It took about three minutes for me to become unhealthily invested in HBO’s masterful new show White Lotus, a social satire exploring the subtle exploits of the employees and guests at a fictional hotel in Hawaii.
In the opening minutes of episode 1, a man named Shane (Jake Lacy) sits alone in an airport terminal. He’s fidgeting with his wedding ring and he looks distracted. A couple sitting opposite Shane strike up a conversation with him, and ask where he stayed.
“White Lotus,” Shane answers.
“White Lotus? Our guide told us someone was killed there.”
“The body’s on our plane.”
After an irritated Shane tells the couple to fuck off for asking him where his wife is – Shane did tell them he was on his honeymoon – he approaches the window and watches as staff transfer a crate with “human remains” into the plane.
That is the first three minutes and 25 seconds of the series, before the story rewinds one week and introduces us to a slew of very different hotel guests who are on the way to the White Lotus.
By the end of the week, one of these people will die and with only one episode left to go… I still have no real idea who it will be. This show is SO chaotic, it could be any of them.
Well, almost any of them.
So, here are the characters from White Lotus ranked by how likely I think they’ll reach an untimely death.
Shane travels to the White Lotus with his new bride Rachel (Alexandra Daddario), and even though I hate him with the burning heat of a thousand suns, Shane is the only character who I am 100 per cent sure doesn’t die. He’s the one who watches the coffin get loaded into the plane in episode 1, so it can’t be him.
Unless Shane’s mum Kitty (Molly Shannon) returns from whatever resort she was bragging about going to with her mate after crashing her son’s honeymoon, then I don’t think she’s the one.
I doubt it’ll be Kai (Kekoa Kekumano), because why would they fly his body out? The land White Lotus is on rightfully belongs to him and his community. So that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
I don’t think Dillon (Lukas Gage) will die because I don’t think it’ll be a hotel employee. Plus, I just don’t think he’s pissed anyone off enough to be worth killing, you know?
At the beginning of episode 1, that random couple says “someone was killed”, not ‘someone died’. The one person who would want to silence Dillon is Armond (Murray Bartlett), who took advantage of him and their working relationship.
But I don’t think Armond is a killer.
Greg (Jon Gries) is introduced pretty late in the series as Tanya’s (Jennifer Coolidge) neighbour who she later sleeps with. Initially pushed away by Tanya because she’s an insecure onion with layers – her words, not mine – Greg refuses to leave Tanya and they spend another night together.
Greg also has a bad cough, but otherwise he seems fit.
Unless something big happens with his character in the finale, his death would seem kind of… meh.
Rachel, a freelance journalist, is initially happy when she arrives at White Lotus. But that quickly changes when she realises she married an absolute pelican who is rude to staff and belittles her career.
So, is Rachel the one who’ll die? I think that’s a natural conclusion to come to, considering what happened during the airport scene in episode 1. But I think it’s too obvious.
Instead, I think she’ll leave Shane. And I hope she goes off and writes a yarn or an Eat, Pray, Love-esque memoir about marrying the wrong man and spectacularly dumping him on their honeymoon, which inevitably leads to a few thousand followers on Instagram. All is well.
No, I don’t think Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) will die.
Watching her dreams of owning a wellness centre be slowly strangled to death by Tanya… is death enough for Belinda (and us).
Let’s face it, the annoying rich white people never die.
Armond’s been through the absolute wringer, hey? He was really affected by Lani’s (Jolene Purdy) pregnancy, which he took hard because he didn’t notice she was in labour. Combine that with double-booking the pineapple suite, thus triggering the wrath of one Shane Patton, and you have a man diving off the edge and breaking his sobriety.
I don’t think Armond will die, though. I think the series will give him a more chaotic ending instead.
(I don’t think Lani will die, either. Unless she makes a miraculous return in episode 6???)
It could be Tanya. Sure, she’s very rich and very white, but she’s also alone. Nicole (Connie Britton) and Mark (Steve Zahn) have an entire family – kill one, and there’s still a spouse and children to inherit the fortune. Kill Tanya, and her money… well, where would it go?
Greg seems like a minor character, but is he capable of murder? He could be after Tanya’s money, maybe? Or, again, he could be the one who dies because of his bad cough. But from what we’ve seen of him so far, that would be kinda anti-climatic.
I can’t see Kai attempting another robbery either… after what happened last time.
My god, Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) sucks. She sucks so much, I can’t stand her. And for that reason and that reason alone, I don’t think she’ll die. That’d be too easy and too satisfying for a show this smart.
I do think she’ll get into a scuffle with Paula (Brittany O’Grady) though, because I think she’s caught on to who robbed her parents.
Could it be Paula?
She’s filled with so much anger and resentment because of Olivia and her parents that I think she’s more capable of killing than being killed.
My prediction is Olivia will confront Paula over the robbery, but won’t go to police or her parents because she enjoys holding power over Paula. They get into a scuffle and shit goes down, but neither die.
I reckon it’s going to be Quinn in the crate. He’s just so wildly overlooked by his own family, it’s disturbing.
He’s also maybe one of two characters whose growth in the series is actually… nice. Quinn goes from aggressive outbursts and being glued to his Switch and phone to being the only character we see who actually steps beyond hotel grounds, re: canoeing with local men who embrace him as “brother Quinn”.
Not to mention, the music supporting Quinn’s growth is positive and uplifting in comparison to the angsty, creepy music throughout the series. It’s too nice, I don’t trust it!
And his mum, Nicole, is convinced her white son is a victim in today’s day and age. So maybe he will be, after all.
Maybe he’ll see something he shouldn’t have, maybe he’ll ‘drown’ in the water while scuba diving, or maybe he’ll try and be “heroic” like his dad and it’ll all go wrong.
White Lotus is available to stream now on Binge and Foxtel, with the sixth and final episode set to premiere on Monday, 16 August, AEST.