The series continues to excel in every department, with another fantastic installment, boasting an atmospheric and unnerving performance from Paul Walter Hauser – it’s truly the thing of nightmares.
This recap of the Apple TV+ series Black Bird season 1, episode 5, “The Place I Lie”,” contains spoilers.
Time is running out for Jimmy in another gripping instalment. On this week’s episode, Jimmy must contend with a crooked prison guard who wants to tell the whole world his secret, whilst he tries to convince murderer Larry to confess to all his sins, but the clock is ticking. Episode five, “The Place I Lie”, comes with a foreboding tension and again, some exceptional acting.
Black Bird season 1, episode 5 recap
The two, main storylines of Black Bird are broken up with a new flashback that is thrown into the mix, centering on an unknown girl, which seems inspired by a similar format utilized in Mindhunter. In these flashbacks, the girl goes to the beach for the first time, talks to boys and spends time bonding with her sister. We know there’s a sinister aspect coming to these rose-tinted memories, but the twist isn’t revealed until the end.
Back in prison, Jimmy is receiving funny looks from every single prisoner he passes. It is unclear whether the guard has already divulged Jimmy’s dark secret or if this is all a figment of Jimmy’s own vivid imagination. Either way, it makes for an unsettling introduction, as Jimmy walks the winding corridors to his shrink’s office. His usual doctor is on vacation and the replacement is unaware of their arrangement. She asks Jimmy why he believes he’s here and warns him not to provoke other inmates, insinuating that Larry is becoming irreversibly influenced by his new friend.
Meanwhile, Brian and Lauren are still working the case. They need some solid evidence to keep Larry behind bars in the event Jimmy’s meddling is unsuccessful. The dynamic duo decide to reassess the locations Larry had mentioned before to the local police, hoping to find the buried bodies of his victims. Driving these empty roads, they notice a peculiarly placed gas station in the middle of nowhere. Further digging reveals that this building was just a construction site around the time of Larry’s murders. Could the bodies be buried underneath all that concrete?
Larry and Jimmy catch up after days apart. The killer talks about a visit from Gary and how he hates his brother’s wife. The subject turns, as always, to the topic of girls, and Larry explains how girls married young in the olden days. Jimmy asks Larry what’s the youngest he’s ever had. Larry starts to get excited, flipping the question on Jimmy, but he’s disappointed with the answer.
Later, Larry talks with his own shrink in an unnerving exchange. He asks about her children and sexualizes very innocent observations. The shrink continually tries to change the subject away from her children and points out that Larry appears cocky and confident for the first time ever. He admits that his appeal is going well and he’s never felt better in his whole life. The conversation steers towards Jimmy and Larry concludes that because of this new friendship he doesn’t feel alone anymore.
Jimmy tries contacting someone, possibly his old shrink, but finds he’s out of credit. In the yard, Jimmy watches Carter spreading his dangerous secret to each separate gang, one at a time. When he tells the mafia boss the bad news, Jimmy panics and rushes after Larry. His window of opportunity is quickly evaporating. Jimmy finds Larry in the wood shop and makes his final play. It’s an intense and creepy scene, with both actors producing some spellbinding performances.
The new friends talk about women they have slept with. Jimmy confesses to having had around eighty lovers and Larry begs to know Jimmy’s secret with the ladies. Jimmy says they just chat, but Larry says no woman ever just wants to talk to him. They move onto the subject of Jessica Roach. It is revealed that she spoke pleasantly with Larry at first, but fought back when he tried to kiss her. Larry knocked her out with a rag soaked in starter fluid and then raped her. His description is vague and scattershot, but this is an undeniable confession. You’d think Jimmy would push for the location, but he holds back. I think that might have been his last chance.
Lauren and Brian’s investigation ends with the discovery of Jessica Roach’s bike, which Larry gifted to another girl he was infatuated with. Unfortunately this isn’t seen as strong enough evidence and their only hope lies with the location of her body, which seems likely to be deep under concrete now. The flashbacks are revealed to be Jessica’s own memories, ending with her receiving the mountain bike as a present. It’s a poignant moment, one that hammers home the emotional stakes and turmoil at play in this real life story.
In the final scenes, Jimmy’s father stares up at the prison walls from the comfort of the car park and inside, Jimmy cries alone in his cell. He has to stifle his sobs with a clenched fist, with Larry only meters away. The drug dealer struggled to contain his emotions earlier and they all come seeping out in that final moment. This is expert filmmaking, along with top quality acting and writing. The Apple Original continues to impress.
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