HBO’s hit satirical dramedy The White Lotus features extremely pampered upscale vacationers who do terrible things at a luxury resort in Hawaii. As multiple characters intertwine in their self-indulgent relaxation, tempers flare, egos shatters, relationships fray, and the sunny veneer of a week in paradise turns into a dark and deadly tragicomedy.
Although some characters have satisfying redemptive arcs, others made no attempts whatsoever to evolve for the better. As such, nearly every major character performed at least one odious act that led to the twisty climax of the series finale.
9 Armond – Luggage Treatment
As the hotel’s connective concierge in the binge-worthy HBO drama, Armond (Murray Bartlett) did many terrible things to several people on the show. His grudge with Shane (Jake Lacy) over the Honeymoon Suite misunderstanding served as the crux of the entire plot, leading him to defecate in Shane’s suitcase in the ill-fated finale.
But it’s what Armond did with Paula’s bag that proved to be his worst action of all. Sober for five years, once Armond lied and refused to return Paula’s bag to her, he instead opted to fall off the wagon, horde all of her much-needed pharmaceutical drugs, and go on a wild bender at work that led to his ultimate downfall. Had Armond returned the bag from the start, he may still be alive.
8 Shane – Holding A Grudge With Armond
Shane also did several awful things on the show, including flirting with teenage girls in the swimming pool while on his honeymoon, disrespecting his wife Rachel’s (Alexandra Daddario) profession in journalism, encouraging her to quit her job and be a trophy wife, etc. But it was the monumental grudge he held with Armond over the Honeymoon Suite that proved to be his most deplorable move.
By not accepting the room given to him, Shane instantly created a rift with Rachel, who did not care about having the Honeymoon Suite. Needing to be the best, Shane’s self-entitlement and symbolic power-move to be the most important guest in the hotel nearly ended his marriage, and worse, led to Armond’s needless death over something so monumentally petty. Had Shane accepted the room he was given from the outset, he wouldn’t have manslaughter on his record.
7 Olivia – Treatment Of Paula
As one of the least likable characters on the show, Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) treated everyone she encountered like trash. She back-talks to her parents, bullies her little brother, and worst yet, she treats her so-called POC friend Paula (Brittany O’Grady) like an inferior pet.
To that end, the most despicable thing Olivia did was jealously attempt to break up Paula’s fling with the local Hawaiian valet, Kai (Kekoa Kekumano). Olivia spies on Paula at night and pretends to be asleep in bed when Paula returns from her trysts, and worst of all, attempts to seduce Kai and steal him from Paula just so can she reign supreme.
6 Rachel – Staying With Shane
Along with Quinn (Fred Hechinger) and Belinda (Natasha Rothwell), Rachel is the most likable and sympathetic character in The White Lotus. Hailing from a modest background, she does not share the entitled and flagrant decadence of her affluent counterparts. As such, her main conflict is deciding whether she made a mistake marrying the prickly real-estate agent Shane.
Yet, just when she’s made the strong decision to leave Shane and remain true to herself, Rachel suddenly decides to stay with him after the deadly Armond incident. But, based on her extremely reluctant reaction, it’s clear that she is not following her heart and that the same problems with Shane are bound to persist.
5 Tanya – Flaking On Belinda
Jennifer Coolidge gives an inspired turn as Tanya McQuoid, a grieving business investor who isn’t quite ready to spread her deceased mother’s ashes in the Pacific. Helping her find the strength to do so is Belinda, the hotel spa masseuse that Tanya befriends and forges a potential business partnership with.
Alas, when Tanya meets and falls for Greg (Jon Gries), she completely abandons Belinda and her well-planned business proposal, canceling multiple dinner meetings, and dashing Belinda’s hopes and dreams of opening her own wellness center. Tanya’s flakiness underscores how flighty and flippant the super-rich can be at times, but at least Tanya had the wherewithal to admit her transactional relationships were unhealthy. Tanya evolved at the expense of Belinda.
4 Paula – Convincing Kai To Steal Jewelry
While her intentions were somewhat honorable, Paula convincing Kai to steal expensive jewelry from the Mossbacher hotel safe was definitely her shadiest moment. Despite being one of the best White Lotus characters, Paula manipulated her way into learning the combination of the safe and put someone she cared for at far greater risk than necessary.
Paula’s reasoning for the theft was so that Kai could hire a lawyer to defend his family after their land was illegally seized. Yet, Kai did not feel right stealing, and Paula’s white privilege tirade against the Mossbachers was more about her own ill-will than truly helping Kai’s family.
3 Nicole – Berating Rachel
On the whole, Nicole Mossbacher (Connie Britton) was one of the least despicable characters in the show. However, her tone-deaf support for single white males as a victimized group that needs more societal sympathy was pretty outrageous. So too was her abrasive confrontation with Rachel at the pool patio.
Rachel kindly introduced herself to the powerful Poof CFO as a journalist who once wrote a flattering article about her. Nicole saw it differently, calling the article a “hatchet job,” and used her powerful status to abusively talk down to Rachel, completely humiliating and embarrassing her in the process. While Nicole has every right to feel slighted in the article, the way she treated Rachel was petty, ugly, and beneath her.
2 Belinda – Didn’t Get Armond Help
Other than perhaps placing her naive trust in Tanya, Belinda didn’t do many bad things on the show. However, once she realized that Armond had fallen off the wagon by finding him passed on in his car and showering in the spa facilities, she turned a blind eye to a substance abuse issue she knew Armond had been battling for years.
While Belinda was preoccupied with her business proposal, she failed to get any sort of help for Armond. In fact, she began covering for him at times even after she knew he had begun drinking and taking drugs again at work. Irresponsible at best, negligent at worst, Belinda indirectly led to Armand’s demise.
1 Mark – Hitting On Rachel & Armond
While Mark Mossbacher (Steve Zahn) reacting negatively to his father’s secret life and admitting his past infidelity to Quinn are included among his biggest transgressions, drunkenly hitting on newlywed Rachel and Armond at the hotel bar is probably his lowest moment.
An emotional wreck after learning he is cancer-free but that his father died of AIDS instead of cancer as he was told his whole life, Mark begins drowning his sorrows, loosening his libido, and flirting with both Rachel and Armond with his wife and children nearby. Fortunately for Mark, Rachel denied his advances just as he denied Armond’s, leaving his lusty thoughts guiltier than his actions.