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Blindspotting – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Beaches Be Trippin

Episode 5 of Blindspotting picks up after our week’s hiatus with a similar opening to the previous chapter. Ashley heads in to see Miles, where she recites a poem featuring some pretty thought provoking lyrics. Eventually she changes her mind and bolts, heading back home. There, Ashley ends up fighting against Trish again over her lack of clothing.

Meanwhile, Earl continues to smoke away his troubles. That is, until James rings and confirms he’s bagged him an interview. Earl shows up stoned and very obviously nervous. Time passes and eventually Earl is forced to recharge his ankle bracelet after waiting for what seems like an eternity in the waiting room. To make matters worse, the cable doesn’t fully reach so he’s left standing around in limbo. Mercifully, his name is read out anyway.

Earl is on a tight schedule and unfortunately the clock inside the office is slow. He misses the 4.30pm ferry and finds himself forced to run home to avoid missing his curfew.

Elsewhere, Trish and the girls attend therapy down on the beach. Janelle is convinced this is just what Ashley needs to help. With all the girls gathered together, a conch is passed out where they each talk about their worst fears. Trish opens up and admits she hates how emotional she gets. When Ashley is passed the conch, she reveals how alone she feels without Miles. She’s been hanging on to moments of innocence with Sean and deliberately hiding the truth in order to make herself feel those tiny moments of bliss.

Well, that soon paves way for the guys indulging in drugs instead. Those glimmers of characterization we saw early on are eventually lost in favour of another hallucinogenic, neon-lit dream sequence. As the girls wake up, they all rush into the water.

The Episode Review

The trouble with Blindspotting comes from its style and substance. Too often the show has a good idea or a moment of genuine plot development only to completely overshadow that with another dream sequence or comedic quip.

Take Ashley, for example. The entire crux of this episode is around her not telling Sean the truth about his Father. Ashley hasn’t bothered to tell him about Miles because it makes her feel that sense of security that everything is as it was. And then we see her drinking, smoking drugs and heading off to the beach for a big drug session where she passes out. These moments don’y exactly scream Mum of the year and it reinforces the feeling that Ashley is a pretty selfish character.

Earl gets the lion’s share of the run-time here though and his simple story about struggling to hold down a job is certainly a nice way to show how hard it is to get through interviews. Again, it doesn’t help that we’ve seen Earl is a bit of a layabout and would much rather bum around at home and smoke weed than live up to the terms of his probation. Although to be fair, seeing him charge back home and rush into the driveway does show that he’s at last changing.

On the whole though, Blindspotting is a show with some nice ideas but shaky execution. Hopefully this on can improve over the weeks as right now, this show is struggling to shake off the shackles of mediocrity.

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3 thoughts on “Blindspotting – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review”

  1. This show is not tackling drugs! It’s tackling the justice system, specifically racial injustice, which minorities face daily. (It’s also a love letter to Oakland/the Bay Area.) You are missing the whole point! When Ashley says, “Monsters ain’t under the bed, they come cuffing in the night, and I don’t want his first monster to be the one that ate his papa alive,” that is her plight! You must be caucasian. You call her selfish for shrooming on the beach with her friends…would you consider her selfish if she went for a spa day? Everyone deserves self-care and therapy and if you think her shrooming is the same as what the characters in Euphoria were doing, you need to further research Mushrooms, as they are organic and highly therapeutic with little to no side effects unless they are tampered with. It would benefit you to expand your view if you plan to continue reviewing shows or other forms of artistic expression. If it was just a recap you would refrain from stating your biased opinion.

  2. Hey Veronica,

    Thanks so much for commenting, it’s very much appreciated!

    As someone who has taken drugs and been mixed up in the culture for many years before getting in the reviewing game I absolutely agree that it can be therapeutic. However, doing drugs to hide negative emotions and to find some sort of cathartic release is a slippery slope toward addiction.

    However, my main issue here came from Ashley doing drugs while simultaneously being the sole caregiver for Sean. There are side effects to doing mushrooms and hallucinogens. One of my friends actually had a trip so bad that he ended up in hospital. He thought spiders were crawling inside his skin so he took a straight razor blade and began piercing his face and flicking these imaginary spiders out. Granted, this is an extreme example but it can happen.

    I’m not from the Bay area or familiar with Bay culture but I am well aware of the positive and negative effects that doing drugs can have on someone. I also know that as a Father of two, I wouldn’t want my young kids exposed to Class A drugs.

    The moments on the beach prior to that with the conch were excellent, you’re absolutely right. I liked that we saw more of Trish opening up and Ashley did the same too. There issue here lies with the sudden descent into jokes, comedic quips and dreamy, hallucinogenic scenes that undermine the emotional weight of these moments. In essence, what has Ashley learned from this? Will she tell Sean the truth? Based on the scenes in this episode, she did drugs instead.

    This was mostly what I was trying to hint at when I wrote: “Too often the show has a good idea or a moment of genuine plot development only to completely overshadow that with another dream sequence or comedic quip.”

    There have been many shows tackling drugs, mental health etc. over the years including Euphoria on HBO which is fantastic. Blindspotting definitely has potential but for me, the show feels like it relies way too heavily on its style and not enough on its substance.

    I really appreciate you commenting though and taking the time to read this recap!

    -Greg W

  3. This review is very biased and clearly comes from a place of judgement and not understanding both the generation as well as Bay culture. Mushrooms are natural and therapeutic and for her to be carrying all of the weight that she is, Ashley needed it to get some clarity and to bond with her sis-in-law, a part of this storyline you completely neglected. Before you review a show again, do a little research on the culture of the characters and get off your high horse.

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