In the wake of Hugo’s secret spilling out, episode 4 of Little Birds begins with Lucy taking flight and arriving at Contessa’s mansion. Meanwhile, Cherifa finds herself shunned and forced to leave a place of worship after speaking to someone she knew when she was younger.
As she wanders along the beach, she comes across a group of women much like herself, each with the thin black strip down their chins. As she sits with this prophet (I’m assuming that’s what she is, please correct me in the comments if I’m wrong!) she tells her to walk closer toward her troubles.
Back at the mansion, the Contessa’s daughters goad Leo into playing with them. Unfortunately he gets a little too rough with a belt and he berates them for their attitude toward whipping.
Hugo arrives at the mansion and tries to make a peace offering with Lucy, offering her freedom. Only, ironically the only person she saw as free was Cherifa the night she defied Vaney. Eventually she tells Hugo to leaves but whispers that if she was a man, she’d kill him.
Speaking of death, Vaney finds Frederic and suspects murder on the table. With no immediate suspects to pin this on, Vaney tells his associuate to find one. Given the volatile situation in Morocco right now, this is a pressure cooker situation that threatens to spill over at any moment.
Vaney ignores this though and demands a very public arrest. That arrest comes in the form of Leo. With the Contessa unwilling to budge on her position, she “protects” her daughters and has him arrested.
When word of this spreads across to the brothel, Cherifa happens to overhear and contemplates sneaking in to Vaney’s house.
Meanwhile, on the back of what happened at the bar last episode, Hugo is brought before “the American” down at the docks. Only, this man clearly is not American and the Irish businessman forces Hugo to hand over $1000. Only, as Grant didn’t inform him of this, Hugo’s left in a very difficult position to bargain with this man.
This difficult position is made even tougher when Vaney’s right-hand man requests the manpads that he obviously doesn’t have.
After what happened at the end of the previous episode, Adham awakens to find himself in the care of kind Moroccans. As night draws in, we learn more about Adham’s life and how alone he was as a child, despite being surrounded by materialistic items. It’s here he reveals that he worries about not fitting in and finding a place he belongs.
Speaking of places people belong, Lucy heads down from her room and starts to revel in the festivities with the other girls. Despite the Contessa’s warning about the drugs she’s just ingested, Lucy finds herself more spaced out than normal.
Clearly having a bad trip, she looks at herself on the film she helped create and shakes her head. Not long after, Cherifa arrives and tells Contessa she needs to help Leo as he didn’t kill Frederic. However, Contessa throws her out but a gunshot ricochets in the air and breaks the silence.
Lucy shoots the screen and “feels much better.” As the familiar jazz score picks up once more, she encourages the servant Chico to shoot the gun just as she did with Vaney. As the music crescendos, so too does the action as Cherifa shoots Chico and wrestles the gun out of Lucy’s hand. Eventually the girl is docile enough for Cherifa to leave with the gun in hand.
The Episode Review
Alongside the visuals, it’s worth noting that Little Birds continues to show a consistent visual motif of birds. This, of course, ties back in to the title of the series. It also serves as a metaphor for Lucy’s position as she psychologically “flies” at the end of the episode.
After the emotional fallout last time, a lot of this fourth segments feel like a reflective slice of melodrama. There’s a lot of slow-paced scenes and the various different subplots move along pretty glacially.
Having said that though, the ending inside Contessa’s mansion is pretty good and certainly brings a lot of ideas to the table in a compelling way. With two episodes left, Little Birds leaves things wide open.
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