P-Valley – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

“Life Is Just A Long Day’s Journey Into Tomorrow”

After last week’s shocking reveal with Mercedes and Patrice, P-Valley returns this week to see the fall-out from their argument. Alongside that are numerous interesting dramatic bouts that flare up, most notably with Mercedes and Patrice at the police station.

Episode 5 of P-Valley begins at the club, as Keyshawn dances for a newly divorced woman. However she starts crying midway through a private dance. When she eventually falls asleep, Keyshawn seizes her opportunity and grabs the rest of the divorce settlement money for herself.

After sleeping with Lil Murda, Clifford wakes up and silently gets himself dressed. In the morning, he finds that same divorced patron on the ground, still blind drunk and singing. As he takes her outside, they look at the door and find the foreclosure notice and 14 days to get the money together to prevent it being auctioned off.

Meanwhile, Autumn is no longer allowed to transfer funds into her account thanks to a change in policy. However, she’s interrupted by a speeding car which happens to hold the drunk woman from the club. This divorced lady is taken to the police station along with Mercedes, as the duo are forced into lock-up. As it turns out, the cell Mercedes is put in also houses her Mother too.

Outside the cell, a man arrives looking for his wife who claims to have lost his child. He gives his name as Montavious Hill and leaves. As he does, Clifford busts in and asks what’s going on. It turns out Clifford has been paying off the department but it’s not enough to offset the foreclosure. Instead, he manages to get in to see Mercedes.

It’s here Mercedes learns that Keyshawn took her position at the club on her big night. Although Clifford promises to put down some stacks and get her out, when Mercedes finds out about the foreclosure she tells him to keep every penny for himself. Their talk eventually comes to an end, as Mercedes and Patrice come to blows about their past.

Meanwhile, Gidget receives a call from Mercedes. While we don’t see very much of Gidget, we do see that she’s living with her Mother. She crushes up some pills and keeps calm in the wake of her Mother demanding she hurry up. Mercedes admits to her that Patrice stole all the money and begs the girl to post bail. For now, she promises to see what she can do.

Back in the jail cell, Patrice and Mercedes come to blows over parenting again. It turns out Mercedes planned to buy out the gym to try and get Terricka back. The pair are clearly from very different walks of life and definitely aren’t on the same wave length. Mercedes promises that if she gets her daughter back, she’ll never be a mother like her.

Meanwhile, Gidget makes good on her promise and messages the Pynk girls to try and drum up bail money. Only, it’s not the 2k they thought it would be; it’s actually over $5000. Unfortunately as they don’t have that money, they’re forced to leave. However, Autumn obviously does have the money but for now keeps quiet.

While the rest of the girls leave, Autumn and Gidget sit together smoking. It’s here Autumn finds out the truth about Mercedes’ mother.

Back in the jail cell, the more Patrice speaks the more the other girls turn to Mercedes. It’s here they notice that she doesn’t have her daughter’s best interests to heart. Patrice is smart though. She starts singing to distract them and turns the attention toward sins and asking for figveness. Just like that, this snake oil salesman gets the cell to start clapping along while she “blesses” those inside.

It doesn’t fool Mercedes though. She whispers in Patrice’s ear and tells her she’s dead to her. As she makes bail and leaves the cell, her Mother remains knelt down and dumbfounded.

Autumn picks her up and tells Mercedes to get in the car. There, Mercedes’ tough exterior shatters and she starts crying.

Meanwhile, Clifford finds the Mayor and confronts him over the foreclosure. Clifford tells him that he’s trying to help people but the Mayor doesn’t see it that way. He’s looking forward to throwing Clifford on the street. However, Uncle has confidential documents that could throw their plan into trouble.

When Clifford leaves, the Mayor realizes that Andre is to blame and makes his son get to work and finish the plan before he does.

At the club, Keyshawn takes up the mantle as the main girl on the pole. While she dances, Big L admits to Clifford backstage that the books are a mess. However, Lil Murda arrives at the door which distracts him enough from the finances. As they talk about whether the public will accept them or not, Lil Murda leans forward and the two start kissing.

In the back, Kewshawn heads out and picks up her child from Derick. She’s clearly frightened of him though and pulls away from his advances. It turns out he’s seen her video and calls the girl beautiful. On her way back into the Pynk, she sees Lil Murda and Clifford kissing in his office.

The most unlikely of duos open up and talk about their pasts. Mercedes and Autumn stand on the latter’s balcony watching kids playing in the street. Mercedes is not going back to the Pynk and vehemently declines to step foot there again. Autumn however, reveals some truths of her own.

She had a big plan to leave but things went horribly wrong. There was an accident involving water and in the ensuing carnage, she lost her daughter. She tried for 3 days to find her but failed to do so. At the end of her wits, she wanted to die… until a suitcase came in offering a new lease of life. This, of course, brings us back to the opening scene as “God” gave her a second chance with a new identity.

Autumn takes Mercedes inside and shows the stacks of cash she has hidden away. She promises another $10,000 by the end of the week but there’s a catch. She wants Mercedes to transfer funds across to that bank account instead. As we cut across to another laptop screen, showing those bank statements, we see the same Montavious Hill who rocked up at the police station earlier.

The Episode Review

More so than the other episodes in this season, P-Valley pulls out all the stops to deliver an episode of two halves. The first features some lovely scene composition and editing as various characters bleed into each other’s scenes. The divorced patron stumbling around the different characters is a nice touch, while characters like Clifford arriving at the station while Montavious leaves is another clever example of this.

The second half however is all about melodrama and revealed truths. Most of this gravitates around crucial scenes involving Patrice and Mercedes’ outlooks on life. Despite her choices, Mercedes has very much been open about her role at the Pynk and using it as leverage to secure a better future for herself.

Patrice meanwhile is all about the scamming and making a quick buck, regardless of who gets hurt. It’s particularly ironic given her profession and this despicable juxtaposition between righteous religion and committing sins is ultimately what makes her such an effective antagonist.

Speaking of which, we don’t see an awful lot of Andre or the casino plans this week. It seems likely that Andre may be regretting his choices but it remains to be seen if that has any weight behind it for the story ahead.

For now though, P-Valley bows out with another decent episode that builds nicely off the back of last week’s shocking ending.


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