‘The White Lotus’: Is Daphne a Murderer in the Making?
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The White Lotus Season 2, Episode 5, “That’s Amore.”]
The White Lotus continues to deliver plenty of twists and turns as it approaches the end of its second season, and the mystery remains, who will die?
The answer feels like it’s becoming clearer and clearer with each passing episode, especially when it comes to Cameron (Theo James). The arrogant and entitled man has pushed boundaries that don’t seem to have a limit following Episode 5, “That’s Amore.” Along with taunting his friend and college roommate Ethan (Will Sharpe) about his quirks, he’s butted heads with Ethan’s wife Harper (Aubrey Plaza) until he didn’t in this episode.
Meanwhile, Cameron’s wife Daphne (Meghann Fahy) has appeared to be a resigned observer, putting on an appearance of a breezy, easy-go-lucky woman who accepts the things she cannot change, and does what she needs to in order to live that way. But is there something brewing under the surface?
It’s beginning to feel like Daphne could play a larger role in the outcome of certain characters’ fates by the conclusion of Season 2, particularly when it comes to the three other guests traveling with her. As viewers will recall, she opened the season sitting on the resort’s beach area before taking a dip in the ocean and discovering a body.
Set a week following her initial arrival, the scene doesn’t identify the teased victim Daphne discovers, but it’s clear she isn’t one of Season 2’s casualties which includes “a few guests.” So, what could make us think Daphne will be a murderer? Season 2 has centered around the power dynamics between men and women, particularly when it comes to infidelity, whether it’s Dominic (Michael Imperioli) or Cameron’s trysts with locals Lucia (Simona Tabasco) and Mia (Beatrice Grannò).
And while Daphne talks to Harper about infidelity in her marriage during an excursion away from the hotel, we have yet to see a direct reaction to such behavior. She told Harper that when it comes to Cameron, she does whatever she needs to in order to get by, suggesting she’s cool with her husband’s actions as she’ll retaliate in her seemingly innocent ways.
But would Daphne feel the same way if the person Cameron cheats with is Harper? The fifth installment certainly implied that’s where things may be headed for the former foes, so to say. During a tense dinner, that included Lucia approaching Cameron for money after his drunken night with her and Mia, he makes the bold move of caressing Harper’s leg out of view of Ethan and Daphne. It takes a minute for her to push his hand away, but when she does, she smiles.
Is it a nervous reaction, or a sign of things to come? It’s slightly unclear when Harper later sits down with Daphne to have a glass of wine and a cigarette. Understanding what Cameron had done with Lucia and Mia from Ethan finally telling the truth about a discarded condom wrapper she found in their room, Harper implies to Daphne that something happened while they were away from the hotel.
Daphne doesn’t appear alarmed as she says, “And if anything ever did happen, you just do what you have to do to make yourself feel better about it.” So far in Harper’s observations, this has included renting out a palazzo and purposely stoking the feelings of FOMO in Cameron. The mind games don’t seem to be that big of a deal at the time as Harper was more interested in proving Daphne and Cameron don’t have a perfect relationship, but perhaps that’s the less extreme side of Daphne that she’s seeing.
Along with doing whatever she has to in order to make herself feel better about life, Daphne tells Harper, “I have this trainer in the city. Lawrence. He’s so handsome. He has blonde hair and these, like, big blue eyes. He’s really funny too. I spend more time with him than Cameron sometimes. ‘Cause he’s so busy at work. Such a cutie.”
The benign mention is then juxtaposed with a major implication when Daphne asks Harper if she wants to see a picture of the trainer and then shows her a photo of her kids, one of which has blonde hair and blue eyes. Could Daphne have cheated on Cameron and gotten pregnant with another man’s baby? Harper’s taken-aback expression hints at the uncomfortable realization that Daphne’s relationship is way more complicated than she set out to prove.
And the exchange doesn’t end there as Daphne tells Harper, “maybe the point is, you should get a trainer.” The suggestion is that Harper needs to get something in her life that will satisfy the shortcomings of her current situation. Considering Harper’s fragile state following Ethan’s lies to her, she may be aiming to get back at him by doing the one thing that would irk him the most — hooking up with Cameron.
But it feels like it may be more than just a private tryst. Could Harper and Cameron’s potential hookup involve Ethan as well, and if so, where would it leave them with Daphne? One early remark made by Daphne still sticks out in our minds as she gushed in the first episode about her TV obsession.
“We do a lot of Dateline. I love it,” Daphne told Harper and Ethan. “Husbands murdering their wives. Happens a lot on vacation. Scuba diving. He’ll just unplug her oxygen while she’s underwater. Happens more than you think.” Could it be hinting at a plan she’s concocting in her head or a bit of knowledge that will come into unexpected use following whatever’s about to happen next?
Should something happen between Harper and Cameron, we wouldn’t put it past Daphne to come up with a Dateline-worthy death for her husband, and potentially the other parties present for his cheating. But would she go so far as to kill Harper? It’s uncertain but doesn’t feel like the proper tone for a season essentially condemning the pitfalls of male behaviors.
In the words of Daphne, “maybe the point is” don’t go scuba diving with her because Cameron’s chances of survival grow slimmer with each passing episode, and her involvement in that fate appears to have grown as well. Could Daphne be one of the vacation killers she believes are more common than people would believe? Viewers are sure to find out sooner than later with two more episodes left this season.
What do you think, is Daphne capable of murder? Let us know in the comments, below, and stay tuned as Season 2 of The White Lotus continues on HBO.
The White Lotus, Season 2, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO and HBO Max