Archive for July 21st, 2019

Drivers of burned-out truck found in Northern B.C. now considered missing – CBC News

July 21st, 2019

RCMP say the two young male drivers of a pickup truck found on fire in Northern B.C., close to a dead body, are now considered missing.

On Friday, RCMP discovered the burning truck, fitted with a sleeping camper, near Dease Lake, B.C. They found the body the same day, about two kilometres away in a highway pullout.

RCMP now say the truck’s drivers, 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, both from Port Alberni, B.C., haven’t been in contact with their families for the past few days.

The pair were travelling in the pickup to visit Whitehorse and look for work, police say, and may be in an area without cellphone coverage. RCMP are asking anyone who may have seen them to call police. 

Police say they’re working to identify the body found near the burned vehicle, but officers now know that it isn’t Schmegelsky or McLeod. They’re still figuring out how the body and the vehicle are related, if at all.

Police released this image of a camper truck that they say Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were driving, which was eventually found on fire on Friday, July 19, 2019. (B.C. RCMP)

Schmegelsky and McLeod were last spotted in the red and grey Dodge pickup truck travelling south from the Super A general store in Dease Lake at around 3:15 p.m. last Thursday. 

Kam McLeod is described as:

  • 6 foot 4 or 1.93 metres tall.
  • Weighing approximately 169 pounds or 77 kilograms.
  • Having dark brown hair and facial hair.
  • Having brown eyes.

Bryer Schmegelsky is described as:

  • 6 foot 4 or 1.93 metres tall.
  • Weighing approximately 169 pounds or 77 kilograms.
  • Having sandy brown hair.

‘Growing community concerns’

Police admit there are “growing community concerns” after a total of five people have been declared missing or murdered Northern B.C. in the past week — although officers say they don’t know if the cases are related. 

Earlier last week, a couple was found dead about 470 kilometres away on a remote stretch of highway. The young couple had been travelling through Northern B.C. to Alaska in a camper van.

RCMP are asking the public to take general safety precautions like sharing travel plans with friends and family and establishing check-in times, as well as to remain vigilant. 

Anyone with any information about Schmegelsky and McLeod​​​​ is asked to call Dease Lake RCMP at 250-771-4111, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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Nadler: Mueller hearing to air evidence of Trump wrongdoing – CTV News

July 21st, 2019

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee chairman said Sunday that this week’s hearing with Robert Mueller will air “very substantial evidence” of wrongdoing by U.S. President Donald Trump and make a public case for impeachment. Republicans pledged sharp questioning of the special counsel about what they see as a “one-sided” Russia investigation.

Days before back-to-back hearings Wednesday, both sides seemed to agree that Mueller’s testimony could be pivotal in shifting public opinion on the question of “holding the president accountable.”

“This is a president who has violated the law 6 ways from Sunday,” said the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. He argued that Mueller’s report lays out “very substantial evidence” that Trump is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanours,” the constitutional standard for impeachment.

“We have to present — or let Mueller present — those facts to the American people … because the administration must be held accountable and no president can be above the law,” Nadler said.

The House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee will question Mueller in separate hearings on his 448-page report released in April. While the report did not find sufficient evidence to establish charges of criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to swing the election, it said Trump could not be cleared of trying to obstruct the investigation . But Mueller believed Trump couldn’t be indicted in part because of a Justice Department opinion against prosecuting a sitting president.

Mueller has said he doesn’t intend to speak beyond the findings of the report in congressional hearings.

Still, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee plan to focus on a narrow set of episodes laid out in the report to direct Americans’ attention to what they see as the most egregious examples of Trump’s conduct, which point to obstruction of justice.

The examples include Trump’s directions to then-White House counsel Donald McGahn to have Mueller removed and, later, orders from Trump to McGahn to deny that happened. Democrats also will focus questioning on a series of meetings Trump had with former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in which the Republican president directed Lewandowski to persuade then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit Mueller’s investigation.

