Joanna: "So who was that dude?"
Mia: "Study partner."
Joanna: "He was a full-grown bro."
Mia: "Yeah, he got held back. Ten years."
Joanna: "You must really miss your 'sister.'"
Mia: "You show a fair amount of psychological insight for an abuse victim. Here's something you might not know, she was going to meetings and getting better."
Joanna: "AA meetings?"
Mia: "No, meetings at the Pentagon. You fucking idiot. Of course AA meetings, she even took me to one. It was somewhat less anonymous that week, I suppose. But I believed her, and I believed in her."
Oh, you know what? Looking at the timeline, Mia would obviously be (raised as) Sofia's daughter. If she was born around Joanna and Vivian's senior year or so, the first Mrs. Bowers would have been long dead, so when Mia calls her "my mom" she's not just calling her that: There is no asterisk or scare quotes around it. So that's another dynamic I didn't even pick up on at first: Edward resents the Sea Hag stepmother, Julian's a total middle child who practically treats Mia like he's her actual parent, Vivian was the runaway, and Mia's the firstborn of the new family. Bowers 2.0.
That actually makes a lot more shit make sense, because in one way it means she's the only person in this house who completely belongs there: Her life has always been her life, if you see what I mean. No stepmothers or dead moms clanging it all around at a young age. I sometimes wonder -- coming from an incredibly complicated, huge blended family full of divorcées and widowers and all kinds of stuff, dead moms, half-siblings, step-siblings -- how much of those dynamics even make sense to Muggles. I'll tell you that this show does at least get this part right: Everybody loves Mia, because she's the only one they are entirely allowed to love.
But given what we already know will soon be revealed, it's interesting in another way, because the boys are old enough to know about her true parentage, which means the whole family has been protecting Mia (and more importantly the world) from finding out who her birth mother was -- including her birth mother herself -- for her entire life.
Which is something I have less personal experience with -- but does happen, albeit with less frequency than it does on TV -- but I can tell you is that the unspoken weighs heavier on a kid than the things you know about for sure. Which is why it's always the teenage daughter that has this kind of problem in TV stories, because in real life that's who usually has to carry this kind of shit for everybody else.