Big Little Lies Season 2 picks up a few months after the first season left off — and comes more than two years after the breakout limited series-turned-actual series made its splashy debut — but its bite remains as big as its bark. The Season 2 premiere (read our recap here) is every bit as petty and hilarious as the previous seven episodes — and with the addition of legendary Oscar winner Meryl Streep to the cast, perhaps even more alive and unpredictable. Never is that more apparent in Episode 1, “What Have They Done?,” than when Streep’s Mary Louise tangles with Reese Witherspoon‘s Madeline. The actresses share two scenes together — each framed with Madeline standing over a seated Mary Louise, which belies who holds the moment’s actual power — and both are hilarious examples of prime-grade acting and reacting. Ahead, a full transcript of both moments.
Madeline: How are you?
Mary Louise: I can’t complain. Actually, I can. My son is dead.
Madeline: Celeste tells me you continue to be so helpful with her and the boys.
Mary Louise: She should just get a proper housekeeper. You’re very short.
Madeline: Excuse me?
Mary Louise: I don’t mean it in a negative way.
Mary Louise: Maybe I do. I find little people to be untrustworthy. My apologies. It’s just that I pride myself on being a very good judge of character but you have always presented such a difficult read. You seem like a nice person, loving. But also, you strike me as a wanter.
Madeline: A wanter?
Mary Louise: Mmm. You know? There are people in life who content themselves with what they have and then there are others who just want.
Madeline: I’m not a wanter.
Mary Louise: You don’t have to take it personally. I’m a wanter myself. You know what I want? I want Perry back. I want to know what happened that night. I’m very tempted to ask you but I doubt I would get the truth, would I?
Madeline: Your son lost his balance and he fell.
Mary Louise: That seems to be the company line, depending on whose company you keep.
Madeline: Mary Louise, I realize you’re still grieving and you’ve been through a tremendous amount of heartbreak. But I don’t care for the way you spoke to me before. It was rude and I didn’t deserve it.
Mary Louise: No, you didn’t. I apologize.
Madeline: Thank you.
Mary Louise: Truth is, it had nothing to do with you. When I was in boarding school, I had a best friend — or so I thought — who revealed herself to be quite treacherous and caused me a lot of pain. So. She was just an itty-bitty little thing with a big bubbly personality that was designed to hide that she was utterly vapid inside. You remind me so much of her, I suppose I punish you for that. That’s wrong of me and I apologize.
Big Little Lies Season 2 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO