That One White Lotus Season 2 Scene Was Intentionally Confusing – Here's Why

Spoilers for episode 1 of "White Lotus" season 2.

One episode in and "White Lotus" season 2 already has me hooked. The new cast of characters was introduced and it features a cynical wife played by Aubrey Plaza and her husband's obnoxious friend, played by Theo James. One of the most memorable scenes is the first private moment between these two characters, who at first seem totally at odds.

Plaza's character Harper is cartoonishly pessimistic and controlling of her husband Ethan in the beginning of the episode, while James' character Cameron seems to have the perfect relationship with his wife. They quickly reveal their own imperfections though, like turning a blind eye to current events and neglecting to vote or watch the news. Harper, on the other hand, is a lawyer and an activist. She doesn't understand why her husband is still friends with Cameron, but he insists that they accidentally fell into friendship after being roommates in college.

When Cameron wants to borrow one of Ethan's bathing suits, Harper joins him in the hotel room to get sunscreen. After a tense start to their trip, Cameron makes an attempt at reconciliation. When Harper goes into the bathroom to look for the sunblock, Cameron stands in the open doorway and changes into a bathing suit while Harper stares at his reflection in the mirror.

This scene opens up a lot of questions about Cameron and Harper. What were his intentions? Is he interested in starting an affair? Was Harper entertaining the idea of starting something between them when she watched him in the mirror? Or was she totally horrified by the unsolicited advance? Aubrey Plaza and Theo James shed some light on the subject.

The series creator plays the line in Cameron's nude scene

The nude scene in "White Lotus" season 2 is difficult to read and leaves things incredibly open-ended. The series creator Mike White likely left things ambiguous on purpose, according to Theo James. "You know, what Mike [White] does is he plays the line — and even more so in the edit than it was on the page," he explained to Decider. "He plays that line between whether Cameron has done it deliberately, was it cunning, was it manipulative, or was it simply he's a kind of fairly bombastic, body confident person who is innocent."

Plaza added that the scene "feels very loaded" because it's the "first private moment" between Harper and Cameron. "You've already seen them butt heads, so you're just like, 'What is gonna happen when they're behind closed doors?'" she asked. The actress was left with just as many questions as me. "But there's so many, kind of, little nuances to it that make it so fun because you just really can't tell like, 'Is he doing it on purpose? Is he standing in her eye line on purpose? Or does he just happen to be there? Why can't she look away?' and I don't know," Plaza added.

The first draft of the scene apparently left a lot less to the imagination. "Interestingly enough, when we shot it initially it was more graphic, and Mike looked at it and was like, 'Bleh, way too much.' So, it ended up being more subtle," James explained. "I don't know if you'd call it 'subtle.' It was less extreme than originally forecast."

Cameron probably isn't innocent, though

By making Cameron's morality and Harper's reaction less obvious, the "White Lotus" series creator left more room for his characters to surprise the audience later on. The scene was a seed of suspense rather than a blatantly revealing moment. Well, it was blatantly revealing in one way, I suppose.

As James said, Cameron changing in front of the mirror could be read as "manipulative" or "boldly confident" but "innocent." When Harper confesses what happens to her husband, Ethan assures her that he didn't mean anything by it. Still, it's easy to see why Harper does not trust Cameron. By the end of the episode, she grows kinder to her husband and more clear in her convictions. The audience slowly starts to see the more human side of her and the more sinister (or at least oblivious) side of Cameron.

There's no telling what exactly is in store for Cameron and Harper, but James did let a little teaser slip. "It's a fairly devious move from Cameron, which echoes his later character evolution," the actor revealed. So it seems Cameron did not have pure intentions when he got naked in front of his best friend's wife. Shocker.

The season 2 premiere of the hit HBO series opens with the reveal that several of the guests have died. There's no telling if Cameron or Harper are among those guests that mysteriously drowned, but tensions are certainly running high between them — and we're only one episode in.