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S01.E04: The Spider Web

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Moody is envious of Pearl’s friendship with Lexie, as Lexie enjoys her newly sexually-active status with Brian. Inspired by Lexie, Pearl explores her budding sexuality and sets her sights on Trip. Mia and Elena find themselves at odds over Mirabelle/May Ling, which ends in an epic showdown and launches a custody battle.

Original air date: 3/25/20

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Burning Elana's picture? Really? If we are supposed to be rooting for Mia they are making it hard for me because they have made Mia so unlikable.

Poor Pearl for getting rejected. And poor Moody but we all saw it coming that she liked his brother.

I wonder if Lexie will get pregnant since she said "don't have a baby if you can't take care of it".

I didn't watch the previews for the next episode because I felt like they give too much away and I like to be surprised.

Edited by Armchair Critic
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Ugh, Lexie going on and on about sex and lecturing Serena and Pearl on how they don't understand because they haven't had sex was so stereotypical suburban girl who just started having sex and suddenly thinks she's an expert and superior to everyone who isn't having sex.

I totally cracked up at Bill's side eye when Elena said that their kids have always been able to confide in her about anything.

At first I thought that Trip was being nice by inviting Moody to hang out and then trying to help him with Pearl. Then I heard his stupid pickup artist negging advice. No thanks, Trip. I really loved that when Moody decided to try one of Trip's techniques on Pearl, it totally didn't work.

What I wish I could tell Moody and everyone else in the world is that you can't MAKE someone like you. Either they do or they don't.

It was hard for me to feel bad for Elena when she got a bunch of truth bombs dropped on her by Mia. But I was glad that when Pearl tried to apologize to Elena about what Mia had done, Elena told Pearl that she was not her mother. Not everyone is able to separate what one family member does from the other people in their family.

Favorite 90s references in this episode: Jenny McCarthy vs. Carmen Electra, Lilith Fair, the Spice Girls, that inescapable K7 song, and Lauren Hill.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I know Mia is the person we are supposed to be sympathizing with but I just can’t get there.  First I think it’s large leap that birth mark and fire station means 100% May Ling.  If she was wrong, it would have caused more heartache for her friend and everyone else.  Then the timing to tell her friend to me was also crazy.  Then, I know the point is not everyone has the same choices.  But at the point where May Ling’s mother left her at the fire station what was she expecting?  Obviously she would go into foster care or be adopted.  She’s acting like her adoptive parents stole her but she was abandoned or I am missing something?  Honestly they are the people I feel sorry for.  
 

I agree with whoever said Pearl isn’t interested in Moody.  
 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Armchair Critic said:

Burning Elana's picture? Really? If we are supposed to be rooting for Mia they are making it hard for me because they have made Mia so unlikable.

 

23 minutes ago, dmc said:

I know Mia is the person we are supposed to be sympathizing with but I just can’t get there.  

From the first episode there have been many posts with similar comments, assuming we are supposed to root for Mia while her behavior and attitude often makes it hard. I wonder why  this is an assumption in the first place. What I like about this series is that no one here is totally bad or good. They are all (well actually mostly the female leads:) complex characters, regardless of their background, social status or economic circumstances.  Maybe the writers never intended us to root for or criticize specific characters but only specific actions.

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44 minutes ago, meira.hand said:

 

From the first episode there have been many posts with similar comments, assuming we are supposed to root for Mia while her behavior and attitude often makes it hard. I wonder why  this is an assumption in the first place. What I like about this series is that no one here is totally bad or good. They are all (well actually mostly the female leads:) complex characters, regardless of their background, social status or economic circumstances.  Maybe the writers never intended us to root for or criticize specific characters but only specific actions.

Ok but I feel like Elena’s motivations are easier to see in the story.  I don’t agree with them but I understand them.  Mia’s are harder to understand for me.  She’s clearly living a life where she has to keep moving yet she inserts herself into this situation.  She doesn’t like Elena but she accepts a job working there to keep an eye on Pearl.  She’s clearly the catalyst and that makes sense for the story to happen.  But as a character, I don’t get it.  
 

 

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32 minutes ago, dmc said:
1 hour ago, meira.hand said:

 

From the first episode there have been many posts with similar comments, assuming we are supposed to root for Mia while her behavior and attitude often makes it hard. I wonder why  this is an assumption in the first place. What I like about this series is that no one here is totally bad or good. They are all (well actually mostly the female leads:) complex characters, regardless of their background, social status or economic circumstances.  Maybe the writers never intended us to root for or criticize specific characters but only specific actions.

Ok but I feel like Elena’s motivations are easier to see in the story.  I don’t agree with them but I understand them.  Mia’s are harder to understand for me.  She’s clearly living a life where she has to keep moving yet she inserts herself into this situation.  She doesn’t like Elena but she accepts a job working there to keep an eye on Pearl.  She’s clearly the catalyst and that makes sense for the story to happen.  But as a character, I don’t get it.  
 

