Things — several, as it happens — go a step too far at “The Book Fair”, as the publishing house’s reputation isn’t the only thing that stands to be ruined.
This recap of Love & Anarchy season 1, episode 5, “The Book Fair”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
It takes roughly a minute or less for “Book Fair” to tip its hand. See, the titular festival is taking place, and the staff of Lund & Lagerstedt are in town for it, which means that they’re staying in the same hotel — Sofie’s room is right opposite Max’s. As the episode opens and Sofie tersely discusses Isabell’s birthday party with Johan, we’re reminded of her increasing separation from her husband and infatuation with Max, whose latest task is to do something that attracts the attention of the entire book fair.
Of course, Lund & Lagerstedt have already attracted attention at the book fair because of their new relationship with StreamUs, which Friedrich remains unhappy about. Max does as instructed by temporarily cutting the power, which earns him Sofie’s attention, especially since everybody else — including Claes and Tove-Lee, who are also in attendance — is occupied with their own stuff. Max’s task for her is to pretend to be an author and pitch a book to Sweden’s biggest publisher. She pitches Love & Anarchy, the book she half-wrote when she was little. Off drinking with Max, she lays out more of the plot to him. He finds it “enchanting”, though I suppose he would.
Sofie and Max go back to their rooms together and say a tentative goodnight. Sofie drinks in her room; Max smokes in his. At one point he crosses the corridor to knock on Sofie’s door, and she watches him eagerly through the peephole, but he decides against it. We’re getting closer and closer.
Max’s nest task — given to him right as Caroline is flirting with him, one assumes not by accident — is to liven up the company luncheon, which he does by spiking the desserts with his weed. On his way back to the table, he warns Sofie not to eat it, but everyone else enthusiastically tucks in, especially Friedrich, who has to give his presentation about the StreamUs acquisition with Denise. It starts out well enough, but Friedrich quickly descends into a rant about his favorite topic — the degradation of literature. Denise isn’t much better, leading to Tove-Lee confronting her about that “circus act” while she’s vomiting into a toilet.
Sofie and Max escort Friedrich and an equally high Caroline back to the hotel. Naturally, she’s fuming at him for going too far, even though he clearly couldn’t have known quite how it would turn out, and she takes her frustrations out on useless Johan when he calls with another asinine request. Quite at random, she goes and invites Max swimming.
Friedrich, meanwhile, wakes up feeling a little worse for wear and goes for a drink at the hotel bar, where a woman tells him that he’s trending on Twiter. Unsure of what she means, he asks the barman for help.
As it turns out, Sofie’s idea of swimming is unusual. She strips off her bottom half and goes for a dive in full view of everyone and despite the protestations of the lifeguard, and then she and Max end up in bed together. Oops.
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