Saturday, April 4, 2020

Round Two: Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere: Season 1, Episode 2 “Seeds and All” (B+)

In my review of this show’s pilot, I noted the presence of Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington as its strongest asset. It’s true that this doesn’t seem like a huge stretch for Witherspoon, not quite as much immutable personality as on “Big Little Lies” or as much of a willingness to say it all as on “The Morning Show.” But that also made Elena’s drunken confessions all the more powerful, since she let her guard down and shared much more of herself than she usually does with her defenses down. After “Scandal,” it’s great to see Washington take on something with a bit more depth, and she really impressed in all of her scenes in this episode, particularly when Mia spoke up to defend Elena and then reacted to her unsubtle share about helping Pearl get into the classes she needed. The counselor assuming that Pearl didn’t live in Shaker and that she couldn’t handle the more advanced classes was maddening, and having to ask for the forms he condescendingly offered her at the end was an unfortunate necessity. Actress Lexi Underwood, who plays Pearl, really is terrific, and definitely the standout of this ensemble. I was surprised that Mia decided to confess to having her boss call and pretend to be her former landlord since Elena wasn’t likely to pursue it after the embarrassment of having the criminal record check faxed to her house while Mia was cleaning it, and I’m curious to see how it will affect their relationship going forward.

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