Episode 5 of Little America season 2 starts with us introduced to Yana, a Russian who receives a visitor at the airport. It’s her partner Maksim. Only, that’s a bit of a problem given we see her in the arms of another man kissing as the episode starts! Not a great introduction to our protagonist but let’s continue.
Yana has dreams of being a DJ but for now it’s just a pipedream. It also doesn’t help that Maksim isn’t exactly enthused to spend time with his girlfriend. In the bathroom, Yana discovers that her cabinet leads through to a strange world, showing Maksim as a DJ, their “Frankie Knuckles”, who happens to be an aspiring underground player.
Anyway, these segments actually work to flesh out Maksim and Yana’s past, including how they met at the club and exchanged numbers on the escalator. As we know though, this love seems to have fizzled out after all this time, even with Maksim getting his Visa and heading over to the US. They’re both in very different places now.
Yana works an office job in Wall Street but she’s grilled for being competent and not exceptional. As a result, she works all day to try and provide for the pair of them. When she heads home after a hard day, she’s dismayed to find Maksim isn’t exactly helping himself. He’s not enthused to meet Yana’s friends, he’s a bit of a slob and he backtalks them all and ends up sitting on the stairwell alone for an hour. In that time though, Yana ends up talking to the DJ, who encourages her to show up at his club.
Maksim feels weird in his new surroundings, with everything very different from how he thought it would be in the US – including Yana herself. People change as time passes and it’s clear that the pair are in very different places in life. That’s a real problem though, as the pair are actually married.
Yana believes Maksim is wasting his life and encourages him to actually make something of himself. When he shows up at work, Yana speaks sternly, telling the guy he needs to start taking things seriously. In fact, Yana has had enough. She makes a big decision and decides they need to break up.
As a result, Yana shows up at the club and is given the opportunity to spin some tunes and mix in her own vinyls into the set. As she does, she sees a younger version of herself in the audience, having come full circle.
Following this breakthrough, Yana quits Wall Street and becomes a DJ. However, she also becomes a film director too, following her artistic dreams as we learn that she actually wrote and directed this episode!
The Episode Review
Seeing that Yana herself actually directed and wrote this episode is a nice way of authenticating the journey and showing off just how far she’s come since those early days with Maksim. It’s a shame but people grow apart and change as the years go by. You can either embrace it and change along with them, or get stuck in your old habits and end up in a different place in life.
This chapter does a good job of showing that, and the deeper meaning behind the “space doors” works to give reason and clarity to the flashbacks, which are nicely sprinkled throughout the chapter.