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee, argued that “any thought of impeachment is waning” and that the American public has moved on. He said Republicans will be focused in their questioning on making clear that the Mueller report represents a “final episode” in the Russia probe, which he described as flawed.

“Remember, the Mueller report is a one-sided report. It has not been questioned from the other side. This is our chance to do that,” Collins said.

Mueller’s appearance comes more than two years since the start of the Russia investigation, an extraordinary moment in Trump’s presidency when, after Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey, his Justice Department appointed Mueller to take over the inquiry into election interference and the potential role that Trump and his winning 2016 campaign may have played.

While Mueller’s testimony was once envisioned as a crystalizing event, a Watergate-style moment to uncover truths, public attention has drifted in the months since the report was released.

“We want Bob Mueller to bring it to life, to talk about what’s in that report,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “It’s a pretty damning set of facts that involve a presidential campaign in a close race welcoming help from a hostile foreign power, not reporting it but eagerly embracing it, building it into their campaign strategy, lying about it to cover up, then obstructing an investigation into foreign interference again to try to cover up.”

Intelligence committee aides have said they believe the public has received a slanted view of what Mueller found on the question of criminal conspiracy because of Trump’s repeated claims of “no collusion,” and that the details of Russia’s interference in the election — and the outreach to the Trump campaign — haven’t gotten enough attention.

“Who better to bring them to life than the man who did the investigation himself?” Schiff asked.

Nadler said he’s not worried that Republicans might seek to attack the credibility of the Russia investigation and says he hopes to take cues from the public after the hearing about “where we go from here.”

“We hope it won’t end up being a dud,” he said.

Nadler spoke on “Fox News Sunday,” Schiff appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and Collins was on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”


Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.

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‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 Finale Recap: Truth Be Told – Rolling Stone

July 21st, 2019

A review of “I Want To Know,” the Big Little Lies Season Two finale, coming up just as soon as I have connections for my sugar cereals…

Midway through “I Want To Know,” Ed calms Madeline‘s fears about their marriage by offering to renew their vows. But, he tells her, “This is not some, like, ‘Put a tidy ribbon on it, bygones be bygones’ ending, OK? This is a shot at a new beginning.”

Which of those options was this finale meant to be? A tidy ribbon to the story of Big Little Lies, since the stars are all very busy and unlikely to converge again anytime soon, if ever? A shot at a new beginning, where a hypothetical third season would give the Monterey Five their day in court, even as most of the series’ other subplots and character arcs were resolved? Both? Neither?

With the future of this project cloudy at best — and whatever happened between director Andrea Arnold and the rest of the creative team only making it cloudier — it’s hard to tell exactly what David E. Kelley’s intentions were with this finale. But it’s also hard to feel enthused about the idea of the story continuing, in part because Season Two so often struggled to justify its own existence, all the way through this oddball finale.

The original miniseries incarnation of Big Little Lies told a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end in terms of plot, theme, and character. There were stray threads dangling — Would Ed find out about Madeline’s affair? Would anyone ever find out what really happened to Perry? — but not enough to merit continuing the show just to tie them off. Instead, the main argument for making this into an ongoing show was the chance to keep watching Kidman, Witherspoon, Dern, et al. working together — and, this time out, to enjoy the event that was Meryl Streep’s first TV series on top of that.

As an acting delivery system, BLL is still extraordinary. Even as this season’s story meandered and looped back in on itself and made strange left turns, the ensemble was giving it their very impressive all. The courtroom scenes of these last two episodes were often a mess, and yet there was Streep gasping for air as Celeste accused Mary Louise of killing her other son Raymond through rageful driving. The Ed/Madeline rift mostly went in circles — even the vow renewal doesn’t seem to really solve the problem of his ability to trust her going forward — but there was Adam Scott at his most vulnerably optimistic as Ed offered to give things another go. And I’ve run out of superlatives for the way Laura Dern has played Renata‘s many justified explosions, here resulting in Gordon‘s toys (and Gordon’s midsection) taking a deserved beating during her Godzilla-like, baseball-bat-wielding rampage. (Gordon brings it on himself by quipping that, with the nanny no longer around to have sex with, “I need something to play with, huh?”)