Its hard to fully understand Mia because this is how she was written. Full of secrets in her past that are only hinted at but never explained. Her actions, towards almost everyone, seem to be motivated more by her past experiences than by what the situation actually calls for. Even Bebe said that she was better off not knowing and later nearly accepted that her daughter may be better off with the adopting parents but Mia pushed her really hard to fight them. The same is true with her behavior towards Pearl, accepting that Izzy finds it easier to communicate with her but not that pearl can honestly find it easier to communicate with Elena. Everything is viewed thru the filtered glasses of her own past traumas that are never explained, just hinted at. Still I don't think we are meant to blindly root for her because of it.

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7 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

What I wish I could tell Moody and everyone else in the world is that you can't MAKE someone like you. Either they do or they don't.

I always think of the show Speechless, where the younger son asked his dad what he could do to make this girl he liked like him back. His father said there was nothing he could do, that sometimes we like people that don't like us back and it hurts. I think that's the only time I've seen that depicted in media. Usually the advice is "make a big, vaguely stalker-ish gesture!"

7 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I totally cracked up at Bill's side eye when Elena said that their kids have always been able to confide in her about anything.

Me too. Elena is one of those people who sees things the way she wants them to be, not how they actually are.

8 minutes ago, meira.hand said:

Its hard to fully understand Mia because this is how she was written. Full of secrets in her past that are only hinted at but never explained. Her actions, towards almost everyone, seem to be motivated more by her past experiences than by what the situation actually calls for.

Yeah, it's tough. They're taking their time showing her back story but Kerry Washington's performance infuses it into the present-day story.

Trip is such an asshole.

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This has very quickly turned into a real mess, especially now that the news is involved. Mia really has set a massive ass fire. I feel bad for Bebe, but she and Mia really are acting like the adopted family stole the baby from Bebes stroller when she wasn't looking, or bought the baby off the human trafficking baby black market, they adopted her on good faith when she was abandoned at the fire station, which is usually code for "I cant take care of this baby please take them" and it all seemed to be on the up and up. They had no idea that the bio mom would ever want her back. No matter who wins custody, somebody is going to end this devastated and miserable. 

And really, this whole mess isn't even really about Bebe or the adopted parents, or even Mirabelle/May Ling, its about Mia and Elena and their issues. They are the ones who keep escalating things, Mia is the one who was egging Bebe on to fight, and Elena was the one who proposed that they try and pay her off. Especially Mia, I really think this is somehow connected to her own mysterious backstory, she is seriously projecting, especially when she was yelling about how mothers fight for their children. The dream she had looked like a women driving a car and asking Pearl to come in, did she kidnap Pearl when she was a baby and thats why they're on the run? Or did she say she would let a couple adopt her, but then change her mind and split? 

No wonder Mia and Elena came together and apart so fast, they are actually very much alike, despite their many differences in personality, background, and lifestyle. They are both stubborn, judgmental of people that live a lifestyle different than their own, and obsess over being good mothers, despite frequently seeing their kids as possessions or extensions of themselves. Even in Mias`s dream, she was screaming that Pearl "belongs to her" and that she is "MIIIINEEE" and generally seems like she wants to keep Pearl all to herself as much as possible. Elena sees her kids as extensions of her picture perfect imagine, and when she gets any hints that they arent living up to her standards, she gets upset or ignores the problem until it goes away. For as opposite as their parenting styles are, I dont think either of them will be winning any mom of the year awards. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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14 hours ago, Armchair Critic said:

Burning Elana's picture? Really? If we are supposed to be rooting for Mia they are making it hard for me because they have made Mia so unlikable.

Burning the picture was part of the art.  The picture of Elena she was making was not the art Mia was creating, but rather the photograph of the burning picture.

I do have to say that one thing that does bother me is this whole thing of Mia taking pictures of people and using it as her art without their consent.  I think we can assume that Mia's intent with most of her art is to ultimately sell it, so she's profiting off people without them being a part of it.

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2 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

Burning the picture was part of the art.  The picture of Elena she was making was not the art Mia was creating, but rather the photograph of the burning picture.

I figured she was taking stuff from Elena's house to be part of her artwork and I didn't think that was right either.

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2 minutes ago, Armchair Critic said:

I figured she was taking stuff from Elena's house to be part of her artwork and I didn't think that was right either.

I agree--that's pretty creepy, even if she did give it all back (did she give it back?) But between the pictures and the various household items (and the whole May Ling/Mirabelle situation), it illustrates Mia's complete lack of boundaries.  Which is ironic because all she wants to do is put boundaries around her daughter.

