Full Circle – Season 1 Episode 5 “Loyalty” Recap & Review


As episode 5 of Full Circle begins, Mel is informed by the task force that there will be a raid on Savitri Mahabir’s house and office that night. The Postal Department will be running “point”, which means that they’ll be making the arrest and leading the raid. Unfortunately for her, Manny has ensured that he gets the credit for the entire thing by sidestepping Mel. But she discovers she has bigger things to worry about as she calls the Plaza and learns that Xavier isn’t there anymore.

Xavier is brought to Harry, who is livid with his actions. He knows exactly how Xavier was taken, which compels him to tell the truth about the information Mel already had on the insurance scam. Harry announces that he is leaving with his family for Georgetown but isn’t sure about taking Xavier with him. He feels obligated to give Harry something and ends up calling Louis and putting the phone on speaker.

In an interesting turn of events, Xavier asks Louis if he can get enough money from Derek so that Harry cab pay off his debt. But Harry makes it clear he only has space for one more person other than his family on the plane for Georgetown. Despite this, Xavier asks Louis to get the money and assures him of helping him leave.

Jeff and Kristen go to Gene’s house to discuss how to proceed next. The brother reveals that he has a copy of the interview Jeff did with Manny all those years ago, which proves he turned Gene in. He starts reading the report out loud. As he does, Kristen realizes that the “JM” in the interview is not Jeff but refers to “Jolene” Samantha McCusker. She always hated the name Jolene and hence used Samantha instead. This means that she was the one who made all the transactions and ratted out her uncle. 

Pete Fong, Mel’s boss, tells her about the psych evaluation that Manny sent him the last night. But that isn’t all. Carol filed three domestic abuse charges against Mel to the Internal Affairs Bureau in the lead-up to the evaluation. Moreover, they met because Carol was a witness in one of Mel’s cases which makes things even trickier to navigate. Mel’s position has become untenable and she is suspended pending investigation.

Aked picks up the leftover money from Edward Chung. He uses the location of Jared’s phone to track down Louis and Nat. The siblings wait outside the building for Derek to come with the money. They spot him with a bag boarding a taxi to a hotel since Sam has kicked him out. Nat gets out to make contact.  She asks Louis to bring Nicky up and approaches Derek’s room. He lets the trio inside. As they discuss what to do next, Aked barges in with a gun. He points it at Nat but doesn’t see Louis. He ambushes him from behind and they struggle for control of the gun. Aked is inadvertently shot in the chest and Derek asks the siblings to leave the room.

A crying Louis calls Xavier with the developments. Nat asks if the famous painting from the Browne family’s living room would be enough. Xavier asks Harry about it but he is too caught up in his situation and does not give them a clear answer.

Derek phones the police and they take Nicky to the hospital. He has minor injuries from the ricochet of the bullet. Kristin comes back home alone as Jeff takes Gene for lunch. Sam is there as well and when Derek comes up in the conversation, Kris reveals that she knew about Charisse. She has good things to say about Derek, who played his part as a good husband and father after all the mess with Charisse.

Sam finds Mel when she goes back home. The inspector is still on duty – at least until the next day’s afternoon – and confronts Sam about the investment scam without the specifics. Mel notices the chalk cart when she reviews the footage of the fateful night at the park. Will that lead her to Willoughby? 

The episode ends with Manny preparing Ron Cuneo with a camera and a wire for the meeting that night. We also see Savitri talking longingly to Ranwell’s photo in her room explaining that everything will be alright once the circle is redrawn and all the impurities are expelled. 

The Episode Review

Soderbergh’s mature filmmaking instincts have ensured that Full Circle remains a steady character study. It was easy for a story like this one to go out of hand and venture into many different perspectives. Episode 5 sticks to the baseline and stays the course to finish off this “circle” in a well-rounded way. Kris, who has had more of a guest appearance till now, had the best lines in the episode and really put Derek in a different light for all of us.

Full Circle’s closely guarded nature positions the viewers at a distance from the characters and their real conceits. When something does happen without notice, there is an element of surprise that comes with it. But such is the scheme of the storytelling that it still does not seem out of turn. At its core, Full Circle satirizes the vanity of human consciousness and the many ways in which it can outthink itself. 

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You can read our full season 1 review of Full Circle here
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