But my goodness, did it become frustrating watching these world-class performers give their all to such sketchy material. Too often, Season Two felt like a very long and expensive collection of deleted scenes from Season One — only displayed because they existed and the acting was wonderful, not because it was necessary, or at times even good, storytelling. Episodes tended to clock in around 45 minutes, on the extremely short side for pay cable, yet the amount of time devoted to characters staring at the ocean made them feel padded even at that length.

Last week’s episode seemed to be Kelley steering the show into his area of expertise by spending so much time in family court. But even though Kelley’s a former attorney with 11 previous Emmys, most of them for writing legal dramas, most of the courtroom scenes in the penultimate episode and this one felt extremely half-baked. Celeste emotionally broke Mary Louise, but the revelations about Perry’s brother felt almost anticlimactic. And then there was the sequence where Judge Cipriani allowed first Mary Louise, then Celeste, to interrupt her verdict with impromptu speeches that just rehashed points each had made before, only for Cipriani to resume delivering the verdict she’d already clearly decided on. Little of it made sense, other than the decision itself to let Celeste retain full custody of Max and Josh. And if the hope is to eventually make a third season, it would almost certainly involve even more legal maneuvering — to protect Bonnie, if not all five of them — which plays against the strengths of the show and, somehow at the moment, its showrunner and sole writer.

There were some nice grace notes elsewhere in the finale, like Corey assuring Jane that he doesn’t need perfection to be happy with her, or Nathan‘s response to hearing that Bonnie has never loved him. (The women in the cast rightly get the bulk of the accolades, but James Tupper, like Adam Scott, Jeffrey Nordling, and the other men, has also done fine work, even if their roles can also be underfed.) The courtroom scenes largely derailed whatever else was working over the back half of this season, but the finale brought most of the individual character arcs to resting places that felt like good enough endings for the major players.

And if I believed with certainty that this would be the end of the series, the image of the other four women joining Bonnie on her late-night trip to confess to the cops would be a good closing note. It wouldn’t retroactively excuse some of the various missteps of this year — or, really, this year’s existence at all, since so many of the problems came from trying to elongate a story that wasn’t intended to continue. (That everyone — including Madeline herself — admitted that it was dumb of Madeline to make everyone lie didn’t make the lie seem any less dumb as we had to watch its aftermath play out.) But because nothing in television is ever allowed to end anymore, we have to look at that as a possible new beginning, where Big Little Lies becomes a legal procedural even more than before.

Most of us went into this season with the sentiment that, yes, it was unnecessary, but it was also bringing Meryl effing Streep to our televisions to do battle with the women in this sterling returning cast. (Well, most of them; there wasn’t a whole lot between Mary Louise and Bonnie.) Is there a caliber of performer to rival Streep — both in terms of talent and the unlikelihood of them committing to a season of television — that could be brought in for a potential third season? It’s hard to imagine. Is there another kind of stunt that might bring comparable “I know this is a bad idea, but…” rationalizing from skeptical viewers? Never put it past Witherspoon the producer, though her attention is about to be split among the 57 or so other TV projects she has in development.

If this is the actual overdue ending of Big Little Lies, then we can feel grateful for getting to see this much acting talent concentrated in one place. But these great performances were in service to a story whose merits washed away in the Monterey surf a long time ago.


Body found near torched vehicle, pair of BC teens still missing – KelownaNow

July 21st, 2019

Police are looking for two BC teenagers after finding their vehicle torched nearby the body of a deceased individual found during their investigation.