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Well now I hate Elena, Bill, AND Pearl!!!!!!

I just remembered that Reese Witherspoon and Joshua Jackson were both in "Cruel Intentions" - an iconic 90s movie!

The soundtrack to this show is MY baby!  I love it!

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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3 hours ago, dmc said:

Ok but I feel like Elena’s motivations are easier to see in the story.  I don’t agree with them but I understand them.  Mia’s are harder to understand for me.  She’s clearly living a life where she has to keep moving yet she inserts herself into this situation.  She doesn’t like Elena but she accepts a job working there to keep an eye on Pearl.  She’s clearly the catalyst and that makes sense for the story to happen.  But as a character, I don’t get it.  

For me the fact that Elena thought that Bebe would so easily want the $10,000 over her own child means that Elena doesn't really see Bebe as human.
To make matters worse, Bill saying "Some Chinese...... PERSON" was so gross.

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I never read the book but Mia is so obnoxious to me. She seems to think she's so woke and everyone is grappling to catch up with her. She doesn't seem to really talk to Pearl, yet she just wants her to see the world exactly as she does. She can't even handle any disagreement with Pearl without screaming at her. She seems so preoccupied almost like she just expects zero resistance to her wisdom. She only has the one child, but she can't even finish having a conversation with Pearl before being wrapped up in someone else's issues. Also,  instead of selling her art to provide for Pearl she'd rather her child live in a car where she could have been reported and had her taken away from her by the state is unforgivable. Of course she envies the other children and craves stability! And I'm sure Mia brushes it off as an experience that will make Pearl stronger and more of a survivor. But the saying what doesn't kill you makes you stronger isn't always true. Sometimes what doesn't kill you leaves you for dead and ruins you. 

Elena shouldn't have offered money for the baby. She should have known that would backfire but she was feeling guilty for bringing the drama to their house via Mia. She assumed hush money would be all that it took which was ridiculous. She also should have called Mia after calming Pearl down instead of just trying to let her spend the night. She definitely doesn't read people well and doesn't see things as they are at all. But as far as parenting goes, I'd take Elena over Mia any day. The fact that she couldn't tell that Mia hated her from day one shows she shouldn't have been in charge of baby negotiations. 

And Trip! Gaslighting champ. So she gave you E.D.? He is so disgusting. If I were to stereotype a man, it would be just like him. If you are feeling buyer's remorse for trying to sleep with your brother's only friend and crush, then you shouldn't have jumped on her with zero hesitation. He is such a terrible person. I love how he made it all her fault. 

Edited by andreamf15
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17 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

For me the fact that Elena thought that Bebe would so easily want the $10,000 over her own child means that Elena doesn't really see Bebe as human.
To make matters worse, Bill saying "Some Chinese...... PERSON" was so gross.

Also the adoptive mother whose name I can't remember spitting out that Bebe is an "illegal alien." The white people on this show remind me of the white people in Knives Out.

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2 minutes ago, Empress1 said:

Also the adoptive mother whose name I can't remember spitting out that Bebe is an "illegal alien." The white people on this show remind me of the white people in Knives Out.

They talk about Bebe with such disgust in their mouths.

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16 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

The dream she had looked like a women driving a car and asking Pearl to come in, did she kidnap Pearl when she was a baby and thats why they're on the run? Or did she say she would let a couple adopt her, but then change her mind and split? 

The women in the car telling Pearl to come in was actually the women who adopted Mai Ling. (Lauren, maybe? I'm not sure of her name. )

A lot of the stuff in this ep made me think maybe Mia stole Pearl or just that she wasn't really her bio daughter. All the "She's mine!" and that dream. But then I thought back to the spec many of us have had that the guy from Grey's Anatomy raped Mia and is Pearl's father and those things from this ep could be signifying that Mia is afraid of him trying to take Pearl away from her.

I want to feel empathy for Mia and Bebe but I find it very hard. Even though I can see that Mia obviously has some kind of past trauma that explains why she acts how she does, she is just fucking awful. And Kerry Washington just plays her in such an off-putting way. And with Bebe, I do feel for her, but she gave up her child because she knew she couldn't care for her so it's like, yea it sucks, but it is what it is. 

Mia's line about how Elena didn't make good choices, she had good choices or whatever was a good one though, even if I still find myself being able to understand and empathize with Elena and the adoptive mom lady more.

I really liked Pearl and Moody's friendship so I don't look forward to Moody getting dickish because she doesn't like him and he'll probably get really bad when he finds out she tried to have sex with Tripp. I hope they don't go that route with him and they let them be friends again.

It was mentioned but I have to echo the love for Bill's reaction to Elena saying her kids could always come to her with stuff. So perfect! 

