This week, its flashback time! I've gotten so used to the 90s setting that the 80s flashbacks were kind of a trip. Break Dancing! Reagan! Turn Tables! Coke! AIDS! 80s!
Really interesting to see how much Elena and Mia, despite living very different lives in very different places, were dealing with some similar issues, like parenthood, dealing with parents that just dont understand, fears for the future. The episode did a pretty good job at going further into the issues that continue to plague Mia and Elena in the future, and shows more that, despite their many differences in background, philosophy, lifestyle, etc. that they are actually quite a bit alike. Both of them clash with their moms, but we know they will go on to make similar mistakes with their own children, both have regrets about many of their life choices, both see their kids as an extension of themselves. Of course, while Mia seemed to take Pearl because she wanted someone else to love her in the wake of her brothers death, Elena seems to rather resent her children, and it kind of seems like she had kids because that what was expected of her, not what she really wanted. I think that both of them struggle to really see their kids as people outside of their relationship to their mothers, which is especially sad considering both of their mothers struggled with understanding them.
So did the couple Mia was a surrogate for have legal documents signed already with Pearl? I guess thats why Mia is running and why she changed her name (despite also being a well known artist including a self portrait) and why she and Peal practically live out of their car, but...do they need to? I dont know a whole lot about the rights of surrogate mothers, but she could probably have a case. Unless of course she got the money up front and wanted to skip town in case they demanded the money back, which could also be the case. Its weird, A Million Little Things did a story line kind of similar to this with a couple and a young mother who wants to give her baby up for adoption, only for the birth mom to change her mind and keep the baby at the last minute. Oh, and Mia had a mentor who died as well right after her brother who, like all good teachers and mentors, gave Mia cocaine, and hooked up with her. Thats not sketchy or anything.
Young Elena really did feel like a young Elena, an Elena who hasn't totally mastered her "brand" yet (four babies is very different than three!) but young Mia didn't seem quite as Mia. Maybe because she hasn't gotten that angry teeth clinched look that 90s Mia has. I guess living on the run for a decade can do that to a person. It also seems like Elena has always been resentful of Izzy, the baby that she didn't want, who was also a rather difficult baby after Elena already had three little kids. Maybe Izzy picked up on that, even if it was unintentional on Elena's part, and that led her to wanting to rebel? And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon...
I do feel bad for the MacCullahs, its hard enough that Mrs. MacCalluah kept having miscarriages, but her best friend, who doesn't even want more kids, is the most fertile women in Ohio.