Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 1 of The White Lotus.
The episodes leading up to The White Lotus's Season 1 finale were filled with tension. Some fans hoped Rachel would finally leave Shane, the white privilege–laden trust fund baby with mommy issues. Others wanted to see Quinn, the lonely 16-year-old on vacation with his family, come into his own. And everyone else was just eager to find out who died. The Season 1 finale certainly revealed the latter and then some.
So, what happens in the 'White Lotus' season finale? Here's an explanation.
The episode begins as Rachel finally tells Shane she made a mistake marrying him. He doesn't take it well, but she books a separate room. Later, she explains her feelings and fears about staying married to him as his permanent arm candy.
There's also a scene where Shane says he plans to use a knife meant for slicing pineapple for defense against a possible robber in their suite. More on that later.
Elsewhere, the Mossbachers bond over being alive and well after their botched hotel suite break-in. And Olivia and Paula eventually make up over Paula's boyfriend being the masked intruder.
Although it's the day before everyone is set to leave for him, Quinn is the one Mossbacher who isn't ready. He tells his parents he wants to travel on a Hōkūleʻa through Polynesia with some locals, his new (and only) friends.
This is the first time Quinn has shown interest in something other than smartphones and video games, by the way. His parents shoot down his request right away since he's still 16. To be fair, he's a minor, and although his parents have their faults, they're not totally wrong. But if you look past the age thing, Quinn definitely needs this opportunity. He storms off and, it seems, that's the end of it.
We revisit Belinda, who had planned to go into business with Tanya after listening to her problems and being at her beck and call for the majority of the week. But what's this? Tanya ends their would-be partnership to prevent herself from falling into "old patterns" of using her money to control people and slides a stack of cash across the spa counter to Belinda. You know, to ease her own guilt.
It's a low moment for Belinda, but she gets the last laugh when she finally walks out on Rachel, who happens to be another rich white guest using Belinda to pour her heart out. Sad for Rachel, but kind of great for Belinda. Does this mean she's also leaving the White Lotus resort? It's probably well past her time to dip out for good.
The White Lotus season finale ends with an epic showdown that isn't really a showdown as much as it is a total and complete accident. After Armond gets a call from his superior regarding all of Shane's complaints, he goes off on a rampage, certain his firing is imminent.
Remember the knife in Shane and Rachel's suite? After Armond sneaks into their suite to leave a surprise in Shane's suitcase (à la human excrement), Shane arrives before Armond barely has his pants back up from around his ankles.
Of course he smells what the Rock, aka what Armond, was cooking up in his intestines, and he grabs the pineapple knife in preparation of protecting himself from a real intruder.
As Armond tries to sneak out, Shane rounds a corner, knife in hand, and slowly, accidentally, plunges it into Armond's chest. The complete surprise on both men's faces tell viewers Shane never meant to hurt him. But Armond's final moments show him bleeding out in Shane's bathtub.
The episode ends with the guests at the airport, ready to leave for their respective homes. And Shane's wife, who leaves him at the start of the episode, reunites with him in the airport. She assures him she'll "be happy." Did she have a change of heart just because she feels sorry for him after he killed a man in self-defense? Sadly, it seems that way.
One shining moment in the finale, however, comes from Quinn. As he waits in line to board the plane with his family, he watches them go ahead of him. Once they're out of sight, he realizes he has a chance to leave and follow his own path.
So he does. Quinn gets to sail with his friends in Hawaii and leave his old life behind. And after a season of those around him showing their selfish and self-centered ways, it's the perfect ending for him.
There's a Season 2 of 'The White Lotus' in the works.
Regardless of who does or does not return for another season of The White Lotus, it has a future on HBO. The network renewed The White Lotus ahead of the Season 1 finale. It will take viewers to a new location of the White Lotus resort with new characters.
But, chances are, it will involve some of the same intense drama.