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White Lotus

Warning: article contains spoilers.

HBO Max’s hit show White Lotus is set to release a third season and many believe it will take its audience to Kyoto. 

The first season premiered in July 2021 and the second season in October 2022. The last two seasons centered around a chain of luxury five-star  resorts, the White Lotus. Wealthy guests come to the hotel for relaxation, but they each end up wrestling with their own problems. The audience watches as the guests and the hotel staff’s stories intertwine.

Both seasons begin with the discovery of a body, in which the cause of death is unknown. However, the series is not as much of a murder mystery as a story of the events leading up to the deaths.

White Lotus veers off the traditional format of other TV shows. Instead of using all the characters to follow one plot, each group of characters pursue their own stories within the same timeline.

The first season takes place in Hawaii. Rachel Patton (played by __), a young woman on her honeymoon, realizes her mistake in getting married and struggles to break the news to her new husband, Shane, who is oblivious to her contempt for him. 

Another group of guests, Mark and Nicole Mossbacher, try to take their kids Quinn, Olivia, and their daughter’s friend, Paula, on a family vacation. Mark and Nicole realize that the stress of life and raising their family may have gotten in the way of their marriage.Olivia and Paula demonstrate how unhealthy their relationship is and how toxic friendships can be.

Tanya McQuoid, a wealthy woman from inheritance, visits Hawaii with the intention of spreading her late mother’s ashes. During the trip, she finds companionship in a kind spa attendant, Belinda, and a fellow guest, Greg. Both Belinda and Greg, unbeknownst to Tanya, may have befriended her for her money rather than her company.

The Characters of Season One | Photo Courtesy of

Armond, the hotel manager, struggles to deal with difficult guests and wrestles with his recent relapse into drug and alcohol addiction.

These relationships demonstrate the way miserable people use their power and money to get what they want from each other, and how they remain in these unhappy relationships because it is the easiest and safest thing to do.

The second season takes place in Sicily and focuses on the darker side of the character’S sex lives. The themes include sex work, sex addiction, and cheating.

Ethan and Harper, a young married couple, are on vacation with their friends Cameron and Daphne. Harper is led to believe that her husband cheated on her, and their relationship is further strained through miscommunication and paranoia. 

Harper then attempts to convince Daphne that Cameron had also cheated on her. However, the audience learns that Daphne is used to her husband’s unfaithful  behavior  and dismisses  it for the sake of her children. 

Albie Di Grasso, his father Dominic, and his grandfather Bert, all take a ‘men’s trip’ to escape from the pressures of life. Soon into their vacation they learn that they all had interactions with the same sexworker, Lucia Greco, and her friend, Mia. This situation puts strain on the family, especially when Albie attempts to start a relationship with Lucia. Through their relationship, the audience explores a  risky, darker side of sex work. 

Tanya McQuoid has now married Greg from the previous season. She is left in Sicily when Greg leaves for an emergency business trip. Tanya and her assistant, Portia, find themselves in a series of unexpected events that they soon realize coincide immensely. Tanya’s marriage now appears to be a life-threatening ploy and she and Portia must find a way to make it home alive.

The Characters of Season Two | Photo Courtesy of

If Mike White, the director, follows the same pattern, season three will feature several guests. Each of their relationships will demonstrate an overarching theme and in the end, someone will consequently die. According to White, the third season may take a satirical look at death, East Asian religion, and spirituality. Many fans have predicted the next hotel will be in Kyoto, and the show’s nine-and-a-half million viewers look forward to what will happen next at the White Lotus.

Written by Julia Yates

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