Big Little Lies’: Shailene Woodley was the MVP in episode 6, ‘Burning Love,’ say 34% of readers [Poll Results]

We asked you who gave the best performance last week in the sixth and penultimate episode of HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” titled “Burning Love” (you can still vote in the poll here). For the second time this season Shailene Woodley won victory with 34% of the vote after first prevailing in week three. It was a narrow victory over Nicole Kidman, who won in week twoweek four and week five; this week the Oscar winner got 32% of the vote. Rounding out the top three was Reese Witherspoon with 17% of the vote. Not far behind that was Laura Dern with 11%. Alexander Skarsgard was able to receive 4% of the vote. Lastly Robin Weigert was able to score 2%.

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While Woodley was able to narrowly hold off Kidman this week for MVP status, we expect them to compete in separate categories at the Emmys. Woodley’s main concern in the supporting contest is Dern, and both were given strong material in this episode, sharing most of their scenes together. Jane (Woodley) confronted Renata (Dern) and her husband (Jeffrey Nordling) about a petition demanding that Jane’s son Ziggy (Iain Armitage) be suspended from school. This time it came to blows, but after their fight Jane visited Renata’s home to ask for forgiveness. The two appeared to find common ground, and later Renata invited Jane and Ziggy for a play date so they could observe whether Renata’s daughter Amabella (Ivy George) was really being bullied by Jane’s son.

Hopefully Woodley will score her first Emmy nomination for her most mature performance to date, showing new depths as the fiercely protective mother of a son conceived in a sexual assault. But Dern, a past five-time nominee, is better known in the industry and showed a likable, compassionate side of her often fragile and prickly character, drawing the audience in as strongly as ever.

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Kidman’s character Celeste did not have as many scenes in this episode compared to the previous week. She enjoyed Perry’s (Skarsgard) penitent behavior after his abuse from episode five. What helped her get votes was another therapy session in which her psychologist (Weigert) urged her to get her own apartment and to tell a friend about the abuse as part of a plan to escape when their relationship inevitably turns violent again. While she appeared to have found an apartment by episode’s end, Celeste still hadn’t told anyone about the abuse. This episode may have been primarily a setup for what will probably be an explosive finale tonight.

Witherspoon hasn’t been the MVP for any of the limited series’s episodes according to our readers, though she has frequently been among our higher vote-getters as she was for week six. She has often played the girl-next-door, but as Madeline in “Big Little Lies” she has claws and a lot of secrets, and this was arguably her biggest episode to date. At opening night of “Avenue Q,” Tori (Sarah Sokolovic) confronted Madeline about her affair with Tori’s husband Joseph (Santiago Cabrera), who directed the show. Madeline’s husband Ed (Adam Scott) also seemed suspicious as he confronted her about the lack of passion in their marriage. And to make matters even worse, at the dinner she and Ed attended with her ex-husband Nathan (James Tupper) and Nathan’s second wife Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz), Madeline learned that her daughter Abigail (Kathryn Newton) was planning to sell her virginity online to benefit Amnesty International.

Do you agree that Woodley gave the best performance in episode six? Check out complete poll results below and discuss this and more with your fellow TV fans in our forums.

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