Byline: Briana Hicks
Spoiler Alert for Episode Seven; Little Fires Everywhere
This week on Hulu’s original miniseries, Little Fires Everywhere, Mia (played by Keri Washington) and Elena (portrayed by Reese Witherspoon) standoff against one another.
In episode seven, Elena placed her cards on the table, leaving Mia nervous and unsteady. Up until recently, we’ve seen Elena as the most put-together perfect mom, wife, and journalist in Shaker. While, on the other hand, Mia has transitioned from guarded to studying the enemy to knocking down a house of cards when she paid for Bebe’s legal fees to help her get her child back. For the first time in the miniseries, we see Mia for who she truly is. A mother who is imperfect, but trying her hardest to do what is best for her daughter. But, in doing so, she makes an unintentional enemy out of Elena who feels that she’s been made a fool of.
Elena is so determined to get as even as possible with Mia that she begins to unravel the perfect image she’s worked so hard to perceive. Once she finds out the truth about Mia’s past, how she’s stolen a child she was paid to have by the Ryans, Elena bides her time to use it as ammunition. She has stacked a deck of cards against her, and she’ll do anything to expose Mia for who she is; a liar, a thief, a manipulator, and a con artist.
The writers make us think that when Elena confronts Mia in the courthouse bathroom, filling her in on her meeting with her parents, and uses that as a threat to make her not testify, that Mia will only look out for her family. But, later on, immigrant Bebe (played by Huang Lu) convinces her to help her fight to keep her daughter as she does for her own. True to the promo tease of Mia taking the stand, she goes forth with testifying on behalf of Bebe’s character as a mother. Mia thinks that her secret will come out in court and that her daughter Pearl (portrayed by Lexi Underwood) will hear the truth in the media. In a twist of events, Elena’s lawyer husband, Bill (played by Joshua Jackson), only goes after Mia’s lack of longevity relationship with Bebe and the money she was able to cover for her legal fees. Which, indicated that Mia was in a position to take care of her daughter, but Bebe’s financial situation had not changed.
By the end of Mia’s testimony, Elena is infuriated that Bill did not hold her accountable for her actions. Instead of leaving things at that, she takes it upon herself to blow up Pearl’s world, who is already upset with her mother for forcing her to live a poor life and not be truthful about their finances.
By the end of the episode, Pearl stomps past Mia after getting out of Elena’s car, and the two women are left facing off in the night. Elena has now revealed herself to be vindictive, relentless, and self-righteous. She sits back and judges Mia for her choices as a mother, but yet, does not acknowledge the fact that she resents her youngest daughter, Isabelle aka Izzy (portrayed by Megan Stott), for ruining her career as a journalist and being different from her other children. She continues to force Izzy to conform to her ideals, wants, and future for her without trying to listen or receive what her daughter needs as an individual in the family. She essentially cuts her out of the family for not doing as she commands, by cutting her out of the family Christmas card. Which, leaves Izzy to feel hatred for her mother but also abandoned by the one who was supposed to protect, support, and love her relentlessly as she does her other children.
The episode ends with a close-up frame on Mia’s face that displays fury and fear. She knows that Elena is not going to stop until she rips her daughter away from her, and takes everything she’s worked so hard for. But, we also see a woman who realizes that she has nothing left to lose, a woman who is dangerous enough to set fire to Elena’s home, with her in it?
With the direction this show is headed, I can’t rule out Mia as the one who doesn’t set the fire. For Mia’s only real fault, outside of helping Bebe, was allowing Elena to show them “kindness“ by letting them live in her rental and a relationship to form between their children. Elena’s hatred for Mia began brewing after their encounter on the street when she asked Mia to subsequently be her maid. All of this was after she called the cops on her, then misjudged her as homeless because their belongings were in her car. When, in fact, they were just moving again.
But, we can’t count out Izzy, who has been playing with fire in many episodes but who has also rebelled against her mother since the first episode. Cutting her child away could be the fuse that ignited the bomb that was just waiting to explode.
I know one thing, you definitely don’t want to miss a single moment of the final three episodes in the coming weeks. Come sit by the fire and see who DID burn the house down.