We all know Meryl Streep's scream cemented her position as Big Little Lies MVP right at the start of season two, but can we talk about what a petty QUEEN she is as Mary Louise Wright? Sure, we've known Meryl herself was a boss for, like, ever. She has so much pull that she pretty much made season two happen and didn't ask anyone's permission to have fake teeth made for the role.
Still, who knew Perry’s mom breathed fire? Every time she interacts with Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), it’s like a master class in emotional warfare. Seriously, I’m learning so much from her about getting in my enemy’s head that I decided to start taking notes.
Here, how to be petty like Mary Louise Wright. Check back for updates as the season continues.
DON'T DIGNIFY STUPID QUESTIONS WITH NICETIES.
Am I okay, Madeline? WHAT DO YOU THINK? Honestly, how could Madeline even try to come back from this?
TURN A SIMPLE OBSERVATION INTO AN INSULT.
Honestly, you can make anything a dig with the right tone of voice. "Your eyes are... very blue." All of a sudden, your foe is questioning their entire existence based on something they have literally no control over. I, personally, would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat wondering what it even means.
Just remember what you said to use as ammo in the future. For example, when Madeline runs into Mary Louise at her real estate office just a few scenes later, Mary Louise delivers a crushing blow.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO GO TO EXTREMES.
Obviously, one of Mary Louise's main goals is to get inside her daughter-in-law's head and undermine her to her children. As they say, all is fair in love and finding out what happened to your dead son.
When you're attempting to get at the truth with a shady suspect, you're going to have to get a little dirty. Interrogating a grieving widow after she suffers from a night terror? Definitely fair game.
If your plan is to make your prey insecure by undermining them at all times, look no further than Mary Louise at family dinner when Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman) attempts to talk to her children about the appropriate ways to deal with their grief. Here comes the scream:
There is no halfway.
BE HONEST TO A FAULT.
If you want to keep the upper hand, be brutally honest. You don't want anyone to be able to undercut you by calling you two-faced. If people try to convince you that you're wrong, double down.
This goes for your adversary as well. Just tell it like it is, and nobody can come for you.