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‘Big Little Lies’ is less white this season. That doesn’t mean it’s smart about race.

For instance, while Elizabeth makes a valid point about Bonnie being treated as an outsider, her credibility is diluted, and apparently dismissed by Bonnie, because she had — or has — a drinking problem, and may have been a less-than-ideal parent when bringing up Bonnie. (Elizabeth also has a New Age-y thing about crystals, which only creates more doubt about her judgment in the viewer’s mind.) Bonnie immediately brushes off her mother’s concerns, an indication that the show may move forward without much further exploration of the issue. And at the end of the episode, Bonnie, upset with her mother following a tense dinner, asks her to leave, though Elizabeth stays on anyway — thereby foregrounding their complicated relationship and downplaying the question of race.