Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 2 recap – transparency

March 18, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
Hulu, TV Recaps


Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 2 sees Elena doubt her decision about Mia and secrets are unfolded about Mia’s past.

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Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 2 sees Elena doubt her decision about Mia and secrets are unfolded about Mia’s past.

This recap of Hulu Series Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 2 contains significant spoilers.

Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 2 opens in May 1983 — Mia is having sex in the car with a man while Pearl is asleep. Pearl wakes up, so Mia has to kick the man out of the car.

I’m not sure what this scene is meant to tell us, maybe that Pearl is reckless?

Then Episode 2 flits to September 1997 — Mia is painting with music in her ears and Elena is preparing lunch for all her family, placing them in different coloured bags, indicating how much she enjoys being organised. Bill asks Elena about Mia’s illegitimate landlord reference; he’s concerned because Mia starts work for the family soon.

Elena briefs Mia about her new role and some tasks that she needs to do. Mia explains to Elena that mornings are for her best creative work and that she can only do afternoons. Elena reluctantly says they can test the afternoons as a starting point. The tension is clear at this point.

Elena checks out Mia’s artwork and then asks about the landlord’s reference. Mia says there has been a mix-up and Elena immediately asks if she could provide a proper reference. Soon after, Elena gets a call from a supposed landlord giving a positive reference. Mia asked someone to ring Elena at her cafe job to pretend to be her landlord. Elena rings Bill and is curious about the reference.

Mia gets to work in the household; she asks Izzy how school is and when Izzy points out that there are loads of bullies, Mia tells her to stand up for herself — this is the first scene where Bill is introduced to Mia.

At dinner, Lexi talks about school and her essay topics while Izzy will not speak much. Elena goes into a rant about being punished for being a good parent. Meanwhile, Mia and Pearl eat at the cafe — Mia reminisces to when Pearl was a baby.

The next day, Elena learns that Pearl has been moved maths class — she points out that the school always try and discourage minorities and that she’s going to talk to the school.

Elena’s willingness to fight for social justice is admirable at times.

When Elena gets home, she checks out Mia’s criminal record and then the book club starts. Elena notes that the book has little to do with motherhood and gets into a heated disagreement with her friend about the worth of the vagina. Mia interrupts the session and agrees with Elena and talks about societal perceptions on a vagina and how Elena is talking about it as a metaphor.

Elena looked happy for someone to have her back at this moment.

Elena thanks Mia for saving her at the book club. Mia immediately comes clean about her criminal record and admits she has lied about her reference. She says how many landlords see her as a single black mother and they don’t want to give her a house but she sees Elena as different — Elena takes an intake of breath and offers her a glass of wine.

Both women get drunk; Elena admits she has never truly seen her vagina which shocks Mia. Mia says she did a whole series on her own vagina 20 years ago which involved loads of photos. Elena asks her about the photo above her fireplace and asks who it is. Mia says a friend helped her make it and it goes back to the topic of her. She wanted her friend to feel unrecognizable, even to herself. Elena asks Mia if Pearl likes her — and then says Mia doesn’t have to think about it when they do like you and that it is easy to take motherhood for granted; when they are younger they always needed you and then they grow up.

I believe Elena was mostly referencing Izzy here.

Elena tells Mia that she’s done a wonderful job with Pearl and that she advocates for harder classes and that she didn’t really need her help to get in the right classes. Elena asks if her painting is for sale, but the conversation about Pearl and that specific painting struck a nerve and she suddenly wants to leave.

Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 2 ends with Mia returning home and asking Pearl if she managed to fix her classes at school; Pearl says she took care of it herself and Mia senses she is lying.

Additional Notes

  • Elena takes a photo of all her children and asks Pearl to join in before they go to school.
  • Moody shows Pearl around the school. Moody points out Lexi’s boyfriend.
  • Mia offers to finish a woman’s shift at the cafe after she gets upset after missing her child.
  • Pearl asks Moody what her mother is doing at his house — he tells her about the role of house manager.
  • Izzy blows up at a teacher at school. Elena catches Izzy getting in trouble by a teacher. Elena takes Izzy home and grounds her.
  • At Pearl’s house, Moody realized that Mia smokes weed. Pearl asks him if he wants to try. Moody takes a puff out of the weed bowl, gets high and starts observing Pearl’s house differently. Moody tells Pearl that his mother and father have a sex schedule — every Wednesday and Saturday which puts them into a fit of giggles. They hold hands.
  • Mia asks her colleague what happened to her child.

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