I Just Finished Little Fires Everywhere Last Night and Now I Have Answers to My Questions!

Illustration for article titled I Just Finished iLittle Fires Everywhere/i Last Night and Now I Have Answers to My Questions!
Screenshot: Hulu

(Unlike yesterday, spoilers like a motherfucker in here)

1. Who set the fire???

White people. Which makes “We Didn’t Start The Fire” both cruel irony and elaborate subterfuge.

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2. Does anyone else say “Here comes a little fire” to themselves whenever there’s a confrontation?

I think that’s just me.

3. No?

Yeah.

4. A first date to a junkyard van? Really? Who does that? Are junkyard vans the awkward white teenager’s Cheesecake Factory?

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LOL at me clutching my pearls at Moody’s junkyard van dates with Pearl when junkyard van boning was rapidly approaching. Someone take these kids to an Applebees, please!

5. I love Kerry Washington with all my heart, but why does it always seem like she’s standing in front of a strong-ass fan?

I don’t know. But I do know that Tiffany Boone somehow managed to pull off an effective young Mia and an uncanny (heh) young Kerry. It was like I was watching Enter the Kerry-Verse.

And since we’re here, Kerry and Tiffany and Nicole Beharie and Anika Noni Rose Tha Gawd all in the same episode? That’s...that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

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6. Did Kerry Washington’s Strong-Ass Fan start the fire???

Kinda.

7. Or fan the flames?

You can make the case.

8. Is putting Ritz crackers in meatloaf an actual thing?

Apparently so!

9. Why did they act like she discovered fire when she just added some crackers to ground beef? Had they ever had soup before?

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Because white.

10. Also, she did like 3821983 fireable things in the first two weeks working at that house, so why wasn’t she just fired then?

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Because white. But mostly because of plot armor.

11. Is white guilt that powerful?

Does a bear shit in the woods and wipe its ass with a squirrel?

12. Did Reese Witherspoon’s White Guilt become sentient and start the fire???

In a way.

13. Why are all the kids on the show so small?

Because, as many of you pointed out, they cast actual teens to play teens instead of the 37-year-olds passing for 14 we’re used to seeing.

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14. Including the black boyfriend, who’s apparently a star quarterback at a big high school despite being the size of a mailbox?

But yeah, man. They could’ve just made him a star Ultimate Frisbee player or something.

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15. And if it’s supposed to be 1997, why does he have a high top fade—which went out of style in like 1991 and didn’t come back until like yesterday?

(And don’t reply with “Shaker Heights is a suburb and suburban black kids in Ohio might have been slow with trends” BECAUSE SHAKER HEIGHTS IS LITERALLY AN EYELASH FROM CLEVELAND AND CLEVELAND IS BLACK AS FUCK AND ONLY TWO HOURS FROM NOTORIOUSLY ANTIFASHIONABLE PITTSBURGH AND EVEN WE’D LEFT THE HIGH TOP FADES AND HAMMER PANTS IN 1992.)

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STILL NO ANSWER!

16. DID BLACK BOYFRIEND’S ANACHRONISTIC HAIR START THE FIRE???

No. He was smart and got the fuck outta Dodge when he could.

17. And in the scene where he did you-know-what with whatshername for the first time, where was the limo driver?

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Apparently having a cigarette with whoever ran that junkyard.

18. The food at that Chinese restaurant is definitely terrible, right?

The manager’s selling coke and the servers are baby-snatching kidnappers, so of course, the shrimp fried rice is going to be trash.

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19. Would you eat there?

Yes, but for the drama. I’ll just bring Mia’s meatloaf and eat that instead of anything on the menu.

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20. And the subplot with the baby and the mom and the other mom, can that actually happen in real life?

Apparently so.

21. Where a person who did what she did can sue, a year later, to get her back? (Don’t tell me what happens on the show. I’m genuinely curious if that can actually happen.)

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Crazy, right?

22. SO THAT’S WHERE JESSE WILLIAMS HAS BEEN FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS? (Forgive me but I don’t watch Grey’s.)

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So, if you’re him in this show and you learn about what actually happened to Mia and your baby, what do you do next?

23. I know she’s just a teenage girl who’s been through a lot, but Pearl is kinda trash, right? Or at least trash-adjacent?

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Considering how much time she spent in junkyards, she was literally trash-adjacent. Hopefully, she meets some nice young men in McKeesport who’ll take her to Kennywood or something.

24. Little outcast girl has the most personality of all the kids and the least friends, which is less a question and more a sobering commentary on the soul-crippling nature of pre-millennial adolescent interpersonal dynamics, huh?

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I was on the fence with whether this story needed a second season, but I might need one just to make sure she’s fine. Doesn’t even need to be a full season, just one 10-second flash of her somewhere happy and healthy is enough.

25. Is Reese Witherspoon the LeBron James of Reese Witherspoons?

Between this and Big Little Lies, she’s done an amazing job of portraying a very particular type of entitled white womanhood, where being “good” on paper and coating themselves in a “good person” veneer gives them carte blanche to do terrible things. Knowing how much power she has to create, produce, and star in basically whatever she wants, there must be intentionality with choosing those roles. Not sure what she’s trying to say, but she’s definitely saying something. 

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26. There are a lot of black kids at that school, but none in the actual neighborhoods, so are those high school black kids just holograms?

As is the case with, well, everywhere in America, as progressive as Shaker Heights claimed to be, racism dictated neighborhood planning. We didn’t see the black kids outside of school because they wouldn’t have been seen unless you went to the “black” side.

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27. Even for 1997, that has to be America’s biggest and best $300 a month apartment, right?

Even accounting for it existing in an Ohio suburb in the late 90s, that was still a steal. Also, read somewhere yesterday (I forgot where) that it’s renting for $750 today—still a steal. (If anyone has better information, please share.)

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28. And speaking of things that were things in 1997, “so...call us African-American now” is the worst idea we (black people) have ever had, isn’t it?

Yes!

29. Even worse than lightskint replacement Harriet on Family Matters, right?

Call me “African-American” and I’m calling you a cop.

30. DID LIGHTSKINT REPLACEMENT HARRIET START THE FIRE???

No, but that would’ve been a great twist.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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DISCUSSION

Can we talk about how Mia’s hired gun lawyer read Linda for privileged, barren 19 Dickery Doo filth, was on point the entire time and he STILL lost that case? This is America.

Poor Izzy #DontCallHerIsabelle Richardson. Elena destroyed that poor child and my girl didn’t even get chance to light a “little fire” I need to know if she alright because, fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck fuck, she didn’t deserve any of that at all. Elena, you fucking trick ass ho, you.

That scene leading up to house being burned down was insane AF! Lexie was over all of that shit! Burn this bitch down! Still doesn’t give a pass for that bullshit she pulled at Planned Parenthood (speaking of, this was a PP location in Cleveland around 2007)

I had to take a picture because nobody believed me.

Anyway...I imagine that Lexie in 2020, weighs about 260, has been divorced twice and owns two pussy hats. 

When Bill said to Elena, “Maybe it’s about time I got myself a pacifier, too” Goddamn! Ded.