SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains spoilers up to Episode 6 of “The White Lotus,” airing Sundays on HBO and streaming on HBO Max.
The penultimate episode of this season’s “The White Lotus” ended with a wild night for Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge), as she was caught up in the palazzo party thrown by her mysterious vacation BFF Quentin (Tom Hollander). Although she spent plenty of time on the dance floor, Tanya was most intrigued by the VIP room, where she snorted up a ton of coke with Quentin and the man he was not-so-subtlety setting her up with, a gorgeous Italian named Niccoló (Stefano Gianino). Although Niccoló’s intentions aren’t known — is he a drug dealer? Sex worker? Mafia-adjacent? — Tanya needed little persuasion to head to the bedroom with him.
Yet right before a fully-nude Niccoló enters, ready for Tanya, she notices an old picture of Quentin and his long-lost cowboy love, who looks a lot like her husband Greg (Jon Gries). Although Tanya seems too lost in a drug haze to fully connect the dots, “White Lotus” fans went into overdrive once they saw what looked to be a subtle clue in the background of one shot. As Niccoló and Tanya went in for a kiss, a clear red light, the size of a golf ball, appeared to be lodged in the moulding of the room (see the featured image above). As the episode came to a close minutes later, with the pair getting more and more intimate on the bed, the camera swooped out in a voyeuristic way which seemed to underline the red dot and point to a key theory: Not only were they being watched — they were being taped.
Needless to say, social media sites like TikTok and Reddit blew up after the episode with breathless “DID YOU SEE IT?” posts about the red dot. But who would want to tape Tanya’s affair? At this point, it seems like Greg and Quentin are scheming together, especially after Quentin told Tanya he would still do anything for his cowboy 30 years later, and Jack (Leo Woodall) drunkenly reveals to Portia that his “uncle” is cash poor and might have to sell his manor.
Two theories seem most plausible:
1) We know Tanya and Greg have a prenup which protects her vast wealth. But is there an infidelity clause which nullifies part of it or has a penalty?
2) Could it be used to attempt to blackmail Tanya for part of her half-a-billion dollar fortune?
In either case, the red light was one of creator Mike White’s most clever easter eggs yet, a way to kick up fan theories one more time before the season finale, which airs Dec. 11 on HBO.