‘Little Fires Everywhere’ is a character-driven mini-series by Hulu with an overarching theme of motherhood. The series is an adaptation of Celeste Ng’s novel of the same name and tells a controlled and complex story with well-shaded characters.
Reese Witherspoon stars as Elena, a helicopter mother of four who lives in a wealthy neighborhood with her family. Kerry Washington, on the other hand, plays Mia, a nomadic artist. The lives of both the characters’ family members have intertwined in a rather complicated manner so far while the leading ladies have become full-blown rivals due to a custody battle.
With three more episodes to go, viewers can expect an explosive end to this well-tailored story. Multiple plot threads have gradually coalesced into a fine painting. The entire story, at once, is starting to feel extremely impressive, despite the series having been uneven.
Little Fires Everywhere Episode 6 Recap:
The sixth episode of ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ takes place entirely in the past and presents the history of its leading characters, Mia and Elena. Hence, this recap has been divided into two:
Mia: In Pennsylvania in the year 1981, Mia’s religious and overprotective parents pray for her safety as she is going to college in New York. Mia’s brother, Warren gifts her some of his savings. Mia does not accept it. At art school, Mia gets enthralled by her teacher, Pauline’s lecture.
At the station, Mia sees a man staring at her. She runs inside a subway. The man follows Mia when she gets off the subway, on the street. Mia turns behind abruptly with a pepper spray in her hand. The man tells Mia that she looks like his wife. He tells her that his wife and he were looking for a surrogate mother since they are unable to conceive. He tells her that he will pay and gives her his card.
Pauline invites Mia to an art exhibit and introduces her to Anita. Mia is informed that her scholarship has been rescinded due to budget cuts. Now, Mia has to arrange for $12,000 to pay the next year’s tuition. She goes to the man (stalker)’s house. She tells him and his wife that she can be their surrogate for $12,000.
Warren visits Mia and finds out about the pregnancy. He is slightly apprehensive initially but gets on board quickly. Mia and Pauline get close to each other in a romantic and sexual capacity. They take pictures of each other in the bathtub, naked. Pauline also helps Mia with her art, including the living room painting.
Mia has to go back home since Warren has passed away. Her mother finds out that she is pregnant and tells her that she cannot come to Warren’s funeral because of that. Mia writes a letter to her parents and leaves. After she delivers Pearl, Mia finds out that Pauline has passed away due to ovarian cancer. Mia decides to keep Pearl.
Elena: In Shaker Heights in 1983, Elena goes back to work after being pregnant with Moody. She has to now report to a former coworker who has been promoted. Later, Elena finds out that she is pregnant again. She had wanted to focus on her career and not have any more children.
One day, after delivering Izzy, Elena gets frustrated looking after the kids. She calls her former boyfriend Jamie sobbing. The two end up making out and go to a motel. However, just when they are about to have sex, Elena’s breast hurts. She decides to go back home despite Jamie offering to rekindle their relationship. After she reaches home, Bill finds Jamie’s number behind a bill that falls out of Elena’s belongings.
Little Fires Everywhere Episode 6 Review:
‘Little Fires Everywhere’ is a decidedly character-driven story. Its well-developed characters and their interactions with each other have been the most engaging features of the series. Hence, the fact that the sixth episode delves into the past of its two leading characters is unsurprising.
Elena and Mia steer ‘Little Fires Everywhere.’ Both the protagonists have been the most integral component of the mini-series. Although both of their personalities are complex and meticulously portrayed, Elena and Mia would have not been as interesting without each other. The two turn out to be the perfect foils for each other.
At once, viewers are able to empathize and relate with Mia and Elena and see their flaws. The one thing that connects the two is their overprotective, maternal instinct. The rest of their nature is simply a product of the vastly different environments that they have grown up in. Without Mia’s presence to contrast Elena and vice versa, the two protagonists might not have packed as much of a punch.
The sixth episode brings this contrast to the forefront while highlighting the commonalities of Mia and Elena’s experiences. This way, the episode sheds light on the strongest component of the story: Mia and Elena’s rivalry and contrasting personalities. By doing so, the episode also makes viewers aware of the series’ ambitious theme. The story, at its core, advocates for the universal experience of motherhood which is felt differently by women of different races and socioeconomic statuses.
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