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66 Questions About Gordon’s Man Cave in ‘Big Little Lies’

Why is Renata’s husband so obsessed with trains? Does he have any friends who play trains with him? Is he eventually going to bash said trains to bits? (And, you know, 63 other questions.)

HBO/Ringer illustration

The second season of Big Little Lies has already expanded the show’s world in so many ways, from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to the introduction of a ridiculous, exclusively outdoor coffee shop, but no new location has been more baffling and entertaining than Gordon Klein’s man cave. We received our first brief glimpse of the place Gordon goes to when Renata is doing a photo shoot, or just generally being herself, in the Season 2 premiere, as the past-his-prime tech bro surveyed a detailed model train set, got white-guy wasted, and hugged one of many wood baseball bats to his chest.

Then, after Episode 3 ventured even further into Gordon’s sanctuary—and, perhaps, his mind—we were left with questions. Many, many questions. They are documented below the photo of a pre-arrest Gordon housing whiskey.

  1. Where is Gordon’s man cave located?
  2. Is it in the basement, the only place a man cave really belongs? Or, since Gordon always seems to be hanging out upstairs, is it really more of man loft? A man nest, per say?
  3. Is the design of the vintage bank safe on the inside of the door an actual mural, or just a giant sticker?
  4. If it is a decal—for which there is a thriving market online—did Gordon get it on Etsy?
  5. Does Gordon have an Etsy account? What’s his username?
  6. Why did he get a decal that looks like a vintage bank vault, when there appear to be a multitude of train-themed options available for purchase?
  7. Do you think Gordon ever gets so drunk (whether on the liquor or on the trains) that when he tries to leave he reaches for the wheel on the decal instead of the door handle?
  8. Let’s zoom in. Is that a cycling jersey underneath all of those baseball bats? Did he cycle? Does he still?

9. Has he ever cycled with Ed?


10. Is this entire room sponcon for Big Train?

11. Why does Gordon have cows freely roaming near the train tracks?

12. Is that white blob near the tracks a cow that just got creamed by a train? Are these feral cows, or is their owner blisteringly incompetent?

13. How easy would it be to connect these train tracks to a Thomas the Tank Engine set?

14. Has he ever let Amabella play with these trains? (Never mind, the answer is obviously “No.”)


15. Is that the same remote I had for my LED light strips in my college dorm?

16. Which of these model train listings did Gordon post on eBay? My money is on this one, the listing that says, “WE DO NOT HAVE THE ORIGINAL BOX OR CRADLE FOR THIS TRAIN!”


17. What are the chances that this shot foreshadows this entire set being smashed to pieces by the end of the season? 95 percent? 99 percent?

18. Speaking of the bats, is that pine tar on the handle?

19. This Harrison’s Hardware building is currently about 50 bucks on sale—is this actually a relatively cheap hobby?

20. Will Renata freak out when Gordon sells his entire train set, doesn’t make enough money to buy them dinner, and then wants to spend even more time with her because he no longer has a hobby?

21. The decals on the red wall behind the train shelves also seem like an Etsy purchase—did Gordon buy them all at once, or did he develop a train sticker addiction that just can’t be appeased?


22. Is that a Syracuse football helmet on his shelf? Is Gordon a Syracuse fan?

23. How many times has Gordon yelled at the TV while watching Tyus Battle and the Syracuse basketball team lose to UNC?

24. There’s an exercise ball in the corner, and a set of dumbbells—does this room double as a gym? Is there an exercise bike hiding somewhere, or does Gordon just like to get in some biceps curls before playing with his trains?

25. There are train tracks on the floor—are they painted on, or are they EVEN MORE DECALS?

26. What kind of adult man requires train tracks on the floor of his personal sanctuary? I’m concerned for Gordon, I really am.


27. Why does Gordon own space- and race car–themed vintage arcade games? Do they not make train-themed games?

28. The arcade games can be heard beeping in the background throughout this scene—just how much noise do these games make on a regular basis?

29. Does Gordon constantly have to play music to cover it up? Or has he learned to selectively mute annoying noises, after years of living with Renata?

30. Does Gordon have friends who come over to play with him? Or does he hold the high scores on both of these machines, all by his lonesome? Just constantly playing against himself, man against machine, day in and day out?

31. Did Gordon sell NBA Jam to Lin-Manuel Miranda?

32. Does that big window behind him have an ocean view? Is he covering an ocean view with curtains during the daytime? Can it really be a man cave if it includes an ocean view?


33. Why, instead of using a fancy cart like every other gazillionaire, does Gordon insist on arranging his alcohol on a series of shelves like a college freshman?

34. Why are there multiple shot glasses scattered on said shelves?

35. Again: Does Gordon have friends who come over and take shots with him while playing with trains?

36. Is he part of some sort of Millionaires’ Model Train Club? Do they have weekly meetings?

37. If his friends aren’t into trains, do they just ignore the trains while they hang out?

38. How and why does Gordon’s beer of choice appear to be a 716 IPA brewed in Buffalo, New York?


39. Is that the top of Buffalo’s Central Terminal in Gordon’s train set?

40. Why does Gordon love Buffalo so much? Is he from there? (The answer appears to be yes.)

41. Do they sell Buffalo-specific model train sets, or is this a custom job?


42. Does his beer choice have any connection to the Central Terminal poster leaning against the wall, also located in Buffalo?

43. Why did he choose to place his business degree from the Wharton School next to his collection of vintage railway signs?

44. He was definitely a legacy at Wharton, right?

45. For someone with a very tall wife, some of Gordon’s planes seem dangerously low-hanging. Is that by design? Is it an attempt to wife-proof this space?

46. Has Renata ever gotten a wing in the face mid-rant?

47. Does Gordon realize he has all the bad planes from World War II and none of the cool ones?

48. Did it ever occur to Gordon that he could just become a pilot?

49. The six-pack by the door is from Saint Archer Brewing Co., a San Diego brewery. But upon closer review, the actual bottles inside the container are not uniform: one has a green top, while the rest are red. Why are there different bottles in your Saint Archer six-pack, Gordon?

50. Did Gordon get the Buffalo beer from his local craft beer store and do the mix and match in a random cardboard carrier for $11.99?

51. What kind of chaotic alcohol organization system IS THIS?


52. Is he keeping that empty Coke bottle for nostalgia?

53. There’s also a rogue takeout container sitting behind Gordon—what sort of snack situation is Gordon working with in here?

54. Does he rely on Postmates alone, or is there a swagged-out mini-fridge hiding somewhere we can’t see?

55. … is there a bathroom connected to this room?

56. Why are the people on the model train set kayaking in class II rapids without life jackets?

57. Is that another cow at the bottom of the picture overlooking the river? Who is herding these cows?!?!

58. Is this outfit a man cave–specific look, or does Renata allow Gordon to wear Jane’s Addiction shirts and flatbills elsewhere in the house?

59. Does the man cave have its own closet, full of leather bracelets and raggedy band shirts and perhaps a puka necklace or two?

60. Does Gordon own any train-related clothing? Perhaps a conductor’s hat?

61. In a moment of solitude, has Gordon ever quietly said to himself, “choo-choo”?


62. What kind of hard-core, industrial lock is that on the door?

63. Has Gordon ever locked Renata out of the man cave?

64. Correction: How many times has Gordon locked Renata out of the man cave?


65. Is that a spittoon in the corner? Gross.

66. Is Gordon OK?

Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.