Little Fires Everywhere Episode 5 with Taylor Noel

April 1, 2020 - Abbe and Emma talk episode 5 of Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere adaptation with bookstagrammer Taylor Noel, plus cameos from Celeste Ng.

On this episode of The Adaptables, Abbe and Emma dish about episode five of the Hulu adaptation of Celeste Ng’s bestselling novel Little Fires Everywhere. They’re joined by bookstagrammer Taylor Noel, the woman behind @books_with_taylor.

Abbe, Emma, and Taylor discuss Alanis Morissette, Denison University, Magnolia Cupcakes, Celeste Ng’s moving abortion scene, Elena acting as a private investigator, and more.

That fraught mother-daughter relationship that we see a lot in all types of media and literature is so well-done here, so well-constructed, and smart.
—Taylor Noel

Discussion breakdown:

-Emma’s Fire Count (1:26–2:42)
-Emma recaps the episode (2:45–5:21)
-Elena in the Flashback casting: Paris, sticking to the plan, ambition, and Anna Sophia Robb (5:21–7:48)
-Are we sympathetic to Jamie’s character? (7:49–9:15)
-Denison University shout-out #DenisonProud (9:15–9:32)
-The fight in the kitchen and the discovery of the photo of Mia (9:32–11:28)
-Izzy reveals the photo to Mia (11:28–12:40)
-Pearl questioning her own provenance (12:40–13:30)
-Lexie gets an abortion at Planned Parenthood and betrays Pearl in the process (13:30–14:56)
-Lexie trying to be honest with her mom vs. Pearl getting honest with her mom (14:56–16:04)
-Snaps for Jade Pettyjohn doing a wonderful job with such a moving scene (16:04–17:50)
-Celeste Ng on why she chose to include an abortion in her novel. “It’s something that virtually every teenage I know has had to deal with in some way or another.” (17:50–18:53)
-Bebe and Linda interacting during the visitation (18:55–19:25)
-Elena on the case in NYC (Magnolia Cupcakes actually suck.) (19:25–20:52)
-The police officer checking on Elena and the race implications in the show. (20:52–22:22)
-Izzy’s creation of the apology collage and the betrayal of Lexie coming out of Mia’s house (22:22–24:26)
-Elena discovering Mia and Warren Wright (24:26–26:23)
-Trip figuring out he actually likes Pearl (26:23–27:27)
-Favorite ‘90s moments: “You Oughta Know” violin cover and Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited,” the Arch Deluxe vs. the McRib, vintage pregnancy test, double French braids with mini barrettes, the microfiche, Cindy Sherman retrospective, Paula Jones vs. Anita Hill, the phone with the cord (27:27–29:40)
-Bill gets heated when Elena goes to NYC (29:40–31:26)
-Taylor’s favorite adaptations (31:26–32:28)
-What is Taylor reading? (32:28–33:33)

TV show recap:

-Opens in Paris in a flashback and we see how Elena and her college boyfriend Jamie know each other.
-Bebe has been given visitation rights to be with May Ling.
-Elena drives off to New York in the middle of the night to investigate Mia
-She and Jamie have a rendezvous in New York City
-Lexie finds out she’s pregnant and gets an abortion at Planned Parenthood with Pearl as her escort and seeks solace at Mia’s apartment afterward.
-Izzy creates an apology collage, but ends up burning it up.
-Pearl and Trip patch things up, he starts reading The Bell Jar and realizes he likes Pearl
-Elena drives to Pittsburgh to interview Mia’s parents and learns the baby Mia has raised wasn’t hers to raise.


  1. 🔥 Mia and Pearl’s Fireplace while they’re fighting over the phone
  2. 🔥 Mia feeding things into the fire as she’s on the phone with Anita
  3. 🔥 Izzy burning the apology collage for Mia
  4. 🔥 Jamie’s “Nightcap’s on me” comment

The Adaptables is a podcast from Read it Forward and Penguin Random House that dives into your favorite book-to-screen adaptations. This season, we’re watching the Hulu adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere. Join hosts Abbe Wright and Emma Shafer as we interview authors, insiders and Celeste Ng, herself, about what makes an adaptable great, why watching and reading are important self-care rituals, and the many other books and shows we are binging and loving right now. Because at The Adaptables, we love to watch what we read. (Warning: there will be little spoilers everywhere.)

Send us an email or voice recording to AdaptablesPod@Gmail.com. What did you think of the episode? Are you watching the show? Is Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere a successful adaptation of the book?

Follow @ReadItForward on Twitter and Instagram, follow Taylor Noel on Instagram @books_with_taylor and Twitter at @TaylorAnneNoel, tweet your thoughts on episode 5 and other adaptations you love. Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

NEXT UP: We’ll recap episode six with Arianna Davis, Digital Director of O, The Oprah Magazine

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