Dease Lake RCMP responded to the vehicle fire on Friday in an area south of Stikine River Bridge on Hwy 37, approximately 50 km south of Dease Lake.

<img alt="NowMedia File Photo” src=””>

While officers conducted their investigation, they discovered a body at a nearby highway pullout, approximately 2 kilometres away, that has not yet been identified but has been confirmed as not either of the missing teens.

Now, to further their investigation, police are asking for the public’s help in locating two missing BC teenagers who were believed to be driving the vehicle.

Port Alberni residents Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, have not been in contact with their family for the past few days.

<img alt="Photo Credit: RCMP” src=””>

McLeod (right) is described as 6’4″ with dark brown hair and facial hair, brown eyes and weighs approximately 169 lbs. Schmegelsky (left) is also 6’4″ with sandy brown hair and weighs approximately 169 lbs.

Police say the two were travelling through BC to visit Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory in search for work, though it is unclear as to why they returned to BC and what their travel plans may have been.

“Kam and Bryer have periodically connected with family and friends over the past week and it is possible that they are now in area without cell coverage,” says Dawn Roberts, BC RCMP communications.

“However, we have found their vehicle and have not been able to locate either of them at this time. We are asking for Kam or Bryer to connect with police right away and let us know you are okay. Or we ask that anyone who may have spoken to or seen them over the last few days to call police so we can get a better understanding as to where they might be or their plans.”

<img alt="Photo Credit: RCMP” src=””>

The two were travelling in a red and grey Dodge pickup truck fitted with a sleeping camper and BC license plate LW6433. They were last seen driving south from the Super A general store in Dease Lake at around 3:15 pm on Thursday.

Police are unsure if or how the unidentified body found 2 km from the torched vehicle is related to the two missing males.

Dease Lake RCMP are asking anyone with information about McLeod and Schmegelsky to contact RCMP at 250-771-4111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted online here.

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How the Big Little Lies Season 2 Finale Made the Case for a Third Season – SheKnows

July 21st, 2019

[Warning: This article contains spoiler-y info pertaining to Big Little Lies season two episode seven.]

It’s hard to believe, but Big Little Lies may have just aired its final episode ever. Yet, while show execs insist the series has come to its natural end, tonight’s Big Little Lies season two finale featured many moments that prove we need a season three (like, ASAP). It’s little wonder, right? With only seven season two episodes, how could the popular HBO series possibly give each character the full-circle send-off they deserve? However, the finale created an incredible springboard for a possible third installment.

Here are all of the moments from the BLL season two finale — and possible series finale — that illustrate why.

1. Renata’s Coffee Shop Run-In with Mary Louise

In the grand scheme of the finale, this seems like a minor moment. Renata stops into a Starbucks to order an Americano (and berate the barista for not knowing how to properly make one, naturally) when Mary Louise comes in. As Mary Louise is wont to do, she bates Renata into a fight by making snide comments. But the altercation gives us something we all need more of in our lives: Renata’s one-liners. After Mary Louise makes a dig about nannies that hits a nerve, Renata calls her a “judgy judger” (our new favorite insult) and screams, “Keep your eyes on your own f***ing paper, Mary Louise!”

2. The Courtroom Car Crash Revelation

Last week, Celeste asked the judge in her custody hearing case to allow her to cross-examine Mary Louise to determine her mother-in-law’s custodial fitness. So, this week, she slips back into the role of an attorney to grill Mary Louise. In that process, she uncovers the truth about Perry’s brother Raymond — he was killed in a car accident because Mary Louise lost her temper. Perry saw the whole thing, and Celeste even hints that Perry told her Mary Louise blamed him and abused him because of it. Because all of this was glossed over, there’s still a lot both Celeste and Mary Louise could unpack if given another season.

