Five Days at Memorial Episode (Series Finale), Episode 8 Recap & Ending Explained: The Apple TV+ mini-series – ‘Five Days at Memorial’ ended this week. The final episode dealt with the aftermath of the arrest of medical professionals from Memorial hospital and their fight in the case against them. While the first five episodes strictly dealt with the events of those specific days, the last three episodes focused on the investigation that went on for months after the incident. Through the narration, the mini-series tries to inspect the morality of these incidents from different angles to get beyond a one-sided depiction from either side.

Five Days at Memorial (Series Finale), Episode 8 Recap:

The final episode of Five Days at Memorial, titled ‘The Reckoning’ begins with Dr. Baltz (Robert Pine) being interrogated by Butch (Michael Gaston) and Virginia (Molly Hager). He mentions the guilt of leaving the hospital on day 5 of the Hurricane and reiterates that the dire situation caused the medical staff to act the way they did. Later, we see events from 11 months after the Hurricane, where the attorney general speaks at a press conference about why Dr. Pou and two nurses were charged with murder. Yet, Dr. Pou’s attorney goes on to explain her complete innocence as a rebuttal to the argument against them.

Meanwhile, Anna seems to be getting threatening calls from several people who heard about the case. Despite the impending danger of indictment, the medical committee stands alongside her. Butch and Virginia work on strengthening their side of the case with more substantial evidence from experts from the field. They meet at Orleans Parish Coroner’s office to discuss the case and while DA isn’t there the way he is supposed to be, they keep on reviewing the cases – most of which get concluded being homicides. Butch speaks in private with the DA’s assistant who comes there and mentions the solid case they have built, but the assistant smugly mentions the DA having the final verdict.

At some sort of luncheon, the higher-ups from Memorial hospital discuss the ongoing investigation. While Dr. Baltz feels that the patients could have been saved (the medical staff could have comforted the patients without killing them), Dr. Cook argues back with the reasoning of how difficult it was for the medical staff considering the terrible circumstances. And meanwhile, it looks like the argument Butch had with the DA’s assistant ended up with him and Virginia being asked to cease investigating. We later see TV footage where Mrs. Everett speaks about the incompetency of medical staff due to Emmett’s weight that made them take the decision to give him the lethal medical dosage.

To counter the case against Dr. Pou, her attorney mentions her to go on television and speak about it. While she’s worried that everyone will misinterpret her words in one way or the other, her attorney seems assured that it will help strengthen their case for the jury. And he rightfully guessed, it did. Her impassioned talk on TV about how much they cared for the patients and how all she or anyone from the medical staff wanted is to provide relief creates a sensation. Her emotional plea makes Virginia cringe but makes Butch understand how it would make the jury’s verdict change. So even when several industry experts affirm the status of every dead patient to be a homicide, he seems conflicted. When Virginia brings this news with excitement, she is met with his lack of enthusiasm, which angers her. What he mentions is how facts alone are not going to help them indict the doctors.

Meanwhile, Anna’s attorney mentions good news about the statements of support they were receiving for her. We see her meeting the coroner who mentions his own horrifying experience during the hurricane and how brave he thinks she is. He asks about her mental state considering the case against her and conveys his support. Later in the newspaper, some news comes sharing how the evidence is false, despite it being factual. Virginia goes all the way to New Orleans to confront the coroner but ends up getting the same old answer. He wants to do what is best for his city and for people to have trust in medical professionals that they will do only what is good for them. He fears that in a similar situation in the future, no doctor will want to be part of helping people if they fear a mistake from them would end up proving them, criminals.

Being disheartened by his response, Virginia decides to head back. Meanwhile, we are shown television footage of people speaking about their lives being uprooted due to the hurricane. She meets Butch and tells him that she’s getting off from the case. Her decision baffles him, but she mentions being saddened by people not accepting the factual evidence as truth and seeing the case going another way as he suggested before. While he tries to persuade her not to leave the case, he becomes unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Anna keeps up with her medical practice since staying busy helping patients is what helps her stay sane. After performing a successful surgery, one of the nurses mentions how incredible it was to see Anna work, and that she has also offered monetary help in her case.

Five Days at Memorial (Series Finale), Episode 8 Ending, Explained:

In the end, we see the events around 23 months after the hurricane, when the Jurys enter the courtroom. They are there to provide a verdict for Dr. Pou in a ten-count bill of indictment, one count of second-degree murder, and nine counts of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. The verdict mentions that Anna is saved from the indictment. Her attorney calls her to mention this, and she gets emotional because of this positive verdict. Later, at a press conference, the attorney general mentions that the jury didn’t hear the factual evidence from any of the experts. He mentions his disagreement about conditions being an excuse for taking the patients’ lives.

Butch gets frustrated by the Jury’s decision, and also by the doctors not even trying to evacuate patients and deciding directly to relieve them the way they did. Virginia goes to meet Mrs. Everett to apologize for not putting up enough fight for Emmett. But Mrs. Everett mentions how they did all they could, and she knew that the people in power wouldn’t let them win the case. She shares her love for the man and how her fight for justice isn’t over. Virginia and Butch meet to speak about the evidence and how it was not shared in front of the jury. The answer to that is just blowing in the wind!

Later, we see Anna being awarded in front of an auditorium filled with medical professionals for bravery. She shares a speech with the same details that the series reiterates every time it shows the medical professionals’ side about the terrifying situations they were battling and the lack of support from the authorities. After her speech, Dr. Baltz meets her to mention that unlike what she said, the helicopters were in fact there, and so were other kinds of help for now-dead patients to have been saved. She argues back about that not being the case, but Dr. Baltz mentions how she is probably using what she wishes to be the truth for her benefit. Since he was also present during the hurricane, he counters with the truth that he had encountered, and it becomes clear from his face how saddened he is seeing the facts being molded by her and others in any way it was suited.

In the very end, we are given the details of the things that became possible because of their horrifying first-hand experience. Dr. Pou and her attorney helped write three bills that protect healthcare professionals in disasters from most legal action. Civil lawsuits against her and other doctors eventually got settled. Since the flooding was by poor structural management, an effort was made to better it by the army corps of engineers. Yet, due to rising sea levels and weak soils, the system could need updating as early as 2023. While this mini-series presents the harrowing replication of real-life scenarios with an engaging take on morality, the poor (and often repetitive) dialogue-writing dulls the impact to a significant degree. It’s an evocative retelling especially when the narration is wordless.



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