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13 minutes ago, peachmangosteen said:

And with Bebe, I do feel for her, but she gave up her child because she knew she couldn't care for her so it's like, yea it sucks, but it is what it is. 

Bebe gave up her baby because she couldn't afford to feed her.  What choice did she have? Let the baby starve?  Now she has a job.  

Personally I feel for Bebe.

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Just now, Ms Blue Jay said:

Bebe gave up her baby because she couldn't afford to feed her.  What choice did she have? Let the baby starve?  Now she has a job.  

I get it but like her and Mia are acting like these people stole her baby right out from under her. Bebe made a choice and this is the consequence of that choice. It's a tough situation for sure but I think Bebe and Mia would come off better if they didn't act like Bebe was wronged by Linda (I looked up her name lol) and her husband. Although, now that Elena and Linda decided to try to bribe Bebe I can kind of get their attitude more, but they came out of the gate acting like Linda and her husband were evil and did something terrible.

I definitely do feel more empathy for Bebe than Mia though. Mia is just so hard for me to find anything likable or rootable about. But a lot of that I do think is mostly just because I don't like Kerry Washington's acting style.

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1 hour ago, peachmangosteen said:

 Mia is just so hard for me to find anything likable or rootable about. But a lot of that I do think is mostly just because I don't like Kerry Washington's acting style.

I don't either in this show. She seems like she's snarling at people when she disagrees/fights with them. I can't tell if it her portrayal or the way the character is written but it's not working for me. I feel like there's something missing.

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2 hours ago, BC4ME said:

I don't either in this show. She seems like she's snarling at people when she disagrees/fights with them. I can't tell if it her portrayal or the way the character is written but it's not working for me. I feel like there's something missing.

Kerry Washington has been that way since her debut in Save the Last Dance and it's only gotten worse with age. She really is just not a strong actress, she overacts, all of the time. It's why I gave up on Scandal after just two seasons. She's always doing these weird things with her mouth. LOL.

Also, Pearl remains insanely clueless. Whatever, Mia is doing, she's not doing her daughter any favors. She's way too naive. 

And Mia selling her artwork to help Bebe was dumb. I mean you'd think she would have sold it so her own daughter didn't have to live out of car. She's one of the people who is so busy trying to help and save other people that she's let her own daughter down. She is the worst.

Edited by ShellsandCheese
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6 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

Burning the picture was part of the art.  The picture of Elena she was making was not the art Mia was creating, but rather the photograph of the burning picture.

I do have to say that one thing that does bother me is this whole thing of Mia taking pictures of people and using it as her art without their consent.  I think we can assume that Mia's intent with most of her art is to ultimately sell it, so she's profiting off people without them being a part of it.

Part of the art, yes. But taking the personal items smacks of voodoo, or some kind of ritualistic spell.

I feel bad for BeBe, she did what she thought was best. Mia should have stayed out of it. I don't like her, or trust her.  Will be interesting to unravel her past. Why do they move so much? I don't think it's just because she's a free spirit.

Elena  offering the money - bad move. Should have stuck with helping BeBe with immigration and visitation.

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2 hours ago, ShellsandCheese said:

She's always doing these weird things with her mouth.

The way she holds her mouth makes her character more irritating to me, I swear even her teeth look longer.

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7 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I do have to say that one thing that does bother me is this whole thing of Mia taking pictures of people and using it as her art without their consent.  I think we can assume that Mia's intent with most of her art is to ultimately sell it, so she's profiting off people without them being a part of it.

 

7 hours ago, Armchair Critic said:

I figured she was taking stuff from Elena's house to be part of her artwork and I didn't think that was right either.

 

7 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I agree--that's pretty creepy, even if she did give it all back (did she give it back?) But between the pictures and the various household items (and the whole May Ling/Mirabelle situation), it illustrates Mia's complete lack of boundaries.  Which is ironic because all she wants to do is put boundaries around her daughter.

Both of these things bothered me. It's not okay to take pictures of people without their consent, but it's even worse to take pictures of people without their consent for the express purpose of using said pictures in your art. Even with as ubiquitous as it is to take pictures of random people in public today thanks to everyone having cameras on their phones, it feels invasive and gross to specifically take pictures of strangers like a stalker and then use those pictures without their permission.

Stealing (and let's not try to be euphemistic or generous when describing what Mia did because she was straight up STEALING and invading the entire family's privacy) items from the Richardson house was wrong. Even though the items had no significant financial value, stealing is stealing and she stole their personal items. If she uses them for her art, that's really invasive and exploitive.

5 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

I really liked Pearl and Moody's friendship so I don't look forward to Moody getting dickish because she doesn't like him and he'll probably get really bad when he finds out she tried to have sex with Tripp. I hope they don't go that route with him and they let them be friends again.