3. The Secret Video Evidence Bombshell

In what was arguably the most heartbreaking moment of the finale, Celeste plays for the courtroom a video her sons, Max and Josh, had recorded without her knowledge. In it, Perry is violently abusing Celeste. How much did the boys really see? And since we know that Max has already begun to show violent tendencies, how much of an effect will the boys’ exposure to such violence have on them long-term? It’s a gut-wrenching thought, yes, but worthy of further exploration.

4. Madeline and Ed’s Vow Renewal

Let’s be real: We were all a little worried about the fate of Madeline’s union with Ed when, after beating the hell out of a punching bag on the porch, he asks her to come speak to him about their marriage. Fears were not assuaged when he admits that they were “delusional” when they got married — young and dumb and all it entails. His surprising solution? “We need to renew our vows.” Because they both want and need a fresh start, they recommit to their marriage during an intimate beach ceremony with their daughters. So far, we’ve only known this couple as a hot mess. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a season in which they really have each other’s backs?

5. Bonnie and Nathan’s Breakup

In the days preceding her mother’s unexpected passing, Bonnie tells her the truth about… well, everything. And in doing so, she alludes to the fact that she settled for a man she didn’t really love due to the fact she was always seeking the love and approval she never got from her mom. So, after her mom dies, Bonnie squares up with Nathan. She isn’t in love with him. She probably never was. That’s that! But, oh my god, can you imagine how often Nathan would be knocking on Madeline and Ed’s door for advice and consolation in a third season?! Also, Bonnie is a gem who absolutely deserves more. She deserves to be given the chance to step into her full power.

6. One Final (Spectacular) Burst of Big Renata Energy

All praise the powers-that-be for giving us one final meaty Renata moment to sink our teeth into. When she comes home after what was undoubtedly an emotionally exhaustive day in court to find Gordon playing on his train set, Renata understandably flips the eff out. He ruined them. He bankrupted them. He screwed the nanny. All her stuff is gone. And he gets to keep his train set and all his other toys? Oh, hell no. Renata takes a baseball bat and goes to work. What does Renata without her Monterey beachside mansion or Gordon or any semblance of her former life look like, though? We need more episodes to find out.

7. Bonnie’s Big Little Act of Repentance

In the final few moments of the season two finale, Bonnie is obviously gearing up to go somewhere. She kisses her sleeping daughter. She places a feather and crystal in front of a picture of her late mother. Then she walks into the living room, where her dad and Nathan are waiting. Nathan offers to drive her where she is going, but Bonnie refuses. As her car comes to a stop, it becomes clear that she is turning herself in — turning her lie into her truth. The other ladies of the Monterey Five arrive, and they all walk into the police station together. There could be no more compelling case for a season three, could there?


Big Little Lies wraps up with courtroom fireworks but a fizzled-out ending – The A.V. Club

July 21st, 2019
Photo: Merie W. Wallace (HBO)
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

Big Little Lies, a show with five (six) female leads in the same slow-knit community, offered the opportunity to say a lot about a lot of things. About motherhood, about marriage, about privilege. The second season wasn’t as successful as the first in doing so mainly because it was bogged down by the “lie,” as it kept being referred to all season. So the main conclusions this finale reaches were predictable: Celeste gets to keep her kids, and the “Monterey Five” turn themselves in at the end. Both reached these closures with considerable amounts of relief, but with such little surprise as to come across as practically anticlimactic.


That’s not to say that this episode didn’t have its valuable moments. The Celeste versus Mary Louise showdown on the stand was extraordinary, two actresses capable of being paralleled only by each other. As much as Mary Louise has been dishing it out all season, it was exceedingly gratifying to have Celeste turn the tables on her, and bring up Raymond’s death. The multitude of emotions that flooded Meryl Streep’s face just in a matter of moments proved just why she is the greatest actor of our age. The horrific iPad video was a nice twist, painful proof that the boys were only too aware of what was going on in their home. And the “did you beat her up?” comment means that Celeste still has a lot of work to do. But even the judge was quickly matter-of-fact about her verdict, as if to say, what other one could she possibly have reached?

