Spoilers ahead for Big Little Lies Season 2, Episode 6. Season 2 may be inching to a close, but Big Little Lies has only just started to address its central question: how close is Detective Quinlan to figuring out the truth about Perry's death? And will the Monterey Five ever get caught?
Quinlan's first big move is revealed by Corey, who tries to assure a panicking Jane that he was only at the police station because he was called in for questioning. "She knows your history with this guy, she knows he raped you, she knows he's Ziggy's dad, and she clearly doesn't think he slipped," he tells Jane. In other words: Jane is a suspect, and Quinlan is actively building a case against her.
Quinlan has a message for the rest of the Monterey Five too, which Corey shares: "She said with five witnesses the odds are in her favor. One of you will finally crack. The first one who does gets a break, the other four are f*cked." The Monterey Five have always known that if one of them breaks, they're all going down. But the clearer it becomes that Quinlan isn't letting this go (and now that she's offered a deal for whoever comes forward), the chances of someone confessing are getting an increasingly higher.
Quinlan has also been working with Mary Louise's attorneys to include questioning about Perry's death in Celeste's custody trial. Each of the Monterey Five were alerted that they could be called to the stand — in which case they'd have to answer, under oath, any questions the prosecution might ask. Quinlan may not have enough evidence to bring a murder case to trial, but since Celeste is on trial anyway, she's taking advantage by adding her friends to the witness list.
Ultimately, only Celeste has to take the stand, but the questioning is nothing short of brutal. The prosecutor pulls up a simulation of Perry's fall for the court, which he narrates: "This is where your husband would have landed from a natural fall. Now, this is where he did land. The physics say that for him to have landed there, he must have been pushed. So, I dare to ask: did you push him?"
Thankfully, Celeste's lawyer manages to cut off the questioning, but the exchange provides valuable insight about what evidence the Monterey Police Department has — and exactly how convinced Quinlan is of the women's guilt. Perry's "fall" doesn't match what a fall should look like, and she believes both Celeste and Jane had clear motive to hurt him. And if that wasn't enough to make Quinlan hellbent on solving the case, Mary Louise is now urging her on.
Though Mary Louise is focused on getting custody of Celeste's twins at the moment, don't forget why she initially came to town. She doesn't believe that Perry was pushed, and she's been suspicious of every one of Celeste's friends. She's also been gathering information of her own: "Ziggy told me you purchased a gun," she tells Jane. "Did you plan to use it on my son? Did you move to Monterey to hunt him down?"
If Jane and Celeste are facing the worst of it, Bonnie may be next up. Mary Louise has already directed some suspicion at her, and Quinlan noted Bonnie's emotional reaction in court. Bonnie also accosted Quinlan in the hospital, thinking she was there to question her, and has been hanging out by the police station — something that can't have gone wholly unnoticed. Will Quinlan go after her next? And will Bonnie, so wracked with guilt, be able to resist breaking down and confessing?
Finally, though Madeline and Renata have the least suspicion on them, that doesn't make them less at risk of exposing the secret. Madeline has already been tempted to tell Ed, and if she does, he could go to the police as revenge for her affair, or out of a sense of moral duty. And given Renata's current financial situation, it's possible that she could seek a monetary reward for offering up information — or at least be unwilling to risk the legal damage of not coming forward first.
It could be that Quinlan's long game is paying off, and that the Monterey Five are now worn down enough to crack. But these women have surprised us with their resilience before — the only question is whether they can be as strong for each other as they are for themselves.