Five Days at Memorial season 1, episode 8 recap – the finale explained

By Ricky Valero
Published: September 16, 2022 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
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An incredible final episode of one of the year’s best TV shows. The entire cast and crew deserve their flowers come next Emmy season.

This recap of the Apple TV+ series Five Days at Memorial season 1, episode 8, the finale and ending explained, contains spoilers. 

Read the review of the series Five Days at Memorial.

We have reached the season finale of Five Days at Memorial. If you have been joining me on this journey of watching the series, I am sure you are as excited as I am to get the emotional weight of this show behind us. Last week we saw the evidence stack up against Dr. Pou. As a result, we saw Butch and Virginia finally able to arrest Dr. Pou. Will she be sentenced to jail? Let’s dive in.

Five Days at Memorial season 1, episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained

The episode kicks off with Butch and Virginia questioning Dr. Baltz. The duo wants to hone in on the fifth day and what exactly transpired amid all the chaos. First, he explains that decisions that shouldn’t have been made were made. Next, he describes how Susan told him it was time for him to go and would be sent out on a rescue boat. Finally, he admits that he has so much guilt for not staying throughout the entire time.

We move to 11 months after Katrina with a press conference. The attorney general explains why Dr. Pou and the two nurses were charged with murder. Which followed that they would face indictments for the murders. Then, we see Dr. Pou’s attorney ripping to shreds what the attorney general is doing to his client. He says Dr. Pou is 100% innocent of any wrongdoing.

Dr. Pou and her husband are sitting on the couch chatting about the case in frustration. We see her peek outside, where news crews are propped out, waiting for her to leave the house. A doctor from LSU called her to tell her they would set up a legal defense fund for her. Dr. Pou is exceptionally grateful for what they will do.

Butch and Virginia are eating lunch together, and he explains that they need to have every shred of evidence that they can’t refute ready at any moment. Next, at the coroner’s office, we see a bunch of men gathered around discussing the case. As they wait for the DA to show up, they begin to review each of the results of the patient’s exams. Each person they go over agrees that they were murdered.

Halfway through them going over the findings, the DA sends his assistant to the coroner’s office, which upset Butch and Virginia that the DA couldn’t have been bothered to show up. He mentions that he is the lead prosecutor on the case, and if they have anything to say, he is the man. Butch pulls him outside to talk privately and says the DA should be here, not his assistant. We hear Butch say we built you a solid case, but the assistant DA tells him that he will be the judge of that.

We are at a little luncheon of some sort where Dr. Baltz is questioning some of the other men on why they don’t think it’s okay that people shouldn’t speak up regarding what happened at the hospital. Dr. Ewing gets loud in defense of what happened because there was no playbook on what they should or shouldn’t do. Before things get a little more heated, the gentlemen walk away from Dr. Baltz.

We return to Butch and Virginia’s office, where he informs her that they’ve been ordered to stand down with their investigation. Morales (ADA) is drafting a letter saying they didn’t want them anymore and that they requested a summary of all the work they have done. Virginia is visibly upset because she wants to bring down Dr. Pou and the nurses.

Emmett Everett’s wife is on the news talking about how she knows her husband was killed in the hospital as Butch and Virginia look on while at a bar. She breaks down that they refused to get him out of the hospital because her husband was overweight. The families are filing lawsuits against the hospital and doctors. Because of this, Dr. Pou’s lawyer wants her to go on 60 minutes. She is hesitant because anything said will get twisted around, but her husband supports her and says she needs to share her story.

Upon arriving at the hotel to participate in the 60 Minutes interview, Dr. Pou freaks out and needs to throw water in her face to calm down. However, the 60 Minutes interview was a home run for Dr. Pou because she handled herself perfectly. She showed empathy, heart and was convincing in what she said.

