EPISODE 9

Little Fires Everywhere Episode 8 with Mira Jacob

April 22, 2020 - Abbe and Emma talk the finale of Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere adaptation with Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk, plus cameos from Celeste Ng.

On this episode of The Adaptables, Abbe and Emma chat about episode eight—the finale!—of the Hulu adaptation of Celeste Ng’s bestselling novel, Little Fires Everywhere. They’re joined by Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk and The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing.

Abbe, Emma, and Mira discuss baby birds, trans-racial adoptions, being surprised by the adaptation of a book we’ve all read, those pesky fires everywhere, Elena’s redemption and more.

I was one of the lucky first readers of Little Fires Everywhere. I picked it up and the next time I looked up, it was night.
—Mira Jacob

Discussion breakdown:

-Emma’s Fire Count (2:22–4:33)
-Emma recaps the episode (4:45–9:31)
-The lemonade stand flashback, the baby cardinal and what it means to Izzy (9:33–10:42)
-The four Richardson siblings against the world—and their mother (10:42–12:58)
-Elena sniping at Bill, yelling at Izzy about the Keds, and her softness with Lexie (13:00–14:19)
-Elena on Lexie and Brian’s breakup (14:19–15:22)
-Linda’s testimony, speaking about May Ling’s birth culture and the stickiness of a trans-racial adoption (15:22–18:19)
-Mia’s audiobook on A Look at Race in Shaker Heights and her latest art project (18:20–19:24)
-**AD** Writ Large (19:25–20:34)
-Mia building Shaker out of flour and inviting Pearl to witness her art (20:34–22:33)
-Pearl’s agency grows and the complexity of being a person in the world (22:33–24:00)
-Celeste Ng on her characters today: “I have a general sense of them and my general sense of them is that they’re going to be okay.” (24:00–24:27)
-Mia and Izzy’s farewell conversation and the scorched earth (24:29–25:28)
-In the book, who is responsible for burning the house down? How does that differ in the show? (25:30–25:41)
-Does Elena’s taking responsibility for her children’s actions excuse everything else she’s done up ‘til now? (25:41–27:23)
-Were we surprised by the verdict? Do the beautiful, rich people always win? (27:24–31:15)
-The fiery ending! (31:16–34:21)
-The final scene: was it satisfying? (34:21–35:30)
-Our Favorite ‘90s moments: Fat-Free lemonade, Mirabelle watching Barney & Friends, Izzy’s outfits, Bill’s cigarette smoking, and Men in Black, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Excess Baggage. (35:30–37:30)
-Mira Jacob tells us about her graphic memoir, Good Talk (38:15–40:11)
-What is Mira reading? (40:12–40:35)

TV show recap:
-A flashback episode to the early ‘90s when the Richardson children are young. They are running a lemonade stand, and Izzy tries to rescue a baby cardinal.
-Izzy tries to throw out all of her girly clothes, floral curtains, and Keds that she no longer wants to define her.
-Pearl and Mia are still at odds. Pearl asks Mia to call her dad and tell him about her.
-Mia does try to call the Ryans and Madeline picks up and correctly guesses who it is.
-Elena: still meddling. Asks her doctor friend to break confidentiality about Bebe, but discovers Lexie/Pearl’s file instead.
-Linda gives her testimony and the judge goes into a week of deliberation.
-The judge rules in favor of the McCulloughs and they are awarded custody of Mirabelle.
-Mia and Pearl make up, at Trip’s urging. But they realize they can’t stay in Shaker and leave without saying goodbye.
-Izzy sees Mia and Pearl leaving the key and tries to chase after them, but it’s too late.
-Izzy snaps and grabs a gas can to light her belongings on fire. The other three Richardson children see her, and try to stop her, but then what Elena says causes them all to light matches and start little fires everywhere. Izzy runs away.
-Pearl and Mia leave Shaker and Pearl decides she wants to see her grandparents.
-Bebe steals her daughter back from the McCulloughs and makes a run for it.
-Elena takes the blame for the fires and goes to the duplex hoping Izzy is there, but she isn’t. She finds the cardinal feather in Mia’s artwork and cries over the ruination of her perfect life and the loss of her daughter.

LITTLE FIRES COUNT: 10

1. 🔥 Mia and Pearl’s fire burning for the entire episode
2. 🔥 The story of the prairie fire
3. 🔥 Bill’s lighting of a cigarette
4–9. 🔥 Little. Fires. Everywhere! 3 of the 4 Richardson children strike matches and light blazes.
10. 🔥 Bill witnesses his house on fire.

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 finale? Are you watching the show? Is Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere adaptation a successful adaptation of the book?

Follow @ReadItForward on Twitter and Instagram, follow Mira Jacob on Twitter @mirajacob and Instagram at @GoodTalkThanks, tweet your thoughts on the finale and other adaptations you love. Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

NEXT UP: We’ll start Season 2 next week with Hulu’s adaptation of Normal People, with guest Michelle Hart, Assistant Books Editor at O, The Oprah Magazine.

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