Grand Army season 1, episode 5 recap – what happened in “Valentine’s Day”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 16, 2020 (Last updated: February 10, 2024)
View all
Grand Army Netflix
Grand Army Promotional Image Courtesy of Netflix


Episode 5 sees plenty of denials but also courage; as the series reaches its halfway point, there’s plenty of powerful messages running through the story.

This recap of Netflix’s Grand Army season 1, episode 5, “Valentine’s Day” contains significant spoilers.

We recapped the entire series — check out the archive.

The opening

Episode 5 opens with the text, “You think this is fun and games?”. Dom’s mother has a proposal to try and save the family but Dom isn’t too comfortable with it. The family are on the edge with their financial woes. On the subway, Leila kicks a Valentine’s Day bag off the sub as it was left unattended. The anxiety from the bombing still remains.

Hospital trip

Grand Army season 1, episode 5 sees Joey wanting to seek justice for what her former friends did to her at the back of the taxi. The writers are showing bravery from the character who is taking it head-on.

Joey heads to the hospital to get checked by a rape kit. Her parents are supporting her. At school, Omar speaks to Leila and tells her she’s an understudy for the casting and she’s offended. She’s also told by Anna to not record Joey again while out in public — Tim is also concerned, wondering where Joey is going with her parents.

Leila believes she got a Valentine’s Day gift from George (it was from Omar). She finds George and gives him a b*****b.

The rape kit

It’s uncomfortable to watch but Grand Army is trying to hit home what a victim goes through after experiencing sexual assault.

At the hospital, the doctor is understanding and asking Joey for consent while she checks her out and takes photos — it looks like a horrific experience as Joey tells herself that she’s okay at the end. In class, Luke and George are asked to leave class. The police have turned up. Rumors spread quickly that George and Luke have been arrested. Tim has also been arrested. Anna is furious and she texts Joey calling her “psychotic”.

This is still a tale of blaming the victim, not the perpetrators.

The hearing

At the hearing for Owen and Jay, Dom tells the interviewers that she doesn’t think they took her money. Jay is asked intense questions about Owen and he confirms that Owen took the wallet but it wasn’t theft, though the interviewers are not buying it. The suspensions will be going ahead — it’s an end of a chapter for Owen and this is the kind of outcome that will cripple Jay. It’s not an ideal situation at all for the best friends.

I loved them

Joey speaks to a therapist about what happened. She feels like she’s the “bad guy” now and that she’s already getting texts. She says she’s overanalyzing everything and cannot sleep. Joey gets upset because she loved them as they were her friends.

This hits home hard. For Joey to accept that people she loved raped her is a realization that is damning and earth-shattering — Grand Army positions itself as an educational case study of how this can happen to young women growing in education establishments.

Rachel tells Leila that she’s changed

Leila asks for Rachel’s help and tries to throw up in the toilet. She asks Rachel if she thinks if George assaulted Joey and then calls Joey a w***e. Rachel tells Leila that she’s changed — she explains that if last year a woman accused someone of rape, she would have believed her.

Rachel almost sits with the audience, establishing emotional engagement, and making us understand that these characters need to change their perspective.

Sid continues to be confused

Flora and Sid finally speak after their break up. They’ve missed each other and they head to the bathroom to hook up — Flora passes him a condom and they have sex.

If anything, Sid is going to hurt Flora even more by doing this. His confusion and denial of who he is will get more difficult the longer he leaves it.

The ending

Dom gives her family a breakdown of finances which includes her working and doing people’s hair until her sister is better. She wants a more feasible solution to save the family and it’s admirable of the character to see her take on the mantle.

At home, Joey hears her parents argue and they are talking about the choices she makes. She then heads into bed with her siblings to watch TV. They ask her if she was raped and ask what it means. Joey explains to them what rape means in a more innocent way and then deletes her Instagram account.

The chapter ends with the text — “You think this is fun and games? It’s actually more like hell”.

Grand Army season 1, episode 5 sees plenty of denials but also courage; as the series reaches its halfway point, there are plenty of powerful messages running through the story.

Faculty archives
  • John checks up on Dom after a rough day. Dom asks him if he thinks it’s her fault about Owen but John says no and gives her a Valentine’s Day gift.
  • Sid learns from Victor that there’s a nude of his sister going around — it’s a tit picture. When Sid texts Meera, she brushes him off, saying it’s not his business. Sid confronts the boy that Meera is seeing.

Netflix, TV Recaps
View all