Perry's Fate On 'Big Little Lies,' Wasn't Quite Satisfying Enough

Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/HBO
Share

Everyone in Monterey was a suspect, but viewers didn't know the identity of the deceased or the killer until the deadly Trivia Night arrived on the Big Little Lies finale — and it was just as dramatic as you'd expect. FINALE SPOILERS AHEAD. Secrets were revealed as Jane identified Perry as the man who raped her and fathered Ziggy, and he dropped the "perfect husband and father" facade. Perry violently attacked and beat Celeste in front of Madeline, Jane, and Renata as the women desperately attempted to fight him off. The series of violent, deeply disturbing events was too much for even the series most even-tempered character to bear and, after sensing his violent behavior earlier in the evening, Bonnie killed Perry on Big Little Lies.

It certainly didn't feel like a tragedy to see Perry die — we've watched him abuse Celeste as a matter of course, and the suspicions of many viewers were confirmed when it was revealed that he and Saxon Banks are one and the same. So, he's inflicted extreme physical and emotional pain on two of the characters that we've grown to know and love throughout the season. His death is hardly one to be mourned, but there's one aspect of this conclusion that troubles me — after being exposed for what he truly is, it feels as though Perry got the easy way out and was never forced to own up to his crimes against Celeste and Jane.

Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/HBO

Of course, as a wealthy white man, I highly doubt Perry would have received an adequate punishment for what he's done. People witnessed him attack Celeste on the balcony and it was fairly clear to everyone on the scene that this wasn't the first time he'd physically harmed her. But Celeste still hasn't confided in anyone about his long history of abuse — much of which was far more violent than what he did on Trivia Night and wasn't witnessed by anyone. Jane's rape occurred over six years ago, and it's a notoriously difficult crime to successfully prosecute — especially when the perpetrator can afford to hire an amazing lawyer.

Still, Perry's image is shattered when Jane names him a rapist and multiple people see that he abuses Celeste. As Dr. Reisman told Celeste earlier in the episode, Perry is "sick" and I can't help but think that, even if the legal system failed both Celeste and Jane, he'd rather die than become a social pariah in Monterey. Of course, I'd rather see Perry die than a beloved character like Madeline, Celeste, or Jane (my heart can only take so much) — but, in a more realistic situation, there would have been a great deal of messy aftermath for Perry, Celeste, and Jane.