Debra Newell (Connie Britton) has a seemingly perfect life: she's successful, beautiful and lives in one of California's most desirable coastal cities, Newport Beach. The only thing missing is love. So when she finally meets charming and handsome doctor John Meehan (Eric Bana), she's quickly swept into a whirlwind romance, much to the dismay of her daughters Terra (Julia Garner) and Veronica (Juno Temple). Their fast-tracked relationship creates tension between Debra and the girls, leaving them no choice but to investigate the stranger who has swept their mother off her feet.
And with a fraught family history, the backstory of Debra and her mother Arlane (Jean Smart) provides insight into why she may have been so vulnerable to John in the first place. As Debra gets drawn deeper into his lies and sinister game of psychological manipulation, it results in horrific consequences for an entire family.
Based on a true crime story featuring an epic tale of love gone wrong, in season 2, it is the story of convicted murderer Betty Broderick (Amanda Peet) and her ex-husband (Christian Slater) that spans the 1960s to the '80s and chronicles the breakdown of their marriage that Oprah deemed one of "America's messiest divorces" even before it ended in double homicide.