Little Fires Everywhere (2020) s01e08 Episode Script

Find a Way

Previously on
Little Fires Everywhere
Mia kidnapped Pearl.
What's going to New York
and abandoning your family
to go play Nancy Drew?
Why am I being punished for
for learning the truth?
I just think about Pearl.
Learning about what you did
in a court proceeding?
Is fighting for someone else's
child worth losing your own?
Why did you date me for the
last year and a
fucking half, Brian?
Because I did love you!
You have no idea howhard it's been for me recently.
What my mom expects from me?
- What?
- It's hard to be your mom!
Then don't be.
You won't swim forever.
I promise.
Yeah. She's definitely
covering something up.
Probably another guy.
There is only one person here
who is May Ling's mother,
and that is Bebe Chow.
I have no further questions
for this witness, Your Honor.
Are you out of your mind?
What are you doing?
Sit. Down.
Why don't we go
somewhere to talk?
Just you and I.
Trip, God, you don't
put the whole lemon in.
But that's what it said
on the infomercial.
Just let Moody do it.
Oh, baby!
Our first customers.
Wait, Izzy, you were supposed
to stock the bank.
Here, run back to the house.
Hey, Mrs. McCarren!
Hey, Jack!
Do you want some lemonade?
It'’s fat-free.
Why is the door open?
- Oh, my goodness.
- Get it, get it.
- Get it!
- No, it's over there.
Stop, please,
you're scaring it.
What is going on?
It pooped on the mantle.
Shoo it
towards the door.
Who is responsible for this?
She brought it in.
It's Izzy's fault.
It was a cardinal.
It was hurt.
- I wanted to save it.
- It pooped on the couch, too.
I'm gonna have to clean this upbefore your father gets home.
- I'm gonna find the bleach.
- I'll help, Mommy.
Thank you, Lexie.
Trip, put away all
the sports equipment.
- At least the bird's okay.
- Not really.
What do you mean?
Once a human touches a baby
bird, its mother
rejects it forever.
You should take those upstairs
so the children don't see.
I know I was out of line
yesterday, but can we talk?
It's Linda's testimony today.
I can't be late.
You knew I
was going to return these.
Why did I find them
in the garbage?
That's what we do
in this house, right?
Throw away the
things we don't like.
Honey, it's getting late. Are you oh.
Oh, no.
Are-are you okay?
What's the matter?
He broke up with me.
He broke up with you?
You know, these
high school relationships,
they feel so serious.
I think this is a
blessing in disguise.
You're gonna be going to Yale
and you're gonna meet
so many young men.
I think there's gonna be someonewho's a better fit for you.
Stay home if you have to.
Okay, honey?
I would like to talk.
What's the point?
All you ever do is lie.
- Wait, Pearl, wait.
- No.
We can't stay in one place
because of your art, lie.
We have no money.
We have no family.
My dad didn't want me.
He wanted me so bad you
had to steal me away from him.
Pearl, I am so sorry.
I don't know exactly
what Elena told you
You told him I died.
You told my father, who
wanted me, that
his kid was dead.
See, you stand around
judging everyone else,
acting like Elena's
full of shit, but you are.
You've mentioned
in your earlier testimony
that you've spent all your life here in Shaker.
Uh, yes, uh
except for the four years
that I was at OSU,
um, and various travels.
So in your various travels,
have you ever visited China?
Uh, not yet, but we plan to.
We think it's really
important to keep
Mirabelle connected
to her birth culture.
How are you at present trying to
connect May Ling
to her birth culture?
Uh, well, she's only one.
So we haven't really
started yet, but eventually.
Are any of May
Ling's dolls Asian?
You know, and I
looked everywhere,
but no one makes Asian dolls.
Not even American Girl.
I have a
seven-year-old daughter.
I know how
challenging it can be.
Uh, her uncle gave her a giantstuffed panda, which she loves.
It's not, um, but I, you know.
Is May Ling's race and identitynot a serious matter to you?
No, of course it is.
Did you serve fortune cookies
at her first birthday party?
I didn't serve her fortune
cookies. They were, um,
a gift from a friend who thought
it might be a cute nod.
Are you aware fortune cookies
aren't Chinese?
Look, Mark and I don'’t pretend
to be experts in
Chinese culture.
