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‘The White Lotus’ Is Bringing Back Belinda for Season 3. Here’s What It Could Mean for the Show.

The next season of "The White Lotus" is bringing back Natasha Rothwell's Belinda.

Natasha Rothwell in 'The White Lotus' WarnerMediaPassword1!

The White Lotus is picking up and moving to Thailand for Season 3—and so is one beloved, beleaguered character from season 1.

Natasha Rothwell’s Belinda Lindsey, first seen in Season 1’s White Lotus resort in Maui, will be a recurring character in the upcoming third season, an HBO representative confirmed with Variety this week. So far, only Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya McQuoid had been a recurring character in the show, but after her character’s watery death at the end of Season 2, we can safely cross a third reprise of that role off our lists. Belinda, the Maui hotel’s spa manager, will become the second character to appear at multiple locales in the White Lotus universe, and we have a few ideas about what her return could mean for where the show’s storylines are going in Season 3.

For those who don’t recall, Belinda is the spa manager from The White Lotus Season 1 who forms a bond with Coolidge’s Tanya after a life-changing massage. After demanding that the spa manager join her for dinner, Tanya finds out about Belinda’s long-held dream of opening a spa of her own and offers to help her with it, reassuring her that she has the money to make her dream a reality. Belinda spends the rest of the season doing whatever Tanya asks for and biting her tongue in the face of Tanya’s offensive and irritating ways—only for Tanya to back out at the last minute.

“I realize I’m getting back into this pattern again, where I latch on to somebody and then I use my money to control them,” Tanya tells Belinda by way of an excuse, before handing her an envelope of cash. “It’s not healthy for me.”

Natasha Rothwell, Jennifer Coolidge
Natasha Rothwell and Jennifer Coolidge in Season 1 of “The White Lotus” Mario Perez/HBO

The shattered look on Belinda’s face is one of the saddest moments of the season, especially after watching her call her son multiple times and suggest that things are about to financially turn around for the family. In season 2, Tanya makes one more reference to Belinda as things are starting to go south in her marriage to Greg.

“Sometimes I think I should have started that spa for poor women with the girl from Maui,” Tanya muses.
“Maybe she put a curse on me.”

Now, as delightful as it would be if White Lotus creator Mike White decided that Belinda actually did put a curse on Tanya, thus leading to her death, the show has rarely veered that much into the supernatural—so it’s more likely we’ll get a logical reason why Belinda now finds herself in Thailand among the other resort guests. Our first guess would be that, for some reason, Belinda has transferred to the staff of the resort chain’s Thailand location after some change in circumstances in her life that requires her to relocate from Hawaii. (The exact city Season 3 will take place in is still unknown, but given that the first two seasons were both filmed at Four Seasons locations, fans believe it will take place in one of the Thai cities where a Four Seasons currently exists: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, or Chiang Rai). But a possible twist could be that there’s been a change in Belinda’s fortunes since we’ve seen her last, and that she’s now visiting the resort as a guest.

If Belinda is on vacation, one possible explanation could be that Tanya McQuoid incorporated the spa manager into her will in a moment of guilt, thus giving Belinda the fortune she’d promised her years earlier. It seems like a safe bet to say that Belinda’s return means a continuation of Tanya’s storyline in some way or another: She was the White Lotus character to whom Belinda was most connected and the character who tied together the first two seasons of the show. We assume White will want to continue her story in some way for the sake of continuity, and Belinda’s recurrence seems like further proof that that’s the direction he’ll take.

The spa manager could be in Thailand thanks to an inheritance from Tanya—or perhaps because she’s tasked with carrying out one final ridiculous request from Coolidge’s character from beyond the grave in exchange for a promised inheritance. Season 1 saw Tanya disposing of her mother’s ashes in the ocean: Is it possible that she cooked up some farfetched idea about wanting her own final goodbye to be somewhere in Thailand, and that Belinda is saddled with carrying out that final wish if she wants to finally collect her fortune?

Jennifer Coolidge
Jennifer Coolidge in “The White Lotus” Mario Perez/HBO.

Watching a frustrated Belinda travel all the way to Thailand to fulfill Tanya’s final wishes in the hopes of getting her reward would be a fitting continuation of both their characters, but it may be an overestimation of their connection. Another possibility for the significance of Belinda’s return could be seeing a White Lotus guest connected to Tanya visiting the Thailand location where Belinda now works, signifying Belinda’s inability to escape this woman who wronged her even when traveling halfway across the world.

White has previously said he’d like Season 3 to deal with spirituality and death, leading fans to believe that the new cast will interact with the Buddhist temples located throughout Thailand—and watching a slew of wealthy people travel to Asia to potentially appropriate its culture does seem like a perfect fit for The White Lotus‘s typical subject matter. Knowing that, perhaps it will be a wealthy relative or friend of Tanya’s who decides that Thailand is the perfect place to grieve, and Belinda will once again be cast in the role of exasperated helper.

For Belinda’s sake, we hope there’s been a shift in her circumstances since we saw her last—and whatever she’s doing in Thailand, we’re sure Tanya McQuoid has something to do with Belinda being back on our screens.

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