Surface (Season 1), Episode 5: Recap & Ending Explained

Surface Season 1 Episode 5 Recap (2)

Surface (Season 1), Episode 5 Recap and Ending Explained: Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars in the central role of the beguiling Apple TV+ series, Surface, and outshines everyone from the cast with her raw and scintillating performance. She plays Sophie, whose journey toward the discovery of truth remains to be the crux of the plot. However, through this very discovery, the series tries to shed light on several factors. While Sophie recovers parts of her memory, it gets harder and harder for her to trust anyone. In the 5th episode, the creators take a different route to delve deeper into her psyche where the focus is not to move the plot forward but to understand the changes happening around (and for) Sophie, through her eyes.

Surface (Season 1), Episode 5 Recap:

Episode 5 titled ‘It Comes in Waves’ shows Sophie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) getting closer in her pursuit of the truth about her life before the accident. The episode starts with Sophie on a beach recollecting a few bits of her memory from her childhood with her mother. Baden (Stephan James) walks into this scene and interrupts her chain of thought. Sophie tells him about the diagnosis by her therapist in relation to her mother who was also suffering from a psychotic disorder. This makes her consider that it could be hereditary. She expresses how sick she is of being treated like a crazy person and tired of living in her life as if everything’s normal. Baden comforts her in her vulnerable moment and also assures her that James (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) will be arrested soon with the progress of the investigation.

At the office, James still seems anxious about returning the money he owes. While he is lost in thought, his colleague Harrison (François Arnaud) walks in and informs him that with the help of a loan, he can help James’ financial stress go away. After they leave the office, James’ assistant Todd (Andres Joseph) sneaks into his office and tries to get all the data from his computer, as told by Baden. While he is engrossed in this task, James decides to return to his office to take his wallet. When James’ secretory walks up into the room, Todd somehow manages to keep his actions hidden from her. Later, when he hands the drive over, Baden realizes and tells him that it’s of no use since the data is not related to bank details as he hoped it to be. With the fear of being jailed, Todd informs him about James’ personal laptop that he takes home when he leaves.

Meanwhile, Baden and Sophie have a conversation about a treatment involving hallucinogens and how she wishes to pursue it – since it helped retrieve some of her memories earlier. Baden advises her not to pursue it and tells her how unreliable it is in general. Once he leaves his apartment, Sophie finds some drugs hidden behind the mirror. Later at home, Sophie decides to wear a revealing dress to go to a party she has to with James. He does not feel it to be appropriate for the occasion but does not control this decision for her at the moment. During their conversation, she mentions her knowledge about his affair with Caroline (Ari Graynor), which angers him. He tries to put the blame back on her saying how both of them have made mistakes. She does not continue with the conversation and just leaves. While sitting in their ride, she gulps down two pills of drugs (that she probably picked up from Baden’s place) until James gets in the car.

Surface Season 1 Episode 5 Recap (1)

When Sophie enters the venue for the party, she receives a call from Baden who tells her that he wants to get hold of James’ personal laptop. He requests her to share the security password for their place, but she is worried that he will be caught up on the security cameras. To turn them off from James’ phone, she strikes up a conversation with him and asks him to take a selfie of them together. Once she gets hold of his phone and proceeds with her plan, Baden enters their place and finds James’ laptop. Despite several attempts to crack his password, he becomes unsuccessful.

Sophie wanders off and starts observing a painting of Ophelia. Caroline joins her and mentions how grateful she is that Sophie came to the party. Sophie tells her that she is not mad at her and spurs out some things that make Caroline consider her behavior to be rather strange – different than what she is used to seeing her like. While Caroline goes back to the party, Sophie gets engrossed in the painting and goes through an intense drug trip. She believes that she herself is a part of the painting and gets sucked into a hallucinatory world until James’ colleague interrupts her dreamscape. The next moment, she rushes out, and meanwhile, James realizes along with Caroline that she might be high on drugs.

Surface (Season 1), Episode 5 Ending Explained: 

At their home, Baden becomes successful with finding the right password and getting hold of James’ financial data. He realizes that James transferred 3.1 million dollars the day before Sophie’s accident. Meanwhile, Sophie enters a bar still on her drug trip and starts conversing with another woman who she mistakes as her old spark from her memories. She suddenly sees blood dripping down this person’s face which reminds her of her flashes of memories. She gets scared by this vivid interplay of memory & reality and rushes out of the bar. Outside, she gets a call from Baden who mentions that he has everything they need to convict James now. During this conversation, she sees a horse on the road and decides to follow it. Not long after she reaches a dock and suddenly jumps off into the water.

Meanwhile, James returns home and finds Baden walking right towards their place. While he can’t recall who he is right away, he realizes Baden to be the person Sophie was cheating on him with. He threatens to call the cops on him, and Baden shows him his police ID. While he decides to leave, he makes sure to let James know about his knowledge of his laptop password. In the morning, Sophie is seen lying on a bench near the dock where she was seen the previous night. She heads back through a metro where she hears a voice note shared by James, informing her about the money transfer, which went to the account of Tess Caldwell. She realizes that she is more involved in this financial issue than she earlier assumed. Once she reaches home, she asks James whether the missing money was to cover up something for her. He accepts and she asks him to share the complete truth. Episode 5 ends on this abrupt note which keeps the intrigue of Sophie’s (or Tess’) involvement in the case intact.


Where to watch Surface
Akash Deshpande

Obsessed, fascinated, and always nerding out about cinema! You can find me in the corner of a room ruminating over the last TV series I watched.