- We
- Forget about being an expert.
What about just
acknowledging it?
I mean, we are,
but race isn't everything.
It's not the only thing
that matters here.
What box did you
check as your race
preference on your
adoption paperwork?
Objection, Your Honor.
Uh, relevance.
We checked the
box for a white child.
Um, like any parents,
when we sought to adopt,
we had certain ideas
of who our child would be.
But, you know, when
Mirabelle needed
a family, we didn'’t
ask what race she was.
It didn'’t matter.
When we held her in our arms,
all the notions of
who we thought our child
would be just melted away.
I mean
she was perfect.
Do you know
Mirabelle's given name?
Yes, May Ling.
So if she was
perfect, as you say,
why did you change it?
Um, well, I mean, every mother
wants to name her baby.
I wanted her to feel
a connection to our family.
To make us hers and her ours.
But she wasn't yours.
The adoption wasn't finalized.
It still isn't, in fact.
Did you consider that you
were erasing her identity?
-Negating her Chinese heritage?-No, I'm not erasing anything.
I'm not the one who abandoned
her baby. That'’s what she did.
I took her in.
I nursed her back to health.
I mean, when she
stumbles, I catch her.
When she'’s afraid?
When she'’s afraid,
she reaches for me.
You know, she didn'’t
come from my body,
and I'’m sad about that.
But that doesn'’t make me
any less of a mother.
You know, she may look Chinese, but she'’s our daughter.
What do you mean, she may
look Chinese?
May Ling is Chinese.
- Just like her mother.
- I mean, she may look Chinese,
but she'’s American!
I mean, I'’m, I,
I'’m, nobody gets it
right. Sometimes I
say the wrong thing.
No mother gets it right
a hundred percent of the time,
but I love her!
I'’m doing my best.
But Bebe Chow wasn't?
Look, I have no doubt you are
trying your best,
Mrs. McCullough.
But if your best is fortune
cookies and cute nods
When you have every resource
at your disposal?
If your best is that
race doesn't matter
That's not what I said.
Then your family
is not where she belongs.
-I do
- No further
questions, Your Honor.
No, I've been her mother
for almost a year.
No further
questions, Your Honor.
That's longer
than she ever has.
You may be dismissed,
Mrs. McCullough.
Any further witnesses
or testimony?
- No, Your Honor.
- No, Your Honor.
Then thank you all.
I will deliberate
and reach a verdict shortly.
Chapter Five.
Beneath the Facade:
A Look at Race
in Shaker Heights.
Shaker Heights, known
for its handsome boulevards
and opulent homes,
is credited for pioneering
a truly integrated community.
A suburban utopia where
all races can live in harmony.
Nowhere is the town's racial
consciousness more evident
than in the public schools,
where courses on racial
sensitivity are taught,
and every sport is encouraged
to have racial symmetry.
But surface attempts
to create equity mask a facade
revealing a complicated history of racial and cultural tension.
In the middle of the century,
as Jewish and African-American
home buyers flocked to Shaker,
for the utopia
that was promised,
many white residents fled.
And, after a bomb
exploded in the
garage of a new
African-American resident,
the town'’s utopian
image was shattered.
To help boost its
image, Shaker Heights
soon implemented
financial incentives
to keep neighborhoods
It was heralded as a progressive
model for other
cities to emulate.
Yet it begs the question.
If Shaker has to
pay white families
to live amongst
how progressive is it?
Here, I'’ll put this in
here, okay? You want it?
You want to put
him right in here?
How are you holding up?
Well, they said
it would be open-and-shut
and it would take hours,
and it'’s almost a week.
I know, I know.
Bill is really anxious, too.
Yeah, well, the stakes
are a little lower for him.
I've been thinking that, um,
maybe there's something
that we can dig up on her
that shows you what
kind of person she is.
She abandoned her baby.
She didn't want her.
I don't know what else he needs.
Do-do you think that maybe she
didn't want her
from the beginning?
What do you mean?
- Mama!
- Wait, what's that, my girl?
She said it!
What did you just say, mama?
You said it!
You said Mama.
Ooh, I'm your mama.
I'm your mama.
I'm your mama.
You're lucky we
didn't get a citation.
I don't want any of it.
I don't care.
