Five Days at Memorial – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Day Two

Episode 2 of Five Days at Memorial stars with a faint glimmer of hope in the midst of this horrific storm. Everyone at the hospital is still alive. That’s it guys, that’s all the hope right now as Susan herself narrates, the worst is still yet to come.

However, we begin with a round of applause from all the staff inside the hospital. The water is starting to be drained out, but with the aircon broken, Susan encourages the others to drink plenty of water.

When they leave the room, the hospital director contemplates whether they should discharge some people to alleviate the pressure on the hospital. Susan reminds them that the power is still out across the city so dumping people on the street probably isn’t the best move right now.

With the hospital heating up and water being used quickly, an ominous shot of the trash topped up with empty water bottles is pretty telling and could become a massive problem in the future. The heat is unbearable and even worse, there are rumours spreading across the hospital that people are going to be kicked out.

Dr Horace hears these rumours in the main atrium but he tells one of the patients that no one is being forcibly removed. If they have a problem, they can speak to him directly.

Funnily enough, these rumours started as a game of Chinese whispers which we see through a series of staff members discussing an incident outside. What actually happened was that a couple of kids were eyeing up a nurse but eyeing up turns to harasser which turns to attacked and then eventually raped, as the story progresses through to others.

The real truth of the matter is that in times of disaster there are going to be opportunists. We see this in the form of three kids break into a convenience store and take off with stacks of gear.

As they head into the hospital with the bags, Dr Bryant King approaches the youths and questions them over stealing. He’s taken aback by them, claiming they’re getting kicked out the hospital soon, which leads him to realize these rumours are spreading like wildfire.

With the city pumps out of action, the water outside is still at 18 inches and it’s not going down. With no aircon and impatient residents too, a calm before the storm descends over the hospital.

This tranquility is shattered into pieces in the middle of the night though when a woman called Jolene shows up at the hospital, bloody and in pain. She’s been stabbed and assaulted. Horace speaks to Taylor, her partner, and explains that the police will need to write up a report on what happened. It turns out Taylor’s mother was the one responsible.

In the middle of this, there’s a subplot involving Anna and her partner, Vince. He shows up at the hospital and the pair have a nice evening together. In the morning, he urges Anna to leave but she refuses to do so, pointing out they’re in the middle of an emergency situation and it wouldn’t be ethical to go.

Soldiers show up at the front of the hospital with big news. Water is rising across the city and there’s a 15 foot wave about to come right at them. Given how many rumours Susan and the others have faced this episode, she’s untenably dubious over this one.

However, he implores them to activate the evac plan and get out the hospital as soon as they can. The thing is, there’s no plan to actually get out so she enacts a new plan of her own.

Susan sends scouts to check out the water rumours and see if it’s really true that everything is rising. Well, all they need to do is look out the window, which shows the water start to pick up and build momentum. Anna tries to get hold of Vince, but she struggles to do so, given the signal is out. Something big is coming, and that spells bad news for all involved.

The Episode Review

The editing and sound design for the final 2 minutes of this episode are absolutely fantastic. There’s a real sense of dread spreading across this hospital and it’s interesting to see how that palpable sense of fear can be made all the worst by rampant rumours that spread in damaging ways.

The segment involving the staff outside discussing youths “eyeing up” a nurse and then eventually escalating to a gang rape is a great example of how badly these rumours can spiral out of control.

Five Days at Memorial has done a great job so far with its characters and the drama inside the hospital. However, one could argue that Anna’s subplot involving her husband Vince is the weakest part of the whole chapter. There’s just not a lot of substance to it and given we’re told at the start by Susan that she’s brave for staying and not leaving when she could have, all the drama there is obsolete given we already know what she’s going to do in that situation.

Either way though, the ending hints that drama is about to pick up and it’ll be interesting to see what direction this one takes next!

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