I initially liked Pearl and Moody's friendship but I liked it a lot less when it became obvious that he liked her. He started acting somewhat possessive of her which I found annoying because she's allowed to have more than one friend. Just because he was the first nice person to her doesn't mean he gets first dibs on her time. He clearly didn't want to go to the party after the dance which is why she acquiesced and they went to his house to watch the movie instead.

I understand that friendship can be complicated, but Moody is making this all about him. He doesn't really care that Lexie is using Pearl for street cred. He just cares that Pearl is hanging out with someone other than him.

You can't help who you like so I don't blame Moody for liking Pearl, but by the same token you also can't help it if you don't see someone as more than a friend. Pearl doesn't owe Moody anything just because he likes her but he's acting like she's actively insulting him by simply not picking up on all of his hints. I fear that Moody will find out about Trip and Pearl and that he will put the majority of the blame on Pearl (who had no reason not to like Trip or want to sleep with him) instead of Trp (who knew that his brother liked her and slept with her anyway).

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6 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

To make matters worse, Bill saying "Some Chinese...... PERSON" was so gross.

It sounded like he was about to say something much worse, but caught himself just in time and "person" was the first decent word that came to mind.

I agree with what most of you are saying about Mia, without more insight into her motivations she's coming across as intensely unlikeable. And if she's really such a sought-after artist who can command $30k for one of her pieces (in 90s money), why doesn't she use that to create a more stable home life for Pearl?

I wouldn't be surprised if the Jesse Williams character (assuming he's Pearl's father) didn't do anything bad to Mia, she just wanted to raise Pearl entirely on her own without anyone trying to tell her what to do.

The situation with May Ling/Mirabelle is truly heartbreaking. As was said upthread, Linda and her husband didn't steal her, they took in a baby who was left at a fire station, and did their due diligence trying to find the birth mother before starting adoption proceedings.

This is first novel-based show I've watched without reading the novel first. I find some of the characters, like Bill and the two older children, very shallow and stereotypical, which to me is a sign of poor writing. Is that coming from the novel, or just the show's interpretation of it? 

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I did not read the book but when I saw the actor who was cast as Linda's husband right away I wondered if we were supposed to dislike him because he has a smug jerk quality (other parts I have seen him in). 

As for the adoption, I can empathize with both sides. That is a tough one.

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2 hours ago, chocolatine said:

This is first novel-based show I've watched without reading the novel first. I find some of the characters, like Bill and the two older children, very shallow and stereotypical, which to me is a sign of poor writing. Is that coming from the novel, or just the show's interpretation of it? 

It looks like the writer is just not interested in the male characters apart from what is needed to highlight the female characters behavior. They are almost disposable place markers, which in the case of Joshua Jackson is criminal (although he squeezes every drop from each reaction he is allowed to have 🙂). I realize that this is a female centered story and all the people responsible for creating it are women, but it does the series a disservice being so tilted.

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12 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

I get it but like her and Mia are acting like these people stole her baby right out from under her. Bebe made a choice and this is the consequence of that choice. It's a tough situation for sure but I think Bebe and Mia would come off better if they didn't act like Bebe was wronged by Linda (I looked up her name lol) and her husband. Although, now that Elena and Linda decided to try to bribe Bebe I can kind of get their attitude more, but they came out of the gate acting like Linda and her husband were evil and did something terrible.

I definitely do feel more empathy for Bebe than Mia though. Mia is just so hard for me to find anything likable or rootable about. But a lot of that I do think is mostly just because I don't like Kerry Washington's acting style.

This is exactly.  I feel badly she was put in a choice to have to give up her child but these people didn’t steal her baby 

4 hours ago, meira.hand said:

It looks like the writer is just not interested in the male characters apart from what is needed to highlight the female characters behavior. They are almost disposable place markers, which in the case of Joshua Jackson is criminal (although he squeezes every drop from each reaction he is allowed to have 🙂). I realize that this is a female centered story and all the people responsible for creating it are women, but it does the series a disservice being so tilted.

This is a Great problem to have it is usually the other way around. 

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I definitely do feel more empathy for Bebe than Mia though. Mia is just so hard for me to find anything likable or rootable about. But a lot of that I do think is mostly just because I don't like Kerry Washington's acting style.

I feel like her acting style is the same in every role.  She does those weird moves with her mouth.  It's her fall back move.  I am enjoying the show, but I wish Mia were more sympathetic.  I didn't read the book so I don't know how the character was written.

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11 hours ago, ShellsandCheese said:

She's always doing these weird things with her mouth. LOL.

 

9 hours ago, Armchair Critic said:

The way she holds her mouth makes her character more irritating to me, I swear even her teeth look longer.

This is honestly the biggest reason why I hate Kerry's acting. I had to give up on Scandal mostly because I find her mouth acting completely distracting and horrible lol.

