Push Comes to Shove is the fourth episode of the first season of Big Little Lies


Nathan invites Madeline and Ed for couples' dinner, to discuss Abigail; Ms Barnes suggests Ziggy be medically evaluated, in light of further evidence of bullying.[1]

Plot Summary

The episode opens with Madeline trying to come to terms with Abigail having moved out of the house and in with Nathan, her ex-husband. Nathan Carlson and Madeline meet up for lunch to discuss how Abby is doing. They argue about Abby and how she doesn't want a SAT tutor. Madeline says that that's Bonnie's idea and Nathan says yeah it was and like a good husband he has to go along with it.

Madeline and Celeste talk over the phone about the Avenue Q play. Perry asks if Celeste is going to start working again. Celeste says no she's just helping a friend. Perry wants to know why they didn't talk about it first. Celeste says because he's always busy and asks if he's going to hit her now. He asks if she wants him to hit her.

Madeline arrives home from lunch to find Ed dressed up as Elvis Presley, who immediately starts to perform for her. She laughs and tells him to stop. She starts to complain about having to go to dinner with Bonnie and Nathan Carlson. How it's just an excuse for Bonnie to give her parenting advice. Chloe comes down and suggests that Ed sing "Pocket Full of Rainbows." Ed and Chloe start to sing together and Madeline wonders if she's dreaming right now.

Jane is seen running on the beach. She starts to run towards the edge of the bluff and almost falls off. She wakes up and finds Ziggy standing over her. He was sleep walking so she takes him back to bed where he asks her what happened between her and his dad. Jane doesn't say anything and Ziggy says that she doesn't have to look for him. That they're fine and that they don't need him.

Perry is concerned about Celeste's stress. He says that she can't get pregnant and she retorts that she isn't trying to get pregnant. He's worried that if she goes to pieces again who is going to be there to put her back together. Perry is adamant that he wants another baby--a little girl. He rolls on top of her in bed and tries to have sex but she says no. He accepts this and goes to go to sleep but she climbs on top of him and they have sex.

Jane and Madeline have coffee. Jane confesses that she is starting to want sex again. That after she confessed to Madeline it made her free and aware of the men around her. Jane mentions that Ziggy isn't doing very well and that they might have to move back to where she's originally from. Madeline and Celeste tell her no, to not let them get to her, and that they will miss her.

Ed shows up to Bonnie's yoga class. He wants to talk about the upcoming dinner with their spouses. He's worried that Nathan and Madeline are going to start a fight. She points out that he's been a bit aggressive too. He says he's just trying to be there for his wife. He points out that it doesn't help that she's the perfect step-mother. They agree that it's up to them to keep things civil.

One of the teachers sits down with Amabella and talks to her about Ziggy. Amabella says that they're friends now and that they hangout and stuff. The teacher wants to know if there is anyone else hurting her. Amabella doesn't say anything. Madeline and Celeste go to the Mayor's office to try to save the play. The Mayor says that he doesn't want a play that has two puppets having sex. He believes that the theater is a way to bring people together and that this play is already causing a rift in the community. Renata recommends that instead they put on The Sound of Music as its more children friendly. Celeste points out that the California constitution protects the theaters right to put on any play they want.

Madeline and Celeste win and are able to put on the play. In the car, Celeste starts to cry. She misses working because for the last six years she's been a good mom. But today she felt alive and that being a mother isn't enough for her. Celeste believes she's evil but Madeline says she's not. That she feels that way too. Jane meets with one of the teachers at school. The teacher believes that Ziggy may be the one bullying Amabella. The teacher knows that someone is hurting Amabella and she doesn't have any proof that Ziggy is the one bullying her. The teacher asks if she has any reason to suspect Ziggy for being violent. Jane says no.

Joseph and Madelie celebrate that their play is going to be put on. Suddenly, Joseph stands up and kisses her. Madeline pulls away after making out with him for a bit. He confesses that he's in love with her and Madeline slaps him before she leaves. Celeste listens as Madeline recounts her story and then asks, "So what really happened?"

Jane takes Ziggy to the aquarium. Afterwards, they go to the beach and play catch. Jane accidently hits Ziggy with the ball after he misses it. He starts to cry but calms down after Jane hugs him. He tells her that when she'd taken him to the zoo last time they'd moved to Monterey. Jane says that they aren't moving but that he needs to go see a child psychiatrist.

Bonnie and Nathan Carlson talk about Ed visiting the yoga studio. Abigail leaves the house with a hidden bottle of booze. Nathan starts to interrogate her but Bonnies tells her to go. Nathan suggests that they move but Bonnie says that they can't because Sky likes it here and Abby has her Mom here. Ed tells Madeline that he went to see Bonnie. Madeline confesses that she feels like she's losing control a little bit. Ed asks how and she says she doesn't know.

Celeste is shown smoking a joint and listening to her iPod. Celeste tells Perry that she has another meeting with the town attorney. He says that she lied to him and that it was only going to be one time. Celeste says that it's not his choice whether or not she does this. He grabs her by the throat but one of the twins walks in before anything happens.

Jane takes Ziggy to see the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist tells her that Ziggy isn't a bully and that she believes him when he says that he didn't hurt Amabella. She also tells her that he doesn't display any of the signs that would make him abusive. Jane is relieved but the psychiatrist wants to see him again. She believes that Ziggy may be the one being bullied. The psychiatrist also reveals that Ziggy thinks his dad is Darth Vader.

Joseph shows up at Chloe's elementary school. He apologizes for what happened but says that he isn't the only person to blame. Madeline says that she's happily married, but as she leaves he kisses her. Celeste goes back to the therapist to talk about how controlling Perry is. Madeline shows Jane a picture of who she thinks might be Ziggy's Dad. Jane agrees that it looks like him but she'd have to hear his voice. It cuts to Jane at the shooting range.

The episode ends with a scene of Jane jumping off the bluffs.




  1. IMDB