Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 Episode 4 Review: The Spider Web

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One thing is certain -- the little fires from the first few episodes are now full-blown flames. 

On Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 Episode 4, we're introduced to the shadows and the dark sides of people's personalities.

The complexity of the relationships between the mothers and their daughters in this episode was almost too relatable.

Costume Party - Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 Episode 4

The characters demonstrate that is possible to love someone and still unintentionally cause them deep pain because of your dysfunctions and insecurities. 

Mia and Elena are their own worst enemies.

Elena's unhealthy obsession with having a picture-perfect life is destroying her family. While she claims to be a mother who puts her children first, she refuses to accept her children for who they really are. 

Trip: You gotta treat her kind shitty. Make her think she did something wrong.
Moody: That’s your great advice?

Elena is so caught up in her own drama that she has no idea what's going on with Trip, Moody, Lexie or Isa. 

Elena believes that having money and privilege make her a good mother, but she overlooks the importance of authentic relationship. Being a good mother is not about what you can buy for your children.

Mia in the Kitchen - Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 Episode 4

It's ironic that Elena's daughter Isabelle finds so much in common with Mia, because Mia's daughter Pearl has developed a close relationship with Elena.

Mia is so consumed with helping Bebe get her daughter back that she's neglecting her own daughter. She consistently gives Pearl what she thinks she needs, as opposed to considering what's in Pearl's best interest.

You know being gay is a very rare thing.


Mia embarrassed Pearl by working for the Richardsons when she never had to take the job. She claimed to take the job to protect Pearl, but it embarrassed Pearl and it made it harder for her to be seen as an equal amongst her peers.

Elena is Perfect - Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 Episode 4

Mia's refusal to tell Pearl anything about her father is also a selfish decision. Honesty is the highest form of honor and respect. Pearl deserves to know where she came from. 

I was disappointed in Pearl's decision to hook up with Trip knowing how much it would hurt Moody. Sadly, Pearl learned to be secretive from her mother.

Moody would have been a much better decision for Pearl. He's kind, thoughtful, and dependable. He appreciates Pearl for who she is on the inside.

Pearl is Blissful  - Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 Episode 4

Trip's advice to Moody about how to attract women was toxic and triggering. Sadly, boys like Trip often prey on girls with low self-esteem.

Unexpectedly, Moody is my favorite character so far. His innocence and optimism give me hope that some humans are more good than they are bad. 

My Mom believes what she wants to believe. And she wants to believe I'm with Carl.


Since Pearl has never had a father figure in her life, it makes sense that she deosn't have any context for what healthy relationships between men and women look like. All she knows is that her mother has sex with whoever she wants, whenever she wants.

Bebe is Worried - Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 Episode 4

The writers of the show also do an incredible job of demonstrating that not everything is black and white. Sometimes, there are no easy answers. 

When Elena accuses Mia of being a bad mother and making bad choices, Mia quickly points out that women like her and Bebe don't always have good options.

Bebe: You have children miss?
Elena: Yes I do, I have four children
Bebe: How much you sell them for?

I put myself in Bebe's shoes and tried to imagine what I would have done if I were in her position. As an illegal immigrant with no family, she didn't have any options. If she would  have kept baby Mei Ling, she likely would have died.

Bebe's decision was not an easy one, which is why there are countless laws in place to protect the rights of biological mothers.

Elena at Dinner - Little Fires Everywhere

Although the laws differ in every state, most states have procedures in place that allow a biological parent to reclaim an infant within a specified period of time. 

On the other hand, I completely understand why Linda does not want to give up the baby. She has formed a close bond with baby Mei Ling. She took care of her when Bebe could not. 

The hardest part about this situation is that Linda has not done anything wrong. My heart ached for her when she found out Bebe planned to battle her for custody of Mei Ling. 

Isabelle is a rebel - Little Fires Everywhere

There's no doubt that Linda has more resources to offer the child, but that doesn't automatically make her the best choice.

Both Linda and Bebe make a great case for reasons why they should have full custody of baby Mei Ling, but something about Bebe's insistence to fight for Mei Ling feels selfish.

You didn’t make good choices. You had good choices. Options that being rich, and white, and entitled gave you.


It's evident that Mia sees herself in Bebe. Like Bebe, Mia was a young single mom who had to work hard to make ends meet for her daughter.

Mia likely feels that because she has managed to take care of Pearl for all of these years, Bebe will be able to take care of Mei Ling.

Lexie in her Sweater - Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 Episode 4

While Mia's reasoning makes sense in some ways, her bias is blinding her ability to make logical decisions. She continually pressures Bebe to fight for the baby with no regard for the consequences or pain she causes.

Unlike Mia, Bebe is not an American citizen. If Bebe is sent back to her home country, she will likely be separated from her child.

Elena: Are we? Friends?
Mia: Of course.

Baby Mei Ling is also in a stable, loving home with two parents who love her. While Mia may not see much value in that, Pearl likely would have wanted Mia to give her up to parents who were more capable of providing for her.

Random Thought: I really can't stand Mia, but I want to be like Kerry Washington when I grow up. Her acting is impeccable, and her skin looks flawless in every scene. 

As always, I want to hear what you thought about this weeks episode!

Who is your favorite character?

Who do you think set the Richardson's house on fire? 

Will Mia choose Moody or Trip?

If you missed this week's episode, you can watch Little Fires Everywhere online!

The Spider Web Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.3 / 5.0 (3 Votes)

Kiara Imani is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

You didn’t make good choices. You had good choices. Options that being rich, and white, and entitled gave you.


You know being gay is a very rare thing.