Represent – Season 1 Episode 5 “Live on Air” Recap & Review

Live on Air

It is time for the traditional Presidential debate between Ble and Corinne as Represent episode 5 starts. Eric watches from the sidelines but still manages to influence Ble’s fortunes. He learns that Marion is missing and Lamine, a volunteer in the campaign is too.

A dealer in the vicinity of the hood is in a coma; is all this a coincidence? He relays all the information to Virginie, one of the two journalists moderating the debate. Stephane is having stage fright before the debate. He writhes in pain in his changing room and Crozon comes in to calm him down.

He comes clean about his own background, upbringing, and how he has started to believe in Ble after spending all those weeks with him. This gives Ble some confidence but he still feels unwell. Some Father from a distant land is brought by Ble’s mother Simon to “lift the curse” from him. He gives a sip of holy water from his local stream, which makes matters worse for Ble. But, they do not have any more time and it is the start of the debate. Two promo videos introduce each of the two candidates.

Even though Corinne is way more qualified, poised, and better suited for the job, some moments in the video show chinks in her armour. One cannot be right about everything and absolute perfection is just an illusion.

We definitely get a sense of that reality but not in a comprising way that can damage her chances of winning. Her eco-feminism and hardened views on gender dynamics strongly establish her as a no-nonsense advocate. It is not just the activist in her that appeals to the left but also the street-smart politician that never gives the impression of one. That part remains hidden at all times.

Ble, on the other hand, is an open book. He is unapologetically rooted in his community and upbringing, refusing to put on a show for anyone. His video does justice by presenting a man with simple ideas and average intellect but never undermines his ambition, kindness, and compassion for changing his country.

Ble is aware of the struggles that people of colour face in France and he is ready to go to the battlefield to ensure their fortunes change. The debate kicks off and Corinne protects her overtly radical views. She targets downsizing across demographics to preserve the earth’s valuable resources.

On the issue of overpopulation, Ble counters with the fact that he has the conviction that future generations if educated well, will bring mankind out of this climate change rut. This improves Ble’s approval ratings and he nudges ahead of Corinne.

In the next segment “Surprise Guest”, everything changes. Chahiba is invited on Corinne’s behest. They met while the latter was part of yet another charity program. Crozon keeps promoting Ble to call out Chaihba as masquerading as blind and when Ble does, his claims are turned down.

It is a huge mistake on his part and Corinne defends Chahiba. From Ble’s side, matters get worse when his womanizing, homophobic, and deeply patriarchal father makes an appearance. Simon is instantly riled up and the entire thing turns into a family circus.

Corinne engages in a heated debate with him and Ble’s chances are badly hurt. He even distances himself from his father in the middle of the debate but it cannot recoup all the damage done.

In the next round of polls, Corinne takes a commanding lead. Eric relishes the change in tides and is even more excited when he discovers Lofti, the man who went into a coma after Lamine pushed him, has regained consciousness.

Virginie surprises him with accusations about Desiree and Ble goes silent for a minute. He counters well but perhaps not emphatically enough as Corinne corners him on the issue. Ble knows he has messed up after the debate ends. Marion seems to think the same on the phone. She beseeches him once again to ask Lamine to surrender as Ble’s chances of winning are over.

Crozon agrees with how the debate went. Suddenly, they hear knocking on the door and Ble is arrested on the charges of helping Lamine, the perp in Lofti’s case by his own admission, escape the hands of the law.

The Episode Review

Where was this episode four episodes back? Is this what we have all been missing all along? Episode 5 of Represent on Netflix is arguably the best thirty minutes of crude comedy that is politically incorrect but aware and just downright funny you will find on Netflix. In the one-on-one debate format, Zadi hits it out of the park.

With his writing, demeanour, and occasional seriousness that polemically made worthy real-life points about France’s demographic, he encapsulated all that Represent ought to have been about.

The never-ending repartee, a cameo by Ble Sr., a cross-eyed blind woman from Afghanistan who is gay and pursues a triple degree at Harvard; it had everything. The material was so good that this episode itself could have been expanded into a full-length feature.

That would have been more interesting than all the mediocrity we have been seeing. It hardly manages to turn the opinion on the show overall but what a pleasant surprise!

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