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'Little Fires Everywhere' Episode 4 sees Elena and Mia face a mother's worst nightmare

This chapter sees things blow up between Elena and Mia after the former finds out that it was Mia who had led Bebe to Linda's house
Mia Warren and Izzy (Hulu)
Mia Warren and Izzy (Hulu)

Spoilers for 'Little Fires Everywhere' Episode 4

'Little Fires Everywhere' Episode 4 brings Mia Warren (Kerry Washington) and Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) face to face as each confronts the other about all the lies that have been said in the previous episode. Mia leading Bebe to Linda and Mark's residence becomes a huge point of contention between the two. As they begin to argue, they also say some hurtful things to each other which are not exactly false, but definitely not something that the two would be able to move on from.

For instance, Elena calls Mia a bad mother who didn't take good care of her daughter. She said she is surprised that Pearl turned out to be the sweet and smart girl that she is despite Mia. While on the surface, it does seem harsh, we must accept that Mia is not the most responsible parent from a conservative point of view. Moving around cities, especially knowing it hurts Pearl; leaving her smoking pipe with marijuana unattended when she is away from home, trying to make Pearl advocate for herself by not giving her enough support is kind of problematic.

However, Elena is no better. She is racist, had a prejudice against Mia from the beginning and the way she treats her son Moody and daughter Izzy for not fitting with her idea of perfection is another extreme of problematic parenting. So, for the two mothers to be throwing stones at each other is ironic. Yet, this also foreshadows how each of them loses their child to the other.

A still of Elena and Pearl (Hulu)

Pearl believes that Elena is the ideal mother figure. She puts her children first and caters to their needs. Elene ensures that her children have everything necessary and a stable life. All of which Pearl doesn't get from Mia. Izzy, on the other hand, finds herself captivated by Mia. After she ends up at Mia's house after a terrible experience at the school dance, Izzy has been hanging out with Mia, helping her with art. She is intrigued by Mia's process, her home, and everything about her. 

She also finds that Mia is perceptive about what Izzy experiences at school and picks on her foul mood easily. Unlike Elena, however, Mia doesn't blame Izzy for the problems that she faces at school. Even when she learned that Izzy had spoken to her father about being gay and not Elena, she is disturbed that Izzy wouldn't confess to her mother. Elena is oblivious to the kind of trauma that Izzy has experienced because of her style of parenting. Suffocating is an understatement. 

Mia with Pearl (Hulu)

So as Pearl and Izzy find the grass greener on the other side and show us how Mia and Elena have lost their children figuratively, the show foreshadows all of this with a mother who is about to literally lose her child. Linda and Mark haven't been able to have a child of their own and adopting Mirabelle, who was abandoned at a fire station by her biological parents, turned out to be a gift in disguise. They end up going through formal adoption procedures but before everything is finalized the couple learn about the biological mother who wants to claim custody.

This happens to be Mia's colleague Bebe and we saw the fit that she threw at the party at Linda's residence in the previous episode. Now, with Mia's support, Bebe is able to hire a lawyer despite being an illegal immigrant who abandoned a baby at a fire station. She is set to fight for custody at court and this might end badly for Linda and Mark.

'Little Fires Everywhere' new episodes drop on Wednesdays on Hulu.