Little Fires Everywhere – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Little Dramas Everywhere

True to its name, Little Fires Everywhere sees wisps of smoke starts to appear as our central ensemble of characters find themselves crumbling under the heat that’s engulfing them all now. Whether it be Linda and Bebe Chow’s ongoing feud over their baby or Lexie and Pearl’s fractured relationship, this drama really comes into its own this week and delivers a surprisingly engrossing slice of drama.

We begin episode 5 of Little Fires Everywhere in Paris 1976 with Elena packing her things up and heading back home, with her whole life planned out. Unfortunately those plans are shattered by her partner Jamie who decides to stay in Paris and not head back to America with her.

November 1997 sees us back to our current timeline as Izzy boasts to her Mother about heading over to Mia’s and doing artwork with her. Unfortunately when she asks Mia about the New York Times article she’s found, a frazzled Mia pushes Izzy away.

At the same time, Pearl speaks to Lexie who learns she’s pregnant. Things begin to get tense too, as she hides it from Brian while throwing up at home. Meanwhile, Bebe Chow sees her daughter again out in the open and holds her again while Linda sits, unable to look at anyone. Only, when she looks up she notices Mia’s car and immediately looks shocked.

At the same time, Elena clings to Mia’s picture in the New York Times and tries to learn the truth about her. Before she can dig any deeper however, Linda heads in to see her and questions just why Elena has taken so long to tell her what she knows about Mia.

Unfortunately it’s all too much for Elena who heads off in the middle of the night, ignoring Bill’s pleas for her to stay, and promises to return in 2 days. In New York, she follows clues and bribes her way into receiving the class roster from the art class for the painting unearthed resembling Mia.

Back in Ohio, Pearl meets Lexie in the abortion clinic and promises to stay with her but it turns out she used Pearl’s name to hide her own shame, which certainly doesn’t go down too well with her. After the operation, Lexie apologises for what she’s done and asks to be brought back to her house instead. Mia hugs Lexie when she realizes what’s happened as Pearl watches awkwardly from afar.

After finally getting her to sleep, Mia and Pearl sit together and discuss what happened. She admits to having sex with Tripp and promises she was safe in doing so. Coincidentally, Tripp phones her and they head out together, where he admits that she’s different and dances around telling her he has feelings for her.

Elena heads to the Times and speaks to her old flame we saw at the start of the episode, Jamie. She asks him to dig up information about Mia and he agrees to look to do so, on the condition of going for dinner. Afterwards, Elena finally admits why she came to see him – to see if he has regrets in his life too. It’s a sobering moment and one that completely shatters that facade of Elena having the perfect life back home. 

He unfortunately sees through what she’s asking and tells her she’s still the same sad person with a sad life. He eventually walks away from her, leaving her to stew over his words.

Later that evening, Mia gives Lexie a piece of her mind and goes in hard about the way she’s been using Pearl. As Lexie is forced out of Mia’s house, she bumps into Izzy who leaves her apology letter on the porch, confused as to why her sister is there.

While Mia talks to her friend and mentions secrets she’s been hiding, Elena investigates Mia’s life and tracks down her Mother. It turns out the baby she was carrying (this being Pearl of course) wasn’t actually hers. As Elena comes to this realization, Izzy burns the apology letter back home and watches as the flames lick up the side of the paper.

With some big home truths revealed and plenty of drama to stew over, Little Fires Everywhere delivers one of its best episodes this week. There’s plenty of poetic ironies that run right the way through the 50 minute drama and the issues surrounding sexism, class and racism remain at the core of this story, remaining just as strong as they were all those weeks ago. While Elena and Mia’s conflict remains the focal point here, there’s plenty of other bubbling issues threatening to spill over at any moment too.

The potential love triangle between Moody, Tripp and Pearl remains a really precarious issue while Lexie hiding her abortion from Brian may come back to bite her – or worse, tarnish her entire reputation at school. The irony that Elena’s model daughter may just grow up to hold the same shame and regret she herself has been carrying all these years is a bitter sense of poetic irony and it’s something that really adds an extra layer of depth to this one.

Whether those final scenes of Izzy trying to douse the flames is the catalyst for the fire that engulfs the family house or not remains to be seen but for now, Little Fires Everywhere bows out this week’s episode with a really strong episode.

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  • Episode Rating
4

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