Merie W. Wallace/HBO
Celeste's Custody Hearing Was Infuriating On 'Big Little Lies'

by Megan Walsh

When Mary Louise first threatened Celeste with a custody battle on Big Little Lies, viewers suspected that it would probably get bad fast. But until "The Bad Mother," no one knew just how awful it would be. Celeste's trial on Big Little Lies really didn't seem fair at all. Mary Louise's lawyer, Ira Farber, asked incredibly invasive questions, and Twitter wasn't having it.

Ira didn't hold back in his interrogation. He questioned Celeste on her sex life with Perry, as well as the casual sex she'd been having with various men after his death. He even came prepared with visual aids and presented snapshots of all the men, which proved that Mary Louise was having Celeste followed so she could gather her evidence. Ira wanted to know how far Celeste was in the healing process, why she'd never told anyone about Perry's abuse, and whether or not she still conflated violence with sex. He wanted to prove Celeste was, per the title, a bad mother.

It was incredibly difficult to watch, especially because everyone in the audience at home knows exactly what Celeste has been through. We've seen what Perry did to her, and to have her dragged through the mud in court was infuriating. It's no surprise that fans took to Twitter to express their anger.

Celeste's Attorney Needed To Speak Up

Celeste's lawyer hasn't been the most proactive throughout the custody battle, but she didn't do much to help Celeste during the onslaught of questioning. She objected here or there, but she didn't prepare Celeste for just how rough it would be.

Seriously...Did She Fall Asleep?

More than one Twitter user was bothered by the fact that Celeste's lawyer didn't put a stop to Ira's line of questioning. Her interruptions just couldn't stem the tide.

Anyone? Bueller?

Perhaps Celeste's lawyer thought Celeste knew what to expect because she was an attorney, too. Or maybe she was just as taken aback by Ira's invasive onslaught as the viewers were.

I Object!

Didn't you kind of find yourself hoping that Madeline would step out of the courtroom for a minute, then return in a pink dress to go all Elle Woods on these people? Elle would definitely have done a better job than Celeste's lawyer. She proved Brooke Windham was innocent without revealing her dark secret, after all.


Once again, it seemed like Perry's behavior was ignored or pinned on Celeste, as though it was somehow her fault that he was abusive. Mary Louise has used those tactics all season, too. She deflects blame from Perry because she doesn't want to deal with the truth about her son, but all she does is perpetuate the pain he caused.

Turning The Tables

At the end of "The Bad Mother," Celeste took over her own defense with a plan to put Mary Louise on blast. If they were really trying to figure out the best guardian for the boys, then Mary Louise would need to prove herself, too. Let's see how she likes it when all the skeletons in her closet are dragged out for everyone to see.

Best Interests

Mary Louise purports to care about the twins' best interests, but she doesn't seem to think about how much her actions are hurting them. But that's no surprise; apparently she didn't have a problem with them living in the same house as their abusive father, either.

Is This Even Legal?

At one point in the trial, Ira revealed that one of the twins had walked in on one of Celeste's overnight guests. Josh apparently told Mary Louise about it. But this Twitter user thought that was hearsay — a rumor that was not substantiated. Where are the receipts, Ira?

Leave Celeste Alone

It was made clear during the hearing that Celeste kept her sex life separate; though the twins had met one (or two, if you believe the whole Josh thing) of Celeste's partners, she had generally only gone out on nights when they were being looked after by someone else. So what's the problem? Celeste isn't allowed to have a private life? Celeste is definitely struggling, but her sex life has nothing to do with her ability to be a good mom.

Hard To Watch

Celeste has been repeatedly asked (first by Mary Louise, then by Ira, then by the judge) why she stayed with Perry when he was hurting her, which was incredibly dismissive of the complicated situation abuse victims find themselves in. Celeste wasn't the one who did anything wrong. Perry was.

Better Luck Next Week

Watching Celeste endure that trial was painful, but the good news is that she'll be handling her own defense in time for the finale. Mary Louise might not get away with this after all.

"The Bad Mother" put Celeste through hell, but next week it looks like she'll be taking control.