Little America Season 1, Episode 4, “The Silence” is a patient story about a woman trying to endure a silent retreat which comes with many distractions.
This recap of Apple TV+ Series Little America Season 1, Episode 4, “The Silence” contains significant spoilers.
- Read the Season 1 review.
- Read the recap of Episode 5.
- Read the recap of the previous episode (3).
- Access the archive of all the episode recaps.
Little America Episode 4 is strange in that we do not know the main character’s name until the end. She is participating in a silent retreat and for the purpose of this recap, I believe the group at this retreat are following guidelines [courtesy of hridaya-yoga.com].
Episode 4, “The Silence”, begins in a meditation session — everyone is breathing heavily. Our main character is distracted, constantly opening her eyes and looking around. She is clearly distracted, so much so, she expertly kills a fly. A woman nearby begins crying and then our character imagines laying on someone’s breasts in the group. She then imagines a monkey coming out of a painting and a man practicing ballet with her.
At lunch, a man is slurping their soup; the leader of the group receives a note that says “Debbie sucks at timekeeping”. At night time, the lead character reads a Kon-Tiki book, looking at various photos of the 1947 expedition.
At breakfast the next day, the same woman is crying again. A new man walks in and tries talking and everyone shushes him. Our character imagines this man with his top off doing the Kon-Tiki expedition. The man smiles at her.
The lead character is doing some cheating at this silent retreat. She heads into her car and starts eating potato chips and plays some music — it looks like she is in paradise. The new man knocks on her window and gives her a note — the note says he is called Jack.
The lead character purposefully changes the chores on the board so she can be around Jack. In meditation, someone is snoring and she can’t help but laugh. The leader of the group walks up to her with a stern face and she bursts into a giggling fit. Jack also starts laughing and both of them have to leave the room.
Both characters head out into the woods. The lead character hurts her foot and Jack tries to sooth it. She imagines kissing him and then sleeping with him; suddenly her imagination escalates as she imagines a baby appearing from nowhere. Back in reality, she panics and kicks Jack in the face, giving him a bloody nose — he walks off. Later that day, a grumpy Jack changes his chores on the board.
After another meditation session, Jack asks our lead character to join him. They buy snacks from a store. During what looks like an “energy” session where you place your hands up close near to each other, the lead character and Jack look at each other intensely. She starts having flashes, imagining a family with Jack, camping, and arguing. She runs off into the woods and when the storm hits, she lays on the forest floor, allowing the rain to hit her. Afterward, she walks back in, heads to the group dining area, and starts eating and drinking aggressively.
Little America Season 1, Episode 4, “The Silence” ends with a twist that most can see coming considering the theme of Little America. The group has reached the end of their silence and are obliged to speak. Jack asks for the lead character’s name. She suddenly sparks into action but speaking in French — Jack has no idea what she is saying.
The subtitles reveal she came to America and that she has never felt so alone. She came to the country to discover herself and decided to come to a silent retreat, which suitably makes sense for her as she does not speak English. She describes Jack’s eyes as kind but insists she needs to learn who she is. This woman is clearly not and wants to do some self-discovery. Jack tries broken English and asks her if she would like to visit his cabin. She accepts. Her name comes up — Sylviane.
Credits reveal that in real life, Jack and Sylviane were married for 22 years.