Big Little Lies proves that friendships between women aren't just important — they're essential.
Throughout all seven episodes, we watch the core five female characters experience the struggles and hardships that come with being women, wives, and mothers — Jane is a single mom to Ziggy, Renata struggles to be seen as a good mother to Amabella because of her high-powered career, Madeline feels like she's compared to her ex-husband's second wife, Bonnie, and Celeste doesn't find as much fulfillment in being a full-time mother as she does being a lawyer.
On top of that, they also deal with violence and oppression from men. Jane grapples with what it means to be a rape survivor and to be a young mom after having her rapist's child, and Celeste manages the trauma of her physically abusive relationship, which nearly kills her.
But while these realities are the hardest parts of their lives, they're also the things that bring these women together. They can relate to each other, and therefore they rely on each other in ways they can't lean on other people in their lives. No matter how much they love them, their children and husbands cannot understand the magnitude of what it means to be a woman and mother.
And it really is in the moment when Perry is killed that Madeline, Celeste, Jane, Renata, and Bonnie are bonded forever. Not only did they experience this horrific encounter, they survived it because they depended on each other. Without even exchanging words, Jane is able to tell Madeline that Perry is her rapist; and Madeline conveys the same point to Celeste with eye contact. And when Perry hits Celeste, all of the women try their best to physically fight back. Most notably, they all share Bonnie's secret, holding it tight and not letting anyone else in on it.
Big Little Lies shows the unparalleled power of female friendships and how women protect and care for one another, because they need to. Whether they're dealing with life-changing issues or the smaller parts of everyday life, their friendships help these women feel seen, heard, and protected. And in the case of Celeste, they also save lives. —KLY