everyone was terribly nice about it and sweet and respectful and–”
“Favourite bit was when you were workshopping at the very beginning which positions you should be in,” Woodall said, without elaborating too much from there.
So what does this revelation mean for Tanya? Will she leave Palermo? Is she in any sort of physical or financial danger with Quentin? And will Tanya tell Portia that her new boy toy was with his “uncle?”
How will all this work in the final two episodes of The White Lotus Season 2? Or is the point that nothing does work out?
“I suppose that’s the thing about the whole show, The White Lotus,” Hollander said. “This is what we’re watching. We’re watching the misery of people who have everything, but it doesn’t work.”
*Foxtel and Binge are majority-owned by News Corp, publisher of this website
This story originally appeared on Decider and is republished here with permission