Because as Celeste herself put it, “this case is about mothering.” Celeste is the mother saw suffer the most, and subsequently, the one that grew the most, as Madeline points out. We got to see Jane overcome her pain from Perry by moving ahead with Corey. These successful developments just make it more obvious how much the show didn’t really know what to do with the character of Bonnie, sticking her in a nearly silent hospital room for half the season. Bonnie’s story was another abuse story, with unreached potential to show the long-term ramifications and how much it can affect adult relationships. What’s worse is that Crystal Fox added a needed dynamic presence to the show, then made her pretty much unconscious since the disco party. All the weird mysticism was an unnecessary distraction, and Bonnie wound up the season in the exact same place she was at the end of the first episode. Zoe Kravitz did get a great confessional scene last week, but for the most part, that whole plotline was a waste.


Better this episode was getting to see Renata go full Renata on Gordon’s adulterous ass, smashing the man cave to bits. It’s an appropriate response for Renata to have, a metaphor for men getting away with everything and not losing anything (not even their dopey train cars!), while women are rarely so fortunate. Hoping against hope that her finality at the end of that fight would lead to her divorcing her worthless husband; if Renata is going to rise up again, she’ll be able to do it much better without all that dead weight (and why isn’t he in prison?).

Conversely, Madeline and Ed’s story was meant to signify the importance of marriage, that the best thing a parent can do for their kids is love their partner. Adam Scott helps sell Ed as about the nicest, most understanding husband in the world, ready to let Madeline off with a simple vow renewal. But the two were a reminder of the solid foundation the family can be built on, even if by the end of the season, they were the only married couple left standing.


Celeste says that “the lie is the friendship,” a line I didn’t really get. Does that mean that it’s only the lie that binds them? That’s a bit cynical, and at the end of the episode, it no longer appears to be true. But it is interesting how having that lie hover around the surface made all these other truths emerge as well. Every lie and coverup is hurtful, in different degrees: Bonnie can no longer live with a man she doesn’t love. Mary Louise refuses to admit what kind of person Perry really was. Renata finds out that her whole life was a sham, and needs to start all over (and is such a powerhouse that we have no doubt that she’ll succeed). For all the pain she’s gone through, Celeste is in a much better position now that all of her worst secrets are out in the open, so that the true healing can begin.

So even though it seemed like the Monterey Five were going to get away with the lie (for all of her omnipresence this season, Detective Quinlan was nowhere in sight. Wouldn’t she have been at the court hearing?), the season, maybe series, ends with the five turning themselves in, unable to live with the untruth no longer. Plotwise, it makes sense, but it’s also annoying, because it’s something they could have done at any point, making the entire season unnecessary. It’s like ending the whole story with a giant shrug.


That said, will there be a season three? This finale surprisingly left enough plot holes open that there could conceivably be enough to fill seven more 40-minutes-ish episodes. But HBO president Casey Bloys has already stated that a third season is “not realistic,” due to the considerably packed schedule of the actresses in question (Nicole Kidman has already signed up for an adaptation of BLL author Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers for Hulu). And frankly, with all the controversy swirling around this season, I don’t think they need it. But y’know, nobody thought there was going to be a second season either.

That said, I didn’t think we needed a second season, before these last seven episodes aired. I’d classify season 2 as a solid B compared to season 1’s A high bar. It got to do some valuable things: flesh out the character of Ed, show the ramifications of life after abuse with Celeste and the boys, give us many more Renata memes. It’s a beautiful series, with a killer soundtrack and acting that manages to wring the most even out of familiar domestic situations. I was glad to see these characters come back, and Meryl Streep’s Mary Louise performance was an absolute gift. But I think the final look at these five women walking into the police department to face their fate is as good a way as any to wrap things up forever.


