Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Push Comes to Shove

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Our friends in Monterey continue striving to make a difference and keep their heads above water. It's working better for some than others.

With Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 4, the tension is ratcheted up a bit as things move relatively slow, but by doing so reveal more kinks in the armor of every character.

Saving Avenue Q, a dinner proposed by Bonnie to help in the parental transition of raising Abigail, and Ziggy's continuing problems in first grade were the catalysts to action during "Push Comes to Shove."

The Family - Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 4

It shouldn't have come as much of a shock that Madeline had an affair with Joseph in the past, but that she'd be willing to step into it and egg him on again is a bit disappointing.

Ed already has issued worrying over Nathan being the one, and here we have Madeline stepping out on Ed.

Clearly, Celeste and Perry are not the only ones who need some help with their marriage, even if for different reasons. 

I didn't want to think about what I witnessed on Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 3, but after seeing Ed ogling all of the women (Bonnie included) at the yoga studio, it's pretty apparent he's about to fall off the affair edge, as well. 

That he's so sexually deprived he'd even size up Abigail made her moving out and in with Nathan and Bonnie a good idea. Could Bonnie have wondered if Ed might have inappropriate thoughts about Abigail?

Ed and Bonnie - Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 4

That bit about liking sweat on women was downright weird.

Bonnie: Hi.
Ed: Hi. I just love sweat on women. Sorry. That was just a general statement.

That whole conversation was incredibly uncomfortable. Sure, it makes sense Ed and Bonnie would be the ones to keep Madeline and Nathan on point during the dinner, but Ed could have sent that to Bonnie in a test message.

Going to the studio and then acting so bizarrely merely made everything even more awkward in preparation for the dinner.

There are a lot of good points to Madeline and Ed's marriage. I hope they discover how lucky they are to have one another before they allow themselves to drift so far apart there will be no way to repair what they had. 

Shake it up a little, have some fun. Stop treating each other like you're friends, and the passion can't be found. That's bull. If Ed can whip on an Elvis Presley costume for Karaoke night, there's little doubt he can make things pop in other ways. 

Feeling Whole - Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 4

They're very lucky, and then there are Celeste and Perry. 

Celeste felt great after the legal meeting, taking back some of who she was before Perry and allowing herself some self-control.

Having someone dictate who you are and will be isn't cool on any spectrum, and you know it's bad when the lie you tell to find help leads to more violence.

Trouble Brewing - Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 4

I didn't expect Celeste to wind up back in the therapist's office, but that's a step in the right direction. The therapist is also asking the questions that will get Celeste out of her head. It's not communication tips she needs, but to discover why she's afraid to talk to her own husband about what she wants so badly. 

What an awful way to live. 

Perry cannot stand to allow Celeste a single thought of her own. When she initially talked about providing some legal help, he tried to rope her in with daddy of the year status by suggesting another child.

The jump on, tantalize, jump off disgusted me because Celeste is such a horny wench she can't even manage to prove she's above his tricks while he's manipulating her in such a way.

Has she no shame at all? 

Then we had poor Ziggy, being singled out again by his teacher because of what he appeared to know about Amabella. To her credit, she now feels he knows something about Amabella that doesn't include him.

Somehow, Ziggy and Amabella have formed a friendship after their terrifying first day at school, and Ziggy may be watching out for her. To keep Ziggy out of further hot Water, she makes a suggestion to Jane.

The Last Time This Happened - Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 4

With the wonderful day Jane planned for Ziggy, if she had been on The Sopranos, she would have killed the little guy at the end of it. Put him right out of his misery. Thankfully, this isn't The Sopranos.

Ziggy: The last time we had pizza and we went to the zoo, you told me were moving to Monterey. What now?
Jane: You're going to go see a child psychologist.

Jane needed a win for her and Ziggy. She was ready to pick up and head back home with her mom. While I believe she came to Monterey to find details about his father, she would have put that aside to ensure Ziggy was safe and happy.

Outside the garbage at school, he is safe and happy. The child psychologist said he's sweet, well-adjusted and shows great empathy toward others. Jane did a great job raising him despite her fears about his father. That's quite an achievement.

Still, even after learning all of the positive news about Ziggy, Madeline showed Jane a photo of a possible Saxon Banks. In Jane's mind, she's set to kill the guy. Visualizing it as much as she does, it wouldn't be difficult for her to do it. 

Breaking down into sobs on the floor of her house at the thought of any of it, though, throws doubt in there. She held it in for so long. She never got help. As she told Madeline, she's just now able to think about men again in a possibly pleasing way.

All of her former feelings are coming back to haunt her, and she's dealing with them all over again.

What will this crescendo rise to and how will the pieces fall? I can't wait to find out. 

Let me know what you thought of this one. What's going to happen next? Which character stood out to you and surprised you by way of their actions? 

Hit the comments.

Push Comes to Shove Review

Editor Rating: 4.15 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (48 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

It's actually really weird. Ever since I told you about Ziggy's dad, it's like this thing is happening to my body. Like it's waking up again.


Bonnie: Hi.
Ed: Hi. I just love sweat on women. Sorry. That was just a general statement.