9 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I initially liked Pearl and Moody's friendship but I liked it a lot less when it became obvious that he liked her. He started acting somewhat possessive of her which I found annoying because she's allowed to have more than one friend. Just because he was the first nice person to her doesn't mean he gets first dibs on her time.

Exactly. I wish they hadn't gone this route with him. If they wanted to have him like her, fine whatever, but I hate that they've had him be such a possessive asshole. And I fear it's just gonna get worse.

9 hours ago, chocolatine said:

And if she's really such a sought-after artist who can command $30k for one of her pieces (in 90s money), why doesn't she use that to create a more stable home life for Pearl?

Yea, I didn't really get this. It seems like Mia is actually a pretty successful artist and is seemingly pretty close to some big time art seller, which imo doesn't match up with how they're presenting her and her/Pearl's lifestyle. Although, I was thinking maybe the reason why she didn't want to put that particular piece out is because it would reveal her and she's afraid the guy from Grey's Anatomy would be able to find her. Also, I was confused because I thought the picture the art seller lady was talking about was the one that Mia has hanging up that Elena wanted to buy but then it turned out to be a picture of a pregnant Mia. I don't know if I missed something or what.

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11 hours ago, Lady of nod said:

Part of the art, yes. But taking the personal items smacks of voodoo, or some kind of ritualistic spell.

Quoting myself here just to add: the song that's played twice on Mia's ipod was "Walk on Gilded Splinters" by Dr John.  It's a classic, but for those unfamiliar with it, Google the lyrics. Heavy foreshadowing of VooDoo.

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Question:  Does anyone think that when Izzy was alone in Mia's house, in her art room, she knew that those strips of picture were of  her mother?  If so, did she have any idea what Mia intended to do with them?  I have to think not, because I wouldn't be surprised if MIa herself didn't know until she did it.  

The dream scene, when she can't open window and call out to Pearl not to get into the car, I thought the driver was Elena and it showed Mia's deep fear of Elena, or what she represents, will "take" Pearl from her.  She can't keep Pearl locked away all to herself forever.  Even if she doesn't rebel hard against the nomadic life, a teenage girl needs friends.  They judge their parents, and usually find them lacking in at least some way.  Izzy is definitely judging Elena, and finding her lacking.  It's part of how they figure out for themselves what they believe in.  

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I don't think we're supposed to like or sympathize with Mia. I think we're supposed to see that she's not necessarily a "better mother" than Elena, but that she is also flawed but in different ways. Both women are their own brand of unlikable. As a viewer, we're trained to want to sympathize with the one with the greater struggle, but sometimes the one with the greater struggle is an asshole too.

I do think there's some reason why she is so all-in with helping Bebe.  After all, if she can get access to $30k very quickly, there must be an explanation for why she'd do it to help a virtual stranger as opposed to wanting to invest in a more stable life for her daughter. I can see being sympathetic to Bebe's plight and wanting to help, but that's above and beyond what even the most loyal friend could and would do (barring extreme wealth).

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3 hours ago, trudysmom said:

The dream scene, when she can't open window and call out to Pearl not to get into the car, I thought the driver was Elena and it showed Mia's deep fear of Elena, or what she represents, will "take" Pearl from her. 

That's what I figured it was going to be too, but I'm pretty sure the woman in the care was Linda.

3 hours ago, marny said:

... sometimes the one with the greater struggle is an asshole too.

Words to live by lol.

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I do think there's some reason why she is so all-in with helping Bebe.  After all, if she can get access to $30k very quickly, there must be an explanation for why she'd do it to help a virtual stranger as opposed to wanting to invest in a more stable life for her daughter. I can see being sympathetic to Bebe's plight and wanting to help, but that's above and beyond what even the most loyal friend could and would do (barring extreme wealth).

Yea, really. Especially considering she didn't even seem to give a shit about Bebe initially.

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8 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

 Also, I was confused because I thought the picture the art seller lady was talking about was the one that Mia has hanging up that Elena wanted to buy but then it turned out to be a picture of a pregnant Mia. I don't know if I missed something or what.

That part confused me too. I thought it was the big picture she had hanging on the wall of a vagina (I think - it's hard to tell what it looks like).

Another thing, even if she sold the print of herself pregnant, unless for some reason she sold the copyright too, she has the negative. She could print another one. Even in 1997 🙂 I guess they're just doing that to make it more dramatic. But it's poor writing for something so obvious without explanation.

FWIW pictures taken in a public setting are fair game to use and sell. However, I'm not sure that picture she took of Elena in her car would be considered in public.    

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6 minutes ago, BC4ME said:

That part confused me too. I thought it was the big picture she had hanging on the wall of a vagina (I think - it's hard to tell what it looks like).   

I never got vagina from it but I also can't tell at all what it's supposed to be so!

