Dead Ringers – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Adventure in Alabama

Episode 5 of Dead Ringers opens with Elliot sitting in a car with her face covered in blood. A man comes out of the building in front of her, followed by a very pregnant Beverly. She shakes her head when she sees Elliot.

The man talks about not having written a word for 17 months. He then gets a call from Rebecca who wants him to write a piece on the Mantle twins for a new birthing centre opening in Alabama. He doesn’t want to but she says he can’t afford to say no.

As this conversation happens, we also see that the woman who suffered constant miscarriages now has a baby. At the centre, Silas sees Beverly watching her and it’s worth pointing out that she’s now visibly pregnant. He approaches her and asks if she’s okay.

While a voiceover narrates meditation instructions we see Elliot prepare a milkshake while Beverly lies down on her bed, listening to the meditative track on her headphones. Oh, and they also have a dog now. Greta tells Beverly she’s packed and she hopes she has a good time. In the lift, Beverly tells Elliot she loves her.

Silas and the twins get into a private plane, where he interviews them. They talk about their unique relationship and how they don’t need other people, given they just make things worse. Now, they’re going to co-parent Beverly’s twin babies.

Susan welcomes the three of them to Montgomery and introduces them to her father, Marion, who’s also a doctor. Susan’s got two sets of twin sisters and one sister, Florence, who’s pregnant. The twins are here to deliver her quadruplets, and Marion pressures them to examine Florence. Elliot and Beverly both examine her and find all four babies.

Back in the plane, Silas had asked the twins why they chose Alabama and if there was some racial privilege in them swooping down to save black people in the South.

At the dinner table, the conversation moves to the violence of birth. Susan tells her father how Elliot delivered a 24-week-old baby (Lenka’s baby) and it was healthy. When they discuss how early a baby can be birthed, Silas brings up the consequences this could have on the abortion agenda. We also find out that Marion’s wife left early on and didn’t die, as Beverly had assumed. Marion describes how he go into the field of women’s health and was one of the first to do so. He talks about how doctors basically ‘practice’ on patients. He narrates an incident from the 1800s when a woman was diagnosed with rickets and a disfigured pelvis and had a stillborn baby. She worked with a doctor and they conducted 30 surgeries without anaesthesia to fix her, and it worked.

Later on, the sisters sing a song. Marion asks Elliot how she got Lenka pregnant. She says she used a combination of things.

A flashback shows Lenka screaming in pain. Her water had broken two hours ago. Elliot tells Tom to help because the procedure included something illegal, so she can’t call Beverly. Tom demands an explanation and Elliot says she grew the embryo outside and put it in Lenka when it was four weeks old. Tom is shocked but reluctantly agrees to help.

At the dinner table, Beverly seems shocked at hearing the news and vomits onto the table itself.

Another flashback shows Beverly telling Silas that Elliot was the one who delivered Lenka’s baby. She’s surprised the baby was healthy and didn’t need extra help. Silas then asks Beverly about Genevieve. She hears from Genevieve’s lawyers about visitation and other details but that’s it. She admits to pretending that Genevieve never existed.

Elliot knocks on the bathroom door while Beverly soaks in a tub. Beverly bites onto her hand, seemingly to not scream out, and then tells Elliot she’s fine. Elliot tells Beverly it was all just a joke.

In the night, Susan comes to visit Beverly. Elliot heads downstairs to find Silas sitting in the dark. Susan reveals to Beverly how her mother was sad all the time and would drink a lot. And still, she had all the kids, because of Marion.

Inside the twins’ apartment, Greta smokes, tries on their clothes and has her own private party.

Silas calls babies parasites and brings up Genevieve’s recent interview where she talks about a physical longing for babies. Elliot, on the other hand, never had maternal feelings. Silas asks what changes now that she’s having the babies with Beverly. Elliot reaches for his glass and downs his entire drink. She then pummels a tablet down to powder and inhales it while Silas talks about his drinking habit.

Elliot admits she hallucinated about pushing an old woman off her balcony, and she turns the questions on Silas, who confesses to sleeping with his students, so nobody pays any mind to his Pulitzer. He then asks Elliot how she got Lenka pregnant.

Beverly dreams about two girls in the sea, when one suddenly gets pulled under. She wakes up in shock and hears some distant sounds. She uses a lantern to guide herself and goes to a room in the basement where a black woman re-narrates the story of the 17-year-old girl who suffered from rickets and had a disfigured pelvis, operated on 30 times by the doctor without anesthesia, and was a slave. She speaks in support of the young girl who had to go through so much.

Beverly follows her back out of the room, but when she leaves the house premises, she tells Beverly she can’t follow. Beverly turns around and we see her nightdress is all bloodstained. Elliot and Silas see her too, and she insists that it isn’t her blood. In reality, there is no blood and she was never holding a lantern.

Greta says goodbye to the dog and leaves the apartment, but finds police outside. A stranger tells her they found an old woman in the gutter of the building.

Marion makes the cut for Florence’s C-section. Beverly pulls out all four babies. Silas’s voiceover narrates his final question for the sisters, asking why they lie to each other. Beverly never loved Genevieve and Elliot’s experiments are just fantasies. Elliot thinks about his comments on how they both want the babies and her grip on a medical tool tightens, leading to issues with Florence. Marion pulls her away but the damage is done.

Inside the house, Rebecca says damage control is possible since the incident happened in-house. Marion has banished Elliot, while Susan claims it’s not a big deal since the damage was just to Florence’s bladder.

We go back to the first scene with Elliot sitting in the car and Beverly exiting the house. Beverly thinks about the time when she and Elliot were looking at Lenka’s newborn and Elliot lied to her, saying it was a miracle that made the baby. And just like that, we whiplash back to the present, where Beverly shakes her head and goes back inside. Elliot throws a tantrum but ultimately leaves with Silas.

Inside, Beverly calls Genevieve and tells her she doesn’t want to do anything without her. She’s left Elliot for good and as a result, Elliot comes back to an empty house.

Beverly has dinner with Genevieve, while Rebecca tells Silas to not write the article but his interest in the Mantle twins has rekindled his desire to write. Next to his laptop is a news article about the old woman who was found dead.

The Episode Review

A superb episode  gives us multiple eerie twins, some fantastic dialogue delivery, and a strong look at the sister’s relationship and how it isn’t all it seems – particularly Beverly. It’s so interesting, how she pretends Genevieve never existed and then conveniently turns the tables and says the same thing for Elliot.

With Silas’s claim that she never loved Genevieve, her psyche is becoming more and more intriguing. Those dreams about the girls swimming in the sea is surely a key part of it.

While I did love the way this episode used the story of the girl with rickets and the father of genecology, it seems quite convenient for the show to tackle racism in this one segment and never mention it otherwise. The execution though was perfect, from the eerie visuals to the repetition of the dialogue.

Another standout scene is Silas’s voiceover about the twins lying to each other, paired with Florence’s C-section. This series has used long-winded dialogues quite well, and they always pack a punch.

I do wonder how the series will wrap up everything in the last episode. Greta, the mysterious symbol Genevieve had, and now Silas’s article on the twins; there seem to be quite a few threads that are nowhere near being tied up. Hopefully, the finale brings it all together.

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