You just can't leave
it in the front yard.
Well, okay then.
Burn it.
Give it away.
I'm done with it.
I'm done with all of it.
Hon, you have three
and half years left.
And then, you can go off and bewhoever you want to be.
But until that time,
just keep your head down
and try to get through it, okay?
Is that what you're doing?
Keeping your head down?
Sleeping on the couch.
Isabelle, you are a child.
You have no concept of the deals
we've had to
make to live this life.
You have no idea what realproblems are, and until you do,
you'’re going to put
your curtains back up,
put those fucking Keds backin the closet, and just grow up!
So that's what
you've been doing?
God, I can't believe after
everything that you've done,
you're still sitting
here judging her.
I saw the photos, the-the
pantyhose, the calendar.
I saw everything.
You lit her face on fire.
-How sick.-You are not to go in my studio
- and through my things.
- You stole from Elena.
Has it ever
occurred to you why
she told you the
truth about my past?
- Because it's my past, too.
- That's not why she told you.
She told me because
I have the right to know.
Because she actually
cares about me.
She may care about you,
but she told you to get back
at me because she hates me.
- No.
- Yes, yes.
There is so much
I need to tell you.
- Can you please just
- No.
-No, we need to talk. We need No!
I want you to call him.
My dad.
Tell him that I'm alive.
Tell him what you did.
Tell him that I
want to talk to him.
I ca
Forget it.
I'm sure Elena would
be happy to do it.
Hi, is this-this still
the Ryan residence?
It is.
This is Madeline.
Who's calling?
- Hi.
- Hi.
- Elena, good to see you.
- Yes, good to see you.
Thank you for seeing me
on such short notice.
Oh, no problem, but my God.
How, how's Linda holding up?
- You know, barely standing.
- Yeah.
Well, I can't even imagine.
Well, that's what I wanted
to talk to you about.
Um, the case is coming down
to the judge deciding
who is the most fit,
or the most deserving mother.
And we heard about
what happened with Bebe
after she gave birth,
but there was no testimony
about what she did
while she was pregnant.
So I started wondering
if she'd come here
or another branch for a consult.
Just to discuss her options.
I-but that would
be confidential.
Well, yes, of course, of course.
And I know you
have to say that.
No, no, really.
Elena, I mean,
that would be against the law.
I'm in the business
of helping women,
not weaponizing
their right to choose.
Okay, no one supports a woman'’sright to choose more than I do.
You know, my mother was on
the board here for many years,
and I'’m also in the
business of helping women.
You certainly remember who
recommended you for this job.
Are you saying that I should
do this because I owe you?
Hold on.
No, I-I'm with
someone right now.
Go on. I'll-I'll wait.
Exam room B.
Okay, I'll be right there.
I really think that
we're done here.
Oh, no, no, I-I don't mind.
All right, I'll be right back.
Did you really think
I wouldn't figure it out?
Because Trip's
the idiot, not me.
Moody, Moody, listen, holdon, stop. Listen, I can explain.
- Fuck you!
- Moody, hold on, dude.
We can explain.
I thought you had self-respect.
Moody, it's not
what it looks like, okay?
It's-it's not what you think.
Just please, listen to me.
Are you kidding me?
This is exactly what I think.
Just stop.
Just stop, dude.
- Please.
- You please stop, dude!
Moody, we messed up.
I messed up, okay?
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
Just listen to me.
Let me explain.
I thought you were smarter
than the sluts
who do it with him.
I didn't think you
were one of them.
Guys, stop.
Moody, stop.
Get off of him.
I hate you, Trip.
Trip, Trip,
stop. Guys, stop!
Moody, I need to
have a conversation
- What happened to your face?
- Nothing.
What has gotten into you lately?
Did you really
think I wasn't gonna
find out about Pearl
and the abortion?
- What?
- I did not raise you
to be irresponsible.
What are you talking about?
I'm sorry, did
How do you not know about
- Talk to Trip.
- Moody.
Moody, why
would I talk to Trip?
Because he is
the one with Pearl.
What are you talking about?
It's Dad.
The verdict's in.
And how
will your family celebrate?
Oh, how
will we celebrate?
Uh, well, it's been so
arduous, we haven't
really thought much
past the verdict.
How do you want to
celebrate, Mirabelle?
