The White Lotus season 2 ending explained: Who dies in the finale?

Aubrey Plaza in The White Lotus season 2
(Image credit: HBO)

The White Lotus season 2 finale has exploded onto our screens, and things certainly went out with a bang rather than a whimper. We finally found out which hotel guests met tragic ends and, in typical White Lotus fashion, there were plenty of surprises in store, too. Each storyline was neatly wrapped up while still leaving us with plenty of questions, but we wouldn't expect anything less from series creator, writer, and director Mike White. This isn't the end for the hit comedy-drama, either – The White Lotus season 3 has already been confirmed, but, for now, let's break down what exactly what happened in season 2's dramatic conclusion. 

It goes without saying, of course, that there are major spoilers for The White Lotus season 2 finale ahead. Proceed with caution if you haven't seen the episode yet and don't want to know what happens! 

Who dies in The White Lotus season 2? 

Meghann Fahy and Theo James in The White Lotus season 2

(Image credit: HBO)

In The White Lotus season 2 finale, we finally learn the identity of the dead body discovered in the ocean by Daphne (Meghann Fahy) in episode 1. It's Tanya, played by Jennifer Coolidge, who dies. The other bodies found belong to Quentin (Tom Hollander) and his associates.

Earlier in the episode, Quentin and his friends take Tanya back to the hotel from the palazzo in Palermo on their yacht. The yacht drops anchor a little way from the shore, but Quentin assures Tanya that Niccolo, Quentin's drug dealer and potential mafia connection, will take her back to the hotel on a smaller boat after they all have dinner. Tanya is suspicious and pretends to use the bathroom so she can investigate what's in Niccolo's duffel bag. It's the gun from episode 6, plus some rope and tape – a textbook kill kit. She locks herself in a bedroom and, when Quentin and co. start trying to open the door, she begins to shoot the gun at random with her eyes closed.

She emerges from the room to find Didier and Niccolo dead. Hugo is still alive, but runs away and jumps off the yacht into the water. Quentin is bleeding out but still conscious, and Tanya asks him whether her husband Greg (Jon Gries) was having an affair. He's too weak to answer, and gives her one last withering look in his final moments. 

With the threat to her life eliminated, Tanya attempts to get off the yacht and into the dinghy so she can make her way back to the hotel. She jumps from the deck of the yacht, but misses the dinghy, hits her head, and drowns in the ocean.

What happened to Portia?

Haley Lu Richardson in The White Lotus season 2

(Image credit: HBO)

Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) gets increasingly desperate to get back to the hotel and confronts Jack (Leo Woodall) about his relationship with Quentin. Jack says it's his "job" to take Portia back to the White Lotus, but he ends up dropping her at the airport instead and warns her not to return to the hotel.

She reunites with brief former fling Albie (Adam DiMarco) at the airport. Albie asks if she heard that a guest drowned at the hotel and that other bodies were found on a yacht, which makes Portia realize it must be Tanya. Her response? To ask Albie for his number. 

Did Harper cheat on Ethan?

Will Sharpe, Aubrey Plaza, Meghann Fahy, and Theo James in The White Lotus

(Image credit: HBO)

Ethan (Will Sharpe) is convinced that his wife Harper (Aubrey Plaza) had sex with Cameron (Theo James). When he accosts her about it, she says that they kissed in their hotel room, but that was it. Ethan doesn't believe her and he confronts Cameron on the beach – the two get into a physical fight in the ocean until a stranger breaks them up.  

Ethan then finds Daphne and tells her of his suspicions. Daphne tells him that he needs to do whatever he needs in order to "not feel like a victim," and the two of them go for a walk to a secluded area of the beach. When they return, the two couples reunite for their last dinner, and both pairs seem at ease with each other. When Ethan and Harper go back to their room, Ethan seems energized and full of renewed passion for his wife. While we don't know exactly what happened while Ethan and Daphne were alone, it's possible that they had sex to get back at their respective (supposedly) cheating spouses. 

What happened to Lucia and Mia?

Beatrice Granno and Simona Tabasco in The White Lotus season 2

(Image credit: HBO)

Believing that Lucia (Simona Tabasco) is in danger from a pimp named Alessio, Albie convinces his father Dominic (Michael Imperioli) to send €‎50,000 to her by promising to put in a good word for Dominic with his mother. Albie and Lucia sleep together again one last time on Albie's last night at the White Lotus, but she sneaks away before Albie wakes up, leading him to realize he got played. 

As for Mia, she gets a permanent gig playing the piano and singing in the White Lotus restaurant after sleeping with hotel manager Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore). The pair have seemingly formed a real friendship, and Mia promises that her and Lucia will take Valentina to Sicily's gay clubs and introduce her to some "hot girls."

With €‎50,000 to their name, along with the money finally paid to them by Cameron, Lucia and Mia are set financially. Lucia previously stated that she wanted to open her own boutique, and she's certainly in a position to do that now.

If you're up to date with The White Lotus, fill out your watch list with our picks of the best new TV shows coming our way in the next few months.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.