Rain Dogs – Season 1 Episode 5 “Emotional Erection” Recap & Review

Emotional Erection

Costello finally gathers the courage to face her mother as episode 5 of Rain Dogs begins. Her father greets her at the door and is incredulous to see her. He calls her Lisa and sits her down in the living room. He rushes out to call John, Costello’s brother, while her mother, Donna, is taking a bath upstairs.

John has a similar reaction to his father. He first pretends not to believe that she is Costello, only to reveal that he s doing it because he is angry and does not want her in their life. John alludes to an incident where Costello “almost killed” Donna and she is conflicted.

She finally comes down and embraces Costello, standing up for her against John. But for some reason, Costello still feels smothered and uncomfortable.

In other news, Gloria discovers she is pregnant. She also looks after Iris while Costello is gone as Selby is having issues since the Halloween party. The father of her unborn child is revealed to be Paul, who did not care that Gloria broke up with him through Selby and slept with her again.

Selby goes out to meet an old actor to hook up in his car. After the act, Selby breaks down crying and the old actor tries to console him. In his own bizarre way, he advises Selby not to harden other people’s hearts. Costello goes into her old room and looks at her things. She finds her teen diary and goes through it. Donna walks in and Costello finally confronts her for being a “nonce” and sexually molesting Costello when she was a child.

Donna defiantly agrees to do it but calls Costello weak for not being able to bear it. She shockingly reveals that John has been put through the same treatment but it seems like Donna’s husband does not know about it. Costello gathers some of her old things and lets herself out but not before urinating in the living room at her favourite spot she used to when she was a child. Costello sends Allegra to Selby to take care of him but he does not care too much about her at the moment.

Allegra hands over Selby’s father’s urn to him and he throws it away in the swimming pool proceeding to open it and bathe in the ashes. He is actually very disturbed and emotionally exhausted. Even though he does not want it, Florian Selby desperately needs help and intervention. His substance abuse problem and dwindling emotional stability are further riled up when Allegra reveals she has told Costello to pack her things and leave. Costello has already found a refuge in North London so she will be alright, but Selby does not want to separate from Costello and Iris.

It is revealed that Allegra has called an institute and arranged a place for Selby in rehab. Costello comes to pick up her things and sincerely tells Allegra this is her chance “to love him and take care of him.” Selby has another anger fit and breaks Costello’s laptop. She tells him about his mother and how Costello was always called a liar – but she was right all along. Selby tightly tugs on her and asks Costello not to leave. They embrace each other when Allegra walks in and the people from the facility take him away.

Iris is upset to have moved away from Selby. Serena, the caretaker of the refuge, picks them up. She takes them to the place, which is not too bad. Serena tells Costello that she cannot work when she is living there to get full residential benefits.

Costello also meets a fellow housemate, Jade. Allegra leaves Selby and does not take Costello’s advice, lying there alone and distraught on the bed with the painting Iris made for him as a parting gift. At night, Costello has trouble writing in her notebook due to the noise. She phones the facility to talk to Selby but they say her name is not on the family list.

The Episode Review

After the aberration in the last episode, Rain Dogs is back to the core storyline and its usual modus operandi. Even though, admittedly, that was a refreshing change-up, this feels much better. For starters, the narrative finally recognizes the problematic and toxic relationship between Costello and Selby, and also the latter’s substance problem. Unpacking the problems was an important step and here is hoping he comes back a better man from the facility. But completely shifting him off might be a worse idea than bringing him to rehab.

We did not see much of Iris in this episode though but she seems to be having a hard time adjusting. Gloria has a child to look forward to, which might settle her down as well.

Episode 5 marks a new beginning for the rain dogs and their new lives. It remains to be seen how they will finetune themselves to this reality and how they will cope without each other.

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2 thoughts on “Rain Dogs – Season 1 Episode 5 “Emotional Erection” Recap & Review”

  1. The question that comes to mind is selby’s ability to feel or genuinely have love for another person. In my view, selby’s nihilistic identity and outlook, unresolved trauma and not being able to exist without substances will always serve as a barrier to happiness. There’s an l inescapable cloud of numbness above him. But yes, he clearly has an undying need for iris and Costello.

    Also, as you I think expressed, their relationship is far more nuanced and complicated than we can digest or make sense of, and of course uncomfortably toxic

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