Maybe with a nap and an episodeof Barney and Friends.
Now, the trial
covered some
difficult testimony.
Did you ever feel that you mightlose your daughter?
I had complete faith that the
judge would make
the right decision.
We believe in the system.
Research indicates that a
relationship with
the biological family
can benefit an adopted child.
Will you let Mirabelle spend
time with her birth mother?
Well, I think my clients havedemonstrated over and over again
their willingness to do whatever
is in the best interest
You know, I, we're
her parents, and
it's up to us to
protect our daughter.
The important thing
is that we're a family,
and we'd like to go be one now, so thank you.
- Yeah, thank you.
- Thank you, everybody.
That's enough. That's all.
The verdict was a
rude awakening for Ms. Chow,
who unsurprisingly left the
courthouse earlier in tears.
What are your thoughts
about the verdict?
How do you feel about the judge?
It is the most egregious
of "in the best interest of thechild" I have ever witnessed.
Why are you so upset?
Of course they won.
They always do.
The rich people.
The beautiful people,
the popular people.
They think they
own everything and
don't give a shit
about anybody else.
Fuck 'em.
Fuck 'em all.
Fuck you, too.
You're acting the
exact same way.
She's not yours.
You know that, right?
You don't just deserve her
because you liked her.
Nobody asked you.
You think that just because
you bought her some bike
and gave her some
stupid notebook,
she'’s indebted to you?
Who are you? Mom?
She had a fucking abortion.
- Pearl?
- Yes.
Mom knows.
She told me.
And you believe Mom?
She'd say anything
to make it seem like
- Did you have an abortion?
- Get out.
No, I heard you
puking in our bathroom
and I saw you leaving
Mia's with that bag.
Izzy, get the fuck out.
I'm serious.
Mom thinks it was Pearl, and you
know she's gonna
use that against Mia.
If you don't tell her, I will.
Say whatever the fuck
you want to say, Izzy.
Because Mom would never,
in a million years,
believe you over me.
It's okay.
- There, there. I know, I know.
- I can't live without her.
It's okay.
It's okay.
It's okay.
You have to
stop blaming yourself.
He's my brother.
It's my problem.
This isn't your fault.
But I was the one
who kissed you.
What I did was wrong.
- What we did.
- It was wrong.
But we're not wrong.
I mean, you
you still, like
you still want to
be together, right?
My whole life, I've
been dragged around.
It's like I don't even think
about what I want
because no one ever asked me.
And I don't even know
who I am or what I want.
All I know is that I don't
want to be like her.
But you do know
what you want, Pearl.
You knew it when
you moved to Shaker.
You knew it when you
you know, asked me to study.
And your mom, look, I know. I
know you're pissed
off at your mom.
I get it.
But she did what she
did to hold onto you.
I would do anything
to hold onto you, too.
What about Moody?
He's your brother.
I mean, shouldn't you fight
to hold onto him, too?
She sounded like
she was dying.
She's not dying.
She'll be okay?
She'’ll survive, if
that'’s what you mean.
there is no pain like
the loss of a child.
It's how I'd feel if I lost you.
When I was pregnant with Pearl, I drove out to California.
And one night, it was 2:00
or 3:00 in the morning, and
I saw this light coming
over the horizon.
And as I got closer
I realized that it was a fire.
A prairie fire.
And I just pulled over.
And I watched.
And when the sun came up
the Earth, everything was black.
And it felt like
exactly how I felt.
It felt like the
end of the world.
But then I had Pearl, and
I learned things
that I didn'’t know before.
Like that sometimes, you have toscorch everything to start over.
And after the
burning, the soil is rich,
and life can grow there.
Life that is maybe even better
than what was there before.
And people are like that too.
They'’re resilient.
Even from
total devastation,
they start over.
And they find a way.
Bebe will find a way.
And so will Pearl.
And so will you.
Maybe it's time
for you to get home.
I wish I lived here.
With you.
See you tomorrow?
I'll see you soon, Izzy.
Come on.
I'm sorry, are we really
not going to talk at all?
About the verdict or
or the press conference.
Any of it?
Sorry, do you need something?
I, uh
I just found out something
very disturbing today.
Pearl had an abortion.
Well, apparently, she's beenseeing Trip behind Moody's back.
