Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for the Season 2 finale of “The White Lotus.”
If you’ve been part of the cultural moment that is “The White Lotus,” you’ve most probably inhaled this weekend’s Season 2 finale already and are eager for any details on the third installment of the HBO series.
After the staggering events of the finale, creator Mike White – who shepherded the at-first one-off limited series to a multiple Emmy-winning show that’s captured the zeitgeist and created cringeworthy moments aplenty – gave a post-credits interview that unpacked the episode. He also speculated on where Season 3 might take place, and what it would focus on. (CNN and HBO are both part of the same parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.)
“The first season kind of highlighted money, and then the second season is sex,” White said. “I think the third season would be maybe a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality. It feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round at ‘White Lotus.’” (Season 1 of the show took place in Hawaii, followed by this season’s bawdy action set in Sicily.)
That’s not the only clue White has dropped for the next season of “Lotus,” which already jumped halfway around the world once, from the Pacific to the Mediterranean.
“I think it’d be fun to maybe go to a whole different continent. You know, we did Europe, and maybe Asia, something crazy like that, that would be fun,” White told Deadline in October, going on to mention Japan as a potential contender for the setting of the third ritzy White Lotus resort.
Another possible hint came in the Season 2 finale itself, when Daphne (Meghann Fahy) says in a toast, “Next year, the Maldives!” during a painfully awkward dinner with her three (mostly unwilling) travel companions.
In the post-finale interview this weekend, White also talked about the shocking death involving fan-favorite character Tanya McQuoid (played Emmy-winner Jennifer Coolidge), and how the fallout from it might involve some recurring characters in Season 3.
“It’s possible that Portia (Tanya’s personal assistant played by Haley Lu Richardson) is scared enough to just leave it alone, but the fact that all of those guys die on the boat, it feels like there’s gotta be somebody who’s gonna track it down to Greg (Jon Gries). But maybe you’ll have to wait to find out what happens,” he teased.
Gries and Coolidge were the only two Season 1 cast members to appear in the second installment, and it could be interesting to see how Gries’ character Greg negotiates the hairy situation left at the end of this season, which heavily suggested that he remotely orchestrated his wife’s (ultimately bungled) murder in order to get her money.
But there’s a strong chance Richardson’s Portia could return as well, since even if she’s scared off by Jack’s (Leo Woodall) warning, authorities would definitely come to her for questioning during their investigation in the finale’s aftermath, as she was registered as a guest at the White Lotus in Sicily under Tanya’s reservation.
While it remains to be seen which cast members may come back for Season 3, White told Deadline that he does think “it’s fun to bring somebody back” from each season.
Whether Richardson will return or not, she has her own ideas for fresh faces in the cast for the third go-round, telling Today last week that Jamie Lee Curtis would be her pick for a new White Lotus guest.
“I feel like she would just be so chaotic,” Richardson said of the Golden Globe-nominated “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once” actress.