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    10 Major Differences Between The "Little Fires Everywhere" Finale And The Book

    Someone else started the fires in the book.

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    Yesterday Hulu released their season (possibly series) finale of Little Fires Everywhere and fans finally discovered how the Richardson home burned to the ground.


    It was explosive, emotional, and downright EXCELLENT! But what some viewers might not know is that some of the most tense scenes in this episode were not actually in the book. They were added to the series specifically for dramatic effect...and damn it, it WORKED!

    Erin Simkin / Hulu

    Psst: You can get the book from Barnes and Noble for $14.99, Bookshop for $15.64 (to support local bookstores), or check your local library.

    There's a lot to unpack, so let's cut the small talk and jump right into it. Here are the BIGGEST differences between the finale and the book:

    🚨MAJOR spoilers ahead 🚨

    1. Lexie, Trip, and Moody didn't burn down the house.

    Erin Simkin / Hulu

    In an act of rebellion against their toxic mother, Lexie, Trip, and Moody decide to finish what Izzy started by lighting little fires in their rooms, and ultimately burning down the house.

    In the book, Izzy is the real arsonist. No one is home the morning Izzy decides to start the fires in everyone's room, or at least that's what she thinks. Lexie stayed at a friend's house after Izzy confronted her about using Pearl as a scapegoat, Trip was playing basketball, Moody left for Pearl's house to apologize for the horrible things he said to her, and her father was at work. Izzy thought her mom was exercising at the rec center, but she was actually still in the house. After setting the house ablaze, she heads out, hoping to catch up to Mia and Pearl.

    2. Elena didn't take the blame for her children.


    Now that you know Izzy was the one who set the house on fire, you're probably thinking Elena took the blame for her. Nope. Although it was a great way for the writers to show a softer side of Elena, she ultimately was the cause of the fires burning inside of her children and her marriage, so it made sense for her to take the blame.

    However, none of this happens in the book. No one takes the blame for the fires, but it's somewhat understood that Izzy did it. After Elena realizes Izzy ran away, she calls the police. The story fast-forwards and the police still aren't able to locate her. Elena then vows to look for Izzy "for as long as it takes, for forever if need be."

    3. Mia never told Elena about Lexie's abortion.


    Another favorite moment of mine happened when Elena kicked Mia out of the house, while also attempting to belittle and shame her parenting skills because of Pearl's alleged abortion. Little did Elena know, she was in for a rude awakening. Mia let her know it was really Lexie who had the abortion while delivering this verbal punch to the gut, "If she’d had the mother she deserved, she might have had the courage to put her own fucking name down at the clinic.”

    Meanwhile in the book, Elena confronted Mia about telling Bebe where May Ling was, while also revealing she knew all about the Ryans, Warren, and her shaky past. She accused Mia of raising Pearl without morals (hinting at her alleged abortion) and as a final blow, said if Pearl had the chance, she would've chosen to live with the Ryans.

    Instead of delivering the clapback of the century by exposing Lexie, Mia decides to keep her secret. Mia then accuses Elena of being bothered by "anyone who would choose a different life than hers."

    4. Elena and Izzy's storyline was pushed to the extreme.


    Probably one of the most eye-opening and emotional differences between the series and the book, was the decision to make Izzy a physical burden for Elena. She goes as far as to say, "Do you think I wanted a daughter like you? I never wanted you in the first place!" The writers did an excellent job pushing this narrative and showing us the decline of this mother-daughter relationship.

    In the book, Elena was proud to be a mother of four. The only thing that upset Elena about Izzy was her constant defiance. She couldn't understand where it was coming from. Izzy's sexuality was also never discussed in the book, whereas in the series, it was presented as a big issue for her.

    5. Pearl never asked Mia to contact her biological father, Joe Ryan.


    In the book, Mia is actually the one who tells Pearl about her father and the surrogacy, not Elena. Mia picks Pearl up from school while class is still in session and they drive back home to pack up their things. Pearl is upset because she hasn't had a chance to fix things with Moody, so she begs her mom to give her one good reason as to why they have to leave Shaker Heights. That's when Mia breaks down and tells Pearl all about her past.

    It's something she finds out at the very end of the book. And although she is surprised by it all, she's not devastated the way Pearl is in the show. Instead of taking it out on her mom, Pearl empathizes with everything Mia has been through.

    6. Bill and Elena weren't at odds.


    One of my favorite additions to the series was the tension writers created between Bill and Elena. In this scene, Bill has just confronted Elena about sneaking off to see Jamie twice since they've been married and her odd obsession with Mia and Pearl. She fires back at him for making her choose between motherhood and her career.

    In the book, this argument never happened. In fact, While Jamie in the book did ask Elena to run away with him, he was only mentioned briefly and they never had a rendezvous — in fact, he is drafted in the Vietnam War and Elena never hears from him again. Bill and Elena have a pretty solid marriage in the book.

    7. Moody and Trip didn't fight in front of Pearl.


    Fans watched as Pearl took Trip to Moody's secret spot, which is why Moody was able to catch them sneaking around together. Meanwhile in the text, this scene was a little less violent, yet Moody's words still cut deep.

    In the book, Moody finds out Pearl made up a lie about not being able to hang out with him, blaming it on a photography project she was working on with her mom. He later spots Trip's car in front of Pearl's house. Later that same day, Pearl heads to the Richardsons to talk to Moody. Still extremely angry and hurt by it all, Moody tells Pearl that Trip is using her and calls her a "slut." This ends up being the last conversation they ever have.

    Later on, when Elena leads Moody to believe that Pearl had an abortion, he gets into a verbal argument with Trip, which leads to a physical fight.

    8. Bebe Chow escaped to China with her daughter May Ling.


    Bebe did kidnap May Ling in the middle of the night like the series showed, but what fans don't know is that they fled to China. Despite the intense investigation, the police weren't able to find Bebe, and the McCulloughs never saw May Ling again. They eventually applied to adopt another baby.

    9. Pearl didn't go to Mia's parents' house.


    The series had a way of delivering multiple happy endings despite the chaos that ensued and one of those great moments included Pearl finally visiting the home of her maternal grandparents. She would finally get to embrace the family she longed to know.

    In the book, Mia offers to drive Pearl to New York so that she can meet the Ryans, but Pearl decides she's not ready yet. Then Pearl asks about Mia's parents, stating that they should visit them "someday." Unfortunately, the reader never knows if they actually make that move. It's left to our imagination.

    10. And finally, Mia left personalized photographs for everyone in the Richardson family.


    The series shows Elena stumbling upon a large handmade display of Shaker Heights, along with other special projects, left behind by Mia for Elena to find.

    In the book, the Richardsons (minus Izzy) traveled to Mia's house to see if they were still there. They ended up finding an envelope with personalized photographs for each of them:

    Lexie: a distorted photograph of her pink discharge papers from the abortion clinic, symbolizing her hidden pain.

    Trip: a photo of a hockey uniform chest pad with poked holes in it. Inside the holes were curling leaves, symbolizing the "softness emerging from his hard shell."

    Moody: a photo of origami birds made out of the notebook paper he gave to Pearl, symbolizing his rejection.

    Bill: a blurred photo of his metal collar stays (which helps support the collar on button-up shirts), representing him as the provider and support system.

    Elena: a photo of a paper cutout of a shattered birdcage, which symbolized self-imprisonment and something powerful bursting free.

    Izzy: a photo of a black rose made from a leather boot to represent her softness despite her hard exterior. Izzy took her print with her before the rest of her family arrived to the house, so it was not in the envelope when they got there.

    Did you notice any other big differences in the season finale that isn't listed? Tell us about them in the comments below.

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