Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 5 recap – “Duo”

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 1, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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Hulu Series Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 5 - Duo


Characters are further exposed in Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 5, “Duo” with Elena taking a trip to New York to find more truths.

This recap of Hulu Series Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 5, “Duo” contains significant spoilers.

Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 5, “Duo” opens up in Paris 1976 with Elena out clubbing — she’s seeing a man named Jamie. During the discussion on returning to America, Jamie insists he does not want to leave just yet and unfortunately he has to break up with Elena.

But I think the scene is designed to show that Elena has always followed a structured path as set by her family who has seemingly strict values.

In the present day, another truth is exposed in a chapter of truths; Izzy tells Elena that Mia has sold one of her arts and she’s featuring in the New York Times to get money for a better lawyer for Bebe — Elena dismisses that the naked pregnant woman in the paper is Mia. Elena also tells Izzy not to go over to Mia’s house with both mothers now at war. Izzy ignores her mother and goes over anyway and shows Mia the New York Times article. Mia is angry at Izzy, as she’s clearly gone through her work and calls it an invasion of privacy.

And another truth in Episode 5, “Duo” — Lexie finds out she is pregnant and Pearl tries to reassure her. Lexie’s boyfriend Brian is unaware, and he ironically tells her to go on the pill. Lexi goes through the horror and trauma of having an abortion — a low point for a seemingly positive-minded character.

As for Bebe, with her new flashy lawyer, she has managed to achieve visitation rights. Linda is distraught and when she sees Mia across the road watching, she blames Elena for not making her aware of what was coming. A disgruntled Elena goes to New York to investigate “who Mia is”. In New York, she meets her ex-boyfriend Jamie who might have information regarding Mia for her story — she wants to know the identity of the woman in the New York Times. They have an intimate meal.

You can tell this wasn’t just an innocent meal; the way the scene is put together suggests there is long lost chemistry between both characters and it questions the integrity of Elena.

Anyway, Elena learns that Mia’s brother had a car crash and died at 17 — he was called Warren. Elena and Jamie get drunk and start flirting, but when she tells him that she looks forward to being friends, he walks off angrily. Elena runs after him and says she wanted to see him, merely to check up on his life. Elena then breaks, showing her disloyalty to her husband and invites him back to her hotel. Jamie calls her a narcissist and that she’s such a sad person leading a sad life, and all she has done is stick to a plan that’s not fulfilling her life.

These were very harsh words.

As we near the end, Mia has another one of her nightmares where she’s on a subway and a man is following her. She turns around and the man turns into Lexie. When she wakes up in a sweat, Pearl asks her mother if she wanted her when she was pregnant. Mia assures her she did.

Little Fires Everywhere season 1, episode 5, “Duo” ends with Izzy putting one of her art pieces together after feeling wedged in between Elena and Mia. Elena meets Mia’s parents. They explain that the baby cannot be their grandchild because the baby Mia is carrying in the picture is not hers.

Does that mean Pearl is not Mia’s baby? Many more questions to be answered in what was an average episode.

Additional Notes

  • Pearl and Mia are still clashing over the Richardsons.
  • Pearl reveals to Mia that she had sex with Trip and gets upset as it wasn’t special.
  • Mia tells Lexie that she shouldn’t be in her house and even though Pearl has a lot of love to give, she doesn’t.
  • While in New York, Bill rings her saying he is worried.

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