Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 4 recap – “The Spider Web”

March 25, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
Hulu, TV Recaps


Little Fires Everywhere Season 1, Episode 4, “The Spider Web” is still overly plotty but the themes and messages get stronger as Elena investigates.

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Little Fires Everywhere Season 1, Episode 4, “The Spider Web” is still overly plotty but the themes and messages get stronger as Elena investigates.

This recap of Hulu Series Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 4, “The Spider Web” contains significant spoilers.

Little Fires Everywhere Season 1, Episode 4, “The Spider Web” is good but it dawned on me just before I watched this chapter that it is extremely plotty — it barely gives characters time to breathe. When you are enlighted by patient writing like Better Call Saul, Little Fires Everywhere feels like it is going at breakneck speed.

Episode 4, “The Spider Web” opens up with a flashback of Linda giving birth; I presumed it is a stillbirth based on the emotions of the situation.

In the present day, Linda is really paranoid and emotionally stressed about the situation with her adopted child. Linda knows Bebe is the mother and that she will be back and it is taking a toll on her mental health.

Meanwhile, Moody is frustrated with Pearl; his brother Trip thinks Moody has been friend-zoned and he tries to give him advice — “Stop acting smart and roll with me”. Moody is not too sure.

Bebe tries to explain to her manager Scott why she took so much money; it’s because she needs it to get her daughter back. Mia defends Bebe to Scott and her lets her off the hook for stealing the money.

Mia knows she needs money now to help Bebe — she tells Elena that the photo she holds close to her heart is up for a lot of money in auction, but would rather sell it to a friend. Elena asks Mia why she has the same car in the police report regarding Linda’s baby — the Chevrolet hatchback. Elena confronts Mia, believing she has been avoiding her.

It’s Halloween in Little Fires Everywhere Season 1, Episode 4, “The Spider Web” so Lexie and Pearl head out to a party with friends. At the party, Trip tells Moody that phase 1 with Pearl is to ignore her and then give her a cold hi at the end of the party. Moody thinks the “be mean” advice won’t work on a girl like Pearl and claims Trip could never get someone like her. Moody tries to be nice at the party and it doesn’t work.

Shock — it was obvious where this episode was going.

Elena raises her instincts to Bill about Mia and the Linda and Mark situation and knows something is up. She asks Bill to raise an order at The Lucky Palace.

Elena, in my opinion, has way too much time on her hands.

And that is proven in Episode 4, ‘The Spider Web” to be true as she heads to The Lucky Palace. As she walks in, Mia says “order for Bill, yes?” with a stern look. Elena rings the manager of the restaurant the next day and asks Scott for everything to do with Mia and Bebe.

Elena then heads over to Linda’s house. Linda says it feels like a nightmare and she does not want to lose her baby. Elena reckons this woman is trying to get her baby back and that she’s an illegal immigrant; Elena recommends that Linda begins legal proceedings now. Linda fumes and says she’s going to tell Bebe to stay away from her family. Elena strongly advises against it.

We see a different side to Pearl which will have ramifications down the line; she offers to help with Trip’s grade. She invites Trip to her house and there’s sexual tension between them and they kiss. Pearl invites Trip to her room to have sex, and presumably to lose her virginity. After they have sex, Trip freaks out at Pearl and rushes off; he tells her that his brother Moody really likes her and that this is really f***ed up.

I mean, it is a s*** move by Trip and Pearl, but sometimes it’s all about who lays it on the table first as the great John Boyega said in regards to Rey and Kylo Ren. This is all going to end in tears.

Elena decides to take it into her own hands and speak to Bebe over a cup of tea. Elena says Bebe made a great sacrifice and a huge choice in giving up her child. Elena keeps using persuasive language and then offers Bebe money and assurance that she will have visitation rights; she also offers Bebe an immigration lawyer. Bebe slyly asks Elena how much would she sell her children for. Elena gets frustrated and tells Bebe to take the money before walking.

Elena and Mia have a massive argument over the custody battle that is approaching. Elena calls Mia manipulative and a terrible mother. Mia comes back with some clangers, claiming she is a good mother and “you didn’t make good choices, you had good choices because you are rich and white and entitled”.

She’s not wrong.

Elena asks why Mia took this job and Mia offers another jab; she says she took the job to protect Pearl from her and that white women always want to make their maid their friend — “I was never your maid”. Ouch. Elena says Mia is done.

Pearl is fuming with her mother about the Mia and Bebe/Linda situation, stating that it is not their problem. Mia tells Pearl to never go to the Richard household again. Bebe then comes over and Pearl gets upset.

It’s strange because Pearl does not understand her mother’s love, and at the same time, Izzy does not understand her mother’s love from Elena.

So Pearl sneaks out and heads over to the Richardson household and hugs Elena.

Mia convinces Bebe that the Richardson family cannot throw money at her. She tells her to fight for her daughter but Bebe asks how can she get the money. So Mia gets out one of her favorite pieces of work. It’s a portrait of her heavily pregnant with Pearl and she bursts into tears — she’s going to sell it. When she heads to Pearl’s bedroom she notices that she isn’t there.

As we approach the end, Mia heads to the Richardson house in the pouring rain, looks up to the house and screams “get in the car!” — Pearl sees from the window. The next day, Mia drops Pearl off at school and reminds her that she will never be going to that house again.

Little Fires Everywhere Season 1, Episode 4, “The Spider Web” ends with Bebe and Mia meeting a lawyer. A news reporter approaches Linda about her daughter soon after. The story ends up on the news, with the narrative that the American dream was not meant to be built on the basis that citizens split up immigrant families. The news includes an interview with Bebe who says they offered her money.

It’s easy to take the side of Mia and Bebe at this point; the Richardson family and Elena in particular, reek in white privilege, believing they can throw money at problems to fix an issue with their immigrant acquaintances. It will be interesting to see where this heads.

Additional Notes

  • Elena tells Bill she wishes Izzy would confide in her.
  • Izzy is helping Mia with an art project. Later, she sneaks into Mia’s house and works on more art.
  • Lexie shares her experiences of sex with Brian to Pearl and her other friend. She explains how they are going to try new positions.
  • Mia has a nightmare of Linda taking Pearl.
  • The Richardson family discuss the Mia/Bebe situation. They all have disagreements over what to do next. Izzy calls Elena a terrible mother and leaves the table. Later in the episode, Izzy sees Elena helping Pearl to bed and looks irked by it.

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