Stray observations

  • Unanswered Big Little Lies season two questions: Will Abigail go to college? Why were Nathan and Ed fighting all the time? What were all those dumb watery visions about? Did Celeste ever go back to her therapist? Why did the judge let Mary Louise and Celeste both give closing statements that were basically rehashes of everything they’d already said? Did Mary Louise bring Renata her Starbucks order?
  • I mentioned on Twitter that this review is a little later than usual because I didn’t have a screener, so please forgive any typos.
  • Spot-on almost at the end of the episode quote: “10 more minutes, then all the killing stops.”
  • I am not going to miss Shailene Woodley’s gray stocking cap.
  • And that’s a wrap on Big Little Lies, everyone. Thanks so much for reading. What do you think: Season three or no?



Google Pixel 4 leak fuels rumors of hand gesture control – Engadget

July 21st, 2019

Big Little Lies “I Want To Know” review: season 2 finale disappoints –

July 21st, 2019

Big Little Lies capped off a controversial second season with a self-destructive finale that ripped apart the tenuous bonds of the “Monterey Five,” so the city has dubbed its conspiratorial suburban moms.

Throughout season two, the show has never seemed to know exactly what its theme really was or, more crucially, how that theme might relate to its ensemble of characters. With Meryl Streep joining the cast, all other characters — with the meme-able exception of Laura Dern’s Renata — seemed to be pushed aside for her character Mary Louise’s personal battle with her ex-daughter in law, Celeste (Nicole Kidman).

That lack of attention elsewhere meant that the drama lagged so badly in spots that it seemed to mirror the ways in which the production itself reportedly suffered behind the scenes; the season’s directionless writing was unable to be salvaged by a strong directorial hand. Ironically, director Andrea Arnold may have been subjected to the same kind of male interference, in this case from her producers, that the show’s women characters have spent most of their time trying to escape. And in the last episode, boy, it showed.

The custody battle took up too much focal time and left the show struggling to remember what it was doing with the rest of its characters

Because the secret of season one’s sorta-murder is extremely flimsy, this season has tried — and mostly failed — to build tension through the custody battle between Celeste and Mary Louise. But the last-minute gambit of “I Want To Know,” in which Celeste decided to turn the tables and personally interrogate Mary Louise, was flat-out ridiculous. The much-threatened courtroom drama over Celeste’s husband’s death never fully materialized, and the reveal of the oft-hinted-at details behind the death of Mary Louise’s other son turned the in-court boxing match between the two women into the kind of over-the-top soap opera theatrics this show has never quite learned how to balance with its straight-faced tone and deeply earnest acting.

As for the other members of the Five, the episode seemed to hand-wave their storylines into the sunset. Renata continued to get mad at her horrible husband without actually leaving him. Madeline’s storyline got a nonchalant resolution. Jane finally had sex with her new boyfriend, Corey — and the less said about that plot point, the better. Bonnie, who was stuck most of the season in the hospital staring at the walls, was the one member of the Five with the most to lose and the least support. This episode saw her lackluster, whatever-ish storyline simply dissipate, all of the strange symbolic foreshadowing that’s accompanied her throughout the season completely abandoned in the end.

And as for the titular Big Little Lie? It, too, is resolved without much fanfare — which means it also carries no emotional weight as a season-ender.

While the performances were as solid as ever, the writing in this finale continually turned into a slog that often seemed like self-congratulatory circle-jerking on Kelley’s part. The writing overall has been this season’s biggest weakness — tied with the apparent clash in vision between this season’s director, Andrea Arnold, and last season’s director, Jean-Marc Vallée.

Arnold reportedly lost her authorial stamp over the season after Vallée allegedly took over the show’s direction and overwrote much of her work without her knowledge. To a large degree, the lost dramatic threads of this season, particularly where characters like Jane and Bonnie are concerned, have felt like casualties of Arnold’s sidelining — as though somewhere in-between Vallée’s choppy editing and jump cuts are scenes where we could have gotten a richer sense of each character’s internal stakes.