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Just now, peachmangosteen said:

I never got vagina from it but I also can't tell at all what it's supposed to be so!

Well, it's certainly hard to tell what it is IMO. I think she triple or more exposed it to create kind of an abstract photo. The only reason I think it's a vagina is Mia talked about photographing one or some of them. Then after that book club meeting about the Vagina Monologues Elena wanted to buy it, acting all brave because of the content.  

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1 hour ago, BC4ME said:

FWIW pictures taken in a public setting are fair game to use and sell. However, I'm not sure that picture she took of Elena in her car would be considered in public.    

But what about the pictures she took at the Richardson's house?  Also, any pictures she took at the Mirabelle's birthday party, which may end up being part of her "art"?

And, even though the pictures taken in public are fair game, it still feels skeevy to me.  I mean, I guess if she was using pictures of *random* people, but she's using one family in a very specific way.

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I really am enjoying this show, wish I didn't have to wait for new episodes.

But then again maybe it's good to spread it out because I always start out with "oh I'll just check out an episode" and then get sucked in and end up binge watching half the night like I did that crazy Tiger King on Netflix.

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On 3/26/2020 at 4:40 PM, peachmangosteen said:
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I can see being sympathetic to Bebe's plight and wanting to help, but that's above and beyond what even the most loyal friend could and would do (barring extreme wealth).

Yea, really. Especially considering she didn't even seem to give a shit about Bebe initially.

I think it has less to do with helping Bebe than Mia being able to screw over rich white women.  And if one of those women is Elena, so much the better.

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On 3/26/2020 at 6:25 AM, monakane said:

I feel like her acting style is the same in every role.  She does those weird moves with her mouth.

That is the biggest reason I have for avoiding her as much as possible. Can't stand those lips and the way she moves them.

BTW, why is the consensus that we should be sympathetic to her? IMO, she's a bitch that can't stay out of other people's business and it doesn't matter what her background or plight was.

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On 3/26/2020 at 11:03 AM, Lady of nod said:

Quoting myself here just to add: the song that's played twice on Mia's ipod was "Walk on Gilded Splinters" by Dr John.  It's a classic, but for those unfamiliar with it, Google the lyrics. Heavy foreshadowing of VooDoo.

I've been wondering about that. Mia took such personal items and that song's been played twice. I don't know how I feel about that. I haven't read the book, but if we get Mia doing some sort of crazy voodoo spell... I just can't. It would be from so far out of left field.

I don't really like Mia or Elena, but I don't see Mia taking action on Bebe's behalf as a way to stick it to Elena or white people. We saw in the last episode that Mia reached out to Bebe and ultimately learned her story (Mia's kindness to Bebe is one of the few things I've seen that I actually like about her). Mia saw someone who was obviously broken and I think it drew her to Bebe; she had no way to know what the story was, including if there was some coincidental tie to Elena. Mia appears to be pretty solitary, aside from Pearl, and the only other people she's allowed herself to get "close" to are wounded and misunderstood. I feel like she must identify with Bebe and Izzy, or be projecting somehow (maybe by "saving" them she saves herself??? maybe she's doing what she wishes someone had done for her???). I'm really curious about what her story is and how her own life with Pearl ties in with this - what parallels are there?

However, I also think there's a bit of a bonus in both of these relationships. She gets to encourage and "nurture" Izzy, which I'm sure must be satisfying (especially since Elena is similarly helping Pearl in the best way Elena knows how). And the fact that she is going to use her limited resources to go up against The Establishment of Shaker is probably satisfying too. It seems to me there's at least a little self interest in all of it, but I don't think it's the primary motivator.

The previous episode did a great job in making me feel for Bebe. I can't fathom being in a strange place, with no job, no money, no family, no friends, a severe language barrier and a starving baby - what else do you do in that situation besides what Bebe did? Objectively, I look at it and think that of course May Ling is better off in the situation she's in now, but I also understand how Bebe will never accept that May Ling is not her daughter.

Finally, I see so many themes of entitlement in this show. Elena's family is the picture of white entitlement (I mean, Lexie's college essay - the fact that she had to steal a hardship story is so ironic), however when Mia walked through Elena's house, casually stealing what she pleased, it hit me that in her way, Mia makes similar assumptions. As others have noted, taking peoples' pictures unknowingly and using their images in her art is bold (and in my opinion, an invasion of privacy). Entitlement comes in different forms.

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On 3/26/2020 at 1:03 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I initially liked Pearl and Moody's friendship but I liked it a lot less when it became obvious that he liked her. He started acting somewhat possessive of her which I found annoying because she's allowed to have more than one friend. Just because he was the first nice person to her doesn't mean he gets first dibs on her time. He clearly didn't want to go to the party after the dance which is why she acquiesced and they went to his house to watch the movie instead.