As Butch and Virginia collected their stuff, they got the final pathology reports that confirmed in writing what they told them in the office. All the things returned in their favor informing them these people were murdered. Butch tries to remind her that they need to temper their expectations and that Dr. Pou killed it on 60 Minutes, which was HUGE for her and the matter of public opinion. Butch reminds her it’s not just about the evidence but the big picture; they need more.

Dr. Pou’s attorney arrived to tell her she was incredible on 60 Minutes. The medical community is backing her 100%, and the coroner wants to sit down and chat with her. Frank (coroner) breaks down everything that he has gone through since Katrina. Next, as Virginia drives in her car, she hears breaking news on the radio where Frank says he found no evidence of homicide which completely retracted everything he stated. She calls Butch to find out if he heard, and she lets him know she is going to New Orleans, and he freaks out.

Virginia STORMS past everyone into Frank’s office and flips out on him for what he said. He states that they can’t turn their backs on these doctors and nurses. Also, these people might not show up if faced with these decisions. We see Virginia and Butch meet at a bar, where she tells him she is done. The toll the case has put on her emotionally has been too much, and it’s time to get out. You can’t help but be in awe of the acting in this show from all parties. Molly Hager and Michael Gatson have been on fire over these last few episodes taking the lead as investigators Virginia and Butch.

Next, we see that Frank (coroner) retracts his statement about there being no murders at Memorial. Then, Dr. Pou watching at home freaks out because of how he flip-flopped again. Her husband recommends they get out of town, and she retorts that it’s a terrible idea because what if she is pictured on the beach having a good time? She’s not wrong.

The ending

Finally, we entered the courtroom, where the judge talked to the grand jury. Then, he breaks down what will happen over the next few days. First, Dr. Pou’s lawyer tells her they will know nothing until the results show that everything discussed is kept hush-hush. Next, we see Dr. Pou working on a patient, and after the surgery, a Nurse walks in and says she helped contribute to her defense fund and is praying for her.

Now, after TWENTY-THREE MONTHS after Katrina, we are about to get the results back from the grand jury regarding the case of Dr. Pou. The judge breaks down the charges they have been asked to examine regarding what happened at Memorial. Then, we see the bailiff handing over the documents to the judge, who announces that there is no true bill of indictment. From this, we get footage of the news covering the breaking news that Dr. Pou and the two nurses are free of any charges.

Dr. Pou’s attorney calls to inform her that no charges will be filed. After the announcement, the news crew outside the courtroom questioned the DA on the charges, and he said they would accept them. We see a press conference from someone stating that they had all the evidence backing that these patients were murdered. One reporter asks if it’s okay to judge Dr. Pou which he retorts with “what is a value of a human life” and that he doesn’t believe that the grand jury reached the correct conclusions.

A noticeably upset Butch isn’t okay, and his wife tries to comfort him, and Butch breaks down in front of her. Throughout this series, we have some great work from these actors, but Michael Gatson’s Emmy moment in these final moments sent chills down my spine.

We see Virginia head to Emmett’s wife’s house to give her back the photo she gave her. Virginia tells her that she wishes they could’ve done more for them. A sweet little moment where she shares the story of how she met Emmett and how their relationship started. It is followed by a little final reunion between Butch and Virginia, who share some pleasantries. Virginia asks what happened, and Butch just stated the DA dropped the ball.

As the series comes to a close, we fast forward one year later when Dr. Pou is at an Inaugural Disaster Preparedness For The Healthcare Industry, where she is the special keynote speaker. She breaks down the events that unfolded during the Five Days at Memorial, including talking about the lack of support from local, state, and federal governments. After her speech, the crowd gives her a standing ovation, minus Dr. Baltz. Dr. Baltz confronts her after the speech by saying that just because you remember things one way doesn’t make them true and that he wishes her well.

Make sure to stay for the credits as they highlight where some of the key principles of the series went post-Katrina and the case. 

What did you think of the Apple TV+ series Five Days at Memorial season 1, episode 8 (finale), and the ending? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Apple TV+.

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