By this final episode, it certainly seemed that season two had spent more time romantically remembering and humanizing Perry (Alexander Skarsgård), Celeste’s abusive and violent late husband, than it had spent with most of the other women in the ensemble. We’ve definitely, inexplicably, followed the men of the show around as they navigated their rocky relationships with their wives and each other more than we engaged with the erratic trajectories of these women and their friendships.

The irony of Bonnie declaring in this episode that her mother, who’s spent the last half of the season in a coma, “is a good listener now” would be funny if it weren’t so painfully obvious that Kelley hadn’t been listening to the elements that made its first season so successful. Even Celeste’s ultimate courtroom victory feels perfunctory, its moments of poignance and dramatic irony weighted down by the season’s palpable disinterest in its own characters.

“The lie is the friendship,” Celeste tells Madeline, regarding the five-way friendship formed out of Perry’s death. But the real lie seems to be that Big Little Lies was ever really committed to exploring those friendships meaningfully for longer than a single season to begin with.


Police seek two missing teens after vehicle fire leads to body in northern B.C. – Vancouver Sun

July 21st, 2019

A vehicle fire, a body found nearby and now two missing teens have left Dease Lake RCMP asking for the public’s help

The RCMP and B.C. Coroners Service have both launched investigations following the discovery of a body near a highway pullout near Dease Lake in northwestern B.C. on Friday.

Dease Lake RCMP were responding to a pickup truck fire, with no one in the vehicle, along Highway 37 south of the Stikine River Bridge when a passing motorist advised the officers that he had spotted what he believed to be a body at a highway pullout around two kilometres away from the fire.

Police investigated and located the body of a male.

B.C. RCMP spokesman Chris Manseau said it was unclear if the man’s death was related to the vehicle fire.

Police Then on Sunday, police stated they are seeking the public’s help locating two young men who were driving the burned vehicle and are now missing.

RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Bryer Schmegelsky (left) and Kam McLeod.


Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni have not been in contact with their family for the last few days and were driving the vehicle found on fire 50 kilometres south of Dease Lake.

Police confirmed Monday that the dead man found near their truck was neither McLeod nor Schmegelsky.

He was described as being white, 5-8 to 5-10 with a heavy build, about 50 to 60 years old with grey hair and grey bushy beard.

RCMP released a composite sketch of the man whose body was found two kilometres south of empty truck belonging to the missing men, Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.

McLeod and Schmegelsky were travelling through B.C. to visit Whitehorse to look for work. It is not clear why they returned to B.C. and what their travel plans might be.

“Kam and Bryer have periodically connected with family and friends over the past week and it is possible that they are now in an area without cell coverage,” said Dawn Roberts of B.C. RCMP Communications.

“However, we have found their vehicle and have not been able to locate either of them at this time. We are asking for Kam or Bryer to connect with police right away and let us know you are OK. Or we ask that anyone who may have spoken to or seen them over the last few days to call police so we can get a better understanding as to where they might be or their plans.”

McLeod is described as 6-foot-4, approximately 169 pounds, with dark brown hair and facial hair. Schmegelsky is 6-foot-4 and around 169 pounds with sandy brown hair.

The vehicle Kam and Bryer were travelling in.

The two were travelling in a red and grey Dodge pickup truck with a sleeping camper and B.C. licence plate LW6433. They were last seen travelling south from the Super A general store in Dease Lake at around 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 18.

Police have also acknowledged there are growing public concerns that this incident may be connected to the situation south of Liard Hot Springs, where the bodies of Chynna Noelle Deese of the United States and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found on Monday.

The incidents occurred within days of each other, but are separated by approximately 470 kilometres.

Dease Lake RCMP are asking for any witnesses who were in the area who may have dash-cam footage to come forward. Anyone with information about McLeod and Schmegelsky can contact Dease Lake RCMP at 250-771-4111, North District major crimes at 250-613-6744 or Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-8477.

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