I understand that friendship can be complicated, but Moody is making this all about him. He doesn't really care that Lexie is using Pearl for street cred. He just cares that Pearl is hanging out with someone other than him.

You can't help who you like so I don't blame Moody for liking Pearl, but by the same token you also can't help it if you don't see someone as more than a friend. Pearl doesn't owe Moody anything just because he likes her but he's acting like she's actively insulting him by simply not picking up on all of his hints. I fear that Moody will find out about Trip and Pearl and that he will put the majority of the blame on Pearl (who had no reason not to like Trip or want to sleep with him) instead of Trp (who knew that his brother liked her and slept with her anyway).

I don't know, I didn't think Moody was that possessive - to be honest I kind of thought Pearl was being a bad friend. They had already made plans to skip the dance and watch the movie instead. She convinced him to do both, and then was pretty obvious about only wanting to go the after party because Trip and Lexie were going to be there. I think Moody snapped at her then because he was hurt. He's been a good friend to her, and while she's obviously under no obligation to accept his friendship, they have been good friends up till the dance. But from his perspective, she basically blowing him off to spend time with his more popular siblings. I think many teens would be hurt by that.

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On 3/25/2020 at 7:24 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

Bebe gave up her baby because she couldn't afford to feed her.  What choice did she have? Let the baby starve?  Now she has a job.  

Personally I feel for Bebe.

But that doesn’t matter.  She still abandoned the child.   It’s not like she put the baby up for adoption and half way through she changed her mind.   She left the baby somewhere.  I don’t care what color your skin is.  If you do that you give up every right you have to that child.   This shouldn’t even be an issue.   

It is only an issue now because Mia made it one.  

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I've been trying my best to watch this show without screaming "no no no!" since it's not like the book.  So based strictly on watching the show, I still have so many thoughts.

1. I don't know about adoption in the late 90's but I have a few friends who were foster to adopt parents in the mid 2000's and they said that family unification was always touted as the best choice for the kid.  I heard a few stories of parents/grandparents getting custody at the last minute and the adoption not going through (and it broke my friend's heart).  Again, not a family law attorney here but I didn't know the law was so cut/dry.

2. This screams pro-bono work.  Esp with the Asian attorney.  

3. I feel Elena is ridiculously privileged but I can agree with her feelings.  Mia came to the Richardson party under the guise of photographer, then went to inform Bebe.  

4. Is Mia supposed to be likeable in this story? Maybe the point is that all mothers have good/bad parts? Mia may seem like a cool free spirit who has a tight bond with her daughter but she's really controlling too.  Elena seems like the mom whose life revolves around her kids yet she's clueless to their struggles.  I find MIa's abrasiveness too much, personally.  She doesn't have to make people like her but she seems to act like people owe her something. 

5. The kids.  Tripp's ED. omg, that was hilarious.  I was a crazy late bloomer but also had very suburban views of sex (mainly that I'd be in love, dating exclusively etc).  So Pearl's forwardness as a virgin was hard for me to understand.  The fact that she wasn't even sure that they had sex made me wonder if she was just trying to "get it over with" to align with Lexi.  And why Trip? 

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8 hours ago, CurlyATX said:

And why Trip? 

She has been interested in him since she saw him. I already discussed why in the previous episode thread. As to why she would want to lose her virginity to him, she moves around so much that I think that the Richardson kids are the closest she's had to friends and Trip is the closest she's gotten to having regular proximity/contact with a crush. I'm guessing that in addition to wanting to keep up with Lexie, she probably thinks this is the best chance she's going to get at losing her virginity with someone she likes in the next few years. The older you are, the harder it is to make friends when you're the new kid. Pearl might even think that being friends with Lexie, Trip, and Mood is a fluke and she still has two or three years of high school left which can be an eternity to a teenager. There's also no telling when Mia will uproot her again so to Pearl this is a now or never carpe diem situation with Trip. When will he ever be at her house again? Possibly never.

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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

As to why she would want to lose her virginity to him, she moves around so much that I think that the Richardson kids are the closest she's had to friends and Trip is the closest she's gotten to having regular proximity/contact with a crush.

true.  I guess he's showed her almost zero interest (except at homecoming).  

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I really like this show, except for the abandoned/adopted baby crap. There are so many interesting characters with infinite possibilities on where their lives could intersect to cause drama. This baby SL is really weak IMO.

Mia is insufferable. I would ordinarily sympathize with a character like hers, but the way she behaves and goes about everything in this pretentious, off-putting way puts me on Elena's side. 

I love alllll of the 90's stuff!

 

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36 minutes ago, Zima said:

I love alllll of the 90's stuff!

I really appreciate that the clothes are totally 90s without looking too costume-y.

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