“Wait A Minute, Then Who Was That On The Ladder?” threatens everyone with death-by-faeces as catastrophes continue to mount up for the Avenue 5.
This recap of Avenue 5 Season 1, Episode 4, “Wait A Minute, Then Who Was That On The Ladder?”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Avenue 5 Episode 4 takes the idea of ship hitting the fan quite literally in “Wait A Minute, Then Who Was That On The Ladder”, with oodles of human excrement being jettisoned from the luxury vessel in glistening arcs. This is, somehow, the least of the problems on-board, especially now that the entire bridge crew has been exposed as being just as fake as the ship’s drunken “captain”, Clark (Hugh Laurie). Increasingly drunk and delusional, Clark is astonished to learn that the people he thought were flying the ship are actually just handsome actors pressing fake buttons – seemingly forgetting his own status as a charismatic but ultimately useless figurehead to throw off the clientele.
Nobody must know, for instance, that the Avenue 5 is really controlled by a team of grubby, socially awkward engineers who secretly reside beneath the bridge, but those engineers might be Clark’s only allies; the only people who can get them back to Earth… at some point, and the only people who can stave off precocious kids on a tour of the facilities and keep the evacuation of the ship’s bowels from killing everyone in a particularly nasty way.
Judd (Josh Gad) continues to throw actors at his problems in Avenue 5 Episode 4 and to regretfully embrace ideas from Iris (Suzy Nakamura) to regain support among the passengers by hosting groups of them privately. Between him and Karen (Rebecca Front), whom he meets at one of these get-togethers, the decision is made to reassure the public – understandably unconvinced by the vigil back on Earth – by posing the passengers and crew on the bridge for a perfect photo opportunity: Relatable everyman Frank (Andy Buckley) is going to press a fake button in the spirit of togetherness in trying circumstances.
This is to be managed clandestinely by the engineers feeding believable directions to the fake bridge crew, but they’re so made up about being noticed and regaled by Clark’s drunken anecdotes that they forget to do any actual engineering, resulting in the fecal calamity which quickly threatens everyone with radiation poisoning. The only solution is for someone to go out and plug the hole, so to speak, and since everyone is fake, there are no viable candidates to do so – except, of course, Clark, whom everyone believes to be the real deal. They’re encouraged by Sarah (Daisy May Cooper), who seizes the opportunity to do some proper acting by launching into a totally made-up story about how Clark bravely saved her life twenty years prior.
And so Captain Clark, living up to his title for once, has no choice but to venture outside in a spacesuit to repair the ship.