In a flashback, episode 5 of Notre Dame sees Max greet his guests at the restaurant’s new opening. The scene offers us a chance to learn how Victoire’s drug addiction started. It was Rico, the person from whom Max took a loan, who gave Victoire her very first packet at the same opening.
Alice is brought out and given medical attention. She holds Ducourt’s hand, who stands next to her the whole time. The doctors make sure that she is out of danger and allow her to rest. Ducourt too asks Varese to keep watch and not let her go from the camp.
In a flashback just after the day Ben and Alice met in the former’s car, we see Ducourt have lunch with Alice. He warns her to never come near him again like that and stop talking about Ben to him.
Ducourt tells Varese not to reveal that Alice defied orders and risked her life by falling into the turret staircase. Ducourt is fed up with how the Prefect and other politicians have demanded unreasonable things from the department. Alice’s pregnancy news gets out and Varese too congratulates her. She asks Alice to remain in the camp, despite her insistence to keep on helping with the mission. Her tone is also reprimanding as Alice put her life in danger and slowed down the mission. It is her irrational thinking and decision-making that will continue to be a hindrance for all teams she is a part of.
“You couldn’t possibly understand.. when the one you love is immersed in the very heart of the fire”, Alice says to Varese. But the Colonel is unmoved. Alice feels like her actions are because she wants to become the brilliant firefighter that Ben never had the chance to become. She wants to make him proud. Varese goes out and breaks down by a fire truck. We go back to the day Varese hired Alice and she was instantly charmed by her. She also saw Alice and Ben together at the concert, stealing looks and holding hands. Varese feels like she might never be able to love someone as Alice got to.
At the pharmacy, Victoire tells her life story. She was a bright child but quickly got bored of the routine. She started going out and because of her beauty, got a lot of male attention. Drugs were next and she has since not been able to shrug off the addiction. She has regret how she drifted apart from her family and wishes she could have changed things. The pharmacist denies giving her doses of the drugs despite Victoire pleading with him. She has guilt over Pam’s death (she doesn’t know it yet) but the pharmacist isn’t moved. Pam tells Max about Rico and that he was the one who gave them the drugs.
One of the fathers from the cathedral goes running in and tells the firefighters that the real crown of Thorns is inside a vault in the chapel behind the fire in the nave. Varese gathers a couple of firefighters and goes in to save the crown. Alice and Elena eventually meet and start talking about the former’s experiences. When they reach the vault, the father forgets the password but starts praying to calm himself down. He eventually comes around and takes out the crown.
Varese holds it to her heart and rejoices as she has never done before. She does indeed know how it feels to get a loved thing from the fire. Victoire leaves Billy at a bar and goes off herself to La Caire to get the drugs. Max reaches Rico’s and gives him bundles of money he owed but some are still left. He asks for Victire’s location but Rico denies knowing it, despite his man calling him on the spot and telling him Victoire is there. Victoire is given the drugs and she goes upstairs to take them. Rico asks Max to fight for him so that people can pay a lot of money to see the former champ in action after almost two decades.
Bastien apprises Ducourt of the situation at hand. The fire has reached the north belfry as the winds have pushed it there. To the beam are attached bells that weigh thousands of tons. They only have half an hour before the fire spreads and the entire structure is about to come down as the wood beams above the bells will start crumbling.
The north tower will be the first to go, then the south, the walls thereafter, and finally the nave. Steph snatches away Elena from the crowd and asks her to do a live stream. He also asks about Antony but Elena does not tell the truth. Varese demands that Ducourt allow them to go to the Chimera gallery and save the belfry and the towers.
They must do everything to save Notre Dame. Ducourt must believe that they can do it. Ducorut is convinced after a long pause. Adamski is able to escape unseen and heads toward the cathedral.
The Episode Review
The writers of Notre Dame seem to have no regard for logic or reason. In every sequence they put their characters in, they seem to be having a hard time getting their basics right.
Episode 5 falls into the trap of cliches and easy conclusions for the set-ups placed until now. The ease of convenience has affected them like a virus. There is no drama, emotion, or something even remotely compassionate about the events that the people go through.
Somehow, we are all expected to believe that the burning of Notre Dame will bring them closer and give them newer perspectives in life. It all seems too dreamy and glittery from here. The botched job comes in the face of immense promise that the concept held and that hurts even worse.