After the calamitous events of the Season 1 finale of Big Little Lies, most viewers assumed that was the end. It was an understandable notion, given the show was billed as a limited series, but nevertheless, HBO gave it a Season 2 renewal. That renewal means we've got to start the impossible process of speculating where the moms of Monterey will go from here.

Beyond the excitement of seeing more of Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Jane's (Shailene Woodley) mommy machinations, a second season also means we're officially heading into unchartered territory. Sure, not everything from Liane Moriarty's original novel made it into the TV series, but given that we're going beyond the timeline of the source material, the possible plot twists and turns are innumerable. No book spoilers to cheat off of this time around, folks!

In an effort to make the agony of waiting for Season 2 slightly more tolerable, TV Guide has compiled everything we know about the new season so far.

Everyone is returning. Most of the cast members of Season 1 have re-upped their contracts to return for the second installment. Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Merrin Dungey, Zoe Kravitz, Adam Scott, James Tupper, Jeffrey Nordling and more are on the list of returnees.

Even Perry! Alexander Skarsgard is "expected to return in some capacity" according to TVLine, so we're most likely getting some flashbacks of Perry or maybe even a hallucination or dream sequence. Considering his murderers have not been arrested or charged and we know his mother is coming to town with questions about the investigation, there's plenty of opportunity to fit Perry into Season 2.

A ton of new characters are coming. The cast of characters in Monterrey will be welcoming quite a few newcomers next season, including Perry's aforementioned mother. Meryl Streep has been tapped to play Celeste's mother-in-law, Mary Louise Wright, who comes to town concerned for her grandchildren in the wake of their father's death.

Bonnie's parents have also been cast in Season 2, though their dynamic with their daughter doesn't seem to be a easy one. Martin Donovan will play her father, Martin Howard, (no details about that character have leaked yet) and Crystal Fox has been cast as Bonnie's mother, Elizabeth Howard. She is described as "controlling and emotionally abusive."

Is Big Little Lies About to Majorly Deviate from the Novel in Season 2?

Another newbie is Mo McRae who will reportedly play Michael Perkins, a new second-grade teacher. He'll be the latest target for Renata's ire thanks to his progressive (and apparently panic-inducing) teachings on global warming at the school.

Corey Brockfield is another new character in Season 2, and he'll be played by Douglas Smith. According to Deadline, Corey is an aspiring marine biologist (and totally sexy surfer), who'll be spending a lot of time with his co-worker, Jane. Sounds like a new romantic interest to us!

It will likely premiere in 2019. HBO programming president Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter that given the Spring 2018 start date for filming, Big Little Lies wouldn't make it to air this year. We can only cross our fingers for an early 2019 release date. Something's got to fill the months before Game of Thrones' final season airs, right?

Big Little Lies Season 1 is currently streaming on HBO Now.

Reese Witherspoon, <em>Big Little Lies</em>Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies