Little America season 1, episode 6 recap: “The Grand Prize Expo Winners”

By Daniel Hart
Published: January 17, 2020 (Last updated: February 11, 2024)
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Apple TV+ Series Little America Season 1, Episode 6 - The Grand Prize Expo Winners


Little America Season 1, Episode 6, “The Grand Prize Expo Winners” presents an immigrant woman who embraces the importance of family and sticking together.

This recap of Apple TV+ Series Little America Season 1, Episode 6, “The Grand Prize Expo Winners” contains significant spoilers.

Little America Episode 6, “The Grand Prize Expo Winners” is a story about a mother’s importance on family.

It opens up with Ai working at a vitamin sales team. All of a sudden, she goes into labor. Ai heads to the hospital and the baby is born. The following scenes show her family life, making food and watching her son get older. There are telling arguments between Ai and her husband and he moves out. But life moves on and the children get older. Ai does the best for her children, using finances wisely and ensuring they are well looked after. In the present day, her children who are now teenagers are eating broth at the back of the car.

Ai tells her children about the Expo and that she believes they should go as this time she thinks they could win the competition prize. Her children are skeptical. The next day she wakes her son up for the Expo but he does not want to go. Ai goes on her own and due to the bad weather, not many people turn up. Ai wins the Alaskan cruise holiday.

While heading on to the cruise, the audience receives some backstory to Ai. There is a flashback to her family taking her on a boat. Back in the present, the family checks out the room and the view. They join other people for dinner on the cruise. Ai pretends she cannot speak English and lets her children speak for her.

The next phase of Little America Episode 6 is heartwrenching as it is clear Ai’s intentions are to make this cruise about “family time”. Her son wants to join his newly made friends and so does her daughter. Her children tell her they’ll see her at dinner. Looking lonely, Ai walks around the cruise to see what else they can do. Her children join for dinner but their new friends intrude. One of the mothers of the teenagers asks Ai if she wants to hit the karaoke later.

And it gets even more upsetting for Ai and the importance of family is becoming a stronger theme; the next day she brings her children breakfast but they have already left their rooms. They have left a note — “See you at dinner”. A crew member gives her advice on what to do on the ferry. Ai heads to the casino and then to the cinema to watch a documentary on sea life. Ai remembers more memories of being on a boat with her family.

Upset and angry that her children have abandoned her while on holiday, she stops her son from playing a game with a friend and explains they are on vacation. Her son shouts back at her and walks off. Later, her children do not join Ai for dinner. A man tries to speak to her and she tells him that the cruise is sad and everyone on it is sad. Ai heads to the bar and downs a glass of wine with soda. She heads to the casino but then backs out of a bet at the roulette table.

Ai decides to try out karaoke. She sings a song and a flashback sees her asleep on her father’s shoulders as they leave the boat, presumably now on American land. Her father gives his daughter Ai away — he explains that they have a boy on the way so they have no choice. I presume this is in relation to China’s one-child policy that was abandoned in 2015. She cries as she continues to sing the song. This is why family matters to her so much — this is why she does absolutely everything for her children.

Little America Season 1, Episode 6, “The Grand Prize Expo Winners” closes with Ai returning to her room and her sleepy son thanks her. The next morning, Ai watches the sunrise and witnesses the view of Alaska as the cruise sails by. The credits roll — in real life, Ai still does not love cruises but loves vacations with her kids and grandkids — Ai’s son is now a filmmaker and he wrote and directed this episode.

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