Finding Alice season 1, episode 5 recap – in which Nigel Havers says “jizz” the end is in sight... or is it?

February 20, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

Finding Alice can’t possibly wrap up all this madness in just one more episode, but its indulgence at least gives Nigel Havers and Joanna Lumley a chance to shine.

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3.5

Summary

Finding Alice can’t possibly wrap up all this madness in just one more episode, but its indulgence at least gives Nigel Havers and Joanna Lumley a chance to shine.

This recap of Finding Alice season 1, episode 5 contains spoilers. 


I’ve scarcely mentioned Nigel Havers and Joanna Lumley in these recaps, but the show wouldn’t work half as well without them. Never has that been more evident than in Finding Alice episode 5, the penultimate instalment, in which both get several moments to shine. Sarah’s wonderfully demented highlight of horribleness came when she tried to defrost the sample of Harry’s frozen sperm that Alice had – perhaps misguidedly – decided to inseminate herself with. Havers had a load of great lines, but of particular note was the fact he got to say “jizz” with an entirely straight face.

The fact that Sarah and Roger’s marriage is falling apart is a good excuse for both of them to be let off the leash a little, especially Roger. Somehow, the collapse of their relationship feels positively grounded in plausibility given the ridiculous stuff that Alice gets up to. It seems as if the more she drinks the more creative the ways she finds to further complicate her life. Possible salvation is offered in the form of a two million quid offer from Harry’s business partner, Tanvi, but Alice rejects that to instead develop Harry’s land herself, despite the fact she has barely been able to get herself out of her pyjamas for the last four episodes. She has an incline, which turns out to be correct, that Harry’s development was deliberately sabotaged with what was likely a thick envelope full of dough given to a planning official to persuade them to deny permission – the fact it was denied after already being granted doesn’t raise any red flags, but a soil sample proving that there was no contamination in the first place certainly does, and permission is granted once again.

Somehow, this isn’t the silliest thing that Alice gets up to in Finding Alice episode 5. That award goes to securing Harry’s frozen sperm after the clinic denies her access to it – yet another point here about the mundane difficulties of prematurely losing a partner – by enlisting her dopey and now live-in sister-in-law Nicola to requisition the sample for a DNA test.

In all this, Alice’s daughter Charlotte finds herself increasingly perplexed by her mother’s decision-making, situating her as the audience POV character. The show does her a disservice, really, being content to indulge itself in more and more slapstick nonsense rather that attempt to unpack how she’s actually feeling in the wake of terrible, sudden loss and escalating madness. She finds herself becoming closer to George just as the audience discovers he really is after the inheritance after all, not that I ever trusted him, and who else is there to turn to?

Some scenes here in Finding Alice season 1, episode 5, such as Nicola being hospitalized after a power walk, really had no reason to exist. But the show’s self-indulgence continues to be a gift and a curse, allowing for funny and unexpected scenes – such as Havers saying “jizz” – as much as redundant ones. And the cast, at least, seems well aware of what kind of material they’re chewing through. It helps to elevate proceedings even when they’re spiralling out of control. The problem is that there’s no way all of this can be adequately concluded in just one more episode, which means a follow-up teasing cliff-hanger is virtually inevitable.

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