Little America Season 1, Episode 2, “The Jaguar” presents a young Spanish immigrant girl living in poor conditions attempting to try the sport squash.
This recap of Apple TV+ Series Little America Season 1, Episode 2, “The Jaguar” contains significant spoilers.
- Read the Season 1 review.
- Read the recap of Episode 3.
- Read the recap of the previous episode (1).
- Access the archive of all the episode recaps.
Little America Episode 2, “The Jaguar” opens up at a luxurious lakeside house. A young Marisol is checking out a sculpture of trees. Her mother is cleaning the house and demanding she folds the clothes properly. Both women are talking in Spanish and state the rich owner of the house cannot understand them. When they head outside after the work is done, Marisol’s brother Diego is asleep in the back after a long shift — the rough life of undocumented immigrants in America.
The 5am alarm goes off; Marisol plays her favorite music on her iPod — it is revealed that this family lives in a garage. Marisol hops on a bus to school and on the way in, she smashes a girl’s drink out of her hand. A teacher sees and gives Marisol a dressing down, stating Marisol could try to get into good colleges — Marisol sarcastically asks the teacher if she could borrow her social security number.
Marisol and her friend decide to try out squash practice. Due to her attitude, the coach asks Marisol to go first. Marisol attempts to play squash but keeps continuing to try. On her last attempt, she hits the ball and then ends up falling. The coach says “inside of you there is a jaguar”. At the end of the session, the coach asks for the squash shoes that Marisol tried keeping. He recommends that she returns.
At the midway point of Episode 2, “The Jaguar”, Diego pretends to read Marisol’s school report as if it were positive. But then he speaks the truth, reading the school report to their mother in Spanish. Marisol’s mother reminds her that Diego quit school and got a job so she could continue to be in school.
Little America Episode 2 presents the sacrifices required to be made by immigrants in this pressure cooker environment.
Marisol returns to squash practice and the coach thinks she’s like the sport. Marisol listens to the coach’s advice and slowly she begins to pick it up. Marisol starts working out, training regularly. Eventually, the coach thinks she is ready for a tournament after 8 months of practice. He raises an opportunity for Marisol to branch out internationally but she drops the bombshell — she doesn’t have a passport.
She tries out in her first match and beats a worthy opponent but the coach still criticizes her movement and technique, raising that it will be finals next. There is a squash event she must attend for the finalists. At the event, the coach raises that there are potential benefactors for the Urban Squash League. He tells Marisol to mingle.
And Marisol does mingle but it puts her in an awkward position. A gentleman approaches her and explains that with her skill she could get into any college. And then a woman recognizes Marisol because her mother cleans her house. The slight hesitation, the obvious atmosphere and the eyes looking around the room presented the truth — the gulf between rich and poor.
Marisol attends the tournament; midway through the final, Marisol gets a conduct warning from the referee for calling back and she continues to berate him, receiving a penalty point deduction. The coach calms Marisol down, telling her to fix the opportunity. She finishes the match in style. Afterward, it is revealed that Marisol came second but her mother and her brother are extremely proud, and she bursts into tears.
Little America Season 1, Episode 2, “The Jaguar” closes with Marisol growing up, continuing to practice, getting a degree, receiving a green card and obtaining a passport. The credits reveal that in real life she was ranked one of the top 15 squash players in America.
What an amazing story. An immigration story with the odds stacked up against them. A story with genuine perseverance and hard work.