Well, at least Moody's not
the sucker paying for dinner.
What's that supposed to mean?
O-Okay, y-yes,
we met and we had dinner.
But I didn't
I didn't say anything becauseit, it wasn't worth mentioning.
What about 15 years ago?
I'm a good person, Bill.
I'm a good, I'm a good wife
and a good mother.
And everything
I have ever done or not done
is for this family.
Everything I have done
has been for this family.
So that you could
have what you want.
This house, these things,
this perfect fucking picture.
What I wanted?
What about what you wanted?
You have your freedom
because I gave up mine.
I told you I didn't want to havea fourth baby.
And when I did and
I was suffering, you
didn't come home
from work any earlier.
You didn't, you didn't cancel
your golf game on Saturday.
You didn't even ask
me how I was doing.
You are amazing.
You should have had a big careerin journalism
because your spin is impeccable.
I had a career, Bill!
And then I had Isabelle.
So it's her fault?
Your own daughter?
Or is it mine?
Or is it Mia's?
You rented her the apartment.
You brought her into our home.
You brought her to Linda's.That's how all of this started.
Do you not see
the common denominator there?
- Where are you going?
- I'm going for a drive.
Maybe it's about time
I got myself a pacifier too.
This will come as no surprise to
you, but I'’m not
renewing your lease.
Oh, okay.
You're paid through
the end of the month
so I expect you
out by the first.
Should I tell Pearl
that we're moving out
or would you like
to take care of that as well?
Do you know, Pearl deserves
to be treated better
than how you treat her.
If she'd had the family
that she deserves,
she wouldn't be
tearing mine apart.
Just let me know how you want toget me my security deposit back.
Do you know that
she could have
ruined Trip's life?
You do know your
daughter was pregnant, right?
That's just another feather
in your mothering cap.
You can't stand it, can you?
That someone would choose
a different life than yours.
-I don't care how you live.-What was it you gave up, Elena?
A love?
A career?
A whole life?
Because you'd rather stand here, disparaging my daughter,
instead of seeing the truth
about your own.
You're not to contact
my daughter anymore.
-Do not call Isabelle. Do not I'm talking about Lexie.
'Cause if she'd had the mother
she deserved,
she might have had
the courage to put
her own fucking name
down at the clinic,
and she might not have needed
to spend the night
here in my arms
when her own fucking mother was
gallivanting at
my parents' house.
-I want you out by the morning.-Okay.
Elena, what's, what's wrong?
Are you okay?
Elena, what happened?
Where were you?
Were you at Mia's?
What did you do?
You know it
wasn't Pearl, right?
Stop, stop.
His name is Joe Ryan.
And I called him.
But he didn't answer.
His wife did.
She is the womanwho would have been your mother.
- Maybe a better one.
- Mom
Pearl, please.
Let me finish.
Wright is your real last name.
Warren was my brother's name.
I had a
fantastic brother.
But he died.
And then, my
parents disowned me.
And you were my everything.
And, um
and then we came here, and
it feels like all
of that changed.
So sweetheart, I think
that I gave Bebe our money,
because I needed to prove
that keeping you with me
was the right thing to do.
Because sometimes
I don't know.
I don't
I don't know if it was right.
I don't know that if I had
given you the choice,
that you would have chosen me.
Come here.
You're my mother.
You're always my mother.
No matter what.
We can't stay, can we?
No, Pearl.
I'm sorry.
But we don't have
to leave tonight.
You can say good-bye to Trip.
I'd, um
I'd just rather
remember it how it was.
I mean, not just
Trip, but-but Shaker.
So, I'll, um
I'll pack up my room and-and
the kitchen and you can
No, no, no, no, no.
Wait, wait, wait.
Before we do any packing
I was, um, just aboutto shoot something in my studio.
Do you want to
come in and see it?
Hey, hey, hey.
Just give her time to settle.
It's over.
We don't have to worry.
Come on, come on, come on.
Go to sleep.
Okay, where are we going?
We could probably be in New Yorkby morning.
No, I, um, I know
where I want to go.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
No, she's gone!
- She's gone!
- What?
She took her.
She's gone!
Who took her?
Oh, my God, what are you doing? Izzy, give me that.
- Mom, Dad, somebody help!
