The Spy Recap: Part Of A New Regime

By Daniel Hart
Published: September 6, 2019 (Last updated: December 3, 2023)
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Netflix Series The Spy Season 1, Episode 5 - Fish Gotta Swim


The Spy Season 1, Episode 5, “Fish Gotta Swim” shows the emotional toll the job has on Eli, as he becomes more immersed in Syrian power.

This recap of Netflix Series The Spy Season 1, Episode 5, “Fish Gotta Swim” contains significant spoilers. The Spy is based on the life of the Israeli spy, Eli Cohen. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

With each episode, Eli’s (Sacha Baron Cohen) new life in Syria becomes more corrupt, as he delves further into a world of politics and military agendas. At the start of Episode 5, Eli helps plan a bloody coup led by General Amin Al-Hafez, bringing himself closer to the center of Syrian power. The current President is forced to resign, and General Ad-Din is betrayed, making it socially awkward between Eli and Ma’azi.

Eli is not coping particularly well in Episode 5 in unprecedented circumstances. He is in a relationship with Saliha, but seeing a sewing machine gives Eli a flashback about Nadia. Eli asks a shop owner if they ship one of the sewing machines.

There’s a new influencer in the ranks, Mohammad Bin Laden, and Eli is asked to meet him on the terrace at an Amin Al-Hafez party. Bin Laden wants Eli to use his importing powers to bring in undesirable equipment; however, he will not give him knowledge of what it is, making Eli’s role as a spy extra frustrating, meaning he has to become more invasive. “Fish Gotta Swim” introduces us to Osama as a boy to enhance the context of history.

It goes from bad to worse for Eli from a personal standpoint. Saliha asks when he is planning on proposing, as the father is placing pressure on the couple. Eli is silent, too silent, giving Saliha the answer. On the way home from the meal, Ma’azi confronts Eli and asks why he has been avoiding him. Ma’azi asks whether Eli knew his uncle would be arrested the night the coup occurred. Eli meets this with silence again, prompting Ma’azi to spit in his face. Eli breaks up with Saliha and has an emotional breakdown in his home.

Eli’s relaxed ways are starting to hurt his mission. While more coding, he interferes with a soldier’s TV during the football. Chief Security Suidani investigates and later catches Eli in one of the offices, which Eli tries to make an excuse of trying to find someone. Suidani takes Eli to Amin Al-Hafez, who tells Eli that he believes there is a spy amongst us and asks him if he would like to be the new Deputy Minister of Defence. Eli asks the intelligence team back in Syria what they would like him to do.

The Spy Season 1, Episode 5, “Fish Gotta Swim” ends with Maurice noticing a Singer sewing machine in Nadia’s house. He looks at Nadia curiously — he knows where the sewing machine was from.

Historic Observations

  • Maya is pregnant, and it isn’t Dan’s.
  • Nadia is putting pretend letters in the mailbox from her father.

You can read the recap of the sixth episode by clicking these words.

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