SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers up through Episode 7 of “The White Lotus,” airing Sundays on HBO and streaming on HBO Max.
In the “Unpacking S2 E7” clip pegged at the end of the Season 2 finale, White hints that Season 3 may take place in Asia and focus on “death and Eastern religion and spirituality.”
“The first season kind of highlighted money, and then the second season is sex,” White said. “I think the third season would be maybe a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality. It feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round at White Lotus.”
White has previously indicated that he’d want an Asia-set third season, telling Deadline before the Season 2 premiere, “I think it’d be fun to maybe go to a whole different continent. You know, we did Europe, and maybe Asia, something crazy like that, that would be fun.”
One moment in the Season 2 finale might point at the exact location of the third season, too. As Ethan (Will Sharpe), Harper (Aubrey Plaza), Cameron (Theo James) and Daphne (Meghann Fahy) eat their final dinner at the White Lotus in Sicily, Cameron makes a toast to friendship, and Daphne chimes in: “Next year, the Maldives!”
In the segment, White also unpacked Tanya’s (Coolidge) shocking death in the finale, saying, “In the end of last season, Tanya is sitting with Greg in the last episode and he’s talking about his health issues. And she says, ‘I’ve had every kind of treatment over the years, death is the last immersive experience I haven’t tried.'”
White continued, “I was thinking, it’d be so fun to bring Tanya back because she’s such a great character, but maybe that’s the journey for her, a journey to death. Not that I really wanted to kill Tanya because I love her as a character and obviously love Jennifer, but I just felt like, we’re going to Italy, she’s such a diva — a larger than life female archetype — it felt like we could devise our own operatic conclusion to Tanya’s life and her story.”
White said he thought Tanya dying “at the hands of someone else felt too tragic,” and that Tanya “needed to give her best fight back and that she, in a way, had some kind of victory over whoever was conspiring to get rid of her.”
“It just made me laugh to think she would like take out this cabal of killers and, after she successfully does that, she just dies this derpy death, and it just felt like that’s just so Tanya,” he added.
As far as Greg (Jon Gries) and Quentin’s (Tom Hollander) conspiracy to kill Tanya, White said, “It’s possible that Portia [Haley Lu Richardson] is scared enough to just leave it alone, but the fact that all of those guys die on the boat, it feels like there’s gotta be somebody who’s gonna track it down to Greg. But maybe you’ll have to wait to find out what happens.”
Watch the full featurette on HBO Max.