- Stop!
- This is your fault!
- Izzy, stop!
- What's going on?
- Izzy, stop!
What is going on?-LEXIE: Trip, grab the matches.
Oh, my God.
What are you thinking?
- What, what?
- What are you doing?
Listen, she kicked
Mia and Pearl out.
- What do you mean?
- Mia and Pearl are gone.
- What do you mean she
- What do you mean, gone?
What is happening?
- What?
- What?
- Where did they go?
- Where is Pearl?
I don't know, what
what are you doing?
She's fine.
She's just upset, that's all.
- Mom!
- What is the matter with you?
Get off of me!
You need
professional help!
This infatuation
with Mia, this crush.
It's not a crush!
That was April. She was my
girlfriend for a fucking year!
Mia was the one person
who actually cared about me.
I just wanted her to be my mom. A mom who actually loved me.
A mom who is nothing like you!
Do you think I wanted
a daughter like you?
I never wanted
you in the first place!
Izzy, wait.
Don't go, don't go.
Please, please, please don't go. You can't leave.
I have to, okay?
I love you.
I love you so much.
Mom, what are you doing?
- What am I supposed to do?
- I want you to fix it.
- She's gone.
- Mom, go after her.
- Do something!
- Let her chase after Mia.
- They deserve each other.
- Mom, please.
You think Izzy's the fuck-up
in this family but she's not.
I am.
I used Pearl. I stole
her story to get into Yale.
I wrote her name
down at the clinic.
Mom, I got pregnant.
I got the abortion, not her.
And I mean, I tried.
I really tried to
tell you everything.
There's all of this pressure
to be all of these things,
to be fucking
perfect, but I'm not.
I'm not fucking perfect.
Yes, you are!
No, I'm not!
- Fuck you!
- The gas.
Fuck you.
Lexie, Lexie. Wait, wait,
wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
- Lexie, Lexie. Lexie, let go.
- Let go!
Do you want to live
in this fucking house?
Do you want to become her?
Because that's exactly
what's gonna happen.
Look at her.
At who she is.
Look at what she did to Mia
and Pearl. I mean, look at us.
Maybe Izzy's the only one
who actually had it right.
Mom, Mom,
Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom.
Leave me alone.
You have to come now.
You have to go now.
- No.
- Now, the house is on fire.
- Come on, you have to go.
- What?
Go, go Moody, go!
Mom, please.
Come on.
They found
evidence of an accelerant.
Guys said when they went in,
there were, uh, little
fires everywhere.
What does that mean?
Well, the fire didn't
just happen. It was set.
Where's Izzy?
Is she, uh, is she around?
She doesn't have anythingto do with this, Lou.
Okay, well,
I'd just like to talk to her.
Where is she?
We don't know.
Look, she's a minor.
No other homes were damaged.
Someone intentionally burneddown your house with you inside.
If Izzy didn't do
this, then who did?
I did it.
I did it.
Are you here?
I thought I wanted
to be made of
little girl things.
Homecoming dances,
kisses on doorsteps.
Fingertips almost
touching in the air.
I thought I wanted to be made
of the promises you made.
Ones that tasted like ivory.
Like strawberry.
And even like chocolate.
I thought I wanted to be made
of fairy tale endings.
Where I'd never
know what was real
or only a dream.
So I dreamt that
I belonged to you.
Because I knew you'’d keep
me safe from big girl things.
Giant spiders
natural disasters,
and unnatural ones too.
I've never felt as safe as I felt in that cage with you.
But when I started to wake up
I saw those gilded
bars around us.
And I couldn't remember
how it went in the dream.
This is it?
You should
go in and meet them.
- Okay.
- Okay.
would you mind reading
something that I wrote?
Yeah, sure.
Was I the bird?
Or was I the cage?
Was I myself?
Or one of my mothers?
Was I safe?
Or was I suffocating?
Because the bird is in a cage.
And the cage is in a town.
And the town is made of blindingwhite flour and beautiful lies.
And maybe we can'’t help
the things we dream of
any more than we can help
the stuff we'’re made of,
or maybe we can.
If we can finally
see the lies and the town
and the cage we'’re inside of,
we can see so many
other things, too.
We can see the door.
A way out.
And we can fly away.
Best day ever!
Previous Episode