Conversations with Friends – Episode 5 “Loving” Recap & Review


Episode 5 of Conversations with Friends sees Frances enjoying her last day at the house in Croatia. Nick says he’s never been tempted to do anything like what he’s done with Frances before. He just never met anyone. Besides, he and Melissa were happy and in love for a long time. It unsettles Frances when he says he still loves his wife.

Bobbi asks Frances if she’s annoyed with her, and she is bothered by the kissing suggestion Bobbi made last night. But Bobbi says she was just making fun of Nick, who clearly likes Frances.

Frances prepares to go to the market with Nick and Evelyn. On the car ride, Nick says Melissa thinks her agent, Valerie, has lost faith in her. He says he didn’t help things.

When they get back, Melissa is stressfully preparing a meal for Valerie’s arrival. They all sit by the pool later, and Melissa apologizes for her attitude.

Frances makes a comment to Bobbi about how Nick is in love with his wife. “People can be in love and have meaningful relationships, you know,” Bobbi muses. “It’s not some kind of finite resource.”

She asks if it would depress Bobbi to sleep with someone who loves someone else. “Not if they loved me too,” she replies.

That night, Valerie gives Melissa a copy of her manuscript and they all toast to her work. Frances watches on as Nick congratulates and hugs his wife.

Valerie and Melissa discuss in front of Frances how they weren’t sure the book would ever come to fruition. They trail off, but Melissa implies Nick is the reason that writing was so difficult. She says he’s better now. She tells Frances Nick had a rough time last year with depression.

Valerie tells Melissa she mustn’t be held back. “Wow,” Frances interjects. She says they’re talking about someone’s suffering like it’s “a career impediment.” They’re not amused.

Bobbi follows her when she leaves the table. Frances says she can’t be with these people anymore. Bobbi agrees. She takes her hand. 

When they get back, Melissa asks Frances’ help with drinks. Frances apologizes, but Melissa waves it off. Valerie is important to her job, and she can’t upset her. Nick’s depression led to her work crumbling, and Valerie helped her through it. “It’s not that I don’t want to defend him.” They aren’t perfect, she says, but she loves him. 

She asks Frances if there’s anything more she should know about Nick. Frances says there isn’t.

Nick comes into Frances’ room that night. She tells him Melissa seems like a good person; he agrees. “Does that make us bad people?” she asks. Not her, he says. Maybe himself.

Frances says both have told her they love each other, and she doesn’t know what to do in this situation. She hasn’t thought about the consequences of their relationship. Nick says he did. “I just thought it would be worth it.”

They sleep together, and Bobbi catches them lying in bed when she comes to see Frances.

She and Bobbi text that night. She asks Frances how long this has been going on. “Since Melissa’s birthday.” Bobbi doesn’t respond.

The Episode Review

The story takes a turn from what episode 1 has led us to expect. Nick’s laid-back nature while Melissa flirted with Bobbi hinted at a polyamorous relationship. But since then, we’ve seen Nick mention Melissa’s affairs and also struggle to keep his fling with Frances a secret. All the while, he and his wife stay in separate rooms.

Added to that, this episode humanizes Melissa. It paints her as a struggling artist and faithful spouse who took time off to care for her husband, whom she claims she truly loves. What exactly is going on between the couple?

I think the line Bobbi delivers to Frances about love not being finite reveals much about what this series is trying to explore. That is, what does it mean to love more than one person?

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You can read our full season review for Conversations with Friends here!

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