A face of hope emerges in “Are You A Spider, Matt?”, while Judd is threatened by his trillionaire nemesis, Rav becomes an enemy of the people, and Billie might have a time-saving solution.
This recap of Avenue 5 Season 1, Episode 7, “Are You A Spider, Matt?” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Throughout Avenue 5 Episode 7, Matt (Zach Woods) pops up on video screens all over the ship reminding everyone that 500 non-essential personnel are definitely not going to be jettisoned through the airlock — and in so doing naturally makes everyone increasingly worried that they might be ejected after all. In a time of such crisis, there’s nowhere to look but to the newly-illuminated turd ring which encircles the vessel, and which Frank (Andy Buckley) discovers resembles the face of Pope John Paul II every 90 minutes or so.
A scant 24 hours later and an entire deck is crammed with people who see the same face of hope in the glimmering excrement, which Billie (Lenora Crichlow) considers to be a descent into barbarism, and which Harrison Ames, an “awfully litigious” man who, according to Iris (Suzy Nakamura), has more trillions than Clark (Hugh Laurie) has nostrils, considers an opportunity to sue Herman Judd (Josh Gad). Judd is terrified of Harrison and spends much of “Are You A Spider, Matt?” being coached in appropriate comebacks for his insults, the least but most common of which is dismissively referring to him as “Fudd”.
Luckily, Harrison is quite taken with Clark and invites him to play VR golf, which makes for a brief animated sequence in which Clark, Judd, Harrison, and Matt are rendered as crude CG avatars — the latter is, indeed, a spider.
At Mission Control on Earth, Rav (Nikki Amuka-Bird) has become public enemy number one, since news of her apparently sacrificing 500 passengers has reached the general public, leading to protests and her being nicknamed the “Mistress of Death”. The pressure on her builds throughout Avenue 5 Episode 7, especially at an exceptionally weird restaurant where her face all over the news and the angry staring of fellow patrons compels her to get her rabbit nuggets to go. The trouble is she might be going further than she anticipated. Desperate to redirect all the ire aimed at her at the more deserving Judd, she jumps aboard a supply pod heading to the Avenue 5 with the intention of bringing Judd back to Earth to face the music.
Some interesting subplots develop in Avenue 5 Episode 7. Frank, apparently sick of being a cuckold to Karen (Rebecca Front), begins to fashion himself as a kind of prophet figure, introducing needy passengers to the almighty Pope, while Billie begins to bond with the ship’s put-upon stand-up comedian Jordan Hatwal (Himesh Patel) to hilariously awkward results. He tests new material on her and she pretends to be interested while chewing over more important matters, such as how the Avenue 5 is going to dock on the rescue station in three-and-a-half years’ time since the emergency console is tied to Clark’s handprint — learning how to dock the ship usually takes five years, and Clark is an alcoholic imposter still reeling from his divorce, for which he’s served papers in “Are You A Spider, Matt?” right before having to host the Captain’s table.
The Captain’s table is, naturally, a bit of a disaster. The point is for Clark to schmooze Harrison into not suing Judd, which would eat up all the rescue funds, so Judd himself and Iris are not-so-subtly looking on in the background, while Mia (Jessica St. Clair) and Mads (Adam Pålsson) make idiotic small talk, Doug (Kyle Bornheimer) and Spike (Ethan Phillips) can’t stop heckling, and Billie and Jordan enjoy something resembling a date. Eventually, Clark has a minor meltdown, resorting to his British accent and knocking his chair away, which gives Billie an idea. She wants to eject stuff out of the back of the ship, thus pushing them clear of the turd ring and setting them on course to dock in just six months. The 500 passengers won’t be sacrificed, but their equivalent weight will, and Clark resumes his American accent for an inspiring speech that compels the passengers to dump their unimportant material possessions and Harrison to drop his lawsuit. A success, then — until Billie and Clark realize that their new plan leaves him only six months to do the impossible and learn how to dock the ship. Oops.
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